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The Native Americans

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These animals were his mythical ancestors who gave him power in war, hunting, or whaling. Actually there were many tribes among them. The Indians made them of materials at hand. Essays by 28 Native authors discuss how Native peoples represent themselves, their communities, and their cultures through a diverse range of the expressive arts—dance, music, media, art, literature, oral tradition, and theater. Tribes of southern California used 60 different plants.


Shells and coral from the seacoasts, native copper from the Great Lakes region, turquoise from the Southwest, pipestone from Minnesota , and bear claws from the Rocky Mountains were passed from tribe to tribe, long before Columbus discovered America. Alternately funny and moving, angry and contemplative, the readings address the Native American experience, as well as universal themes of love, death, and family bonds. Seeking Regions Where Languages Originated. Only about 10 percent of all the tribes are named on the map, but they included about two thirds of the Indian population. Necklaces and earrings were made of bones, deer hooves, berries, and seashells.

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Adult stars launch sexual misconduct claims The Indians did not give all their time to the work needed to stay alive. They had many games and sports. Tribal members came together for festivals that lasted a week or more.

The gatherings usually had religious ceremonies as their main purpose, but there was time for games and visiting, storytelling, and social singing and dancing. Children played much as children play today. Girls played with dolls dressed in the costumes of their tribes. Boys shot small arrows from toy bows and crept through the woods pretending to be hunters or warriors. There were whip tops to spin, stilts, slings, and other toys. They had dogs and small wild things as pets.

Around the fire in the evening, old and young played guessing games such as hunt-the-button. They made cat's cradles with fiber string. Children learned skills from games then as they do now. Archery, target practice, and footraces taught skills needed by the hunters. Pueblo children learned about kachinas from their kachina dolls.

The kachinas were mythical ancestors of the Pueblo people. They were thought to live in a lake beneath the earth. The tribes held kachina dances to celebrate visits from the spirits. The dancers gave kachina dolls to children, to inspire them to be like the kachina ancestors. Intertribal Meets and Women's Games.

Young people competed in athletic sports. The "ball play" popular throughout the east has become the modern sport lacrosse. Athletes were highly trained for intertribal contests in this game. The ceremonial dancing and feasting before the games may be compared to modern football pep rallies. Inter-village footraces were held by the Pueblos , and horse racing was popular among the buffalo-hunting Plains tribes.

Ring-and-pole and hoop-and-pole games were popular in many areas. The players shot poles or spears through stone rings or into a netting on a rolling hoop. Snow snake was popular among northern tribes.

The players hurled a long stick, sometimes painted to resemble a snake, to see who could send it farthest over the ice or frozen ground. Shinny was a woman's game. Plains women used a small buckskin-covered ball of buffalo hair. Women of the Southwest played a kind of football. They kicked a small ball around a long course. In early times, the game was thought to have magical powers, such as protecting the fields against sandstorms.

Indians of all tribes liked games of chance. The commonest was called the hand game. A player held in his hands two bone or wooden cylinders, one plain and the other marked. His opponents attempted to guess which hand held the unmarked piece. One camp might compete against another. Backers lined up beside the players, shouting and singing to distract them. A man might lose his horses, buffalo robes, or everything he owned in the excitement. Numerous games used markers resembling dice.

Common among northern tribes was the bowl game. Players tossed marked peach or plum seeds in a bowl. Most of the Indian dances and ceremonies were held for religious or superstitious reasons. By honoring their spirits, or gods, the Indians hoped to gain help and favor. Medicine men, or religious leaders, danced to seek aid for the sick. Hunters danced the deer dance or the buffalo dance to attract abundant game.

Farming tribes staged ceremonials to bring rain or to make the corn grow or ripen. Certain dances dramatized stories from the history or mythology of the tribe. Other ceremonies were held when children arrived at manhood or womanhood or to initiate them into the religious secret societies of the tribe. Although the purpose of a dance was serious, the Indians usually made it the occasion for fun and sociability.

In many tribes, there were clowns or other fun makers among the musicians or dancers. In the evening or at the end of a festival, social dances were sometimes held. The squaw dance of the Navajos was a social dance in which both men and women took part. Originally it came at the end of elaborate ceremonials to welcome the braves at the end of a war. Songs and Musical Instruments. Singing accompanied every public ceremony as well as the important events in an individual's life. Both the tune and the rhythm seem strange to the white man's ears.

Religious songs passed down from generation to generation, as they were an important part of the ceremonies. Women sang songs not only to ease the burden of their own activities, such as spinning and grinding, but also to encourage the warrior as he went forth. Every mother, of course, sang lullabies. Birds or animals, in folk stories, were supposed to sing their own quaint songs, which were imitated by the storyteller.

On the northwest coast there were spirited song contests between tribes. Certain songs were the exclusive property of clans and societies. Individuals in the clan, however, could sell their songs or even give them away.

A variety of instruments accompanied dance and song. These included drums, rattles, whistles, flutes, bull-roarers, and notched sticks rasped on bones. The Indians made them of materials at hand. Plains drums had painted horsehide heads. Northwestern tribes used wooden boxes, and their rattles were made like masks from wood or native copper. The Pueblos and other farming tribes made gourd rattles. The Iroquois used a turtle shell and a pot or water drum. Tales of the Old People.

Every tribe had its legends--some more fanciful than true--of the history of the tribe. When the day's work was done, the old people would tell these tales.

There were also many stories of animals and mythical beings which could assume human form and yet retain some of their own particular traits. Children were thrilled by these stories. The Indian stories and myths were passed by word of mouth from one generation to another. This is known as the oral tradition. Woodland Indians of the Eastern Wilderness. The Indians of the eastern forests were the first ones the American colonists met.

In the beginning, the settlers from Europe looked upon the Indians as ignorant savages. Then they found that there was much the Indians could teach them. They learned to grow corn and to bury a fish in each hill for fertilizer. They adopted the Indian's swift, graceful bark canoe for water travel. They found out how to hunt and make war--Indian style. Indian ways were valued because they were suited to the wilderness of forests, rivers, and lakes.

The Indians had to convert the things around them into food, clothing, shelter, weapons, tools, and utensils. There were no stores in the wilderness to sell a family what it could not get or make for itself.

From the beginning, the American people have used Indian methods and equipment when living in the forests of the east. The fur traders patterned their lives on the Indian way of life. They traveled in canoes and on snowshoes, wore moccasins and other clothing of deerskin, and ate Indian foods.

Later, the pioneer settlers often wore buckskin too, and housewives followed many Indian recipes in their cookery. Kinds of Houses in the East.

All the Eastern Woodland Indians lived in much the same way. But from place to place there were differences in climate and in available plants and animals, and the tribes differed in housing and clothing styles, in food habits, and in means of transportation. Pictures in this section show houses from different parts of the Eastern Woodland. Perhaps the most widely used was the bark-covered wigwam. Sometimes it was shaped like a cone, and sometimes it was more of a dome.

The Indians made a frame for this hut of small, flexible trees, or saplings. They stuck them firmly in the ground in a circle, then bent them overhead in an arch and tied them together with tough bark fibers or with rawhide. Next, other slender branches were wrapped in circles around the bent poles and tied to them.

Slabs of bark were tied to this frame to form the roof and walls. Space was left vacant for a door and a smoke hole. Platforms inside served as beds, chairs, and shelves. The Iroquois and certain other New York tribes built the larger longhouse.

Five to a dozen families might live together in the longhouse. In the warm southeast, certain tribes raised bigger crops and had a more involved culture than the northeast tribes. They had winter houses of clay plastered on a framework of poles and woven twigs, with a domed or cone-shaped roof. The Seminoles in Florida used palmetto-thatched shelters without sidewalls. These people still live in this type of house.

All the houses were crowded, by modern standards, but the Indians did not mind. Every family spent most of its time outdoors. In good weather the women cooked at an open fire and did much of their work sitting outside. Life in a Woodland Village. Eastern Indians lived in villages clustered beside a lake or stream.

They drove sharpened poles into the ground to make a high fence, or palisade, around the village to protect it from attack. The women had garden patches beyond the fence. When the ground lost its richness through years of planting, the game in the neighborhood became scarce, or the firewood was used up, the villagers left their old homes and moved to a new location.

The village was a busy place. Men and women shared the work, but the men's share was more fun than the women's. They hunted the forest animals to get meat and hides for food and clothing materials; they trapped or seined fish. But there was time between hunts to join war parties and to take part in religious and medicine-society ceremonials and to sit in the tribal councils.

The men helped with building wigwams and with clearing the ground for gardens by burning off the trees and bushes. Trees were felled by girdling. A fire set at a tree's base charred the wood so a man could chip it with his stone ax until the tree fell. A ring of wet clay kept the flames from spreading up the trunk. Skilled men of the tribe made the bows and arrows, war clubs, and stone knives.

Babies Carried on Cradleboards. The women's many chores kept them busy all day. They wrapped the babies in moss and furs and bound them to wooden cradleboards. They carried the boards on their backs when they gathered food in the woods. In the village they stood the boards by the house.

In the garden they hung the baby's cradle on a convenient branch. Preparing Food and Making Clothing. The women planted corn, beans, pumpkin, squash, tobacco, and gourds in the gardens. They harvested the crops and prepared the food. It was not difficult to roast green corn in a pit with hot rocks or to broil meat or fish on a grill of green twigs over a fire. But most jobs were harder. To grind the dry corn into meal they pounded it in a mortar made of a hollowed log, with a small log for a pestle.

They made hominy by soaking the grains in a solution of wood ashes that loosened the tough hull of the kernel. They parched, or toasted, corn for warriors on the march.

They dried corn, squash, berries, meat, and fish for the cold months. They stewed corn and beans into succotash and made soups of corn with meat or fish in pottery jars. Some areas offered special things to eat. In the forests of the northeast, the Indians tapped the sugar maples and boiled the sap to make sugar. The Ojibwa and other tribes of the northern Great Lakes area had plenty of wild rice for their grain supply.

They did not need to raise garden crops. The seashore and many rivers offered shellfish. Heaps of discarded shells mark the sites of many ancient camps. Many days of work were required to make the buckskin garments the Indians wore. Tanning deer hides called for many processes--scraping off flesh and hair, washing the hide, drying and stretching it, treating it with a deer-brain mixture, and sometimes smoking it to waterproof it.

Tailoring the garments meant cutting the skins with shell or flint knives and sewing them with animal sinews. Awls and needles were made of bone and horn. Indian women added beautiful colored porcupine-quill embroidery They created designs of the flowers, leaves, and vines they saw in the woods. They decorated ceremonial costumes richly.

At work the women wore a wraparound skirt, the men a breechcloth. The men usually shaved their heads, leaving only a scalp lock. Their headdresses were of dyed deerhair or a few feathers. The forest would have been a poor place for the warbonnet of the Plains Indian. Tree branches would have torn off its feathers. Winter's fur robes left one shoulder bare. Baskets, Pottery, and Boats. Women of many eastern tribes knew how to weave mats, baskets, and belts from shredded bark, wood splints, and other fibers.

Most tribes of the region made pottery jars for cooking and storing foods. Boxes and dishes were fashioned from bark and wood. The Eastern Woodland Indians traveled fastest by water. The northern tribes made bark canoes in which they skimmed swiftly and silently over the lakes and rivers. Southeastern tribes made dugout canoes. They hollowed out a log by burning the inside and scraping away the charred wood.

The Indians used their canoes in hunting and fishing. From their canoes they could readily shoot the fleet deer and moose when the animals were wading or swimming. On land the Indians traveled on foot and carried burdens on their muscular backs. They had no draft animals to haul loads, and their roads were only narrow paths. The dog was their only domestic animal. In winter the northern hunters could move after their prey swiftly on snowshoes.

Hunters of the Broad Plains. Today the word Indian is usually symbolized by the Plains Indian brave--a majestic figure with strong, sharp features, a dignified manner, and a colorful costume of beaded and fringed buckskin.

He was a splendid horseman, hunter, and mounted warrior who took pride in defending his hunting grounds against the invasion of white settlers. In war, the eagle feathers of his long-tailed warbonnet streamed in the breeze as he galloped over the plains.

A Land of Abundant Game. Game was plentiful on the plains. Buffalo and antelope grazed over the grassy land. In the hills and mountains nearby lived deer and elk, grizzly bears, mountain sheep, and mountain goats.

The buffalo were the most valuable game animals. But the big herds moved about constantly seeking pasture, and the Indians had a hard time catching them when they had to hunt on foot. After horses were brought to North America from Europe , the Plains tribes became successful mounted hunters and spent their lives following the herds. Spanish settlers first brought horses to the Southwest. Between and they spread to the plains.

Before the coming of the horse this splendid hunting ground contained but few Indian tribes. Most people there lived in the river valleys where they could raise corn. Their homes were villages of earth huts. At buffalo-hunting time, a tribe moved after the feeding herds on foot.

They had invented a dwelling they could carry--the tepee. They made an A-shaped drag, called a travois, on which their dogs hauled the tepee cover of buffalo hides and other gear. The tents were small because the dogs could not pull heavy loads. Buffalo Hunting Without Horses.

Before they gained the benefit of horses, the hunters had, over the centuries, worked out cunning methods by which they could kill enough buffalo to supply the tribe with meat and hides. If the herd was scattered, a few hunters might move softly among the animals and shoot several without scaring the others. In snowy weather, Indians would encircle a herd and kill many of the animals before they could flounder away in the drifts or get lost in a blizzard.

Another effective method was to drive the herd over a cliff. One man, draped in a buffalo robe, would move ahead of the herd toward the cliff. Then other Indians would jump behind the animals, shouting and waving robes.

The buffalo would begin to trot, then gallop in terror, the animals in the rear pushing those in front. The decoy leader would dodge to safety at the last minute, and the crazed herd would pour over the precipice. Many were killed in the fall. The injured were disposed of with spears or clubs. After the hunt, the work of the women began.

They skinned the carcasses and cut up the meat. The meat might be hung on green branches over the fire to cook. Or it could be boiled by dropping hot rocks into the cooking pot. The pot too came from the buffalo.

A buffalo stomach or a piece of hide was fitted into a hole in the ground and used for cooking. Most of the meat was cut into thin strips and jerked. Jerking meant hanging the strips on a rack in the dry wind that swept the plains. This dried meat would keep for a long while.

Sometimes it was pounded fine and mixed with melted fat and dried berries, then stored in containers of skin or membrane. Called pemmican, this was an excellent concentrated food for warriors or hunters. Plains Indian Homes and a "Ferryboat". After following a herd until they had a good supply of meat and hides, the hunters would return to their permanent village. Other tribes on the eastern fringe of the plains blended the plains and woodland ways of life.

Among those who lived in bark-or mat-covered wigwams were the Kansa, Missouri , Iowa , Quapaw, and some of the Osage. Others, such as the Caddo, Wichita , and Waco , used grass houses.

These tribes grew corn and other crops and made pottery cooking vessels. Village tribes along the Missouri River used a bowl-shaped bullboat. They made it by stretching a buffalo hide over a wooden frame. It was too clumsy for water travel, but it could be used to ferry people and gear across a river. How Horse-Owning Tribes Moved. Many Plains tribes gave up permanent villages after they got horses. Each tribe knew where the buffalo should be from month to month and moved as necessary for convenience in hunting.

To get horses, the Indians were willing to trade their most valuable goods. They also raided the camps of other tribes and white traders and roped any wild ponies they found. On a big hunt, the many bands in a tribe gathered in a huge camp.

Their tepees were much larger after the Indians had horses to haul the heavy covers on the travois. Buffalo runs were wild, exciting affairs. First scouts located a herd. Then the long line of mounted hunters rode forward. Sometimes fantastically dressed medicine men trotted ahead, chanting and shaking rattles. At a signal the hunters charged among the buffalo at a gallop. Guiding his trained buffalo horse by knee pressure, the hunter pulled alongside his quarry and drove an arrow into its body.

He gripped a pair of arrows in the left hand, which held the bow, and held another in his mouth. A quiver with spare arrows hung from his shoulder. A brave, skillful, and lucky hunter might kill four or five animals during a run.

The number increased after the Indians got guns from the settlers. Celebrations and Honors for Bravery. Almost as exciting as the hunt itself was the feast that followed. It was an event the whole tribe took part in. Happy and filled with good red meat, the Indians would sing and dance and recite war chants. Boasting at such times was not considered bad manners. When getting ready for a hunt or a war party, or upon returning, a brave would get up and tell how strong and courageous he was. No Indians honored bravery, daring, endurance, and other warlike qualities more than did the Plains hunters.

They held huge religious ceremonials to arouse enthusiasm and to win the help of the gods. Each tribe had its secret societies in which young men passed from rank to rank to win high honors. They painted their visions of the spirits on shields and tepees. The tribe rewarded warriors for bravery. For a courageous deed an Indian was given the right to wear one or more feathers in a headdress.

Most prized were the feathers of the eagle. It was in this way that the famous warbonnet came into being. Each brave kept track of his heroic deeds by counting coup. Coup is a French word meaning "stroke," "blow. Contrasting Work of Men and Women. Each tribe had a division of labor. The exciting, glamorous life of the men makes that of the women seem dull and hard.

There was, however, a good reason for making the women do the work of moving camp. The men had to be armed and ready to fight at a moment's notice. Enemy raiders might appear at any time, trying to capture the precious horses. Some of the tribesmen guarded the camp. Others were scouts who rode ahead and signaled the appearance of game or the enemy. Signals included riding in a certain pattern, waving a buffalo robe, sending up puffs of smoke by day, and using fire by night.

The women became so expert that they could set up the tepees or take them down in a few minutes. They packed all equipment and lashed it onto the travois.

The mother usually rode a horse, with the baby on its cradleboard hanging beside her. In camp the women spent hour after hour scraping flesh and hair from the buffalo hides and tanning them.

From the hides they made all sorts of things--robes, bedding, rawhide utensils, and carrying cases, called parfleches. The horns were carved into spoons and ladles, the hooves cooked to make glue. When it was time to make a new tepee cover, a woman invited friends to help her sew the big white hides together.

They used buffalo sinews for thread. Later the man painted designs on the tent. The chief skill of the men lay in making weapons.

They whittled bows from Osage orange or other tough wood and shaped them in a double curve. They made arrows with a sharp stone head. They lashed feathers to the arrow butt to make it fly straight. Each hunter had his design in the feathers to show which animals he had killed in a big hunt. The women used the softer, finer skins of deer and antelope for most garments.

They embroidered the ceremonial costumes with dyed porcupine quills and painted the carrying cases and the tepee linings. In the designs, they drew triangles, diamonds, and other geometrical figures. They beaded the costumes after beads were brought in by traders. Women's dresses and men's shirts were made of a pair of skins fastened together at the top, except for a neck opening. Often the women covered the yoke and belt of their ceremonial dresses with beads.

The men wore breechcloths and thigh-length leggings in addition to shirts when they were dressed up. The legging seams ran down the sides. The Woodland leggings had a front seam. Men's Ornaments and War Paint. Plains warriors loved ornaments. They decked themselves with trophies of war and the hunt. Locks of hair from the scalp of an enemy and soft white ermine tails dangled from the seams of the ceremonial shirt.

Grizzly-bear claws and buffalo teeth were strung on otter skin for necklaces. Quivers, tobacco pouches, and medicine bags were made from pelts of panthers, otter, and beaver. Eagle quills were used in their headdresses and decorated their shields, dance bustles, ceremonial pipes, and lances.

On his robes of young buffalo skin, the warrior often painted sketches showing the battles he had fought during his life. The braves painted their bodies for dances and for battle. The designs might be special "medicine," or magic, to protect their lives, or they might be drawn to make the men look more ferocious.

For paint the Indians used red and white clays, black charcoal, and yellow pigment from bullberries or moss. They first smeared their bodies with buffalo or deer fat, then rubbed on the color. The practice of using animal grease or fish oil on the skin to clean and soften it was common among Indians. The resulting odor was frequently unpleasant to white people.

An Indian method of bathing in use throughout the country was the sweat bath. The Indians built an airtight hut for this purpose.

Hot stones were placed in the hut and sprinkled with water to make them steam. The Indians stayed inside until they were perspiring freely. Then they rushed out and plunged into a cold stream. This treatment was used for purification before ceremonials and as a cure for disease.

Love of ornament was a spur to trade among the Indians and, later, between the Indian and the white man. Shells and coral from the seacoasts, native copper from the Great Lakes region, turquoise from the Southwest, pipestone from Minnesota , and bear claws from the Rocky Mountains were passed from tribe to tribe, long before Columbus discovered America. The Plains tribes had buffalo hides and fur pelts to trade. Their region was the scene of bitter rivalry among French, English, and American traders.

The Indians there used glass beads, needles, steel knives, copper kettles, and other manufactured wares long before white settlement. Farmers and Herders of the Southwest. Modern New Mexico and Arizona offer visitors an opportunity to see and study Indians following ancient customs, activities, and ceremonials and engaging in traditional handicrafts.

Although the Southwest Indians have adopted many of the white man's ways and his manufactured goods, they retain more than a few of their old ways which are well-suited to this dry, rugged, highland region. Farming with Irrigation Before Columbus. Southwest Indians worked out two means of winning a livelihood in this region--farming and herding. Farming is much the older occupation. Perhaps four thousand years ago the forefathers of the Pueblo Indians began planting corn.

Centuries before Spanish explorers found them in , the Indians had become settled villagers and, in spite of scanty rainfall, could grow crops by using irrigation.

They built many-storied houses from stone and adobe clay, and they were skilled at basketry, pottery making, and weaving. Other Southwest farmers were the Pima and Papago tribes of southern Arizona. Archaeologists say their ancestors called the Hohokam built the finest irrigation systems in prehistoric North America.

The forefathers of the Pimas and Papagos lived in simple huts with a framework of logs and poles covered with arrowwood or grass and plastered with clay. They made fine baskets. The herding way of life did not develop until after the Spaniards introduced sheep and goats. Before this the Navajo and Apache peoples, who came from the north, had lived by hunting.

When game was scarce, they raided the farming settlements for food. The husk was made into art crafts, and the cob was used as fuel for fires.

By AD the Native Americans had established three main crops — beans, squash, and corn — called the three sisters. The agriculture gender roles of the Native Americans varied from region to region. In the southwest area, men prepared the soil with hoes. The women were in charge of planting, weeding, and harvesting the crops.

In most other regions, the women were in charge of doing everything, including clearing the land. Clearing the land was an immense chore since the Native Americans rotated fields frequently. There is a tradition that Squanto showed the Pilgrims in New England how to put fish in fields to act like a fertilizer, but the truth of this story is debated.

Native Americans did plant beans next to corn; the beans would replace the nitrogen which the corn took from the ground, as well as using corn stalks for support for climbing. Native Americans used controlled fires to burn weeds and clear fields; this would put nutrients back into the ground. If this did not work, they would simply abandon the field to let it be fallow, and find a new spot for cultivation. Europeans in the eastern part of the continent observed that Natives cleared large areas for cropland.

Their fields in New England sometimes covered hundreds of acres. Colonists in Virginia noted thousands of acres under cultivation by Native Americans. Native Americans commonly used tools such as the hoe, maul, and dibber. The hoe was the main tool used to till the land and prepare it for planting; then it was used for weeding.

The first versions were made out of wood and stone. When the settlers brought iron, Native Americans switched to iron hoes and hatchets. The dibber was a digging stick, used to plant the seed. Once the plants were harvested, women prepared the produce for eating.

They used the maul to grind the corn into mash. It was cooked and eaten that way or baked as corn bread. Native American religionBaptism of Pocahontas was painted in John Gadsby Chapman depicts Pocahontas, wearing white, being baptized Rebecca by Anglican minister Alexander Whiteaker in Jamestown, Virginia; this event is believed to have taken place in or Traditional Native American ceremonies are still practiced by many tribes and bands, and the older theological belief systems are still held by many of the "traditional" people.

While much Native American spiritualism exists in a tribal-cultural continuum, and as such cannot be easily separated from tribal identity itself, certain other more clearly defined movements have arisen among "traditional" Native American practitioners, these being identifiable as "religions" in the clinical sense.

Traditional practices of some tribes include the use of sacred herbs such as tobacco, sweetgrass or sage. Many Plains tribes have sweatlodge ceremonies, though the specifics of the ceremony vary among tribes. Fasting, singing and prayer in the ancient languages of their people, and sometimes drumming are also common. The Midewiwin Lodge is a traditional medicine society inspired by the oral traditions and prophesies of the Ojibwa Chippewa and related tribes.

Another significant religious body among Native peoples is known as the Native American Church. It is a syncretistic church incorporating elements of Native spiritual practice from a number of different tribes as well as symbolic elements from Christianity. Its main rite is the peyote ceremony. Prior to , traditional religious beliefs included Wakan Tanka. In the American Southwest, especially New Mexico, a syncretism between the Catholicism brought by Spanish missionaries and the native religion is common; the religious drums, chants, and dances of the Pueblo people are regularly part of Masses at Santa Fe's Saint Francis Cathedral.

The eagle feather law Title 50 Part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations stipulates that only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers for religious or spiritual use. The law does not allow Native Americans to give eagle feathers to non-Native Americans. Most Native American tribes had traditional gender roles. One example is the Cherokee custom of wives owning the family property. Men hunted, traded and made war, while women gathered plants, cared for the young and the elderly, fashioned clothing and instruments and cured meat.

The cradleboard was used by mothers to carry their baby while working or traveling. At least several dozen tribes allowed polygyny to sisters, with procedural and economic limits. Apart from making home, women had many tasks that were essential for the survival of the tribes.

They made weapons and tools, took care of the roofs of their homes and often helped their men hunt bison. In some of these tribes such as the Sioux girls were also encouraged to learn to ride, hunt and fight. Native American leisure time led to competitive individual and team sports. Ball players from the Choctaw and Lakota tribe as painted by George Catlin in the sNative American ball sports, sometimes referred to as lacrosse, stickball, or baggataway, was often used to settle disputes rather than going to war which was a civil way to settle potential conflict.

There are three basic versions classifed as Great Lakes, Iroquoian, and Southern. The object of the game is to land the ball on the opposing team's goal either a single post or net to score and prevent the opposing team from scoring on your goal.

The game involves as few as twenty or as many as players with no height or weight restrictions and no protective gear. The goals could be from a few hundred feet apart to a few miles; in Lacrosse the field is yards.

A Jesuit priest [ who? Chunkey was a game that consisted of a stone shaped disk that was about 1—2 inches in diameter. The disk was thrown down a foot 61 m corridor so that it could roll past the players at great speed.

The disk would roll down the corridor, and players would throw wooden shafts at the moving disk. The object of the game was to strike the disk or prevent your opponents from hitting it.

Jim Thorpe was called the "greatest athlete in the world" by king Gustaf V of SwedenBilly Mills crosses the finish line for the 10, meter race at the Tokyo OlympicsJim Thorpe, a Sauk and Fox Native American, was an all-round athlete playing football and baseball in the early 20th century.

Future President Dwight Eisenhower injured his knee while trying to tackle the young Thorpe. In a speech, Eisenhower recalled Thorpe: My memory goes back to Jim Thorpe. He never practiced in his life, and he could do anything better than any other football player I ever saw. In the Olympics, Thorpe could run the yard dash in 10 seconds flat, the in Olympic trials for both the pentathlon and the decathlon.

He was the only American ever to win the Olympic gold in this event. An unknown prior to the Olympics, Mills finished second in the U. Billy Kidd, part Abenaki from Vermont, became the first American male to medal in alpine skiing in the Olympics, taking silver at age 20 in the slalom in the Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria. Six years later at the World Championships, Kidd won the gold medal in the combined event and took the bronze medal in the slalom.

Flutes and whistles made of wood, cane, or bone are also played, generally by individuals, but in former times also by large ensembles as noted by Spanish conquistador de Soto. The tuning of these flutes is not precise and depends on the length of the wood used and the hand span of the intended player, but the finger holes are most often around a whole step apart and, at least in Northern California, a flute was not used if it turned out to have an interval close to a half step.

Some, such as John Trudell, have used music to comment on life in Native America, and others, such as R. Carlos Nakai integrate traditional sounds with modern sounds in instrumental recordings. A variety of small and medium-sized recording companies offer an abundance of recent music by Native American performers young and old, ranging from pow-wow drum music to hard-driving rock-and-roll and rap.

The most widely practiced public musical form among Native Americans in the United States is that of the pow-wow. At pow-wows, such as the annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, members of drum groups sit in a circle around a large drum.

Drum groups play in unison while they sing in a native language and dancers in colorful regalia dance clockwise around the drum groups in the center. Familiar pow-wow songs include honor songs, intertribal songs, crow-hops, sneak-up songs, grass-dances, two-steps, welcome songs, going-home songs, and war songs. Most indigenous communities in the United States also maintain traditional songs and ceremonies, some of which are shared and practiced exclusively within the community.

Native American art comprises a major category in the world art collection. Native American contributions include pottery Native American pottery , paintings, jewellery, weavings, sculptures, basketry, and carvings. The integrity of certain Native American artworks is now protected by an act of Congress that prohibits representation of art as Native American when it is not the product of an enrolled Native American artist.

The Inuit, or Eskimo, prepared and buried large amounts of dried meat and fish. Pacific Northwest tribes crafted seafaring dugouts 40—50 feet long for fishing. Farmers in the Eastern Woodlands tended fields of maize with hoes and digging sticks, while their neighbors in the Southeast grew tobacco as well as food crops. On the Plains, some tribes engaged in agriculture but also planned buffalo hunts in which herds were driven over bluffs.

Dwellers of the Southwest deserts hunted small animals and gathered acorns to grind into flour with which they baked wafer-thin bread on top of heated stones. Some groups on the region's mesas developed irrigation techniques, and filled storehouses with grain as protection against the area's frequent droughts.

In the early years, as these native peoples encountered European explorers and settlers and engaged in trade, they exchanged food, crafts, and furs for blankets, iron and steel implements, horses, trinkets, firearms, and alcoholic beverages. There are an estimated 2. According to the Census, an estimated , Native Americans reside on reservation land.

Small Business Administration, only 1 percent of Native Americans own and operate a business. The barriers to economic development on Native American reservations often cited by others and two experts Joseph Kalt [] and Stephen Cornell [] of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University, in their classic report: What Can Tribes Do?

One of the major barriers for overcoming the economic strife is the lack of entrepreneurial knowledge and experience across Indian reservations. Consequently, experiential entrepreneurship education needs to be embedded into school curricula and after-school and other community activities. This would allow students to learn the essential elements of entrepreneurship from a young age and encourage them to apply these elements throughout life.

She identified with her Cherokee culture. Interracial relations between Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans is a complex issue that has been mostly neglected with "few in-depth studies on interracial relationships". One case is that of Gonzalo Guerrero, a European from Spain, who was shipwrecked along the Yucatan Peninsula, and fathered three Mestizo children with a Mayan noblewoman.

European impact was immediate, widespread, and profound—more than any other race that had contact with Native Americans during the early years of colonization and nationhood. Europeans living among Native Americans were often called "white indians". They "lived in native communities for years, learned native languages fluently, attended native councils, and often fought alongside their native companions.

The Osage woman was married to a French soldier. Early contact was often charged with tension and emotion, but also had moments of friendship, cooperation, and intimacy. Together they had five children. Intimate relations among Native American and Europeans were widespread, beginning with the French and Spanish explorers and trappers. For instance, in the early 19th century, the Native American woman Sacagawea, who would help translate for the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was married to French trapper Toussaint Charbonneau.

They had a son named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. This was the most typical pattern among the traders and trappers. Blackbird in , found that white settlers introduced some immoralities into Native American tribes. He wrote in his book, History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, "The Ottawas and Chippewas were quite virtuous in their primitive state, as there were no illegitimate children reported in our old traditions.

But very lately this evil came to exist among the Ottawas-so lately that the second case among the Ottawas of Arbor Croche is yet living in And from that time this evil came to be quite frequent, for immorality has been introduced among these people by evil white persons who bring their vices into the tribes. First, they wanted to open it up more land for white settlement.

For a Native American man to marry a white woman he had to get consent of the parents as long as "he can prove to support her as a white woman in a good home". In the late 19th century, three European-American middle-class female staff married Native American men met during the years when Hampton Institute ran its Native American program.

They had six children together. Black IndiansAfrican and Native Americans have interacted for centuries. The earliest record of African and Native American contact occurred in April , when the first Africans were brought to Hispaniola to serve as slaves.

Sometimes Native Americans resented the presence of African Americans. They worked together, lived together in communal quarters, produced collective recipes for food, shared herbal remedies, myths and legends, and in the end they intermarried.

In , the British Governor of New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois to return all runaway slaves who had joined up with them. Slave ownership was prevalent among a few Native American tribes, especially in the southeast where the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek lived. A few historians suggest that most African Americans have Native American heritage [] Based on the work of geneticists, a PBS series on African Americans explained that while most African Americans are racially mixed, it is relatively rare that they have Native American ancestry.

Some critics thought the PBS series did not sufficiently explain the limitations of DNA testing for assessment of heritage. Researchers caution that genetic ancestry DNA testing has limitations and should not be depended on by individuals to answer all their questions about heritage.

Nor can it be used alone to assert membership in a tribe. Blood quantum lawsFurther information: Cherokee Freedmen ControversyIntertribal mixing was common among Native American tribes, so individuals could be said to be descended from more than one tribe.

These captives came from rival tribes and later from European settlers. Some tribes also sheltered or adopted white traders and runaway slaves and Native American-owned slaves. Tribes with long trading histories with Europeans show a higher rate of European admixture, reflecting years of intermarriage between European men and Native American women.

Members of the Creek Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma around , including those with some European and African ancestry. Literary critic and author Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Of course this means that a greater percentage could have a very small percentage of ancestry, but it also suggests that past estimates of admixture may have been too high. Among an individual's 64 4xgreat-grandparents, direct testing yields DNA evidence of only two. In addition to limitations if only direct male and female lines are tested, DNA testing cannot be used for determining tribal membership because it can not distinguish among Native American groups.

Native American identity has historically been based on culture, not just biology. While they occur more frequently among Native Americans they are also found in people in other parts of the world. Not all Native Americans have been tested especially with the large number of deaths due to disease such as small pox, it is unlikely that Native Americans only have the genetic markers they have identified, even when their maternal or paternal bloodline does not include a non-Native American.

Each tribal government makes its own rules for citizens or tribal members. The federal government has standards related to services available to certified Native Americans. For instance, federal scholarships for Native Americans require the student to be enrolled in a federally recognized tribe and have at least one-quarter Native American descent equivalent to one grandparent , attested to by a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood card. Among tribes, qualification may be based upon a required percentage of Native American "blood", or the "blood quantum" of an individual seeking recognition.

To attain certainty, some tribes have begun requiring genealogical DNA testing, but this is usually related to proving parentage or direct descent from a certified member. The Cherokee require documented genealogical descent from a Native American listed on the early Dawes Rolls. Tribal rules regarding recognition of members who have heritage from multiple tribes are equally diverse and complex. Tribal membership conflicts have led to a number of legal disputes, court cases, and the formation of activist groups.

One example of this are the Cherokee Freedmen. Today, they include descendants of African Americans once enslaved by the Cherokees, who were granted, by federal treaty, citizenship in the historic Cherokee Nation as freed men after the Civil War. The modern Cherokee Nation, in the early s, excluded them from citizenship —unless individuals can prove descent from a Cherokee Native American not just freedmen listed on the Dawes Rolls.

In the 20th century, an increasing number of Caucasian-Americans have seemed more interested in claiming descent from Native Americans. Many people have claimed descent from the Cherokee.

Mishikinakwa "Little Turtle" 's forces defeated an American force of nearly U. S Army soldiers and other casualties at the Battle of the Wabash in Census Bureau estimated that about 0. This population is unevenly distributed across the country. Census Bureau estimated that about less than 1. This population is unevenly distributed across 26 states. They are listed by the proportion of residents citing Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander ancestry, based on estimates:.

For more details on this topic, see Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas. A genetic tree of 18 world human groups by a neighbour-joining autosomal relationships. Neither recombines, and thus Y-DNA and mtDNA change only by chance mutation at each generation with no intermixture between parents' genetic material.

The genetic pattern indicates Indigenous Americans experienced two very distinctive genetic episodes; first with the initial-peopling of the Americas, and secondly with European colonization of the Americas. Human settlement of the New World occurred in stages from the Bering sea coast line, with an initial 15, to 20,year layover on Beringia for the small founding population.

Games Movies TV Wikis. Sign In Don't have an account? Contents [ show ]. Retrieved from " http: Natural freedom is the only object of the policy of the [Native Americans]; with this freedom do nature and climate rule alone amongst them As powerful, dense [Mound Builder] populations were reduced to weakened, scattered remnants, political readjustments were necessary.

New confederacies were formed. One such was to become a pattern called up by Benjamin Franklin when the thirteen colonies struggled to confederate: The Indians presented a reverse image of European civilization which helped America establish a national identity that was neither savage nor civilized. Whereas it hath at this time becoafgaetjhsryjme peculiarly necessary to warn the citizens of the United States against a violation of the treaties I do by these presents require, all officers of the United States, as well civil as military, ysaforesaid, as they will answer the contrary at their peril.

I rejoice, brothers, to hear you propose to become cultivators of the earth for the maintenance of your families. Bytje assured you will support j, than by hunting. A littdtyjle land cultivated, and a little labor, will procure tywe will aid you with great pleasure The Choctaws would ultimately fojm a territory by tydcitizens of the State of Mississippi, and thus citizens of the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all noncitizen Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby, declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided, That the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Native American to tribal or other property.

What a prodigious growth this English race, especially the American branch of it, is having! How soon will it subdue and occupy all the wild parts of this continent and of the islands adjacent. No prophecy, however seemingly extravagant, as to future achievements in this way [is] likely to equal the reality.

That hereafter no Indian nation or tribe within the territory of the United States shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe, or power with whom the United States may contract by treaty: Provided, further, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to invalidate or impair the obligation of any treaty heretofore lawfully made and ratified with any such Indian nation or tribe.

The Indian [was thought] as less than human and worthy only of extermination. We did feed strychnine to red warriors. We did set whole villages of people out naked to freeze in the iron cold of Montana winters. And we did confine thousands in what amounted to concentration camps. Forced termination is wrong, in my judgment, for a number of reasons.

First, the premises on which it rests are wrong The second reason for rejecting forced termination is that the practical results have been clearly harmful in the few instances in which termination actually has been tried The third argument I would make against forced termination concerns the effect it has had upon the overwhelming majority of tribes which still enjoy a special relationship with the Federal government The recommendations of this administration represent an historic step forward in Indian policy.

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They had no science to explain nature, and they believed the sun, rain, and other forces were controlled by spirits.

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Thus, they had to crack acorns, remove the kernels and pound them into meal, then treat the meal with hot water to remove the poisonous tannin.

native american dating white girl

The Iroquois used a turtle shell and a pot or water drum. Shells and coral from the seacoasts, native copper from the Great Lakes region, turquoise from the Giirl, native american dating white girl from Minnesotaand bear claws from the Rocky Mountains were passed from tribe to tribe, long before Columbus discovered America. Because of the acceptance of this newer term in academic giel, some academics believe that Indians should be considered native american dating white girl outdated or offensive. They made cat's cradles yirl fiber string. In the 20th century, an increasing number of Caucasian-Americans have seemed more interested in claiming descent from Native Americans. They kept war captives and other persons as slaves. President Jackson rigidly enforced the treaty, which resulted in the deaths speed dating in manchester area an estimated 4, Cherokees on the Trail of Tears.