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Buffalo, 'Mystery Dogs' (Horses) and the Lives of the Plains Indians (VOA Special English 20071024).pdf

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This is Rich Kleinfeldt. And this is Sarah Long with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a VOA Special
English program about the history of the United States. Today, we tell about early Native
Americans.
Scientists believe that the native peoples of America came here thousands of years ago during the
last ice age. These people settled the land from the cold northern areas to the extreme end of
South America.
As the groups of people settled different parts of the land, they developed their own languages,
their own cultures and their own religions. Each group's story is important in the history of the
Americas. However, it is perhaps the tribes of the central part of the United States that are most
recognized. They will be our story today.
In 1804, Merriwether Lewis and William Clark led a group of explorers to the Pacific Ocean. They
were the first educated Americans to see some of the native tribes of the Great Plains.
And they were the first white people these Native American people had ever seen.
When the group of explorers neared the eastern side of the great Rocky Mountains, they met with
a tribe of Indians called the Shoshoni. Merriwether Lewis was the first to see them.
Let us imagine we are with Merriwether Lewis near the Rocky Mountains almost two hundred
years ago. Across a small hill, a group of sixty Shoshoni men are riding toward us.
The first thing we see is that these men are ready for war. Each is armed with a bow and arrows.
Some carry long poles with a sharp knife on the end.
They are riding very fast. Some horses seem to be without riders. But a closer look shows that
the men are hanging off the sides, or under the horse’s neck. They are using the horses' bodies
as protection.
The horses are painted with many different designs that use blue, black, red or other colors. Later
we learn that each design has a special meaning for the man who owns the horse. Each one tells
a story.
For example, the man riding one horse is a leader during battle. Another has killed an enemy in
battle. One of the designs protects the horse and rider.
As they come nearer, the Shoshoni group sees that we are not ready for war. They slow their
horses but are still very careful. Merriwether Lewis holds up a open hand as a sign of peace. The
leader of the Shoshoni does the same. They come closer.
The Shoshoni are dressed in clothes made from animal skin...
This is Rich Kleinfeldt. And this is Sarah Long with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a VOA Special
English program about the history of the United States. Today, we tell about early Native
Americans.
Scientists believe that the native peoples of America came here thousands of years ago during the
last ice age. These people settled the land from the cold northern areas to the extreme end o
f
South America.
As the groups of people settled different parts of the land, they developed their own languages,
their own cultures and their own religions. Each group's story is important in the history of the
Americas. However, it is perhaps the tribes of the central part of the United States that are most
recognized. They will be our story today.
In 1804, Merriwether Lewis and William Clark led a group of explorers to the Pacific Ocean. They
were the first educated Americans to see some of the native tribes of the Great Plains.
And they were the first white people these Native American people had ever seen.
When the group of explorers neared the eastern side of the great Rocky Mountains, they met with
a tribe of Indians called the Shoshoni. Merriwether Lewis was the first to see them.
Let us imagine we are with Merriwether Lewis near the Rocky Mountains almost two hundred
years ago. Across a small hill, a group of sixty Shoshoni men are riding toward us.
The first thing we see is that these men are ready for war. Each is armed with a bow and arrows.
Some carry long poles with a sharp knife on the end.
They are riding very fast. Some horses seem to be without riders. But a closer look shows that
the men are hanging off the sides, or under the horse’s neck. They are using the horses' bodies
as protection.
The horses are painted with many different designs that use blue, black, red or other colors. Late
r
we learn that each design has a special meaning for the man who owns the horse. Each one tells
a story.
For example, the man riding one horse is a leader during battle. Another has killed an enemy in
battle. One of the designs protects the horse and rider.
A
s they come nearer, the Shoshoni group sees that we are not ready for war. They slow thei
r
horses but are still very careful. Merriwether Lewis holds up a open hand as a sign of peace. The
leader of the Shoshoni does the same. They come closer.
The Shoshoni are dressed in clothes made from animal skin. Most of these skins are from deer o
r
the American buffalo. The shirts they wear have many designs, and tell stories like the designs on
the horses. One shows a man has fought in a battle. Another shows a man has been in many
raids to capture horses. Still another shows the man saved the life of a friend.
Captain Lewis smiles at these men. He again makes a hand sign that means peace. The signs
are now returned. Lewis and the Shoshoni chief cannot speak each other's language. They can
communicate using hand signs.
American History: Buffalo, 'Mystery Dogs' (Horses) and the Lives of t... http://www.manythings.org/voa/history/4.html
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