The Indians Vs. The Industrial Revolution

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Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas! I've been highlighting the works of the Western artist Zhou Shu Liang because so much of his work is of the American Indian.

This piece doesn't relate to today's story at all but since I don't see very many paintings with canoes this one caught my eye and I think it's great.

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Ok, well we're about to finish a series about the Wild West.. the incredible story of an 11 year old German boy, Hermann, who was captured by an Apache war party from his family's farm in 1870 in Central Texas.

He's now 20 years old at this point in the story and has become a full blown warrior who hates and fears the White man. And in fact, has taken many a scalp. He's been with the Comanche for a few years now but has now been reunited with his white family.

Yesterday's post

In the last post Herman was getting used to white culture more and more and also enjoying himself by showing off his archery skills to the locals by shooting their hats off their heads!

Today's story

When he was with the Indians they were on the run most of the time and were increasingly forced into more isolated, unpopulated areas which meant that Herman knew nothing about machines, equipment and communication inventions and infrastructure taking place.

So when he came to the white man's world he was astonished at the new inventions such as steamboats and locomotives, the telegraph and there was talk of getting telephones in their town which really freaked him out!

He talked about two instances which caused a great deal of consternation for his tribe when he was with the Indians.

So today's post is a bit of a step back to tell what the tribe's first exposures to technology was like, I hope you find these interesting.

Herman sees his first telegraph wire

They were on a raid and came upon poles with the telegraph wire strung and they had a good long conversation about it, trying to ascertain what it was.

They finally decided that it was probably the beginning of a great fence the the Palefaces were building to keep the Red Man out of their territory. The height of the wire would make a fence tall enough to keep them out.

You can see why they thought it might be a fence going up.

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So they cut the wires down. But when they finished the raid and passed that stretch again the wire was already repaired and up in it's place.

This surprised them but they didn't destroy it again, they decided that it was pretty big medicine and left the area as fast as they could.

The locomotive from hell

One night Herman was with a raiding party, they'd gone down deep into the white settlements by Austin, Texas.

They were hidden in a ravine waiting for the moon to come up when suddenly from behind a hill here comes a locomotive around the corner.

None of them had ever seen one before and they didn't know what the devilish thing was. It surprised them, seemingly coming out of nowhere and they didn't have time to mount their horses.

The beast was coming right at them with smoke belching and steam hissing with a glaring light as bright as the sun and a deafening roar!

This is a steam engine from 1875 which was probably the year Herman saw his first one:

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It was coming with such speed that they all panicked and ran for their lives through the brush and rocks for cover, they thought the monster was coming for them. When it went rushing by them they thought it had lost their trail.

Three of them were missing and thought to have been eaten by the hideous beast from hell until they gave the call to reunite and the three came from where they were hiding.

It was even more terrifying at night

They held a conference and decided to make all haste away from that area because if they tried to steal any horses the monster might return and catch them.

It had to be the Evil Spirit out to devour all mankind! When they got back to camp and told the rest of the tribe what they'd seen they were highly agitated and alarmed.

The medicine man told them to never go back to that territory. lol..good advice!

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Herman's story continues in the next post.

Thanks for reading folks, God bless you all!
-jonboy
Texas

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The painting above is by another great Western artist named Howard Terpning if you want to look up his work, this print is for sale on Ebay for $450!

I thought the title was fitting for this series while talking about the end of the reign of Plains Indians. The title of this piece is LAST RAYS OF SUN & SPIRIT OF THE PLAINS PEOPLE.

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That must have been quite an experience to suddenly out of nowhere see a roaring smoking machine like that! I would have thought it was evil for sure! :)

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Howdy sir rossfletcher! yes sir, I was trying to imagine what it would be to not even have seen any kind of machinery before, let alone a huge locomotive but I can't do it! lol. But I can understand their terror.

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It might be like seeing a ghost or something for us. But we have heard of ghosts and seen images and movies. For them a train would be incomprehensible. How amazing. That entire era was full of new and amazing things

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Howdy again sir rossfletcher. Yes sir, it was an amazing time, the technology explosion changed everything.Herman saw the invention of the telephone, the car, radio and flying machines!

Evenin’Cowboy! I can see why seeing something big and black with glaring lights coming at ya would scare anyone not exposed to any of the technology and machines used then.
Awesome paintings. I really like the one with the canoe. U&R

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Howdy redheadpei! I agree, it would be totally terrifying. It's hard to imagine never seeing any machinery at all and then see that monster. I'm so glad that you appreciate the paintings too, I think the canoe painting is very unique.

HaHa! I would have loved to see their faces when they saw that beast. LOL! The noise must have been deafening to them.

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yes! Especially in the still of the night, they were just waiting there in silence! lol.

Technology definitely overtook them at speed in those days and they were lucky there were no aeroplanes yet. That would have got them doing special dances and shaking the bones around the fire.

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lol! great point sir cryptoandcoffee. they were about 20 years away from airplanes or they'd be totally terrorized for sure!

Beautiful paintings! I can see why they thought the telegraph wire might be the beginning of a fence! And I can't even imagine how afraid they must have been seeing that first steam engine. The world was changing all around them, and I can see why Hermann would have had a hard time catching up with it all when he came to town.

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Yes, he was totally amazed. Well, when he wrote the book was 1927 and he said he was still trying to understand the radio! lol. And of course by that time they had airplanes and cars. I think the paintings are wonderful as well and I know you love fine art!

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I've never had much interest in western art, but the ones you have shared are really nice.

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Yeah it's kind of a specialized niche that doesn't have broad appeal I reckon.

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And I think it would be of more interest hanging on a wall of a home in the west!

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Exactly and that's one of my goals, to have more Western decor with great Western paintings!

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That would be perfect,but it would just look out of place here!

Consternation, huh? Good one sir. 👍🏿

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howdy sir dandays! yeah I think they were severely consternated! lol. I should look that up exactly but I think consternation means amazed and alarmed. Hey, none of the artists have said a word about all the great artwork in this series, why is that do you think? since you're an artist I thought I'd ask what I was wondering. lol.

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Good question. I’d be happy to give you my own personal opinion—thank you for asking.

Perfect example. As I’m surfing the @artzone tag looking for original art, each time I come across a piece that is simply featured and not original, I lose interest.

I do the same thing on your page as well, I would’ve never thought to inform you but, since you asked, that’s my personal opinion. When I open your page, I anticipate reading some history and receiving education. When there’s artwork on your page, though gorgeous and unique to your story, it doesn’t belong to you and I can’t see progress pictures nor ask you questions about mediums, time, etc, I simply skip over it and get to the literature.

Does that make sense?

And thank you so much for referring to me as an artist—I really appreciate that! Talk to you soon @janton.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Howdy sir dandays! oh that makes perfect sense, thank you for giving me that viewpoint, I bet that's why the artists don't comment because there are so many great artists and artwork here and all original. Thank you sir dandays!

I always like reading about people who experience technology for the first time. I wonder what Herman would think of a rocket launch or watching a video on an iPad?

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lol! exactly, He was trying to comprehend the radio in 1927 and said he couldn't understand it so an iPad would blow his mind!

Haha, well I imagine seeing something like that with no frame of reference would be quite the fright! I mean, if someone had rolled up on a medieval village in Europe with a pickup truck, they would probably gotten a similar reaction... or been burned at the stake for witchcraft.

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ha! yes, very true. They'd either be received as a god or condemned as evil. People are so tolerant and open minded aren't they?

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Howdy esteemapp and thank you so much for the upvote!

It certainly must have been a frightening experience being confronted with a noisy, steam belching train tearing up the country when they had no idea what it was. They probably had nightmares for ages as they would not have known how to deal with such a huge machine. Interesting to read their reaction @janton.

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Howdy today Trudee! I agree, the very thought of it terrorized them. Thanks for your kind words, I gotta get over to your blog, I'll be over today!

I can imagine what it must be like to have an engine roaring at you - something which you have not heard or seen of. Of course, they are Aliens, they have to be Aliens. :-)

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Howdy sir Vincent! yes, good point and they DID think they were other worldly because they thought it was an evil spirit or the devil himself! No wonder it was so terrible.

Those paintings are stunning....
How these huge changes must have played with the mind!

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Howdy sir towjam! I agree, it really was something they couldn't comprehend. I went over to your blog a couple days ago and had just missed a post voting time dog gonnit so I put you on autovote but I'll still try to keep up with them.

I wonder if he will become a train thief....

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hahaha! that's funny.. I think he's a straight arrow when he gets used to the white man's life.

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Howdy steem-plus and thank you for the upvote!

Howdy Sir @janton, technology was seen as evil over here in the early years.
We were mesmerized when we saw a person talking into a black toy "boat" that he held next to his ear. (Old telephone)
Then came the first TV in black and white and so on.
I can imagine the fright those bucks caught when they first saw that smoking monster.
Blessings!

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Howdy today sir papilloncharity! What kind of phone are you talking about, you can't be old enough to remember when telephones first came out! lol. But I sure remember those old black and white tvs!

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Howdy Sir @janton, at times I feel that I knew Alexander Bell personally, but no, I was not around yet when telephones were invented.
I am talking about our first telephone that was a heavy black item and that we were never allowed to touch.
Were you born in the 50s?

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Never allowed to touch? lol.. I can see that. yes, '54. So you're talking about the old land line rotary dial phones.

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The same ones Sir @janton and I still have one stashed away.
Ah, so you were born in 1954?
Or you are 54?
Very interesting.

Howdy Janton! So I finally made it, lol. I read your post this morning, but after I got busy and didn't have time to comment until now.

Anyway, I am really going to miss this story! I had such a good laugh, although it is also sad, but what can you do? Life on this planet can never be completely lovey dovey, even if we live all in peace. In this case no one got hurt, the only sad part is that eventually they did.

The paintings are absolutely amazing and if you write a story abut this artist I will definitely enjoy it 😊

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Howdy Miss Lena! thanks so much for your kind words, I'm going to miss this story too! It ended a little to abruptly for me. But for once it was a good ending. I'll see if I can find out about that artist because he really has me curious.

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Howdy Janton! Yes, the end was warped up very briefly. But that's what usually happens even in the movies, so I am not surprised. However, somehow I feel at peace about it. I think it's because the way he lived on. Even if I don't know the details, I can tell he was happy and lived fulfilling life.

Oh yes, and check out the artists!

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Howdy today Miss Lena! I know, I feel fine about it but I think there had to be some good courtship stories or something. lol. But at least it was a good ending.

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Howdy Janton! I am sure you will figure out something and definitely the good ending makes us all happy, lol.

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Hey don't get used to those happy endings! lol.

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Well, when you pick such a dramatic stories it's better if they endings! LOL!

Hello janton on this fine Wednesday, seeing modern progress through the eyes of an Indian is most revealing. Of course it would be scary. A most entertaining post janton.

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Howdy to you this fine Wednesday angiemitchell! Thanks so much, I thought their reaction and conclusions were very interesting!