Gender and Plains Indian Warfare

Gender and Plains Indian Warfare - The Plains Indians...

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Unformatted text preview: The Plains Indians Ecology, Warfare and Gender Plains Indian warfare has frequently been portrayed as a contest among men to gain prestige rather than as a system of deadly combat in which men were brutally killed and through which groups of people competed over resources. "Plains Indians fought not for territorial aggrandizement, nor for the victor's spoils, but above all because fighting was a game worth while because of the social recognition it brought when played according to the rules.“--Robert Lowie (1920) "Plains warfare was almost as stylized as a medieval tournament, and was seen by its participants not so much as a way to kill enemies as a means of demonstrating personal skill and bravery…." --J. Donald Hughes (1983) However: 1. Plains Indian warfare evolved as a predictable outcome of increasing population growth and resource competition. 2. The evolution of Plains Indian ecology and warfare constituted a positive-feedback system resulting from the infusion of new subsistence technologies and a new productive relationship between Indians and resources. 3. The changing Population/Resource relationships on the plains also resulted in fundamental changes in gender roles and in gender-related behavior . Native American Culture Areas Principal Natural Communities Prairie vs. Plains * * * Cold Wet Cold Dry Warm Dry Warm Wet Climatic Regions on the Great Plains Principal Food Sources Pre-Horse Northwest Plains - ( Blackfoot & Crow) • Subsistence economy - hunting and gathering • Surround-type hunting (impounding and cliff stampedes) • Labor intensive • Extensive preparation • Required considerable cooperation and organization • Hunting was difficult, unpredictable, precarious and required great skill • Important role of women in subsistence • Patrilineal extended kin groups • Egalitarian social structure One method of hunting buffalo in the northwestern plains was to drive a herd of buffalo over a cliff. This method required group cooperation and resulted in the shared distribution of meat. Pre-Horse Northeast Plains- (Sioux & Cheyenne) • Horticulture, supplemented by hunting bison and other game • Subsistence economy • Horticulture more productive and reliable than hunting • Principal role of women in horticulture • Matrilocal post-marital residence • Matrilineal extended kin groups • Egalitarian social structure Subsistence Resources Provided by . . .Provided by ....
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course EL ED 365 taught by Professor Brothermercier during the Fall '11 term at BYU.

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Gender and Plains Indian Warfare - The Plains Indians...

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