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How War Like Were The Sioux?

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Introduction

When fighting the Sioux warriors were armed with bow and arrows made with a wooden frame reinforced by sinew from a buffalo and a bowstring made from twisted sinew. The arrows were all tipped with stone or iron, they are held in a decorated quiver which could hold about 20 arrows at a time. They may also have a lance 4 or 5 metres in length and had a polished steel blade on the end of it. The lance was normally decorated with things like beadwork, buffalo fur and feathers. They sometimes had rifles; these were introduced to the Plains by travellers and settlers from the East. The Plains Indians sometimes acquired one through trading or fighting with non-Indians or other Indian nations such as the 'Cheyenne 'the 'Pawnee' and the 'Crow'. For protection they carried shields made from the skin off a buffalo's neck, hardened by steam, smoke and buffalo hoof glue to make it arrow proof and they can be decorated with magical symbols which they believe will protect them in battle.They ...read more.

Middle

For an Indian personal glory was the greatest prze in war, this could be achieved through gaining the most 'coups' or scalps. They would wear special clothing and jewellery during warfare. They believed some jewellery had special spiritual powers and would protect them during the battle they also painted their body in what they believed were magical colours for the same reason. They also wore clothes which could be decorated with scenes painted on to show his bravery in past battles or hunts, scalps from people he has killed could be used also to show his bravery during previous battles feathers could be used as well. They would decorate their clothing and equipment with items like feathers (from an eagle normally) and scalps which they had earned in battle through acts of bravery and heroism.The Indians took the scalps off the heads of the people they had killed and then kept them as trophies .They also did this because they believed it would disable them in the afterlife so they did not have to fight them again. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was also a way of becoming wealthy by stealing horses and weapons. For leaders like 'Sitting Bull' and 'Crazy Horse' it was a chance to show their spiritual power and increase their standing in the group. For a leader this could be done by losing few men in battle and gaining captives. The Indians were very religious and precise in the way that they fought nothing they did was for no reason at all, for example, they scalped their enemy because they believed it was the right thing to do. Although to us it sounds barbaric to them it was their belief and a way of life.The fact that they took fighting seriously by dressing up for it and doing a ritual dance does not mean that they enjoyed killing people.If they enjoyed killing people then why did they have beliefs about touching your enemy with a 'coup stick' was braver and better than killing them and then get rewarded for this? If they wanted to kill as many people as they could then how come even when the gun was introduced was there such a low death rate? ...read more.

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