American Indians of the Plateau and Plains (Native American by Kathleen Kuiper

By Kathleen Kuiper

Using horses has possibly so much dramatically formed the lifestyle for local American tribes within the Plateau and Plains areas of North the US, however the practices and traditions of either tradition parts date again to a time lengthy ahead of Europeans ever touched American beaches, introducing their animals and customs to the continent’s indigenous peoples. This eye-catching quantity examines the heritage and cross-cultural interactions that got here to be linked to the peoples of the Plateau and the altering payment styles of the Plains peoples, in addition to the cultural, social, and non secular practices that experience outlined the key tribes of every zone.

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Extra resources for American Indians of the Plateau and Plains (Native American Tribes)

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Plentiful streams and lakes, adequate rainfall, and abundant game and fish made this area the most favourable part of the plateau between the Rockies and the Pacific Coast Ranges. Traits of both Plains and Plateau Indians are found in the Kutenai culture. After acquiring horses, they engaged in annual bison hunts beyond the Rockies and into the Plains. The advent of horse transport also increased the importance and frequency of military activities. Formalized war honours became a means of social advancement, and increasing numbers of war captives (women and children, mostly Blackfoot) made slavery, adoption, and intermarriage more common.

The Okanagan, Ntlakapamux, and Lillooet celebrated similar rites for the first berries rather than the first salmon. The winter or spirit dance was a ceremonial meeting at which participants personified their respective guardian spirits. Among the Nez Percé the dramatic performances and the songs were thought to bring warm weather, plentiful game, and successful hunts. As in much of Northern America, folklore in the Plateau generally emphasized the creator, trickster, and culture hero Coyote. The subject of innumerable trickster tales, Coyote (or alternative trickster figures such as Bluejay) undertook exploits that reflected common foibles and reinforced the social mores of the people.

Although functioning independently in most situations, the villages would ally for war, and members of different villages often married. During winter, when snowdrifts could reach six feet (two metres) or more, most village families lived in semisubterranean earth-covered lodges, usually one family to a lodge. Poorer families lived in simpler mat-covered houses. In summer the usual dwelling was either a domed house of poles and matting or a lean-to of brush. Sweat houses, used by both men and women, doubled as community centres for prayer and other religious activities.

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