These small vignettes built around actual or legendary heroes of the various tribes meld together into a chronicle of the...

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FAMOUS AMERICAN INDIANS OF THE PLAINS

These small vignettes built around actual or legendary heroes of the various tribes meld together into a chronicle of the rise and fall of the Plains peoples and, at the same time, point up the differences in lifestyles among the Pawnee, Crow, Assiniboin, Blackfoot and others. To Hirsch's mind, the horse, which was in some ways the basis of a golden age for the Plains Indians, was ultimately another white man's curse -- leading as it did to a drive for the acquisition of private property and large scale warfare. And his stories of the Indian removal highlight the ways in which the white man pitted one tribe against the other by enlisting Indian scouts and forcing different groups to compete for the same territory. But these essays are less valuable as a panoramic history than for their focus on particulars -- the contrasting approaches to cooking, hunting and riding, the ways in which a young boy would prepare for manhood or a liar be shamed with humor, and the life stories of some great chiefs like the Kiowa Statanta and the Ponca Standing Bear and of tribes who are often eclipsed by the more famous Cheyenne and Sioux.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Rand McNally

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973