Native American Indians go way back in history with documentation dating as far back as 150000BC.
As soon as Europeans started to arrive in America approximately 1492, things started to change for the native people. For many years the Native Americans found the fair skinned European people interesting and intriguing but as time went on it became apparent that the European people living on their land were greedy and cruel. By the 19th Century, the Native Americans started to despise the Europeans. Not only did these 'white people' bring greed and hate but they brought disease which the Native Americans had not encountered before and so did not have any immunity to in return causing many deaths across all the various tribes.
As time went on, things got worse for the Native Americans. 1830 - 1868 saw the rise of the Indian Removal Policy which forcibly removed Native Americans from European-populated areas. In 1868 President Ulysses S. Grant pursued a " Peace Policy" as an attempt to avoid violence. This involved-organising the Indian service with an aim to relocate the various tribes away from their ancestral land put them on a parcel of lands established specifically for their in-habitation which then was reduced in size and was a long way from their original roots. Many tribes tried to ignore the instruction to relocate to new parcels of land to which resulted in the United States Army restricting tribal movement forcibly often ending in wars and massacre.
The most well known conflict was with the Sioux in 1876 on the Great Northern Plains. This has been named 'The Battle of the Little Bighorn' and has alot documentation. By the late 1870s, the policy established by President Grant was regarded as a failure, primarily because it had resulted in some of the bloodiest wars between Native Americans and the United States.
By 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes began phasing out the policy, by 1882 all religious organizations had relinquished their authority to the federal Indian agency.
In 1887 The Indian Reorganisation Act ended the general policy of granting land parcels to tribes as-a-whole by granting small parcels of land to individual tribe members. The individual allotment policy continued until 1934, when it was terminated by the Indian Reorganisation Act.
Within the Wyoming Wild Bunch we have 2 tribes represented. The Blackfeet , who live in Northern Montana and bordering into Canada and the Northern Cheyenne who live in the south of Montana bordering Wyoming. All of our members spend many, many hours researching the history so they understand the lives of the Native American Indians and so are knowledgeable about the clothing and day to day living of each tribe represented. All the clothing is handmade by the members and it has been fully researched to ensure correct materials have been used, the bead work colours are carefully chosen to the tribe being represented and authentic techniques have been used to create every item be it clothing or accessory. The tipi's are personally owned by the members and are a huge investment and labour of love. Each tipi is set out and decorated as per a tipi typical of 1860-1880 (pre reservation) and gives a glimpse of what life would be like living in one of these, complete with central fire
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