Monday, April 23, 2012

April 19, 2012. Dodge City. Boot Hill Museum. People Of The Plains.

Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas,
is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Dodge City,
(founded in 1872)
 and the Old West.
The museum contains exhibits featuring thousands of original historic
items depicting life in 1876 Dodge City.

The "People of the Plains" exhibit
features the lives of the Comanche, Apache,
Kiowah, Arapaho, and Cheyenne Indians.

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass
and loses itself in the sunset.
- Crowfoot -
Blackfoot Warrior and Orator

The buffalo population:
from sixty million in the 15th century
to 549 in 1889.

A Dakota Prayer of the Buffalo
O Wakan-Tanka, you have taught us your will
through Tatanka, the chief of the Four-leggeds.
You O Tatanka are the fruit of our Mother Earth
from which we live.
Here on Earth we live together with you O Tatanka 
and we are grateful to you;
for it is you who give us our food and makes the people happy.

Uses for Buffalo Parts:

Bull Boats
Moccasin Soles

Tanned Buffalo Hide
Moccasin Tops
Winter Robes
Tipi Covers
Tipi Liners
Sweat Lodge Covers

Gall Stones
Yellow Paints

Immediate Usage
Cached Meat
Jerky (dehydrated)
Pemmican (processed)


Fire Carriers

Hooves, Feet, and Dewclaws

Sun Dance
Medicine Prayers
Other Rituals

Hide Preparation


Choice Meat

Nice display of arrowheads.

 The Indians were the first stewards of the earth.
It was natural for them.
It was part of their BEING.

We white folks celebrate Earth Day.
What a sham!

Teach your children what we have taught our children -
that the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground, 
they spit upon themselves.
Whatever befalls the earth
befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life,
he is merely a strand in it.
- Chief Seattle -

Satanta - Chief of the Kiowa

While at Medicine Lodge,
he made an eloquent appeal on behalf of his people:

"I love this land and the buffalo and will not part with it.  I want you to understand well what I say.  Write it on paper ...  I hear a great deal of good talk from the gentlemen the Great Father sends us, but they never do what they say...  I want the children raised as I was.  I have heard you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains.  I don't want to settle  I love to roam over the prairies.  There I feel free and happy...  A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks...they kill my buffalo and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting.  This building of homes for us is all nonsense.  We don't want you to build any for us; we would all die...  I want all my land, even from the Arkansas south to Red River.  My country is small enough already.  If you build us houses the land will be smaller.  Why do you insist on it?  What good will come of it.?  I don't understand your reason.  Time enough to build us houses when the buffalo are all gone.  But you tell the Great Father that there are plenty of buffalo and when the buffalo are gone, I will tell him..."

Though he is reported to have mesmerized those who did not understand his speech (Satanta is said to have been fluent in five different languages - four Indian languages and Spanish) neither Satanta's nor any of the other speeches given made little difference.
The outcome had already been designed.

The Indian was one with his horse.
His beauty captivated us.
His intelligence inspired us.
His athletic ability amazed us.
We were then touched by his spirit,
his keen sensitivity, overwhelming loyalty,
and purity of heart.
The Indian and the horse established a bond of brotherhood.
--Linda Little Wolf--
The Horse
Blood Brother to the Plains Indians

In 1541, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, a Spanish explorer, traveled to the plains to search for gold in a newly discovered territory.  Coronado brought with him a herd of horses, introducing the Plains Indians to this invaluable animal.  The traders allowed the Indians to use their horses while working for the Europeans, teaching the Native Americans horsemanship skills which made it possible for the Indians to acquire these animals. For at least 100 years, the nomadic Plains tribes obtained their horses by stealing them or capturing strays roaming the prairie.  The Great Plains nomadic tribes began a transformation known as the "Golden Horse Era."  The Indians began to hunt buffalo on horseback, further away from their camps, something that was not possible before.  When moving from camp to camp, natives began to carry more supplies and create personal possession that they took with them.  With the utilization of the horse, villages could travel up to forty miles a day.
Soon the horse became revered by the Plains people and thought of as a "blood brother of the chosen people."  They named their beloved beast "Sunka Tanka (shoon-ka than-kah), meaning "Big Dog" or Great Dog."  As the horse began to take root in villages across the Plains, the human and horse populations grew and trading increased.  Conflicts that developed between the tribes allowed many villages to gain more horses and turned horse stealing into an honorable and courageous activity, accomplished by only the bravest of men.
Horses trained to hunt buffalo were used only for that purpose.  They were trained to sprint and stay focused through chaotic situations.  The hunting horses, or runners, were fed the finest grass and were pampered and groomed daily.  When they were not hunting, these horses were tied up next to their owner's tipi away from the rest of the herd.  Entire villages transformed with the coming of the horse.  Soon women were traveling more than before. They attached their babies to their horses in cradle boards.  By the age of twelve, most Plains Indian boys and girls were accomplished riders.  At the same time, the male youths were also leaning the skills needed to be a hunter or warrior.  The horse became a majestic and priceless creature to the traveling tribes who counted on them for survival.


The spirits were everywhere; they were said to be in the sun, earth, rivers, hills, thunderstorms, rainbows, and all creatures.  The Indians believed that the spirits controlled and affected almost everything in their lives.  They felt that by performing a constant round of ceremonies, they could appease the spirits and call for their aid.  The Indians felt it was necessary for spiritual assistance.  These rituals ranged from simple offerings to the spirits to major ceremonies such as human sacrifices and intricate dances.  These rituals took many forms. The warrior would bow to the sky and the earth and turn to the four points of the compass as he lit the morning pipe.  The ritual, Sundance, demanded the concentrated efforts of the entire tribe - who, for up to four days, would fast inside the Sundance lodge.  They offered their sacrifice to the mercy of the spirits; this making the Sundance the most important ceremony conducted in many villages.
The medicine man played an intricate role in all of the tribes.  The power of the medicine man came from a dream after a long fasting and prayer.  This vision quest was essential to the medicine man.  These men were very intelligent and their personal character convinced others of the value and reliability of their powers.  Medicine men charged handsomely for their assistance.  The medicine man also played the role of healer.  He carried a bag of of secret conjures and talismans to drive away the evil spirits and rid the body of bad medicine.
The peace pipe is the most renowned spiritual item of the Plains Indians.  Ceremonial pipes were the personal property of the chief or medicine man.  The pipes were smoked accoring to a precise ritual to pledge an oath or ratify a treaty.  The planting of the tobacco seeds and the harvesting of the leaves were occasions for ritualistic prayers or dances.  The ceremonial pipe was carefully crafted and protected to ensure that the pipe retained its power.  The spirits influenced and controlled all aspects of life for the Plains Indians.

Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty

In 1867, the United States government formed a commission to move Indians to reservations, where they would learn to farm and live in a "civilized" manner and end their nomadic way of life.  The meeting was set on land near the Medicine Lodge and Elm Creeks, in present day Barber County, Kansas.  Medicine Lodge was frequented by numerous Plains Indians, who considered it to be sacred land.  Most tribes shared the "lodge" on the banks of the Medicine River and believed that it had the power to cure ailments.  Consequently, the Kiowa wre known to make a journey once a year to the "lodge" and bathe in the river's healing water, renewing their medicine for the entire year.  This area was also away from any "white" civilization and had not been tainted by their foreign ways.
Around 5000 Indians - Kiowa, Comanche, Plains, Apache, and Souther Cheyenne attended the ceremonies in October of 1867, as well as several members of the press reporting the event for large newspapers on the east coast.
The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Ceremonies came to a close on October 28, 1867.  It was the first treaty created in which Plains Natives relinquished their lands; and in return, the United States Government aided them both economically and educationally.  The treaty also created military protection for the Plains Indians against "white" hunters and established a southern border for Kansas.

The government of the United States desires peace, and its honor is here pledged to keep it.  The Indians desire peace and they now pledge their honor to maintain it.
The Treaty of Medicine Lodge Creek, 1867

While some Indians agreed to accommodate the terms, others chose to fight the restrictions placed upon them by the "Great Father," the United States government.  Thus began a decade of battles between the Plains Indians and the United States Calvary.

Communication and Early Plains Tribes

Early Great Plains tribes had no written language.  Most villages and tribes cherished their spoken language and used it as a means to pass on their customs, traditions, and history.
They employed drawings depicting everyday life and important events as a way to communicate.  Some of their artwork showed battles against their enemies and large hunts.  The Plains Indians often sketched their memoirs on tanned buffalo, elk, and deer hides.  They referred to a year as winter.  Thye made drawings portraying events of each year.  This was known as the winter count.

Tribes spoke numerous, different, and unique languages.  When the Indian made contact with the Europeans in 1490, historians estimate over 300 different Native American languages were spoken.  When spoken language could not be used, tribes utilized sign language to communicate with one another.  The Kiowa were widely known as "sign talkers" due to their expertise in sign language, while the Crow are credited with teaching sign language to other tribes in the north.

Currently only 150 Native American languages are still spoken.

You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round.
The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars.
The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.  Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, 
and always come back again to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle from childhood to adulthood, 
and so it is in everything where power moves.
-Black Elk-
Oglala Sioux Holy Man

The tipi is much better to live in;
always clean, warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move...
If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place,
he would have made the world stand still.
-Flying Hawk-
South Dakota Oglala Sioux

The Tipi
Home on the Plains
The Tipi, from the Sioux language meaning "used to dwell in," offered a portable home for the nomadic tribes of the Plains.  Most Natives referred to their dwellings as lodges, which consisted of a thin layering of buffalo hide supported by long wooden beams called lodge poles.  The tipi stayed cool on the hottest days of summer and offered warmth and protection against the harsh winter storms.  It was also efficient for nomadic tribes following their prey because of quick and efficient dismantling for travel.  The tipi was also regarded as a santified place.  The circular floor plan symbolized the earth, while the dirt floor represented the fertility of earth.  The walls of the structure stood for the sky, while the lodge poles portrayed 
the Great Spirit who dwelled on high.
In order to construct a tipi, the tribe's women gathered thin, long logs, which they stripped the bark from to create the lodge poles.  They skinned over a dozen buffalo to create the hide walls.  After tanning, the hides were sewn together to make the tipi's covering.  It was then up to the women to decide the proper location to erect their lodge.  Within one hour, two Native women could clean an area and erect a tipi. Known for their resourcefulness, Indian females never wasted their hard earned materials.  They used a tipi covering until it was beyond repair.  The women then recycled the scraps of the old covering to make new items.  The top portion of a tipi was filled with smoke and ashes from the fire which made it a waterproof and functional piece for moccasins and other items.  The tipi was extremely important to the nomadic tribes and served many needs throughout their lives. 

Etiquette in the Tipi
Proper behavior among Plains Indians - as in most societies - was governed by extensive, strict, and often subtle rules.  There were etiquette points that all Indians understood about visiting a fellow tribesman's tipi.  If the door was open, the friend could enter.  If it was closed, the friend announced his presence and waited for an invite to come in.  The male visitor then entered the tipi and moved to the right to wait for the host to ask him to sit in the guest place (left of the owner).  The woman entered after the man and moved to the left.  When asked to dinner, guests brought their own bowls and spoons and were expected to eat all that they were given.  No visitor ever walked between the fire in the center and the other people, but passed behind the guests who leaned forward to make room.  The men sat cross-legged and the women could only sit on their heels or with their legs to one side.  If only men were present, the older ones initiated conversation.  The younger men remained silent until they were asked to speak by an elder.  When the host began to clean his pipe, everyone was expected to leave.  The tipi was considered a sacred place and rules were followed to show respect for the shelter and mobility that the tipi provided to the nomadic tribes.

Nomadic Tribes of the Great Plains

The first people who settled the Great Plains were the Kiowa, Comanche, Kiowa-Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Plains, Apache, and the Crow.  These tribes braved violent thunderstorms, tornados, droughts, and fires, blizzards, and freezing temperatures; survival was a never-ending battle.  The basic goal of these tribes was hunting food to survive.  The tribes followed the migrating herds of buffalo that sometimes darkened the horizon for miles.  Hunting was an effort of all of the members of the tribe. Setting up temporary camps, the tribes would travel up to 20 miles a day following their prey.  The people circled around the Tatanka (buffalo) and slowly closed in while hunters confused the animals by yelling and running.  The hunters used stone-tipped spears called atlatals that were thrust into the animal.  Many tribes stalked their prey in disguises, made of buffalo hides or a wolf's pelt. In order to sustain enough food for the winter season, many tribes would join together, hunt, and then go their separate ways until the next winter.  The size of their family groups remained small because of their nomadic lifestyle.  The introduction of the horse changed their way of life and culture forever.  The horse made hunting, traveling, and defense much easier.
The travois was extremely important to the nomadic tribes; it made movement across the plains possible.  It was used to move food and personal effects, and the travois poles also served as tipi poles when their destination was reached.  The hides that were wrapped around the travois were also used to wrap the tipi.  Pack dogs also used the travois to transport meat after a hunt.  The nomadic tribes of the Great Plains were resourceful and strong.  The survived the harsh conditions and the threatening environment with inventiveness and faith.

Plains Indian Women

After a successful hunt, the hunters returned to their villages, celebrating their kills.  However, the tribe's women were just beginning their work.  The female population would join together to process the meat and hides.  The women existed as equals to their men and not inferiors as the Europeans believed. Though a woman's work was strenuous and time consuming, the reason the Europeans believed the Indian males made their females work hard; it was very important to the survival of the tribe.
Plains Indian women made clothes, collected wood and water, prepared meals, and took care of the kills.  This brought her honor and prestige in the nomadic camp.  Tribal females made most of the decisions concerning the household.  They decided on the placement of the lodge;  they also owned the tipi and everything that filled the rawhide walls.  How well a female ran her household determined what her status in the tribe was.  Most Native American male and female relationships consisted of interdependence and respect.
Some Native females kept count of their domestic conquests much the same way  a warrior kept count of his coups in battle.  Sioux women used dots carved on tools with elk horn handles to record the number of times she had tanned and completed a tipi.  Many gained wealth by offering their domestic services to those less accomplished for trade.  When the camp relocated, it was the woman's responsibility to move all of the tribe's possessions.  Women relied on their horses, sturdy animals with calm dispositions, to achieve many of their tasks.  Native women decorated their horses with intricate beadwork, horsehair, brass cones, bells, cloth, shells, and coins.  This practice honored the animal and showcased her artistic talents.  Mature women of the tribes taught horsemanship skills to girls at a young age,
 passing on the wisdom and skills to the next generation.

Marriage and Courtship

 Unlike other men and women of the 1800s, Native American males and females had to earn the right to wed.  An Indian maiden demonstrated the strengths of her homemakeing skills and her capability at crafts, such as sewing or beadwork.  A single woman wanted to prove she was worthy of a fine brave.

The typical age for an Indian male to marry varied from each tribe.  Most postponed the responsibility of a family until he had proved his manhood to the entire tribe.  Indian braves sought to achieve success as a hunter or as the leader of a war party.  Courtship began with a man of the tribe vying for the affection of a young female.  This proved tricky since they were not allowed to associate openly among the tribe.  The brave must be discreet in his displays of affection.  This began with brief conversations in public or a chance meeting or encounter, perhaps while his chosen performed her daily chores.  Tribal beaus also serenaded their sweethearts with the "enchanting" music of courting flutes.  The flutes, created by the tribe's shaman, were carved into the shapes of animals and with thoughts of a certain couple in
 mind.  The shaman would then compose a love song which the man 
would use to entice the female from her tipi.

Marriage proposals varied among the tribes of the Great Plains.  One way involved an agreement permitting the groom to live with the bride's family for a period of time.  Once the marriage proposal was made and the bride's dowry was delivered, the male relatives of the bride would meet and decide if the groom was satisfactory.  If so, the girl and gifts were sent to the home of her future husband and a feast followed.  After the trial period, the couple would marry in a public feast.  The groom would then escort his bride to their new tipi, a wedding gift made by the other women in the tribe.  Another practice that came about was men marrying multiple wives.  This developed due to the fact that after the horse came along, men could bring home much more meat to be processed and it took more help to complete this task.  There were also more women than men in most communities, so the men would marry more than one woman so that each female had a provider.  If a man had two or more wives who were not related, separate homes were established to ensure there was enough living space and that conflict did not occur between the wives.  The first wife retained a position of honor,
 supervised all of the work, and had special privileges. 


In most Plains tribes it was custom for the husband to leave the camp during the birth of the first child to hunt. The expectant mother would be cared for by her female relatives or a female tribal elder.  After the birth, women focused on the spiritual aspects of the new life, specifically, the umbilical cord.  The cord represented the connection between the baby and the family and tribe.  The remains of the cord would be placed in a beaded pouch that remained attached to the child's clothing or cradle board during the length of infancy and then the mother would then attach the bag to a scrap of rawhide and drape it around the child's neck.  This was thought to guide the toddler's behavior and save him from evil spirits.  Plains Indian infants spent much time in cradleboards made of wood, tanned animal skins and canvases because the children could ride on their mothers' backs.  The mother could also travel by horse back by attaching the cradleboard to her saddle.  Diapers were made from several organic matters, such as packed down from cattails or the soft inner bark of a willow tree.  Native American females rolled the material into balls and the diaper was held in place by soft hides or blankets.
Plains mothers used finely ground buffalo manure as a powder in order to prevent chafing.  For diaper rash, they mixed grease with red clay to soothe inflamed skin.  During teething, mothers would give their babies pieces of gristle to gnaw on or roast a mouse and rub it over the babe's tender gums.  A stomach ache would be cured with finely ground crop from a wild turkey.
Infants became recognized members of the tribe at their naming ceremony.  The name was believed to influence the child's destiny.  Girls were often named for flowers and birds.  Female children kept their names for life unless they became sick or suffered misfortune; they were then renamed to bring new luck.  However, boys received new names throughout their teens and into manhood.   This symbolized his changing status in the tribe.  Once he had returned from a successful war expedition, he was given his final name.
It was impossible for an Indian child to become an orphan.  Even a child who lost both parents was absorbed into another part of its family.  The importance of living with their fellows was emphasized from birth.  Children learned at a young age how important it was to depend on each member in the tribe.
Chief Spotted Tail's Visit to Dodge City

During the 1870s, conflicts between area buffalo hunters and Plains Indians tribes were frequent.  In 1872, the Cheyenne had heard talk of hunters not honoring the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty and hunting buffalo south of the Arkansas River.  The Cheyenne sent Chief Spotted Tail to warn Charles Rath of what would happen to the buffalo hunters should the Treaty be neglected.  Rath, a well-known buffalo hunter, was believed to be able to send the
 Cheyenne message to numerous hunters.

Charles Rath was living behind the City Drug Store in a divided lean-to with his wife Carrie.  The other half of the lean-to had been rented to Dodge City's first physician, Dr. T.I. McCarty and his new bride, Sallie.  Both women were new to the Plains and had little contact with Indians before their arrival.

Upon the Chief's arrival, Charles Rath knew that Spotted Tail's safety was in grave danger.  Rath rushed out to meet the Chief and pulled him into the safety of the Drug Store to protect his life from the angry mob of Dodge City citizens.  He pushed his companion into the lean-to, much to the surprise of Sallie McCarty, the room's occupant.  Sallie prompted the Chief to take shelter under the McCarty's bed.  Sallie then called for her neighbor, Carrie Rath, to come over and aid with the predicament.

Charles then listened to the message from Chief Spotted Tail and attempted to find a way to get the Chief out of Dodge City unnoticed.  This would be tricky with armed men standing watch over the lean-to.  Rath is said to have made several pleas for assistance to neighboring Fort Dodge but to no avail.  So Sallie peeked out the front door to see if the coast was clear, but she found armed men lying in wait across the street.

Charles Rath decided to make one last daring attempt to get the Cheyenne chief safely out of town, risking both of their lives if he failed.  He raced a team of horses pulling a wagon to the lean-to.  Charles ordered Spotted Tail to climb onto the wagon and take shelter beneath a buffalo robe.  Chief Spotted Tail climbed onto the wagon and Rath spurred the horses on.  They surprised the mob so much that it took a moment for the men to mount and give chase. However,the chase did not last long; the mob realized the other hoof beats they heard were those of the 6th U.S. Calvary of Fort Dodge headed in their direction.

We all share this earth as a family;
you, me, and our equine brothers and sisters.
Go with peace.

A warrior's attire was highly spiritual and depicted his status among his village.  War shirts were made of buckskin and decorated with porcupine quills and beadwork.  Locks of hair gained in battle were also attached to the shirt to display the wearer's victories.  A warrior's headdress identified who was a war chief.  It was worn before, during, and after combat and was made from the feathers of golden eagles.  Along with headdresses, warriors also used red paint as a symbol of war.  Plains warriors carried personal war bundles into battle.  These were assmbled with the help of the tribal shaman and contained otter skin collars, deerskin leggings, and red, yellow, and white paint.  They also wore a protective talisman, and refused to go into battle if they did not have this.  It ensured the presence of their guardian spirits.

Plains Indians carried large shields decorated with symbols that they saw in a vision. They believed this granted them greater protection in battle.  Most shields were decorated with turtle shells because turtles were thought to carry the medicine of good health.  They also used buffalo hooves, scalps, and eagle feathers.  Upon a warrior's death, his shield would be buried with him to protect him on his journey.

Ancient Indian Proverb:
Treat the earth well;
it was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.

Following spiritual traditions practiced for thousands of years, most Plains tribes believed in the power of the Medicine Bag.  The Medicine Bag, usually made from animal skins, carried symbolic objects thought to ward off evil spirits.  Native Americans also used it to protect themselves from tragedies and various ailments.  In addition to the Medicine Bag, most Plains Natives carried drums which also held spiritualistic value.  For several thousand years, the drum has depicted the force of life for all creation and the connection between the land and Mother Earth.  Made of bark and leather rawhide, the drums were beaten by elders of the tribe by the village Medicine Man, one of the most powerful men in the community.

The End of the Plains Indians
The coming of the train, the end of the great buffalo herds, and the desire of the white man to inhabit America all led to the end of the tribes' way of life.  In 1866, the entire Oklahoma area was named Indian Territory and the government then began to force the Indians to move.  The Osage, Oto, and Kansa tribes were moved to the Indian Territory.  The Comanche, Kiowas, Arapahoe, and Southern Cheyenne followed with the treaty signed at Medicine Lodge.

No matter how many changes the government tried to make, Indian Affairs policy was ludicrous and ineffective.  Indian agents were given poor supplies to dispense to the Indian peoples and fraud and misappropriated funding ran rampant.  Far too many land hungry white men viewed the Indians as nothing more than annoying vermin that should be gotten rid of in any way possible.
To the Indian, the railroad was nothing less than threatening.  Trains frightened the game and thousands of buffalo were killed to feed the army of railroaders.  This made life for the nomadic tribes very difficult.
The great buffalo trade was another blow to the life of the Indians.  In 1871, technology led to the development of a tanning method that produced excellent leather from buffalo hides.  Dodge City became the outfitting point and the market center for hides and after that, the buffalo and the Indian had no where to go.  The Indians had been driven onto the reservations and the buffalo were hunted all over the area.  In six years they had wiped out most of the the buffalo populations.

The Indians were fighting a losing battle.  The line of broken treaties and white power plays overtook Tribes and their lands.  Their great Mother Earth had become real estate.  They had little choice but to move or be killed. 

 General George Custer said this of the Indians:
"When the soil which he has claimed and hunted over for so long a time is demanded by this to him insatiable monster (civilization), there is no appeal; he must yield, or it will roll mercilessly over him, destroying as it advances.  
Destiny seems to have so willed it, and the world nods its approval."

Native American Influence On the United States

  • The state of Arizona derived its name from the Native American term "arizonac," which is believed to mean "place of the small spring."
  • The Arkansas River was named after the Native Americans of the Arkansa Tribe.
  • The word "Kansas" means "people of the south wind," a name taken from the Kansa people.
  • The Choctaw phrase for Indian Territory combines the words "okla" meaning "people" or "nation" and "homa" meaning "red."
  • The Little Tennessee River takes its name from the Cherokee name "Tanasi."
  • The Central American Nahuatl Language coined the term "Mexico."
  • The words "mini" and "sota" are from the Sioux language, meaning "water" and "clear."
  • The Omaha tribes are responsible for naming the Platte River "nibdhathka," which means "flat river."

I watched the videos of the buffalo hunts.
The floor shook.

We are part of the earth and it is part of us.
The perfumed flowers are our sisters;
 the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers.
So when the Great Chief in Washington 
sends word that he wishes to buy our land,
he asks much of us.
-Chief Seattle-

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I watched the videos of the buffalo hunts.
The floor shook.

My understanding is that when the buffalo (bison) herds would go by, the ground did indeed shake.

Odd that farming the bison for their meat helped to save them from extinction.

Thanks for the history lesson.