Study Notes

Beliefs about nature and land

Level:
GCSE
Board:
Edexcel

Last updated 24 Oct 2017

Plains Indians believed that everything in nature had a spirit. This included animals, plants, rocks, rivers and human beings. Plains Indians believed they should work together with the sprits rather than trying to control them.

Plains Indians believed that everything in nature had a spirit.  This included animals, plants, rocks, rivers and human beings. Plains Indians believed they should work together with the sprits rather than trying to control them.

It was believed spirits could be contacted through visions and ceremonial dances. Visions were very important to Plains Indians and helped them make important decisions throughout their lives.

This deep belief in spirits meant that Plains Indians regarded land as sacred. Some tribes therefore believed farming the land was disrespectful as it was an attempt to control it. Plains Indians also believed that it was wrong for an individual or a family to privately own land.

White Americans often misunderstood the Plains Indians beliefs about nature and land and it became the greatest source of conflict between the two groups.

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