Tribal Warriors


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tribal warriors Sitting Bull exile to Canada

Many things influenced Sitting Bulls decision to cross the border into Canada. After Custers defeat at Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull had to live life in fear. He fought on the defensive for years. Sitting Bull and his followers fled from the onslaught of American howitzers. He then was able to find sanctuary in the White Grandmothers Country, north of the international boundary. Most of the band drifted back in the next few years; Sitting Bull himself was to return in 1881 to end his exile (Andrist 298)). They faced unknown obstacles, and challenges, all for a chance to live the way they wanted to. When times were bad they looked to the Canadians for assistance. When they could not help Sitting Bull struggle ended and asylum. Canada was no longer an option for Sitting Bulls starving people.

For Sitting Bull and his people the winter of 1876-77 was a winter of despair. Soldiers occupied the hunting grounds and kept the war going even when the snow fell and the temperature plunged(Utley 174). Sitting Bulls options for the survival his people were being held in the hands of the soldiers surrounding his winter encampment. Who could at any time burst into their village, shoot down the people, and destroy their homes and food supplies(Utley 174).

Sitting Bull disliked the alternative of an unconditional surrender, which was out of the question. This surrender would have cost Sitting Bull and his people their guns, and horses. This was unreasonable for people who relied on these valuable tools in almost every aspect in their lives.

In April of 1877 the Miniconjoous, Sans Arcs, Hunkpaps, and others of equal prominence conviened a council at Beaver Creek. Spotted Eagle and Sitting Bull would make speeches advocating continuing the war against the white man. They would eventually realize them necessity to act in the best interest of the people. Sitting Bull stood firm in his way of life, as a hunter.

Around this time Crazy Horse made his decision to surrender. On May 6, Crazy horse surrendered at the Red Cloud agency in Robinson Nebraska. The group which consisted of 889 people, surrendered "12,00 ponies and 117 arms"(Utley182).

Sitting Bull faced new uncertainty in Canada. He had traveled to this country before "following Buffalo or seeking Slotas to trade with" (Utley184). He also knew from experience the contrast between the Grandmother (Canada) and the Great Father of the United States. He would also begin to somewhat trust the Canadians

Sitting bull would soon develop a relationship with a 34-year-old lawman by the name of James M. Walsh. Walsh was a 34-year-old Major for the Northwest Mounted police. Walsh would go on to play an influential role in the issues involving Sitting Bulls stay in Canada.

Walsh was very aware of the actions involving the Sioux. Even before the Battle of Little Bighorn, Walsh and other Mounties had realized that the U.S. military operations against the Sioux and Cheyenne were to drive hostile Indians north across the border (Anderson 1).

On May 7, 1877 Walsh would follow a trail that led up from the Montana, about 50 miles to the south his scouts had said that A good-sized band had passed over this ground(Anderson 1). Walsh and his scouts would have no small task preserving law and order in the border country (Anderson 1). The Canadians were already having problems with their own plains Indians and did not want to add to the numbers for which they were responsible (Adams 337).

These problems arrived at the end of company rule in 1869. American whiskey traders had "spread demoralization and bloodshed among tribes" (Utley 184). This put the Canada in a situation it would have to deal with.

Sitting bull had reached a Slota trading camp on the Big Bend of Milk River by April 16th. Apparently heading for international boundaries. The movement had a total of around one thousand people, occupying 135 lodges. Some of these lodges were new, "but most were old, raged, and patched, all that could be salvaged agreed the Missouri River floodwaters swept through their village in March" (Utley 183). The Lodge of Sitting Bull and his extensive family was the shabbiest ... more

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Comanche Indians

COMANCHE INDIANS

The Comanches, exceptional horsemen who dominated the Southern Plains, played a prominent role in Texas frontier history throughout much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Anthropological evidence indicates that they were originally a mountain tribe, a branch of the Northern Shoshones, who roamed the Great Basin region of the western United States as crudely equipped hunters and gatherers. Both cultural and linguistic similarities confirm the Comanches' Shoshone origins. The Comanche language is derived from the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family and is virtually identical to the language of the Northern Shoshones. Sometime during the late seventeenth century, the Comanches acquired horses, and that acquisition drastically altered their culture. The life of the pedestrian tribe was revolutionized as they rapidly evolved into a mounted, well-equipped, and powerful people. Their new mobility allowed them to leave their mountain home and their Shoshone neighbors and move onto the plains of eastern Colorado and western Kansas, where game was plentiful. After their arrival on the Great Plains, the Comanches began a southern migration that was encouraged by a combination of factors. By moving south, they had greater access to the mustangs of the Southwest. The warm climate and abundant buffalo were additional incentives for the southern migration. The move also facilitated the acquisition of French trade goods, including firearms, through barter with the Wichita Indians on the Red River. Pressure from more powerful and better-armed tribes to their north and east, principally the Blackfoot and Crow Indians, also encouraged their migration. A vast area of the South Plains, including much of North, Central, and West Texas, soon became Comanche country, or Comancheria. Only after their arrival on the Southern Plains did the tribe come to be known as Comanches, a name derived from the Ute word Komdnteia, meaning "enemy," or, literally, "anyone who wants to fight me all the time." The
Spaniards in New Meadco, who encountered the Comanches in the early eighteenth century, gave the tribe the name by which they were later known to Spaniards and Americans able. Although the tribe came to be known historically as Comanches, they called themselves Nermernuh, or "the People."
The Comanches did not arrive on the South Plains as a unified body but rather in numerous family groups or bands. The band structure of Comanche society was not rigid, and bands coalesced and broke apart, depending on the needs and goals of their members. As many as thirteen different, Comanche bands were identified during the historic period, and most probably there were others that were never identified. However, five major bands played important roles in recorded Comanche history.  
The southernmost band was called Penateka, or "Honey Eaters." Their range extended from the Edwards Plateau to the headwaters of the Central Texas rivers. Because of their location, the Penatekas played the most prominent role in Texas history. North Of Penateka, country was the habitat of the band called Nokoni, or "Those Who Turn Back." The Nokonis roamed from the Cross Timbers region of North Texas to the mountains of New Mexico. Two smaller bands, the Tanima ("Liver-Eaters") and the Tenawa ("Those Who Stay Downstream"), shared the range of the Nokonis. These three divisions are sometimes referred to collectively as Middle Comanches. Still farther north was the range of the Kotsotekas, or "Buffalo-Eaters." Their territory covered what is now western Oklahoma, where they often camped along the Canadian River. The northernmost band was known as the Yamparikas, or "Yap-Eaters," a name derived from that of an edible root. Their range extended north to the Arkansas River.  The fifth major band, known as Quahadis (Antelopes), roamed the high plains of the Llano Estacado.

FOODS
The Comanche remained a nomadic people throughout their free existence. Buffalo, their lifeblood, provided food, clothing, and shelter. Their predominantly meat diet was supplemented with wild roots, fruits, and nuts, or with produce obtained by trade with neighboring agricultural tribes, principally the Wichita and Caddo groups to the east and the Pueblo tribes to the west. Because of their skills as trades, the Comanches controlled much of the commerce of the Southern Plains. They bartered buffalo products, horses, and captives for manufactured items and foodstuffs.
SHELTER
The familiar Plains type teepee constructed of tan buffalo hide stretched over ... more

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