Native Americans in the Southeast took scalps to achieve the status of warrior and to placate the spirits of the dead, while most members of Northeastern tribes valued the taking of captives over scalps. Among Plains Indians scalps were taken for war honours, often from live victims.
Scalping was not in itself fatal, though it was most commonly inflicted on the gravely wounded or the dead. The earliest instruments used in scalping were stone knives crafted of flint, chert, or obsidian, or other materials like reeds or oyster shells that could be worked to carry an edge equal to the task.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony first offered $60 per Indian scalp in 1703. The English and the French introduced scalping to Indians. The governors of the colonies instituted scalping as a way for one Indian tribe to help them eliminate another tribe, and to have colonists eliminate as many Indians as possible.
Eastern tribes such as the Creeks and Cherokees were known to have incorporated scalping into their activities, but it appears to have been most common among the Plains Indians. Cherokees took only enough lives and scalps to account for the number of slain Cherokees.
As every schoolchild knows, Indians took scalps from their enemies and held dances and ceremonies over them. Truth to tell, scalp trophies were unknown in Europe before the 17th century.
The scalped head, according to Robertson, “cures very slowly” and the average recovery period was two years. Remarkably, Robertson reported that hair would even grow back, although not as thickly, on the new scalp.
In the US, ticket scalping is the practice of buying and reselling event tickets by private citizens, rather than by the sponsoring venue or organization, usually at a much higher price than their face value. Laws about ticket scalping vary by state, and there is no federal law that prohibits the practice. 7
Prior to European settlement of the Americas, Cherokees were the largest Native American tribe in North America. They became known as one of the so-called “Five Civilized Tribes,” thanks to their relatively peaceful interactions with early European settlers and their willingness to adapt to Anglo-American customs.
The Comanches, known as the “Lords of the Plains”, were regarded as perhaps the most dangerous Indians Tribes in the frontier era. The U.S. Army established Fort Worth because of the settler concerns about the threat posed by the many Indians tribes in Texas. The Comanches were the most feared of these Indians.
Today, three Cherokee tribes are federally recognized: the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation (CN) in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in North Carolina.
Today, Comanche Nation enrollment equals 15,191, with their tribal complex located near Lawton, Oklahoma within the original reservation boundaries that they share with the Kiowa and Apache in Southwest Oklahoma.
Since Indian tribes living there appeared to be the main obstacle to westward expansion, white settlers petitioned the federal government to remove them. Under this kind of pressure, Native American tribes—specifically the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw—realized that they could not defeat the Americans in war.