Everyday life in the Indian camp on the Great Plains conditioned seasons. Spring, summer and early autumn period were hunting buffalo and prepare inventories for the winter. These actions forced the need for frequent transfer of the camp followed the herds of these animals. The result was the creation of easy-to-transport, folding tipi.
In the spring began hunting season. Men hunted and hunted animals, women Expeditions buffalo skin to cover the tipi, and deer skin for clothes and bags. With hides performed so. parfleche in which the stored supplies of meat for the winter or feathers or plumes, to prevent their destruction during frequent removals.
The Indians were recognized by whites as primitive savages. It was believed that they do not care about hygiene. Nothing could be more wrong! Indians residing near rivers, eager to bathe in them even in the winter. Another form of bathing and cleaning ceremony was called. hut pairs, preceded by a few days of fasting. The hut was a pair of domed design of thin willow twigs, tightly covered with skins and blankets. On the outside were lit fireplace, which heated up the red stones, then placed inside the structure. They gathered inside the hut participants Polewali hot stones with water, resulting in the release of water vapor. After the screening lasting about two hours, the body Indians were cleared of any toxins. Hut pair could be the ceremony and then prayed in it for the welfare of families and the whole tribe.
Games and fun
Games of the Plains Indians were primarily designed to harden, mastering the body, education, fighting spirit and rivalry. Of course, the occasion served also entertainment. In games of skill they involved both adults and children, but mainly men. And games of skill Indians had many. They were used, among other things improve weapon skills.
Most celebrations such as weddings, held in the summer. The older boys, aged 17-18 years could no longer hunt alone. At the same time they undertake efforts for the hand of his beloved girl. They must prove that they will be able to support a family. To this end, they brought the spoils of the hunt, designed specifically for gifts for family of his future wife. The proof of courage were expeditions to the hostile tribes to obtain horses, ofiarowywanych then future in-laws. The role of matchmakers acted relatives (father, uncle), or respected members of the tribe. They also talked about the size of wedding gifts. Same marriage boiled down to the fact that if the gifts were accepted, young people can live together in their new tipi, prepared by the bride. During the wedding the bride and groom getting different useful gifts: knives, leather, food, household.
To show affection chosen one, the young men would sit near her tipi and played invented especially for her love tunes on the flute.
Widespread among the Indians was polygamy. It often happened that after the death of her husband a woman, without the same means of livelihood, was marrying another man already married. Not infrequently, the widow married eg. The husband of her sister.
That there was a wedding, applying for Indian arm had to be approved not only by the chosen one, but also by her parents. In turn, the Indian girl should be characterized not only beauty, but above all diligence. Society of the Great Plains was very puritanical and young people do not have a chance to meet on dates until the boy did not prove that he is a mature man, a good warrior and hunter, able to ensure the maintenance and welfare of the family. The young suitors played the flute prearranged tune to for a while to call the girl from the family tipi. In Lakota he was also known another way. Wybranka has one foot in the tipi and the other outside, where, if she had success, constant queue of young Indians. Each of the newcomers approached the girl, and cover with a blanket to be able to talk in peace.
The Indians knew the concept of divorce. The way in which the divorce took place, was extremely simple: the wife exhibited trousers and bow her husband’s tipi. Sometimes, however, very rarely, mostly when the husband could not support their families.
The pipe is a very serious matter, still arouses a lot of controversy. Something like “pipe of peace” does not exist in Indian terminology. The Indians call it the “sacred pipe.” It is unquestionably the most important subject material in Indian spiritual culture. How crucifix in Christian culture. Pipe and smoke it is an intermediary between man and the Creator. The head is made of red stone – katlinitu, occurring only in the quarry Dakota. According to legend, the first pipe was transferred to the Indians by a woman who changed then a white heifer buffalo … It was 30 generations ago, and pipe it to this day is passed in the same family. What’s interesting: originally there were burned in the tobacco. The Indians smoked herbs mixed with bark of trees, so-called. kini-K-n-k. Pipe burned at key moments during the ceremony and meetings, as well as the signing of treaties with white. Probably the latter took out given by the white name – “pipe of peace.”
Pipe can ignite at any place and time. Often is roasted in the morning at sunrise, when I ask for the blessing of the day. For the ceremony, invited guests and all those present who wish to participate in it.
Others are pipes for women and for men. pipes for women are smaller, they differ in shape and are softer, because women usually burn in a smaller group and do not usually share the pipe with the guests.
The corpses of warriors killed in the fighting or hunting, were transported to the camp, where he held a burial ceremony. Body of the deceased, dressed in festive costumes, placed on special structures high above the ground, to protect them in this way against access by wild animals. Next to the corpse hung shield warrior and his weapons. Often they killed favorite horse dead and hung his head and tail on the platform of the funeral, believing that all the collected items will accompany him in another world. Relatives of the deceased painted their faces gray as a sign of mourning.
Indian life on the Great Plains was not easy, but we seem to colorful and carefree. In fact it was heavy and very uncertain: enough for one more severe winter, to devour the lives of many members of the tribe, collecting special toll among children. It was a peculiar, natural selection, which experienced only the strongest. That’s why the Indians were able to enjoy every moment of life.