The Indian chief of any particular tribe had an extremely important role in the lives of Native Americans. Many people see the chief as the main leader, and everyone else is simply his minions and followers. This, however, is not necessarily the case. While the chief has been chosen to be the special leader of any given tribe for various different reasons, it does not mean that there are not others within a tribe who hold certain important rankings.
The chief was usually considered the greatest warrior of all the tribe, earning him the ranking of chief. This fact aside, Indian chiefs were also medicine men, spiritual leaders, and assistants to the other members of the tribe in times of both peace and war. Indians were not simply assigned to the role of chief, but instead a long trial period and proof of strength were required.
Becoming a chief took time, and whoever was chosen had to prove to the others that he would be a strong and effective leader who could help the tribe stay safe. The chief was able to bark orders, and the rest of the tribe in most cases will obey them. This is what makes the Indian chiefs of old appear to be so fierce, because they would stop at nothing to win battles, resulting in some bloody wars on the American Plains.
Some famous Indian chiefs include Geronimo, Sitting Bull, and Cochise. There was a chief for every single tribe. Just like our world today, all groups or nations need some kind of strong leadership, and that is what the Indian chief could provide. In today’s modern world, the chiefs are a much more peaceful people, while still exhibiting strong leadership qualities.
Joseph Paige © 2006