Who are intelligent Westerns or Indians

How the Indians got on horseback and thus under the wheels. Comments on a cultural change based on hunting technology CLAUS D. KERNIG In my childish imagination, which was mainly shaped by Karl May, Indians never appeared without horses. Feather headdress, peace pipe and wigwam were other important attributes. So I was not a little surprised when I found out at some point that the Indians only got on horses because the Spaniards had taken them to the New World. The attractive creature then spread wildly over Mexico to the North American prairies, where the Indians adopted it as a mount. So do you have to imagine the Indians originally as warriors and hunters on foot? Not only temporarily, for example when they dismounted from their horses and sneaked up on the enemy, but completely without horses because there were no horses on the American double continent until the European invaders took over? The occupation of horses drove the nomadic tribes of Indian culture into a process of change that completely changed their hunting techniques - the basis of their livelihood - in a historically short period of time, while essential cultural characteristics such as languages, internal tribal orders and external tribal relationships hardly changed for a while were touched. The Indians of North America thus provide an example of how intellectual and moral attitudes and behaviors of high stability are passed on almost unchanged from one generation to the next, while at the same time the material constellations of life change profoundly. Many small consequences continue to grow in an almost insidious way inexorably until, in the end, a whole culture is upheaval. The Indians themselves did not realize what long-term process the horse had gotten them into. Since the advancing Euro-Americans only really got to know the Indians of the prairies better when they were already mounted, one must refer to the extensive anthropological, religious-historical and historical literature from America, above all that of Richard White, Alice, in order to know the original life of these tribes Beck Kehoe (see bibliography). In his monograph The Discovery of the Pueblo and Bison Hunting Culture in the Southwest, the German Nikolaus Baumhauer also collected and reported on the earliest evidence of encounters with tribes that were still originally living. According to this, those relationships between Euro-Americans and prairie tribes that went hand in hand with the trade in buffalo hides are historically recorded. In the course of this cultivation of contacts the Indians hunted out of commercial interest, whereby the indigenous population of America was already indirectly involved in the transatlantic relations. The change in Indian hunting technique formed a very important impetus for the process that brought Claus D. Kernig in 194 an ecological, economic and ultimately comprehensive cultural and historical change to the entire North American continent. Environmental conditions and changes in the environment established the main features of prehistoric cultures. Indian cultural history goes back into a historical depth that we can hardly measure because it has left only a few material evidence. But since we can now take a closer look at certain parts of this history through archaeological research and since we also know how the Europeans actively influenced their later stages, the rear projection shows a picture that we can describe: After the retreat of the Ice Age Glaciers transformed the vast expanse of the North American continental flatlands - the prairies from the Rocky Mountains to the Missouri - into lush grassland on which bison grazed and thrived in many small, closed herds. Obviously, the huge animals with their dung promoted the growth of the grass, so that a mutual community developed. This adaptation sometimes went through precarious phases, because dry seasons occurred and the feed became scarce, but on the whole the symbiosis remained constant. It is estimated that there are around 30 million buffalo. Nomadic Indian tribes integrated themselves into this community. Judging from the Indian customs that could actually still be observed, these tribes developed different tactics for bison hunting, depending on the migration and settlement area, in order to ultimately be completely self-sufficient from their prey for all aspects of life. In view of most of the practical needs of the Indians, the bison population resembled a continuously open, well-stocked supermarket, although hunting shopping was often arduous. The bison provided the Indians with everything they needed to live - including the tendons of their bows that they used to shoot arrows at him. Everyday utensils such as spoons, cutters and sewing tools were made from the bison bones. The horns were used to make bowls and shovels, and the ribs to make runners for sleds. The skins were made into clothing, straps, and tents that were easy to assemble and dismantle. Even the animals' hooves came in handy, if only to make glue out of them. In short, the Indians lived among the herds of bison as if in a huge pantry, which was always magically filled with plenty of food and raw materials. They could even dry meat and store supplies for when they were not hunting. They certainly had to be very skilful and well-organized in order to kill the heavy, but nevertheless extremely agile and fast cattle. Because on foot - the Indians didn't know horses yet - the bison was not easy prey with the hunting weapons available. It was not uncommon for the herds to be driven towards cliffs or into narrow ravines with well-calculated fires, where they were easier to kill. In winter they were followed in special shoes that people carried over the snow, while the massive animals sank in and fell victim to their hunters more quickly. Nobody knows to this day exactly in what historical depth the Indian culture has its roots and what time periods it needed for possible changes. The customs that developed in order to cope with all the efforts of killing the bison have been passed down from generation to generation. A nomadic culture that was stable in itself emerged, which, due to the balance of existing adaptation mechanisms, hardly required any refinement. So it was static in many ways and had its seasonal rhythm. Periodically recurring activities also shaped the socialization process and thus ensured that certain tasks and behaviors developed and consolidated for every age and gender. The individual tribes also had to be careful not to decimate the buffalo herds too much within their territory, otherwise there was a risk of getting into the hunting and living area of ​​neighboring tribes. They followed the habits of the herds migrating to nearby watering places and grassy areas. And of course they always followed them on foot! Therefore, the summer and winter quarters were not too far apart, because the hikes must have been arduous. Nature and way of life had to be coordinated and the experiences of an adapted way of life had to be passed on to children and grandchildren. And just as the handing down of rules of conduct is generally what is called culture, so the specifically Indian culture developed through the teaching of the rules of life of these nomadic tribes. Certainly the culture of the Indians had already undergone many changes in the times before the symbiosis with the bison. Paleobiologists were able to determine that today's desert areas in North America, in which the remains of former Indian giant buildings were found, were once forested; the Indians must have cut down the forests so radically that the water table sank, the soil dried up and, finally, arid land emerged. The self-inflicted damage to the livelihood required them to adapt again afterwards. This seems to have encouraged the emergence of the nomadic way of life, which secured their existence by hunting the prairie bison. Over time, it became the rule for certain tribes. In addition to the Indians, who mainly live from bison hunting, who wandered through the prairie and only temporarily camped on river banks for a long time, many tribes have remained permanently settled. This applies above all to those who live in the western mountain ranges and the northern forest areas of the continent, such as the Iroquois and Algonquin. The sedentary tribes devoted themselves to fishing and farming in the vast northern river and lake areas. They also exchanged crops such as corn and tobacco with the nomadic tribes. The Indian culture, which in its prehistoric period only knew permanent settlements, gained an interesting diversity through the exchange partnership with the tribes that had converted to nomadism. It would be completely wrong to interpret the nomadic way of life in North America - as is otherwise customary in cultural history - as a primitive forerunner of sedentarism and agriculture. On the contrary, it emerged from the differentiation of the sedentary way of life, supplemented and enriched it. Towards the end of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century, Comanches are said to have come into possession of horses for the first time by the Pueblo Indians of Mexico. The Pueblo Indians, for their part, hunted them off from the Spanish settlers or acquired them by barter. The conquerors brought horses from the Iberian Peninsula to the New World right from the start of their ventures. On their restless Claus D. Kernig 196 treasure hunt from the Rio de la Plata to the north, they occasionally left individual animals in the pampas, thereby triggering an ecological revolution. The abundant, nutrient-rich grass and the mild, balanced climate of the wide plains were ideal for those immense, legendary herds of mustangs to flourish fairly quickly, which - like the bison in North America - became a defining factor in Latin American culture . From there the Indians of Mexico brought the horse north over the Central American Land Bridge, where it finally came into the possession of the Indians of North America. The horse became an instrument of cultural change. A map of the expansion of horse populations in North America can be found in the Historical Atlas of the American West by Warren A Beck and Ynez D. Haase (1989, map 9) and is also reproduced in Richard White's extensive history of the American West, which alludes to The title is: "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own". Owning horses deformed the bison-hunting culture of the nomadic North American Indians; Immediately he changed the tactical forms of the hunt, which first demanded many new skills from the men, then the division of labor within the family, and finally he destroyed customs and traditions. The bison hunt now took place on horseback. It was considerably lighter and could be organized on a much larger scale than before, which means that bison populations could be hunted much more widely. As a result, the number of prey animals grew excessively and must have led some tribes to a highly wasteful lifestyle. That had other consequences as well. So ever larger packs of wolves stalked after the hunting parties and nourished themselves optimally on the remains that now arose because people were more generous with the prey and no longer used everything. Over time, the new hunting habits established themselves. Customs and customs initially shaped one generation after the other in the usual way. Because in the care of the family relationships and everything that concerned the tribal order, the exercise of power and the rituals of encounter with other tribes, little changed during the first two centuries of horse ownership. The new technique of locomotion on horseback nonetheless became the seed of a cultural change. Its first appearance was an enormous increase in the quantitative hunting yield. We can only speculate about how the transition from walking to mounted bison hunting and how the supply of bison to the Indian population, which used to be almost luxurious, has been dealt with internally. We do not know whether there were elders who perceived this change in the nomadic way of life as a loss of quality of life, and old people who disputed with younger people whether one should approve of such revolutionary changes. From the oral tradition it is known, however, that the individual tribes had a high sense of identity and cultivated their historically grown, tribal-specific traditions, so that one can certainly imagine such debates in view of the dramatic change in hunting forms. In any case, dealing with the horse introduced a number of factors of change into traditional Indian culture, which then made it dynamic in the 19th century. In his impressive book The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750–1920, Andrew Isenberg vividly describes how a whole group changed its face after the horse as a vehicle came into use for hunting. With its ecological view, Isenberg also provides a cultural history of North America, because both were intertwined. He estimates that around 70,000 mounted Indians killed almost half a million bison annually in the 18th century. The hunt on horseback had assumed something playful and had nothing to do with any supply needs. A million wild horses ended up living among the nomadic tribes. Among the Indians, the animals became status symbols, the larger the herd, the higher the prestige of the tribe or members of the tribe. What the killed bison consumed less grass, that was now eaten by the herds of horses, which competed for water at the drinking troughs. During this time, in which the Indians lived in the hunt-success-frenzy and thereby brought the ecological equilibrium out of balance, the encounters with the Europeans intensified, who finally were to seal the fate of the natives of North America in a dramatic way. Before the ecological balance finally overturned, the settled Indian tribes got to know the trade in beaver fur in a kind of interlude before the finale of their culture and history. Fur traders from Canada made a great deal of business by exporting these skins to Europe - because beaver populations were dwindling there. Since they wanted to be supplied by the Indians, they offered utensils for the skins. They exchanged knives, pots, kettles, colorful fabrics, items of clothing, jewelry, axes, saws and rifles for beaver skins. These were goods that changed the daily life of the Indians in a surprising and profound way and especially affected the work of women. And there were attractive changes. Even the nomads now increasingly sought the vicinity of the river banks where beavers lived in order to profit from this trade. Thanks to their high mobility on horseback, they were able to access the prairie. Like the gold rush for the whites, the trade in beaver pelts was a considerable gain for the Indians, which made their lives easier. But they did not understand the danger that their culture was running into as a result of its successive integration into Euro-American economic relations. The trade in beaver pelts remained only an interlude because the beavers were soon exterminated. Now it was the bison's turn. The American Fur Company replaced the Canadian fur traders as a trading partner. She is said to have acquired almost 800,000 bison hides from Indians in the five years between 1825 and 1830 alone. The skins were shipped on the Mississippi and all its tributaries to be processed in New Orleans. Less than half a century later, events precipitated. The indigenous people settled into the role of feeder for the whites. They had practically become professional buffalo hunters and prepared buffalo skins almost on a factory scale. The centuries-old balance between the basis of supply and way of life was suddenly lost - further exacerbated by the inconsiderate and unconscionable land grabbing of more and more new immigrants. The reduction of the bison population from thirty million to about ten million in the middle of the 19th century and the abundance of their accompanying phenomena has been impressively illustrated by William T. Hornaday in his work: The Extermination of the American Bison. Da- Claus D.Kernig at 198 he resolutely opposes the American myth, which glorifies these developments in the history of the origins of the American cowboy, who tamed the wild herds, displaced the Indians, thus made the agriculture and intelligent cattle ranching of the white ranchers possible and thereby the wealth of America justified. In truth, it was about constant new cooperation, which ultimately had a destructive effect on the Indians. Cooperation and confrontation, compromise and selfishness, closely intertwined, formed the basic pattern of these relationships, always to the advantage of the intruders. Although the events were neither guided by a superior spirit nor supported by a master plan, they all worked in one direction: that of the downfall of Indian society. Their social order collapsed to the extent that young men used their wives as manufacturers to peel and clean bison hides and to carry out transport work. Polygamy, which was widespread among the Indians, was given a completely different character. Old marriage customs were thrown overboard, women were bought or stolen for extended livelihoods. One thing led to another. Rifles that had been acquired through the trade in buffalo skins were no longer only used for faster hunting, but also for fighting internal Indian conflicts. The firewater, the alcohol, aggravated the moral change considerably. While weapons, ammunition, metal objects, clothing or fabrics were exchanged by the nomads according to need and portability, there seems to have been no fair amount for the acquisition of alcohol. One factor that made Indians unable to survive was the spread of infectious diseases against which the Native Americans were unable to develop antibodies. Of course, they too suffered from tropical skin infections, hepatitis, intestinal parasites, tuberculosis, polio, encephalitis and syphilis. But they were completely defenseless against flu, scarlet fever, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, cholera, typhus, smallpox, plague and yellow fever, which were brought in from Europe, Africa and Asia. The Native Americans had come to Alaska from Siberia over a land or ice bridge and did not take part in the epidemiological processes of Asia for millennia. That is why the new diseases that came with the conquerors stole the life of more than half of the Indian population within a few years. The Indian culture was already badly affected by the mere presence of the others and the population was brought closer to its end due to health strains. Many Indians sometimes became infected long before they saw a European face to face. Their presence was announced from afar with the spread of diseases. Conclusion: The coincidental and initially purely instrumental appropriation of the horse by the Indians initially brought greater mobility and more comfort. But it soon set a static, millennia-old culture in motion in a most ominous way and, in cooperation with the forces that set free the economic interests of the Euro-American conquerors, catapulted it into nothing within a few centuries. What was left of the bison population on the American prairie was subsequently almost completely exterminated by white settlers in a few years. How the Indians got on horseback and thus under the wheels 199 By the end of the 19th century, buffalo hunters decimated it for the production of fur, apart from all the animals that were gleefully shot together from the railroad in pure exuberance. As the native Indians were gradually driven into exodus, so did the ecological factors, the balance of which had once secured the natural basis of life for these people, also disappeared. No matter how desperate they might be for a while, the material changes had created something irrevocable that was beyond their strength. A single innovation managed to mobilize hunting and, in combination with other elements, to dynamize the way of life and working methods of the Indians. If we calculate an average life expectancy of the Indian population of thirty to thirty-five years, the process of change dragged on over seven generations. This is a period of time that can still be bridged to some extent by oral tradition in a culture without writing, if one assumes that grandparents bear witness to their grandchildren and these once again to their grandchildren, which in a sense creates a sensual conveyance of history. The Indians who were last relegated to the reservations heard authentic tidings of the world order of their ancestors. Each generation of testimony went only a limited distance in this process, which led nowhere. None of them might have had the feeling of experiencing a final loss of what they inherited or of giving up completely. But no matter how strong her mental stubbornness may have been, the real changes gradually pulled the rug out from under his feet. When the Indians jumped on horseback, after a cultural history that is thousands of years old, none of them could have guessed that they would ride into the eternal hunting grounds within a few centuries, almost as one. The amalgamation of technical - in this case hunting technology - economic, division of labor, ecological, health and social factors grew into a mechanism of action that sealed the fall of Indian culture and the triumph of the Euro-Americans. Yes, the interlocking of these factors even makes the direction and outcome of this historical process of European conquest on the North American continent understandable. The intentions of those actors who understood the process as a whole - European powers that stood behind the colonists on the one hand and chiefs who led Indian resistance on the other - were of course important factors. But they were no more than one factor among others. One can speak of a united resistance of the Indians for the first time in 1680, when the Pueblo Indians allied themselves against the Spaniards in the southwest. And it took another 75 years before tribes in the Great Lakes region united and then united against the English from 1763 to 1766. After three centuries in which the Euro-Americans had influenced the North American continent, at the beginning of the 19th century the chief Tecumseh finally brought about an alliance of tribes in the middle west and south, but without being able to stop the white movement to the west. All the course had long been set. The process had developed its own momentum. After the noma-Claus D. Kernig had seized 200 Indian tribes of the horse as a livestock, they got into a process of exploitation of nature, which they initially mastered. Due to the Euro-Americans and their needs, however, he developed such an enormous pull that the Indians themselves got caught in this process of exploitation as objects. The Spanish colonial empire, built on ruthless looting, was destined from the outset to satisfy the interests of the crown; the conquistadors were able to enforce their claim to power with relatively few forces and thanks to their superior weapons technology in a few decades - disguised by the missionary zeal of church authorities, which immediately urged a careful treatment of the Indians. The colonization of North America by the British and French, who rather aroused the interest and support of their domestic powers afterwards, was very different. These areas only received colonial status long after they had been conquered. A disguising ideology was not included. It is therefore hardly surprising that the conquest of the North American West was subsequently stylized as a myth in the minds of the settlers who advanced against Indian resistance. They justified themselves by saying that they had followed a higher mandate and that they had brought civilizing blessings to the country. It found expression again and again in folklore music, literature, sermons, western scripts and political debates. In the long run, self-criticism has not failed to materialize. Nevertheless, this myth was cultivated so intensely that one can speculate about how much of today's sense of mission in American politics can be traced back to these pioneering stories. The end of Indian culture and the North American conquest by the Europeans can clearly be traced back to the amalgamation of material, technical, economic, ecological and epidemiological factors. Sometimes one would like to recommend that historians pay closer attention to such factors in other contexts as well. However, the view of courts and rulers still predominates in medieval historiography. The approaches that Lefrebvre des Noettes, Marc Bloch, Lynn White jr. still receive too little attention. It is true that Robert Bartlett has them with his work: The Making of Europe. Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350 (London 1993). But a new school has not yet emerged as a result. We can only guess what the greater attention to technology-related factors could achieve for the analysis of the political processes of the past 20th century. The Soviet empire perished because it championed an ideology that saw historically effective design elements in these factors, but paid homage to unrestrained personal greed for power, which then failed because of its material inadequacy. Perhaps a closer look at the decline of Indian culture can therefore be recommended as a small historiographical lesson. How the Indians got on horseback and thus under the wheels 201 References Arens, Werner: Die Indianer. A reading book. Munich, 1993. Baer, ​​Gerhard: Die neue Welt 1492–1992. Indians between oppression and resistance. Basel, Boston, Berlin, 1992. Baumhauer, Nikolaus: The discovery of the pueblo and bison hunter culture in the southwest. Wyk auf Föhr, 1987. 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