The Native Americans: The Plains, Parts One and Two

Director: George Burdeau
Screenwriters: Hanay Geiogamah

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


The Plains, Part One
This view of life on the plains before European contact and the introduction of the horse reveals a culture dedicated to maintaining a delicate harmony with animals, plants, and natural forces through an all-pervasive spirituality. At the heart of the native worldview is the “social” context of man’s harmonious relationship to the world around him. In the early days of western expansion, this view came into direct conflict with the settler’s philosophy that man should dominate nature, not live in harmony with it.

The Plains, Part Two
The introduction of the horse into the plains lifestyle gave the tribes greater mobility and hunting capabilities, but also increased warfare, population and pressure on the environment. This segment dispels the myth that the pinnacle of plains culture was achieved after the arrival of the horse and demonstrates that the plains culture survived because of the strong oral tradition of the Native American.

Screening Details


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