Peasant Autonomy
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Story 20

Prairie in Colorado, United States – 1863 (1)

Bison hunting

for bigger picture click on this photo

(Photo: Tony's Takes)


Elated, Wind In His Hair stands looking at the immense animal lying on the ground. He has done it again! He has killed a big bison bull. Although he was almost killed himself by the bison. When he was chasing the running animal on his pony at full gallop, it suddenly turned his head with the two enormous horns in the direction of the charging pony. It was too late to slow down, but by reflex the pony jumped aside, and got away with a big gouge on his chest. Swiftly, Wind In His Hair turned around, and shot his rifle in the direction of the bison. It was a bad shot, it hit the animal in its right front leg. It stumbled, though, and broke its neck.

for bigger picture click on this photo

(Photo: Steve)


Wind In His Hair is a Comanche Indian, about thirty years old, with a quite dark, long, narrow face. He is an energetic warrior, and he also is at the front of the line at the bison hunt. The last weeks have not been easy. There was little to eat. The bison didn't appear. Scouts went daily in all directions, but they returned empty-handed. At last, the wise old men decided on a ceremony. Led by the medicine man Kicking Bird, the whole group gathered around a big campfire for the bison dance. They spent the whole night dancing, and just when everyone was exhausted and about to go to sleep, a scout arrived on his pony with the good news that a herd of bison had been spotted. Everyone shouted with joy, and immediately got ready to leave to follow the herd. The whole community, men and women, young and old, went along.

When Wind In His Hair has admired 'his' bison bull long enough; he kneels down by the dead animal, plunges his knife into its breast, and draws it downward. The intestines slide out. The first women are just arriving, and begin to strip the animal of its splendid pelt. Everyone is in high spirits. Tonight there will be a feast, with an abundance of the most delicious grilled meat.


The book Dances with wolves (1988) from the American writer Michael Blake tells about an American sergeant who comes into contact with Indians. It keenly portrays Indian life.

Go to:
= part 2, the next page:
The holy forest desecrated - Prairie in Colorado, United States – 1863 (2), story 21.
= the Table of contents, story 20.