The Comanche Indians were more talented equestrians and quickly adapted once introduced to the horse. Children learned how to ride at a young age and grew up learning how to achieve tasks such as hunting, gathering, and warfare on the back of a horse. The Sioux Indians adapted the horse lifestyle but were not as intermingled with them as the Comanche Indians. The Comanche Indians originated in the Northern Shoshones but were attracted to the abundance of buffalo and warm weather in the southern plains.
When these Plains Indians acquired the horse, their migration to the south was much easier and quicker process than it would have been on foot. The horse was a dominant part in the lives of these Indians. 4 With the movement into the new territory, there arose some conflict between horse cultures. Already dominating the south Great Plains were the Apache and Jumano Indians. These two tribes were in constant conflict and the Apache eventually destroyed the Jumano group pushing them away, allowing the Apache Indians to have total control.
These Indians continued to expand their tribes and cultures throughout the Plains when the Comanche Indians arrived. This led to multiple wars between the two tribes and clash of horse cultures. Because of the quick adaption to equestrianism and a more developed mindset on different and effective uses of achieving war on horseback, the Comanche’s were able to challenge the Apache’s across the region and made the wars a harsher challenge for the Apaches. 5 Once the Comanche Indians were able to create a sustainable environment for their lives in the south they had to adjust old Apache alterations.
The grassy land was needed for the horses which required removing all of the Apache gardens that were near the river valleys and opening space for horses to roam and eat. Hunting for Bison still remained an important aspect for the Comanche Indians and now becoming mounted Indians, these Bison chases were accomplished quicker. Hunting Bison took a long process because of the wide spread of land these hunted animals could run on. The Indians need to migrate with the Bison but that required constant moving and affected the rest of the society.
The horse allowed these Indians to cover more land at a faster speed, accumulating more buffalo. Children could become more useful in the tribes by being able to transport or help hunt while on horseback. The source where these facts originated from is accurate, however, may not be as reliable as articles that cite actual recordings of the horse entering the lives of these Plains Indians. The information that is provided reflects the impact the horse had on the Indians and reveals information that was most likely learned from a separate article also relating to this topic.
This does not mean the information is inaccurate, just signifies that there could be slight discrepancies in the facts. Even if this may be true, however, it is known that the young teachings of equestrianism were an extremely beneficial task that affected generation after generation and made for every person in the tribes a useful contribution. Women struggled on foot with transportation of goods or having to walk to markets because of a disadvantage of not being as strong or durable as the men. The improved mobility allowed for the women to play a more independent role in the society. The source that is providing these facts is reliable because of its lack of bias.
It expresses the rise and falls of these tribes, in this case the Comanche tribe, and shows the impact that the horse had on the lives of these Indians. The Comanche lifestyle drastically changed with the adaption to the horse as well as enhanced the tribe as a whole. The Apache Indians struggled for a while with combat against the Comanche Indians. They were able to develop as a tribe with the horse and ncrease their combat abilities however other tribes, especially the Comanches, seemed to still have an advantage over the Apache Indians.
The Apaches were able to extinguish the Jumano tribe in order to obtain more outlets for bison in New Mexico. This was done successfully and the Apaches controlled the entire southern Plains. As they continued to expand, however, the Comanche Indians, while pushing themselves down the Arkansas Valley from the Rocky Mountains, collided with the Apache Indians. Both tribes were extremely successful with their equestrian skills. The Comanche Indians, though, seemed to have developed much quicker and were able to eed in their hunting and warfare skills in a more advanced way than the Apache Indians.
The Apache Indians found themselves struggling when the Comanche Indians pushed them to their limit with warfare. Eventually the Comanches were able to push all Apache tribes out of the Plains and take it over for themselves. 2 The source used to find this information lacks in bias and is able to recognize the negative aspects as well as the positive aspects behind the introduction of the horse. It provides enough information on each tribe, as well, to not chose favorites or make one seem higher than the other.
In this case, the Comanche Indians were able to pull through on top, but they still held on to struggles through their everyday lives. Not many other tribes were able to compare to the Comanche’s though. The Sioux were affected by the introduction of the horse but were not as accomplished as the Comanche Indians. The Sioux pushed westward, similar to the Comanche’s, but ran into trouble as well. The fur trade allowed for the Indians to obtain guns and specific goods but like most other Plains Indian tribes, they depended on Bison for most of their resources, most importantly food.
The Sioux used their horse mostly for trade due to the results of the first attempt as living as mounted Indians, which ended up not being as successful as hoped. The gradual adaption to the horse began to take place but was a much slower process than other Indian tribes. During the summer the Sioux followed and hunted Buffalo and during the winter they trapped Beaver. For many years the Sioux could not find an even balance between their two ways of hunting. In the summer they followed and hunted Bison where in the winter they trapped Beaver.
These systems continued this way until the true use of the horse was truly discovered by the Teton bands. They were devoting more time to the acquisition of horses and the tracking of the buffalo. The Yanktons continued their system of trapping the beaver which eventually led them to the separation of the rest of the Sioux tribe and the migration to the Minnesota River where there was an abundance of beaver. 3 The acceptance and continuous adaption to the horse continued to allow a large change in this culture.
The fusion of the horse into the two Plains’ Indians culture did not always result in an uprising or improvements among the tribe. Among the wealth, power, and security that this old world export brought to the colonies, confusion and some negative qualities also were apparent. The source that this information is being derived from has a slight bias towards the negative impacts of the introduction of the horse so describes more of the hardships behind having a horse as a part of the tribe. This source also seemed to recognize no positive aspects from the introduction of the horse, so the negative implications are heightened.
With the introduction of the horse, these tribes were unsure whether this new addition was going to be a helping aspect or food for the men and women. Because of not having an animal to assist with everyday tasks in the past, the knowledge for the care and well-being of these animals was unclear and forced the Indian tribes to create their own ways of living with the horse. Eventually, the real need and desire for the assistance of the horse was made clear when the tribes could recognize the amount of help provided towards farming, transportation and warfare.
The Spaniards also opposed to allowing the Indians to turn themselves into “horse-users” so laws against horseback riding among the tribes were established. However, the obvious benefit of having a horse to assist with the everyday activities such as farming was too beneficial to not allow the assistance of this animal. The horse was becoming so valuable that theft was becoming a larger problem. The desire for a horse was increasing and Indians were now recognizing the pressure that was taken off of them to fulfill tasks and duties.
Raids were becoming more and more common especially among the Comanche tribe. In these raids not only horses were stolen, however. Mules were stolen due to their high prices in the eastern markets. Along with the animals, a vital by-product of the raids was slave labor. As the Comanche’s extended their raids towards the ranches in Texas and northern Mexico more captives were returned than the actual horses. The Indians were developing into new slave-owners and allowing their power to get to their heads. 2 Horses were also a new form of wealth and having horses signified a wealthy and well-equipped tribe.
The social hierarchies of the tribes were affected by the introduction of the horse. The men who were ranked at the top were the men who had accumulated many horses from raids or just from strays. This not only allowed them to have a higher power among the tribes but also allowed them to dominate the livestock trade that was a main source of income among these Plains Indians. The people among the middle hierarchy owned around 20 horses which was suitable for nomadism but was not enough to allow for a fair input in the livestock trade.
The Indians in the poorer class had no horses and had to request to borrow the horses of other Indians. This not only meant these people were in a lower hierarchy but also meant they lacked the social skill that came from the horses. The men in this poor class were not able to attract the women like the men of upper class which quickly resulted in trying to steal other men’s’ wives. 2 Social hierarchy was a large aspect of the Sioux and Comanche Plains Indians; however, it was not the only negative impact from the introduction of the horse.