Table of Contents
The black feet Indians bear the traditional name ‘Siksika’, where the word black means ‘Siksinam’ and foot means ‘ka’. There are several disputes as for the origin of the name, though many believe that it may have a reference to the discoloring of the moccasins of the Blackfeet Indians by the ashes of the prairie fires. Alternatively, one may refer the name to the manner in which the Indians had painted their moccasins using black paint. However, one cannot fully agree with this theory since there are tribes other than the Blackfeet Indians who wore the black moccasins (Indians, 2008).
In terms of settlement, the Blackfeet Indians settled in the most of the territories that stretched from the North Saskatchewan River in Canada all the way towards the southern headstreams of Missouri, in the city of Montana. Their settlement went along the Rocky Mountains. However, a century ago, Mackenzie, a scholar of the 19th century, found the Blackfeet Indians settling in the upper and middle south regions of Saskatchewan. This tribe was, however, getting involved is slow migrations towards the northern parts of the Saskatchewan River.
Culture, Economic Beliefs, and Activities
The Blackfeet Indians were buffalo hunters. One can say that the buffaloes provided the black feet Indians with food to the level that when at one time the buffaloes underwent extinction, most of the Blackfeet Indians died of starvation. They did not indulge in agricultural activities, pottery art, or making canoes. They gathered the camas root from the foothills. During the early days when the Blackfeet Indians settled in the region, they had no horses. This is the reason why the Blackfeet Indians traded all their activities on foot, acquiring the name of Blackfeet Indians.
The Blackfeet Indian community had three divisions, which seemed independent of each other. Each division had its own sun dance, governing council, and an elective chief. Each division had small sub divisions. There also existed a military and a fraternal institution within each of the three divisions. They had several dances, which included war dances, religious, and other social forms of dance (Indians, 2008).
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Describing the Cultural and Religious Beliefs of the Tribe
During the ancient ages, the chief god of the Blackfeet Indians was Na’pi, which meant Old man. A word refers to any elderly man. The old man was an extremely powerful god full of wisdom, though at times, he was helpless and asked for help from the animals. The Blackfeet Indians believed that the old man could never die. At one time, he disappeared into the mountains and told the remaining Blackfeet Indians that he would protect them and would come back. Most of them believe that the old man is alive today and that he will come back as he promised. Apart from the old man, the religious setting of the Blackfeet Indians included other natural qualities and forces that had personification and shape. They included above persons, grounds persons, and under water persons. Thunder is the most common force that the Indians worship (Indians, 2008).
War Conflicts in the Lives of Blackfeet Indians
The Blackfeet Indians were a community that liked war with passion. This, to them, was the only way of solving conflict with the neighboring communities. During the early times, the Blackfeet Indians were at peace with most of their neighboring communities. However, if quarrels took place, they fought and killed each other brutally. This was only in angry arguments where each party felt that the other party was violating their rights.
One of the memorable wars that took place in the history of the Blackfeet Indians is the war against the Gros Ventre of the prairie. Peace broke in 1862, and the Indians killed a war party of snakes that had camped near the bear PawMountains (Indians, 2008).
Historical Figures and Events Surrounding the Live of the Tribe
Some of the prominent figures in the history of the Blackfeet Indians include Pi-nut-u-ye is-tsim-okan and Nisah. These were some of the leaders of the black Indians during the times when the whites were mistreating the Indians. At this time, these two leaders encouraged the masses that one day their children will get the same treatment as the whites, and that they will acquire freedom at last.