Saturday, 13 February 2016

Pawnee Tribe

Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma 

The Pawnee Tribe, also known as the Pani, were a brave, formidable people. Early in the 18th century, more than 60,000 members of the Pawnee Tribe inhabited the area along the North Platte River in Nebraska. 
They were semi-nomadic hunters and farmers and particularly noted for their interest in astronomy. Unlike most of the Native Indians of the Great Plains, they lived in earth lodges and farmed for most of the year. However, they adopted the lifestyle of hunters during the time of the buffalo hunt, when their lifestyle became nomadic and they lived in tepees. The system of using sign language was developed to facilitate communication between all of the different tribes who inhabited the Great Plains and the Pawnee tribe were described as "the wolves." 

The Pawnees practiced many different rituals and believed in very different things compared to most Plains tribes. They practiced human sacrifice and charted stars. In 1833, when a meteoric display occurred in North America, the Pawnee witnessed this and now refer to that year as the "year the stars fell". After encroachment by white settlers, the Pawnees ceded their territory to the US Government in the 1800s and were removed from Nebraska to what is now Pawnee County in 1875. I find it rather interesting that the tribe willingly gave up their land and moved half way across the country and are proudly stating they did this on their website. 

The website itself is rather simple but focuses mainly on the Pawnee nations government and court. It is obvious this tribe takes immense pride in their court and government as well as their achievements over the years, especially in their involvement in most major battles that the US has been in, such as both world wars. Something that shocked me about the Pawnee and their website was their excitement for Christmas and especially, Thanksgiving. The President's message on the website wished everyone joy and happiness that "this season brings". It stunned me because surely, most Native Americans know the history of Thanksgiving and how after that holiday a few hundred years earlier, the genocide of their people occurred.

I also noticed, from the website, that the Pawnee or Pani are very proud of their achievements thus far and make sure it is known that they fought in almost every major battle or war that concerned the natives. They also appear to be very proud of their history, yet leave out the gruesome and horrific details of their past.They have their own government and court which appears to be very successful and even offer job opportunities. 

Overall, the Pawnee appear to be an extremely successful nation, who have somewhat "assimilated" into the American way of life. However, they still keep to some of their traditions and are proud to be Native American. 

No comments:

Post a Comment