Indians of the Plains (United States)

Everything changed with the unstoppable European migration waves of the British, French, Scandinavians, Germans, aided by missionaries from different congregations. They appropriated increasingly vast lands, the native peoples left pushing one another towards the inland. Bows and arrows, spears and clubs were of no use against the “fire sticks” (rifles). The European companies used to buy from the Indians the skins of beavers, first, and bisons, then, in exchange for guns, horses and, sadly, spirits.

Weapons and horses gave them extreme mobility, as well as the possibility to settle over millions of miles of pristine land, absolutely unsuited for cultivation: it was a radical, irreversible break.
They were hoping that the white men would never come to those inhospitable lands. It was a short-lived illusion, though. When Washington and the trading companies no longer needed to buy from them, they began the slaughter of bisons to starve Natives to death: by 1870, of the over 40-45 million bisons, only a few hundred were still alive. This policy of annihilation and systematic internment was treacherous. The surviving natives had no choice but to take refuge in the myths and legends of the dead.

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

War mace, circa 1870, (Teton Dakota)

War mace, circa 1870, (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

War mace, circa 1870, (Teton Dakota)

War mace, circa 1870, (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial mace, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Ceremonial mace, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial mace, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Ceremonial mace, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Pipe cooker, 1880 - 1890 circa (typical East Dakota motif, Yankton, Ojibway material)

Pipe cooker, 1880 - 1890 circa (typical East Dakota motif, Yankton, Ojibway material)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Pipe cooker, 1880 - 1890 circa (typical East Dakota motif, Yankton, Ojibway material)

Pipe cooker, 1880 - 1890 circa (typical East Dakota motif, Yankton, Ojibway material)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Quiver, arrows, bow, case for bow, mace and amulet, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Quiver, arrows, bow, case for bow, mace and amulet, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Quiver, arrows, bow, case for bow, mace and amulet, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Quiver, arrows, bow, case for bow, mace and amulet, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Necklace for girl, end of 800 (Kiova or Comanche invoice)

Necklace for girl, end of 800 (Kiova or Comanche invoice)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Necklace for girl, end of 800 (Kiova or Comanche invoice)

Necklace for girl, end of 800 (Kiova or Comanche invoice)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Men’s necklace, circa 1880 (Indians of the Southern Plains) and)

Men’s necklace, circa 1880 (Indians of the Southern Plains) and)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Men’s necklace, circa 1880 (Indians of the Southern Plains) and)

Men’s necklace, circa 1880 (Indians of the Southern Plains) and)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial mace, end of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial mace, end of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial mace, end of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial mace, end of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Buffalo horns, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Buffalo horns, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Buffalo horns, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Buffalo horns, 1865 - 1875 circa (West Dakota, Brulee)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ornament for the head, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Ornament for the head, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ornament for the head, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Ornament for the head, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male tunic, 1870 - 1880 circa (Ojibway, probably object of exchange with the Dakota)

Male tunic, 1870 - 1880 circa (Ojibway, probably object of exchange with the Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male tunic, 1870 - 1880 circa (Ojibway, probably object of exchange with the Dakota)

Male tunic, 1870 - 1880 circa (Ojibway, probably object of exchange with the Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male tunic, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male tunic, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male tunic, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male tunic, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial arrow, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Ceremonial arrow, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial arrow, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Ceremonial arrow, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Men’s necklace, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Men’s necklace, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Men’s necklace, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Men’s necklace, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Decorative cuffs, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Decorative cuffs, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Decorative cuffs, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Decorative cuffs, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial Mace, End of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial Mace, End of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial Mace, End of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial Mace, End of 800 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial club used in dances, 1880 - 1885 circa (East Dakota)

Ceremonial club used in dances,   1880 - 1885 circa (East Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial club used in dances, 1880 - 1885 circa (East Dakota)

Ceremonial club used in dances,   1880 - 1885 circa (East Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial rattle, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial rattle, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial rattle, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial rattle, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial tambourine, circa 1875 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial tambourine, circa 1875 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial tambourine, circa 1875 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Ceremonial tambourine, circa 1875 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Pipe tomahawk (pipe axe), 1860 - 1870 circa (Teton Dakota)

Pipe tomahawk (pipe axe), 1860 - 1870 circa (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Pipe tomahawk (pipe axe), 1860 - 1870 circa (Teton Dakota)

Pipe tomahawk (pipe axe), 1860 - 1870 circa (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Battle mace, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Battle mace, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Battle mace, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Battle mace, circa 1870 (Teton Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male saddle, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male saddle, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male saddle, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male saddle, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Knife sheath, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Knife sheath, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Knife sheath, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Knife sheath, circa 1870 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Knife sheath, approximately 1885 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Knife sheath, approximately 1885 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Knife sheath, approximately 1885 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Knife sheath, approximately 1885 (East Dakota, Yankton)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Gun sheath, circa 1885, (Cree, Ojibway)

Gun sheath, circa 1885, (Cree, Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Gun sheath, circa 1885, (Cree, Ojibway)

Gun sheath, circa 1885, (Cree, Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Belt, about 1880 (Cree del Sud)

Belt, about 1880 (Cree del Sud)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Belt, about 1880 (Cree del Sud)

Belt, about 1880 (Cree del Sud)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Male headdress, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Cuff, approximately 1885 (Ojibway invoice, Cree decoration)

Cuff, approximately 1885 (Ojibway invoice, Cree decoration)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Cuff, approximately 1885 (Ojibway invoice, Cree decoration)

Cuff, approximately 1885 (Ojibway invoice, Cree decoration)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Leggings , circa 1885 (Ojibway)

Leggings , circa 1885 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Leggings , circa 1885 (Ojibway)

Leggings , circa 1885 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Gambali, 1885 circa (Ojibway)

Gambali, 1885 circa (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Gambali, 1885 circa (Ojibway)

Gambali, 1885 circa (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Belt, 1885 - 1890 about (Ojibway)

Belt, 1885 - 1890 about (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Belt, 1885 - 1890 about (Ojibway)

Belt, 1885 - 1890 about (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Tambourine for dance, 1875 - 1880 circa (East Dakota)

Tambourine for dance, 1875 - 1880 circa (East Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Tambourine for dance, 1875 - 1880 circa (East Dakota)

Tambourine for dance, 1875 - 1880 circa (East Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial drum, 1870 - 1880 about, (East Dakota)

Ceremonial drum, 1870 - 1880 about, (East Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Ceremonial drum, 1870 - 1880 about, (East Dakota)

Ceremonial drum, 1870 - 1880 about, (East Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Arrow, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Arrow, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Arrow, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Arrow, end of 800 (Plains Indians)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Garters for men, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Garters for men, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Garters for men, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Garters for men, circa 1880 (Ojibway)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Bag for pipe and tobacco, 1870 - 1875 approximately

Bag for pipe and tobacco, 1870 - 1875 approximately

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

Bag for pipe and tobacco, 1870 - 1875 approximately

Bag for pipe and tobacco, 1870 - 1875 approximately

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

So-called "T-shaped" pipe, late 800 - early 900 (East Dakota or West Dakota)

So-called "T-shaped" pipe, late 800 - early 900 (East Dakota or West Dakota)

Castello D'Albertis Museum of World Cultures

So-called "T-shaped" pipe, late 800 - early 900 (East Dakota or West Dakota)

So-called "T-shaped" pipe, late 800 - early 900 (East Dakota or West Dakota)