- A long shaft with a sharp head of bone, flint, or metal used for
thrusting or throwing both in war and in the hunt. The lance, or
spear, was used in some form by almost all Indians.
Early Indians employed a throwing stick
in hurling the lance. The Plains Indians, used the lance in hunting
buffalo, hugged it beneath the arm as they thrust it into the side of the
animal. hunting lances usually were heavier and shorter than those
used in war. There were other types of lances, some highly decorated
with feathers and used only during ceremonies.
Among some of the Plains tribes there were
special lances used by members of societies composed of the bravest warriors,
such as the Dog Soldiers of the Cheyenne and Kiowa. Among the Dakota
such men were known as "Strong Hearts," and there were two men of this
society known as sash wearers. Sitting Bull was a sash wearer of
such a society.
During battle the sash wearers advanced
toward the enemy, dismounted, and pinned their sashes to the ground with
the lance. The other end of the sash around their necks. They
had to remain in there spot and fight until killed or until a brother warrior
released them. Such lances as those used by sash wearers were decorated
with skins, feathers, and horsehair.
There were also lances known as "medicine
lances," which were carried as "good medicine," or for good luck.
within this Site
Soldier ][ Medicine ][ Military
Societies ][ Shield ]
Bull ][ Throwing Stick ]