Historical Evaluatino Of "Dances With Wolves" By Michael Blake

1369 words - 5 pages

Dances With Wolves, by Michael Blake, creates a remarkable story of a soldier named Lieutenant Dunbar. This story is written in third person, and has diary entries of lieutenant Dunbar in them. The story tells off buffalo, Comanche enemies, Comanche leisure, society, homes, religion, and clothing. In the novel, Dunbar meets Comanche Indians, and learns their ways of life. The story takes place during the civil war era. Eighteen excerpts from the novel and nineteen citations have been used to determine the historical accurateness of Dances With Wolves.Dunbar is a civil war hero who is sent to an abandoned fort named Sedgewick. Throughout the story buffalo plays an important role. In Dances With Wolves, author Michael Blake states, "They (comanches) also gnawed off pieces of the raw meat (the buffalo). They were eating it greedily, as if it were fresh apple pie."(p.160.) This information is verified in Bill Lund's book The Comanche Indians, "Buffalo was an important Comanche food. They ate buffalo meat all year long." (p.9.)The buffalo was considered the most important animals to the Native Americans. In the novel, it states that, "They (buffalo) were life of the prairie. And there were thousands of them pouring over the embankment and down to the river." (p.143.) This is acknowledged in Russell Freedman's book Buffalo Hunt. "To Plains Indians, the buffalo, or American bison, was the most important animal on the earth." (p.8.)Buffalo hides were used for many different objects such as clothes and homes. As stated in the novel, "A load of stacked buffalo hides was peeking over the rails." (p.153.) History agrees with this statement because in Raymond Bial's book The Comanche, "Women scraped the flesh from buffalo hides then stretched them out to dry in the sun. The raw hide was used to make shields, moccasin soles, and other useful articles, or it was worked into supple buckskin." (p.39.)When the Comanche tribe in the novel hunted, they sent out scouts to report where the buffalo were. "Long before they reached Fort Sedgewick, scouts brought word that a big trail had been found where the lieutenant said it would be..." (p.147.) This is accurate because Russell Freedman's Buffalo Hunt states, "Scouts rode far ahead of the marching people..." (p.27.)Buffalo was very good for clothing and other uses such as masks. In Dances With Wolves, "Each man's head was covered with the head of a buffalo, complete with curly hair and horns." (p.139.) This agrees with Bill Lund's The Comanche Indians. "Buffalo skin was made into clothes and tepee coverings." (p.9.) Apparently buffalo had many uses to the Comanche.The Comanche Indians had different roles during a buffalo hunt. As stated in the novel, "Flankers were sent in every direction. Then came the women and children, some mounted, some not." (p.146.) This is confirmed by Bill Lund's The Comanche Indians. In this it says they hunted in groups. "The Comanches had small hunting groups." (p.11.)In Dances With...

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