“Shane,” is a book that was written by Jack Schaffer which was published in 1949. It was also made into a movie which was released in 1953. It is a western which is set in Wyoming in the 1860’s. An important theme of both the book and the movie is the Homestead Act of 1862 which granted land to homesteaders who qualified. Over the course of the program about 40% of the applicants who started the process were able to obtain title to their land which usually amounted to 160 acres.
In both the book and the movie the antagonist is a cattle man who uses large tracts of land to graze his cattle until the homesteaders start putting up fences, etc.
One of the interesting things that I noticed when I watched the movie the other day for the first time was that the cowboys in town called out some of the homesteaders by saying that they smelled like pig. In the book which I read a long time ago in school – the point of the book was competition for water if I recall correctly.
Antagonism between cow people and pig people seems to have been going on for a long time. Cow herders usually use bigger tracts of land and they move them on a constant basis whereas pig farmers are more stationary. Cattle men are traditionally nomadic and pig farmers traditionally sedentary.
The Scythians were a nomadic people that lived around the Black Sea in ancient times. Herodotus relates in his Histories, how Darius I, King of Persia tried to conquer them but since they would never face him in battle it ended up being disastrous for him. His army was destroyed. Their land provided no food for the Persians to forage and they ended up starving until they gave up and returned home.
The Scythians were a cow herding people. For the most part they did not till the land and they did not build cities. They lived in covered wagons that were drawn by oxen. They were an interesting bunch of barbarians; they drank out of cups wrought from the skulls of their enemies and they were accomplished equestrians and archers among other things.
The Scythians hated pigs and it seems that they even killed people for eating or raising pigs.
It has come to my attention that there are many different types of survivalists. Most city dwellers are survivalists in my opinion. A survivalist is attached to a certain piece of land whether in the city or in the country.
Nomads seem to have the upper hand when it comes to long term survival. Babylon fell to the Persians. Gengis Khan dominated the largest land mass on the planet. Cortez conquered the Mexicans. The Incas fell to Pizzaro. Rome fell to the barbarians of the North.
- The War List: Sound the Retreat! (historynet.com)
- A Weed By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet… (capecodcannabis.wordpress.com)
- Scythian History (thecolcordpress.typepad.com)
- Week 6 : Expository essay (seabiscuitca.wordpress.com)
- The Scythian Home Guard (thecolcordpress.typepad.com)
- Quote of the Day: October 1, 2011: The Bows of the Huns (delong.typepad.com)
- The Flare Path: Contends With Congestion (rockpapershotgun.com)