• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the way of life of the Lakota (Sioux) and Cheyenne Indians before the arrival of the whites.

Extracts from this document...


The Indian's way of Life Describe the way of life of the Lakota (Sioux) and Cheyenne Indians before the arrival of the whites. In historic times the Indians lived the broad expanse of Americas heartland between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, and from the Saskatchewan River Basin in Canada to Central Texas. Both their culture and history lent themselves to the works of writers and dramatists who romantised the hard riding buffalo hunters and warriors that is the image many of us have of the American Indians today. There were two main sub cultures existing in different parts of the area. The first was the agricultural tribes that lived along the Eastern Plains. The were known as farmers due to the area being covered in grass making it ideal land to grow their own food. The second sub culture being the Western Plains Indians. They were nomadic and they relied entirely on the products of the buffalo. There were many different tribes of Indians, each having their own language, customs and their own individual grounds. Some of the best known tribes being Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapahos, Nez Perces, Comanche's and Apaches. When invaded by the whites fighting broke out, as they wanted to claim the land the Indians were living on. Obviously they resisted, The Sioux and Cheyenne were the first who fought the fiercest to keep the land. The Sioux Indians were the most powerful with great leaders such as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. ...read more.


Items such as Teepee covers, bedding, general camping equipment, young children, the elderly and sick were carried on board. Young babies were carried by their mother in a Cradleboard on their back. Other small items were carried in a Saddlebag attached to the horse. The Plains baby was born within the Teepee. The women's relatives would be present but not the father or any other male. An aunt fed the baby for the first 4 days, after that the baby spent long hours in a moss packed buckskin bag laced to the cradleboard. Childhood was carefree. They were hardly ever-punished Small boys with miniature bow and arrows made life hell for the birds. Gangs of boys pelting one another with mud worked off high spirits. Indian children were raised to be prepared for adult life from an early age. By the age of 14 they were ready for marriage. Indian girls played with dolls and teepees to ensure they would be ready for motherhood and raising a family. They looked for a strong man, who was a good hunter and brave warrior. Indian men were very shy. To put across their interest for a girl they would play love songs on a flute, which included messages for them to meet. They would look for a squaw to be a good wife, mother and worker. Looks were also important as both the young males and females spent a lot of time on their appearance. ...read more.


Each tribe had its own chief. This position wasn't gained by family i.e. father to son, it was secured by a braves ability and daring. The chiefs took great pride in their wardress. The main part of which was the war bonnet. Each feather on the hat signified a different brave deed or victory won by the chief. Red Cloud has so many feathers he had to have a double tail. The women out of buffalo, deer and antelope skin made their clothes. The skin was scrapped, rubbed and cleaned. Elaborate patterns using coloured thread and beads, which were attached to the clothes/outfits which consisted of shirt, leggings and moccasins. When the berries were ripe the preparations for the Sundance began. This was a great ceremony for the renewal and prayers of blessings given by the Indian god 'Wakant Tanka' or 'Great Spirit'. This festival shown a form of self-sacrifice, which was not a punishment of any kind, it was actually a great honour. The festival lasted around four days during which the worshippers gazed towards the sun. The focal point was a sacred tree trunk to which the chosen one would be tied by ropes ending in wooden skewers thrust through the flesh of the chest. The danced and gazed at the sun until the flesh gave way. They wore the scars with pride. The pieces of flesh left behind would be an offering to the 'Great Spirit', asking him to take care of the tribe for the coming year. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Final Comment. Star rating ***
This essay is very detailed and does describe a huge range of features of the Native American's way of life. It would be even better if at the start the writer had set out which aspects of their life they were going to examine. It would have been a good idea to focus on the aspects of their life that were significantly challenged by the arrival of the European settlers.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 10/03/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. The soviet union was to blame for the Cold War.

    It's no surprise that the USA had different views on the events that happened. Unlike the USSR America saw the Nazi-soviet pact as further proof that Stalin can not be trusted and he only signed the pact so that he could take control of Eastern Poland.

  2. Jack the Ripper - Why was he never caught?

    However, if he wasn't a butcher or a doctor, naturally he wouldn't be suspected because he didn't fit the description of one. Another reason was nobody has ever seen him in action! It is thought Jack the Ripper didn't act on his own due to the fact "he" acted extremely quickly and the fact no evidence was ever left behind.

  1. Describe the political, social and religious situation of Palestine during the first century AD ...

    Through doing this there was a constant Roman army presence. I think that the Zealots had a right to rebel, because I would not be happy if my country was taken over by another country, and then the other country expected me to pay tax to fund them.

  2. The Political, Economic and Social Impacts of the First World War on Canada

    Not only were women working very hard in urban cities, they were also working just as hard in rural parts of Canada.2 Many men had left their farms for war, which reduced much of the labour work. Food still needed to be produced and not only for families on the

  1. Cold War, Berlin Wall Crisis-1961

    A lot of these immigrants were young and skilled, thus weakening the Soviet or Eastern Bloc. This huge loss of population was a major embarrassment to the Soviet Union, Khrushchev recognising this problem, realised something needed to be done to stem the flow of human capital leaving his influence.

  2. The End of White Majority Rule in South Africa Coursework

    People were starting to boycott South African goods as they were opposed to the Apartheid regime. Economic sanctions were placed on South Africa in August 1986 by a all countries in the Commonwealth, other than Britain which agreed to voluntary sanctions instead.

  1. Free essay

    What was the Grand Alliance, and how did it come to the Cold War?

    The hostility between the East and West was suspended in 1941. World War Two was in progress and the Japanese conducted a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbour. As a result the United States entered the war along side the British and the Soviet Union after being betrayed by Germany.

  2. Medicine Through Time Timeline

    He committed suicide the day before it got the recognition it deserved. 1830s Industrial Revolution. This had a dramatic effect on public health. As more and more families moved into town and cities, the standards of public health declined.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work