Weapons used by Plains Tribes

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records
Fig. 33. A Buffalo Hide Shield from the Northern Blackfoot
Fig. 33. A Buffalo Hide Shield from the Northern Blackfoot

Reference has been made to bows, clubs, and lances for killing buffalo; hence, it is only necessary to add that they were also the chief weapons in war. Among nearly all the tribes a circular shield of buffalo hide was used, though with so many ceremonial associations, that it is not clear whether the Indian prized it most for its charm value or for its mechanical properties, since in most cases he seems to have placed his faith in the powers symbolized in the devices painted thereon. No armor seems to have been used. The typical Plains Indian rode into battle, stripped to breechcloth and moccasins, with whatever symbolic headgear, charms, and insignia he was entitled to. However, the Blackfoot have traditions of having protected themselves from arrows by several skin shirts, one over the other, while among the Northern Shoshoni, both men and horses were protected by “many folds of dressed antelope skin united with glue and sand.” The Pawnee have also been credited with hardened skin coats. Since armor and helmets were used in some parts of the North Pacific Coast area and in parts of the Plateaus, it is natural to encounter armor on the northwestern margin of the Plains.

Poisoned arrows have been credited to the Plateau tribes and a few of those in the western Plains.

 

 



MLA Source Citation:

Wissler, Clark. North American Indians Of The Plains. Smithsonian Institution, New York. 1920. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 14 September 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/weapons-used-by-plains-tribes.htm - Last updated on Jul 3rd, 2013


Categories:
Topics: , ,

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.