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Blackfeet Tribe in War

The Blackfeet were a warlike people. How it may have been in the old days, before the coming of the white men, we do not know. Very likely, in early times, they were usually at peace with neighboring tribes, or, if quarrels took place, battles were fought, and men killed, this was only in angry dispute over what each party considered its rights. Their wars were probably not general, nor could they have been very bloody. When, however, horses came into the possession of the Indians, all this must have soon become changed. Hitherto there had really been no incentive to war. From time to time expeditions may have gone out to kill enemies, for glory, or to take revenge for some injury, but war had not yet been made desirable by the hope of plunder, for none of their neighbors any more than themselves had property which was worth capturing and taking away. Primitive arms, dogs, clothing, and dried meat were common to all the tribes, and were their only possessions, and usually each tribe had an abundance of all these. It was not worth any man’s while to make long journeys and to run into danger merely to increase his store of such property, when his present possessions were more than sufficient to meet all his wants. Even if such things had seemed desirable plunder, the amount of it which could be carried away was limited, since for a war party the only means of transporting captured articles from place to place was on men’s backs, nor could men burdened with loads either run or fight. But...

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