Friday, 8 March 2013

Montana



Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges that are part of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name, derived from the Spanish word montaña. Montana has several nicknames, none official, including: "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently, "The Last Best Place". Montana is the 4th-most extensive, but the 7th-least populous and the 3rd-least densely populated of the 50 United States. The economy is primarily based on services, with ranching, wheat farming, oil and coal mining in the east, and lumber, tourism, and hard rock mining in the west. Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Asparagus


Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Lewis and Clark Expedition

The Louisiana Purchase sparked interest in knowing what the nation had actually purchased. President Thomas Jefferson, an advocate of exploration and scientific inquiry, had the Congress appropriate $2,500, "to send intelligent officers with ten or twelve men, to explore even to the Western ocean". They were to study, map and record information on the native people, natural history, geology, terrain, and river systems. Jefferson tapped his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead the expedition, and Lewis recruited William Clark, an experienced soldier and frontiersman who became an equal co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition The expedition floated up the Missouri River and its larger tributaries, obtained horses from the Shoshone people to cross the Continental Divide, then floated down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. On the return trip on July 3, 1806 after crossing the Continental Divide, the Corps split into two groups so Lewis could explore and map the Marias River and Clark could do the same on the Yellowstone River. Between the outbound and homebound portions of the trip, the expedition spent more of its time in what today is Montana than any other place.
On the return trip, Clark signed his name 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Billings, Montana. The inscription consists of his signature and the date July 25, 1806. Clark claimed he climbed the sandstone pillar now known as Pompey's Pillar and "had a most extensive view in every direction on the Northerly Side of the river". Clark named the pillar after Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, nicknamed "Pompy," the son of Sacagawea who was the Shoshone woman who had helped to guide the expedition and, along with her husband Toussaint Charbonneau had acted as an interpreter. Clark's original name for the outcropping was "Pompys Tower," but it was later changed to the current title. Clark's inscription is the only remaining physical evidence found along the route that was followed by the expedition.
In the meantime, Lewis' group met some Blackfeet Indians. Their initial meeting was cordial, but during the night, the Blackfeet tried to steal their weapons. In the ensuing struggle, two Indians were killed, the only native deaths attributable to the expedition. To prevent further bloodshed, the group of four—Lewis, Drouillard, and the two Field brothers—fled over 100 miles (160 km) in a day before they camped again.[citation needed] Lewis and Clark rejoined one another at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers on August 11, 1806. After the two groups were reunited they were able to quickly return to St Louis, Missouri by floating down the Missouri River.

Friday, 4 November 2011

History of Montana


Indigenous peoples

Archeological evidence has shown indigenous peoples lived in the area for thousands of years. For example, rock art in Pictograph Cave six miles (10 km) south of Billings has been dated, showing human presence in the area more than 2,100 years ago. Most indigenous people of the region were nomadic, following the buffalo herds and other game. Several major tribal groups made their home in and around the land that later became Montana, including the following modern Indian nations:

The Crow, a Siouan-language people, also known as the Apsáalooke, were the first of the native nations currently living in Montana to arrive in the region. Around 1700 AD they moved from Alberta to south-central Montana and northern Wyoming. In the 19th century, Crow warriors were allies and scouts for the United States Army The modern Crow Indian Reservation is Montana's largest reservation, located in southeastern Montana along the Big Horn River, in the vicinity of Hardin, Montana.

The Cheyenne have a reservation in the southeastern portion of the state, east and adjacent to the Crow. The Cheyenne language is part of the larger Algonquian language group, but it is one of the few Plains Algonquian languages to have developed tonal characteristics. The closest linguistic relatives of the Cheyenne language are Arapaho and Ojibwa. Little is known about the Cheyenne people before the 16th century, when they were recorded in European explorers' and traders' accounts.

The Blackfeet reservation today is located in northern Montana adjacent to Glacier National Park. Prior to the reservation era, the Blackfoot were fiercely independent and highly successful warriors whose territory stretched from the North Saskatchewan River along what is now Edmonton, Alberta in Canada, to the Yellowstone River of Montana, and from the Rocky Mountains east to the Saskatchewan River. Their nation consisted of three main branches, the Piegan, the Blood, and the Siksika. In the summer, they lived a nomadic, hunting lifestyle, and in the winter, the Blackfeet people lived in various winter camps dispersed perhaps a day's march apart along a wooded river valley. They did not move camp in winter unless food for the people and horses or firewood became depleted.

The Assiniboine also known by the Ojibwe exonym Asiniibwaan ("Stone Sioux"), today live on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Northeastern Montana shared with a branch of the Sioux nation. Intermarriage has led to some the people now referring to themselves as "Assiniboine Sioux." Prior to the reservation era, they inhabited the Northern Great Plains area of North America, specifically present-day Montana and parts of Saskatchewan, Alberta and southwestern Manitoba around the US/Canadian border. They were well known throughout much of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Images of Assiniboine people were painted by such 19th century artists as Karl Bodmer and George Catlin. The Assiniboine have many similarities to the Lakota Sioux in lifestyle, lanaguage, and cultural habits. They are considered a band of the Nakoda, or middle division of the Sioux nation. Pooling their research, historians, linguists and anthropologists have concluded the Assiniboine broke away from the Lakota and Dakota Sioux bands in the 17th century.

The Gros Ventre are located today in north-central Montana and govern the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Gros Ventre is the exonym given by the French, who misinterpreted the name given to them by neighboring tribes as "the people who have enough to eat," referencing their relative wealth, as "big bellies." The people call themselves (autonym) A'ani or A'aninin (white clay people), perhaps related to natural formations. They were called the Atsina by the Assiniboine. The A'ani have 3,682 members and they share Fort Belknap Indian Reservation with the Assiniboine, though the two were traditional enemies. The A'ani are classified as a band of Arapaho; they speak a variant of Arapaho called Gros Ventre or Atsina.

The Kootenai people live west of the Continental Divide. The Kootenai name is also spelled Kutenai or Ktunaxa (pronounced /ˈkuːtəneɪ/ in English). They are one of three tribes of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation in Montana, and they form the Ktunaxa Nation in British Columbia, Canada. There are also Kootenai populations in Idaho and Washington. The Salish and Pend d'Oreilles people also live on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The smaller Pend d'Oreille and Kalispel tribes originally lived around Flathead Lake and the western mountains, respectively.

The Chippewa and Cree people today jointly share the Rocky Boy's Reservation in north central Montana. Rocky Boy's reservation was created after most of the others as a home for some of the "landless" tribes who did not obtain reservation lands elsewhere. The creation of the reservation was largely due to the efforts of the Chippewa leader Stone Child (aka "Rocky Boy"). The Little Shell Chippewa also have a presence in Montana, though because they did not join

Other native people had a significant presence in Montana, though today do not have a reservation within the state. These nations included the Lakota Sioux, the Arapaho, and the Shoshone.