Influence of European Culture

The influence of European culture changed Native Iowans' way of life from the 1670s to 1870s.


The influence of white cultures upon the Indians dramatically changed the way they had lived for centuries. Indians, who had never seen a white man, traded hides and furs with trappers and explores that slowly moved into Iowa. And they received items they had never seen before: iron-cooking utensils, colored glass beads to decorate their clothing and guns and powder. From Spanish settlements in the Southwest came the horse. Now the Indians could pursue the herds of bison wherever they roamed. They traveled greater distances and came in contact with tribes they had not known before. The Indians who had horses had a great advantage over those who didn’t.

“First People of the Prairies,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 1, Iowa PBS, 1979.