The study of culture helps us understand the rise and fall of different tribes during the 19th century America. In this paper, the primary concern is the decline and fall of Plains Indian culture in the late 19th century. The Plains Indians are also called North American Plains or Buffalo Indians who settled the Great Plains (“The Plain Indians”). The Great Plains is now called the central United States and south-central Canada which has been the long time place for Plains Indians (“The Plain Indians”).
In line with that, at the time of the Civil War, most Plains Indians tribes were independent, resourceful, and capable of defending their integrity. In a span of twenty five years, they were defeated, demoralized, and dependent on the United States government. With that, we are convinced that there is a need to examine and trace the cultural development of the Plains Indians during the late 19th century. The Plains Indian culture is rich for its remnants are even known today.
However, the culture of the Plains Indians was destroyed and altered from the time the white settlers transferred into the region where they are found (“The Plain Indians”). There are many devastating effects brought out by the existence of white settlers in the region. First, the hunting economy of the Plains Indians was considered obsolete as the white settlers established the extermination of the buffalo. As a result, the hunting economy was crippled which affected so many members of the tribe.
Second, the introduction of metal utensils and cloth by the white settlers caused the collapse of the native crafts industry. The use of manufactured articles dominated the region and merchants of native products faced a tremendous decrease of business profits (“The Plain Indians”). And third, the concept of the division of labor was affected due to the introduction of the plow in farming endeavors. Besides, rare diseases and warfare with white settlers displaced many Plains Indians which caused their dependence on the American government.
Another ordinary yet exquisite culture of Plain Indians is the relevance of women to the development of their culture. Plain Indian women during the late 19th century are capable to displaying myriad talents in relation to music, arts, literature, and even ancient entrepreneurship (McCoy 1). However, the crucial role of Plain Indian women in their cultural development has been poorly understood when the white settlers begin to alter their daily activities (McCoy 1).
In fact, the Plains Indian women as a minority group provided a strong influence on the history of the country (Conlin 1). Women played a vital role to the economy at that time since they are able to work in fields and work household chores at the same time. If not because of the negative impact of the white settlers, the Plains Indians could keep their culture intact. Finally, the culture of the Plains Indians is rich and peculiar as shown in films and television shows.
The truth is that the Plains Indian tribes tried hard to protect their cultural development not to be corrupted by the white settlers. These people primarily earn a living through farming and hunting. Plains Indian women are also instrumental in the development of the arts, literature, music and commerce. However, the culture of the Plains Indians was destroyed due to the introduction of manufactured products and the extermination of buffalo led by the white settlers.
Eventually, the cultural development of the region was diminished and altered and the Plain Indians were demoralized forcing them to depend so much on the American government.
McCoy, Ron. 24 September 2007. Collector’s Guide. . February 6, 2009 < http://www. collectorsguide. com/fa/fa094. shtml >. “The Plains Indians”. 2009. 50 MEGS Website. February 6, 2009 <http://critters. 50megs. com/native/ >. Conlin, Joseph. The American Past: A Survey of American History. United States of America: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2006.
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