Native Americans

Native Americans Sweat lodges were a basic component of Native American life. The Native American completed a purification ceremony in these sweat lodges. This ritual dealt with purifying the human body and soul.

The layout of the sweat lodge, the practice of the purification ceremony, and the symbolism in each of these things are all part of Native American rituals The Navaho used to call sweat lodges tq”ache. They are made out of birch willow branches and resemble a beehive.Outside of the sweat lodges is a fire used to heat rocks. A dirt path from the fire outside goes through the door leading to the fire inside.

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The door is always facing toward the east. In the middle of the sweat lodge is a hole with the heated rocks from the fire outside. Sweat baths are filled with symbolism. Sweat represents the washing away of physical and moral impurities. This ceremony is meant to revitalize and allow the person to be born anew.The lodge is an image of the universe. The rocks inside symbolize the center of the universe.

The heated rocks in the fireplace represent the Mother Earth. The stream created by pouring water over the rocks symbolizes the Thunder Being. The participants purify themselves with rocks, fire, water, earth and air. The practice of the purification ceremony is essentially a sweat bath.When the stones in the fire outside are hot enough they are brought in. The participants chant and sit in silence. After this is done, a mixture of water, sage grass, cedar, and pine needles is poured onto the hot rocks.

This produces a hot vapor bath that leaves the fragrance of burning needles and grass. This practice can be done many times a day. There are always sweat baths before important ceremonies, warpaths, or the signing of treaties.

This ritualistic ceremony shows many of the beliefs about Gods relationship with the earth and humans. This purification ceremony put the American Indians in a frame of mind to make important decisions. The layout, practice, and symbolism in the sweat lodges are a major part of Native American rituals.

Native Americans

Many times throughout history, specific events occur that explain why the existence of Native Americans are necessary for the Spanish and English colonists to survive.

The Native Americans were like parents to the Spanish and English colonists. As a newborn baby is introduced to the new world, alike, the Spanish and English were introduced to a New World in which the Natives were already a part of. Their inhabitance of the land dates back to many thousands of years ago where they inhabited all regions of the America’s. When the Europeans arrived the Natives gave the colonists knowledge about the land. At times the Natives cared for them and supplied them with food and various other things.

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They also provided work for the colonists whether the Natives were slaves, servants or allied forces. Economically, the Natives were needed very much for anything the colonists would export to Europe. Throughout history, the colonists’ dependency on the Natives was clearly shown and the how the colonists exploited the Natives in every possible way was also clear.What the colonists needed most from the Natives was their knowledge of the land. Because the Natives lived in the America’s for thousands of years, they are familiar with the area and they know how to work with it.

For example, when Cortez landed on the Mexican shores on 1519, he used the Aztecs for their gold. When he found out where the Aztecs were getting their gold from, he simply destroyed them after he used them for their knowledge. Spanish colonists also had to learn a lot from the Pima, Pueblo and Papagos to be able to continue their farming in the very dry Southwest.Another tribe’s knowledge the colonists needed for survival was the Hohokam. “The Hohokam built and maintained the first irrigation system in America, channeling river water many miles to desert fields of maize, beans, squash, tobacco, and cotton. ” The Hohokam’s knowledge of the dry lands and irrigation was passed on to later tribes, which was ultimately acquired by the colonists. This type of knowledge is essential to survival of the colonists because you could imagine what would happen to these farmers when they are left in a desert with no assistance, they would die! Thus, the knowledge of the land that the Natives had was critical to the survival of the colonists. Yet, with all the knowledge they provided, it still wasn’t enough.

Not only were the colonists dependent on the knowledge the Natives provided, but they also needed their care and their supplies. At times, the colonists reached the shores of the New World and met harsh conditions that they were not prepared for, yet the Natives have adapted to. At times like these, the Natives would care for this unknown kind.

For example, in 1608 when 144 people were sent to Chesapeake to begin the first permanent English colony (Jamestown) and “the colonists survived the first year only with Powhatan’s material assistance.They were unable to support themselves. ” The same incident occurred on the island of Roanoke when the colony there, “Was incapable of supporting itself… the tribe leader did the hospitable thing. ” Another example where the Natives did the hospitable thing for the colonists was at Plymouth when the Natives fed and cared for the Pilgrims.

The previous examples prove the Natives were needed for the colonists’ survival. Almost all of the English colonies in the beginning would have perished if it weren’t for the Natives. The Natives are also responsible for “Supplying the first European colonists in the south with rich harvests from their extensive fields .” It’s hard to believe that with all the violence that goes on between the two cultures, that the Natives would actually give their own addiction of tobacco to the colonists.

The Natives taught the colonists how to grow these plants and they used the Natives’ fertile, mild soil around the Mississippian River. As well as that, English colonists on the northeast shores of the U.S. farmed maize on the same land and fished in the same waters as the Algonquian tribe. There is an unending amount of examples of where the Natives provided care, supplies and life for the colonists. If the Natives were not there to provide these things, the colonists would not survive.Work was another reason why the Natives were necessary to the survival of the colonists.

Work can include of two different things: 1. Slaves or servants or 2. Being an ally in combat. Cortez (coming back into the picture) actually commits to using both types of work.

When he reaches the shores of Mexico, he forms allies with the tribes neighboring the Aztecs, which were in check by the Aztecs. Obviously, these tribes want to bring down the Aztecs because of, “The many native peoples who lives under Aztec oppression .” Thus, the allied forces of the Spanish and the Natives will overthrow the Aztecs. On top of that, Cortez will use the leftover’ Natives as slaves to work on the mines and fields or as servants.

Also, in the Spanish New World Empire, “There they supervised Indian or African workers in mining, ranching, or agriculture. ” The Spanish New World Empire and Cortez definitely show that some form of Native slavery or Native servants was used. If the Natives were not available to mine the gold, plow the fields and do all other sorts of jobs, the goals of the New World would either be delayed for a long period of time or perish. Therefore, the survival of the colonists depended on the existence of the working Natives.Lastly, the Natives were needed for the economic survival of the colonists. In Europe, things were not going very well economically.

There was a shortage of resources and much conflict that messes up the whole matter. Well, in the New World there are abundant resources and many people can trade with the Natives as well as using their agriculture. For example, the Intercontinental Exchange. The export of goods from the New World to Europe was immense and it was very good for the European economy. Precious metals and ” “Miracle Crops” provided abundant food sources that went a long way outward ending the persistent problem of famine in Europe. ” The type of trade and exporting that was occurring in the New World was very good for Europe and the Natives were behind it all. The Natives provided the tobacco growing knowledge, land and resources. The Natives provided the work that went into mining out precious metals such as gold and silver.

And in the end, the colonists benefit from it, but not without the Natives.In conclusion, the Natives were necessary for the survival of the Spanish and English colonists for four main reasons. They had knowledge of the land and this helped them greatly. Where to grow what and how to grow it, more importantly according to the weather. Although the Natives were massacred every time at the end, the hospitality and supply for food and agriculture they provided for the colonists was definitely a factor for their survival.

They’re work as slaves, servants or allies was another reason as to the colonists survival. Lastly, the Natives were necessary to the economical survival of the colonists. Where they create the goods to export back to Europe. These reasons clearly identify what the colonists purpose was to the New World (Mercantilism) and that it is impossible for the colonists to be able to achieve their goal without the aid of Native Americans.

Native Americans

Native AmericansAmerican Indian Wars There is perhaps a tendency to view the record of the military in terms of conflict, that may be why the U.

S. Armys operational experience in the quarter century following the Civil War became known as the Indian wars. Previous struggles with the Indian, dating back to colonial times, had been limited. There was a period where the Indian could withdraw or be pushed into vast reaches of uninhabited and as yet unwanted territory in the west. By 1865 the safety valve was fast disappearing.

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As the Civil War was closed, white Americans in greater numbers and with greater energy than before resumed the quest for land, gold, commerce, and adventure that had been largely interrupted by the war. The besieged red man, with white civilization pressing in and a main source of livelihood, the buffalo, threatened with extinction, was faced with a fundamental choice: surrender or fight. Many chose to fight, and over the next 25 years the struggle ranged over the plains, mountains, and the deserts of the American West. These guerrilla wars were characterized by skirmishes, pursuits, raids, massacres, expeditions, battles, and campaigns of varying size and intensity. In 1865, there was a least 15 million buffalo, ten years later, fewer than a thousand remained. The army and the Bureau of Indian Affairs went along with and even encouraged the slaughter of the animals. By destroying the buffalo herds, the whites were destroying the Indians main source of food and supplies. The only thing the Indians could do was fight to preserve their way of life.

There was constant fighting among the Indian and whites as the Indians fought to keep their civilization. Indian often retaliated against the whites for earlier attacks that whites had imposed on them. They often attacked wagon trains, stage coaches, and isolated ranches. When the army became more involved in the fighting, the Indians started to focus on the white soldiers. In 1862, when the north and south were locked in Civil War, Minnesota felt the fury of an even more fundamental internal conflict.

The Santees, an eastern branch of the Sioux Nation, having endured ten years of traumatic change on the upper Minnesota River, launched the first great attack in the Indian wars. Eleven years earlier the tribe had sold 24 million acres of hunting ground for a lump sum of $1,665,000 and the promise of future cash annuities. The Santees culture was not only disrupted, the Sioux gradually found themselves dependent on trade goods, which made them easy prey for the white merchants. The merchant would give them credit and collect directly from the government. The Indians saw little of the annuities for which they had sold their birthright. Their anger finally reached the flash point when, following a winter of near starvation, the annual payment failed to arrive on time.

Bursting from their reservation, they killed more than 450 settlers in the region before they were defeated by a hastily assembled group of raw recruits led by Colonel Henry Sibley. Later the killing of the white settlers was described as “the most fearful Indian massacre in history. Four weeks after the rampage began, 2,000 Indian men, women and children surrendered, 392 prisoners were quickly tried and 307 sentenced to death.

Sibley favored execution at once. But Bishop Whipple of Minnesota went to Washington to plead for clemency. After a long appraisal President Lincoln commuted most of the sentences except for the proven rapists and murderers. On the day after Christmas 1862, 38 Sioux warriors were brought to a specially built gallows and hanged at the same time. Three of the leaders of the massacre had gotten away. Shakopee and Medicine Bottle had escaped to Canada, they were kidnapped back into the U.S. and were duly executed.

Little Crow went to North Dakota and returned to Minnesota the following summer and was shot by a farmer while picking berries. Red Cloud was beginning to emerge as a major leader in 1863, when settlers and miners began to pour over a new road called the Powder River Trail, or the Bozeman Trail after the scout who blazed it. This road was to connect Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to the new mining centers right through the best of all the Sioux hunting grounds. The Indians under Red Clouds leadership harassed travelers on the trail with such determination that in the summer of 1866 white leaders arranged a council at Fort Laramie. At the outset of the council it appeared that peaceful use of the trail might be negotiated as long as travelers did not disturb the game.

But as serious talks got underway, a Colonel Henry Carrington marched into Fort Laramie with a …

..large body of troops and plans to establish forts to protect the trail against Indian raids; he made no secret of his intentions. Red Cloud exploded, he walked out on the council and half of the chiefs went with him. Carrington went ahead with rebuilding of Fort Reno and the establishing of Forts Phil Kearny and C.F. Smith to protect the road through Sioux country. But soon after Carrington arrived at Fort Reno with his troops the Sioux Warriors swooped down upon the post and ran off with a band of horses, Red Clouds war had begun.

The war amounted to a series of harassments. The Indians cut off the mail route, attacked wagon trains and either destroyed them or forced them to turn back. Camps of the Sioux war faction were strung out along the Tongue River, and the restless warriors constantly raided the trail and the posts. Among the officers stationed at Fort Kearny was a headstrong captain by the name of William J. Fetterman, who had become angry about the raiding.

On one occasion he boasted, “give me 80 men and I would ride through the whole Sioux Nation.” There was a brilliant young warrior named Crazy Horse who decided to take advantage of the captains cocky attitude. On the morning of December 21, 1866, a party of soldiers were sent out to get wood, they signaled back they were under attack, fetterman demanded and got command of a relief force, they were ordered not to press a fight unnecessarily. Crazy Horse and a few other warriors coaxed the 80 soldiers to follow the Indians into a low area of Pano Creek, where 100s of Indians swarmed over Fettterman and his troops and wiped them out. Fettermans massacre was not a major engagement, but it was like an exclamation point in the war of harassment that Red Cloud had pursued and would continue to press for months to come. All the whites in the east and west wanted peace, but Red Cloud would not grant it. The Sioux Chief demanded that the whites take their forts out of Sioux country, and finally the government yielded to his wishes. In May 1868, the army ordered the abandonment of all three forts.

In the late summer of the same year, as the soldiers marched out from the posts, the Indians burned them to the ground. He was the first and only Western Indian Chief to have won a war with the United States. In 1874 George Custer, on a reconnaissance mission with his cavalry, reported the discovery of gold in the Black Hills.

Prospectors poured onto Indian land, and under the leadership of Chief Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and Gall, angry Indians raided and harassed the white settlements. The Indians were told by the Commissioner of Indian affairs to move back within the boundaries of their reservation or they would be deemed hostile. In 1876 the army planned a campaign against the hostile Indians, then gathered in the southeastern Montana Territory. Custers regiment of 665 men formed the advance guard of a force under General Alfred Terry. On June 25 Custers scouts located the Sioux on the Little Bighorn River.

Unaware of the Indian strength, between 2500 and 4000 men, Custer disregarded orders and prepared to attack at once. Cut off from the flanking columns and completely surrounded, Custer and his men fought desperately but all were killed. This was to become known as the Battle of the Little Big Horn. In 1890, the Sioux began practicing a religion taught by Wovoka, a paiute prophet who promised that performing the ritual ghost dance would result in the return of native lands, the rise of dead ancestors, the disappearance of the whites, and a future of peace and prosperity. Nearby white settlers, frightened by the rituals, called for federal intervention. The U.S. Army believed that Chief Sitting Bull to be the instigator of an impending rebellion was arrested.

As he was being led away over the objections of his supporters, a gunfight erupted. Thirteen people, including Sitting Bull, were killed. His followers then fled, some to the camp of Chief Big Foot. The 7th Cavalry pursued the Sioux to a camp near Wounded Knee Creek.

On December 29, 1890, a shot was fired within the camp and the army began shooting. 40 white soldiers and more 300 of the Indians including women and children died. An Indian may well have fired the first shot, but the battle soon turned into a one-sided massacre, as the white soldiers turned their new machine guns on the Indians and mowed them down. The Allotment Act of 1887 or Dawes Act, was legislation that converted communally owned Indian reservation lands into individually owned parcels. Excess acreage was sold to white settlers.

Enactment contributed to the further decline of tribal populations, traditions, and well being.


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