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Native American Hunting and Fighting Skills Hardcover – October 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This superbly illustrated volume focuses on the changing character of Native American Indian hunting and fighting skills - the tactics, practices, customs, and techniques - under the impact of confrontation with the European colonizers and the environmental changes they made.
Colin F. Taylor begins with a broad overview of the hunting and fighting tactics of the Native American Indian, contrasting and evaluating the various regions. A major thrust, however, relates to the tribes of the Great Plains. Historically, this region was home to many groups who moved in from other cultural areas. These new arrivals initially employed the tried and tested skills and techniques inherited from their original homelands, but they quickly adapted and changed to match new conditions. Not least, it considers the changing hunting and military patterns on the Great Plains under the impact of the horse and the white encroachment; a fascinating saga of both continuity and change.
As well as being an interesting study of how Indian skills changed and developed, the text also includes accounts from the Indian viewpoint. There are stories of hunting exploits, and details of some of the more famous battles of the Plains conflicts - such as the Wagon Box Fight, the Fetterman Massacre, the Battle of the Rosebud, and the Battle of the Little Big Horn-- from the Indian side. With over 130 illustrations, this book is a rare and evocative visual history and will be valued by all who are interested in Native American skills.

About the Author

COLIN F. TAYLOR, PH.D. is a writer and lecturer, and one of the world's most respected experts on Plains Indians culture. His numerous books include The Plains Indians, Native American Life, and Native American Weapons. He is senior lecturer at Hastings College of Art and Technology.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: The Lyons Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158574705X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585747054
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Somerville on August 25, 2007
If I wanted to use a political metaphor, this book is the George W Bush of Native American Hunting Skills info: it fills a role, but literally anyone else could probably have done it better.

This book is very poorly written. If I had it with me I'd quote some of the more glaring examples, but there's really no need. They're all over the place. Sentence fragments abound. Many sentences don't even make sense. One chapter section begins with the sentence, "The golden eagle was closely linked to that of the bear."

What? That _what_ of the bear?

Shortly after that, a footnote refers to a certain Chief Cut-Nose in the book's introduction. But there IS no reference to a chief Cut-Nose in the introduction. I'm serious. Other sentences run together with no punctuation, defying my best attempts to understand what the author was even trying to say. Structually, the book wanders senilely among various cultures, skimming over the surface of a certain technique of a certain tribe and comparing it to a certain detail of another tribe. Sometimes there isn't enough information to understand what the technique is. There aren't many diagrams or explanatory drawings of hunting and fighting skills (there's one drawing of an indian using an atl-atl. there are two more drawings of indian traps).

As a side note, the author's attitude towards native cultures is rather white-centric. He over-explains the fact that indians were not silly savages without skill or discipline. He also (glaringly!) whitewashes over many instances of white brutality against native cultures. Finally, it's pretty depressing that the author uses the past-tense across the board when referring to these tribes. Many of them NOT DEAD! And some of them still practice these traditional skills.
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Not particularly well written (where was the editor?) but well illustrated. Some good info in here particularly for western tribes, but very little on the tribes of the southeast.
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