View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Wed Mar 12th, 2008 01:56 pm
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352

Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065

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A very common misconception is that all Indians were of one mindset: innocent hunter gatherer bunny huggers. Hollywood has gone a long way inshaping those misconceptions. In fact I can think of very few that come anywhere near getting it right. Dances w/ Wolves was probably as close as you can get w/ Hollyweird and NEVER watch that move w/ someone who knows the language as they'll be rolling in the aisles. Thunderheart is probably the best most accurate look at a Reservation I've ever seen. There are a couple others but they are very few and far between.

The reality is anything but the innocent bunny hugger image. There were literally hundred of different tribes, some were peaceful... they quickly became extinct thousands of years before the white man showed up. To understand the Native American culture one has to get a look into the nomadic culture of people used to near perpetual warfare. Tribes like the Apache, Commanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Cheyenne etc were VERY warlike arguably among the finest warriors in history. Apache children learned how to fight from the time they could first walk and the children lietened to war stories from the time they could listen and understand what was being said. The Lakota child was riding a horse before he could walk and his first toy was usually a childs bow.

Not something your average white moving west was ready to deal with. It was a no quarter given and none asked kind of conflict w/ neither side being innocent. Most of the plains tribes destroyed an enemy body because of their belief that they would be meeting them again in the afterlife and didn't wish to face one whole. The Apache believed completely in testing an enemy's bravery and courage... which is why they were so adept at torture. For both tribes a man who proved his bravery could be guaranteed respect. The Lakota would leave his body untouched in the hope that thy would meet the man in the afterlife. The Apache... a stoic man would receive their respect and honor to the point of being released or the highest honor; adoption. Things not likely to be understood by the average white man on the plains or in the desert.

The Native Americans are a fascinating study, no one book can hope to encompass them all. It takes books on individual tribes to do it right and not muck things up. Years ago I was given a book that "Is a great primer on the Indian" it lumped the Crow and Lakota together... ummm BAD idea. If you want a fight even today call a Lakota a Crow.

It's ironic to me that the best thing I can think of to tell someone to read in order to garner a basic understanding of the Native American is pretty much any Louis Lamour western.

Susan I know there are some spelling & syntax errors, please don't wack me w/ the ruler. I'm sorry.

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