1933 | South Dakota

Point of Order

The “Wild West” begins.

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth as “wild.”

Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land “infested” with “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful, and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the East came, and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved, was it “wild” for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was for us that the “Wild West” began.

Contributor

Luther Standing Bear

From Land of the Spotted Eagle. Standing Bear joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1902 at the age of thirty-four, performed a horseback act for King Edward VII in England, and subsequently appeared in early Hollywood westerns, among them White Oak and Union Pacific