Modoc Indians

The Modoc once lived in villages in the area of Oregon and Northern California, where they hunted, fished, and farmed. During the war, white settlers tried forcing the Modoc off of their land and onto reservations elsewhere. The Modoc tribe became violent very quickly, for each village was independent but would band together in times of war. The Modoc survivors of the war were exiled to the Quapaw Agency in Oklahoma. Many died over the next few years from unfamiliar diseases and the effects of the harsh climate. Descendants of 7 of the 155 Modoc prisoners of ar still reside on the former Quapaw Reservation in Oklahoma.

The descendants of those who never left the Klamath Reservation reside in Oregon and elsewhere. Only in recent years have the Modoc begun to return to the Lava Beds. Many still refuse to return to an area with such terrible memories. Others are trying to reestablish their spiritual bonds to the land of their ancestors. The Modoc Indians have strong beliefs on respecting their elders, respecting the land and all forms of life on it, and are very religious. The Modoc tribe was very respectful to their elders and peers. Consequences followed for disrespect.

For example, when the Sky Chiefs daughter disobeyed his commands (sticking her head out of the top of the mountain and the wind catching her hair), she faced the consequence of being blown away. A new race had been created between the daughter and the grizzlies, which was not of her fathers making, and therefore goes against his rules; he cursed all the grizzlies: “Get down on your hands and knees. You have wronged me, and from this moment all of you will walk on four feet and never talk again. ” (Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz.

This concept is still displayed in what little of the Modoc culture is left today, along with many other cultures around the world. It was a big deal to the Modoc’s to appreciate the land and resources they were lucky enough to have been given: Before there were people on earth, the Chief of the Sky Spirits grew tired of his home in the Above World, because the air was always brittle with an icy cold. So he carved a hole in the sky with a stone and pushed all the snow and ice down below until he made a great mound that reached from the earth almost to the sky.

Today it is known as Mount Shasta. Then the Sky Spirit took his walking stick, stepped from a cloud to the peak, and walked down to the mountain. When he was about halfway to the valley below, he began to put his finger to the ground here and there, here and there. Wherever his finger touched, a tree grew. The snow melted in his footsteps, and the water ran down in rivers. The Sky Spirit broke off the small end of his giant stick and threw the pieces into the rivers. The longer pieces turned into beaver and otter; the smaller pieces became ish.

When the leaves dropped from the trees, he picked them up, blew upon them, and so made the birds. Then he took the big end of his giant stick and made all the animals that walked on the earth, the biggest of which were the grizzly bears. ( char Erdoes and Altonso Ortiz ) The saw this gitt trom the S as an important one, if not most important. The Modoc show much respect for their land and resources, along with respect for forms of life (grizzly bears): That’s why the Indians living around Mount Shasta would never kill a grizzly bear.

Whenever a grizzly killed an Indian, his body was burned on the spot. And for many years all who passed that way cast a stone there until a great pile of stones marked the place of his death. For example, ” The Native Americans did not kill anything they could not use. ” (Native American Contributions. ) Which means when they killed and animal they would use ever part of it, that they could. If the animals were not needed they wouldn’t hunt it. “The Native Americans lived in harmony with nature and did not abuse the natural world.

Native Americans were cologists long before they were even used. ” (Native American Contributions. ); Native Americans were very aware of their surroundings. They knew they needed to protect the land they lived on, and preserve it. The Modoc tribe believe in many different gods, but one in particular is the chief god of the sky. It is said that this same god is the one who created the earth as we know it today. He made a hole in the clouds and dumped snow onto the floor onto it made a mountain and then he throw seeds down also until trees grew.

The Modoc have a trong belief that this is how life was started, and they have no other explanation on how life was created. THey respect this god for giving them the earth that they live on. They held numerous religious ceremonies, such as a ceremony for adolescent girls becoming women, where dancing took place. Religion was a very important aspect of life for the Modoc and remains as such. The Modoc respected their elders, their land and forms of life, and religion. “Respect” is a common term here and is displayed throughout the Modoc culture. Can you relate your culture to that of the Modoc Indians?

Works Cited Warren, Beck, and Hasse Ynez. “The Modoc War. ” California State Military department. The California State Military Department, 1975. Web. 1872-1873.. Baker, Grove. “Social Organization. ” Modoc. Mount Shasta Companion, 2001. web. 12 sep 2013.. Erdoes, Robert, and Alfonso Ortiz. When the Grizzlies Walked Upright. 2nd. Boston: Pearsons Educations Inc, 2007. 21-23. Print. “Native American Contributions 1 Native American Contributions 2. United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service, 7/3112013. Web. 7/31/2013. .