Cheyenne Essay

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CHEYENNE The story of the Cheyenne, an indigenous people and one of the best known of the Native American tribes, is similar to many of the other Plains Indians who have inhabited the continent of North America for centuries. It is a story that began hundreds of years before the arrival of explorers. The people of the Cheyenne tribes knew prosperity; theirs was a story of freedom and living as one with the earth, but after the first contact is made, it became a story of great hardship, sadness, and the atrocities suffered as a result of the arrival of the white man. The final blow is delivered by the government of the United States when the Plains Indians we know as Cheyenne are forced onto reservations. Ancestors of the Cheyenne are believed to have migrated from Northeast Asia across the Bering Strait, a land bridge which at one time connected Asia with North America, “beginning about 10,000 years ago” (Sutton). It is believed by anthropologists that because they were hunters they may have been in search of new hunting grounds, but if you ask an elder they will tell you that they have always been here. One of the best known tribes of the Plains is the Cheyenne. Originally called Tsitsistas, they are later renamed Cheyenne “which is derived from a Sioux word meaning “red speakers”. According to their legends and myths, Maheo, the creator of all, began with the creation of water, the light air, then created water beings, finally he created Grandmother Earth. After creating Grandmother Earth, Maheo “thought her to be so beautiful that she should not remain alone.” Wanting to give part of himself to her he “reached into his right side, and pulled out a rib bone. He breathed on the bone and laid it softly on the bosom of the Earth Woman. The bone moved and stirred, stood upright and walked. The first man had come to be” (Marriott). From the beginning the Cheyenne

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