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Old 11-28-2015, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb100
The huge herds of bison on the Great Plains weren't really that much different from free-ranging cattle.

A bison can easily walk away from a man. Until the Spaniards brought the horse to the Americas, there was no way to utilize bison as food except to harvest meat from those that died of old age.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by deb100
The huge herds of bison on the Great Plains weren't really that much different from free-ranging cattle.

A bison can easily walk away from a man. Until the Spaniards brought the horse to the Americas, there was no way to utilize bison as food except to harvest meat from those that died of old age.
But so can any other animal we domesticated, furthermore you don't go after the bull, you go after the calf, with the help of your dogs. If wolfs can bring down a fully grown bison, surely 20 dogs can separate a calf from the herd. Plus elephants are way bigger and Indians have been capturing wild ones and taming them for thousands of years, even Hannibal used them to attack Rome. Perhaps what separates the new world from the old was that there were more crazy people to even attempt taming wild animals then there were in the new. Perhaps it was part of the culture, the old wanted to dominate nature, command it, and do its bidding, where as the new respected it and lived in harmony. Though I've heard that last part is just a myth.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Redraven View Post
I read long ago that one of the reasons for the plague in Europe was the lack of cats to control the rats, which were infested with plague bearing fleas.
The lack of cats was due to the belief that they were "witch's familiars" (especially black ones), and as such were killed whenever noticed.
Of course, the "New World" had no ships to spread rats from port to port.
Has that theory been debunked?
There is a lot of plague in the US these days. It was probably just luck that it never spread in the US before 1900. Certainly the ships arrived in the first few years of Jamestown with people sick of plague on them.

http://www.cdc.gov/plague/maps/
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:16 AM
 
1,047 posts, read 1,014,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by deb100
The huge herds of bison on the Great Plains weren't really that much different from free-ranging cattle.

A bison can easily walk away from a man. Until the Spaniards brought the horse to the Americas, there was no way to utilize bison as food except to harvest meat from those that died of old age.
A frequent tactic was to stampede them over a cliff but they were hunted in the usual manner. Bison were the mainstay of the tribes within their habitat long before horses were ever heard of. If they couldn't hunt these huge lumbering beasts there would have been no game they were capable of killing.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Personally, I think almost all game, especially poultry of many kinds was so plentiful their was no need to domesticate them. We really have no idea today or an appreciation of how much wildlife was here at that time. When some species of birds would migrate, the skies would nearly turn dark, they were so plentiful.
Also we really don't know if some tribes did domesticate some animals on a small scale, since many tribes have been extinct for hundreds of years with little to no record of them.
But probably all tribes north of the subtropics suffered from hunger in the dead of winter when migratory species were absent and fish dormant and snow and cold made hunting difficult. Cannibalism in winter occurred among subarctic tribes. Hunger was a constant in marginal environments farther south.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb100 View Post
A frequent tactic was to stampede them over a cliff but they were hunted in the usual manner. Bison were the mainstay of the tribes within their habitat long before horses were ever heard of. If they couldn't hunt these huge lumbering beasts there would have been no game they were capable of killing.
Another tactic was to run them to ground. Bison are strong and fairly fast, but they don't have anywhere near human endurance. If you chase them for a couple of days they will collapse from exhaustion.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deb100 View Post
But probably all tribes north of the subtropics suffered from hunger in the dead of winter when migratory species were absent and fish dormant and snow and cold made hunting difficult. Cannibalism in winter occurred among subarctic tribes. Hunger was a constant in marginal environments farther south.
I don't know about tribes in the center of the continent, but Oregon coastal tribes usually had several years food stored. A tribe would smoke and dry tons of fish, plus gather acorns, camas, and if they got a hankering for fresh meat they could always eat a dog without even going outside. Lewis and Clark recorded that they came to prefer dog to venison. A typical village held about 5000 natives, and a tribe could have several villages. Disease took a terrible toll, but when the settlers burned out the native long houses at the Bandon Massacre, there were still 5000 natives living there. When they were finally forced onto a reservation some years later there were still over 1000 left. Food was plentiful. The big shortage was starch. They would spend a month inland doing nothing but digging camas.

I think hunger among native peoples was a rarity before the whites destroyed the environment. The majority of New World natives were accomplished farmers who knew how to plant, fertilize and irrigate their crops.
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Old 11-28-2015, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
I don't know about tribes in the center of the continent, but Oregon coastal tribes usually had several years food stored. A tribe would smoke and dry tons of fish, plus gather acorns, camas, and if they got a hankering for fresh meat they could always eat a dog without even going outside. Lewis and Clark recorded that they came to prefer dog to venison. A typical village held about 5000 natives, and a tribe could have several villages. Disease took a terrible toll, but when the settlers burned out the native long houses at the Bandon Massacre, there were still 5000 natives living there. When they were finally forced onto a reservation some years later there were still over 1000 left. Food was plentiful. The big shortage was starch. They would spend a month inland doing nothing but digging camas.

I think hunger among native peoples was a rarity before the whites destroyed the environment. The majority of New World natives were accomplished farmers who knew how to plant, fertilize and irrigate their crops.
The Pacific Northwest has some of the most productive wild life in the world, and one of the few places where hunter gatheres lived in permenant settlements. Most places people would have to live migratory lives, wether they were herders such as Mongolians or hunter gatheres.
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:59 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grega94 View Post
The Pacific Northwest has some of the most productive wild life in the world, and one of the few places where hunter gatheres lived in permenant settlements. Most places people would have to live migratory lives, wether they were herders such as Mongolians or hunter gatheres.
Most places they had to settle down and farm. We just had Thanksgiving,and part of the story is that it was the natives who taught the Europeans how to plant and fertilize native crops. Without maize, squash and beans, the Pilgrims would have starved. The plains indians were farmers until horses showed up. Then they retired from all that hard work and just went hunting once in a while.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
Most places they had to settle down and farm. We just had Thanksgiving,and part of the story is that it was the natives who taught the Europeans how to plant and fertilize native crops. Without maize, squash and beans, the Pilgrims would have starved. The plains indians were farmers until horses showed up. Then they retired from all that hard work and just went hunting once in a while.
I know most natives were farmers, but they only domesticated plants, and not to many animals. However because the Pacific Northwest coast is so abundant in wildlife, they did not need to farm. There were also great civilizations that were equal to the meso Americans and Peruvians in the Mississippi River valley https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippian_culture
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