The Hoe and the Horse on the Plains: A Study of Cultural Development among North American Indians

The Hoe and the Horse on the Plains: A Study of Cultural Development among North American Indians

The Hoe and the Horse on the Plains: A Study of Cultural Development among North American Indians

The Hoe and the Horse on the Plains: A Study of Cultural Development among North American Indians

Excerpt

This study concerns two native modes of life on the Great Plains--hoe farming and hunting from horseback--as they fared in the face of Europe's intrusion into the New World. Village gardeners were old residents along the rivers, but equestrian skills, newly acquired from Europeans, allowed bands of expert hunters to spread their nomadic life around the villages and on across the uplands in pursuit of bison herds. Conflicts engendered in that process are a central theme in this essay, stressing the partisan viewpoint of the horticulturalists as they faced the wandering hunters on the one hand and the Europeans on the other. Consideration of the two contrasting patterns of life also shows something of the personal arena in which culture change is initiated. The descendants of those people, with their traditions, much transformed, are a living part of our national heritage. This contribution can be considered a part of their history, so largely unwritten or submerged within the official versions of the foreign visitor who came to stay.

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