Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Native Americans

Photograph of a Sioux Indian, circa 1900.

Sioux are a Native American and First Nations people. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many dialects. Today, the Sioux maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations, communities, and reserves in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and also in Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan in Canada. (Read more about the Sioux on Wikipedia)

Nez Perce warrior on horse, circa 1900.

The Nez Perce are a tribe of Native Americans who live in the Pacific Northwest region (Columbia River Plateau) of the United States. It is estimated that at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition the native people had been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The tribe currently governs and inhabits a reservation in Idaho. (Read more about the Nez Perce on Wikipedia)

Mountain Chief of Piegan Blackfeet making
phonographic record at Smithsonian, Feb 9, 1916.

The Piegan Blackfeet (Southern Pikáni/Piegan) or simply as Pikáni in Blackfoot) are a tribe of Native Americans based in Montana. Many members of the tribe currently live as part of the Blackfeet Nation in northwestern Montana, with population centered in Browning. According to the 1990 US census, there are 32,234 Blackfeet. (Read more about the Piegan Blackfeet on Wikipedia)

Chief John Grass Blackfoot Lakota (1838-1918)

The Lakota are part of a confederation of seven related Sioux tribes (the Oceti Sakowin or seven council fires) and speak Lakota, one of the three major dialects of the Sioux language. They ate bison, bear and many different kinds of animals.The Lakota are the western-most of the three Sioux groups, occupying lands in both North and South Dakota. (Read more about the Lakota people on Wikipedia)

Plenty Coups (otherwise known as Aleek-chea-ahoosh) (1848 – 1932) was a Crow chief and visionary leader. He allied Crow with the whites when the war for the West was being fought, because the Sioux and Cheyenne (who were opposing white settlement of the area) were the traditional enemies of the Crow. Plenty Coups had also had a vision when he was very young that non-Native people would ultimately take control of his homeland (Montana), so he always felt that cooperation would benefit his people much more than opposition.

One of his famous quotes is: "Education is your greatest weapon. With education you are the white man's equal, without education you are his victim and so shall remain all of your lives. Study, learn, help one another always. Remember there is only poverty and misery in idleness and dreams - but in work there is self respect and independence."

He very much wanted the Crow to continue as a people and their customs and spiritual beliefs to carry on. His efforts on their behalf ensured that this happened. He was the principal chief of the Mountain Crows, or the Apsáalooke, of the Crow Nation. (Read more about Chief Plenty Coups on Wikipedia)


Cory Gross said...

Another great post! Thank you!

Major Pepperidge said...

Wonderful faces on those people! It's amazing that even in 1916 somebody had the foresight to preserve the language (at least a bit of it) for future generations.