The Blackfoot Indians comprised the Piegan, Siksika, and the Blood tribes. They hailed from Alberta and Montana. These American Indians originally belonged to the Great Lakes Region before they came to Alberta and Montana. Interestingly, their name has originated from the fading of moccasins from ashes. Niitsipussin is the commonly spoken language amongst these tribes. The Blackfoot tribes were nomadic buffalo hunters. They were good traders as they traded with buffalo hides, guns and horses with most of the other tribes of the Far East coast.
These Indian tribes were self-governing and dreadful but victorious warriors. Hunting bands led by one or more chiefs and many councilors were formed by each of the Blackfoot tribes. Moreover, as long as the headman served his people his stand remained secured. Again, there was practically a head chief for each of the individual tribes viz. Piegan, Blood and the Siksika.
This type of Native American Indians lived in tepees and mainly survived on buffaloes while deer, small game and fishes also formed a part of their diet. Strangely, the horns were used as containers, the bones were carved into tools and tendons served as threads. And beyond that, hooves were made into rattles or boiled to make glue while the hides of the animal formed an integral part of their clothing.
The women had mastered the art of tanning. They were specialized in making tepees and hand in hand also made shields, weapons, drums, pipes and tools. On the other hand men were responsible for looking after their families besides being excellent hunters and fighters. But they both took to traditional medicine, storytelling, artwork and music.
These American Indians used to assemble for tribal gatherings during the summers. The Sun dance is one such ceremonial occasion where the entire tribe community gathers even today once a year to build rapport and strengthen the relationship among them.
History also tells us that these Native tribes were fashionable people as most of the men wore tall feather headdresses. In fact, the men emphasized their style by wearing three braids with a topknot whereas the women wore broader braids or simply wore their hair loose. Typically, like most of the other tribes both the sexes painted their faces for special events.
Speaking of dresses, the women wore long deerskin dresses while the men took to breechcloths and buckskin tunics. And both wore moccasins on their feet. The Blackfoot tribe had a good sense of music though they had a vocal kind of music with less of instruments. The percussion instruments, which were commonly used by these tribes, included mainly the rattles, bells and the drums.
Thus, the Blackfoot Indian tribes were essentially a tribal group who excelled n all aspects of life and made their mark in the history of America.
Joseph Paige © 2006