Edited by Gianni Guadalupi. Texts by George Catlin, Emile de Girardin, Louis-Laurent Simonin
1987 / 288 PAGES.
Language: Two editions: Italian, French
The Native Americans’ Great Prairies: a sea of grass ploughed by thousands of buffaloes, scant Blackfeet tribes, huffing and puffing locomotives and creaking wagons painted by George Catlin.
Perhaps out of desperation when faced with a medley of nomadic and unsettled tribes constantly on the move and exchanging places, early-1800s geographers used “Indiania” to refer to the vast part of the American continent extending from the Upper Missouri River Basin in the north to the Red River in the south, from the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Lower Missouri River in the east. A fair, latinising name labelling an area that remained largely unknown except for the essentials: an immense, flat, grassy expanse ploughed by great rivers and blocked by a massive mountainous rampart to the west. Explorers had named it the Great American Desert; its solitary grasslands were home to thousands of buffaloes hunted by small tribes of Native Americans, whose survival depended exclusively the animals that provided them both with food and with skins and furs with which to clothe themselves and build their tepees.