Native AmericanUnit TestStudy Guide How much do you know about Native Americans? TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE! Mrs. Michuta’s Class November 25, 2009
The most important food source for the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest was… Tlingit – Food Food is a central part of Tlingit culture, and the land is an abundant provider. A saying amongst the Tlingit is that "when the tide goes out the table is set". This refers to the richness of intertidal life found on the beaches of Southeast Alaska, most of which can be harvested for food. However, though eating off the beach would provide a fairly healthy and varied diet, eating nothing but "beach food" is considered a sign of poverty. Salmon is the most important food source because it is caught by the thousands and can feed them throughout the winter. (Click on the salmon to return to the questions.)
Dry Farming (click here to return to grid) A type of farming practiced in arid areas without irrigation by planting drought-resistant crops and maintaining a fine surface tilth or mulch that protects the natural moisture of the soil from evaporation. Hopis believe that when they advanced from the third to the fourth way of life, they received corn from Ma’saw. While the other people chose the largest ears of the corn, the Hopis selected the shortest blue ear one. From that time onwards, corn occupies a significant position in the Hopi society and culture. For Hopis, agriculture has been a way of life. Moreover, their ceremonies mark the different phases of Hopi agricultural cycle. Besides corn, Hopis also cultivated squash, beans and sunflower. Squash was used in Hopi diet as well as to make different kinds of household utensils and musical instruments. Various types of beans were grown for food. Sunflower was grown to produce oil and to make purple dyes. In the early days, cactus fruits and dried squash were used for sweet seasoning. Hopis began to form numerous agricultural communities and started raising different types of beans, corn, sunflower, and cotton.
BUFFALO The Plains Indians hunted buffalo and other game such as elk and antelope. To capture them they would surround the herd or try to stamped the herds off cliffs or into areas where they could be killed more easily. Life for the Plains Indians was much easier after horses. The Indians hunted with bows and arrows even after the European traders brought guns. The Indians hunted all year long. Because the buffalo was so plentiful the Indian hunters were not limited in the number of buffalo they killed. The buffalo was roasted over a fire, dried in the sun and made into jerky, and made into pemmican. Pemmican was made by pounding dried meat into powder and mixing it with melted fat and berries. The Plains Indians ate berries, cherries, wild greens, camas roots, and wild prairie turnip with the meat. Click here to return to grid.
The Three Sisters! What is a Three Sisters Garden? It is an ancient method of gardening which grows corn, beans, and squash crops at the same time. They grow on a mound of soil. Corn is the oldest sister. She stands tall in the center. Squash is the next sister. She grows over the mound, protecting her sisters from weeds and shades the soil from the sun with her leaves, keeping it cool and moist. Beans are the third sister. She climbs through squash and then up corn to bind all together as she reaches for the sun. Click here to return to grid.
Longhouses The Tlingit were warlike people, who fought with other tribes and kept prisoners as slaves. They lived in large clan houses which they decorated with painted wood carvings. Today such houses can be seen only in museums, the one shown in the photo is from the Saxman Native Village near Ketchikan. Click here to return to grid.
Teepees Click here to go to grid. The tipi was the dwelling of the Plains Indian. Made from buffalo hides (canvas), lodge pole pine and shaped like a cone with two outside flaps that protrude from the top above the entrance. On the outside, in the back are two poles connected to the smoke flaps. The tipi was a very good shelter for the Plains Indians. It was easy to set up and take down. It was warm in winter, cool in summer and waterproof. The women could take down a tipi in minutes. The ends of two of the long poles were tied to a horse. The other ends dragged on the ground, forming an A-shaped frame called a travois. The hides, and other family belongings were placed on the travois.
Pueblos Pueblo people lived in adobe houses known as pueblos, which are multi-story house complexes made of adobe (clay and straw baked into hard bricks) and stone. Each adobe unit was home to one family, like a modern apartment. Pueblo people used ladders to reach the upstairs apartments. A Pueblo adobe house can contain dozens of units and was often home to an entire extended clan. Click here to return to grid.
Wigwams and Longhouses The Woodland Indians used many differenttypes of materials to make their homes. They lived in longhouses and wigwams made from birch bark and sod. Click here to return to grid.
Pacific Northwest Tribes Click here to return to grid. Some of the Pacific Northwest Tribes Tlingit Chicook Makah The Northwest Coastal Indians lived in what is now Alaska along the Pacific Ocean down the coast to Northern California. This was a rugged strip of land with many small islands, deep inlets, and narrow beaches. The mountains rise to the shore in many places. Thick forests of spruce, cedar, and fir dominate the area supplying and endless supply of wood. Many rivers and streams cross the land. By the 1750’s more than 100,000 Indians lived in this area because it was richer in natural resources than any other area of North America.
Plains Tribes Sauk & Fox Cheyenne Arapaho Sioux Blackfeet Comanche Pawnee The Plains Indians lived in the area from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to Mexico. The most important tribes were the Sioux, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, and Comanche. The plains area was hotter than 100 degrees in the summer, and could drop to 40 degrees below zero with heavy snows in the winter. The region was so dry that when it rained it often flooded. The rolling land was covered with grassland and a few mountains. The Black Hills were high and steep. Few Indians lived on the Great Plains before white men brought the horse in the 1600’s. Click here to return to grid.
Southwest Tribes Apache, Zuni, Hopi… The Apache Indians lived in what is now New Mexico and Arizona. They were a nomadic group of people and would at times travel as far south as Mexico. The Pueblos (Hopi and Zuni) lived in villages near rivers in the Southwest. This area covers what is now Utah and Colorado through Arizona and New Mexico into parts of Texas and California. The land varies between steep-walled canyons, plateaus, and sandy deserts. To the south are mountains. Four rivers run through this area: the Rio Grande, Colorado, Gila, and Salt. The days in this area are hot and the nights are cold. Rain is uncommon except during the rainy season which lasts about six weeks during the summer. Click here to return to grid.
Forest Tribes Iroquois tribes such as Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora Other names for the Iroquois are Haudenosaunee, People of the Longhouse, and the Six Nations. The Iroquois Indians lived in what is now New York State along the St. Lawrence River. The Iroquois Indians were know as the "Five Nations". The league was formed before European contact. The original five nations are Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca. The Tuscarora joined later, after European contact, and became the sixth nation. Algonquian and Great Lakes tribes such as Ojibway, Delaware, Powhatan, Massachuset and Cree The Algonquin Indians lived in the northeast in what is now New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This land varied from ocean beaches and marshlands to forests, rivers, valleys, and rocky highlands. The Great Lake Tribes lived beside the Great Lakes. Some area tribes included the Sauk, Shawnee, and Winnebago. Click here to return to grid.
Eastern Woodlands Ceremonies • Pow Wows • Every six months the Algonquins came together for a powwow or general meeting. Each tribe brought its chief to the powwow council. The powwow was an occasion for feasting and dancing. Arguments between groups were settled, alliances formed, and trading was completed during the powwow. • Click here to return to the grid.
Potlatch Potlatches were social occasions given by a host to establish or uphold his status position in society. Often they were held to mark a significant event in his family, such as the birth of a child or a son's marriage. Potlatches are to be distinguished from feasts in that guests are invited to a potlatch to share food and receive gifts or payment. Potlatches held by commoners were mainly local, while elites often invited guests from many tribes. Potlatches were also the venue in which ownership to economic and ceremonial privileges was asserted, displayed, and formally transferred to heirs. Most native cultures on the Northwest Coast had potlatches, including the Nuu-chah-nulth, Coast Salish, Kwakiutl, Bella Coola, Haida, Nootka, Tsimshian, and Tlingit. These events were held either inside large longhouses, like the one depicted in this 18th century painting by John Webber, or outdoors. Click here to return to grid.
Southwest Kachina Ceremonies Kachinas are an important part of Hopi religious ceremonies. The name Kachina itself means “spirit father” or “life father” (kachii, life or spirit; na, father) and indicates their importance to the Hopi people as bringers of rain. Kachina spirits dwell in the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona for half the year, and spend the other half on the mesas visiting with the Hopi. The time the Kachinas spend with the Hopi is known as “Kachina season.” Click here to return to grid.
Plains Sun Dance The Sun Dance is a ceremony practiced differently by several North American Indian Nations, but many of the ceremonies have features in common, including dancing, singing and drumming, the experience of visions, fasting, and, in some cases, self-torture. The Sun Dance was the most spectacular and important religious ceremony of the Plains Indians of 19th-century North America, ordinarily held by each tribe once a year usually at the time of the Summer Solstice. The Sun Dance lasts from four to eight days starting at the sunset of the final day of preparation and ending at sunset. It showed continuity between life and death - regeneration. It shows that there is no true end to life, but a cycle of symbolic and true deaths and rebirths. All of nature is intertwined and dependent on one another. This gives an equal ground to everything on the Earth. The Native American tribes who practiced sun dance were: The Arapaho, Arikara, Asbinboine, Cheyenne, Crow, Gros, Ventre, Hidutsa, Sioux, Plains Cree, Plains Ojibway, Sarasi, Omaha, Ponca, Ute, Shoshone, Kiowa, and Blackfoot tribes. Their rituals varied from tribe to tribe. Click to return to grid.
Woodland Tribes Ceremonies Members of the False Face Society of the Iroquois wore wooden masks known as false faces. The masks, which represented spirits known as Faces of the Forest, were carved on a living tree. Then a ceremony of prayer and tobacco offering was held while the masks were cut from the trunk. The masks were believed to frighten away malevolent spirits that caused illness, and False Face dances were performed to heal the sick. When someone in a Woodland tribe died, the tribe would hold a cry ceremony. The chief sang and danced around the fire. This ceremony lasted for five days. The day before it started, five knots were tied in a piece of milkweed. Every day of the ceremony they untied a knot. Click here to return to grid.
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Signed into law on December 18, 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) won a unique settlement from the United States Congress for Alaska's Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts. For the extinguishment of their aboriginal land claims, Alaska Natives were awarded title to 44 million acres of land and paid $962.5 million. Click here to return to grid.
Bering Land Bridge Some scholars date the origin of native cultures in the southwestern United States to immigrants who crossed the Bering land bridge from Siberia to Alaska, approximately 10,000 B.C. What is Beringia? The band of dry land that once united Eurasia and the North America and is assumed to be the way that people and animals were able to come over from Europe to America. Click to return to grid.
Horses The Native Americans got their first horses from the Spanish. When the Spanish explorers Coronado and DeSoto came into America they brought horses with them. This was in the year of 1540. Some horses got away and went wild. But, the Indians did not seem to have done much with these wild horses. They did not start to ride or use horses until much later. Horses spread across the Southern Plains pretty quickly. French traders reported that the Cheyenne Indians in Kansas got their first horses in the year of 1745. Horses changed life for the plains Indians. Plains Indians, including Texas Plains Indians, hunted buffalo on foot before they had horses. Buffalo are not easy to hunt on foot. They can run away faster than a hunter can run after them. With a horse, a hunter can chase after the buffalo and keep up with them. A group of hunters can ride horses up to a heard of buffalo and get close enough to shoot arrows at them before the buffalo run away. Plains Indians are nomads. Nomads means they are always moving from place to place looking for food. Nomads have to carry everything they own with them every time they move. Before they had horses, the Indians would have to carry everything on foot or use dogs to carry things. Yes they used dogs with packs like saddlebags and with travois to carry stuff. Now that they have the horse it makes travel easier and hunting easier. It also allowed them to be better warriors as well. The horse was extremely important! Remember though that with the good comes the bad. They became so dependent on the buffalo that when the buffalo started to die out, the Native Americans faced many new hardships. Click here to return to the grid.
Iroquois Confederacy The Iroquois Confederacy was a sophisticated political and social system. It united the territories of the five nations in a symbolic longhouse that stretched across the present-day state of New York. The original five nations of the Confederacy were divided into two groups: the Elders, consisting of the Mohawk, the Onondaga, and the Seneca; and the Younger, the Oneida and the Cayuga. Despite this distinction, all decisions of the Confederacy had to be unanimous. The decision-making process mirrored the creation of peace among the Iroquois. The Onondaga introduced a topic and offered it to the Mohawk for consideration. When a decision was reached, they passed it to the Seneca. A joint decision was announced to the groups across the fire for deliberation. When these groups reached an agreement, they reported to the Onondaga Council Leader. If he agreed, the decision was unanimous. If not, the negotiation process began again with the Mohawk. If unanimity were impossible, the matter was set aside and the fire covered with ashes. At the conclusion of a session, the acts of the council were recorded in the belts of wampum that chronicle events of significance. To this day, Iroquois law remains unchanged. It continues to guide the Grand Council of the People of the Longhouse and has influenced nations outside of the Confederacy as well. The structure of the Iroquois Confederacy inspired the American Colonists' development of the U.S. government. Click on link to return to grid.