People & Empires In the Americas Chapter 16 500-1500
North American Societies Section 1 Pgs. 440-445
North Am. Vs. South Am.. • Less developed than MesoAmerica • No great empires • Left few ruins • BUT: • They created complex societies • Long-distance trade • Construct magnificent buildings
4 different groups in N.Am: • 1. Pacific Northwest • 2. Pueblo builders (Southwest) • 3. Mound Builders (Great Plains) • 4. Northeastern Tribes
1. Pacific Northwest • From Oregon to Alaska • Important resources: Sea (whales), Coastal forest(plentiful food) • Differences in $$Wealth = Social Structure • POTLACH– elaborate ceremony to show off rank & prosperity; give food, drink, etc.
2. Pueblo Builders (Southwest) • Harsher environment: dry, desert • BUT they farmed… • Used IRRIGATION to make corn, beans, squash • Used pottery • ANASAZI (NC)-- Pueblos
“Anasazi” (NC) • Who: Native Americans in Southwest US • What: Group of Native Americans that built impressive cliff dwellings on top of mesas(flat-topped hills) or in walls of canyons • Where: 4 corners of US: Utah, Arizona, Colorado, & New Mexico • When: • Why: construction showed high degree of social organization & inventiveness; were abandoned around 1200 from drought
3. Mound Builders (Great Plains) • Environment: Woodlands east of Mississippi River • 700 BCE: The Adena made huge earthen mounds to bury dead • 500 CE: Hopewell made larger and more plentiful mounds • Mississippian (NC) … • Earthen Pyramids
“Mississippian” (NC) • Who: Native American Moundbuilders • What: Moundbuilders; group of Native Americans that created thriving villages based on farming & trade • Where: Mississippi, North America • When: 800-1500 CE • Why Imp: built mounds to bury their dead in; the heart of the community was a 100-ft. high earthen pyramid with a wooden temple
4. Northeastern Tribes • Environment: Woodlands • Tribes clashed over lands = Political alliances to protect land • Best ex: Iroquois (NC)…
“Iroquois” (NC) pg 444 • Who: Northeastern Native Americans • What: a group of tribes that spoke related languages that formed the Iroquois League to protect land • Where: Northeast- Upper New York, Great Lakes Region • When: late 1500s • Why imp: they are the best example of a political alliance to protect land in the NE.
Cultural Connections among N. Am. Societies (what they all had in common) • Political: • Iroquois Alliance– alliances of tribes that protected land from other tribes • Economic: • Traded– • large trade networks along rivers & across the plains
Cultural: • Similar religious beliefs– • belief in nature spirits– these ‘spirits’ gave rituals & customs to guide the Native Ams. • Relig. Belief: Great respect for the land as the source of life • Shared Social Patterns– • Family- basis for social org. • Use of Totems: symbol of unity of a group or clan; used them in rituals or dances for imp events
Sculpture from the Americas Origins of the Peoples of the Americas?
The Mayans Section 2:
Lands of the Mayans The Yucatan Peninsula
Environment Highland region Lowland region North Dry scrub forest of Yucatan Peninsula Dense, steamy jungles of Southeastern Mexico • South • Cool, cloud-wreathed mountains from S. Mexico to El Salvador
Urban (city) centers • Built spectacular cities: Tikal, Copan, Palenque, etc. • Independent city-state • Ruled by a god-king • Served as center for religious ceremonies & trade • Monumental architecture: • Giant pyramids • Temples • Palaces • Elaborate stone carvings dedicated to the gods
Overview of Tikal (Guatemala) Temple of the Masks
Economy… • Linked through alliances & trade • Local products: Salt, flint, feathers, shells, honey • Craft goods: cotton textiles, jade • Cacao beans (chocolate) = currency!!! • Agriculture = basis of Maya life • (all MesoAmerica) • Slash-and-Burn agriculture • Farming = $wealth$ = Social structure…
Mayan Cultivation of Maize Chac, God of Rain -->
Social Structure: Maya King– regarded as holy, hereditary
Religion… • Influenced most aspects of Maya life… • Polytheistic good vs. evil gods: corn, death, rain, war • 4 directions & colors: • North:White • South: Yellow • East: Red • West: Black • Worship: • Pray & make offering • Pierced & cut their bodies • Human sacrifice– usually captured enemies
Achievements: • Mathematics: • Astronomy • Concept of zero: precise calculations = • 260-day religious Calendar; 365-day solar calendar • Base-20 number system • Written language • Most advanced writing system in ancient Americas • Glyphs (NC) • Codex (NC) • Popol Vuh- most famous Maya history book
Mayan Glyphs sky king house child city Mayan Mathematics
Mayan Glyphs Who: Mayans What: 800 hieroglyphic symbols; Mayan writing system Where: Maya, Mexico When: Why imp: used this to record historical events
“Codex” (NC) • Who: (you should know it) • What: bark-paper historical book that had important events that happened to the Mayans • Where:(you should know it) • When: • Why imp: only 3 of these have survived– this tells us about the ancient Mayan civilization
“Maya” (NC) – (you need to figure this one out…) • Who: • What: • Where: • When: • Why imp:
Section 3: The Aztecs
The beginning, BEFORE the Aztecs: • Teotihuacan (“City of the Gods”)- 1st major civilization of central Mexico (just outside Mexico city today) • Center of thriving trade network that extended far into Central America • Most valuable item: OBSIDIAN (NC) • Grew for centuries- then ABRUPTLY declined • Invasion? • Conflict among ruling classes?
….then came the “Toltecs” • New warlike group of people that ruled for 300yrs over Central Mexico (900-1200) • Built pyramids & temples; tall pillars for warriors • Based on conquest • Human sacrifice of captured prisoners of war • New leader wanted: • No more sacrifice • Worship a new god…
Quetzalcoatl: The God of Wisdom & Learning What: god of the Toltecs; Focused on Wisdom & Learning NOT war! When: 1000 CE Where: Central Mexico Why: The new Toltec leader Wanted them to worship him = followers of War god rebelled = downfall of Toltecs = Coming of the AZTECS!
…and finally- The Aztecs!!(NC) • Who: “’the Mexica”; a poor, nomadic people from harsh deserts of N. Mexico • What: they created the Aztec Empire, one of the greatest in Ancient America • Where: Northern Mexico • When:1200- • Why imp: the greatest empire of Mesoamerica; based empire on military conquest; sacrificed war captives; Tenochtitlán was the capital