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NCJ Number: 65671 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE AND TRIBAL WELFARE IN PLAINS INDIAN CULTURES
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:33  Dated:(JULY 1942)  Pages:147-161
Author(s): N D HUMPHREY
Corporate Author: Williams and Wilkins Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1942
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Williams and Wilkins Co
Baltimore, MD 21202
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS IS A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY POLICE SOCIETIES, WITHIN THE TRIBAL ORGANIZATION OF PLAINS INDIAN CULTURES.
Abstract: GLEANED FROM THE PUBLISHED FIELDWORK OF EARLIER ETHNOLOGISTS, THIS MATERIAL DEALS WITH THE CROW, BLACKFOOT, AND OTHER TRIBES OF THE PLAINS REGION. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE PLAINS TRIBES HAD AN EXECUTIVE ASPECT IN THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF AND A LEGISLATIVE ASPECT IN THE COUNCIL, WHILE THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE RULES MADE BY THESE BODIES WAS IN THE HANDS OF POLICE SOCIETIES. POLICE POWERS WERE GENERALLY CONCERNED WITH SUCH SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AS THE TRIBAL BUFFALO HUNT, THE MOVEMENT OF THE CAMP, THE FORMATION OF THE CAMP CIRCLE, THE SETTLEMENT OF PERSONAL DISPUTES IN THE CAMP, AND THE REGULATION OF WAR. POLICE SOCIETIES ACTED AS GUARDS AGAINST EXTERNAL ATTACK AND MAINTAINED INTERNAL ORDER BY DETECTING, JUDGING, AND PUNISHING VIOLATORS OF PROHIBITIONS AND TABOOS. AN IMPORTANT FUNCTION WAS SUPERVISION OF THE ORGANIZED COMMUNAL HUNT, WHICH WAS THE TRIBAL SOURCE OF FOOD. THUS, POLICING SOCIETIES PROTECTED TRIBAL STATUS, PRESERVED BENEFICIAL RELATIONS WITH THE SUPERNATURAL, AND GUARDED THE TRIBE'S MATERIAL WELFARE. POLICE POWERS PROBABLY DEVELOPED BEFORE THE POLICE SOCIETIES AND MAY HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN THE FORMATION OF SOCIETIES BOTH WITH AND WITHOUT THE POLICING FUNCTION. MORE PERTINENT, HOWEVER, ARE THE SOCIETY'S FUNCTIONS: (1) PREVENTION OF VIOLATIONS OF TRIBAL ORDER; (2) DETECTION OF SUCH VIOLATIONS; AND (3) PUNISHMENT FOR THEM. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): American Indians; Indian justice; Socioculture; Tribal history; Tribal police
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