The Wild West

The Wild West

In his autobiography Standing Bear, a Sioux chief said that the white man, not the Indian made the west wild. “We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth, as wild. Only to the white man was nature a wilderness, and only to him was the land infested with wild animals and savage people, To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful, and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.” Interesting!


When the whites came into Indian lands, they tried to change the native peoples way of life. Religion, living style, lifestyle, food, cooking/eating utensils, dress, war, relationships and tribal makeups and hierarchy were all wrong – according to the new people, from the east, and now in the west.

In my view, the wild west came about as more and more non-Indian’s moved and crossed the west. Civilization movements and a clash of cultures changed the American West and created our, modern, view of the wild west. But, I’m most sure that this was not something new. Civilizations change as new people become more and more a part of something, where at one time they were outsiders. People being forced to change or obliged to accept what they do not want will fight, always have, probably always will.



Sometimes we do not look at the big picture, probably it was not as wild as Hollywood has made it out. Indian encounters are much more prevalent in old television series, movies, and novels than they were in real life. But the wars in the west were genuine, and were brought on as Standing Bear so eloquently stated, when the new people saw things as savage and wild instead of the way they were and had always been.
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