Indians – the term we Europeans define indigenous peoples (Mongoloid origin) living in North America, South and Central. However, the Indians themselves (eg. In North America.) Speak of themselves as First Nations, Native Americans, and they identify with their nation, tribe, etc.

The name “Indians” was given by Christopher Columbus in the fifteenth century and was founded by mistake. Columbus reached the shores of America was convinced that he was … in India! Thus it was created the Spanish name “fate INDIANOS.”

There are many hypotheses talking about the appearance of Indians in America. Most likely the first inhabitants came from Siberia across the Bering Strait to North America, no earlier than 14,000 years ago. It is estimated that at the time of the arrival of Columbus to America was inhabited by about 500 nations, different lifestyle, religion, culture – a total of approx. 5 million. humans.

Depending on the region in which they lived, engaged in hunting and gathering, agriculture or fisheries. The Indians, who arouse particular interest to hunters of the Great Plains. This region lies in the middle of North America. This is slightly undulating, grassy, –tree-poor area, traversed by threads of rivers and streams.

These areas inhabited among others, the following tribes: Sarcee, Cree, Black Foot, Gros Ventre, Sioux, Crow, Pawnee, Arapaho, Komanche, Arikara, Cheyenne, Kiowa.

They camped near rivers. They hunted buffalo, antelope, deer, elk. From the skins of these animals they sewed their tents (tipi), outfits and accessories war.

The discovery of America started the process of colonization of indigenous lands has become a cause of the fall of the Indian culture. Initially, between tribes inhabiting the plains and white there was no hostility. Flourishing barter. Indians supplied bison and beaver skins, replacing them on fabrics, blankets, beads, kettles, knives, tomahawks, etc. metal. However, coexistence of the invaders from the New World was short-lived – as early as the seventeenth century there were the first fights. Native Americans until the eighteenth century, opposed the expansion of the colonizers, who at that time fought mostly fighting each other for supremacy in the colonies. Indians often stood on either side of the conflict. The emergence of the United States ended fighting between the colonizers and spurred greater expansion of Indian lands. The Indians were tricked or coerced by force to resell their lands and embedded in the reserves. Already in the thirties of the nineteenth century, almost all Indians moved west of the Mississippi, to the areas of the Great Plains. There, in 1830 the decision of the Congress established Indian Territory.

Indians on reservations paid pensions in the commodity, food and cash. Often they are coming in very late, which caused poverty and hunger and armed conflict. The discovery of gold in California in 1849 marked the beginning of a massive influx of prospectors of gold, settling for far too attractive for them to areas of the Great Plains. Using firearms eradicating were herds of buffalo, which are the main source of food Indian. Annually, the whites killed about a million pieces.

Flagrant violations by white treaties concluded with the Indians resulted in more frequent, bloody clashes. From Indian shot died gold prospectors and settlers in retaliation to the conflict entered the regular army, pacifying the Indian camps. Often they killed the entire population of the settlement.

In the eighties the nineteenth century, most of the Indians were already closed in reserves. Ostatni rebellion broke out in 1886, commanded the Apache chief, Geronimo. In the late nineteenth century there was no longer any free Indians.

The number of Indians on reservations, deprived of the opportunity to cultivate their traditions and customs, constantly decreasing. Today in the United States live in reserves of about four million Indians.

(Ed. For Basic. Newspapers Biskupin numbers from September 2003).