Saturday, April 30, 2016
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
I love studying old photographs, as physically I do not have the ability to travel back in time to observe things like a Sioux Indian encampment, but I ponder the the things they do as in the above photo, because I would think they should at least know what they are doing.
I had read that Sioux camps were always in trees, but the above certainly does not fit that description. In fact his appears a photo of duress, because I know the Great American Desert, and that water is alkali or close to it in nothing you would prefer drinking.
The range or grass is cropped too short, and this appears early winter or late spring.
That makes me study the positioning of the tipis, because I could understand for security the bluff positions, but they would be colder than the North Pole in the winter, and if you got yourself a blizzard, the ones under the bluff might be buried under all that snow the plains drifted in.
The horses are no longer Spanish bloodlines, but look to be American horses which were stolen. The closest horse looks Nez Pierce Appaloosa which is a very long way from home.
These animals would suffer greatly in winter or cold rains, as the wind of 50 miles per hour blows there more often than not.
The horses interest me as numbers of them are picketed about the tipis. This was not standard policy in Indian tribes, as with all the human, dog and horse crap around, it stank.
The horses appear in very good condition, which is surprising if this is a camp which would be under duress.
Again though, no dogs are present. They no doubt have all been eaten.
There is no fuel either for fires, so this is about as worthless a camp as one could choose, so if one factors in the reality of the closest Indian, appears in dark colored clothes, these are white associated Indians, who are still in the remnants of the last buffalo hide tipi.
For a permanent camp, this is really lacking, and is not something to be admired.
The placement of the tipi though is a study of tribal, individual and family units. Some on the rise are situated closely, as are those in the distance, which seems to indicate strong family units. Others are scattered.
northwest, as the openings should be facing southeast to deal with the winds.
What does not make a great deal of sense is why the majority of tipi are in the flat windward. The optimum sites would be where the horses are in the shelter of the rise.
If this was summer with insects, the bluff would be best, except in storm as the winds would carry insects and stench away for ventilation.
I think it would have been thrilling to view this in real time, not for the danger of it, but for the historical study of it. I recall Col. Dodge spying on an Indian boy who was herding the horses, as the scamp all day long would rope one horse after another and ride them........be quite the adventure riding the Chiefs war horses and their never knowing what you had been up to.
There do not appear to be any wikiups, or small shelters. This means this is not an interloper camp with Indians from other reservation systems wandering through. They Indians on travious would have had to have dragged all their poles for the tipi with them, as there was nothing on location for them to use, and prairie fires or floods would have consumed any poles out of the Black Hills which would have been left on site.
From a military stand point, this would have been impossible, except in darkness to come upon this camp. The correct attack point would have been from the side of the lone cottonwood tree, which I presume is west, with forces pincering from the top and bottom, leaving the stream a blocking point.
Of course the Indians could have maintained some fire from that location, but sweeping actions up and down the stream would have driven them out.
The taking of the bluff and the scattering in taking away the shelter, and food, would have been the main objective of wearing the terrorist down by attrition, in taking away their sport of warfare which they enjoyed.
The Indians tended to make camp in same locations for years, in that this site is probably littered with artifacts if it could be ascertained where it actually was, but that would cover Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota and perhaps parts of Nebraska.
This looks a great deal like that horrid country in southwestern South Dakota just west of the Badlands and south of the Black Hills.
I would have liked to have had those Appaloosa, not that I have ever been owned by one, but I would have traded a heap big wampum for them..........besides they appear not to be the war or hunting primary horses, and were just used for packing.
It is why I like old photos......at least ones that are not whorehouse or preacher photos.