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New Symbols of the American West: A Land of Transition - Research Paper Example

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The American West underwent significant changes during the century of the 1800s and into the 1900s. The paper "New Symbols of the American West: A Land of Transition" would shed the light on the development and innovation of infrastructure in the American West during that time…
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New Symbols of the American West: A Land of Transition
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Download file to see previous pages Many of the symbols used to provide little indication that man ever populated this area unless it was Native American warriors or (presumably) white men in hats with the funny outline that marks them as cowboys. Some of these symbols are quite valid – the Native Americans should be represented as the first people to live on the land and cowboys did play a significant role in the development of the culture – but there are other symbols that should be considered just as valid. Symbols such as a buffalo, Chief Sitting Bull, a silhouette of Mexican aristocracy, a herd of cattle, a piece of barbed wire, a gold nugget, an African American man in front of a storefront, a Chinese herbal farmer, a train engine and a telegraph would capture the concept that the Old West was never fully settled into one image at the same time that they would demonstrate those elements that made the territory what it is today.
Life in the Old West, before it was ever covered by a white man, was possible because of the existence of large herds of roaming buffalo. Even before the introduction of the horse by the Spanish, the Indians had learned to hunt these large animals using every part of the animal they could. “The Indian was frugal in the midst of plenty … When the buffalo roamed the plains in multitudes, he slaughtered only what he could eat and these he used to the hair and bones” (Luther Standing Bear cited in Malakoff, 1998). The buffalo provided the Indians with their primary food supply, housing material, clothing, furs to keep warm in the winter, strong footwear, weapons, tools, fibers for making textiles, interior lighting source and even glue to hold things together. With the introduction of horses, the Indians became increasingly more successful in their hunts and more wasteful of their kills yet the bison continued to support the tribes well into the 1800s.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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