Warfare patterns of the Assiniboine to 1809

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Doige, Gary Blake
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This study examines the warfare patterns of the Assiniboine from the time of their separation from the Yanktonai division of the western Sioux to 1809. Its focus is upon the changing patterns of warfare and alliance that emerged between the Assiniboine and other native peoples of the northern plains and woodlands. It thus seeks further understanding of this war complex by examining, not only the patterns of conflict and alliance, but also the changing geography of trade in which they appear to have been embedded. The study terminates in the early years of the nineteenth century with the demise of the alliances which the Assiniboine had forged with their Blackfoot neighbors to the west and the village Indians of the upper Missouri to the south. This saw the collapse of the extensive commercial sphere that they had earlier carved out, and led to new patterns of conflict from which the Assiniboine benefitted little. The study concludes that, following the introduction of European influences, warfare was largely a function of economic and political motives, although the motives of status, glory or revenge did play a part.