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Civilization 4: Colinization: Natives


  • Civilization 4: Colinization: Natives


    Mangas Coloradas

    War Chief of the Apache
    Lived: c.1793 - 1863

    Mangas Coloradas was the leader of the Apache during a period of extended conflict between his people and the Americans that later became known as the Apache Wars. Little is known of Coloradas's early life. But by the 1830s, the Apache leader found himself in an exceedingly difficult position. His territory, wedged uncomfortably between the newly-formed and highly ambitious Mexican nation and the manifest-destiny obsessed United States, became even more valuable when great troves of copper and gold were discovered to lie beneath its soil.

    The Mexicans struck first, beginning a campaign of annihilation against the Apache. The Apache fought back with fervor, creating a force that included two of the greatest native warriors in history - Cochise, leader of the Chiricahua Apache, and later, Geronimo, the seemingly invincible medicine man of the Chiricahua. Bloodshed continued between the Mexicans and the Apache until the United States stepped in, declaring formal war on Mexico in 1846. Coloradas granted the American troops safe passage through his lands and even offered Apache support to the Americans if they would guarantee the natives' sovereignty.

    Such a deal, however, would never be struck. The call of gold and copper in the Apache territory was too much for the American miners, who increasingly trespassed on Apache soil. The specific incident that drove Coloradas to war is disputed. Some claim his family was murdered. Others believe he was bound to a tree by miners, whipped, and left for dead. Whatever the cause, the effect is known - Mangas began a brutal war against the Americans, both miners and soldiers alike. Back and forth raids by Apache warriors and American soldiers turned the whole of the American Southwest into a battlefield.

    By 1862, the war had reached an uneasy calm. Coloradas, who had spent nearly all of the past four decades at war, was lured by the offer of peace made by an American general. Upon arriving for the talks, Mangas was bound, tortured and executed. This stunning act of duplicity drove Cochise and Geronimo to resume all-out war against the Americans. Geronimo, the last great Apache leader to be captured, would not cease to fight until 1886.


    Cacique of the Arawaks
    Lived: c.1460 - 1510

    The name "Agueybana," literally meaning "Great Sun" in the Taino language, refers to two brothers, both natives of the island today known as Puerto Rico. Agueybana I, born between 1460 and 1480, was leader of the Taino, a branch of the Arawaks. In 1508, the first Spanish explorers arrived to colonize the island. Agueybana and the Europeans soon negotiated a mutually beneficial agreement. In return for protection from the other tribes of the region, Agueybana's tribe would labor for the Spaniards, mining the island's rich gold resources.

    The equitable terms of the deal would not last for long. The lust for gold drove the Spaniards to require more and more from their volunteer labor force and before long, it became apparent that Agueybana had negotiated his people into slavery. Unfortunately, he was unable to rectify his error. Whether through overwork, old age or illness (European disease had begun to ravage the island), Agueybana passed away in 1510.

    Over the following year, Agueybana's brother took up the mantle of leadership, as well as his brother's name, becoming Agueybana II. Through covert planning, Agueybana II organized a rebellion against the island's governor, Juan Ponce de Leon (the conquistador known for his misguided foray in search of the Fountain of Youth). With the element of surprise on their side, Agueybana's warriors were initially successful, yet their victory would be fleeting. Between the rapidly increasing numbers of Spaniards arriving on the island and the storm of new diseases battering the Arawak population, the natives of Puerto Rico were nearly obliterated over the next thirty years. Agueybana II himself died in the rebellion he worked to foment, passing away in 1511.


    Aztec Emperor
    Lived: c.1480 - 1520

    Montezuma was Emperor of the Aztec nation from approximately 1502 until its dissolution in 1520. At the start of his reign he was considered a god and was absolute monarch of the entire known world; at the end of his reign he watched a small group of foreigners destroy his empire with ease.

    Montezuma ruled the Aztecs at the height of their power. His empire controlled a large portion of what is now modern Mexico. They had conquered virtually all other people around them, except for a few other nations, which they deliberately left free (so that they would have somebody left to make war against and to use as sacrifices).

    Though extremely rich and powerful, Montezuma's nation shamelessly squandered a great portion of its wealth and might. Much like the Egyptians, the Aztecs built huge monuments to their gods and held ever-increasing numbers of expensive religious festivals in which they slaughtered tens of thousands of prisoners and their own people. Montezuma himself lived in great splendor, his clothing made of silver, gold, and brightly-colored feathers. His court was brilliant, though much riddled with corruption and intrigue.

    In 1519, Hernando Cortes led 600 Spanish adventurers with 20 horses and 10 cannon to the shores of Mexico on a mission of exploration. Hearing of the great wealth of the Aztecs, he took his tiny force west, determined to conquer this massive nation of five million. At the start of the march Cortes burned his ships to ensure that his men would not desert him.

    The natives that first faced Cortes were primitive and divided. They were terrified of the Spanish "demonic" horses and cannon and broke before their accurate musket-fire. Cleverly exploiting their political divisions, Cortes then enlisted the defeated peoples' aid by promising them revenge against the hated Aztecs.

    Montezuma watched Cortes' approach with fear and bewilderment. His religion told him that one day the god Quetzalcoatl would return in the guise of a light-skinned bearded man, and when that day occurred, the Aztecs were to welcome him with open arms. Surely Cortes was Quetzalcoatl, else how could he command an army of demons? On the other hand, Cortes was clearly bent on the conquest of the empire - should Montezuma not oppose him? Perhaps the sinful Aztecs needed to be punished!

    Eventually, at the desperate urging of his advisors, Montezuma sent an army into the field against the invaders. But they were unable to offer effective resistance and Cortes' forces quickly overwhelmed them. The invaders then marched into the capital city Tenochtitlan virtually unopposed and took Montezuma prisoner. He was eventually killed during an uprising that pushed the invaders out of the city for more than a year.

    One has to wonder what would have happened if Montezuma had shown Cortes' courage and resolve and mobilized his people when the invaders first arrived. Could the Spanish have conquered Mexico against determined and organized resistance? Perhaps, but perhaps the natives would have held on long enough to learn to master the horse and gun - or at least their fear of them. If so, they would have become a formidable foe indeed.


    War Chief of the Overhill Cherokee
    Lived: c.1715 - 1783

    Oconostota was born among the peaks of the Smoky Mountains in what is today Tennessee. He grew to manhood during a period of great turmoil among his people, with both the French and English bearing down upon them. Oconostota showed impressive abilities in diplomacy, and once appointed chief of the Cherokee, he managed to balance relations between his tribe and the English, French and French-allied Creek Indians.

    Oconostota's aid endeared the native leader to the English. When the French and Indian War began, the English requested the aid of the Cherokee, and an alliance was struck. Yet the English questioned the dedication of their Cherokee allies, who continued to have contact with the French. Whether the Cherokee were attempting to negotiate peace or to betray the English, it mattered not. Upon his return from one such talk with the French, Oconostota was captured by the English, along with numerous other Cherokee chieftains.

    This brazen violation of their treaty embittered relations between the Cherokee and the English. After Oconostota's release, a dispute between an English settler and a Cherokee native over a stock of horses resulted in the murder of a family of natives. This was the final straw for Oconostota, who began to exact his revenge, first with small raids against outlying English settlements, but soon with all-out war. Begun in 1758, the conflict known as the Cherokee War opened with great success for the Cherokees. Oconostota's warriors captured the English bastion of Fort Loudoun, expelling the English presence from the region and dealing a humiliating blow to the Europeans.

    The English response was brutally effective. Red-coated soldiers massacred over a dozen villages in the hopes of forcing Oconostota to surrender. To halt the stunning English brutality, in 1761, Oconostota agreed to a peace treaty with the English. In 1762, as a symbol of mutual good faith, Oconostota and two other Cherokee chieftains visited England and the English King George III. They drew massive crowds wherever they went in England, and so pleased was King George III with Oconostota that he promised that their lands would remain untouched.

    The agreement would have little effect, though, as the English colonists of the New World had no intention of following their king's instructions in this matter. Upon his return to the Americas, the chief was forced to begin his defensive efforts anew, this time as his people found themselves caught in the middle of the Revolutionary War.

    Oconostota continued to strive to keep his people safe from the English and these new "Americans" but he was unable to stem the tide of white expansion. After the Cherokee capital of Chota was destroyed in 1780, Oconostota was forced into exile, living in Virginia until his death in 1783.

    Huayna Capac

    Leader of the Incan Empire
    Lived: c.1460 - 1527

    Huayna Capac was the son of the Incan Emperor Iupanqui. Under his father, Capac led armies against his nation's neighbors to the north. When his father died in 1483 and he became emperor in his own right, Capac continued the campaigns, eventually extending the empire's borders into what is modern Colombia.

    The Inca Empire reached the height of its size and power under his rule, stretching over much of Bolivia, Peru, Argentine, Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia. It included varying terrain, from the high, frozen Andes to the densest swamps, and over 200 distinct ethnic groups, each with their own customs and languages.

    Despite the geographical and cultural challenges, Inca - or Tawantinsuys, the "Realm of the Four Quarters" - was sophisticated for its time and place. At its height it had "monumental cities, temples and fortresses of stone, marvelously engineered roads cut through granite mountain slopes, and massive agricultural terraces and hydraulic works." A dedicated ruler, Huayna did much to improve the lives of his people. In addition to building temples and other works, Huayna greatly expanded the road network, along which he built storehouses for food so that aid could be quickly rushed to any who were in danger of starvation.

    Huayna contracted smallpox while campaigning in Colombia. Smallpox had been introduced to South America by the Spaniards, and the Native Americans had no defense against it; Huayna and about 200,000 other South and Central Americans died in that one epidemic. Before his death Huayna divided his country, leaving the newly-conquered north to his favorite son, Atahualpa, and the rest to his legitimate heir, Huascar. The two brothers fought a long and debilitating war to reunite their country. Atahualpa eventually won, but the victory left his country exhausted and prostrate, unable to withstand attack from the Spaniard; Francisco Pizarro.

    Very little is known about Huayna the man. As was their established practice, the Spanish conquerors did their best to obliterate Incan history in order to detach their subject people from their places in history and make them easier to enslave (and to be converted to Christianity). We know that Huayna was bloodthirsty and vindictive in war, but in his private life he was affectionate, even tender. We can assume that Huayna was smart enough to hold his empire together, ambitious enough to seek to extend its borders, ruthless enough to crush those in his path, and foolish enough to divide his empire to try to satisfy both of his sons.


    Chief of the Mingo
    Lived: c.1725 - 1780

    Logan was chief of the Mingo tribe, a branch of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, living in the frontier land of Virginia in the 18th century. Little is known about his early life before the actions of one misguided English colonist brought the Iroquois leader painfully to English attention.

    In 1774, a man named Daniel Greathouse, responding to the summons of a nervous innkeeper, lead a small militia in what became known as the Yellow Creek Massacre. Roughly a dozen Iroquois were killed by Greathouse and his men, many of them direct blood relatives of Logan - including Logan's sister and daughter.

    In response, Logan organized a party of his fellow Iroquois and led them on a series of brutal raids across the frontier settlements of Virginia. So successful were the attacks of Logan and his small group that the governor of Virginia, one Lord Dunmore, declared war on the whole of the Mingo nation. The Mingo and the English forces met on the field of Point Pleasant, where the superior numbers of the Virginians secured victory.

    Logan, however, was not present for the battle. Instead, he conveyed a message that he saw no further need to battle the whites. This message, which became known as "Logan's Lament" would become a sort of manifesto for the natives and their white proponents, demonstrating that those who were so often called "savages" were actually rational beings just like the English. In his message, Logan said, "During the course of the last long and bloody war [the French and Indian War], Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites - I had even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries of one man...This has called on me for revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have glutted my vengeance; for my country I rejoice at the beams of peace."

    Sitting Bull

    War Chief of the Hunkpapa Sioux
    Lived: c.1830 - 1890

    Sitting Bull, whose name in Lakota, Tatanka Yotanka, roughly translates to "an Obstinate Bull Buffalo at Rest," was born into the Hunkpapa Sioux branch of the Lakota tribe around 1830 AD. Rising to the position of Chief in 1856, Sitting Bull was a key member of the native resistance against American encroachment into the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory.

    Sitting Bull was a precocious youth, taking to warfare and hunting like a fish to water. At ten, he slew his first buffalo. By the time he had reached middle adolescence, Sitting Bull had been inducted into the prestigious societies of the Strong Heart Warrior and the Silent Eater. A most dangerous and powerful warrior - despite walking with a limp from a bullet wound he suffered as a youth - Sitting Bull became a feared name among the Lakota, the young Chief leading his fellow Hunkpapa into numerous victories over other tribes.

    His expertise in warfare did not keep Sitting Bull from signing the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, which called for the halting of American expansion into Sioux territory beyond the Powder River. But with the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874, a new rush of colonists from the East began violating the treaty. Sitting Bull is said to have had a prophetic dream regarding the American expansion - an American military officer and his men, plummeting from the sky into a Sioux village - which was interpreted as a portent of the Americans' imminent doom. Not long after Sitting Bull's vision, General George Custer and his seventh cavalry launched an attack on a native village, only to be decimated by the assembled Sioux and Cheyenne fighters.

    American wrath quickly fell upon Sitting Bull and his people, and they were forced to flee to Canada where, despite a reception worthy of a foreign dignitary, they were to remain but briefly. A dearth of resources in their new lands threatened the Lakota with starvation, forcing Sitting Bull to guide his people back to the United States in 1881, with the understanding that they would receive land, sustenance and peace in America.

    Upon his return to the United States, Sitting Bull and a number of his followers joined Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show. Cody was able to provide a better standard of living than Sitting Bull and his Sioux brethren could expect to receive on the reservations to which they were now assigned, and a strong friendship formed between Cody and the native leader.

    In the final decade of the nineteenth century, the "Ghost Dance," a ritual promising to rid the natives of American influence once and for all, began to spread among the Sioux. Tensions again grew between the Lakota and the American military, who had expressly forbade native religious rituals like the "Ghost Dance." Buffalo Bill stepped in to try and negotiate a peaceful truce, but none was to be had. Fearing Sitting Bull's involvement in the growing ritual, the Chief was arrested and assassinated by Indian policemen in 1890, just days before the American opposition to the "Ghost Dance" would bring about the infamous Massacre at Wounded Knee.


    Leader of the Tupi

    Cunhambebe was the leader of the Tupi, a collection of native groups that controlled much of modern Brazil, during the mid-16th century. Historically each tribe of Tupi had their own chief; Cunhambebe was one of the few rulers who managed to unite multiple tribes under the same banner. According to legend Cunhambebe lived in a huge fortified palace, littered with guns and artillery that his warriors stole from the Portuguese.

    Under Cunhambebe, the Tupi strove to stymie the efforts of the Portuguese at every turn. When their own efforts proved to be ineffective, they joined forces with the French to push their common foe into the sea. However, in 1557 a new Portuguese governor, Mem de Sa, convinced Cunhambebe to withdraw his support for the French and enter into talks with the Portuguese. Cunhambebe agreed, halting his people's raids on the nascent Portuguese colonies. The peace would not last long, and over the next century the Tupi would be nearly annihilated by the European invaders.

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