Dances With Wolves

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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The Sioux Tribe: Are They Really Savages? Think back to the 1860's in America. There was a country divided, split between men of the same race, religion, and sometimes even family. Yet, despite the fight between Union and Confederate soliders, there was also a conflict between white men and Native Americans. The white men thought that the Natives were savages, killers, and barbarians. They never stopped to talk to the Natives; instead they put a bullet through the head, or a knife in the back of any "Injun" they met. They did not stop to conceive that Native Americans were also humans. Their philosophy was that as long as people were different, they were inferior. People should try to understand that the Natives have to face a huge barrier, one of racism and prejudice. Although the white men think of Native Americans as ruthless barbarians, the Sioux's characteristics in Dances With Wolves show that they are only benevolent, sympathetic individuals looking for freedom.

In this movie where there are many brutal killing scenes, not once did the Sioux people intentionally harm other humans without just cause. The illustrious buffalo hunt was only because the Sioux needed food for the winter. Still they did not waste any part of the animal like the white men did. They used the hide for clothing, the flesh to eat the liver as a victory tradition, and even the bladder to make balls for the children. The other scene where the Sioux were forced to kill was the battle with the Pawnee tribe. The Pawnee, in contrast to the Sioux, are vile and vicious Indians who invaded the Sioux's homes in order to steal food. The killing that the Sioux were forced to render was only to preserve the winter's food supply and to...