Glacier Park Indians – Medicine Song 1914 Blackfoot Indian Tribe (Blackfeet)
Victor 17611 – Glacier Park Indians – Medicine Song 1914 Blackfoot Indian Tribe (Blackfeet)
The Nitsitapii (“real people”), collectively called the Blackfoot, comprise three distinct groups: the Blackfoot or Siksika, the Blood or Kainai, and Piegan or Piikani. The collective use of the names Blackfoot in Canada and Blackfeet in the United States developed because it was the Siksika, the most northerly group, who first met the European traders. Today, the Siksika reside on the Bow River near Calgary, the Kainai near Cardston and the largest group, the Piikani are separated into two groups, the North Piikani near Pincher Creek and the South Piikani in northern Montana. In modern times, the northern Montana group is referred to as The Blackfeet Nation or The Blackfeet Tribe.
A highly nomadic people, the Blackfeet were deeply connected to the hunting of bison on the plains and based much of their livelihood on the resources of the mountains and eastern foothills.
The yearly cycle of the Blackfeet began in early spring as individual bands left their winter camps to begin an intensive season of hunting and root collecting. Women and children went to the mountains to dig for roots, while small bands of hunters moved east, seeking bison. Food gathering continued through the summer until the annual Sun Dance celebration, when the various bands would convene for several weeks on the plains. At the conclusion of the Sun Dance ceremony, the various bands would disperse again; some returned to bison grounds, while others headed to the mountains to hunt elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats, to cut lodge poles and gather berries. As fall arrived, the bison moved west and north to their wintering grounds, and some Blackfeet bands would reassemble into larger groups for communal hunts. The annual cycle of hunt and harvest would end with the establishment of winter camps in heavily wooded river valleys near the mountains, sheltered from the severe northerly winds that swept the open plains.