Grizzly Bears in Camp
by John Paul Strain
In the daily life of a Blackfoot warrior there was only one inevitable duty, and that was prayer. His morning recognition of the eternal and unseen power that controls the universe was more important even than food. Before battle, hunting, riding, and other activities he would appeal for divine assistance and attempt to win the Great Spirit over to his side in order to ensure success. Sacriﬁces of food, tobacco, ornaments, or even a small lock of hair were presented as gifts when ever he received blessings from God.
The Blackfoot tribes were known as the ﬁercest warriors in battle, and also known as the most reﬁned and beautifully adorned in North America. Lewis and Clark were the first explorers to document this. Their culture was highly organized and profoundly religious. Although they never built churches or wrote religious books, almost every part of their daily lives was bound up in their beliefs and religion. This accounted for the exceptional quality of everything they produced. They spoke of their God as the Great Spirit who was eternal and never ending. They believed he would guide their lives and destinies. And even though the days of these mystic warriors of the plains ended before the turn of the 19th century, their way of life and culture would become a permanent part of the history of America.