Skip to comments.First Evidence Found of Storied Battle That Stopped Spainís Eastward Expansion
Posted on 03/21/2014 5:54:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Nearly 300 years ago, two great alliances collided on the Great Plains in a battle that changed the course of American history. But until now, no physical evidence of the storied conflict had ever been found.
In the summer of 1720, where the Platte River meets the Loup in eastern Nebraska, Spanish soldiers, New Mexican settlers and their Pueblo and Apache allies clashed with warriors from the Pawnee and Oto nations of the Plains.
In a daybreak raid, the Pawnee and the Oto possibly with the support of French traders routed the Spanish, killing their commander, Don Pedro de Villasur, along with 35 soldiers and 10 Pueblo scouts.
The attack proved to be a turning point in the Spanish conquest, marking the end of the empires eastward encroachment across the continent.
Villasurs defeat was well-documented by survivors at the time, but perhaps nowhere was it more famously captured than in a pair of intricate tableaux painted on bison hides.
Segesser Hide Painting A detail in the second of the two bison hides known as the Segesser Hide Paintings depicts the attack on Villasurs party in eastern Nebraska. The hides are now housed in Santa Fes Palace of the Governors museum. Until now, the paintings have been the most vivid remaining records of the momentous battle.
But archaeologists say theyve found what they think are its first known, if somewhat unexpected, artifacts: fragments of Spanish olive jars.
(Excerpt) Read more at westerndigs.org ...
A detail in the second of the two bison hides known as the Segesser Hide Paintings depicts the attack on Villasurs party in eastern Nebraska. The hides are now housed in Santa Fes Palace of the Governors museum.
The winners always write the history.
Years ago I had a book on New Mexico history that mentioned this battle.
The author said that some of those in the Pawnee camp were really french soldiers disguised as Pawnee.
They need to look closer at the label. People often confuse the Spanish with the Greeks.
The history books write the winners.
Interesting painting - the hide has the look and luminosity of a reasonably well prepared European vellum.
The casualty figures were so low, it would lead one to guess that the “expansion” wasn’t all that energetic in the first place.
[LBM, 1970] ...but it was a band of Pawnee what attacked us. I ain’t had no use for Pawnee ever since... “Little White Man, fool poor Pawnee. Big fooling. You want to eat?” Pawnees was always sucking up to whites. “Little White Man not mad, huh? See? Pawnee friend. Fix this bad Indian for Little White Man.” I always felt kind of bad about that poor Pawnee. I didn’t mean to kill him. I just meant to distract him.
Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General (Sitting Bull)
Yeah, it’s nice, and detailed, and probably was painted long after the event.
LOL...I wasn’t talking about the artwork itself, but just the preparation of the skin. There’s a big difference between preparing a parchment for manuscript/painting purposes and just tanning leather, and it’s become a very esoteric skill since even before the industrial production of paper...
You would think the NSA would have copies of the selfies that were taken during the battle.
Yeah, the whole battle was recorded from many angles on Blackberries.
Unfortunately, they were *actual* blackberries...
Read this introduction to THE PAWNEE NATION on page XVI.
I love these early stories of this nation. So many things happen that many know nothing about.
One of the Spanish scouts killed at this battle was later referred to, by an American historian, as the Spanish Kit Carson because of his negotiations with Navajos, Apaches and many other tribes. I wish someone had written a biography of him.
The time of the early Spanish exploration is fascinating!
I’ve seen this at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe. It brings history to life.
Like the Bayeux Tapestry, it’s fascinating to see history documented in such a beautiful media with such exquisite skill...
There are a lot of Spanish artifacts of the period in museums in New Mexico. Importantly, the Spanish of the time were good record keepers, and much of what we know of world trade during those times comes from these records.
One exhibit gave me a chuckle. There was a lot of decorative vanity objects with elaborately engraved doodads. One of these was blades that descended from their stirrups.
“Heavy, hand-wrought iron “estribos de cruz,” or “Conquistador stirrups” used by Spanish cavalry troops during the 1700s, kept getting longer and longer, so eventually were banned as “unsuitable and dangerous” in the Royal Regulations of 1772.”
In one of these Museums, they have the actual letter (with translation) sent by the equivalent of the Spanish Inspector General’s office. In dry military bureaucratese, it describes how these are a safety hazard and are therefore banned.
It looked just like something that could be generated by some pipsqueak general in the Pentagon today.
We have some pretty early stuff here in Louisiana...
Thanks to wildbill, there’s a subthread that would probably work even better here, in a thread from earlier in the week.
Does this have anything to do with Wounded Knee? 1ST Cavalry?
What’s wrong with me?! Spaniards are proto-Mexicans and so can not do wrong against other people of color.
A bunch of brown eyed people killed some other brown eyed people .
Well, if you’ve ever been to the Pawnee Nation....
Not really sure who the winner was now a days.
But, you fan get some awesome Bison Burgers at Pawnee Bills and admire the cousins of the one yer eating, as they saunter by.
Great fishing holes around there too....
Almost like eating prarie lemon grass in Oklahoma ...yummmm
They have some of the flavor stylistically of the very early best work of Spiro Mounds shell carvings depicting warriors - they did three quarter views and were able to impart motion in the way they arranged things as well, not stiff like the Egyptians. Of course that was before they started doing drugs. At least it looks like they did because at one point their artwork went to hell in a handbasket and lost all detail and organization.
Back to these hides, o keen observer- possibly they are a blend of both worlds :
Apparently the priest who obtained them shipped them to Switzerland in 1758...
“Some scholars believe the hide paintings were created in New Mexico, where imported canvas was rare and processed hides were commonly used for reposteros, or hide paintings, that were exported to Mexico. Because the paintings show several distinct styles, some scholars think as many as three artists painted various detailslikely indigenous New Mexicans with tribal affiliations who had the benefit of eyewitness descriptions and were taught European painting techniques. Other scholars believe that the paintings were produced in workshops in Santa Fe by Spanish craftsmen who were descendants of participants in the battle.”-—http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/press_releases.php?action=detail&releaseID=20
Preparing a parchment with that quality and the ability to retain it over time without degradation is, in and of itself, an art, and what I would assume at the time of these paintings, a pretty strictly old world skill.
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