why were the sioux a hunting and gathering society

The horse enabled the Plains Indians to gain their subsistence with relative ease from the seemingly limitless buffalo herds. Riders were able to travel faster and farther in search of bison herds and to transport more goods, thus making it possible to enjoy a richer material environment than their pedestrian ancestors. For the Plains peoples, the horse became an item of prestige as well of utility. They were extravagantly fond of their horses and the lifestyle they permitted. The first Spanish explorer to bring horses to the new world was Hernn Corts in 1519. However, Corts only brought about sixteen horses with his expedition. Coronado brought 558 horses with him on his 15391542 expedition. At the time, the Indians of these regions had never seen a horse, although they had probably
[ according to whom? heard of them from contacts with Indians in. Only two of Coronado's horses were mares, so he was highly unlikely to have been the source of the horses that Plains Indians later adopted as the cornerstone of their culture. In 1592, however, brought 7,000 head of livestock with him when he came north to establish a colony in. His horse herd included mares as well as stallions. learned about horses by working for Spanish colonists. The Spanish attempted to keep knowledge of riding away from Native people, but nonetheless, they learned and some fled their servitude to their Spanish employersand took horses with them. Some horses were obtained through trade in spite of prohibitions against it.


Other horses escaped captivity for a existence and were captured by Native people. In all cases the horse was adopted into their culture and herds multiplied. By 1659, the from northwestern New Mexico were raiding the Spanish colonies to steal horses. By 1664, the Apache were trading captives from other tribes to the Spanish for horses. The real beginning of the horse culture of the plains began with the expulsion of the Spanish from New Mexico in 1680 when the victorious Pueblo people captured thousands of horses and other livestock. They traded many horses north to the Plains Indians. In 1683 a Spanish expedition into Texas found horses among Native people. In 1690, a few horses were found by the Spanish among the Indians living at the mouth of the of Texas and the of eastern Texas had a sizeable number. The French explorer found 300 horses among the on the in 1719, but they were still not plentiful. Another Frenchman, could only buy seven at a high price from the in 1724, indicating that horses were still scarce among tribes in. While the distribution of horses proceeded slowly northward on the Great Plains, it moved more rapidly through the and the. The Shoshone in had horses by about 1700 and the, the most northerly of the large Plains tribes, acquired horses in the 1730s. By 1770, that Plains Indians culture was mature, consisting of mounted buffalo-hunting nomads from Saskatchewan and southward nearly to the. Soon afterwards pressure from Europeans on all sides and European diseases caused its decline.


It was the Comanche, coming to the attention of the Spanish in New Mexico in 1706, who first realized the potential of the horse. As pure nomads, hunters, and pastoralists, well supplied with horses, they swept most of the mixed-economy Apaches from the plains and by the 1730s were dominant in the Great Plains south of the. The success of the Comanche encouraged other Indian tribes to adopt a similar lifestyle. The southern Plains Indians acquired vast numbers of horses. By the 19th century, Comanche and Kiowa families owned an average of 35 horses and mules each and only six or seven were necessary for transport and war. The horses extracted a toll on the environment as well as requiring labor to care for the herd. Formerly egalitarian societies became more divided by wealth with a negative impact on the role of women. The richest men would have several wives and captives who would help manage their possessions, especially horses. The milder winters of the southern Plains favored a pastoral economy by the Indians. On the northeastern Plains of Canada, the Indians were less favored, with families owning fewer horses, remaining more dependent upon dogs for transporting goods, and hunting bison on foot. The scarcity of horses in the north encouraged raiding and warfare in competition for the relatively small number of horses that survived the severe winters. The Lakota or Teton enjoyed the happy medium between North and South and became the dominant Plains tribe by the mid 19th century.


They had relatively small horse herds, thus having less impact on their ecosystem. At the same time, they occupied the heart of prime bison range which was also an excellent region for furs, which could be sold to French and American traders for goods such as guns. The Lakota became the most powerful of the Plains tribes and the greatest threat to American expansion. The Sioux were very keen people when it came to hunting. The natives' main diet was meat, so their most famous hunting prey were buffaloes. Buffaloes are very strong and fast animals. Hunting them was very dangerous, so hunters were respected upon. In the process, hunters on horses mingled into the herd slowly and weeded out 50 or 60 animals into a group which took about a few days for the action to commence. The hunters then ride their horses into the herd, startling and making them run by using bows and spears. They then drive the buffaloes over a cliff where they fall to their deaths. The Sioux will have a month's worth of food to feed everyone in their tribe. The Sioux used to be corn farmers, before they became nomadic and followed herds of bison. Along the way, they hunted other creatures such as elk and deer. They sometimes even used dogs to aid their hunts. They also gathered fruit and vegetables. In some cases of farming, they grew corn, maize, squash and sometimes even pumpkin where all are packed with nutritions.

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