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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Colorado History

- Colorado History -
The Cheyenne Social Club

Learn to interpret the meaning of:
Wolf Road, the Runner

By David Sedivy
It is important to have the knowledge to understand the many stories which the Indians narrate. Besides their inherent interest, many of them have a direct relation to the early history of our country, and some of the events happening on the grounds now occupied by a great many of white people. In the following pages, I will attempt to explain many of the Cheyenne traditions and beliefs so the reader may clearly the above Cheyenne War Story. It is my hope that this paper will give the reader an appreciation and respect for the culture of the Cheyenne Indian. It is through education which we gain an understanding of other people.

Cheyenne Traditions
The Cheyennes are a tribe of buffalo-hunting Indians well known in the early days of Colorado History before the white settlement of the plains. The tribe belongs to the Algonquian linguistic group, and is one of three usually spoken of as the western Algonquians, the other two being the Arapahoes and the Blackfeet.

Arapaho Shield
An Arapaho shield is decoratied with bear paws. Stars, land, and sky form the background.

We commonly think of the Cheyenne Indians as mounted nomads following buffalo over the plains. Yet, since there were no horses in America at the time of discovery, the Indians were foot travelers. Many of them lived in permanent settlements. The Cheyennes have always cultivated the ground, raising corn, beans, and squash. They also gathered wild fruits and roots. This constituted a major portion of their subsistence. They also hunted small game such as birds and small mammals. As their migration took them to the plains they made foot surrounds of buffalo, and when possible drove the large animals off cliffs or into snowdrifts. Then, as the Cheyenne acquired horses they would then abandon agriculture and follow the buffalo herds across the plains; which would change them forever.

Indian hunting buffalo on horseback
A mounted hunter draws his bow.

The social life of the Cheyenne was friendly and agreeable. As a rule, husbands and wives were devoted to one another, and parents loved their children tenderly. The training of the little ones began in infancy, the first lessons being that they should always be good-natured and never quarrel with their fellows. They never scolded their children, only speaking to them and telling them the many stories of the past that would in turn shape their future.

In contrast, the Cheyennes were a warlike tribe and almost the first lesson taught a growing boy was that he must be brave. He was told that success in war would cause him to be respected and praised by all the people, and was reminded that the most important men of the tribe had reached their distinction through bravery and triumphs in war.

For many years the Cheyennes have been separated into two groups known as the Northern and Southern Cheyennes. These are merely two divisions of the same people, and the separation took place less than two hundred years ago. There is nothing permanent about it. Some people go to the south, live there a few years or a generation, and then come back to the north and vise versa. In the old days before the coming of the railroads there was frequent passing back and forth between Northern and Southern Cheyennes.

Cheyenne Story Telling
Story telling was a favorite form of entertainment. It was a common practice for hosts to have a feast and invite a story teller to be a guest, then after all had eaten, to relate his stories. Men known as good story tellers were in demand and very popular.

Some of the stories were short others were long, sometimes told in great detail, and even in sections. A short story may be told, and when it was finished the narrator stopped, and after a pause, said, "I will tie another one to it." Then there was a long pause; the pipe was perhaps lighted and smoked; a little conversation had; then the story teller began again and told another section of the tale, ending as before. At formal gatherings a man might tell a story and when finished might say: "The story has ended. Can anyone tie it to another?"

Sacred Stories
Sacred stories were told reverently and with ceremony. These sacred stories were to be told only at night. If related in the daytime the narrator would become hunchbacked.

Of the tails of the past, those narrating the events on the warpath were the most popular; by listening to them a fairly clear notion may be had on how tribal warfare was carried on.

The Cheyenne Social Club:
| A Cheyenne War Story: Wolf Road, the Runner |
| Cheyenne Traditions and Beliefs, Sacred Stories |
| Horses, Warriors, War Pipe, Sweatlodge Ceremony |
| Cheyenne War Parties and Battle Tactics |
| The Scalp Dance and Other Cheyenne Dances |

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- Colorado History In Depth -
Lecture Notes, Reading, and Information:

| The Cheyenne Migration to Colorado |
| The Gratlan Affair, Massacre, Fort Laramie Treaty |

Fort Union
| The Sante Fe Trail and Fort Union |
| Sumner - Ninth Military Department / The First Fort Union |
| Early Arrivals to Fort Union, Daily Life at Fort Union |
| Captain Grover - The New Fort Union, the Confederate Threat |
| Fort Union Arsenal, William Shoemaker, End of Fort Union |

Americans from the East
| Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase |
| The Expedition of Zebulon Pike |
| Pikes Peak or Bust / Colorado Gold Rush |

Colorado's Role in the US Civil War
| The Civil War, Fort Wise / Fort Lyon |
| Mace's Hole, Colonel Canby, F.C.V.R. | Fort Weld |
| The Pet Lambs, John Chivington |
| General Henry Sibly, Battle of Valverde, Fort Union |

Cripple Creek District Labor Strikes
| The Western Federation of Miners / State Militia |
| The 1893 - 1894 Strike | The Strike of 1903 - 1904 |
| The Mine Owners Association |
| Crimes and Military Rule in the Cripple Creek District |
| Marshall Law in Cripple Creek District / End of the Strike |
Early Cripple Creek District
| Photos, Fire, and Life in Cripple Creek |
| Other Colorful Towns in the Cripple Creek District:
Gillett - Colorado's Only Bullfight, Victor, Independence
| A Guide to the Miners' Gritty Lingo |

More Colorado History Information
| Bent's Fort Photos, Personalities, Plans, and More |

| What Was Easter Like at Bent's Fort? |
| Colorado Trivia, Miscellaneous Old Photos,
Western Personalities, Forts, and More

| Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads |
| Heraldry of the Branding Iron |
| Project Aims to Clear Infamous Cannibal, Alferd Packer |
Lead Gives Alferd Packer's Story More Weight |
| Legendary Colorado Love Stories: Baby Doe Tabor & More |
| Colorado Pioneer Women: Elizabeth Byers |
| Early Denver Jokes / The History of April Fools' Day |

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Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Advanced Placement Modern European History | Rise of Nation State England | World History |
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