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American Indian Culture

American Indian Culture

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  • Acorns
  • Adobe
  • Adoption
  • Agriculture
  • Alcoholism
  • American Indian Studies
  • Anasazi Civilization
  • Appliqué and Ribbonwork
  • Architecture: Arctic
  • Architecture: California
  • Architecture: Great Basin
  • Architecture: Northeast
  • Architecture: Northwest Coast
  • Architecture: Plains
  • Architecture: Plateau
  • Architecture: Southeast
  • Architecture: Southwest
  • Architecture: Subarctic
  • Art and Artists: Contemporary
  • Arts and Crafts: Arctic
  • Arts and Crafts: California
  • Arts and Crafts: Great Basin
  • Arts and Crafts: Northeast
  • Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast
  • Arts and Crafts: Plains
  • Arts and Crafts: Plateau
  • Arts and Crafts: Southeast
  • Arts and Crafts: Southwest
  • Arts and Crafts: Subarctic
  • Astronomy
  • Atlatl
  • Aztec Empire
  • Ball Game and Courts
  • Banner Stones
  • Baskets and Basketry
  • Beads and Beadwork
  • Beans
  • Berdache
  • Birchbark
  • Black Drink
  • Black Hills
  • Bladder Festival
  • Blankets
  • Boarding and Residential Schools
  • Boats and Watercraft
  • Booger Dance
  • Bows, Arrows, and Quivers
  • Bragskins
  • Buffalo
  • Buffalo Dance
  • Bundles, Sacred
  • Cacique
  • Calumets and Pipe Bags
  • Captivity and Captivity Narratives
  • Chantways
  • Chickee
  • Children
  • Chilkat Blankets
  • Clans
  • Cliff Dwellings
  • Clowns
  • Codices
  • Corn
  • Corn Woman
  • Cotton
  • Coup Sticks and Counting
  • Culture Areas
  • Dances and Dancing
  • Death and Mortuary Customs
  • Deer Dance
  • Demography
  • Disease and Intergroup Contact
  • Dogs
  • Dream Catchers
  • Dress and Adornment
  • Drums
  • Earthlodge
  • Education: Post-contact
  • Education: Pre-contact
  • Effigy Mounds
  • Elderly
  • Employment and Unemployment
  • Ethnophilosophy and Worldview
  • False Face Ceremony
  • Feast of the Dead
  • Feasts
  • Feathers and Featherwork
  • Fire and Firemaking
  • Fish and Fishing
  • Flutes
  • Food Preparation and Cooking
  • Gambling
  • Games and Contests
  • Gender Relations and Roles
  • Ghost Dance
  • Gifts and Gift Giving
  • Gold and Goldworking
  • Gourd Dance
  • Grass Dance
  • Grass House
  • Green Corn Dance
  • Grooming
  • Guardian Spirits
  • Guns
  • Hako
  • Hamatsa
  • Hand Games
  • Hand Tremblers
  • Headdresses
  • Hides and Hidework
  • Hogan
  • Hohokam Culture
  • Horses
  • Humor
  • Hunting and Gathering
  • Husk Face Society
  • Igloo
  • Incest Taboo
  • Indian Police and Judges
  • Irrigation
  • Joking Relations
  • Kachinas
  • Kinnikinnick
  • Kinship and Social Organization
  • Kivas
  • Knives
  • Kuksu Rituals and Society
  • Lacrosse
  • Lances and Spears
  • Land Claims
  • Language Families
  • Lean-To
  • Longhouse
  • Longhouse Religion
  • Manibozho
  • Maple Syrup and Sugar
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Maru Cult
  • Masks
  • Mathematics
  • Mayan Civilization
  • Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact
  • Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact
  • Medicine Bundles
  • Medicine Wheels
  • Menses and Menstruation
  • Metalwork
  • Midewiwin
  • Midwinter Ceremony
  • Military Societies
  • Missions and Missionaries
  • Mississippian Culture
  • Moccasins
  • Mogollon Culture
  • Money
  • Morning Star Ceremony
  • Mosaic and Inlay
  • Mother Earth
  • Mounds and Mound Builders
  • Music and Song
  • Names and Naming
  • Native American Church
  • Ohio Mound Builders
  • Okeepa
  • Olmec Civilization
  • Oral Literatures
  • Oratory
  • Ornaments
  • Paints and Painting
  • Pan-Indianism
  • Parfleche
  • Pemmican
  • Petroglyphs
  • Peyote and Peyote Religion
  • Pictographs
  • Pipestone Quarries
  • Pit House
  • Plank House
  • Pochteca
  • Political Organization and Leadership
  • Potlatch
  • Pottery
  • Pow-wows and Celebrations
  • Praying Indians
  • Projectile Points
  • Puberty and Initiation Rites
  • Pueblo
  • Quetzalcóatl
  • Quillwork
  • Ranching
  • Religion
  • Religious Specialists
  • Relocation
  • Repatriation
  • Resource Use: Pre-contact
  • Resources
  • Rite of Consolation
  • Rites of Passage
  • Sachem
  • Sacred, the
  • Sacred Narratives
  • Salmon
  • Salt
  • Sand Painting
  • Scalps and Scalping
  • Sculpture
  • Secotan
  • Secret Societies
  • Serpent Mounds
  • Shaker Church
  • Shaking Tent Ceremony
  • Shalako
  • Shells and Shellwork
  • Shields
  • Sign Language
  • Silverworking
  • Slavery
  • Snake Dance
  • Social Control
  • Societies: Non-kin-based
  • Spirit Dancing
  • Sports Mascots
  • Squash
  • Star Quilts
  • Stereotypes
  • Stomp Dance
  • Subsistence
  • Suicide
  • Sun Dance
  • Syllabaries
  • Symbolism in Art
  • Tanning
  • Tattoos and Tattooing
  • Technology
  • Tipi
  • Tobacco
  • Tomahawks
  • Tools
  • Torture
  • Totem Poles
  • Totems
  • Tourism
  • Toys
  • Trade
  • Transportation Modes
  • Tribal Colleges
  • Tribal Councils
  • Tribal Courts
  • Tricksters
  • Turquoise
  • Twins
  • Urban Indians
  • Walam Olum
  • Wampum
  • War Bonnets
  • Warfare and Conflict
  • Wattle and Daub
  • Wattle and daub
  • Weapons
  • Weaving
  • Weirs and Traps
  • Whales and Whaling
  • White Buffalo Society
  • White Deerskin Dance
  • Wickiup
  • Wigwam
  • Wild Rice
  • Windigo
  • Wintercounts
  • Witchcraft and Sorcery
  • Women
  • Women’s Societies
  • Zapotec Civilization
  • Glossary
  • Mediagraphy
  • Tribes by Culture Area
  • Bibliography
  • Web Resources
  • Category Index
  • Culture Area Index
  • Subject Index

American Indian Culture

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American Indian Culture
Volume 1

Edited by

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Harvey J. Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

Salem Press, Inc.
Pasadena, California Hackensack, New Jersey

Copyright © 2004, by Salem Press, Inc. All rights in this book are reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address the publisher, Salem Press, Inc., P.O. Box 50062, Pasadena, California 91115. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, Z39.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995), Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997), and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999); essays have been updated and new essays have been added.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. Barrett, Harvey J. Markowitz. p. cm. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol. 1 : alk. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol. 2 : alk. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol. 3 : alk. paper) 1. Indians of North America—Social life and customs. I. Barrett, Carole A. II. Markowitz, Harvey. III. Series. E98.S7A44 2004 970.004′97—dc22 2004001362

First Printing

printed in the united states of america

Publisher’s Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Contributors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Alphabetical List of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii Acorns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Adobe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Agriculture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Alcoholism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 American Indian Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Anasazi Civilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Appliqué and Ribbonwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Architecture: Arctic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Architecture: California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Architecture: Great Basin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Architecture: Northeast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Architecture: Northwest Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Architecture: Plains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Architecture: Plateau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Architecture: Southeast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Architecture: Southwest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Architecture: Subarctic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Art and Artists: Contemporary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Arts and Crafts: Arctic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Arts and Crafts: California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Arts and Crafts: Great Basin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Arts and Crafts: Northeast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Arts and Crafts: Plains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Arts and Crafts: Plateau. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Arts and Crafts: Southeast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Arts and Crafts: Southwest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Arts and Crafts: Subarctic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104


Astronomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Atlatl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Aztec Empire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Ball Game and Courts . . . . . . . Banner Stones . . . . . . . . . . . . Baskets and Basketry . . . . . . . . Beads and Beadwork. . . . . . . . Beans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Berdache. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Birchbark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black Drink . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black Hills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bladder Festival . . . . . . . . . . Blankets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boarding and Residential Schools Boats and Watercraft . . . . . . . . Booger Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . Bows, Arrows, and Quivers . . . . Bragskins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buffalo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buffalo Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . Bundles, Sacred . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 117 118 123 127 128 130 132 133 134 136 138 143 147 148 151 152 155 156 160 160 162 163 167 168 173 174 178 180 182 183

Cacique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calumets and Pipe Bags . . . . . . . Captivity and Captivity Narratives Chantways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chickee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chilkat Blankets . . . . . . . . . . . Clans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cliff Dwellings . . . . . . . . . . . . Clowns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Corn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Corn Woman . . . . . . . . Cotton . . . . . . . . . . . . Coup Sticks and Counting Culture Areas . . . . . . . .

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189 190 191 192 202 210 214 215 225 230 231 233 242 243 245 254 258 260 263 270 279 280 281 287 289 291 294 295 298 303 308 319

Dances and Dancing . . . . . . . Death and Mortuary Customs . Deer Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . Demography . . . . . . . . . . . Disease and Intergroup Contact Dogs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dream Catchers. . . . . . . . . . Dress and Adornment . . . . . . Drums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Earthlodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Education: Post-contact . . . . . . Education: Pre-contact . . . . . . . Effigy Mounds . . . . . . . . . . . Elderly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Employment and Unemployment Ethnophilosophy and Worldview False Face Ceremony. . . . . . . Feast of the Dead . . . . . . . . . Feasts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feathers and Featherwork. . . . Fire and Firemaking . . . . . . . Fish and Fishing . . . . . . . . . Flutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Food Preparation and Cooking . Gambling . . . . . . . . . . . Games and Contests . . . . . Gender Relations and Roles . Ghost Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Gifts and Gift Giving. . Gold and Goldworking Gourd Dance . . . . . . Grass Dance . . . . . . . Grass House. . . . . . . Green Corn Dance . . . Grooming . . . . . . . . Guardian Spirits . . . . Guns . . . . . . . . . . . Hako . . . . . . . Hamatsa . . . . . Hand Games . . Hand Tremblers Headdresses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Publisher’s Note
American Indian Culture joins three other publications in the Magill’s Choice series of core teaching tools for public, school, and college libraries: American Indian Biographies (1 volume, 1999, to be reissued in an expanded edition in 2005), covering 329 Native North Americans from the sixteenth century to the present day; American Indian Tribes (2 volumes, 2000), with surveys of the ten major culture areas of North America and nearly 300 tribes and nations; and American Indian History (2 volumes, 2003), with 224 essays covering the major events and developments in the history of Native Americans of North America, from the earliest prehistoric traditions through the activism of the present day. The current three volumes add 275 entries to the more than 800 covered in the companion publications. These essays are a mixture of both new and old: 259 are drawn from three previous Salem Press publications: Ready Reference: American Indians (3 volumes, 1995), winner of the American Library Association’s Outstanding Reference Source Award; Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (4 volumes, 1997); and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (3 volumes, 1999). Updating of the bibliographies of previously published essays was accompanied by the addition of more than 180 new bibliographies as well as new citations to nearly all existing bibliographies. Care was taken to review datedness among the previously published essays, and several of the more timesensitive topics—“Demography,” “Elderly,” “Gambling,” “Land Claims,” and “Pan-Indianism”—were significantly revised and updated. In addition, 16 essays were newly commissioned for this publication. Arranged alphabetically by topic, each of the essays addresses a cultural phenomenon characteristic of the indigenous peoples of North America. Essays range in length from 250 to 3,000 words and cover the range of culture from lifeways, religious rituals, and material culture to art forms and modern social phenomena. Twenty separate essays cover both “Architecture” and “Arts and

Publisher’s Note

Crafts” in ten North American culture areas: the Arctic, California, the Great Basin, the Northeast, the Northwest Coast, the Plains, the Plateau, the Southeast, the Southwest, and the Subarctic. In other entries, students will find everything from brief discussions of the importance of acorns or wild rice to a survey of agriculture; from a history of the atlatl to an essay on weapons in general; from entries on particular dance forms, such as the Ghost Dance, the Sun Dance, and the Buffalo Dance, to an overview of dances and dancing. Although the emphasis is on the traditional cultural heritage of North American indigenous peoples, modern social trends are surveyed and analyzed as well: such essays cover alcoholism, the impact of disease (both pre-contact and post-contact), education, family life, gaming, tourism, and urban Indians. It is perhaps as important to mention what will not be found here as what we have included: Key historic events, movements, laws, acts, treaties, organizations, reports, wars, battles, court cases, and other historical overviews are covered in the companion twovolume publication American Indian History; coverage of tribes and nations is addressed in American Indian Tribes; and more than three hundred biographies of historic Native American personages appear in American Indian Biographies. Each essay is arranged in a ready-reference format that calls out the following elements at the top: name of topic by key word; tribe or tribes affected or involved (topics are often, but not always, pantribal); and finally a brief synopsis of the topic’s significance. These reference features are followed by a description and discussion of the topic’s importance in American Indian culture. All essays end with a list of “Sources for Further Study,” which, as stated above, have been expanded and updated to offer the most recent and accessible print resources pertinent to the topic; Web sites are listed in the appendix “Web Resources.” All essays are fully crossreferenced to one another in the “See also” section at the essay’s end, where the name of the contributor also appears. The three volumes are illustrated with more than 135 photographs, drawings, maps, and tables, and several appendixes at the end of volume 3 serve as research tools:

Publisher’s Note

• • • • • • • • •

Educational Institutions and Programs (expanded) Festivals and Pow-wows (expanded) Glossary Mediagraphy Museums, Archives, and Libraries Organizations, Agencies, and Societies Tribes by Culture Area Bibliography (expanded) Web Resources (expanded)

Subtopics addressed in the text are accessible through three indexes: • Category Index: essays by subject, from “Agriculture and Foodstuffs” through “Weapons and Warfare” • Culture Area Index: essays organized by the ten major North American culture areas as well as “Pantribal” for those of general application • Subject Index: a general and comprehensive index including concepts, forms of material culture, tribes, people, and organizations Finally, the front matter to all three volumes contains the full alphabetized list of contents for ready reference. A few comments must be made on certain editorial decisions. Terms ranging from “American Indian” to “Native American” to “tribe” are accepted by some and disapproved of by others. We have used “American Indian” in the title of this set, as it is today a widely accepted collective name for the first inhabitants of North America and their descendants. We have allowed authors to use either “American Indian” or “Native American” in their articles rather than impose a term editorially, recognizing that individual writers have their own preferences. The inclusion of line drawings, maps, and 90 photographs illustrates the social concepts and material culture presented in the

Publisher’s Note

text. Where available historical or rare images were not of the best quality, the editors erred on the side of inclusion. The editors wish to acknowledge the invaluable guidance and assistance of Professors Carole A. Barrett of the University of Mary and Harvey J. Markowitz of Washington and Lee University, both of whom specialize in American Indian studies. They surveyed the table of contents, recommended new entries, and generously wrote many of them. In addition, we wish to thank the contributing writers, whose names appear on the following pages.


Thomas L. Altherr
Metropolitan State College of Denver

Richmond Clow
University of Montana

Richard G. Condon
University of Arkansas

T. J. Arant
Appalachian State University

Michael Coronel
University of Northern Colorado

Mary Pat Balkus
Radford University

Patricia Coronel
Colorado State University

Carl L. Bankston III
Tulane University

LouAnn Faris Culley
Kansas State University

Russell J. Barber
California State University, San Bernardino

Michael G. Davis
Northeast Missouri State University

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Jennifer Davis
University of Dayton

Bette Blaisdell
Independent Scholar

Ronald J. Duncan
Oklahoma Baptist University

Kendall W. Brown
Brigham Young University

Dorothy Engan-Barker
Mankato State University

Gregory R. Campbell
University of Montana

James D. Farmer
Virginia Commonwealth University

Byron D. Cannon
University of Utah

Michael Findlay
California State University, Chico

Thomas P. Carroll
John A. Logan College

Roberta Fiske-Rusciano
Rutgers University

Cheryl Claassen
Appalachian State University

William B. Folkestad
Central Washington University xiii


Raymond Frey
Centenary College

Helen Jaskoski
California State University, Fullerton

Lucy Ganje
University of North Dakota

Joseph C. Jastrzembski
University of Texas at El Paso

Lynne Getz
Appalachian State University

Bruce E. Johansen
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Marc Goldstein
Independent Scholar

Marcella T. Joy
Independent Scholar

Nancy M. Gordon
Independent Scholar

Charles Louis Kammer III
The College of Wooster

William H. Green
University of Missouri, Columbia

Nathan R. Kollar
St. John Fisher College

Eric Henderson
University of Northern Iowa

Philip E. Lampe
Incarnate Word College

Donna Hess
South Dakota State University

Elden Lawrence
South Dakota State University

C. L. Higham
Winona State University

Denise Low
Haskell Indian Nations University

Carl W. Hoagstrom
Ohio Northern University

William C. Lowe
Mount St. Clare College

John Hoopes
University of Kansas

Kenneth S. McAllister
University of Illinois at Chicago

Andrew C. Isenberg
University of Puget Sound

Heather McKillop
Louisiana State University

M. A. Jaimes
University of Colorado at Boulder

Kimberly Manning
California State University, Santa Barbara

Jennifer Raye James
Independent Scholar xiv


Harvey Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

William T. Osborne
Florida International University

Lynn M. Mason
Lubbock Christian University

Martha I. Pallante
Youngstown State University

Patricia Masserman
Independent Scholar

Zena Pearlstone
California State University, Long Beach

Howard Meredith
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Victoria Price
Lamar University

Linda J. Meyers
Pasadena City College

Jon Reyhner
Montana State University, Billings

David N. Mielke
Appalachian State University

Jennifer Rivers
Brigham Young University

Laurence Miller
Western Washington State University

Moises Roizen
West Valley College

David J. Minderhout
Bloomsburg University

John Alan Ross
Eastern Washington University

Molly H. Mullin
Duke University

Richard Sax
Madonna University

Bert M. Mutersbaugh
Eastern Kentucky University

Glenn J. Schiffman
Independent Scholar

Gary A. Olson
San Bernardino Valley College

Michael W. Simpson
Eastern Washington University

Nancy H. Omaha Boy
Rutgers University

Sanford S. Singer
University of Dayton

Max Orezzoli
Florida International University

Roger Smith
Linfield College



Daniel L. Smith-Christopher
Loyola Marymount University

Gale M. Thompson
Saginaw Valley State University

Pamela R. Stern
University of Arkansas

Leslie V. Tischauser
Prairie State College

Ruffin Stirling
Independent Scholar

Diane C. Van Noord
Western Michigan University

Leslie Stricker
Independent Scholar

Mary E. Virginia
Independent Scholar

Harold D. Tallant
Georgetown College

Susan J. Wurtzburg
University of Canterbury

Nicholas C. Thomas
Auburn University at Montgomery

Clifton K. Yearley
State University of New York at Buffalo


Alphabetical List of Contents
Volume 1
Acorns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Adobe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Adoption . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Alcoholism . . . . . . . . . . . 14 American Indian Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Anasazi Civilization . . . . . . 26 Appliqué and Ribbonwork . . . . . . . . . 31 Architecture: Arctic. . . . . . . 35 Architecture: California . . . . 40 Architecture: Great Basin . . . 43 Architecture: Northeast . . . . 45 Architecture: Northwest Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Architecture: Plains. . . . . . . 53 Architecture: Plateau . . . . . . 56 Architecture: Southeast . . . . 58 Architecture: Southwest . . . . 61 Architecture: Subarctic . . . . . 66 Art and Artists: Contemporary . . . . . . . . 67 Arts and Crafts: Arctic . . . . . 71 Arts and Crafts: California. . . . . . . . . . . 75 Arts and Crafts: Great Basin. . . . . . . . . . 79 Arts and Crafts: Northeast. . . . . . . . . . . 83 Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast . . . . . . 86 xvii Arts and Crafts: Plains . . . . . 90 Arts and Crafts: Plateau . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Arts and Crafts: Southeast . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Arts and Crafts: Southwest. . . . . . . . . . 100 Arts and Crafts: Subarctic . . . . . . . . . . 104 Astronomy . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Atlatl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Aztec Empire. . . . . . . . . . 110 Ball Game and Courts. . . Banner Stones . . . . . . . Baskets and Basketry . . . Beads and Beadwork . . . Beans . . . . . . . . . . . . Berdache . . . . . . . . . . Birchbark . . . . . . . . . . Black Drink . . . . . . . . Black Hills . . . . . . . . . Bladder Festival . . . . . . Blankets . . . . . . . . . . Boarding and Residential Schools . . . . . . . . . Boats and Watercraft . . . Booger Dance . . . . . . . Bows, Arrows, and Quivers . . . . . . . . . Bragskins . . . . . . . . . . Buffalo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 117 118 123 127 128 130 132 133 134 136

. . 138 . . 143 . . 147 . . 148 . . 151 . . 152

Alphabetical List of Contents Buffalo Dance . . . . . . . . . 155 Bundles, Sacred . . . . . . . . 156 Cacique . . . . . . . . . . Calumets and Pipe Bags . . . . . . . . . . Captivity and Captivity Narratives . . . . . . Chantways . . . . . . . . Chickee . . . . . . . . . . Children . . . . . . . . . Chilkat Blankets . . . . . Clans . . . . . . . . . . . Cliff Dwellings. . . . . . Clowns . . . . . . . . . . Codices . . . . . . . . . . Corn. . . . . . . . . . . . Corn Woman. . . . . . . Cotton . . . . . . . . . . Coup Sticks and Counting . . . . . . . Culture Areas . . . . . . Dances and Dancing . . Death and Mortuary Customs. . . . . . . . Deer Dance. . . . . . . . Demography . . . . . . . Disease and Intergroup Contact . . . . . . . . Dogs . . . . . . . . . . . Dream Catchers . . . . . Dress and Adornment . Drums . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 . . . 160 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 163 167 168 173 174 178 180 182 183 189 190 Effigy Mounds . . . . . Elderly . . . . . . . . . Employment and Unemployment . . Ethnophilosophy and Worldview . . . . . False Face Ceremony . Feast of the Dead . . . Feasts . . . . . . . . . . Feathers and Featherwork . . . . Fire and Firemaking. . Fish and Fishing . . . . Flutes . . . . . . . . . . Food Preparation and Cooking . . . . . . . . . . . 258 . . . . 260 . . . . 263 . . . . 270 . . . . 279 . . . . 280 . . . . 281 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287 289 291 294

. . . . 295 . . . 298 . . . 303 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308 319 323 325 327 328 329 330 332 336 337 339 343 344 346 348

. . . 191 . . . 192 . . . 202 . . . 210 . . . 214 . . . 215 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 230 231 233 242

Gambling. . . . . . . . . Games and Contests . . Gender Relations and Roles. . . . . . . . . . Ghost Dance . . . . . . . Gifts and Gift Giving . . Gold and Goldworking . Gourd Dance. . . . . . . Grass Dance . . . . . . . Grass House . . . . . . . Green Corn Dance. . . . Grooming . . . . . . . . Guardian Spirits . . . . . Guns . . . . . . . . . . . Hako . . . . . . Hamatsa . . . . Hand Games . . Hand Tremblers Headdresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Earthlodge . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Education: Post-contact. . . . 245 Education: Pre-contact . . . . 254


Alphabetical List of Contents

Volume 2
Hides and Hidework . . Hogan . . . . . . . . . . Hohokam Culture . . . . Horses . . . . . . . . . . Humor . . . . . . . . . . Hunting and Gathering. Husk Face Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353 355 356 362 365 366 369 370 371 372 374 Maru Cult . . . . . . . . Masks . . . . . . . . . . . Mathematics . . . . . . . Mayan Civilization . . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact . Medicine Bundles . . . . Medicine Wheels . . . . Menses and Menstruation . . . . . Metalwork . . . . . . . . Midewiwin. . . . . . . . Midwinter Ceremony . . Military Societies . . . . Missions and Missionaries . . . . . Mississippian Culture. . Moccasins . . . . . . . . Mogollon Culture . . . . Money . . . . . . . . . . Morning Star Ceremony Mosaic and Inlay . . . . Mother Earth. . . . . . . Mounds and Mound Builders . . . . . . . . Music and Song . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425 427 431 432

. . . 438 . . . 446 . . . 454 . . . 455 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 456 457 459 460 462 463 468 473 474 479 481 482 483

Igloo . . . . . . . . . . . . Incest Taboo . . . . . . . . Indian Police and Judges . Irrigation . . . . . . . . . .

Joking Relations . . . . . . . . 375 Kachinas . . . . . . Kinnikinnick . . . . Kinship and Social Organization . . Kivas . . . . . . . . Knives . . . . . . . Kuksu Rituals and Society. . . . . . . . . . . . 377 . . . . . . 379 . . . . . . 380 . . . . . . 388 . . . . . . 390 . . . . . . 391 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395 396 397 402 412 414 415

Lacrosse . . . . . . . Lances and Spears. . Land Claims . . . . . Language Families . Lean-To . . . . . . . . Longhouse . . . . . . Longhouse Religion .

. . . 484 . . . 487

Names and Naming. . . . . . 496 Native American Church . . . 498 Ohio Mound Builders. . . . . 501 Okeepa . . . . . . . . . . . . . 506 Olmec Civilization . . . . . . 507 xix

Manibozho . . . . . . . . . . . 418 Maple Syrup and Sugar . . . 420 Marriage and Divorce. . . . . 422

Alphabetical List of Contents Oral Literatures . . . . . . . . 512 Oratory . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520 Ornaments . . . . . . . . . . . 523 Paints and Painting . . Pan-Indianism . . . . . Parfleche . . . . . . . . Pemmican . . . . . . . Petroglyphs . . . . . . Peyote and Peyote Religion . . . . . . . Pictographs . . . . . . Pipestone Quarries . . Pit House . . . . . . . . Plank House . . . . . . Pochteca . . . . . . . . Political Organization and Leadership. . . Potlatch . . . . . . . . . Pottery . . . . . . . . . Pow-wows and Celebrations . . . . Praying Indians . . . . Projectile Points . . . . Puberty and Initiation Rites . . . . . . . . . Pueblo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524 526 531 532 533 536 540 544 545 547 549 Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . 614 Rite of Consolation . . . . . . 617 Rites of Passage . . . . . . . . 618 Sachem . . . . . . . . . . Sacred, the . . . . . . . . Sacred Narratives . . . . Salmon . . . . . . . . . . Salt . . . . . . . . . . . . Sand Painting . . . . . . Scalps and Scalping . . . Sculpture . . . . . . . . . Secotan . . . . . . . . . . Secret Societies. . . . . . Serpent Mounds . . . . . Shaker Church . . . . . . Shaking Tent Ceremony Shalako . . . . . . . . . . Shells and Shellwork . . Shields . . . . . . . . . . Sign Language . . . . . . Silverworking . . . . . . Slavery . . . . . . . . . . Snake Dance . . . . . . . Social Control . . . . . . Societies: Non-kin-based Spirit Dancing . . . . . . Sports Mascots. . . . . . Squash . . . . . . . . . . Star Quilts . . . . . . . . Stereotypes . . . . . . . . Stomp Dance. . . . . . . Subsistence . . . . . . . . Suicide . . . . . . . . . . Sun Dance . . . . . . . . Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths . . . . . . Syllabaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 622 623 630 633 635 636 638 641 642 644 645 647 649 651 651 654 658 659 662 666 667 670 678 679 683 684 686 691 692 702 703

. . . . 550 . . . . 561 . . . . 563 . . . . 568 . . . . 572 . . . . 575 . . . . 576 . . . . 580

Quetzalcóatl . . . . . . . . . . 582 Quillwork . . . . . . . . . . . 583 Ranching . . . . . . . Religion. . . . . . . . Religious Specialists. Relocation . . . . . . Repatriation . . . . . Resource Use: Pre-contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 585 586 595 603 608

. . . . . 611

. . . 709 . . . 711


Alphabetical List of Contents

Volume 3
Symbolism in Art . . . . . . . 713 Tanning . . . . . . . . . Tattoos and Tattooing . Technology . . . . . . . Tipi . . . . . . . . . . . Tobacco . . . . . . . . . Tobacco Society and Dance . . . . . . . . Tomahawks . . . . . . Tools . . . . . . . . . . Torture . . . . . . . . . Totem Poles . . . . . . Totems . . . . . . . . . Tourism. . . . . . . . . Toys . . . . . . . . . . . Trade . . . . . . . . . . Transportation Modes Tribal Colleges . . . . . Tribal Councils. . . . . Tribal Courts . . . . . . Tricksters . . . . . . . . Turquoise. . . . . . . . Twins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 715 715 717 725 727 728 730 731 737 739 741 743 746 747 751 754 759 761 763 766 768 Weapons . . . . . . . . Weaving . . . . . . . . Weirs and Traps . . . . Whales and Whaling . White Buffalo Society . White Deerskin Dance Wickiup. . . . . . . . . Wigwam . . . . . . . . Wild Rice . . . . . . . . Windigo . . . . . . . . Wintercounts . . . . . . Witchcraft and Sorcery Women . . . . . . . . . Women’s Societies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 791 794 799 801 803 804 805 806 808 810 811 812 814 822

Zapotec Civilization. . . . . . 824 Educational Institutions and Programs . . . . . . . 829 Festivals and Pow-Wows . . . . . . . . . 857 Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . 874 Mediagraphy . . . . . . . . . 888 Museums, Archives, and Libraries . . . . . . . . 938 Organizations, Agencies, and Societies . . . . . . . . 976 Tribes by Culture Area . . . . 985 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . 991 Web Resources . . . . . . . . 1019 Category Index . . . . . . . . 1029 Culture Area Index . . . . . 1037 Subject Index . . . . . . . . . 1043

Urban Indians . . . . . . . . . 769 Visions and Vision Quests . . . . . . . . . . . . 774 Walam Olum . . . . . Wampum . . . . . . . War Bonnets . . . . . Warfare and Conflict Wattle and Daub. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 777 778 781 783 790 xxi

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MAGILL’S C H O I C E American Indian Culture Volume 2 Hides and Hidework—Syllabaries Edited by Carole A. Pasadena. California Hackensack. Inc. New Jersey . Barrett University of Mary Harvey J. Markowitz Washington and Lee University Salem Press.

and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999). paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol. Markowitz. cm. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol. E98. III. 3 : alk. Harvey J. essays have been updated and new essays have been added.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995). electronic or mechanical. California 91115.Copyright © 2004. ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk. Barrett. Harvey. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. Carole A. 1 : alk. Indians of North America—Social life and customs. Z39. paper) 1. Inc. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol. Salem Press. For information address the publisher. II. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or transmitted in any form or by any means. Box 50062. p. recording. without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 2 : alk.O.. or any information storage and retrieval system. Pasadena.004′97—dc22 2004001362 First Printing printed in the united states of america . All rights in this book are reserved. by Salem Press. including photocopy. Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997).S7A44 2004 970. Inc. Markowitz. P. Series. Barrett. I.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Incest Taboo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Knives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Indian Police and Judges Irrigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lances and Spears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Land Claims. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kuksu Rituals and Society. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lean-To . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Longhouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Longhouse Religion . . . . . . . . Kinship and Social Organization . . . Horses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hohokam Culture . Kivas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375 Kachinas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377 379 380 388 390 391 395 396 397 402 412 414 415 xxix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kinnikinnick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353 355 356 362 365 366 369 370 371 372 374 Igloo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lacrosse . . . . . Hogan . . . . . . . Hunting and Gathering Husk Face Society . . . Joking Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Humor . . . . . . . . . . . . xxxiii Hides and Hidework. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Alphabetical List of Contents. . . . . . . Language Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midewiwin . . . . . . . . Music and Song. . . . Mosaic and Inlay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oral Literatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Manibozho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact . . . . . Maru Cult . . . . . Medicine Wheels . . . . . . . . Mississippian Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maple Syrup and Sugar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mogollon Culture . . . . . . . . Midwinter Ceremony . . . . . . . . . . . . Mother Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Moccasins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Morning Star Ceremony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine Bundles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Military Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Menses and Menstruation . . . 498 Ohio Mound Builders Okeepa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mayan Civilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact . . . . . . . . . . Missions and Missionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marriage and Divorce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Metalwork. . . . . . . . . 496 Native American Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mounds and Mound Builders. . . . Ornaments . . . . . . . . Olmec Civilization . . . . . . . Oratory . . . . . . . Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Masks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418 420 422 425 427 431 432 438 446 454 455 456 457 459 460 462 463 468 473 474 479 481 482 483 484 487 Names and Naming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501 506 507 512 520 523 xxx . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pipestone Quarries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Political Organization and Leadership. . . 582 Quillwork . . . . . . 622 Sacred. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Potlatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rite of Consolation . Religious Specialists . . . . . . . . . . . Repatriation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 630 xxxi . . . 524 526 531 532 533 536 540 544 545 547 549 550 561 563 568 572 575 576 580 Quetzalcóatl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Praying Indians. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pan-Indianism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pottery . . . . . . . . . . . Pemmican . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 583 Ranching . . . . . . . . . Pictographs . . . . . Plank House . . . . . . . . . . . Parfleche. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Relocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rites of Passage . . . . . Puberty and Initiation Rites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Paints and Painting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the. . . 623 Sacred Narratives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pow-wows and Celebrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pit House . . . Pochteca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Petroglyphs . . Peyote and Peyote Religion . . Pueblo . . . . . . . . . . . . Resource Use: Pre-contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 585 586 595 603 608 611 614 617 618 Sachem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Projectile Points. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Serpent Mounds . . . Suicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stomp Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silverworking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Snake Dance . . . . Slavery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spirit Dancing . . Scalps and Scalping . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secotan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Squash . . . . . . . . Shells and Shellwork . Shields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shaking Tent Ceremony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Salmon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Star Quilts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shaker Church . . . . Salt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secret Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sign Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sand Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Subsistence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stereotypes . . . . . . . . . . . . . Societies: Non-kin-based . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sculpture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 633 635 636 638 641 642 644 645 647 649 651 651 654 658 659 662 666 667 670 678 679 683 684 686 691 692 702 703 709 711 xxxii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Social Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths Syllabaries . . . . . . . . Shalako . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sports Mascots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sun Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . 90 Arts and Crafts: Plateau . . . . . Beads and Beadwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arrows. . . . . . . Birchbark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Banner Stones . . . . . . . 100 Arts and Crafts: Subarctic . . . . 26 Appliqué and Ribbonwork . . . . Blankets . . . . . Black Drink . . . . Bows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black Hills . . . . Baskets and Basketry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Adoption . . . . . . . 31 Architecture: Arctic. . . . . . . . . 40 Architecture: Great Basin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Quivers . 151 . . . 53 Architecture: Plateau . 138 . . . . . . . . . 106 Atlatl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bladder Festival . . . . . . . 58 Architecture: Southwest . . . . . . . . . . . . Buffalo . . 1 Adobe . . . Boarding and Residential Schools . . . . . . . . 86 Arts and Crafts: Plains . . . 5 Alcoholism . . . 49 Architecture: Plains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Architecture: Northeast . . . . . . Booger Dance . . . . . 3 Agriculture . . . . . . 79 Arts and Crafts: Northeast. . . 148 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 . . 110 Ball Game and Courts. . 67 Arts and Crafts: Arctic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Arts and Crafts: Southwest. . .Alphabetical List of Contents Volume 1 Acorns. . 152 xxxiii . . . . . . . . 94 Arts and Crafts: Southeast . 45 Architecture: Northwest Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Anasazi Civilization . 108 Aztec Empire. Berdache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boats and Watercraft . . . . . . . . 115 117 118 123 127 128 130 132 133 134 136 . . . . 14 American Indian Studies . . 35 Architecture: California . . . . . . . . . . 75 Arts and Crafts: Great Basin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beans . . . . 56 Architecture: Southeast . . . 104 Astronomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bragskins . . . . . . 61 Architecture: Subarctic . 66 Art and Artists: Contemporary . . . . . . 83 Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast . . . . . . . 147 . . . . . . . . . 71 Arts and Crafts: California. . .

. . 156 Cacique . Coup Sticks and Counting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ghost Dance . Dances and Dancing . 263 . 280 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 . . . . . . . . . 243 Education: Post-contact. False Face Ceremony . . . . . . . . . Dress and Adornment . 303 . . . . Chickee . Hand Tremblers Headdresses . . . . . . . . . . . Corn Woman. . . . 191 . . . Earthlodge . . 287 289 291 294 . 260 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grass Dance . . . Guns . Grooming . Hamatsa . . . . . . . Games and Contests . Gifts and Gift Giving . . . . . Green Corn Dance. . Food Preparation and Cooking . . . . Dogs . . . . Culture Areas . 295 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 . . . . Hand Games . . . Captivity and Captivity Narratives . . Chilkat Blankets . 225 230 231 233 242 Gambling. . . Clowns . . . . . . . . . . 215 . Drums . . . . . . . . . . . . Codices . Flutes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grass House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elderly . . Clans . . . . . . 214 . . . Deer Dance. . . . . . . . 254 xxxiv . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 . Ethnophilosophy and Worldview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 . . . . . . . . . .Alphabetical List of Contents Buffalo Dance . . . . . . . . . . Gourd Dance. . . . . . . . Demography . . Children . . . . . 210 . . . . Disease and Intergroup Contact . . . . . . Fish and Fishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feast of the Dead . . . . . . . . Chantways . . 160 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feathers and Featherwork . . . . Feasts . . . . . . . . . . . . . Calumets and Pipe Bags . . . . . . . Guardian Spirits . . . . Death and Mortuary Customs. . . . . . . 162 163 167 168 173 174 178 180 182 183 189 190 Effigy Mounds . Cliff Dwellings. . . . . 245 Education: Pre-contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fire and Firemaking. . . . . Corn. . . . . . . . . . . . Gold and Goldworking . . . Gender Relations and Roles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cotton . . 258 . . . . . . . . . . Dream Catchers . . . . . . . Employment and Unemployment . . . . Sacred . . . . 270 . . . . . 202 . . . . . . . . . . Hako . . . . . . . . 308 319 323 325 327 328 329 330 332 336 337 339 343 344 346 348 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Bundles. . . . . . 298 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . Longhouse Religion . . . . . Morning Star Ceremony Mosaic and Inlay . . . . Midwinter Ceremony . . 353 355 356 362 365 366 369 370 371 372 374 Maru Cult . 454 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496 Native American Church . . . Language Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hogan . . . . . . 420 Marriage and Divorce. . . Husk Face Society . . . . . . Mounds and Mound Builders . . . . . . . . . . 438 . Moccasins . . . . . . . . Incest Taboo . . . . . 379 . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact . . . . . . . Mississippian Culture. . Kinnikinnick . . . . . . Mother Earth. . . . . 455 . . . . 501 Okeepa . . . Military Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395 396 397 402 412 414 415 Lacrosse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390 . . . . . . . . .Alphabetical List of Contents Volume 2 Hides and Hidework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 487 Names and Naming. . . . . . . . . . 507 Manibozho . . . 375 Kachinas . . . . . . . . 456 457 459 460 462 463 468 473 474 479 481 482 483 Igloo . Metalwork . . . . . . . Joking Relations . . . . . . . . . . Money . . . . . . Mogollon Culture . . . . . . . . . Knives . 377 . . . . . . . . . . . . Lean-To . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Land Claims . . . . . Medicine Wheels . . . . . . . . . . . . . 380 . Hohokam Culture . . Lances and Spears. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Masks . Indian Police and Judges . . Mayan Civilization . . . . . . 506 Olmec Civilization . . Horses . . . . . . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact . . . Music and Song . . . Kuksu Rituals and Society. . . Menses and Menstruation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine Bundles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425 427 431 432 . . . 391 . . . Midewiwin. Missions and Missionaries . . . 498 Ohio Mound Builders. 484 . 446 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 422 xxxv . Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . Humor . . 388 . . Kinship and Social Organization . . . . . . 418 Maple Syrup and Sugar . . . . . . Hunting and Gathering. . . . . . . . Kivas . . . . Irrigation . . . . Longhouse . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . Religion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secotan . . . . . 575 . . . . . . . . Syllabaries . . . . . Political Organization and Leadership. . 512 Oratory . . . . . . Pan-Indianism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 709 . . . . Puberty and Initiation Rites . . . . . . . . 524 526 531 532 533 536 540 544 545 547 549 Resources. . . . . . Sacred. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shells and Shellwork . . . . . 576 . . 585 586 595 603 608 . . . 561 . . . . Social Control . . . . 622 623 630 633 635 636 638 641 642 644 645 647 649 651 651 654 658 659 662 666 667 670 678 679 683 684 686 691 692 702 703 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Salt . . . . . . 611 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 617 Rites of Passage . . Serpent Mounds . . Star Quilts . . . . . . .Alphabetical List of Contents Oral Literatures . . . . . . . . . . 550 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pottery . . . . . . Projectile Points . . . . . . . . . Religious Specialists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sun Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sacred Narratives . . . . Stereotypes . . . . . Shields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peyote and Peyote Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secret Societies. . . . . . Relocation . . . . . Sign Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 563 . . . . . Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths . . . . . . . 582 Quillwork . Praying Indians . . . . . Squash . . . . . the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sculpture . . . . . . . . . . Stomp Dance. . Scalps and Scalping . . . . . . . . . 568 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 580 Quetzalcóatl . . . . . . . Parfleche . Suicide . . . . . . . Salmon . . . 572 . . . . . . . . . 618 Sachem . . . . 520 Ornaments . . . . . . . . . Potlatch . . . Slavery . . . . . . . . Pictographs . . . . . . . Pueblo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 583 Ranching . . . . 614 Rite of Consolation . . . . Silverworking . . . . . . . . 523 Paints and Painting . . . . . . . . . . Shaking Tent Ceremony Shalako . . . . . . . . . . . . Societies: Non-kin-based Spirit Dancing . . . . Pemmican . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pit House . Petroglyphs . . . . 711 xxxvi . . . . . . . . . . . Pochteca . . . . . . Subsistence . . . . . Pipestone Quarries . Repatriation . . . . . . . . . . . . Shaker Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pow-wows and Celebrations . Sports Mascots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sand Painting . . . . . . . . Snake Dance . . . . . Plank House . Resource Use: Pre-contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . Whales and Whaling . . . . . . . . . . . 791 794 799 801 803 804 805 806 808 810 811 812 814 822 Zapotec Civilization. . . . Women’s Societies. . . . . . Transportation Modes Tribal Colleges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 713 Tanning . . . . . Tools . . . . . and Libraries . . . . . . . . . . . Torture . 829 Festivals and Pow-Wows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Windigo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . War Bonnets . . . . . . Wild Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 824 Educational Institutions and Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Technology . Totem Poles . . . . . Turquoise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tattoos and Tattooing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Toys . . . . . . . Agencies. . . . . 1037 Subject Index . . . . . . . . . . White Deerskin Dance Wickiup. . . . Archives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 938 Organizations. 777 778 781 783 790 xxxvii . . . . . . . . White Buffalo Society . . . . . . . 1029 Culture Area Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Twins . . Wigwam . . . . . . . Wintercounts . . . 715 715 717 725 727 728 730 731 737 739 741 743 746 747 751 754 759 761 763 766 768 Weapons . . Weirs and Traps . . . Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . and Societies . . . . . . . . . . . Totems . . . . . . . . Tricksters . . . . 774 Walam Olum . . . . Tomahawks . . . . . . . . 857 Glossary . . . . . . . . . . Witchcraft and Sorcery Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weaving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Warfare and Conflict Wattle and Daub. . . . . . . . . . . 888 Museums. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 874 Mediagraphy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 769 Visions and Vision Quests . . . . . . . Tobacco . . . . . . . . . . . 1043 Urban Indians . . . . . . Tribal Courts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 985 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . Tribal Councils. . Tourism. Tobacco Society and Dance . . . . . . . Wampum . . . . . . . . . . 1019 Category Index . . . . .Alphabetical List of Contents Volume 3 Symbolism in Art . . 976 Tribes by Culture Area . . . . . Tipi . . 991 Web Resources . . . . . . .

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American Indian Culture .

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California Hackensack.MAGILL’S C H O I C E American Indian Culture Volume 3 Symbolism in Art—Zapotec Civilization Appendices Indexes Edited by Carole A. Markowitz Washington and Lee University Salem Press. Inc. New Jersey . Barrett University of Mary Harvey J. Pasadena.

Z39. Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997). All rights in this book are reserved. Harvey. ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk. p. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol. Markowitz. including photocopy. Inc. Pasadena. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or transmitted in any form or by any means.O. Series. and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999). P. California 91115. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials.004′97—dc22 2004001362 First Printing printed in the united states of america . 3 : alk. Barrett. Harvey J. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index.. 1 : alk. recording. E98. 2 : alk. III. Barrett. Inc. or any information storage and retrieval system. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. Box 50062. Salem Press. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995). For information address the publisher. essays have been updated and new essays have been added. Markowitz. II. cm.S7A44 2004 970. paper) 1.Copyright © 2004. I. by Salem Press. without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. electronic or mechanical. Carole A. Indians of North America—Social life and customs.

Vol.5 1. the more preferable the acorns. ed.Acorns / 1 Acorns Tribes affected: Tribes in California and the prehistoric Northeast Significance: Acorns provided a starchy food staple for various Indian groups. D.0 1. Seven Oak Trees Used by California Indians Common Name Tan oak Black oak Blue oak Valley oak Coast live oak Oregon oak Engelmann oak Species Lithocarpus densiflora Quercus kelloggii Quercus douglasii Quercus lobata Quercus agrifolia Quercus garryana Quercus engelmannii Desirability Rating 1. Baumhoff (1963). the nuts of oak trees. average 40-50 percent carbohydrates.c. 3-4 percent protein. particularly in the Northeast and California.e.. Northeastern Indians were using acorns only sparingly as food. This abundant and easily collected nut became the dietary mainstay for various Indian groups. edited by William C. Note: Acorns were of great importance to California Indians even in areas in which not many were available. however. “Desirability rating” scale created by Martin A. Washington. Acorns.C. the lower the number. 8 in Handbook of North American Indians. The earliest unequivocal evidence of the dietary use of acorns comes from the Lamoka culture of New York. California. Archaeological sites in Massachusetts dating from a millennium later also have produced clear evidence of the eating of large quantities of acorns.9 2. and 5-10 percent fat..: Smithsonian Institution. .2 Source: Heizer.0 2. probably around 3500 b. making them a nutritious foodstuff providing about 168 calories per ounce.5 1. Sturtevant. 1978. By the historic period.0 2. Robert F.

This staple supported many California Indians into the late nineteenth century. Six species of acorn were gathered. often forming the bulk of the diet. Russell J.2 / Adobe In California.e. and families commonly obtained enough in one season to last them two years. They build large community dwellings of masonry and adobe that endure. Adobe Tribes affected: Pueblo peoples Significance: Adobe. Some of the oldest standing structures in the United States are . in some cases. The word can be used to describe the bricks themselves or the clay or soil from which they are made. To reduce infestation by vermin. the base of a granary might be painted with pitch. as well as the mortar sometimes made from them and the structures built with them. an energy-efficient building material. which include such well-known tribes as the Hopi and Zuñi.. around 1000 b. for centuries. “Adobe” comes from the identical Spanish word. meaning “the brick. The acorn meal was boiled into gruel or baked into pancake-biscuits on heated rocks. The acorns were ground as needed. The acorns typically were stored in baskets or wooden granaries.c. made possible the typical buildings of the Puebloans of the Southwest. and bitter tannin was leached out by washing the acorn meal repeatedly with hot water. which in turn is taken from the Arabic word attoba.” Adobe bricks are made of clay and straw mixed with water and dried in the sun. Subsistence. Barber See also: Hunting and Gathering. some as much as 5 feet in diameter and 8 feet high. or fragrant laurel leaves might be included. but it ultimately was more important. Adobe is used as a building material primarily in the southwestern United States by the Pueblo peoples. major use of acorns began later.

Pit House. Adobe is energy-efficient. Adoption Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Native Americans had very different ideas about family from those now accepted in America. Simpson See also: Architecture: Southwest. and adoption was a widespread practice.Adoption / 3 A single-family Zuñi adobe dwelling in 1879. Michael W. (National Archives) made of this material. uncles. cousins. many more people were considered family to begin with. a family was not only the nuclear family but also parents. and other related individuals who might need the “sponsorship” . Pueblo. Buildings made of adobe can rise up to five stories in height. parents-in-law. aunts. In most American Indian cultures. as it insulates well against both heat and cold. It is a building material well suited to the desert environments in which it is most commonly used.

sisters. brothers. the Ute allowed their children to live with Spanish-speaking residents of trading partners so that the children would learn a second language and culture. children were cherished. children without parents were taken in by relatives. make gifts for. full family status was accorded to him or her by all members of the family. share stories with. a bereaved parent mourning the death of a beloved child might be offered another child by a friend or relative. The giving family was extending to the receiving family the right to love. The Winnebagos were known to have done this.” Indian families were very loving and supportive. That may be the reason that some children who had been captured and reared by Indians preferred to stay with them. such as a cousin’s child. The child did not give up his or her birth family so . also took place with orphans or captives. While these were not considered adoptions by Indians. related children. although they continued to identify themselves as Ute. Her parents. Adoptions. Again. educate. adore. Individuals who had been adopted became part of the family. these children were not considered as “belonging” to the receiving family. For example. In another form of adoption. These children then belonged to both families. but other adults continued to give them horses and beaded clothing and to treat them kindly throughout their lives. even when “rescued. and adults gave freely to all children. and train the child. An example of one to be adopted would be a great aunt whose children had died or moved to another camp or tribe. Adoption could be temporary or permanent. When a person of any age was claimed as a relative. A Cheyenne girl who showed particular interest in quillwork at nine years of age might go to live with an aunt who was skilled in this work.4 / Adoption of a family. Among most nations. and cousins often continued to interact with her on a daily basis. Among the Lakota. as defined by American society. might be reared by the parents until a certain age and then allowed to live with relatives who might have special skills or children of similar age. and the person was treated as though he or she had been born into the family. they are frequently cited in the non-Indian literature about Indians as adoptions.

The beginnings of agriculture among the Indians of North America stretch far back into prehistory. for the Indi- . the gathering of their seeds. Omaha Boy Sources for Further Study Bensen. The progress of agriculture was very slow. perhaps as far back as seven thousand years. Most likely the first efforts were more like gardens than agricultural fields. and deliberate planting and raising of them at a prepared site in order to be able to harvest the resulting crop. Indian Orphanages. knowledge and seeds appear to have radiated outward. notably northward. Children. Agriculture Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Although the North American Indians have a long tradition of agriculture. See also: Captivity and Captivity Narratives. Slavery. Holt. Robert. Exactly when it began—when the native peoples of North America began relying on deliberately cultivated crops for a portion of their caloric requirements—is a matter of debate. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Marilyn Irvin. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Nancy H. Children of the Dragonfly: Native American Voices on Child Custody and Education. The benefits of both families were stronger relationships. Indian agriculture has steadily declined. it has not been successfully integrated with white agriculture. What is not in debate is where it began: Mexico is clearly the location of the earliest efforts to produce cultivated crops. 2001. ed. It began with the domestication of one or two wild plants. The child might reside in one home or the other at different times. 2001.Agriculture / 5 much as he or she added another family. resulting in a stronger support system. From there.

cultivation. however. All agriculture was hand labor. The third phase. The second phase (at least in North America) is that covering the period from Columbus’ discovery to the close of the American Revolution. That reduced their dependence on fruits and nuts they could gather and on game they could kill. the earliest cultivated plants were the gourds. going off on hunting expeditions. There. however. As new varieties of cucurbit emerged (from careful seed selection by the Indians). the cucurbits. did become a regular foodstuff. the pulp was too bitter to eat. squashlike vegetables were produced and eaten regularly. constituting the “peanuts” of Indian agriculture. In the earliest adaptations from wild plants. and much of the harvesting work. the men remained the hunters. most Indians lived in relatively permanent villages. metal tools. The pre-contact agriculture of the North American Indians began in the highlands of Mexico. when the Indians were wards of the federal government. The seeds. the Indians were able to produce larger and larger portions of their caloric requirements from agriculture. The women were responsible for the planting. with tools that lacked the precise usefulness of modern. Pre-contact Agriculture. The first phase. In time. . and harvested. roughly from 1500 to 1783. The story of Indian agriculture falls naturally into three phases. some Indian tribes were supplying as much as 50 to 60 percent of their nutritional requirements from crops they planted. in the United States. During much of the millennium prior to European contact. gourds were used as containers. By the time of European contact. sometimes for weeks at a time.6 / Agriculture ans were constrained by two factors that did not affect residents of the Old World: The Indians lacked metal tools and they lacked domesticated animals. covering perhaps five thousand years. is the period after 1783. They came to specialize in the production of food for the group. cultivated. is all the time that transpired before Christopher Columbus initiated the flood of Europeans into the Western Hemisphere.

in the Southwest. ridge tops. the Indians were cultivating a wide variety of crops. The latter. this was usually accomplished by drying. squashes. had all come from central Mexico. In most cases. Planting was done with the aid of a dibble stick. beans came later. The squashes came first. together with the herbaceous cover.Agriculture / 7 The Indians settled in places where the soil could be easily worked with simple tools. the Indians generally girdled the trees and uprooted the shrubs. alluvial plains. were burned. Depending on the crop. sometimes twice. If the land chosen for cultivation had shrubs and trees growing on it. but in time came to constitute an important part of the Indian diet. The harvesting was also largely women’s work. probably around 1000 c. In the rare cases where irrigation was practiced. It was then packed. beans. sandy soil that could be easily worked with tools made from forked sticks. the Indians burned over a field assigned to be cultivated each year. and stone. Their usefulness depended on the possession of pottery vessels in which they could be cooked. These places generally had light. and other flexible plant materials). often in baskets made from plant material (corn stalks. frequently in pits. the Indian women weeded the crop at least once. in this way they provided some lime and potash for the new crop. . By the end of the prehistoric period. often only a digging stick. the harvested material needed to be prepared so that it would keep. and stored. the women took over. otherwise agriculture was women’s work.. a process carried out by the men of the tribe.e. the crops were planted around the stumps of any remaining trees. The favored locations were stream bottoms. the men were responsible for the construction and the maintenance of the irrigation ditches. and corn. though the men sometimes helped with it. willow withes. thrust into the ground and worked around to provide a hole into which the seed could be dropped. Once the land was cleared for cultivation. clam shells. Once the planted vegetables had come up. The material was hung up in the sun until all the moisture was gone. The most important of these. to a lesser extent. and.

turned a portion of Indian agriculture into commercial agriculture. Cultivation of these native species declined after the arrival of maize. The southwestern Indians also developed the necessary skills to convert the fiber to cloth. and sunflower (Helianthus annus) were the most important of these native plants that were domesticated by the Indians. however.e. The story of how the first Europeans to arrive as colonists sur- . the most important Indian crop was maize. by trading manufactured items with the Indians for agricultural products. not women) for its ceremonial use. Two important crops that were not food crops were tobacco and cotton. 1500-1783. Prior to the development of maize. the Europeans brought many new crops. There is. a native of the central Mexican highlands. One important food plant that was never fully domesticated (although there is some evidence of domestication by the Chippewas) but was harvested for many centuries by the Indians of the northern tier of the United States was wild rice. The arrival of the European colonists profoundly altered Indian agriculture in two principal ways: The Europeans. How early a cultivated maize had developed in North America is under dispute among archaeologists. as the latter fulfilled far more easily the carbohydrate nutritional needs of the Indians.8 / Agriculture Without a doubt. Sumpweed (Iva annua). generally in irrigated plots. some of which were eagerly adopted by the Indians. The Indians of Minnesota to this day have exclusive rights to the wild rice growing in those northern swamps. it was developed as a crop sometime after 500 c. evidence that maize as a cultivated crop was widespread among Native Americans by 1000 c. Cotton was grown only in the Southwest. a cultivated version of the wild plant teosinte. there is archaeological evidence of the cultivation of some native grasses that produced seeds rich in oil.e. goosefoot (Chenopodium bushianum or berlandieri). Tobacco was grown (mostly by men. Tobacco was being grown all over what is now the United States by the resident Indians at the time of European contact. Additionally.

The Europeans brought with them manufactured products. One of the most important crops brought by the Europeans was wheat. . cattle. and it became a major crop for the Indians of that area.Agriculture / 9 vived only because they acquired food from the Indians is familiar to every American schoolchild. The Europeans added crops other than wheat to the traditional Indian produce. where grazing is the only possible agricultural use of much of the dry land of that area. It is widely known that the Plains Indians acquired horses from the Spaniards and that the acquisition profoundly altered their lifestyle. Peach orchards were particularly popular with the Indians of the Southwest. The Indians themselves had two things to offer: crops they had grown and skins from wild animals. mules. In some areas Indians actually traded plow services from the colonists for skins and agricultural products. The Europeans introduced the idea of orchards. as did the Plains Indians. The Spaniards also introduced the plow. Both potatoes and tomatoes became part of the Indian diet as a result of European introduction. The Europeans brought horses. and they were eager to acquire them. and although some Indians (notably the Cherokee) were initially reluctant to use plows. sheep. notably axes. and goats. Apricots and apples were also grown in orchards after being introduced. A major agricultural change introduced by the Europeans was the raising of livestock. The Indians had obtained all their meat from game prior to European contact. Watermelons and cantaloupes were also introduced by the Europeans. particularly peach orchards. and some tribes took to the idea. The latter were in demand in Europe and financed much of the early development of the European colonies. Sheep and goats became particularly popular with the Indians of the Southwest. The Spaniards introduced wheat to the Indians of the Southwest. Some of the midwestern and eastern Indians recognized the value of oxen and began to use them for plowing. the former were needed by the colonists for survival until they could develop their own fields. whose use the Indians could readily appreciate. The Indians of the Mississippi Valley also began growing wheat. many other tribes readily adopted plow agriculture.

The victory of the colonists in the American Revolution had a profound impact on Indian agriculture. Congress became convinced that it could significantly lessen the costs of Indian support (needed to supplement the produce of Indian agriculture) if it created the incentive of private property.10 / Agriculture 1783-1887.” thus effectively separating them from the European Americans. The federal government. considerable effort was devoted to inculcating white agricultural practices. developed a definitive policy with respect to the Indians still living in the territory ceded by the British in 1783. as the Dawes Severalty Act. from its author. These acts stressed the development of white farming practices among the Indians and provided funds for tools (mostly plows and hoes) and even livestock to enable the Indians to become typical small farmers like the vast majority of white citizens of that time. defining the relationship between Indians and white Americans. a single man 80 acres. The title to the land was held in trust by the federal government for twenty-five . Although agriculture had been slowly gaining among the Indians. the federal government obtained western areas where it could establish new reservations to which the Indians could be “removed. an abrupt change occurred in the Indian policy of the federal government. as soon as it was well organized. It therefore passed what was widely known. With the Louisiana Purchase. 1887-1934. Congress passed what were known as the Trade and Intercourse Acts. The Indian agents appointed by the federal government for each tribe were instructed to promote such agricultural practices among the Indians. In the 1790’s. That policy essentially involved separating the two groups—pushing the Indians into areas not inhabited by white Americans so as to open up more of the land for settlement by the colonists. In 1887. however. this policy of separating the Indians from the white Americans became more explicit. Senator Henry Dawes. This act authorized the president to divide reservation land into individual allotments: Each head of household was to receive 160 acres. By acquiring vast lands in the trans-Mississippi region. At the same time. otherwise called the General Allotment Act. and a child 40 acres.

then the remainder of the land was opened to white settlement. To Indians. the land was to be divided among all his heirs. If the reservation contained more land than was needed to allot each member of the tribe his prescribed share. Also crucially important was the fact that the land assigned to the Indians under the allotment system was incapable of providing subsistence for a family in the amount allotted. depended on heavy capital investment in plows and harvesting equipment.Agriculture / 11 years. where tillage agriculture. if it could be carried on at all. but it required many more acres than the 160 allotted. it in fact had the opposite effect. actually the most hopeful revenue for Indian agriculture in the plains states. If that owner should die before the twenty-five years had elapsed. First. that it should be used to amass individual wealth was wholly outside their sense of the appropriate. The funds derived from selling these “surplus” lands to whites were to be set aside in a trust fund for the benefit of the tribe. a private-property culture on peoples whose own culture largely lacked such a concept. Their report. The result was. Raising livestock was a practical option. instead. By the 1920’s. An allotment of 160 acres was simply too little land in an area of light rainfall. Most critics of the policy stress the fact that it attempted to impose. that the Indians gave up attempts at agriculture and instead began leasing their land to whites who had the capital and the expertise to farm it. Although the underlying concept of the General Allotment Act and the allotment policy was that it would hasten the time when all Indians would become at least subsistence farmers. The allotment policy discouraged the development of tribal herds run on a cooperative basis. The secretary of the interior commissioned a report to be produced by a group of specialists headed by Lewis Meriam. There were a number of reasons for this failure. the land was made available by the Great Spirit for the use of his children. it was clear that the allotment policy was a failure. at the end of which time full title to the land would be transferred to the Indian owner. any notion of remaking . by legislation. had three principal recommendations regarding agriculture. known as the Meriam Report (1928).

so that now no more than 10 percent are agriculturally active. by the 1970’s that figure had dropped to around 50 million. poultry raising. the focus of Indian agriculture should shift from tillage to livestock raising. Nancy M. The Roosevelt Administration appointed a new commissioner of Indian affairs. Gordon . the federal government. The report recognized that most Indian land was only suitable for grazing anyway. and some funds were provided for the purchase of additional land. for which Indian men showed greater aptitude. Third. particularly cooperative agricultural efforts. Prior to allotment. but only a modest portion of the more than 50 million acres once assigned to Indians but lost under allotment was recovered. Indians had had more than 100 million acres under their control. In most recent years. Any former reservation land that had been opened to white homesteading but not taken would be returned to the tribe. These efforts had some success among Plains Indians. has largely given up attempting to encourage agriculture among them. The period since World War II has seen vacillating Indian policy on the part of the government. more government programs should be directed toward women to encourage subsistence gardening. Collier pushed tribal initiatives. Second. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ended allotments for any tribes that agreed with the new policy. John Collier.12 / Agriculture the Indians into commercial farmers should be abandoned—the most that could be hoped for would be subsistence agriculture. The steady decline in Indian land under the allotment policy was reversed. who had new ideas about how to conduct Indian policy. Since 1934. These recommendations laid the basis for a reversal of Indian agricultural policy under the New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt. although recognizing its continuing responsibility to the Indians. and modern methods of food preservation. Agriculture has continued to decline among Indians.

Neither Wolf nor Dog: American Indians. A collection of papers by archaeologists involved in seeking data on prehistoric agriculture. Notes. Prehistoric Food Production in North America. 1992. The author of the preeminent history of New England agriculture looks at the culture that preceded it. New York: Oxford University Press. Hanover. The author is critical of the policy pursued as lacking in consideration for the special constraints imposed by Indian culture.H. Leonard A. Part 4. Bibliographic note. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press..Agriculture / 13 Sources for Further Study Carlson. Bureaucrats. Hoffman. Howard S. Westport. and Agrarian Change. Notes and bibliography. extensive bibliography. Carlson includes an economic model of the behavioral response that might be expected to allotment-type inducements. Ford. 1981. and Tohono O’odhams. Environment. An alternate view of how prehistoric North Ameri- . Lewis..: University Press of New England. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Rivers of Change: Essays on Early Agriculture in Eastern North America. Indian New England Before the Mayflower. “The Bountiful Earth. An examination of the effects of the federal agrarian system on three Native American groups—Hupas. N. and index. Indian Agriculture in America: Prehistory to the Present. Hurt. Smith. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1980.” describes the agriculture of the New England Indians. Conn. with contributions by C. Russell. 1987. R. and Land: The Dawes Act and the Decline of Indian Farming. 1985. The detail is fairly exhaustive. Bruce D. Selected bibliography. The bulk of the book is devoted to discussing the Indian policy of the federal government as it relates to agriculture. Richard I. extensive notes to text. An intensive study of the effect of the allotment system on the participation of Indians in agriculture. Wesley Cowan and Michael P.: Greenwood Press. but the general picture is clear. ed. Douglas. 1994. A good general survey. Northern Utes. Indians. David Rich.

many Indian problems with crime. contemporary and historical. Peter A. and poverty are related to heavy drinking.14 / Alcoholism can cultures evolved from hunting and gathering societies to agricultural-based societies. a pervasive sense of despair (particularly among young reservation Indians). Early Contact Years. The most severe health problem among contemporary American Indians is alcoholism. and merchants often gave Indians liquor as a gift or ex- . Food Preparation and Cooking. Subsistence. “Contrastive Subsistence Strategies and Land Use as Factors for Understanding Indian-White Relations in New England. Thomas. alcoholic beverages did not exist in North America before the Europeans came. trappers. though they were widely used by Central and South American natives. Irrigation. and the stresses involved in adjusting to non-Indian life. but central among them are poverty.” Ethnohistory 23 (1976): 1-18. health. References. Corn. A thoughtful consideration of the thorny question of whether the Indians or the European settlers were more efficient and effective users of the land. With the exception of parts of the Southwest. See also: Anasazi Civilization. have extremely high rates of alcoholism. Both Indian and nonIndian sources. Technology. Early French and English explorers. whether living on or off reservations. Alcoholism Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: American Indians. Squash. Beans. The reasons for the problem are complex. also point to drinking as one reaction to the profound disruption of Indian societies that began soon after Europeans landed in the Americas and which intensified through the years.

There were no religious strictures or stigma attached to being under the influence of alcohol. The Lakota Sioux called alcohol “the magic water. and prayer until a state of altered consciousness is achieved. . French priests in Canada reported that many natives were drinking alcohol heavily during their ceremonies and dances. A difference. having no previous experience with alcohol intoxication. wretched. even though the Catholic church deplored such practices and the French government outlawed the sale or use of liquor in trade. As early as 1603. By the early 1600’s. French Canadian traders were encouraging the use of alcohol among the Huron. he said. Eighteenth century accounts suggest that. there were occasional drunken revels that would essentially engulf a whole village or town and end when the liquor was gone. creating a market. . Alco- . Drinking patterns varied by individual and by tribe.” for example. and some scholars have noted a link between drinking liquor until drunk and the traditional Indian practice of going on a vision quest seeking wisdom and strength through fasting. did not have a set of social norms or expectations governing drinking. John Stuart stated in 1776 that English traders obtained five times as many animal skins from the Choctaws of the Southeast through trading alcohol than through the trade of English manufactured goods of any real value.” The white stereotype of the dangerous firewater-drinking Indian became established early. were known for not drinking at all. and discontented. the truth is simply that some Indians drank and others did not. . Regardless of what some whites believed. a number of cultures. they realized that trading liquor was a cheap way to obtain valuable furs. and being drunk may have developed religious overtones in some Indian cultures. meditation. Whiskey and rum quickly became prime items of trade—and killers of Indians. European traders cultivated the desire for liquor among Indians. was making the Choctaws “poor. among them the Pawnee. This situation. was that Indian cultures. Indian drinking behavior was no more dangerous or violent than that of the Europeans who lived along the frontier. among the Iroquois. for example. however.Alcoholism / 15 changed it for food or furs. life would then return to normal. as European cultures did.

Many tribal political and religious leaders soon recognized the danger that alcohol posed to traditional culture. Statistics at the time of the commission’s report emphasized the prevalence of the problem: Seventyone percent of all arrests on reservations involved alcohol.000) than for other Americans (6. Easier access to alcoholic beverages led to a steady increase in cases of alcoholism among Native Americans.1 per 100. established by Congress in 1975 to survey major reservation problems. Many tribal leaders tried to ban alcohol from their villages. It found that almost one-half of Indian adults had some sort of chemical dependency. Another alcohol-related health problem. was more than four times greater for Indians (27. concluded that alcohol abuse was the most severe health care problem faced by Native Americans. among American Indians included abstinence from liquor as a central tenet: One was the Longhouse religion established by Handsome Lake.3 per 100. another was the PanIndian movement led by Tenskwatawa.16 / Alcoholism hol intoxication may also have been considered akin to being influenced or possessed by a supernatural being. Death from cirrhosis of the liver. but enforcing the law proved impossible. when Congress permitted its sale if local tribal governments voted to allow it. but such efforts rarely succeeded. A report issued by the American Indian Policy Review Commission. In the Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts of 1834. the United States government prohibited the sale of alcohol to Native Americans. Smugglers made huge profits. and the death rate from drunk driving on reservations was three times the rate for the general population. almost always caused by alcoholism. Impact on the Indian Population. one which has been recognized relatively recently. A number of post-contact religious movements. with alcohol being the chemical most often abused. is fetal alcohol syn- . Alcohol remained illegal on Indian reservations until 1953.000). or revitalization movements. The suicide rate among Native Americans— which drinking undoubtedly influences—was more than double the national rate. and bootlegging became one way of becoming very rich on the frontier.

to encourage drinking actively. Other aspects of Indian alcoholism are the social factors thought. One study of a reservation in North Dakota found that most residents faced almost daily pressure from friends and family members to drink.S. is grim compared with that of most Americans. Those who have studied Indian drinking generally believe that alcohol abuse among Native Americans results from the same factors that lead to high levels of alcoholism among other populations: It is a means of coping with unemployment. drunkenness was seen as a way of acknowledging that one is no better than one’s neighbor and that one knows how to have a good time. and alienation. It has been suggested that drinking may amount to a form of social protest: By not obeying the rules of white society. Congress enacted the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. viewed in this way. recognizing the severity of the problem. In 1986. following the awakening (and suppression) of Indian activism in the 1960’s and 1970’s. . A 1985 study reported that one-third of all Indian deaths were related to alcohol—three times as many as the U. particularly those on isolated reservations. a Native American displays contempt for those who destroyed his or her culture and who now do not offer opportunities in theirs. and there is little pressure put on alcoholics to seek help or change their ways. In the late twentieth century. by some. population. Many adults supported the idea that individuals have the right to become publicly intoxicated.Alcoholism / 17 drome (FAS). The economic situation of American Indians. younger Indians became increasingly aware of past injustices toward Indians and increasingly desperate regarding what seemed to be the lack of future opportunities.S. Native American women have been found to have babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome at a rate greater than ten times that of the rest of the U. In addition. Drinking is tolerated by many adults on reservations. average. a disease that stunts growth and interferes with brain development in the babies of alcoholic mothers. poverty. drinking may be seen as representing a sense of community.

Md. Westport. Levy. Atlanta. the search for an Indian answer to alcoholism has involved the reawakening of interest in Indian spiritual and cultural traditions. N. Relocation. Michael. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous have opened chapters in Indian communities. Because Indian alcoholism so often involves group activity. Stephen J.S. Kunitz. Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America. as more Indians themselves work for the Indian Health Service (which serves reservation communities). new possibilities exist for stemming the tide of alcoholism. Lanham. Fixico. Laurence Armand. Urban Indians. The Urban Experience in America. 2000. Washington. Alcoholism: A High Priority Health Problem. Counseling American Indians. Mancall. 2000. D. New York: Harper & Row. 1996. Addictions and Native Americans. Devon A. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact. Ithaca. The Broken Cord. and as sufficient funding becomes available. Task Force on Indian Alcoholism. Mihesuah. American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities.C. 1989.18 / Alcoholism There is hope that the situation will begin to improve.: University Press of America. Indian Health Service. 1997. Leslie V. Conn. Conduct Disorder and Social Change: Navajo Experiences. French. Tischauser Sources for Further Study Dorris. 2000. New York: Oxford University Press. Government Printing Office. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 1995. Drinking.Y. . and Jerrold E. Peter C. As Indian cultural pride and solidarity increase. Donald Lee. 1977. _______.: Clarity. approaches involving groups and entire communities have proved more beneficial than have private counseling and treatment. Ga. Stereotypes.: Praeger.: Cornell University Press. See also: Employment and Unemployment.: U. In addition..

As professor Henrietta Whiteman has stated. Despite limited funds. objective academic disciplines such as history and ethnology. Native American programs began to emerge as interdisciplinary curricula. and service to cross cultural boundaries and create an atmosphere for understanding. the American Indian studies degree programs are the only non-Western courses of study on campus. In many instances. in all probability will never be incorporated into American history. American Indian or Native American studies programs vary considerably in method and subject matter. Most American Indian studies programs focus on long-term goals involved with cultural preservation.” This specific difficulty led in large part to the creation of American Indian studies programs in existing institutions of higher learning. American Indian studies use teaching. because it is holistic.American Indian Studies / 19 American Indian Studies Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: American Indian studies programs. human. personal. and by extension Indian history. seek to preserve and understand American Indian history and culture. and sacred. unlike Western. Establishment of Programs. Since the late 1960’s. These also represent . research. “Cheyenne history. Traditional teachings of tribal and village elders remain the solid foundation of American Indian and Native American studies. American Indian studies (or Native American studies) programs have served as the most important scholarly approach to knowing and understanding American Indian culture. These culture bearers provide the understanding essential to legitimate study of the native peoples of the Americas. Dependence upon European American (notably Anglo-American) source materials has made for distortion in scholarly studies. Though it is equally as valid as Anglo-American history it is destined to remain complementary to white secular American history. which began in the late 1960’s.

six programs also offered a master’s degree. Evergreen College. Other programs developed in the California State University system on campuses at Long Beach. By the mid-1980’s. In 1968. Two degree programs were created in Oklahoma in the early 1970’s. Montana State University. and Stone Child . this helped support thirteen tribally controlled colleges. Initially. California had the largest Native American population in the United States. Fullerton. Dartmouth College. and Cornell University. the University of North Dakota. and Northridge. Washington State University. budget size. the Navajo Nation created the first tribally controlled institution of higher learning. Of these. one at Northeastern State University at Tahlequah. at least nine additional colleges have been initiated. and quality of program leadership. Tribally controlled colleges added new energy to American Indian studies. Navajo Community College was a success and led to the passage of the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978. and the University of California. the University of Illinois (Chicago). the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Colleges that followed the creation of Navajo Community College include Sinte Glista College. The Native American studies degree program at the University of Oklahoma was accepted by the higher regents in 1993. Oklahoma had the second-largest native population. Other American Indian studies degree programs were created at the University of Minnesota. the University of New Mexico. Since the act’s passage. Berkeley. among others. Dull Knife Memorial College. Blackfeet Community College. various programs began to emerge at the University of California. At that time. the University of Arizona. eighteen programs offered a major leading to a bachelor’s degree. Los Angeles. Salish Kootenai College. the University of Washington. This act provides for some federal support for tribally controlled colleges initiated by tribes in the western United States. and one at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. Little Bighorn College. Standing Rock College. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.20 / American Indian Studies different degrees of institutional support. Tribally Controlled Colleges.

however. the expansion of traditional approaches to knowledge and wisdom. Issues and Concerns. The tribally controlled colleges have become important centers of research. roles. American Indian studies places human beings and the comprehensible societies in which they live into the story. . The tribally controlled colleges are far outstripping the state-supported and private colleges and universities in retention of American Indian students. There was also a movement in American Indian studies toward narrative storytelling in the literature. The quest for meaning appeared in many guises. These colleges are proving to be better suited to the needs of American Indian students and communities than their state-supported and private counterparts. The interest in the emotional component of community life. and perspectives on truth in presentation. and the hope of differentiating Western-based interpretation from traditional knowledge all reflected the aim of uncovering purpose. There was additional attention being given to the way people feel as well as the way they behave. philosophy. contexts. In all these examples. In the early 1990’s. the tribally based community colleges have not only aided the education of individual Indian young people but also improved the development of the tribal communities that they serve. Lummi College of Aquaculture in Washington has expanded to become the Northwest Indian College. the acceptance of grammar and logic stemming from native languages.American Indian Studies / 21 College. survived in a climate of despair. These are real stories. among others. Of primary importance is that Indian people are now controlling institutions that directly affect them. all too often. The tribally controlled colleges offer hope to tribes that have. and intent. meaning. American Indian studies emerged in a period of questioning current methods and practices concerning spirit. not dry and forbidding pieces of analysis. There was pervasive anxiety that the individual is being submerged in community. Sinte Glista College on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation has grown to become the first fully accredited tribally controlled four-year institution of higher learning. structures.

Analytical and technical research is increasingly limited. which is a special mark of scholars and teachers in American Indian stud- . the demand is for a more elusive process of comprehension. stating. There is observation of certain fundamental rules for using evidence so as to be intelligible across cultural boundaries. “While the program is inessential to a liberal arts education. The establishment of an agenda for American Indian studies. They appeal to an interest in behavior that is very different from Anglo-American intellectual concerns. requires such personal feats of imagination and use of language that questions about plausibility and proof are bound to arise. Questions of the use of quantification arise because of the almost exclusive use of United States and Western social science data. attitudes. but never claim to be definitive. What is at stake is a profound epistemological question. dragging the latent out of the manifest. The very process of recovering deeper motivations and attitudes. The insights are justified within a specific tribal context with powerful rhetorical and imaginative methods. hardly seems plausible. Senior faculty at one state-supported university in Oklahoma challenged the continuation of a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies. not just a disagreement over collection of data. None of these skills is difficult to learn. single idea emerges from the doubts that have been expressed about the power of economic development. neither is the telling of a sustained story. American Indian studies many times are very personal and intuitive. or of a special task for its practitioners. it is not inconsistent with one. American Indian studies is united in its respect of tribal traditions. As American Indian studies turns to more emotional content. as mental patterns. of a set of methods or purposes indigenous to the Americas.” This type of Euro-American bias makes it difficult to pursue knowledge and wisdom in an atmosphere with freedom of thought and feeling. and symbolic acts become more prominent.22 / American Indian Studies The quest for meaning only multiplies the pluralism of current research and teaching. The obverse of the quest for meaning is an uneasiness with the material conditions of life that until recently seemed so compelling. A clear.

intellectual and cultural assumptions.American Indian Studies / 23 ies. Once removed from this vital core of information are the tribal archives and records. Archives and Tribal Records. Oklahoma. All scholarship must access this wisdom and knowledge to reflect tribal tradition and history. which functions as a trustee for the United States government. These are held in a variety of ways. . which collects and preserves its records as a part of the Navajo Tribal Council Reference Library in Window Rock. economic and demographic developments. and political behavior. Tribal elders have become wary of “instant experts. A second example is that of the Navajo Nation. These records were placed in trust in 1906. For example. just before Oklahoma statehood. This knowledge and wisdom can be gained only with real commitment over a significant period of time. with mythic patterns and images. social arrangements. A third example is that of the Cherokee Nation. This synthesis convincingly links physical conditions.” whether Indian or non-Indian. while the records of the Cherokee Nation from 1839 through 1906 are held in the Indian Archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The one form of synthesis used most often by those in American Indian studies blends the disparate methods of current research in examinations of tribally specific localities. The most important repository of American Indian knowledge remains with the tribal elders. There is no substitute for this significant information. Each tribe maintains its records in an individual way. which maintains a portion of its records in the Archives of the Cherokee National Historical Society in Tahlequah. the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes maintain their tribal archives as a part of the Wichita Memory Exhibit Museum at the tribal complex on reserve land north of Anadarko. Contact with the tribes is the best means to understand their respective record-keeping systems. before the National Archives of the United States was created.

These are housed in the Washington National Records Center. Large numbers of records about American Indian peoples are held by the National Archives of the United States. The papers of the presidents and many of those of other high officials. These personal papers are collected in large part by state-supported university manuscripts collections.24 / American Indian Studies U. which includes papers and proceedings of the National Archives Conference on Research in the history of Indian-white relations. however. This refers to the records of a single agency. The National Archives endeavors to keep records in the order in which they were maintained by the respective agency. There are important guides to assist in research efforts. and in the manuscript collections of major universities throughout the western United States. and military personnel. American Indian studies has long been limited in perspective because of the heavy dependence upon documents generated by Euro-American policymakers. The two most important of these are Guide to the National Archives of the United States (1974) and Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians (1981). including the files of individual members of Congress. The agency filing system was designed for administrative purposes. Maryland. Suitland. and in eleven regional Federal Archives and Records Centers throughout the United States. The basic organizational unit in the National Archives collections is the record group. not for the benefit of researchers. such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Additional materials concerning Indian-white relations are contained in the United States Supreme Court decisions. Another useful volume is Indian-White Relations: A Persistent Paradox (1976). the research that was used in the Indian Land Claims Act of 1946. businesspersons. National Archives.S. are regarded as their personal property. American Indian people were . Additional records holdings concerning American Indian peoples are contained at the presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Service. Scholarly works accepted many of the assumptions of those who produced these sources.

Tinker. Helps researchers find information contained in the archives. Hill. Richard A. Howard Meredith Sources for Further Study Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.C. Grounds. Language Families. 1985. 2003.A. Tribal Colleges. Heth. and Susan Guyette. .: Author. George E. Native Voices: American Indian Identity and Resistance. politics. Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. Oral Literatures. Wilkins. Edward E. Los Angeles. Examines the field of American Indian studies. D. University of California. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Reviews the colleges that have been established for Native Americans.. Los Angeles: American Indian Studies Center. comp. and David E. Guide to the Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington. More balanced efforts are being made by American Indian scholars utilizing native languages and tribal sources. 1981. G.: National Archives and Records Service. eds. In the last decade.J. Charlotte. N. All American culture and society is being shown in a new light as a result of the creative images and ideas of American Indian studies.. Tribal Colleges: Shaping the Future of Native America. Issues for the Future of American Indian Studies. 1989.American Indian Studies / 25 perceived either negatively as an enemy or romantically as part of the environment. A scholarly examination of law.. scholarship in American Indian studies has changed significantly from this approach. See also: Education: Post-contact.S. Princeton. and religion as related to Native American studies programs.

believed to be descendants of ancient Desert Archaic people. the art appears to have been part of community life. and Colorado). sandals. hair ornaments. The term “Anasazi” derives from an Englishlanguage corruption of a Navajo term.” or “ancient enemy. Larger pit houses were for ceremonial use. Anasazi rock art of the period illustrates humans with broad shoulders. approximately seven feet across. Stone slabs were used for some houses.e. and then vanished. Elaborate headdresses. and other articles were of high caliber. necklaces. The houses had fire pits and were entered by ladders placed in the smokehole of the roof. earrings. Found near the villages. trapezoid-shaped bodies. Smaller slab-lined structures were used for storing food. and sashes adorn the figures. Utah. and very large hands and feet.” The earliest Anasazi are known as the Basket Makers because of their extraordinary skill in basketry. Different groups of Anasazi spoke at least six languages. perhaps occupied seasonally. which describes the many stone ruins of the Four Corners region and may mean “ancient ones. in what is now the Four Corners area (the junction of New Mexico. Anaasa’zi. The villages. highly stylized with geometric motifs. The Anasazi. . These designs gave rise to later Anasazi pottery painting traditions. which were not mutually understood. flourishing about 200-1250 c. with a few cave sites and rock shelters along the San Juan River and open sites in the Rio Grande Valley. Baskets (some woven tightly enough for cooking). a skill learned from their ancestors.26 / Anasazi Civilization Anasazi Civilization Significance: This Basket Maker civilization of the Southwest emerged. advanced architecture and agriculture. but also hunted and foraged. These early people were indistinctive initially. Inhabitants of these early villages planted maize and squash. Upper walls and roofs of many dwellings were made of wood and adobe or wattle and daub. circular houses dug into the ground. Arizona. are the best known of the Southwest prehistoric cultures.” “enemies of the ancient ones. comprised a few pit houses: low. Tunnellike side entries faced the east.

but many were larger. and a draft deflector between the fire and the ventilator shaft were found in many dwellings. Earth-covered wooden roofs were supported by four posts with crossbeams.Anasazi Civilization / 27 As the Basket Maker Anasazi population grew and their territory expanded. Roof or side entrances were retained. and spacious. Within the village were many outdoor work and cooking areas. Excavated holes called sipapu were Area of Anasazi Culture UTAH o llor Coo ado rad vr veer Rii oR COLORADO C San Juan Ri ve r Mesa Verde Mesa Verde Cha co R Kayenta Kayenta Canyon de Canyon de Chelly Chelly iv e r Rive r o ra do Co l Chaco Canyon Chaco Canyon NEW MEXICO Rio Gr a nde ARIZONA Gila River NEW MEXICO ve r s Ri MEXICO o Pe c . which the later Hopi called “kivas. Storage bins. Some houses were dome-shaped. Slab-lined storage buildings and ramadas—roofed. Some kivas were modified houses. open-walled structures shading work and living areas—were built on the surface.” Pit houses became deeper. Almost all had ritual rooms. some thirty-five feet across. benches. a central fire pit. their villages became larger. more complex.

storing food and water. sandalmaking.e. Farming became increasingly important to the Anasazi. beans.e. and cooking and serving food. The Pueblo period of the Anasazi began about 700 c. Infants were bound to cradle boards so that the child could be near the mother. Villages varied in size from small complexes to those with more than a hundred dwellings.. Basketry. the bow and arrow. the opening to the underworld from which people emerged..28 / Anasazi Civilization dug near the center of the floor in many homes and in most kivas. Jars. which endeavored to encourage and ensure agricultural prosperity. and figures playing the flute. Home. near hunting trails. on mesa boulders. Human handprints covered some cliff walls in massed profusion. and stone tools were used generally. roof support poles. The quantity and variety of rock art increased.e. bowls. Turquoise or other offerings were placed in the sipapu.e. or in other open locations. check dams and devices were used in fields near villages. By 900 c. village. By 600 c. and a sipapu. The kiva was entered by ladder through a roof opening that also allowed smoke to escape. Subjects included birds. Feathers and rabbit fur were woven into robes. Pots were used for rituals. animals. a central fire pit. One or more kivas were built in the plaza. hunting scenes. Turkeys and dogs were domesticated. Architecture gradually developed into rectangular surface buildings of dry masonry or stone and adobe that followed a linear arrangement with multiroom units. were cultivated. Buildings usually faced a plaza located to the south or southeast. Kiva architecture included an encircling bench attached to the wall. Rock art was near or in villages. introduced from Mexico. although some local dif- . and the kiva were the focus of community life. and weaving also became increasingly elaborate. a ventilator shaft. To ensure successful crops. Pottery making developed as both an occupation and a basis for trade.. trade activities and movement of the people had engendered a certain amount of cultural uniformity. By 700 c. cotton. Maize was ground on large stone mortars using two-handed grinding stones. and ladles were frequent forms for pottery.

New rooms were attached to older ones. Three stone slabs lean against a vertical cliff face on which two spiral petroglyphs are carved. Families occupied suites of rooms in the great houses. sun daggers fall through the slabs onto the spirals in different places and. The building of Chaco Canyon. trash. squash. It took 150 years before the planned village of Pueblo Bonito realized the conceptions of the original designers. Linear units grew into L-shapes when a room was added at the end of a row to enclose space. Beginning about 1050. L-shapes became U’s and U’s turned into rectangles. a five-story D-shaped structure with eight hundred rooms and thirty-seven kivas. Rooms were organized into units of two or three. Ladders led to upper-level units. the cliff houses of Mesa Verde. The thirty-foot-wide roads were paved and curbed. architecture. Many communities of this period and virtually all of the Chaco-style “great houses” were planned or renovated into single. turkey pens. The Chaco Canyon district included nine great houses and eighteen great kivas within an eight-mile area. Anasazi ate stews of meat. depending on the time of year. The Chaco Anasazi built an elaborate road system of about fifteen hundred miles. the public space of the plaza was enclosed. Skilled as astronomers. with a doorway facing the plaza. “Great kivas” were usually built in the Chaco plazas in addition to smaller ones. and wild vegetables and cornmeal cakes. self-enclosed structures. the Anasazi built celestial observatories on clifftops. and commercial center. Fajada Butte is the most famous. The Anasazi realized their cultural apogee between 1000 and 1300. .Anasazi Civilization / 29 ferences occurred in agriculture. corn mush. Grandest of all the great houses was Pueblo Bonito. the Chaco Anasazi built a complex of twelve elaborate towns that became their religious. and pottery. Other rooms were for storage. and the ruins of Kayenta date from this time. political. Each day before noon. or sometimes burial chambers. Straight paths cut through or were built over gullies. If a village grew or became old enough. covering three acres. Of these. mark the solstices and equinoxes. hills.

Mary Pat Balkus Sources for Further Study Brody. Rev. Concentrates . J. The Anasazi. W. Frazier. Presents a definitive view of the Anasazi. Slowly the people left the basin. New York: W. the Mesa Verde Anasazi moved into the caves below the mesa. About 1100. Stone towers were built.30 / Anasazi Civilization or cliffs. although they continued to farm the mesa. By 1150. As their legacy they left descendants who became the Hopi. the Chacoan culture began to decline. perhaps as watchtowers. Roadside shrines were constructed in widened parts of the road. These roads may have served some ceremonial purpose. Stones closed the entrance to the pueblos. The Mesa Verdeans left as the crisis intensified. The peace-loving people of Pueblo Bonito walled up the doors and windows facing the outside of the great houses. Some of the cliff dwellings became quite large. too. Today the adobe pueblos of the Southwest serve as reminders of the great stone houses of their Anasazi forebears. Cliff Palace numbered two hundred rooms with twenty-three kivas. Walls were made of large rectangular sandstone blocks with little mortar. but decline fell upon these Anasazi. as well as some of their religious and social traditions. Kendrick. J. the Mesa Verde Anasazi began to abandon many small settlements in the mesa. Mud plaster was applied inside and out. By 1300. and updated ed. People of Chaco: A Canyon and Its Culture. leaving access by ladder only. 1999. never to return. A savage. Color photographs and illustrations. the kivas were enclosed within the circle of houses and walls. few Anasazi remained in their once-large domain. Norton. from prehistoric tribes to modern Pueblo people. twenty-three-year drought occurred in the Southwest. Soon. Zuñi. New York: Rizzoli International Press. 1990. which initially followed the traditional Mesa Verde pattern with the kiva in front of the main dwelling. and other Pueblo peoples. One hundred years later. The Mesa Verde Anasazi prospered for some time in their cliff dwellings. Large pueblos developed.

some garments themselves are literally passed down through many generations. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Provides insight into the development of the Chaco roads. Decorations such as appliqué and ribbonwork may lend similarity (if not uniformity) to the clothing of a people. Anasazi America. Kathryn.: American West. but they are usually aware that a certain style is not accidental. Photographs and illustrations. Palo Alto. Lister. 1991. Lister. Photographs and illustrations. Since such garments are usually . Calif. Clothing is a silent communication of personal or cultural values and beliefs.. Pueblo. Pike. and Florence C. Robert H. Gabriel. An examination of the Anasazi people. Those Who Came Before. Roads to Center Place. Observers may not understand the meanings being expressed. 2000. Focuses on historical events that led to exploration.: Johnson Books. Anasazi: Ancient People of the Rock. Southeast tribes Significance: The personalized designs for these traditional garment decorations both express individual style and maintain group identity. Stuart. excavation. Hohokam Culture. 1983. Kivas. with details of each archaeological site. Colo. Boulder. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Photographs and illustrations. Donald. Illustrated with color photographs by David Muench. 1974.Appliqué and Ribbonwork / 31 on the Anasazi of Chaco Canyon. and interpretation of artifacts. David E. Appliqué and Ribbonwork Tribes affected: Northwest Coast. See also: Agriculture. Pottery. Styles of clothing and decoration may be maintained over time as part of a people’s culture. Mogollon Civilization. Eastern Woodlands. Baskets and Basketry. Cliff Dwellings. Architecture: Southwest.

One of the . Outlines of gleaming mother-of-pearl and abalone buttons (as many as three thousand) emphasize the crests and trim the edges of these magnificent blankets. clan. While the women sing mourning songs. They are often embellished with stitching. Appliqués are cutout decorations of contrasting color or fabric stitched to a garment. embroidery. These are typically rendered in colorful combinations of appliqué. or Eagle Clans. In addition to expressing wealth. Worn as ceremonial shawls. or shells. or a people and are thought to carry the essence of the original wearer. The Kwakiutl people of the Northwest Coast are famous for their appliquéd button blankets. On the eve of the potlatch. the wearing of these blankets imparts the qualities of clan animals. After contact with Europeans provided new fabrics. helping to drive away sadness so the celebration can proceed. younger Woodlands women adapted this style to create the cape dancer’s outfit now often seen at pow-wows. The Kwakiutl people are well known for the ceremonial potlatch. Appliqué. they are a visible history of a family. Seminole and Miccosukee women of Florida have raised the use of decorative ribbons to an art form. beads. an extravagant giveaway once banned by the Canadian government.32 / Appliqué and Ribbonwork handmade. the red blankets carry large blue or black appliquéd crests of Raven. Eastern Woodlands women put aside their deerskin outfits and decorated their cotton shawls and skirts with wide borders of silk appliqué. The next day. Ribbonwork. Woodlands men wear aprons and leggings of black velvet decorated in stylized nature designs. For ceremonies and pow-wows. and beads. the men in their crested button blankets perform the Chiefs’ Dance to begin the potlatch. the iridescent buttons sparkle in the firelight. In the mid-twentieth century. women wear button blankets as they dance in the smoke-filled great house. The young dancers whirl in their one-of-a-kind satin shawls decorated with bright. These formal outfits are worn in ceremony and at social gatherings. Wolf. bold appliqués and yards of fringe.

such as checkers or rattlesnake. maps of culture areas.: National Geographic Society. Complex designs have names. some of these attractive designs have been used for many decades. formerly of the Southeast. Women and girls wore full-length ribbon skirts topped with a lightweight cape edged in ribbons. Gale M. . The World of the American Indian. and tribal location supplement. Copying of designs by those who admire them is considered an honor to the originator. The early tradition was knee-length shirts for elderly men and longer shirts for younger men. They are shared with friends and handed down within families. index. Traditional Seminole patterns are still used and are often altered as the tailor expresses her own ideas. The annual ceremony reaffirms and honors the role of women within the community. 1974. Washington.. the hand-cranked sewing machine was readily adopted by Southeast women to adorn calico skirts and shirts. Back-pocket map. Thompson Sources for Further Study Billard. et al. The use of ribbons in ceremonial dress was carried to Oklahoma by the Creek. Later a popular waist-length jacket was rendered in a Seminole ribbon style for men. suggested by something they resemble.C. and acknowledgments. The strips are combined with bands of ribbon in a manner similar to that used in quilting and sewn together.Appliqué and Ribbonwork / 33 most recognizable styles in North America. poems and chants. Jules B. In the trading days of the late 1800’s. Designs are treasured but are not claimed as personal property. women wear rainbow-colored headdresses of cascading ribbons as they parade through the public square. D. More than 440 color illustrations. Both men and women wear garments of this distinctive type. In the Ribbon Dance. The practice may have begun after contact with Spanish officials who wore striped brocade on dress uniforms. The early patterns of wide bands of single contrasting colors soon evolved into elaborate multicolored patchwork strips.

housing. The North American Indians: A Sourcebook. Pleasantville: Reader’s Digest. James A. Includes more than seven hundred color illustrations as well as descriptions of ceremonies. history.. religion. Sturtevant. and archaeological sites. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Milanich. Surveys origins. 1978. prehistory (including Mesoamerican). Clay. 1989. and social issues of early twentieth century. Quillwork. The Seminole. crafts. and mythology. and effect of European contact on the Seminole people. 1967. cultural. MacCauley. New York: Chelsea House. material culture. Headdresses. history. Written from the perspective of the first peoples of North America. et al. 2000. Culture. and a directory of 250 educational films. Shells and Shellwork. See also: Arts and Crafts: Southeast. Merwyn. Owen. Seminole resistance under leader Osceola. Collection of original (edited) articles dating from 1888 to 1963 and arranged by culture areas. color and black-and-white photographs. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. history. Ruth M. introduction by William C. Beads and Beadwork. et al. Underhill. and designs of Seminole ribbonwork clothing. The Seminole Indians of Florida. historic villages. A definitive report on the Seminole people which provides an examination of their clothing and ornaments. social customs. Roger G. 1960.. Comprehensive account of culture areas. Red Man’s America: A History of Indians in the United States. and social perspectives of the mid-twentieth century. additional reading list. . Dress and Adornment. List of museums. America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage. and demography.34 / Appliqué and Ribbonwork Garbarino. Sixth impression. Macmillan: New York. Includes references. Maxwell. political. and other features of their daily existence. Foreword by Jerald T. evolution.

the igloo) is the form of shelter most commonly associated with the Arctic. availability of raw materials. This made the construction process easier and maximized the structural integrity of the shelter. there was a wide range of architectural styles. the dome-shaped snow house was the most remarkable architectural achievement of Arctic populations. and household size and organization. Inuit. The spiral ensured that each snow block placed in line had another block to lean against. At the time of European contact.Architecture: Arctic / 35 Architecture: Arctic Tribes affected: Aleut. including aboveground plank houses. The entrance generally sloped . Without a doubt. While the domed snow house (in common parlance. Any snow house that was to be occupied for more than one or two nights would have a porch attached to provide storage space and protection from the wind. it actually had a very limited distribution. It was essential that the right kind of snow be used: hard-packed. granular snow that was uniformly compressed by blowing winds. the Aleut. Yupik Significance: Although the domed snow house is the most widely recognized Arctic habitation. Rather. The snow house was built by arranging the snow blocks. In these areas. and the West Greenlanders. cut with a large snow knife. semi-subterranean log houses. never built snow houses. and walrus-skin houses elevated on stilts. a typical strategy involved building large snow house communities on the ocean ice from which hunters would depart daily to engage in breathing-hole seal hunting. the snow house was the primary winter shelter in most areas of the Central and Eastern Canadian Arctic. a number of other types of structures have been used by groups in the Arctic culture area. housing styles were largely a function of four factors: local weather conditions. Many Arctic groups. requirements for mobility. Snow Houses. in a circular pattern spiraling upward. such as the Yupik of south-western Alaska. semi-subterranean sod and rock houses. Throughout the Arctic.

Often. At least half of the interior included a raised sleeping and sitting platform. a small hole would be punched through the roof to provide some air circulation and hence a guarantee against asphyxiation. they tended to be used by groups with year-round or seasonally occupied villages. these shelters generally consisted of a wood.36 / Architecture: Arctic The Arctic Culture Area Saint Lawrence Island Eskimo Siberian Eskimo North Alaskan Eskimo West Alaskan Eskimo Aleut Yupik Polar Eskimo East Greenland Eskimo Mackenzie Eskimo Netsilik Copper Eskimo Caribou Eskimo Sallirinuit Quebec Inuit Labrador Coast Eskimo South Alaskan Eskimo Iglulik West Greenland Eskimo Baffin Island Eskimo downward so as to create a cold trap. which provided protection from the cold air on the floor below. Semi-Subterranean Houses. Caribou skins or musk ox skins would be placed on the sleeping platform for additional insulation. Far more common than the snow house was the semi-subterranean house. stone. In North Alaska. found from East Greenland to South Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Because of the great effort involved in building and maintaining such shelters. A piece of ice might also be placed into the wall to provide natural lighting. Excavated several feet into the ground. or whalebone framework covered with insulating sod. houses were rectangu- .

which were then covered with sod. and food preparation. A membrane-covered skylight provided light to the interior. although body heat alone was sometimes adequate to keep it warm. A central fireplace fueled by wood and placed under a square smoke hole in the roof was the primary source of heat. Since the Aleut lived in a far milder climate than most Eskimo groups. Entrance to the house was through a passageway which sloped from ground level downward to a depth of about 4 to 5 feet. Such dwellings occasionally had two entrances: a ground-level entrance for summer use and an underground passageway for winter use. In the Bering Sea region. These houses tended to be slightly larger and were often made with a frame of whole logs covered with sod. cooking. The Aleut constructed large semi-subterranean houses which have been documented to range between 70 and 200 feet in length. Rather. These houses had log supports and roof frames made of either wood or whalebone. often an entire village of . wood was even more evident in house construction. entrance into the house was down one or more notched log ladders positioned under the structure’s smoke holes. they lacked the sloping entranceways characteristic of more northern groups.Architecture: Arctic / 37 lar and constructed of a whalebone and driftwood frame covered by sod. Farther south. an underground passageway was not necessary. entry was generally through a ground-level doorway. Woven grasses were placed on the roofs. among Chugach and Koniag Eskimos. On either side of this passageway were side rooms used for storage. A wood planked floor marked the main living area. easier access to wood resulted in this material being a more significant component in house construction. Even in winter. The main living areas often had sleeping platforms on all three sides as opposed to the single sleeping platform of the North Alaskan house. This main living area was usually kept warm by a soapstone lamp. The long tunnel ended under the main living area. which included a raised sleeping platform. Although these houses were semi-subterranean. Since these longhouses generally accommodated a large number of related families. which was entered through a trapdoor in the floor.

West Greenland. Semi-subterranean longhouses were also used in Labrador. house walls were constructed of stone and sod. In North Greenland. especially among those groups that were highly nomadic in summer. and were often dug into a hillside. the qarmaq was made of a circular wall of stone. sod. Skin tents were ubiquitous throughout the Arctic region. Typically made of caribou or seal skin. these houses were built with horizontally placed logs for the side walls and with vertically placed planks for the front and back walls. with their . They were the dominant form of summer residence among Yupik groups in southwestern and southern Alaska. each family was assigned a living area along the outside walls. these longhouses invariably housed an entire village. In the YukonKuskokwim region. Aboveground wood houses had a limited distribution. and Men’s Houses. These shelters tended to be small and triangular-shaped. they were built aboveground with ground-level entrances. Even the Alaskan Yupik. Aboveground Wood Houses. and East Greenland. rarely housing more than one nuclear family. These houses were typically found at spring and summer fishing camps. called a qarmaq. since they required ready access to timber. The gabled roof was covered with wood planks and bark. A similar style of structure. for example. In East Greenland. they were the primary form of summer residence throughout much of the region. but these generally had underground passageways to function as cold traps. or snowblocks covered over with a skin roof. the Polar Eskimo had extremely limited access to wood. Usually occupied only during transitional seasons. Given the scarcity of wood. Since the houses were occupied only during the warm months of the year. Tents.38 / Architecture: Arctic thirty to forty people. was used by certain Central Arctic groups. Stilt Houses. so they constructed their semi-subterranean winter houses of cantilevered stone covered by sod and snow. Grasses were woven into partitions to separate the living areas. while roofs were made of sod placed over driftwood rafters.

Lee.C. .: Smithsonian Institution Press.” In Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska. D.: Smithsonian Institution Press. and Gregory A. Condon and Pamela R. Washington. used tents while traveling or hunting over long distances. although somewhat larger. Washington. David. In North Alaska. Their elevation on wooden stilts was necessary given the steep coastline of the island and the lack of level ground for building. Damas. 1988. Eskimo Architecture: Dwelling and Structure in the Early Historic Period. “Dwellings. ceremonial houses were built in a style similar to regular residences. Arctic. Vol. 1984. They were regarded as men’s houses. Richard G. and Domestic Life. Throughout Alaska. but women were allowed to visit and participate in certain ceremonies.Architecture: Arctic / 39 wooden summer houses. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press with the University of Alaska Museum. Molly. 5 in Handbook of North American Indians. ed. These houses were also used for sweatbaths and for important religious ceremonies such as the Bladder Feast. These small houses were usually erected next to the semi-subterranean winter houses and were boxlike structures with walrus hide walls. Settlements. each ceremonial house (karigi) was associated with one or more whaling crews. Foreword by Andrew Tooyak. the men of the village slept and ate in the ceremonial house (qasgiq). edited by William Fitzhugh and Aron Crowell. Ceremonial men’s houses constituted an important part of village life throughout most of Alaska. Reinhardt. Some of these houses are reported to have been large enough to seat up to five hundred people. located in the Bering Strait. Although large ceremonial snow houses were sometimes built by Central Arctic groups for midwinter games and dances. Among the Yupik of southwestern Alaska. D. Aron.C. Jr. Perhaps the most unusual houses in the Arctic were the summer stilt houses of King Island. permanent ceremonial houses were not found anywhere in the Central or Eastern Arctic. 2003. Stern Sources for Further Study Crowell.

Reprint.C. Serrano. D. Yahi. Miwok. dance chambers. or bark. Atsugewi. Juaneño. The most common form of Indian architecture in the California region. The Eskimo About Bering Strait. Plank House. San Francisco: Chandler. food storage. Hupa. Patwin.40 / Architecture: California Nabokov. Oswalt. 1967. Edward. Maidu. Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology for the Years 1896-1897. Chumash. Wintun. Wendell H. 1983. Mattole. sand. 1989. Quechan. Earth-covered semisubterranean houses were common. Buildings were used for summer and winter houses. Yuki. Karok. Tubatulabal. Peter. Yurok Significance: Indian architecture in California was of a wide variety because of climatic variations throughout the state. Salinan. Washington. Alaskan Eskimos. In the north. These had circular side door openings which had to be crawled through. The Indians of California lived in climates ranging from foggy. Tolowa. Yana. wood. large rectangular plank houses were made of cedar. Costano.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Cupeño. Shasta. was the earth- . Native American Architecture. Using materials available in their natural environment. Gabrielino. brush. they constructed homes of earth. New York: Oxford University Press. Chemehuevi. Longhouse. Nelson. Sweathouses for male clan members were made of wood and had wood or earth floors. Wiyot. sometimes having several pitched roofs and excavated floors. and most characteristic of the central region. and Robert Easton. Kamia. Yokuts. Architecture: California Tribes affected: Achumawi. and sweatbaths. Wailaki. See also: Igloo. Kateo. Luiseño. Pomo. damp coastlands in the north to dry desert regions in the south.

The California Culture Area Tolowa Karok Shasta Yurok Hupa Wiyot Wintun Mattole Sinkyone Wailaki Yuki Achumawi Atsugewi Yana Yahi Maidu Pomo Patwin Wappo Coast Miwok Miwok Costanoan Monache Esselen Yokuts Salinan Tubatulabal Chumash Fernandeño Chemehuevi Serrano Gabrielino Luiseño Juaneño Cupeño Diegueño Quechan Kamia Cahuilla .

These structures were covered with bark slabs in winter for greater protection from the cold and could house many families. tule. Ceremonial halls and men’s sweathouses were smaller circular or rectangular buildings of the same type. Small slat openings in the lower sides of the earthlodges could be used to crawl through. After the arrival of the Spanish. adobe bricks were used and made into mud-thatched one-room homes much like those found in neighboring Mexico. (Library of Congress) lodge. This pit house was a small structure with an excavated earth floor. In the southern regions. an earth roof. or bark had round or cone-shaped roofs and were used by the California region Indian. Dwellings made of willow poles.42 / Architecture: California A typical design found in central California was this Mono wickiup-style brush structure. which was also used for entry. brush. Ladders ran up the sides of such dwellings in order to gain access to the entry hole. dome-shaped brush structures such as the wickiup as well as four-post sand-roofed houses were built. and a roof smoke hole. .

mobility was a significant factor in the design of their dwellings. Great Basin Indians also made grass huts with a center ridgepole. Walapai. and storage. New York: Oxford University Press. The Great Basin area north of the Colorado River. largely the result of European contact. Mono. and open side walls made of vertical poles. Gosiute.Architecture: Great Basin / 43 The roundhouse. cooking. round assembly or dance hall made of wood with metal nails and split shingles. or low. Plank House. slanted roof. The wickiup was either left in place when they moved or carried with them to a new location. wickiups. Indians lived in grass huts. Washoe Significance: In the sparsely populated Great Basin region. In the hot summer. as well as for protection from the sun. Pit House. dry desert and continental steppe. Native American Architecture. The Indians inhabiting this wide area never settled long in one place but constantly moved about in search of fresh food sources. See also: Adobe. For all but those Indians living along the Colorado River. This structure was used for sleeping. was a large. Paiute. . they looked much like an open-sided tent. Diane C. flat-roofed houses. mostly consists of hot. tipis. open ends. and Robert Easton. The Paiute made a fiber structure known as the wickiup with small forked branches twisted into the shape of a small cone or dome and then covered with grass and brush with an open door space. Grass House. Numaga. Kawaiisu. Earthlodge. Van Noord Source for Further Study Nabokov. Architecture: Great Basin Tribes affected: Bannock. Wickiup. 1989. Shoshone. Ute. Peter. basically comprising present-day Utah and Nevada.

Those who lived near other geographical regions often borrowed the architectural styles of the neighboring Indian tribes. The Great Basin Culture Area Northern Paiute (Paviotso) Northern Shoshone Bannock Eastern Shoshone Washoe Western Shoshone Mono Gosiute Ute Panamint Kawaiisu Southern Paiute . frame homes near the foothills were covered with mud thatch for greater protection and warmth.44 / Architecture: Great Basin In the winter.

the adobe of the Southwest. Wappinger. Illinois. and economic . Nauset. Iroquois. adapting to the particular climate and the social. Architecture: Northeast Tribes affected: Abenaki. Massachusett. Kickapoo. Narragansett. Menominee. Indians developed low. Architectural styles were versatile. and bark. Wickiup. Nipissing. Penobscot. Montauk. See also: Architecture: California. Nipmuc. Passamaquoddy. Native American Architecture. Erie. Mohawk. flat sandroofed homes built on poles with excavated floors. Maliseet. and the pit house of the Plateau. Diane C. Susquehannock. along the Atlantic coast. Van Noord Source for Further Study Nabokov. such as saplings. Fox. Ojibwa. Huron. Grass House. Onondaga. Niantic. Nanticoke. Algonquian. Pequot. Pennacook. 1989. the earthlodge of California. religious. Tipi. Peter. including the wigwam and the longhouse. Moneton. These houses also included open ramadas for additional living space. brush. Winnebago Significance: The woodlands of the Northeast provided basic building materials. Metis. Architecture: Plateau. Neutral. Mohegan. Cayuga. The buildings of the Northeast region Indians were constructed in woodlands. Mahican. Miami. Cahokia. Mattaponi. for a variety of buildings. Along the Colorado River. Ottawa. Oneida. Architecture: Southwest. Lumbee. Montagnais. Nottaway. Mountain. Micmac. Wampanoag. on mountains.Architecture: Northeast / 45 Structures included the tipi of the Plains. The roofs were used for food storage and socializing as well as for protection. and along inland lakeshores. New York: Oxford University Press. and Robert Easton. Tobacco. Lenni Lenape.

A typical dwelling structure of Northeast region Indians was the wigwam.46 / Architecture: Northeast needs of the particular tribe. Doors and storage areas were at each end. Its simple construction of a frame and covering could be easily moved. the Iroquois and Huron built long communal buildings which were used year-round by clan groups. The smoke holes were also sources of light. The pole-framed structure had a barrel or vaulted roof. Primarily used for protection. which varied in length and accommodated more than a hundred people. The basic structure of the wigwam was made of sapling frames bent into arches and tied together with fibercord The Northeast Culture Area Micmac Maliseet Passamaquoddy Nipissing Ojibwa Ottawa Algonquin Penobscot Abenaki Pennacook Menominee Potawatomi Winnebago Sauk Fox Miami Kaskaskia Illinois Kickapoo Huron Petun Neutral Erie Seneca Cayuga Onondaga Oneida Mohawk Nottaway Nipmuck Pequot Massachusett Wampanoag Narragansett Wappinger Lenni Lenape Susquehannock Nanticoke Powhatan Piankashaw Shawnee Moneton Secotan Tuscarora Pamlico Mahican . architecture also expressed the Indians’ way of life. Sleeping bunks ran along the sides of the building. could be enlarged to make room for newly married couples. In the eastern portion of this region. The longhouse. Smoke holes placed about 25 feet apart represented the space given to an individual family.

Along the North Atlantic coast. The Algonquin used a variety of bark-covered and mat-covered wigwams and barrel or gabled roofs as well as conical tipis using straight poles covered with bark. the floor was covered with fir boughs. these poles met at the center point of a circular shape on the ground. and an opening in the side provided a doorway.Architecture: Northeast / 47 The tipi was among the various structures erected by the Algonquins along the North Atlantic coast. A central fire was used for cooking and heating. on the circumference of which were positioned the poles’ ends. (National Archives) and then covered with rolls of bark or reed mats. There were many different styles of the basic domed wigwam. . at the top. They were sometimes insulated by laying grass over the frame and covering this with sheets of birchbark. The smoke hole was at the top of the tipi where the poles met. and smoke escaped through a parting of the mats. tipis were made by leaning straight poles vertically together. Sapling stringers were lashed to the frame for stability.

an extension of the domed type by use of a ridge pole. Great Lakes Indians: A Pictorial Guide.: University Press of New England. with vertical walls and a gabled roof. Used by the shaman. D. considered to be sacred. Kubiak. See also: Birchbark. 2003. Tipi. 1989. New York: Oxford University Press. Where the Northeast region came closer to the Plains region. William. A small religious structure called the shaking tent was a single-person hut. Hanover. often covered with canvas or animal hides.: Government Printing Office. 1970.48 / Architecture: Northeast The Great Lakes region had several basic house types. used mainly in winter. and Robert Easton. Houses and House-Life of the American Aborigines.H. Native American Architecture. Nabokov. Mich. Howard S. Indian New England Before the Mayflower. Diane C. Longhouse.: Baker Book House. Morgan.C. . Peter. 1919. and it shook while the shaman was moving and speaking inside as he performed a rite. the conical wigwam. David I. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. Jr. These were the domed wigwam. N. Washington. 1881. Native Villages and Village Sites East of the Mississippi. Wigwam. it was made of a sapling frame covered with bark or canvas. Grand Rapids. 1980. the Indians also used the tipi type of dwelling. Reprint. and the summer square bark house.. Russell. Ceremonial lodges and many-sided dance lodges were the largest structures built by the Great Lakes Indians. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Bushnell. They were made with poles of cedar. Lewis H.

Houses faced the shoreline.Architecture: Northwest Coast / 49 Architecture: Northwest Coast Tribes affected: Chinook. often including the erection of a totem pole. Cowlitz. Architectural relief carvings or paintings required additional artists and ceremonial feasting at its completion. Houses varied in size depending upon the wealth and status of the owner. Tillamook. These were raised into foundation . Haida. Tlingit. was hewn into planks to create rectangular. Siuslaw. Nootka. gabled longhouses that regionally varied but could average 60 by 100 feet in area. Umpqua. usually of no relation to the owner. Primary living quarters for Northwest Coast Indians accommodated large extended families up to fifty or more persons. Among the Tsimshian. large houses for wealthy extended families measured up to 50 feet by 60 feet and had gabled roofs and vertical plank walls. was expected by the community in order to consecrate the house and the status of the owner. with the chief having the largest house. A potlatch celebration. Quileute. Northern House Style. Snohomish. The commissioning of a house was restricted to the wealthy. and Haisla (the northern Kwakiutl). Salish. Haida. other Northwest Coast tribes Significance: The abundance of the environment and the ready availability of wood enabled groups in the Northwest Coast area to construct large. permanent plank buildings. Family houses served also as meeting halls for clan events as well as theaters for annual performances. Nisqually. from skilled craftsman to manual laborer. principal houses were given names that referred to totemic crests of the lineage or to a distinct quality of the house. Haisla. Every workman. Kwakiutl. Tlingit. was paid for each assigned task. Samish. Cedar. the prevalent building wood. and the building of houses was designated to trained specialists. At this time. with a lineage leader’s house in the middle and less important family homes on the perimeter. The first elements constructed on the site were the corner poles. Tsimshian.

The Northwest Coast Culture Area Eyak Tlingit Nishga Gitksan Tsimshian Haida Haisla Bella Bella Bella Coola Kwakiutl Nootka Squamish Semiahmoo Cowichan Nooksack Makah Quileute Clallam Quinault Skokomish Chehalis Twana Chemakum Duwamish Chinook Snoqualmie Puyallup Klikitat Clatskanie Nisqually Cowlitz Tillamook Siletz Yaquina Kalapuya Alsea Siuslaw Coos Umpqua Tututni Takelma Chasta Costa Klamath .

and the house front typically exhibited elaborate carved and painted totem crests that validated the ancestral legacy of the Based on a sketch from the 1830’s. often fitted with a movable shutter. an engraving of a Chinook lodge in the Oregon Territory. platform floor with bench steps (sometimes movable) leading down to a central fire pit located directly below the roof smoke hole. Tall ridgepoles supported heavy posts at the front and back. the tapered vertical wall planks were put into place. interior planked screen. (Library of Congress) . with the lineage head and his family occupying the rear.Architecture: Northwest Coast / 51 holes by pulling and wedging them into position. The upper platform provided assigned sleeping space for each family. Once the structural framework was constructed. interior vertical support poles. The center ridgepole. followed by the elevation of cross beams. which in turn supported the roof planks with a central opening for a smoke hole. The horizontal beams were elevated into the notched holes of the vertical uprights. which. The entrance was an oval or circular doorway cut into the base of the center ridgepole facing the shoreline. allowed directed interior ventilation. The interior contained a planked.

Southern House Style. and an entrance toward the water. though they were sometimes much longer when expanded by building end on end. the use of nails instead of notched joints. When summer activities occurred annually in the same place. Additionally. and stoves (replacing the central fire pit). The pitch of the shed roof houses was created by the shoreline vertical poles being taller than the rear support poles.52 / Architecture: Northwest Coast house owner. Rough. Unlike the northern house style. mortuary houses. European architectural influences were evident in the introduction of framed doorways and windows in traditional houses. commercially sawed lumber. The most common secondary architectural structures included summer houses. Shed-roof houses averaged about 38 by 80 feet. this structure made a controllable interior space for steambaths. the framework for these houses was frequently permanent. The center-sloping gabled roof of the Wakashan house was created by the center ridge beam being of a larger diameter than the two eave beams. the walls of horizontal planks created a shell around the house frame. Roughly built structures. Small house replicas (8 feet by 6 feet) or small . Sweatlodges were typically walled with tightly fitted planks or logs supporting a roof of boards and earth. enclosed plank structures on stilt poles served as warehouses for fish storage. With sand floors. A smokehouse was a plank framework with horizontal poles functioning as drying racks for smoking fish. often without flooring. fire pit. served to house families during the summer fishing and gathering activities. smokehouses. Secondary Structures. Two types of house construction differentiate the southern style that dominated throughout the Coast Salish region: the shed roof and the Wakashan. sweatlodges. By the nineteenth century. while the planks and materials for the side and roof were brought by the owners each season. The Wakashan house measured from 36 to 40 feet wide by 40 to 150 feet long. a summer house could serve as a drying area for the fish in the absence of a separate drying structure. and decks.

Seattle: University of Washington Press. Arts of the Indian Americas: Leaves from the Sacred Tree. Canoe. Michael Coronel and Patricia Coronel Sources for Further Study Drucker. Indians of the Northwest Coast. Garden City.Y. 1963. The Tlingit Indians.” circles of rocks probably used to hold down the sides of small hide-covered dwellings. 1984. Jamake. Cedar: Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians. Hillary. B. Vancouver. Emmons. Highwater. including earthlodges and grass houses. 1983. Ronald L. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Open-deck structures or raised platforms on stilts constructed on the beach provided designated gathering areas in fair weather. 1991. with platforms to hold the deceased. and House Types of the Northwest Coast. Evidence suggests that both types of dwelling have a long history in the Plains region. Stewart. Philip. George Thornton.: Douglas & McIntyre. 1991. Architecture: Plains Tribes affected: Plains tribes Significance: Plains tribes used a variety of temporary and permanent dwellings. New York: Harper & Row. Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths. Edited by Fredrica de Laguna. N. the best-known Plains dwelling is the tipi. Olsen. Adze. See also: Longhouse. Totem Poles.C. Plank House. They also left “tipi rings. Plains Indian architecture is marked by contrasts between mobile and permanent constructions.: Natural History Press. functioned as grave houses. Prehistoric tribes constructed brush-covered lodges supported by stationary cones of branchless trees.Architecture: Plains / 53 shed-roof shelters built of logs or planks. .

The Plains Culture Area Sarsi Plains Cree Blood Blackfoot Piegan Atsina Assiniboine Crow Hidatsa Mandan Arikara Teton Sioux Yanktonai Sioux Santee Sioux Cheyenne Ponca Yankton Sioux Pawnee Omaha Iowa Oto Kansa Missouri Arapaho Kiowa Osage Quapaw Comanche Apache of Oklahoma Wichita Kichai Tonkawa Lipan Apache Caddo .

and sod. grass. villagers used the terrain to augment defenses consisting of dry moats or log palisades. (National Archives) . which surrounded plazas dominated by a wooden shrine honoring the mythic hero Lone Man. suggest a southeastern Indian cultural influence in the Canadian and Dakotan plains. and sod. circular constructions of boulders with both terrestrial and celestial alignments. the typical house type was the earthlodge. were another early architectural achievement. The best-known of these is in the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming. Petroforms. Palisades protected the Mandans’ earthlodge dwellings. From the Dakotas to the northeast. grass. the earthlodges of the prehistoric seminomadic agricultural communities were primarily rectangular and consisted of wooden uprights joined by cross beams and rafters covered with sticks. The rectangular format of the Mandans’ sacred Okeepa lodge was a reminder of its prehistoric architectural origins. Along the Missouri River. Mandan post-and-beam construction was overlaid by wooden rafters supporting willow branches. rock designs resembling animal and human figures. Along the upper Missouri.Architecture: Plains / 55 Medicine wheels. A Pawnee family stands outside their earthlodge in Nebraska during the late nineteenth century.

was widely used for temporary shelter and later became a year-round mobile dwelling. menstrual huts. Kawaiisu. 1989. Gosiute. The principal structures within the Plateau culture area were sleeping dwellings. Peter. and Wichita of the southern Plains constructed permanent grass houses of thatch bundles fixed to a wood pole frame. Native American Architecture. funerary platforms. Shoshone. such as the Sioux inipi. Tipis developed from the “tipi ring” shelter and the Northeastern Woodlands three-pole conical tent. tipis became larger and more elaborate. Other permanent Plains structures were the ceremonial Sun Dance lodge (of the Kiowa. Ute. Shoshone. Though architecture type varied through time and spatial distribution. food-drying scaffolds and racks. religious structures. and sweathouses. Medicine Wheels. Grass House. New York: Oxford University Press. excavated food storage pits. Arapaho. The older pit house . Kichai. Tipi. and Robert Easton. a cone of poles covered by sewn and tanned buffalo hides and staked to the ground. William B. See also: Earthlodge. the ubiquitous sweatlodge. and temporary lean-to shelters. The tipi. Architecture: Plateau Tribes affected: Bannock. there were essentially two types of winter dwelling: the circular semi-subterranean pit house and the inverted-V rectangular tule mat lodge. With the arrival of horses to serve as transportation. and Cheyenne). Panamint. Folkestad Source for Further Study Nabokov. isolated menstrual huts. made of bent willow saplings covered with buffalo hides.56 / Architecture: Plateau The Caddo. Washoe Significance: Plateau architecture was characterized by circular pit houses. Paiute.

circular pit measuring 9 to 15 feet in diameter. flat.Architecture: Plateau / 57 The Plateau Culture Area Lillooet Shuswap Nicola Lake Methow Wenatchi Okanagan Kutenai Sanpoil Colville Chelan Columbia Wanapam Spokane Kalispel Klikitat Yakima Wishram Tenino Molala Umatilla Cayuse Walla Walla Palouse Coeur d’Alene Flathead Nez Perce Klamath Modoc was an excavated. with gradually sloping earthen walls of 3 feet. with the apex of the structure being open to serve as a smoke hole and en- . The exterior was made of layered sewn tule mats. which were covered with sewn willow mats. The aboveground shape was achieved by erecting three or four top-forked poles which. when secured. accommodated smaller lodge poles to support cedar planks.

See also: Lean-to. Architecture: Southeast Tribes affected: Southeast tribes Significance: Wattle and daub structures. old tule mats. Native American Architecture. food was stored in hemp and pliable root bags suspended from the ceiling. as evidenced by the adoption of the tipi. New York: Oxford University Press. 1989. John Alan Ross Source for Further Study Nabokov. where firewood was kept. Often the floor was excavated to a depth of one foot. permitting greater involvement with Plains culture through trade and bison hunting. Southeastern tribal architecture is distinguished by a tradition of monumental mound building. In the mid-1800’s. Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths. The second type of winter village dwelling was the tule matcovered. and cattail mats began to give way to canvas as a preferred covering material for sweatlodges. they could accommodate three to six extended families.58 / Architecture: Southeast trance up or down a notched log or hafted. but the best-known Southeast constructions were large earthen mounds. Pit House. runged ladder. This structure was often used for large gatherings and ceremonial rituals. chakofas. inverted-V-type pole-constructed lodge. Tipi. A major influence on southern Plateau architecture was the introduction of the horse. Various grasses. and bear skins covered the dwelling floor. and chickees were among the dwelling types of the Southeast. some of which can still be seen. Peter. bark. Entrance was usually from both ends. usually with no ridge pole. Southeastern mound construction may have originated with Mexican Indians who moved to this lo- . These rectangular structures averaged 30 feet in length and approximately 10 feet in width. and Robert Easton. and longhouses. tipi dwellings. tule.

and birds. The concentric ridges of shaped soil that define a large central plaza at Poverty Point.c. The dwellings were covered with thatched roofs.247 feet in length and portrays a serpent clutching an egg in its mouth.) in southern Ohio is 1. are associated with this cultural influence.c. They date from about 1200 b.e.e.e. They also built dwellings that were 20 feet to 70 feet in diameter and had clay-covered latticework walls. The Adena culture of the Ohio River valley (1000 b.e. a type of construction called wattle and daub.Architecture: Southeast / 59 The Southeast Culture Area Manahoac Saponi Monacan Tutelo Chickasaw Coushatta Tuskegee Caddo Hasinai Yuchi Cherokee Cheraw Catawba Waccamaw Creek Hitchiti Tunica Alabama Ofo Chiaha Yazoo Yamasee Guale Natchez Choctaw Tohome Houma Mobile Biloxi Apalachee Chitimacha Timucua Ais Seminole Calusa Atakapa cale to participate in the trade that occurred from the Great Lakes region to Florida. Louisiana.e. The Hopewell cul- . panthers.) raised cone-shaped burial mounds.c. from Wisconsin to Louisiana.-200 c. The Great Serpent Mound (800 b. survive. depicting bears. Adena effigy mounds.-400 c. reptiles. known as geoforms.

was the political. Creek and Yuchi Indians built large villages with ceremonial plazas and ball courts. and 100 feet in height. Louis. religious. they encountered Indian townsites with shaped mounds dominating the community and its plaza. Under the Mississippi tradition (700-1000 c.) near St. By the nineteenth century. 700 feet in width. open-sided dwellings with elevated platforms of cypress poles and palmetto thatch known as chickees. When European explorers first arrived in the Southeast. where the Seminoles built wide-eaved. Cahokia’s central pyramid is the largest manmade structure north of Mexico.). The Cherokees also built communal structures on low earthen mounds to house sacred fires. and pentagonal geoforms. Missouri. Native American Architecture. The Cahokia site (800 c.e.000 feet in length. Wattle and Daub. communities periodically enlarged their flat-topped trapezoidal mounds. William B. and economic center of the Mississippi tradition. The Natchez Indians of Mississippi continued the temple mound building tradition into the early eighteenth century. succeeded the Adena constructions. Mounds and Moundbuilders. measuring more than 1. 1989. monumental circles. many southeastern tribes had adopted European-style buildings. New York: Oxford University Press. . These mounds supported chieftains’ houses and public buildings or contained burials. found in the Ohio Valley. See also: Chickee. Mississippian Culture. One notable exception was in Florida’s southern marshes. and Robert Easton. the result of fourteen different building campaigns over three centuries. squares. The Creek chakofa was a communal structure with a thatched conical roof. Folkestad Source for Further Study Nabokov.60 / Architecture: Southeast ture’s funerary mounds.e. Peter.

the Anasazi shaped sandstone rocks into building blocks.” a method similar to wattle and daub. only the load- . The pit house continued as a kiva. and then to pueblos built in the historic period in the Rio Grande Valley and at Zuñi and Hopi. Hohokam.Architecture: Southwest / 61 Architecture: Southwest Tribes affected: Anasazi. Hopi. Basket Maker Anasazi (circa 1-700 c. Basket Maker and Developmental Pueblo.) in the Four Corners area built crude circular subterranean structures with flat roofs. with the addition of stone slabs placed against the bottoms of walls and held in place with adobe. each housing an entire family. Toward the end of this period. consisting of slightly curved rows of contiguous flat-roofed rooms. At first.e. three major Anasazi centers developed: Mesa Verde. entered by ladder through the smoke hole. irregular rocks were laid end to end and packed solidly with adobe. Later in this period. During the Development Pueblo period (700-1100). Zuñi. other Southwest traditions and tribes Significance: Architecture in the Southwest evolved from the crude pit house to the magnificent stone pueblos of the prehistoric Anasazi. and Kayenta. circular pit houses were as much as 25 feet in diameter and often were divided into ceremonial space and living space. Mogollon. In these villages. The Mogollon constructed circular pit houses grouped in small villages of fifteen to twenty families. Stone Masonry. the Anasazi evolved building techniques which resulted in structures that were considerably more complex and sophisticated. All three prehistoric cultures in the Southwest were pit house builders. The Hohokam built square or rectangular pit houses randomly scattered over a large area (the settlement at Snaketown covers almost a square mile). The earliest utilization of stone was in “jacal. using stone tools not much harder than the sandstone itself. wherein large. Eastern Pueblo. A true masonry technique evolved from jacal. Chaco Canyon. but dwellings were now aboveground.

the Anasazi refined their masonry further. but eventually both visible surfaces were smoothed as well. During the Classic Pueblo period (1100-1300). with a stone bench and stone pilasters to support the flat roof. whose walls and floor were now lined with carefully shaped and fitted stone blocks. Stone masonry also affected the kiva. developing walls built with a three- The Southwest Culture Area Navajo Jicarilla Tiwa Apache Tewa Zuni Yavapai Jemez Pecos Laguna Maricopa South Acoma Quechan Tiwa Coyotero Cocopa Apache Mimbreño Tohono Apache O’odham Mescalero Chiricahua Apache Apache Pima Suma Hopi Opata Seri Jumano Tarahumara Lipan Apache Karankawa Coahuiltec Havasupai Walapai Mojave Yaqui Tobosco Comarito Lagunero Zacatec . some were as large as thirty or more contiguous rooms and were two stories high.62 / Architecture: Southwest bearing surfaces were shaped. producing a wall that was both aesthetically pleasing and strong. This new masonry technique resulted in an increase in both the size and complexity of the pueblos.

housing more than one thousand people and covering almost four acres. Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon was the largest pueblo in the Southwest. being without . and Kayenta continued to be major centers of Anasazi culture. Varying the shapes of the blocks created linear patterns. Chaco Canyon. Pueblos of this period often rose to as many as five stories. They apparently made the move for reasons of defense. (Library of Congress) ply construction: an inner and outer facing of shaped sandstone blocks with an interior filling of loose stones and adobe. their influence had spread from the upper Rio Grande Valley to Texas and Nevada and to central and southern Arizona.Architecture: Southwest / 63 Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. with eight hundred rooms rising in tiers from a single frontal story to five stories at the back. Flat roofs were constructed with beams laid across with poles and brush and covered with several inches of clay and mud. The Anasazi at Mesa Verde built large stone pueblos on the mesa tops but abandoned them a hundred years later in favor of the cliff dwellings—stone buildings erected in irregularly shaped caves in the cliff faces. with heavy beams set into the walls to support the floors above ground level. because the caves were much less desirable places to live. adding visual interest to the walls. Mesa Verde.

As Anasazi culture spread during the Pueblo period. Keet Seel and Betatakin were the largest pueblos at Kayenta. In any case. and both square and round towers. along the Little Colorado River. was built of adobe and stone masonry on an earthen platform. some of the cliff dwellings contained as many as two hundred rooms. The Hohokam were also influenced by Anasazi pueblo architecture. as evidenced by the ruins of Casa Grande in the Arizona desert. Even so. Although construction varied according to time and place. The main two-storied structure was set on a base of earth 5 feet high. The Mogollon abandoned their pit houses in favor of aboveground masonry structures. The platform was retained by a massive adobe and rock wall. on the outskirts of Phoenix. among them drought. suggesting that it may have served as an observatory. Having been built in haste in a less desirable location. in the Zuñi Mountains. invasion. probably because crops grew less abundantly there.5 feet thick at the bottom. About 1300. difficult to reach. it transformed the architectural styles of both the Mogollon and the Hohokam. twenty-three kivas. Built of caliche. There they built forty rooms in five deep caves 150 feet above the canyon floor. such as those at Gila Cliffs in southern New Mexico. or plague. a center that was never as populous as Chaco Canyon or Mesa Verde. and limited in size. with a second wall built around the pueblo itself.64 / Architecture: Southwest sunlight much of the day. Casa Grande has deeply trenched walls 4. Pueblos both in the open and in the cliffs were built with masonry that was inferior to the other sites. A single room atop the building had holes in one wall that lined up precisely with sunset at the equinoxes. and in the area of the Hopi Mesas. providing an unobstructed view of the surrounding countryside. pueb- . Pueblo culture was reestablished in large communities in the Rio Grande Valley from Isleta Pueblo to Taos. the Anasazi began to leave their major centers to migrate elsewhere. tapering to 2 feet at their height. Pueblo Grande. There are several theories which attempt to explain this. Anasazi Influence. a subsoil with high lime content. the stonework was not as skillful as that of the earlier pueblos.

Dewitt. Chaco Canyon: Archaeology and Archaeologists.: Graphic Arts Center. The Puebloans of the Southwest and many of their pueblos survived the Spanish. LouAnn Faris Culley Sources for Further Study Ambler. J. The Anasazi: Prehistoric People of the Four Corners Region. and finally the United States’ occupation of their lands. Robert H. The Anasazi: Ancient Indian People of the American Southwest. J. Cordell. ed. and Florence C.. often multistoried. Jones. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Kivas. David. Santa Fe. Rev. Lister. and Kayenta: large communal structures with hundreds of rooms. Amsden. The traditions that evolved in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries formed the basis for the Pueblo cultures that exist in these areas today. 1989. Cliff Dwellings. 1981. Brody. . Flagstaff: Museum of Northern Arizona. and Linda S. See also: Anasazi Civilization. Pueblo. Kivas either were above ground and incorporated into the room blocks or were square or circular subterranean structures located in the plazas. and Robert Easton. Mesa Verde. 1999. N. Hohokam Culture. Nabokov. Charles A. Oreg. 1990. New York: W. Rev. 1989. Prehistoric Southwesterners from Basketmaker to Pueblo. New York: Rizzoli International. Norton. the Mexican. built around a central plaza. Pit House. W. Native American Architecture. J. Kendrick. Stuart. Some continued the techniques of stone masonry. Los Angeles: Southwest Museum. Richard. 1985. The Magic of Bandelier. 1949. New York: Oxford University Press.Mex. Lister. and updated ed. Frazier. Peter.Architecture: Southwest / 65 los generally followed the traditions established at Chaco Canyon. Portland. while others were built with solid adobe or mixed adobe and stone construction. 1989. People of Chaco: A Canyon and Its Culture. Anasazi World.: Ancient City Press.

Raw materials used for dwellings were saplings. Kaska. Portable The Subarctic Culture Area Koyukon Ingalik Tanaina Tanana Kutchin Ahtna Han Hare Mountain Tutchone Tagish Tahltan Yellowknife Dogrib Tsetsaut Kaska Slave Sekani Carrier Chilcotin Beaver Chipewyan Western Woods Cree Swampy Cree West Main Cree Saulteaux Naskapi East Cree Montagnais . Beaver. Kutchin. Hare. Tutchone. lean-tos. brush. Subarctic Indians made wooden plank houses. lakes. Yellowknife Significance: The architecture of the sparsely populated. and streams. Dogrib. tundra. Geographically. Tanaina. Beothuk. the Subarctic region. Double lean-tos made of wooden frames were covered with bark. and animal skins. expansive Subarctic region was primarily wigwams. Han. As a result of contact with Northwest Coast Indians. Ingalik. and tipis. Cree. Chipewyan.66 / Architecture: Subarctic Architecture: Subarctic Tribes affected: Algonquian. Koyukon. Chilcotin. is a land of mountains. basically three types of shelters were used. evergreen forests. comprising much of presentday Canada. animal skins. with cold winters and heavy snow. In the Northwest. bark. or brush. planks or logs. Naskapi. Carrier. Slave. log houses.

the cone-shaped wigwam was covered with birchbark rolls. Wigwam. the wigwams were covered with rolls of bark which had been sewn together. Tipis were used throughout the region by those who moved often because they were quickly built and portable. In the eastern Subarctic region. the innovative work of Fritz Scholder (Luiseño) and his stu- . Lean-to. some Indians migrated to warmer climates during the winter. New York: Oxford University Press. Native American Architecture. Van Noord Source for Further Study Nabokov. and Robert Easton. 1989. A basic need of Subarctic community was safe food storage. insights.Art and Artists: Contemporary / 67 tents for summer and winter were used in the northwest Subarctic with snow piled against the sides for winter insulation. Brush-covered conical lodges and tents were also used as summer dwellings. In the Subarctic. Diane C. they were made of wooden poles and animal skins. and earth-covered conical structures and log cabins with moss-covered roofs were used in winter. By the late 1960’s. The floors were layered with pine boughs. Tipi. and the larger wigwams had central hearths or family fires. Contemporary American Indian art was spawned by the mid1960’s Civil Rights movement and the 1962 founding of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. legends. Art and Artists: Contemporary Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Drawing both on antiquity and on the present. and sorrows. A simple log building constructed on poles off the ground provided a place for food to be stored out of the reach of animals. See also: Birchbark. Indian artists depict their history. Peter. Double walls filled with brush in the wigwams provided cooling in the warm months. New Mexico. Framed with wooden arched poles.

Today’s American Indians belong to or are descended from hundreds of unique peoples. Today’s Indian artists balance the traditional and the contemporary. each with their own culture. by others. Those who redefine the old ways. Subscribing to another position are those who define themselves as American rather than American Indian. language. generally attract more critical attention than those who follow the old ways. Many speak through their art to their individuality. Thus. In Kaaswoot (1982). It can never be assumed that all have a similar history or see themselves unilaterally in relation to European Americans or other American Indians. Political and social statements are often conveyed through these modern interpretations.68 / Art and Artists: Contemporary dent T. which may be woven from a number of different cultures. continue to weave or sculpt with clay. Lark’s fellow Seneca. a trading post—is distinguished from those who reproduce traditional patterns. who weaves the life around her—a circus. There is no singular position from which to examine American Indian art and artists. continues the Northeast tradition of artful containers by placing his self-portrait on a paper bag (Aotearoa/Ganondagan. In the new atmosphere created by the Civil Rights movement and its aftermath. Individuality. however. Cannon (Kiowa/Caddo) had alerted other American Indian artists to new ways of depicting the world. Many artists. a self-portrait. Sylvia Lark (Seneca) has been attracted to the arts of Asia. on the other hand. or outlook. do continue the traditional arts and ideas of their culture and gender. Peter Jemison. no distinctive style. artists feel free to pursue their own views and concerns rather than having their lives and traditions expressed. and who may believe that cultural identity has no place in the definition of their art. Some artists draw on traditions other than their own. like Jemison. women. for example. often stereotypically. sometimes drawing on ancient forms and styles. Florence Riggs (Navajo). Edna Jackson reflects both her Tlingit and European ancestry. They are doing this in many different ways. and history. . seeing these times as aspects of merging and intersecting cycles. materials. 1986). C.

assuming similarities across social class. American Indians are sensitized to the past and present manipulation of their land.Art and Artists: Contemporary / 69 Shared Concerns. education. and others have been compressed. The cultures of the Iroquois. Hopi. and pottery shards labeled “Scientifacts” and “Real Indian Blood. American Indians are particularly responsive in their work to the loss of their lands and the destruction of the environment. in his installation On Loan from the Museum of the American Indian (1986). Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne/Arapaho) in Native Hosts (1988) put up aluminum signs in New York parks with messages such as New York today your host is Shinnecock to indicate to today’s residents whose land they occupy. standardized. speaks to the dominant view that anything Indian is worth collecting and displaying. beads. religion. As the only group in America who live on and visit their ancestral lands. the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility being struck by lightning—a statement against the destruction of sacred sites for the fostering of European American technology. While American Indian art can never be funneled into a single definition. peoples. degree of assimilation. Sioux. and dozens of other factors. the piece includes “Pocahontas Underwear. Since the earliest days of European conquest. in both traditional and contemporary styles.” which is decorated with feathers. there has been a tendency by European Americans to objectify all American Indians. many of these artists do share a sense of community resulting in part from a common history. culture. personal taste. Addressing this objectification in The Good Doctor’s Bedside (1983). and social position at the hands of the politically and economically dominant. Jean La Marr (Paiute/Pit River) in They’re Going to Dump It Where? (1984) shows.” James Luna (Diegueño/Luiseño) in 1986 took the ultimate step in illustrating . Part of the text is written backward to force the viewers to face the past. intertwined with culture and religion. some American Indian artists continue. Jimmie Durham (Cherokee). At the same time. reflected in the eyeglasses of a Paiute woman. and packaged. to acknowledge the land as sacred. Lance Belanger (Maliseet) documents the stitchwork of a physician who closed the operation scar of a native woman with beads.

.S. Some artists with wry humor turn the tables. Most American Indian artists today. T.70 / Art and Artists: Contemporary this objectification when he put himself on display. Oklahoma State University. and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. makes reference to Plains art and Dada sculpture. In works that call on antiquity and the present. Cannon’s The Collector (or Osage with Van Gogh) shows an elder in traditional dress sitting in his comfortable Western living room with his European American possession. in which sets of dolls’ clothes are labeled “Special Outfit for Trading Land with the U.” Other artists address the present conditions of American Indians. Stillwater: Gardiner Art Gallery. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Cree/Flathead/Shoshone) powerfully addresses past maltreatments of her people in Paper Dolls for a Post-Columbian World with Ensembles Contributed by U.S. or both. Janet Catherine. Harmony. they depict their history and their legends. 1971. Indian Painters and White Patrons. speak from two worlds. 1983. Contemporary Native American Art. curators. 1998. C. Native North American Art. but most poignantly. Ron Nogonosh (Ojibwa). the crushed beer cans in the center speak to the past and ongoing tragedy of alcoholism among native peoples. on his Shield for a Modern Warrior or Concession to Beads and Feathers in Indian Art (1984-1985). Richard Ray Whitman (Yuchi/Pawnee) presents the plight of the urban homeless in a set of photographs entitled Street Chiefs Series. a Van Gogh painting. Brody. Government for Whiskey with Gunpowder in It” and “Matching Smallpox Suits for All Indian Families After U. with the appropriate labels. Hammond. on an Indian reservation. 1988. Government (1991). as an American Indian artifact (The Artifact Piece). Zena Pearlstone Sources for Further Study Berlo.S. J. their insights and their sorrows. Government Sent Wagon Loads of Smallpox Infected Blankets to Keep Our Families Warm. J. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. New York: Oxford University Press. whether they live in a city.

Lucy R. and traders. Arts and Crafts: Arctic Tribes affected: Aleut. Yupik Significance: Art of the Arctic. Rushing. W. These hastily made souvenirs of the Canadian Arctic may be the best-known objects of Eskimo tourist art. See also: Paints and Painting. and sculpture of stone. including prints. Reservation X. Race-ing Art History: Critical Readings in Race and Art History. 1998. no. Pinder. it grew in commercial importance in the years after World War II. Visitors to the region sought souvenirs of their adventures. bone. Visitors to nearly any Canadian city cannot help but notice the ubiquitous small black and gray stone carvings of polar bears. and ivory. dolls. Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America.” Art Journal 51. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Sculptures of stone. bone. 1985. New York: Gallery of the American Indian Community House. Jackson.. walruses. Kymberly N. 1990. Historical Roots. New York: Routledge. and Sage. and fur-clad hunters. Gerald. and ivory. 2002. ed. “Recent Native American Art. Lippard. Pottery. wood and skin masks. Symbolism in Art. tapestries of wool and fur. is exhibited and sold throughout the world. seals. 3 (Fall. basketry. Cedar. 1992): 6-15. but they are hardly representative of the great variety and fine quality of representational art from the Arctic region. The manufacture of arts and crafts. tapestries. baskets. can be traced to early contacts between Arctic peoples and European explorers. McMaster. first for trade and later for cash sale.Arts and Crafts: Arctic / 71 Women of Sweetgrass. Inuit. New York: Pantheon Books. and prints are widely exhibited in art museums and galleries. . whalers.

when a time of economic hardship existed for Arctic natives because of the dramatic drop in fox pelt prices.72 / Arts and Crafts: Arctic and native residents quickly discovered that they could obtain desirable trade goods by providing those souvenirs. which were shipped south for sale. in Canada the cooperatives continue to play a vital role in the training of artists and the marketing of their work. the skills necessary to produce artwork were widely distributed. natives had manufactured and decorated highly sophisticated utilitarian objects. much of the early tourist or souvenir art consisted of models or miniatures of items of traditional material culture. often in the form of miniatures of native material culture. Public reaction to the fine carvings was so exuberant that Houston returned to the Arctic the following year to encourage Inuits to produce more of these pieces. Thus. . As the volume of arts and crafts exports increased each year. Throughout the Arctic culture area. concerned about the dire financial situation of most Inuit communities. the Canadian government was instrumental in the establishment of arts and crafts cooperatives in most Canadian Inuit communities. At the same time. For generations. In 1948. where he became entranced by the miniature carvings made by local Inuits. An umbrella organization known as Canadian Arctic Producers was established to assist in the purchase of raw materials and the distribution of finished products. this trade accelerated and grew in importance at the beginning of the twentieth century. a young Canadian artist named James Houston traveled to Port Harrison in northern Quebec. hired Houston to act as a roving arts and crafts officer. He returned to Montreal. Although the organization of arts and crafts production varies somewhat from one northern community to another. the federal government of Canada. Houston was later instrumental in starting the printmaking industry in the Baffin Island community of Cape Dorset. Inuit artists began experimenting with larger carvings made from soapstone and serpentine. Throughout the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. where he organized an exhibition sponsored by the Canadian Handicrafts Guild. In Alaska. The export of arts and crafts from the North remained modest until after World War II.

figurines are generally carved from sperm whale teeth. This is seen most clearly in the tupilak sculptures from East Greenland. Povungnituk. increasingly. As natives accepted more southern manufactured goods and produced fewer utilitarian objects. Printmaking is most developed in several Canadian Inuit communities. artwork for local consumption became less common. animals. the masks are representations of plants. however. and Cape . fine craftsmanship in the manufacture of everyday items was highly valued. To the contrary. Baker Lake. grew in importance as people sought the cash with which to purchase the imported goods. Contemporary Forms. and helping spirits. for example. including Holman. There is considerable variation in both motifs and materials among the three native groups of the region.Arts and Crafts: Arctic / 73 Scholars generally agree that throughout the Arctic. There have been a number of well-known instances in which native-produced art was believed to have been overly influenced by Western styles or motifs and was therefore rejected by the market as not native enough. Yupik legend. Consequently. the forms that arts and crafts took were heavily influenced by the demands of the marketplace. often grotesque. On both the eastern and western extremes of the Arctic culture area the art forms draw heavily on spiritual motifs. not as amulets. Often made of driftwood. These small. Commercial art. but for sale. It is ironic that natives were often encouraged to produce images depicting a traditional way of life that. relates that seals would give themselves up to men whose wives sewed with skill but would avoid men whose wives were slovenly in their sewing habits. The hunting cultures of the region believed that animals preferred to be killed by individuals who took the time to produce beautifully designed and decorated weapons. the spirit masks produced by Alaska’s Yupik Eskimos were (and to some extent. Although the tupilaks are physical representations of Inuit helping spirits. they no longer followed. still are) an integral part of the dance and ceremonies that accompanied the annual subsistence cycle. they have always been produced.

The first baleen baskets were produced in Barrow around 1914 at the request of the trader Charles Brower. Prints are produced in series of fifty per image. time. Although there are clearly developed community styles. and stone block printing. Canadian Museum of Civilization. Sculptures of fossil whalebone and soapstone are produced from St. the almost clothlike baskets require great skill. there are also a few makers of coiled baleen baskets. Dolls. Graceful birds delicately shaped from musk ox horn are also a recent innovation. Among the Iñupiat of North Alaska. Most carvers are male and. The stiff baleen is extremely difficult to work. . Mercury Series Paper 124. 1993. and spirits. and baskets are also produced in the region. Lydia T. Lawrence Island in the west to Baffin Island in the east. Condon Sources for Further Study Black. stenciling. located in the Brooks Range of North Alaska. and patience. Quebec: Canadian Ethnology Service. as with printmaking. Some notable recent pieces have depicted social concerns such as alcohol abuse. Pamela R. hair. In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art. Glory Remembered: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters. Generally woven from wild rye beach grasses. many of these tend to be artifacts of local printmaking techniques. Few Aleut women continue this painstaking activity. many of the images are of animals and hunting. Hull. In the Iñupiat community of Anaktuvuk Pass. residents make a unique caribou-skin mask that is pressed into the shape of a human face and decorated with sealskin and fur for the eyebrows. while women more often depict relationships. The primary differences in artistic style are those of gender—men tend to produce scenes of hunting and other “male” activities.74 / Arts and Crafts: Arctic Dorset. and lithography are the most common printmaking methods. and beard. Twined Aleut baskets are among the most delicately woven in the world. families. Juneau: Friends of the Alaska State Museums. Stern and Richard G. jewelry. and a finely made basket commands a high price. 1991.

Molly. 1980. Artistic traditions were divided into three geographical zones within the state of California. Special issue on Canadian Inuit arts. Maidu. Gabrielino. Inuit Journey.Arts and Crafts: California / 75 Driscoll. Luiseño. Yana. Winnipeg. Wintun. Jacobs and James B. Iglauer. Beaver 298 (1967). The southern- . Pittsburgh: Carnegie Institution Press. I Like My Hood to Be Full. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Kato. H. “Inuit Art. Baleen Basketry of the North Alaskan Eskimo. Cupeño. Sculpture. Ottawa: National Museum of Man. Patwin. _______. 1979. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Modoc. 1983. Yurok Significance: Californian tribes are known for fine basketry work and rock art. 1977. Edith. Bernadette. Lee. and they were divided into many relatively small groups. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1977. they were nevertheless masters in basketry. Aleut and Eskimo Art: Tradition and Innovation in South Alaska. Richardson III. Canada: Winnipeg Art Gallery. Seattle: University of Washington Press with the University of Alaska Museum. The Inuit Print/L’Estampe Inuit. 1998. Arts and Crafts: California Tribes affected: Chumash. gathered. Hupa. Nelson H. Salinan. Hudson’s Bay Company. Pomo. Helga. Fernandeño. Goetz. edited by Martina M. Yokuts. Tolowa. 1981. Foreword by Aldona Jonaitis. Although they neither produced monumental art nor possessed a complex art tradition as did the tribes of the Southwest or the Plains. Graburn. ed. and fished. Miwok. California tribes hunted.” In Arctic Life: Challenge to Survive. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Dorothy Jean. Ray. Eskimo Art: Tradition and Innovation in North Alaska.

rock art. Image not available A sampling of basketry made by the Northern California Hupa tribe. (Ben Klaffke) . slat armor. The central groups. carved stone bowls and figures (including stone effigies). were master basketmakers. and basketry. and basketry hats. The northern groups were influenced by Northwest Coast arts and crafts and made plank houses.76 / Arts and Crafts: California most groups had poorly made pottery. dugout canoes. especially the Pomo.

They used both coiling and twining techniques. marriage. The original culture hero and creator discovered a village where there was . black. including mats. puberty. These “jewel” baskets were not only made by women. and was a part of religious rituals and the life passage rituals of birth. These special baskets incorporated feather mosaics into the design along with clam and abalone shells. Natural vegetable colors were used to achieve the designs. and death. Basketry has always been a woman’s art among the California groups. One story says that the earth did not originally have the light of the sun. such as birth. Shells hung along the rim or sides of the basket as ornamentation. including circles. Baskets also play a crucial role in mythology. with coiling being done by the southern groups and twining by the northern ones. white. blue. and marriage. The aesthetic accomplishment in the finer baskets from this region goes far beyond the functional needs for which the basketry was made. In some cases the feathers and shells were used sparingly to heighten the basketry design. steps. but in others they became a second layer which totally covered the basket and formed designs of their own. These baskets had emotional importance for Indian women. They were seen as a special ceremonial gift for a woman at important life passage points in her life. The finest examples of basketry are the “jewel” or “gift” baskets made by Pomo women. The preeminent craft of Native Americans in California has been basketry. They were usually cremated along with the woman at death. Basket designs. and parallel line designs. considered to be the property of women.Arts and Crafts: California / 77 Basketry. and it provided the women with their primary means of aesthetic expression. crosses. Stylized figures of plants and people were also made. baby boards. puberty. probably forming part of self-identity. Basketry was used to make most containers and to provide many other functional necessities. and green feathers were used. were usually geometric and abstract. but were also made as gifts for other women. Red. and boats. Basketry was also used to make decorative objects such as headdresses.

This art may have reproduced hallucinogenic images seen by men after the ceremonial taking of datura. and blue. Paints and Painting. The practice of this art seems to have died out in the late 1800’s without the meanings being explained in historical records. Ronald J. J. diamonds. Duncan Sources for Further Study Bibby. white. The Chumash seem to have been the only group to practice it. grinding. Rock art consists of compositions of geometric forms. the Pomo. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Calif. Functional baskets were important to the economy of the California groups. Rock Art. Brian. Water containers were also made from baskets. . Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. yellow/orange. he hung it in the sky so that all would have light.78 / Arts and Crafts: California light which was kept in baskets in a sacred sweatlodge. black. Joyce M. and other groups from central California made coiled baskets so tightly bound that they were naturally waterproof. Although some groups sealed their baskets with pitch or tar. Rock art consisted of painting highly personalized dream images onto rocky cliffs or overhangs. 2001. Berkeley. Szabo. saturated hues of red. and crosses. ed. and people. baskets were used for cooking and domestic purposes which included storing.. Brody. ed. and Identity: Essays in Native American Art to Honor J. Patwin. The colors normally used were strong.: Heyday Books. Able to steal one of the magic sun baskets. and boiling food. Since most groups did not have pottery. juxtaposed with figures of animals. Painters. Patrons. and the paints were made from minerals and bonded with vegetable and animal oils. including circles. The Fine Art of California Indian Basketry. 1996. toasting. zigzags. plants. chevrons.

Walapai. serving baskets. Kawaiisu. Ute. the Paiutes were making decorated baskets for the Navajo. The designs on Paiute baskets seem to have been largely borrowed. The early decorated baskets were made with a technique different from the one normally used. Paiute. Although most baskets were coil made. the baskets themselves may even have been made by other groups. The wedding basket is a tray or open bowl shape of twelve to fourteen inches in diameter. and water jars. especially wedding baskets. Gosiute. Numaga. and this relationship has continued to the present day. and since that time there has been an evolution in designs.Arts and Crafts: Great Basin / 79 Arts and Crafts: Great Basin Tribes affected: Bannock. some were made by the twining technique. including carrying baskets. Washoe Significance: The arts and crafts of the Great Basin are primarily baskets and other objects created through basketry techniques. By the 1890’s. reflecting a material culture adapted to a desert environment. basketry techniques were also used for making other items. from clothing to boats and houses. In addition to that design. It is characterized by a circular band of deep red that is bordered by . Shoshone. which refers to the plaiting of two or more coils. Mono. the Paiute basket makers borrowed others from Navajo textiles. The arts and crafts of the tribes of the Great Basin represent the highest degree of dependence on basketry techniques of any of the Native American culture areas. The wedding basket is an interesting case of one cultural group doing important ceremonial craftwork for another group. Paviotso. Many different kinds of baskets were made. Decorative Baskets. it was used by the Navajo to serve cornmeal mush to the honorees and guests at important ceremonies. which suggests that the early decorative patterns were borrowed from neighboring basket-maker groups. Some of the earliest baskets collected from the Paiutes in the nineteenth century were decorated. The earliest baskets known from this region used the stacked rod coiling technique.

There were also seed beaters in various shapes.80 / Arts and Crafts: Great Basin black triangles along both the inside and outside edges. The San Juan Paiutes experienced a period of florescence during the latter part of the twentieth century based on the borrowing of design patterns. a style that continued throughout the remainder of the century. Utilitarian Basketry. including the use of Navajo yei figures. Wedding baskets are made with coils of three bunched rods of sumac. including the Washoe and the San Juan Paiutes. They were often about 18 inches high and 16 inches across at the opening. Basket bowls and shallow circular trays were used for preparing seeds and nuts for eating. Although utilitarian baskets were rarely decorated. and red and black decoration. among others. some burden baskets were made with dyed splints. the styles of California tribes were imitated initially. The trays were also used for winnowing out chaff from eatable food. There was a period of outstanding Washoe decorative baskets during the early part of the century. the Navajo Spider Woman cross. however. Some Washoe baskets were characterized by bold designs. Since traditional Washoe baskets were undecorated. A break in the encircling band is left to provide an opening from the center of the basket outwards. and they were made by coiling or twining. food was sometimes cooked or parched with hot stones in the lined baskets. and the rims are finished in a herringbone design with diagonal plaiting. and Havasupai angular designs. Star or snowflake patterns may be created by the black triangles in the center of the basket if the encircling red band is small and the triangles are large. Decorative trade baskets have also been made by various groups. Burden baskets could be made with a tight weave for the carrying of seeds and small nuts or made with an open weave for carrying heavier roots. fine stitching. or other foods. During ceremonial use of the basket. roots. ranging from “snowshoe” to . The largest utilitarian baskets were the conical burden baskets carried on the back with supplies of nuts. the “door” is pointed eastward. and it is sometimes called the door. The sewing splints are narrow. the Washoe baskets were distinctive because of their large size.

These were used to knock seeds off grasses into a conical carrying basket. Cradleboards. water jars were sealed inside with pitch.Arts and Crafts: Great Basin / 81 handfan designs. The people of the Great Basin could live in basket-made structures from the cradle to A late nineteenth century mother holding her baby in the traditional cradleboard. and Houses. Scoops. brushes. Pot-shaped storage baskets with tight weave and small necks were used to protect food. (Library of Congress) . and other small objects were also made from basketry techniques. Canoes. toys.

Margaret M. A cradleboard for a small infant was made completely by basketry techniques. Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes. Brooke S. 1990. 1986.” In The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. Janet Catherine. Duncan Sources for Further Study Arkush. with a curved hood to protect the head and a soft back. Cohodas.: School of American Research Press.Mex. New York: Oxford University Press. American Indian Art. Abrams. Wheat. 1965. Santa Fe. midway up. “The Great Basin Culture Area. Cattail leaf mats were woven around other willows. Small canoes were also made with bulrushes (or tule). Feder. edited by Daniel L.82 / Arts and Crafts: Great Basin death. similar to reed boats made in Peru. and near the top. leaving a broader stern where a person could sit and direct the craft. A willow frame was made by setting up twelve or more vertical willows that were approximately 10 feet long. Boxberger. New York: Harry N. Wade. They were tied together by other willows running horizontally—just above the ground. Ronald J. 1988. . “Washoe Innovators and Their Patrons. edited by Edwin L. Andrew Hunter. N. Southwestern Indian Baskets: Their History and Their Makers. 1998. Houses were also made with basketry techniques and were essentially upside-down baskets. Marvin. Iowa: Kendall/Hunt. Armload bundles of bulrush were tied together with twisted cattail leaf ropes in such a way that a narrow prow was formed. Native North American Art. Long grass could also be used to form the walls. The top of the frame was tied inward to form a closed-in shape. Reno: University of Nevada Press. The cradleboard for a larger infant was made with a wooden frame onto which a basketry back and hood were woven. Berlo. Bulrush duck decoys were also made.” In Native North Americans: An Ethnohistorical Approach. 1967. and the mats were tied into place to form the walls. New York: Hudson Hills Press. Norman. Whiteford. Dubuque.

Men carve and paint wooden masks. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Sauk.Arts and Crafts: Northeast / 83 Wroth. Pottery was lost in this region soon after contact was made with European groups who introduced the Indians to metal containers. and the supernatural. beadwork. Ute Indian Arts and Culture: From Prehistory to the New Millennium. Lumbee. Shawnee. William. Lenni Lenape. such as a quillwork ornament representing a thunderbird which protected the wearer from the panther spirit of the other world. while women braid cornhusk ones. ed. and the eastern Great Lakes region down to the Ohio River valley. Cayuga. Arts and Crafts: Northeast Tribes affected: Algonquian. Menominee. Huron. It might also represent everyday themes. Colo. Susquehannock. Included in this rich array of arts were birchbark boxes. Fox (Mesquaki). Masks. such as beadwork showing the multicolored hues of flowers and vines that were a natural part of the flora. Tuscarora. Miami. Mohawk. The Northeast covers New England. Onondaga.: Taylor Museum of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Ottawa. and wood carvings. Narragansett. Kickapoo. Seneca. quillwork. Micmac. Iroquois. quillwork. mythology. These masks are still worn by contemporary members of the Society of Faces in dances that are intended to cure people and drive disease from their . Winnebago Significance: The baskets. 2000. New York. Potawatomi. Iroquois-made wooden and cornhusk masks are the most striking art form in this region. and masks of the Northeast tribes are among the finest in North America. The art of Native Americans from the northeastern area of the United States used themes associated with nature. Colorado Springs. Oneida. It might represent otherworldly themes. beadwork.

at work in the Tonowanda Community House during the twentieth century. and other special features of the landscape. (National Archives) homes.84 / Arts and Crafts: Northeast A Seneca carver. They are carved from living trees. others are brightly painted and have big ear-toear mouths. The features may be distorted. waterfalls. Characteristics include strong. staring eyes. and horse-mane hair. plants. and the traditional belief was that they . dark colors and small mouths. represent many different spirits. made and worn only by men. Kidd Smith. unusual rocks. Wooden masks. Although some have sober. including those of trees. heavy wrinkles.

For example. and the mask was fed regularly. rolled. which permits them to be shaped into square and round designs for containers. The original work was limited to the muted colors of autumn earth tones. These barks are soft and pliable when peeled. and horses. Bark can be bent. The latter may have developed out of an earlier tradition of naturalistic representations. Wood carving was also used to make clubs and carved figures for knife handles and other uses. After the introduction of European glass trade beads. they gave many more opportunities for the ornamentation of clothing. but the glass beads permitted the introduction of the saturated hues of spring flowers and berries. Cornhusk masks may be made and worn by men or women. Beads have been used to represent both the geometric designs found in earlier ceramic patterns and the floral motifs with which the eastern groups are identified. Beadwork.” who was transformed from a malevolent spirit into one which helped people. Ribbons were introduced along with beads. Tobacco was tied into the hair for use by the spirit. Bark Boxes and Baskets. combined. Quillwork was frequently used to decorate the surface. There . and stitched. baskets. this art medium went through a spectacular development. Bark was a favorite material for making boxes. the human body.Arts and Crafts: Northeast / 85 embodied a living spirit. and they represent the spirits of vegetation which work to heal people. and it provides a good surface for drawing or incising. and elm bark was used by the Iroquois and other groups in the East. bears. Birchbark was used in the Great Lakes area. Carvings commonly represented hands. Various features of the mask identify the spirit portrayed by it. a broken nose and wide crooked mouth represent a spirit called the “Great Defender” or the “Rim Dweller. Both quillwork and small stone beads were originally used to create designs and decorative bands on clothing. Both covered boxes and open baskets made use of this material. and even canoes. Splint basketry was also made in this area.

Bella Coola. Kitamat. adapted from European military pouches. Lois Sherr. Kwakiutl. The idea that there were European sources for the floral patterns is reinforced by the fact that they were commonly used on shoulderstrap bags. social status and prestige. 1998. Tlingit. but other floral patterns incorporated later may have referred to local medicinal plants.86 / Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast were also European models for the floral motifs which may have been the ecclesiastical attire of priests. and their art treats the themes of cosmology and origins. Makah. New York: Henry N. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Masks. especially painted house facades. Native North American Art. Ronald J. 1999. New York: Oxford University Press. and the monumentality of the totem poles. Both sculpture and painting are characterized by strong colors and shapes. Haida. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. masks. Beads and Beadwork. Tsimshian Significance: The people of the Northwest Coast have one of the most recognizable art styles of the world and produced the most important monumental art of the indigenous North American groups. Indigenous belts and trumplines decorated with quillwork later evolved into beaded and beribboned votive belts by which people expressed their devotion. Haisla. and shamanistic power. Birchbark. . Janet Catherine. They are the outstanding wood carvers of North America. Abrams. Quillwork. The people of the Northwest Coast are identified by their art. Nootka. Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast Tribes affected: Bella Bella. Dubin. and on European-style deerskin coats. Nitinat. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo.

eagle. he could conceptualize the piece and name a skilled carver to execute it. The carver of a totem pole was expected to be a relative of the man honored. and the smoke hole was the connection between the earth and the heavenly world. Multiple crests may be represented on a pole. forming a vertical cosmic axis. the house posts were the supports of the earth and sky. The facades of chiefly houses could be painted with the images of mythical animals who were the head of the lineage. House Facades and Crest Poles. obligations. and supernatural characteristics. which served as the door for the house. The totem pole seems only to have developed during the nineteenth century. If the man chosen to be the carver did not have the required skill. The authorship of a pole was assigned to the one who conceptualized it. The opening was frequently portrayed as the mouth or the vagina of the animal lineage head of the family. The vertical series of figures making up the pole traces the family to the time the lineage was founded in the mythic past.Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast / 87 Totem Poles. The poles were as much as 60 feet tall. mountain lion. The origin story usually tells about the original ancestor encountering a spirit who gave him and his descendants a special power. Each family may possess more than one crest. and wolf. and they were mnemonic devices to record the heritage of the family. but similar poles were carved earlier as the crest poles of houses. In . Totem poles stand in front of houses as a statement of the sacred history of the family. with the hearth being the navel of the world. The pole became a public proclamation of ancestry and the rights to positions of prestige along with their benefits. crests are inherited by the children in each generation. The totem poles were carved and erected as memorials to men of chiefly status who had died. and going in and out of the house represented death and rebirth from the lineage totem. In the nineteenth century and earlier. the crest poles of houses were carved. and they were carved lying on the ground. and common ones include the bear. frog. and sometimes a large entrance hole was cut into it. The house itself was the cosmos in a microcosm. as well as the image of the spirit as a heraldic crest for the family.

88 / Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast some instances the door hole represented the hole of creation through which the original ancestor passed to enter this world. The rattles are especially striking because of their elaborate and complex carving. and the shaman is shown on its back with other animals. and rattles. costumes. drums. many are painted with strong primary colors. masks belong to families and were originally given to the founding ancestor because of a victory over an adversary. but they represented ancestors or other effigy beings who could give strength to the warrior. The basic figure shown in the rattle was frequently a water bird. The tongue of a goat or a frog may become a bridge through which the shaman transforms the power of that animal into his own. Masks represent the shamanic power of transformation from the earthly present to the mythic past or to the supernatural world. and masks that characterized ritual. Masks and the accompanying costumes create a figure who was an actor in a myth. ceremonies. Masks have been the most common art form among the peoples of the Northwest Coast. songs and dances are also inherited with the mask to dramatize the myth. The shamanic regalia included special masks. Masks and Hats. Like masks. Masks may represent supernatural animal spirits. and some are essentially variations on the idea of the masks. Some have movable parts. In the ephemeral other world of the masks. and they represent the animal of the family crest. these hats sometimes had movable parts. In addition to being carved. War helmets have not been made since the nineteenth century. and the myths reconfirm the fundamental principles of the cosmos. Another version interpreted it as the hole through which the original shaman passed back and forth to the other world to learn the sacred knowledge. the heroic exploits of the original people are acted out. shamans. Conical clan hats were also important. or important people. These family crest hats are among the most dramatic pieces of Northwest Coast . Like the motifs of the totem poles. Carved wooden hats and war helmets were traditionally important. The shaman’s quest for spiritual powers is also a common theme of mask-myth performances.

Northwest Coast. Janet Catherine. Masks.C. New York: Rizzoli International. Sculpture. 1982.C. Indian Art Traditions of the Northwest Coast. Women were accomplished basket makers.Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast / 89 art. See also: Chilkat Blankets. Furst. “The Dancing Headdress Frontlet: Aesthetic Context on the Northwest Coast. D. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. Cheryl. Roy L. _______. Vol. ed. Domestic Crafts. New York: Oxford University Press. and their twined work with grasses and other fibers were as fine as woven cloth. 1998. . Native North American Art. Wade. 7 in Handbook of North American Indians. and polychrome painting. possessing abalone-shell inlays. New York: Hudson Hills Press. 1986. Burnaby.: Archaeology Press. J. 2000. 1990. Furst. and hats. King. Ronald J. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Totem Poles. 1972. Peter T. Shearar. C. basketry. 1982. and Jill L. edited by Edwin L. London: Thames & Hudson. Carlson. Portrait Masks from the Northwest Coast of North America.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Suttles. Understanding Northwest Coast Art: A Guide to Crests. Wayne.” In The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. similar to the totem poles. and Symbols. Bill. B. Paints and Painting. 1979.. Washington. stylized bodies. Spindle whorls for spinning the thread were elaborately carved in wood. Beings. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ed. masks. Crooked Beak of Heaven: Masks and Other Ceremonial Art in the Pacific Northwest. Holm. and the carving of wooden household utensils were also common crafts. North American Indian Art. During historical periods woven tunics frequently included the family crest motifs. Simon Fraser University. Weaving.. H.

Ponca. Assiniboine. The arts and crafts of the Plains tribes were small in scale and highly transportable because of the largely nomadic Plains existence. and they are the primary association with Native American art for many people. Comanche. Kiowa. and resulted in geometric designs or highly stylized figures. Caddo. Pawnee. Iowa. Beadwork portrayed such things as floral patterns. Osage. Crow.90 / Arts and Crafts: Plains Arts and Crafts: Plains Tribes affected: Arapaho. Omaha. shirts. Hidatsa. moccasins. and parfleches were frequently painted. These narrated calendrical histories . Blackfoot. Narrative Art. and bags were made of skins. beads. beautifying the skin of a slain animal was thought to please its spirit and avert retaliation. colored beads of Venetian glass had been introduced by the Europeans as trade items. or paint.” which led to a new style of beadwork that covered entire surfaces. Dresses. The elongated shape of the quill was used to decorate medallions. Sioux. the United States flag. Tonkawa. Cree. By the early nineteenth century. folding bag which was capable of withstanding arrows and lances. crosses. for example. and cradleboards. the tipi. Atsina. among other items. Narrative paintings were done by men on skins. Plains art is most known for the beadwork on clothing and other personal items and the earlier work with porcupine quills. Clothing and Bags. Arikara. Ghost Dance shirts and dresses also demonstrate the close relationship between art and the spiritual world. Cheyenne. The parfleche was a thick-skinned. Missouri. especially on robes and tipis. The arts had supernatural relationships with the spirit world. Wichita Significance: The beadwork and headdresses of the Plains are a dramatic statement of personal aesthetics. and most were decorated with geometric designs by women using quills. and lightning. and by midcentury they had been replaced by even smaller “seed beads. boxes. Clothing. Mandan.

and tribal paraphernalia. and sometimes one would be made as a . The describing of personal visions and mythological events was done with less narrative detail. As the independent lifestyle of the Plains people came to an end and the people were settled around forts. including the concept of the universe. men adapted to painting on cloth. The winter camps were the fixed points between which yearly events were remembered. narrate the personal bravery and skill of a specific warrior. and these were usually painted by the same warrior on his personal buffalo robe or on his tipi cover. the ledger paintings portray forts. clothing. it was left to the imagination of the viewer to complete the story. and even towns. Ledgerbook art typically narrates the experience of Native Americans with the European American world. He would usually portray the most important moment of his triumph. and buffalo of the skin paintings. Vision paintings were frequently done on shields or tipis. as well as raids and hunts. ledgerbook painting was developed among the Southern Plains tribes. trains. important tribal gatherings. Each man carved his own private ceremonial pipe. The calendar drawings have mnemonic value for remembering the major events that occurred in a tribe or band over a number of years. describing features of the landscape. the art of skin painting was lost. placing of tipis. This happened in part because the personal exploits narrated by the men in battle and hunting no longer happened and in part because the skins were no longer available. and important battles. The pipe was the single most important art object made by the Plains groups. among the Northern Plains tribes.Arts and Crafts: Plains / 91 (called wintercounts). Instead of the horses. and hunts. mythological events. Tribal gatherings were also portrayed in narrative detail. In its place. tipis. Pipes as Miniature Sculpture. The most famous collection of ledger art comes from the seventy-two warriors from five Southern Plains tribes who were sent to Fort Marion in Florida after their surrender in 1875. Battle scenes. personal visions. wagons. and it explored the relationship between humans and the sacred in the earth and sky. raids.

S.92 / Arts and Crafts: Plains special gift for another person. sometimes they were of greater importance than the bowl itself. a member of the Kiowa tribe. which was considered to be blood colored and therefore to represent life. Since the power of the pipe was activated when the stem and bowl were united. Pipe bags show some of the most important Plains beadwork and quillwork. Stems were carved in a number of imaginative designs. The bowls were usually carved from reddish pipestone. including spiral stems. they were usually separated when stored. The holiest pipes were common property and were considered to be especially powerful. The stems were also elaborately carved and could be two feet long or more. (U. They were usually plain bowls but could include complex carvings of animals or humans. which indicates the significance of pipes. Alice Littleman. mazeway puzzle stems. displaying Plains beadwork and skin sewing. and stems with figurative carvings of animals and guardian spirits. Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board) .

Dubin. Wade. Peter T. Indian Art in Pipestone: George Catlin’s Portfolio in the British Museum. In contrast. 1977. New York: Henry N. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ed. Catlin. Art of the American Indian Frontier.C. Edwin L. Abrams. perhaps as a statement of peace. New York: Rizzoli International. Women beautified clothes and other items of domestic use with geometric designs in their media of bead and quillwork. Ewers. and it does not emphasize the individuality of the piece. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. 1982. 1986. 1998. Dress and Adornment. with occasional painting. and they used the geometric signs that communicated the important concepts of nature and the supernatural. Lois Sherr. Penny. Headdresses. Many incorporated the United States flag into their beadwork during the late 1800’s. David W. however. Craft seems to be less important in the narrative art. North American Indian Art.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art. Men’s pipe carvings are carefully crafted. 1992. The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. Native North American Art. 1979. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. men’s narrative art is individualistic and boasts of personal exploits. Craft and skill were definitive of women’s work. and Jill L. D.: Nelson Gallery Foundation. . Quillwork. Kansas City.. Mo. Janet Catherine. Washington. 1999. Ronald J. Ralph T. Edited by John C. Coe. Furst. New York: Oxford University Press.Arts and Crafts: Plains / 93 Gender and Art. The women’s art uses collective designs. Furst. New York: Hudson Hills Press. and rival the quality of the women’s beadwork. George. which is done with lines that are rigid and awkward.. See also: Beads and Beadwork.

and wood carving of excellent quality. They were made in varying sizes. corn husks were used for the bags. and many of them achieved personal visions of aesthetic excellence in geometric and color composition. Klikitat. Along with Navajo blankets and rugs. and this fact permitted a greater preservation of traditional arts and crafts. Chilcotin. After corn was introduced into the area in the early nineteenth century. Umatilla. basketry. Plateau people have also made blankets but never with the same sophistication with which they weave bags. later. Some large versions of the bag are as much as 36 inches long. Lillooet. Nez Perce.94 / Arts and Crafts: Plateau Arts and Crafts: Plateau Tribes affected: Cayuse. Shuswap. They were . Wishram. and they mentioned the woven bags made by the Nez Perce. beadwork. Their work reflects the influences from neighboring culture areas and demonstrates the diffusion and acculturation of arts and crafts traditions across culture lines among Native Americans. Woven Bags. Contact with European groups occurred later here than in most other areas. ranging from 8 by 8 inches to 18 by 22 inches. The twined or woven bags are made with the beige background of hemp but then decorated with bear grass and cattails dyed with vegetable colors. The Plateau bag is the most distinctive art and craft medium of this culture area. The people of the Plateau have produced bags. these bags represent the finest designs in North American weaving. The first European Americans to arrive in the area were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1805. After that they were sometimes referred to as cornhusk bags. Yakima Significance: The arts and crafts of the Plateau effectively preserved traditional design styles and techniques longer than most other Native American culture areas. Wasco. The women makers of these bags are known for their weaving skill. Walla Walla. and they were usually carried vertically. yarn was also incorporated. These bags are known for their geometric designs and skillful color patterns.

animals. butterfly. and humans reflected European American influences. or arrow designs. After horses arrived in the region. Since the decorative layer has no important structural problems to solve. Imbrication is a process of creating a second decorative layer on top of the coil-made basket by stitching it into the surface of the basket. Since weaving lends itself more to the representation of geometric shapes than to reproducing organic ones. they were used as saddlebags.Arts and Crafts: Plateau / 95 originally used for carrying food that had been collected. The introduction of figurative designs including plants. but figurative motifs were introduced in the late nineteenth century. In the twentieth century they became decorative handbags carried by women. especially the floral designs of the Victorian period. Baskets and Basketry. figurative shapes was the sign of a skillful weaver. The designs were traditionally geometric. ranging from small bowls to large storage baskets. Long straight lines were frequently serrated. chevron. The ability to make organic. Twining was used to make soft fiber objects such as hats and bags. Both coiling and twining were used to make basketry items. with the front side being more elaborate than the back. geometric forms continued to be important into the twentieth century. The imbricated layer has a continuous surface not interrupted by the dominant coil lines of the coil-made basket. Coiling was used to make more rigid basket containers. and they were sometimes combined to form star. also creating more visual interest. A technique of decoration known as “imbrication” is distinctive to the Plateau area. Smaller designs were incorporated within or around the larger main design. as discussed above. The bag was continuously woven in the round. which added complexity and visual interest. Bag designs also emphasize the play between positive and negative spaces so that the viewer must shift his or her vision between the two. cross. Triangles and diamond shapes were especially popular. . it can be designed purely for aesthetic purposes. Mats were also made by some groups and were traditionally used to cover the walls of tipis.

but figurative motifs became increasingly important in the twentieth century. baskets. grave marker totems. belts. . Carving. Norman. and the U. The Plateau bead workers used triangles. and other accessories. Ronald J. flag. among other things. Beading was also used to cover coiled baskets. Janet Catherine. Native North American Art. Similar to the Northern Plains people. cuffs. Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art. Originally beads were added to fringes. Human figures carved of wood represented ancestral spirits or beings. Figures. Occasionally figures were carved in three dimensions on the sides of bowls. eagles. and horse trappings. Small wooden bowls included figures carved in relief on the surfaces as well as decorative patterns of parallel or serrated lines. squares. mane covers. and crosses to create geometric designs. Coe. both men and women of the Plateau used buckskin clothing decorated with beadwork. including bridles. New York: Oxford University Press. and shaman’s wands included anthropomorphic forms. The bead designs were geometric during the nineteenth century. and the figurative patterns incorporate floral motifs.S. 1998. Beading was done on clothes. stirrup covers.: Nelson Gallery Foundation. American Indian Art. Feder. scoops.96 / Arts and Crafts: Plateau Beads and Beading. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. headbands. Kansas City. Abrams. among many other patterns. and represents an influence from the Plains tribes to the east. Beading was used for horse trappings. but later overall beading was used for shirts. 1977. New York: Harry N. bags. reflecting influences from the neighboring Northwest Coast peoples. and small bowls were carved of wood and horn. The handles of scoops and spoons were carved with animal and human figures. diamonds. 1965. and saddle bags. shin straps. Ralph T. Mo. The handles of wood-carving tools were themselves elaborately carved.

but much of it has disappeared over the last few centuries because of acculturation and the dislocation of tribes. and painted ceramics were made in the period before contact with Europeans. Art of the American Indian Frontier. excellent stonecarved sculptures.Arts and Crafts: Southeast / 97 Kehoe. baskets. Yamasee. Creek.J. patchwork. Belts and Bags. Seminole. Yazoo. beaded sashes and bags. Choctaw. Catawba. This early art incorporated motifs that suggested contact with the complex civilizations of Mexico. David W. Englewood Cliffs. Sculpture. Kansas City. Chickasaw. Natchez. 1994. Apalachee. 2d ed.: Prentice Hall. 1992. Beads and Beadwork. and sewing. taking advantage of the creative possibilities of small seed beads. copper sheets cut like mythical animals. Penney. Alice B. During the historic period. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Chitimacha.: Johnson County Community College. Linn. Creek. Yuchi Significance: The Indians of the Southeast are especially known for baskets. Tuskegee. Anadarko. Mobile. baskets. N. Weaving. Kans. carving. Arts and Crafts: Southeast Tribes affected: Alabama. Gallery of Art. these tribes have been known for their work in belts and bags. 1992. carving. made sashes and shoulder bags that were well known for their elaborate flowing designs. and Choctaw women. These women were exceptional colorists and ex- . and ribbon work. Seattle: University of Washington Press. North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account. Powhatan. Natalie. The artists of the Southeast tribes are the heirs to one of the richest artistic traditions in North America. The Plateau Bag: A Tradition in Native American Weaving. Guale. Cherokee. Cherokee. Elaborate earthen mounds.

98 / Arts and Crafts: Southeast ploited the many colors made available with glass beads. Shoulder bags were made from wool or velvet. A gathering basket made by various tribes in the region has a square base which changes into a round . Baskets. Covered baskets were made as containers for storage and protection. and both this design and the scroll pattern were used in other media. All of these designs were also used by prehistoric groups in the region. such as ceramics. and they made shoulder bags with beaded decoration. consisting of a spiral or circle at each end with a line uniting them diagonally. and the beaded designs on belts and bags frequently use it. similar to the rows of diamonds that Choctaws sew onto the hems of dresses and onto the decorative bands of shirts. following their own will and resulting in amorphous “figures” that give a sense of elegant playfulness distinctive to these pieces. and open baskets were made for gathering and carrying food products. In some designs the lines seem to meander. The altering of colors between the warp and the weft gives ample opportunity for the creation of patterns and decoration. The double-ended scroll is a characteristic design from the Southeast tribes. They fashioned complex sashes with beads worked into the designs. It is a linear design 8 to 10 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide. backed with a cotton lining and embroidered with seed beads in designs of flowing lines that suggest floral patterns but are in reality abstract. used especially by the Choctaws but also by Creeks and Seminoles. The patterns were bold and asymmetrical and the designs seem more individually expressive than the patterned formality of designs of the Northeast. The cross in a circle design surrounded by emanating sun rays was also used in beadwork. Creek sashes line up ordered rows of diamonds embroidered in seed beads. which produces a flexible basket of considerable strength. Southeastern basketry is especially known for the use of the split and plaited cane technique. These were some of the finest bags produced in North America. and they competed with those of the Great Lakes area for aesthetic and technical excellence. Another common design pattern is the diamond.

North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. Sewing. New York: Oxford University Press. Carving. Effigy pipes. Ribbons have also been used in a similar way to create the patterns. representing bears and other animals from the region. See also: Applique and Ribbonwork. Beads and Beadwork. Abrams. were carved until the nineteenth century. Ronald J. . Lois Sherr. The patching together of hundreds of small pieces of colored cloth has been appropriated to form an aesthetic which is particular to this area and is now considered traditional. Dubin. crosses. chevron or zigzag lines. and angular spirals. Baskets and Basketry. Neighboring groups such as the Choctaws have adopted a similar practice of sewing diamond patch designs on dresses and shirts to give them tribal identity. Dress and Adornment. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo.Arts and Crafts: Southeast / 99 shape for the top half of the basket. It is known for fitting well to the back. 1998. Men’s craft consisted of carving. and they made stylized figures in wood and pipestone. Other pipes were carved in geometric designs. Native North American Art. Sculpture. following long Eastern Woodlands traditions. The Seminoles are most known for this type of patchwork. making it easier to carry loads. 1999. which was borrowed from European patchwork quilting. Common design motifs include the diamond. Patchwork dresses and shirts and elaborate ribbonwork decoration are also associated with the work of women in tribes of the Southeast. New York: Henry N. Janet Catherine.

The Navajos and Apaches have a different history. The prehistoric groups developed pottery. silversmithing from the Spanish. and open-air firing. The most common types of pots are water jars. The pottery tradi- . white. birds. resulting in complex symmetries. Pueblo pottery is made with the prehistoric techniques of coil building. Eastern Pueblos. in modern times they are made primarily for artistic purposes. baskets. basketry. Women are the traditional makers of pottery. The Eastern Pueblos have the richest pottery tradition. The Eastern Pueblos live on or near the Rio Grande River near Santa Fe. but men may paint it and fire it. or black colors. They have had commercial success with arts and crafts. Although they originally practiced basketry. and the contemporary Pueblo groups have continued the designs and techniques inherited in those media. but they also make jewelry. The pots are elaborately painted.100 / Arts and Crafts: Southwest Arts and Crafts: Southwest Tribes affected: Apache. The designs frequently play back and forth between positive and negative fields. having entered the area only six hundred to eight hundred years ago. and they are usually subdivided into smaller and smaller units. slip painting. usually iron oxide red. weaving. Southwest Native American art can be traced back to prehistoric groups that lived in the area. they acquired weaving from the Pueblo people and. Although each type was originally made for functional purposes. Pueblo (including Hopi. Pueblo designs may use geometric forms or stylized figures of animals. dough bowls. Border lines are usually drawn as a frame to define the area to be decorated. and woven goods. or plants. and they were most affected by the Spanish. and jewelry making. and storage pots. Zuñi) Significance: The arts and crafts of the Southwest are a thriving and coherent representation of Native American art that has continuity with its prehistoric cultural roots. Navajo. later.

(National Archives) . especially Santa Clara. New Mexico. including blackware. and polychrome ware. Rain serpents and the bear paw are popular designs. redware. San Juan. Santa Clara Pueblo is famous for both blackware and redware pottery. making pottery during the early 1900’s.Arts and Crafts: Southwest / 101 tion from this area is divided into a number of styles. Polychrome pottery is most associated with the pueblos located to the south and west of Santa Fe. and San Ildefonso. most notably Zia Native Americans in Santa Clara Pueblo. and it is well known for the deep carving of designs in the surface of pots. Blackware pottery was traditionally made in the Pueblos north and west of Santa Fe. where the tradition was made famous by María and Julián Martínez.

The Western Pueblos are most known for jewelry making. particularly Santo Domingo. while the Hopis focus primarily on silver work. however. and it is now particularly known for the storyteller figure. The Hopi also do basketry and weaving. frogs. These Pueblos make polychrome ware. birds. The Hopi make jewelry with overlay designs in silver. The Zuñi and the Hopi were more isolated than the Eastern Pueblos and continued many of their traditions until the twentieth century. They are best known. The most traditional jewelry of the Southwest is made by people of the Eastern Pueblos.102 / Arts and Crafts: Southwest and Acoma. animal figures (especially deer). The colors are typically red and/or black on a white background. The kachinas incorporate rain and cloud symbols and represent the hope for well-being and plenty. broad shape of its pots. Western Pueblos. and it is noted for the flat. coral. Cochiti is the only pueblo to make figurative pieces. and they do stone inlay jewelry. . Although weaving and basketry were traditionally important. and Zuñi pottery is distinguished by the motif of the deer with a red heart-line going from the mouth into the torso and the rosette design. sometimes in complex patterns called clusterwork. These fetishes depict bears. sometimes including stones. which are carved. foxes. Border lines frame the painted areas of the pots. mountain lions. and they are used to teach children about the supernatural. and it characteristically includes strings of turquoise for necklaces and other pieces made of mosaics of turquoise. for making kachina dolls. and dressed. and within those borders designs may include floral patterns. painted. and geometric forms. The Zuñis are famous for carving fetishes in stone which are sometimes made into necklaces of turquoise. They also set turquoise and other fine stones in silver. Hopi pottery is made primarily on the First Mesa by HopiTewa descendants. The Zuñis do lapidary work and silversmithing. and owls among other animals. Surface designs are geometric and now largely follow the designs of the Sikytki revival pottery. and other stones. they have largely disappeared among these pueblos.

. 1998. Sculpture. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. ed. the weaving incorporated designs from sand paintings. Native American Art of the Southwest. Janet Catherine. Lois Sherr. Whiteford. Religion. Eaton.: Publications International. 1986.. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Wade. Pottery. A number of regional styles exist throughout the Navajo area. and butterflies. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 1990.Arts and Crafts: Southwest / 103 Navajos and Apaches. The designs include geometric and highly stylized figures. Peter T. Designs and Factions: Politics. Kachinas. crosses. New York: Henry N. and Ceramics on the Hopi Third Mesa. Ill. Dubin. The wide range of Apache baskets includes trays. Furst. Santa Fe. which have special ritual and healing significance. especially the squash blossom necklace. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. . The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. 1993. N. the Navajos have most excelled in this media. North American Indian Art.Mex: School of American Research Press. 1999. New York: Hudson Hills Press. Linda B. Southwestern Indian Baskets: Their History and Their Makers. Native North American Art. 1988. The designs are primarily geometric and include stepped frets. Weaving. Although the Eastern and Western Pueblos do weaving. Abrams. New York: Rizzoli International. Ronald J. carrying baskets. Furst. Andrew Hunter. Wyckoff. The Navajo are also famous for turquoise and silver jewelry. 1982. Occasionally. There are complex patterns of repetition and contrasts of positive-negative fields. Lydia L. Silverworking. New York: Oxford University Press. Lincolnwood. and pitch-sealed water bottles. and Jill L. Edwin L.

and Sekani) occupied the western Subarctic and were influenced by the material culture of the neighboring Northwest Coast groups as well as the Aleuts and the Eskimos (Inuits). Tanaina. For example. The arts and crafts of the Subarctic Indians included quillwork. beadwork. Hare. Women used these techniques to decorate the surfaces of birchbark boxes. Han. Athapaskan-speaking tribes (Beaver. and wood carving. Sekani. chevrons. moccasins. Beothuk. Ottawa. Tutchone. cross-hatching. Tsetsaut. which produced different textures. Neskapi. and they were sewn to the surfaces. and clothing. and the double-ended swirl. Tahltan. Cree. Yellowknife Significance: Subarctic artisans were especially known for their quillwork and birchbark baskets. Carrier. step design. bags. . Ojibwa. Tanaina. Ingalik. Tutchone. The artists varied the density of the plaiting of the quills to make tightly packed patterns or openweave patterns. crosses. Han. Designs were primarily geometric and included diamonds. Most of the arts and crafts from this area are known to be from the Algonquianspeaking tribes (Cree and Ojibwa) who occupied the eastern area and were influenced by the arts of the Northeast and Plains culture areas. Designs were made by plaiting the quills in patterns that may have developed out of basketry techniques. Tahltan. and it was in wide use at the time of the earliest contact with the Europeans. the side of a box could be covered with various parallel bands of quills and the top with concentric circles. but because of the sparse population and the demands of a hunting and gathering life. Slave.104 / Arts and Crafts: Subarctic Arts and Crafts: Subarctic Tribes affected: Beaver. decorate bands (such as wampum belts). birchbark baskets and boxes. Dogrib. parallel lines. Quillwork and Embroidery. Ingalik. this work did not exist in quantity. crossbars. Porcupine quillwork was particularly well developed among the eastern groups. The sides and lids of boxes were frequently covered with overall decoration.

Especially complex versions of these items were called “friendship bags. and into the twentieth century women were still doing silk embroidery. although there were no figures. Later versions were beaded and made of cloth. embroidery and beads replaced quillwork on clothing. The Ojibwa (or Chippewa) and the Ottawa developed a rich tradition of decorating shoulder bags. which reached the knees and were decorated with quills and paint. The Cree copied European-style officers’ coats in buckskin. and it sometimes took on the compositional look of Plains hide paintings. but stylized representations of mythological beings were also used. and tightly finished.” and they were worn by men as a demonstration of prestige. and they incorporated floral patterns. The designs on coats tended to be bold and clearly visible from some distance. Made by peeling birchbark. Beads and Bags. Birchbark. Since birchbark was . Elaborate designs were placed along the bottom edge and the front borders of the coat. intricate. and sewing it with spruce root. The decorative bands and epaulets for coats were similarly more intimate in scale. geometric designs were adapted to represent floral-like patterns. Three or four bands of design were frequently used. Fringe was frequently added to bags. but the designs on moccasins were smaller. In the nineteenth century. and floral and geometric designs were sometimes incorporated into the same bag. During this period. Early buckskin versions were commonly decorated in geometric patterns with quills. floral designs were increasingly used. Moose-hair embroidery was common in earlier periods. folding it into the form desired. The quillwork and embroidery from this area is known for its beauty of line and fine stitching.Arts and Crafts: Subarctic / 105 Quillwork clothing decoration was also geometric. Birchbark was used to make most containers for normal domestic use. these containers were used as gathering and storage baskets. also called bandoleer bags. Eventually. and in some cases fringe flaps became narrow bands of pure geometric design.

North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present.106 / Astronomy both pliable and strong. Birchbark. which was white. Birchbark designs could be made by scraping the outside layer of the bark. 1998. Ronald J. . and many built structures for observing or measuring the movement of the sun and stars. Throughout North America. similar to those of the Northeast culture area. and both were highly stylized. Woodwork. 1999. Janet Catherine. references to the sun. Beads and Beadwork. such as knife handles and spoons. New York: Oxford University Press. New York: Henry N. Abrams. Human and animal figures were carved. Lois Sherr. and pictographs. Simple sgraffito drawings were also done occasionally on wooden surfaces. It was because of this material’s adaptability that these tribes did not make pottery or many baskets. Animal and plant figures from the area were normally shown on birchbark. to reveal the brown layer beneath. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. showing stylized images from the natural worlds. Some Subarctic groups did wood carvings of small objects. moon. it was even used to make canoes and houses. geometric signs. these figures were highly stylized. and in keeping with the quillwork tradition. Native North American Art. Early Native American knowledge of the heavens ranged from the complex Mayan calendars to more simple markings of the solstices. Astronomy Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The ancient people of the Americas observed the heavens carefully. Quillwork. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Dubin.

The Dresden Codex records the revolution of Venus. Missouri. dates to 4. while a few mark summer stars. Alberta. Iowa. the Popol Vuh. where 120 earthen mounds formed a large village. The Mayan creation account. These three stars rise a month apart during the summer. most of which are on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. correspond to the stars in the Big Dipper. in the hieroglyphic Mayan language are almanacs. At Cahokia.c. the Mayan calendar influenced civilizations from 100 b. or codices. In Central America. includes references to the Pleiades. The prehistoric wheels are spoked circles outlined by stones. prehistoric mounds in the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys also reflect astronomical understanding. who lived in the river valleys and plains of Nebraska. Hopewellian and Mississippian mounds are often in the shapes of animals or stepped temples. up to 60 yards in diameter. This band arranged their . The twin heroes of the Mayan creation story are associated with the sun and moon as well as with Venus. Many medicine wheels mark sunrise points of equinoxes and solstices. to the time of the Spanish Conquest (15191697). In the northern plains of Canada and the United States.e. but the Marching Bear mounds in McGregor. In the Midwest. Mayans observed the solar year as well as lunar cycles and the movements of stars. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming has cairns that correspond to paths of Aldebaran. and planets occur in creation accounts and other cultural practices. Guatemalan “daykeepers” still use the original astronomical system for divination. a circle of cedar posts marked sunrise solstices and the equinox. and Sirius. The four extant books. in Majorville. and it has a central cairn made of 50 tons of stones. Stars had sacred meanings to the Skidi Pawnee. Archaeologists have nicknamed the reconstructed site Woodhenge. after Stonehenge. The oldest medicine wheel. the Big Dipper.500 years before the present. About fifty medicine wheels are known to exist. medicine wheels attest an ancient knowledge of astronomy. and Ursa Minor (Draco). Rigel.Astronomy / 107 stars.

Denise Low Sources for Further Study Bol.: Roberts Rinehart. Rabbit Tracks (near Canis Major). Medicine Wheels. The term “atlatl. Utah. Dorcas S. Originating from Old World prototypes . Colo. Synonymous terms include spear thrower and dart thrower. Earth Below: American Indians and Nature. Their creation account describes how Black God made stars from crystals.: Pruett. Marsha C. including First Big One (Scorpio). Stars of the First People: Native American Star Myths and Constellations. Slender First One (in Orion). Revolving Female (part of Ursa Minor). is derived from Nahuatl.108 / Atlatl villages in the pattern of the North Star. Atlatl Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The atlatl was an ancient and widespread hunting and warfare weapon throughout the Americas. Star charts on cave roofs had ceremonial importance. Boulder. 1997. Ancient Anasazi sites in the Southwest still show the yearly cycle of the sun. Mayan Civilization. He placed constellations in the sky. has ports through which sunlight enters during the solstices and equinox. A painted hide at the Field Museum in Chicago records the Milky Way and many Pawnee constellations. ed. 2000. Boulder. Miller. They arranged the posts of their earthen lodges in the same pattern. the language spoken by the Aztecs of sixteenth century central Mexico. See also: Mathematics. and morning star. Mounds and Moundbuilders. A stone house at Hovenweep. evening star. so each home repeated the cosmic arrangement.” applied to many versions of the implement. and the Pleiades. Colo. Revolving Male (Ursa Major). Stars Above.. Stars were important to the nomadic Navajos.

Moche atlatls were elaborately decorated with painted and carved designs. Lances and Spears. Small stones were sometimes attached to the atlatl as weights and balances to increase efficiency. Atlatls appear frequently in pre-Columbian paintings and in ceramics and relief sculpture from the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. . James D. and actual atlatls were frequently included in Anasazi burials. Different versions included loops for finger holes. atlatl depictions are common in rock art. Hunting and Gathering. significantly increasing its range and power. Maya and central Mexican artists frequently depicted ruling elites proudly displaying atlatls as signs of military and social status. Projectile Points. The atlatl was a straight or slightly curved wooden stick averaging 24 inches in length. In the American Southwest. the feathered end of a long dart or spear was mounted against the barb. the Maya area. it was gradually replaced by the bow and arrow as the preferred hunting weapon throughout the Americas by 1100 c. While the user gripped the handle. where the Aztecs still used it along with other weapons in the sixteenth century.e. central and western Mexico. were frequently carved in the form of animals from brightly colored stone. Weapons. except in central Mexico. Farmer Source for Further Study Taylor. Colin F.Atlatl / 109 and brought to the New World by the earliest paleolithic inhabitants. and Peru.. In the Eastern Woodlands. and the dart was hurled overhand in slingshot fashion. In South America. 2001. called banner stones. One end was notched and wrapped with hide for a handle. Atlatl imagery held great symbolic importance. the atlatl weights. Native American Weapons. particularly for warrior cults and hunting societies. and the opposite end bore a hook or barb. See also: Banner Stones.

more accurately. the Mexica wandered southward into the valley of central Mexico. intimidation. but found them useful as mercenaries. As the city grew. They eventually reached Lake Texcoco and encountered peoples whose culture was more advanced. the calpulli lost importance.110 / Aztec Empire Aztec Empire Significance: The greatest flowering of Mesoamerican culture. the Culhua Mexica) founded the city of Tenochtitlán in 1325 on a small island in Lake Texcoco (the site of modern Mexico City) and a century later emerged as the last great imperial power of indigenous Mesoamerica. Early Aztec society in Tenochtitlán seems to have been egalitarian. Aztec civilization evolved from the legacy of earlier Mesoamerican groups. According to their religious myths. guided by their tribal god. Huitzilopochtli’s priests began the rite of tearing palpitating hearts from the chests of sacrificial victims. and nobles (pipiltin) dominated military leadership and monopolized access to the calmecac (a school where priests and pictorial writers were trained). Along the way. In fact. Huitzilopochtli. The Mexica chose their first supreme ruler (tlatoani). Through strategic alliances. especially the Teotihuacán and Tula cultures. who ruled from 1372 to 1391. Clashes with the city of Culhuacán forced the Mexica to take refuge in a marshy area of the lake. the Aztecs dominated central Mexico until the Aztec Empire fell victim to Hernán Cortés and his band of Spanish conquistadores and indigenous allies in 1519-1521. Until the early fifteenth century. Class divisions emerged. and conquest. Mexica rulers married into the royal families of Culhuacán and Azcapotzalco. the Aztecs . Acamapichtli. A widespread commercial network linked Tenochtitlán with the Maya to the south and extended as far north as what is now the southwestern United States. based on clans (calpulli) that controlled access to agricultural land. where they founded Tenochtitlán. a militaristic civilization that stretched from Pacific to Atlantic. these sedentary peoples despised the Mexica as primitive barbarians. Legend records that the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs (or. however.

As lands around the lake fell to Aztec power. Dependent agricultural laborers (mayeques) and slaves became more prevalent. the state distributed them to the pipiltin and the most distinguished warriors. who shared the clan’s communal lands. the Aztecs embarked on their own imperial quest. under the leadership of Itzcóatl. which had a small empire around Lake Texcoco. as noble estates proliferated and conquered peoples were incorporated into Aztec society. providing it with drinking water and constructing chinampas (“floating gardens”) to help feed the city. subordinating their two allies. On Itzcóatl’s orders. they expanded Tenochtitlán. Earlier.Aztec Empire / 111 were subject to Azcapotzalco. Around 1428. After this victory. Meanwhile. As the Aztec population grew. most Mexica were peasants (macehualtin). however. Expansion thus created a gulf between the elite and the commoners. they joined with the cities of Texcoco and Tlacopan and defeated Azcapotzalco. Area of the Aztec Empire G UL P A C I F I C O C E A N F OF CA [MEXICO] N G U L F O F LI FO IA M E X I C O R Teotihuacán Tenochtitlán AZTEC Monte Alban Mitla MAYA ZAPOTEC . clans no longer possessed enough land to meet their needs. Aztecs burned the recorded myths and history of the conquered peoples and imposed an official Aztec version of the past.

transporting food and other supplies to the field of battle. Humanity thus lived in a world doomed to disaster that . but religious ideology played a critical role. Public humiliation awaited those who showed cowardice on the battlefield. although not to the extreme practiced by the Mexica. some had to be conquered through military force. where warriors taught the military arts. The Aztecs’ cosmogony was also Mesoamerican. Girls were raised to be mothers. Only the Tarascans of Michoacán and the Tlaxcalans of Puebla escaped domination. Some cities and villages succumbed to Aztec intimidation. From infancy. to bear the next generation of warriors. A woman who died in childbirth had an afterlife status similar to the warrior who perished in battle or on the sacrificial slab. others sought to become subordinate allies. Even the lowliest members of society. Each calpulli had its young men’s house (telpochcalli). The Aztec Empire was a hegemonic one. Imperial armies did not occupy conquered territories but exacted harsh vengeance on rebellious cities. Merchants (pochteca) carried out a far-flung trade but also served as spies and intelligence gatherers. At times. they may have purposely provoked hostilities with nonsubject peoples. Society accorded great honors and rewards to those who distinguished themselves on the battlefield by capturing valiant enemy warriors. the tamemes (carriers). population pressure demanded expansion. Environmental explanations have been given for Aztec militarism and human sacrifice (for example. Priests marched at the head of the army. All men in Tenochtitlán were expected to be warriors.112 / Aztec Empire The Aztec Empire stretched from the northern deserts to the strait of Tehuantepec and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Human sacrifice was widespread in Mesoamerica. It held that the earth passed through cycles of creation and destruction. cannibalism derived from a protein-deficient diet). as long as they obeyed imperial decrees and paid tribute. Other social groups supported these military endeavors. The Aztecs allowed the conquered to retain their lands and political leaders. boys received the physical markings and the training essential to warriors. served the military cause.

the Aztecs killed at least twenty thousand captives to appease Huitzilopochtli at the dedication of the enlarged Great Temple. the Mexica staged mock battles (“flowery wars”) with rival cities so that both sides could take captives to sacrifice. but they raised the cult of Huitzilopochtli to an imperial obsession. In 1487. He died while in their hands in 1520. 1520. and Tezcatlilpoca. whereupon they took him hostage. Moctezuma II claimed to be the incarnation of Huitzilopochtli. Tlaloc. because commoners gained little material benefit from the conquests. Moctezuma II proved surprisingly ill-suited to deal with the crisis provoked by the Spaniards’ arrival in 1519. with perhaps 1. To enhance his power. The Mexica continued to worship other Mesoamerican deities. By the mid-1400’s. Without human blood.000 inhabitants. It mattered little whether one nourished the gods through self-sacrifice or as the captive victim. Cuauhtémoc. he vacillated. creating the ultimate marriage of Aztec militarism and religion. as he tried to escape. such as Quetzalcóatl. Fatalism pervaded Aztec life: One’s destiny was determined at birth. Aztec power was at its peak. When Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II became tlatoani in 1502. Hernán Cortés acquired important indigenous allies by playing upon their hatred of the Aztecs. . More the meditative priest than the frenzied warrior.Aztec Empire / 113 could be forestalled only by nourishing the gods with human blood.5 million living around Lake Texcoco. Moctezuma II allowed the Spaniards to enter Tenochtitlán. the Spaniards and their allies returned in 1521. The warlike Cuitlahuac replaced him as tlatoani but perished from smallpox a few months later. as had long been prophesied. in bloody rituals. and the invaders captured the last tlatoani. Social tensions were increasing. Not only priests but also all people provided blood through ritual self-laceration. Their siege destroyed most of the city. Driven from Tenochtitlán in a bloody rout in June. Tenochtitlán had grown to 150. Spanish weapons and horses were superior to Aztec missiles and obsidian-edged swords. wondering if the strangers were Quetzalcóatl returning. Wars brought captives to sacrifice. the sun might not rise and preserve humanity. Aztec militarism and religion became increasingly intertwined.

Inga. Michael D. An exhaustive introduction on Mexico’s early history and peoples. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1982. and exquisite poetry. Yet the Spanish invasion brought a demographic holocaust caused by Old World diseases (the empire’s population probably declined by 90 percent) and a new oppressive colonialism. The famous narrative by one of Cortés’ men. 2002. New York: Holt. Ross. Excessively . Kendall W. M. Clendinnen. 1987. Berkeley: University of California Press. Broda. and politics.” Rarely has a culture provoked such contradictory images. David Carrasco. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1991. A brief overview of Aztec society. Coe. 1988. Interprets the meaning of the Great Temple in Aztec life. and conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo reported that it “seemed like an enchanted vision from the tale of Amadis.114 / Aztec Empire The Aztec legacy has provoked controversy. Johanna. Frances E. Rival indigenous peoples hated the Mexicas’ bloody imperialism. Bernal. The Aztecs of Central Mexico: An Imperial Society. Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control.. Aztecs: An Interpretation. 1963. 5th ed. Hassig. Rinehart and Winston. A sensitive interpretation of Aztec religion and society as a context for understanding the Aztec’s reaction to the Spanish invasion. The Great Temple of Tenochtitlan: Center and Periphery in the Aztec World. The Conquest of New Spain. Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs. and Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. Aztec civilization produced a vibrant commerce. Brown Sources for Further Study Berdan. religion. New York: Thames & Hudson. and Rex Koontz. an elaborate belief system. and their human sacrifices and cannibalism horrified the Spaniards. London: Penguin Books. Translated by J. Díaz del Castillo. Cohen. emphasizing religion’s role as a catalyst for Aztec militarism and human sacrifice. The Spaniards compared the splendors of Tenochtitlán to those of Venice.

1950-1982. Dibble. 2003. and social customs of the Aztec people. Quetzalcóatl. a rare event which immediately determined the winner. General History of the Things of New Spain: The Florentine Codex. Clans. Smith. and the elaborate courts in which it was played constitute one of the most distinctive cultural phenomena of Mesoamerican cultures.: Blackwell. society.e. Originating with the Olmecs (“rubber people”) of Veracruz. including the largest in Mexico—480 by 120 feet. Anderson and Charles E. Pochteca.” or tlachtli. Ball Game and Courts Tribes affected: Aztec. The Mayan center of Chichén Itzá had seven courts. An analysis of the cultural. Santa Fe: School of American Research. as reported by indigenous sixteenth century informants. flora. The heavy ball . politics. Maya.-1200 c. government. Mass. Ethnographic compilation about the religion.. Olmec. Sahagún. Malden.e. The Aztec approach to economics. Mathematics. 2d ed. and science. Translated by Arthur J. Michael Ernest. 13 vols. O. religion. The I-shaped ball court was enclosed by high vertical or sloping walls on which spectators sat to watch players attempting to knock a solid rubber ball into the vertical stone ring in the center. See also: Ball Game and Courts. Bernardino de. and fauna of pre-Hispanic Mexico. the ball game was played in every major center as far north as modern Arizona and south to Honduras from 500 b. The Aztecs.c.Ball Game and Courts / 115 downplays religious ideology’s role in Aztec warfare. Toltec Significance: The “ball game. but provides useful insights regarding the logistics of expansion. as well as an analysis of the demise of the Aztec empire are also discussed in this informative work. political.

one could begin the game a rich man and end it a pauper. last ruler of the Toltecs. this ultimate sacrifice was the highest tribute one could pay. and even slaves. day and night. elbows. telling Huemac that leaves of corn were precious green feathers and that green corn was more valuable than jade. and a thick leather belt around their hips. injuries. demanding jade and feathers. winners and spectators could claim garments and adornments of their opponents. With such passion for gambling. The sky was their sacred tlachtli. Ritual games had even more serious results: death to the losers or. the winners. Axayacatl lost. The game had social. political. the rain god. and a star was the ball. gold. Victory was sometimes fleeting. betting his marketplace against this lord’s elaborate garden. but the people starved because the corn would not grow. and even death.116 / Ball Game and Courts could not be touched with the hands or feet—only knees. Among the Aztecs. In a culture preoccupied with death. knee pads. mythological. In spite of its violence. seem to have been fairly common. according to the story of Mexican emperor Axayacatl. priests divined the future from results of ritual games. and Tlaloc. Tlachtli was probably a fierce game. chief deities were sky gods who constantly fought a battle between polarities of light and darkness. In their recreational games. When Huemac won. Also. in some cases. players from the ruling class made huge bets of their valuable clothing. and the ball was the sun or moon. and religious significance. helmets. Huemac got his jade and feathers. and hips—so players wore protective gloves. Tlaloc offered corn as the prize. Tlaloc gave them. The next day he sent his soldiers to the palace to . who played against the lord of Xochimilco. Drought and famine were supposedly the result of a legendary ball game between Huemac. the court represented earth. Games were used symbolically to explain natural events. Mythological and religious meanings of the ball game were revealed during ritual play. At the Mayan center of Copán. prized feathers. but Huemac refused it. so feather capes and gold jewelry were often confiscated. the game was played with great enthusiasm.

when preserved wooden parts associated with banner stones were discovered. Their primary period of use was between 1000 b. Gale M.e. One gift was a garland of flowers which contained a rope. They usually were made of visually appealing stone such as the banded slate of Hamilton County. Banner Stones Tribes affected: Prehistoric tribes of the Eastern Woodlands Significance: Banner stones were part of the technology for casting spears. though their beauty led early archaeologists to imagine them as emblems of chiefly office. Sometimes found elsewhere. Averaging about 3 inches wide and 3 inches long. Russell J. archaeologists invented the term “banner stone” to reflect their belief that they had been mounted on short handles and held as emblems of office by chiefs. banner stones were always symmetrical and had a single hole passing through their length. Mayan Civilization. which was carefully ground and polished to a high luster. they often were found in graves. and 700 c. The soldiers placed it around Xochimilco’s neck and strangled him. Ohio. Games and Contests. Olmec Civilization. These “banner stones” varied widely in shape but shared several characteristics. Early archaeologists in eastern North America discovered a class of ground and polished stone artifacts that were unknown among historic American Indians. That interpretation was abandoned in the twentieth century. Barber . It then became obvious that they were spear-thrower (“atlatl”) weights. about three-fourths of an inch in diameter. Thompson See also: Aztec Empire. Believing that their beauty had some meaning other than the technological.c. designed to assist an individual in casting a spear with great power.Banner Stones / 117 honor the winning lord with presents.e.

Lances and Spears. To do coiling. coiling involves wrapping fibers into coils and stitching them together. What is known of basketry today comes primarily from the last two hundred years.: Pruett. Techniques. See also: Atlatl. Some early pottery seems to have been shaped around baskets and then fired. probably grass stems. Twining and plaiting are related early techniques. Twining is a process similar to weaving in which warp and weft strands are interwoven in various patterns. Basketmaking is one of the most characteristic crafts of Native American groups. while plaiting is a simple process of passing a warp and weft alternately over and under each other. 2d ed. and many of the eastern traditions had been lost or significantly acculturated by the late 1700’s. Arrowheads and Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Amateur Archaeologist. Boulder. She then wraps the coil in on itself to form a spiral which is . ranging from hair brushes to clothes and canoe-like boats. Early Native American people made baskets for thousands of years before ceramics were developed. a basketmaker gathers a group of fibers. G. but they were also used for making other objects. while coiling is a later development. C. Baskets and Basketry Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Basketry was one of the most important utilitarian crafts throughout native North America. 2000. In contrast. the basketry of the West is more widely known than that of the eastern tribes. Basketry techniques were used primarily to make containers. and in some areas it was also an important art form. Colo. and it is a craft that is considered a woman’s activity by most groups. and wraps them with another long grass stem or yucca fiber. Among the historic tribes.118 / Baskets and Basketry Sources for Further Study Yeager.

Groups of coils can be stacked one on top of the other. a wider range of materials can be adapted to coiling than is the case with twining. and sometimes two are bunched side by Examples of Apache basketry from the late 1800’s. (National Archives) .Baskets and Basketry / 119 stitched together. and so on until the basket is formed. and this may be the reason for its popularity. another bunch of fibers is added and wrapped to lengthen the coil. Since the fibers that form the coils are wrapped.

and this technique was borrowed by other tribes. Birchbark was popular for making basket-boxes among groups that lived across the northern sections of the United States in which the tree grew. a Hopi woman weaving a basket at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Cherokee were well known for baskets made of fine. and others worked with birchbark. Cree. (National Archives) side as they are stitched. and Chitimacha of the Southeast to make plaited baskets of wood splints. Choctaw. this variation in technique is frequently associated with style differences. Twining and plaiting were frequently used basket techniques in the East. and these baskets were frequently decorated with porcupine quills. and the basketry of this area was especially affected by the easy availability of wooden materials. and black colors that were . Split-cane techniques were used by the Cherokee. even splints of cream. The Micmac. red. Eastern Woodlands.120 / Baskets and Basketry Known for their basketry skills. Montaignais.

Basketry in this region was largely utilitarian. agriculturally marginal regions—the Apache. closed-neck water bottles. Havasupai. butterflies. bowl-like upper half that was easy to carry as a burden basket. conical burden baskets. and vase-shaped baskets. squash blossom. Although the Navajo have not been active in basketmaking since the nineteenth century. and they use a complex layering of positive and negative images created by black and beige patterns. The most complex designs have been those of the Pima. The Navajo had stopped making baskets by the end of the nineteenth century and now buy baskets made in their own designs from the Paiute. zig-zags. and animal figures. Designs are usually geometric or represent stylized figures. Large . but the most distinctive form is a large pot-shaped basket which may be 30 inches high and almost as broad in diameter. and Tohono O’odham (Papago). Hualapai. The band is incomplete. The basket forms include the tray and open bowl shapes. and Hopi. and coiling are all common basketmaking techniques in the Southwest. The best basketmakers of the Southwest have been the nomadic peoples living in arid. the Cherokee made an unusual shape in which a square base was transformed into a round. but the latter is used most frequently. Havasupai. Recurring design motifs include petal designs. whirlwind. Paiute. Although the Pueblo peoples are basically pottery makers and produce little basketry. The most successful basketmakers in this region have been the Tohono O’odham. the Hopi are known for basketry. Southwest. and it was used for a wide variety of purposes. Along with more standard shapes. Great Basin and Plateau. which is a band of deep red lined with black triangles around the inside surface of a tray. birds. deep bowl shapes. star or cross. so that a small opening or “door” is left. Twining.Baskets and Basketry / 121 plaited to form interesting visual patterns. Pima. they are famous for the wedding basket design. Traditional Apache baskets include elegant petal and zig-zag designs on open trays. plaiting. San Juan Paiute.

Furst. New York: Oxford University Press. North American Indian Art. Furst. Native North Americans: An Ethnohistorical Approach. Clothing. Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art. deep bowls. Iowa: Kendall/Hunt. 1982. The people of the Northwest Coast also made good baskets. and boats were also made using basketry techniques. Mo. Pacific Coast. Abrams. and Jill L. Baskets were made by both coiling and twining. Arts and Crafts: Great Basin.122 / Baskets and Basketry burden baskets were made to be carried on the back for seeds. Carrying bags were made by twining from grasses and other fibers. Andrew Hunter.: Nelson Gallery Foundation. Kansas City. Feder. Ralph T. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. housing. and other gathered foodstuffs. 1988.. Southwestern Indian Baskets: Their History and Their Makers. American Indian Art. but they were not equal to the complexity of their carved art. 1965. New York: Harry N. 1990. and vase forms and adorned special baskets with elaborate feather designs. N. Peter T. Norman. Coe. Washo. Arts and Crafts: Southeast. New York: Rizzoli International. ed. Tulare. 1998. and Karok. Daniel L. Boxberger.: School of American Research Press. Some of the finest basketry in North America was produced in California by the Pomo. covered baskets. roots. Winnowing trays and toasting trays were used in the preparation of food. Santa Fe. Ronald J. Janet Catherine. Arts and Crafts: Plateau. Arts and Crafts: Southwest. Dubuque. They made trays.Mex. 1977.. Whiteford. Native North American Art. Arts and Crafts: Northeast. See also: Arts and Crafts: California. . the latter sometimes resulted in baskets of fine woven quality.

Historical Background. dark blue. These beads were one-eighth inch in diameter. since each one had to be shaped by hand and then hand drilled. stone. and ornaments on clothing. light red. In the 1840’s and 1850’s they were used to make bands of decoration similar to those made with pony beads. These were used to make necklaces. Beadwork was a popular decorative technique before the arrival of the Europeans. cradles. and beaded artifacts using this type of bead represent the oldest examples of beadwork in collections today. Although glass beads were traded with Native Americans during the eighteenth century. little is known about beadwork from that time. The imported glass beads were preferred because of their color and reflectiveness. hoofs. was used in a similar way. teeth. It was half the size of the earlier beads and permitted making more delicate designs. was made of Venetian glass. too. pendants. and moccasins. bone. it. and beige. and seeds. About 1800 a largesized bead made in Venice became available. They were used to make bands of decoration for clothing. they could be slightly irregular in size and shape. and beads were traditionally made of shell. bags. fringes. The production of traditional beads was difficult and slow. This bead was referred to as the “pony bead” because it was brought by traders on pony pack teams. a related decorative technique. About 1840 the smaller “seed bead” that is used today became available. . Quillwork. sky blue. Today beads and beadwork normally refer to the glass beads of European origin. belts.Beads and Beadwork / 123 Beads and Beadwork Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Beadwork is one of the most distinctive decorative techniques used among Native Americans for clothing and other objects of personal and ritual use. Since these beads were partly made by hand. and they came in white. dark red.

Indians beaded clothing. Beadwork has been done in most culture areas. and their smaller size permitted the introduction of a new all-over pattern of beadwork. as did inexpensive Japanese and Chinese reproductions of Native American designs. they are darker and more bluish. horse trappings. The beadwork A Havasupai girl wearing a beaded necklace. (National Archives) .and gold-colored beads were traded. The French fur traders introduced trade beads to the tribes of the Northeast Woodlands in the seventeenth century. In the twentieth century the production of beadwork became much more commercialized. During this period Czechoslovakian (Bohemian) glass beads were introduced. By 1870 translucent beads had become available. bags. and ceremonial objects. and by the mid-1880’s silver.124 / Beads and Beadwork By 1860 beads were more commonly available. and a wide variety of colors and sizes were available. among other things. Japanese beads entered the market. French and British manufacturers also entered the trade. Culture Areas.

Beadwork in the Southwest. There is a division between the northern Plains style. The beadwork of the southeastern tribes (especially Creek and Seminole) is related to the floral patterns of the Northeast but is less ordered and symmetrical than that of the north. Designs. Kickapoo) and Chippewa groups of the western Great Lakes region. stitch means that a beaded thread is attached to the backing by a second thread sewn in an over-and-under stitching pattern. In finely sewn work . buffalo. some made with thousands of beads. Beads may be embroidered onto a cloth or skin backing. Techniques. Sauk and Fox. eagle. Both geometric and floral designs are given names by the people who use them. The fact that the designs were given names has led many students of design to assume they also had symbolic significance. Two basic embroidery stitches are used. and Plateau is usually done by tribes that have had contact with the Plains groups and have borrowed designs from them. detailed patterns.Beads and Beadwork / 125 that was to become distinctive of this area displayed the foliate patterns of the Algonquian (Potawatomi. wolves. and within each culture there is a repertoire of recognized design elements and full design patterns. Others may have been copied from print designs on manufactured cloth or the designs of vestments of priests. and buffalo track. or attached to fringes. turtle. beading tends to be limited to small-scale work. that a given design motif may have been used with a decorative intent by some beadworkers and with symbolic intent by others. person. or overlay. and the bolder. In these latter three areas. centipede. Some foliate designs of the western Great Lakes region seem to have represented local flora. Great Basin. however. which tends to be conservative. such as eye. Plains beadwork has the most complex. It seems. butterfly. The geometric motifs of the Plains have names that refer to the natural world. woven to form a beaded band independent of the backing. more individualized Southern Plains style. perhaps some used for medicinal purposes. the spot stitch and the lazy stitch. The spot.

Band weaving is easier and faster than the stitching techniques. Colo. See also: Arts and Crafts: Northeast. Kansas City. Duncan Sources for Further Study Coe. “The Origins of Great Lakes Beaded Bandolier Bags. Art of the American Indian Frontier. Edited by Willard W. Abrams. 1977.: Johnson. 1992. Ronald J. Arapaho. the thread that carries the beads is itself stitched into the backing. with five or six beads added to the thread between each stitch. This is especially used with floral designs and curving lines among the Chippewa. 1979. Lois Sherr. Quill and Beadwork of the Western Sioux. Algonquian. and it is used more by the Western Sioux. 1982. floral designs must be stylized to adapt to it.126 / Beads and Beadwork the overlapping stitch which holds the beaded thread to the backing may come every second. Bead weaving is used to make headbands. Ralph T. third. Dubin.” American Indian Art Magazine 2. Cheyenne. and some northern Plains groups. Penney. Furst.. . The warp. Andrew Hunter. or fourth bead. or base threads. In contrast. Peter T. This technique lends itself best to straight-line geometric shapes. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Quillwork. no. North American Indian Art. In this stitching pattern. Carrie. and the weft with beads is woven into it. and Kiowa. or belts that do not have backing material. 3 (1986): 32-43. Lyford. armbands. legbands. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. New York: Rizzoli International. 1999. Boulder. David W. Mo. Arts and Crafts: Plains. Beatty. Whiteford. Crow. are wrapped onto the frame. New York: Henry N. and Jill L. Furst. Dress and Adornment. the lazy stitch is used more for overall designs that include straight lines and geometric patterns. but it requires a weaving frame.: Nelson Gallery Foundation. Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art.

While fava beans and a few other bean species were domesticated in the Old World.c. squash. beans. Central America. Shucked and dried.Beans / 127 Beans Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Beans were a significant source of nutrition for agricultural tribes in Mesoamerica. either with or without presoaking.c. Squash. a critical amino acid lacking in maize.c. in Mexico and was the most commonly used bean in most parts of the Americas. Four major species were domesticated and used by Indians in pre-Columbian times.) and were used there and in Mexico. in Mexico and used in the American Southwest and western Mexico. and many other varieties.e. black.e. and the American Southwest. This bean was domesticated by 5000 b. Most tribes ate beans boiled and mashed.e. . a small species not used in modern commerce. and North America. kidney.e. and corn were grown together virtually everywhere that crops were cultivated. and spread to Peru. it was the only bean in most of North America. added to soups. Peru. most beans are American. the primary starchy staple. Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) were domesticated separately in Peru (3300 b. Food Preparation and Cooking. Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are highly variable.c. While diffusing to North America separately. were domesticated by 3000 b.) and Central America (200 c. Runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) were domesticated in Mexico by 200 b. Beans were important for the nutrition of Indian agriculturalists. Tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius). Corn. including pinto.e. Barber See also: Agriculture. or mixed with corn and other ingredients as succotash. Russell J. Subsistence. providing protein and lysine. beans could be stored for a full year and reconstituted by boiling. navy.

Indian boys and girls learned through observation. imitation. so that by the time they reached adulthood most willingly accepted them as major parts of their social identities. From early childhood. which many tribes attributed to individuals who behaved and dressed like members of the opposite sex. However. rules prescribing the behavior and goals for each of the sexes were a sociocultural universal among native North American peoples. both A Zuñi man from the late 1800’s dressed as a woman.128 / Berdache Berdache Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: An anthropological term denoting the third gender status. weaving a belt. and formal training those statuses and roles that their communities deemed proper for the respective genders. Although varying widely in their content and elaboration. (National Archives) .

third-gender. Rather than deeming the latter as deviants or misfits. They also critique the tendency of some current scholarship to romanticize supposedly “positively sanctioned Pan-Indian gender or sexual categories. Wesley Thomas.” Such an idealization. they state. In this regard. Anthropologists and ethnohistorians have commonly employed the term “berdache” (taken from the Persian word bardaj and variably translated as “kept boy” or “male prostitute”) as a cross-cultural category for males leading such lives.Berdache / 129 ethnohistorical literature and tribal oral traditions provide ample evidence that individuals within many Indian societies veered away from typified gender patterns. there exists no parallel classification for transgender females. editors Sue Ellen Jacobs. their assumed spiritual prowess sometimes rendered third gender persons objects of suspicion and fear. In a collection on Indian gay and lesbian issues. assuming modes of behavior and dress generally associated with the opposite sex. In many ways the pejorative roots and meanings of the word “berdache” render its application to many Indian communities problematic. such individuals were often considered to possess extraordinary sacred power that could be directed toward socially beneficial ends.” Harvey Markowitz . have reported that a number of American Indians and anthropologists consider the term “berdache” demeaning and have suggested that the term “two-spirit persons” be used in its place. transgender and otherwise Native Americans who have had to leave their reservations or other communities because of the effects of homophobia. and Sabine Lang. lesbian. In accord with this spiritual understanding. does “not fit the reality of experiences faced by many contemporary gay. numerous tribes instead ascribed them a third-gender status. On the other hand. it is important to note that because of the gender bias that long characterized anthropological studies. frequently attributing their nature and proclivities to spiritual causes.

The canoes were made by first fashioning a framework of cedar. birchbark canoes were widely used both for personal travel and for transporting goods. Pitch from evergreens was used to caulk the seams to make the canoe watertight. 1986. and Spirituality. Boston: Beacon Press. were stretched tight and bound together with cordage made from the inner bark of the basswood tree. comprising the keel and the ribs. Societies: Non-kin-based. as depicted in thousands of stories and films. They were so ideal for use in northern waters that they were adopted by the French fur traders for use throughout Canada. Indeed. stripped from the trees in sevenfoot-long sheets. and Sabine Lang. a single person could carry one over a portage. in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. sheets of birchbark. Sexuality. Williams. Birchbark Tribes affected: Tribes throughout the Northeast and Great Lakes areas Significance: Birchbark served a wide variety of purposes for the northeastern and boreal Indians. The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture.130 / Birchbark Sources for Further Study Jacobs. . See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. is one of the most common images people throughout the world have of American Indians. The image of figures gliding silently along a river in a birchbark canoe. Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity. 1997. from roofing material to the covering of canoes. though it took some skill to navigate them. Wesley Thomas. Sue Ellen. Because they were so light in weight. Gender Relations and Roles. Birchbark canoes were highly maneuverable. over this framework. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Walter.

Four basic framing poles were connected together. however. Tipi. the Indians would have needed to clear areas and burn the brush. sometimes these tubs were buried in underground pits to protect the contents from freezing. Gordon See also: Boats and Watercraft. Nancy M. Birchbark containers were used by many tribes as tubs to hold dried food to be set aside for use during the winter. The whole was covered with sheets of birchbark. Feathers were attached to the sheets of bark to stir the air. Transportation Modes. drinking cups were also made of birchbark. and additional “leaner” poles were positioned around them. The Indians of Maine used small birchbark pouches to carry tobacco. Birchbark could be fashioned into a kind of whistle that served as a moose caller. able to tolerate soils that have modest nutritional capabilities. along with elm bark.Birchbark / 131 Birchbark was also used to cover the tipis of the Algonquian tribes. for the birch is a shade-intolerant tree and will only grow in the open sunlight. for the roofing material. The fact that the Indians could make such great use of birchbark says much about their environmental management. It was also used to make floats for fishnets. Longhouse. Among the tribes that constructed longhouses. Birchbark was used by northeastern Indians to make a wide variety of containers. . Before pottery. cooking pots were made of birchbark. The contents were heated by dropping hot stones into the mixture. It is. as a handle. The range of the paper birch extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Bear Lake in western Canada. These were used to winnow the wild rice they harvested from the swamps. In order to ensure a steady supply of birchbark. A personal fan could be made by attaching a stick. The Iroquois were in the habit of steeping birchbark in boiling water to make a popular drink with medicinal qualities. The Indians of the northern Great Lakes region used birchbark to make fans. birchbark was used. to a piece of birchbark.

It was also a diuretic and brought on profuse sweating. with one cup containing as much caffeine as eighteen to twenty-four cups of coffee. but Indians called it “White Drink.” referring to its purity and medicinal properties. the holly plant was dried and roasted in earthen pots to a parched brown. Black Drink was a ritual beverage consumed by many Southeast tribes before and during important occasions such as certain council meetings. combined the holly with other medicinal herbs. To prepare Black Drink. and served as “symbolic social cement. The Chickasaw would place a little Black Drink into their ceremonial fire to provide social purification for all present. The roasted leaves and twigs were then boiled in water until the liquid was dark brown. Some tribes. It was called “Black Drink” by the Europeans because of its color. Black Drink was a stimulant.” Black Drink was made of holly leaves and twigs gathered along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. A practice of the Timucuans was to consume large quantities and after about fifteen minutes cross their hands on their chests and vomit six to eight feet. David N. for example the Seminole.132 / Black Drink Black Drink Tribes affected: Southeast tribes Significance: Black Drink was the main ceremonial beverage of Southeastern Indian tribes. Consuming the drink purified men of any pollution. It then was strained and generally consumed hot and fresh. made them hospitable. If an important man in the tribe died. Mielke See also: Mississippian Culture. Inland tribes traded for the holly plants and transplanted them. . friends would consume Black Drink for eight successive mornings.

They provided a panoramic view of the vast prairie of buffalo grass below. and medicinal plants for healing. lodgepoles for tipis. the Black Hills were holy.Black Hills / 133 Black Hills Tribes affected: Lakota and Teton Sioux Significance: The Black Hills have had both economic and spiritual significance to the Sioux. they form a remote ridge of limestone and granite 110 miles long. Congress took the Black Hills with no compensation in 1877. violating an earlier treaty. The Black Hills were reached in the late 1700’s by the Sioux chief Standing Bull and his followers as the Sioux migrated westward. The steep canyons provided protection from the severe winter weather. two-legged animals raced four-legged animals to see who would dominate the earth. the U. The thunder-being proclaimed that the Black Hills were the heart of the earth and that the Sioux would come back some day and live there. They were the site of vision quests and the home of Wakan Tanka. and 4. The hills themselves were heavily wooded with dark pine and contained abundant animal and plant life as well as numerous springs and small lakes. White encroachment into Sioux territory led to war in the mid- . The Black Hills acquired a special significance to the western Sioux and were perhaps the most loved area in the Sioux domain. The Black Hills are located in southwestern South Dakota along the Wyoming and Nebraska borders. The Sioux had expelled the Kiowa from the area by 1814 and extended this border further west in the next few years. The Sioux called these hills Paha Sapa (Black Hills) because they were so heavily wooded with dark pine that from a distance they looked black. They provided water and abundant food. Formed in the Pleistocene era.S. 40 miles wide. the Great Spirit.000 feet high. The hills were seen as a reclining female figure whose breasts provided life-giving forces and to whom the Teton went as a young child would go to its mother. Spiritually. According to legend.

Bladder Festival Tribes affected: Yupik (Eskimo) Significance: As the major religious event of the traditional Yupik. The Bladder Festival. the Bladder Festival not only expressed the cosmology of the Yupik but also reiterated the social and economic relationships between people and between humans and animals. In 1911 the Sioux began what was to become a protracted legal process to regain the Black Hills. of which the Black Hills formed a part. Various attempts to have the Black Hills returned to the Sioux. The Sioux refused. In . which occurred at the winter solstice. The Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 ended this war and created the permanent Great Sioux reservation. which took the Black Hills without compensation. feasting. meaning “something done with bladders” in the Yupik language. Laurence Miller See also: Land Claims. The pressures of white settlement and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills. Called Nakaciuq. have not succeeded. The festival lasted five or six days.134 / Bladder Festival nineteenth century. and ritual performances of songs and dances. led the government to try to purchase or lease them. the annual festival consisted of gift giving. Hitchcock. depending upon the community. This violation of the 1868 treaty was upheld in the 1903 Supreme Court decision Lone Wolf v. It culminated with the return to the sea of the bladders of all the seals and walruses harvested in the previous year. In 1980 the Supreme Court affirmed a 1979 Court of Claims ruling that the Sioux were entitled to $106 million in compensation for the taking of the Black Hills. however. was perhaps the most elaborate and most important of the traditional Yupik religious festivals. such as Senator Bill Bradley’s land return legislation in 1985. In 1877 Congress ratified the Manypenny Agreement.

the Bladder Festival symbolized the close of one subsistence cycle and the start of the next. that resided in its bladder. new songs were composed. Like other Arctic peoples. everyone in the village—men. Each of the bladders was inflated. The Yupik believed that each animal possessed a soul. were entertained with songs and dances. This was done in order to release the Inua and return it to the sea. It was last celebrated in the early part of the twentieth century. the Yupik believed that future hunting success depended upon a hunter’s respectful attitude toward the caught game. Although most of the festival occurred in and around the men’s house. or qasgiq. was cleaned and purified. ladles. and children—participated. women. Once on the ice. the Yupik believed that the game animals whose souls were well treated by humans would willingly give themselves up again to those humans. decorated. he speared the bladders to deflate them and dropped them into a hole in the ocean ice. the careful and aesthetic use of the animal’s pelt. and the public honoring of the animal at celebrations such as the Bladder Festival. The themes of renewal and regeneration were pervasive throughout the festival. each hunter removed the bladders of the animals he had killed through the smoke hole in the roof of the qasgiq and carried them to the ice. These Inuas were finite in number and in order for future seals and other sea mammals to be caught. and displayed in the qasgiq.Bladder Festival / 135 this respect. The Bladder Festival also provided an opportunity for hunters within a community to compare their abilities as providers. which was the primary site of the festival. Furthermore. and new clothes were sewn. Since each man . new bowls. In the months and weeks leading up to the Bladder Festival. or Inua. along with the human hosts. and they. Most important was the recognition that human livelihoods were dependent upon maintaining respectful relationships with the natural and supernatural worlds. Good treatment was evidenced by the observance of hunting rituals. Ritual meals were served to the inflated bladders. At the conclusion of the festivities. the Inuas of previously harvested animals must be returned to the sea. The semi-subterranean men’s house. and buckets were carved.

Pamela R. Blankets Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: American Indian trade blankets were manufactured by non-Indians and used as a commodity in trade dealings between the U.S. Religion. The earliest known use of European and English commercially made blankets in North America was in the fur trade with American Indians in the late seventeenth century. Gifts and Gift Giving. each person’s hunting success became common knowledge.S. trade stations were being established across the country for the nonprofit exchange of goods between the government and the Indians. the Bladder Festival provided opportunities for the reaffirmation of. manufacturers (one of which was Pendleton) that produced only trade blankets. The market for trade blankets continued to expand with the opening of the West by the railroads. private businesses had replaced the government-controlled trade. status among hunters. and the trade blanket became a profit-making commodity. however. Stern See also: Dances and Dancing. government and Native Americans began in 1776. The use of the trade blanket as payment for treaties between the U.136 / Blankets displayed all the bladders of the sea mammals he had harvested that year. Small manufacturers of blankets were established in the United States by the early 1800’s. there were five major U. The finely woven. Thus. bringing more competition among manufacturers and a greater variety of colors and designs. double-faced blankets were used by Indians as clothing that provided both warmth and a means of expression. At the beginning of the twentieth century. . Pendleton was the only company still in business producing “trade” blankets. or the reordering of. By the 1820’s. government and Native Americans. About the same time.S. By the end of the twentieth century.

and black were the predominant colors and were often woven into intricate design patterns. Design elements include motifs such as the cross. and framed designs. overall. Blankets conveyed different moods. belted at the waist. There were six general categories for design in trade blankets. banded. depending on the style in which they were worn. blue.Blankets / 137 Navajo blankets and rugs. woven on looms such as this. These include the striped. swastika. they were also used as highly valued gifts. They replaced the use of robes made of animal hides by the Plains Indians and the hand-woven blankets of the Navajo. had become valuable trade and sale items by the late nineteenth centur y. covers for the bed. and nine-element designs used in chief’s blankets. Bright earth tones plus white. They were thrown over the shoulder. Blankets were also used as infant and child carriers. wrapped around the waist. The blankets also were a measure of wealth or status and could be used as statements of tribal unity or individual identity. as well as center point. or worn as a hooded robe. . and saddle blankets.

Canada closed all such facilities in 1988. Some designs were believed to express stories and myths and were made for Indians by using Indian symbols and colors. and for some people psychological problems. Boston: Bullfinch Press. See also: Chilkat Blankets. Early Period. Boarding and Residential Schools Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Boarding schools for Indian youth were established by Europeans in the early days of contact. They became known as “Indian blankets” long ago because American Indians made them a distinct part of their lives and cultures. The object of the Indian boarding schools was to separate Indian children from their parents in order to impart Euro-American values and culture. Trade. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Coulter. with James H. Chasing Rainbows: Collecting American Indian Trade and Camp Blankets. Lane. Barry. disconnection from education. In 2003. and banding that formed geometric patterns symbolizing mountains. Many of the earliest treaties negotiated between Indian tribes and European nations during the colonial era con- . Diane C. ed. Collins and Gary Diamond. Friedman. and these institutions resulted in negative consequences for Indian families. zig-zag. Trade blankets continue to be highly valued by Indians and non-Indians. both as collectibles and as usable blankets. clouds. Navajo Saddle Blankets: Textiles to Ride in the American West. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press. Indian boarding continued to operate in the United States.138 / Boarding and Residential Schools arrow. Weaving. stars. birds. and the four cardinal directions. 2002. 2002. Dress and Adornment. paths.

both boarding and day schools. In Canada. In 1802 the U. Students in these schools were taught basic skills in reading. As a result. the government also was obliged. Early schools were run by churches that favored the boarding system because in separating Indian children from their families such institutions were able to extinguish tribal knowledge and languages and imprint children with Christian values. However. The industrial schools sought to prepare students for life off the reserves. As early as 1568. Indian children from Georgia and Florida were placed in Jesuit schools in Cuba. and emphasis was on vocational education. to develop schools for the education of Indian youth. numerous schools. Boarding schools were favored in the United States and Canada. Government-Sponsored Schools. Congress appropriated funds to religious groups to establish schools. industrial schools. Through this education system. In the United States. and the fed- . served students between eight and fourteen years old. admitted students up to fourteen years old. writing. squabbling among Protestants and Catholics led to repeal of the Civilization Fund in 1873. native people expected to retain their own languages and traditions as well as to learn Euro-American ways. and mathematics. the European (later Canadian and American) goal was to use the schools as tools to assimilate Indian youth. located on reservations. and in 1819 Congress increased the appropriation with passage of the Indian Civilization Fund Act. The government deemed it more economical to develop and fund existing missionary schools than develop its own infrastructure.S. because it was believed that they would be the most efficient means to accomplish assimilation. so the government contracted for educational services with the Anglican and Catholic Churches. In Canada there were two types of residential schools: Boarding schools. were established by various denominations for the education of Indian youth. through treaty provisions.Boarding and Residential Schools / 139 tained provisions for education. and vocational education was a mainstay of the curriculum. located off reservations. from the earliest days.

opened in 1879 with the goal of transforming the Indian into a patriotic American citizen. the first federally operated boarding school. was intended to strip Indian children of their language and culture and change them into mainstream Americans. or in partnership. Indian education. Religious schools continued. along with industrial training. At many schools students spent more time working than A group of Sioux boys arriving at the Carlisle Indian School in 1879.140 / Boarding and Residential Schools eral government assumed a more direct role in operating Indian schools. writing. whether sponsored by the United States government. but federal officials were convinced that they could develop schools and more efficiently accomplish assimilation. and arithmetic. Carlisle Indian School. Schools in both Canada and the United States mandated Englishonly and emphasized the acquisition of basic skills in reading. (National Archives) . Many of these schools were supported by the manual labor of their students. religious organizations. The federal government continued to endorse removal of children from their homes as the quickest way to achieve assimilation.

in Canada. both governments insisted on greater balance between basic skills and industrial education. the government assumed more responsibility in running the schools. Similarly. inefficient. the U. Once they had completed their education. After unfavorable publicity. and as a result. In the United States the Meriam Report (1928). and children were sent to public schools or day schools located on their reservations. Indian youth were told they were not to return to their reserves.S. they were arrested if they refused. Canadian residential schools came under attack in the early 1900’s. After World War II federal policies in Canada and the United States again sought to dissolve the trust relationship with tribes. government reopened many off-reservation boarding schools. concerns surfaced about how to best accomplish assimilation so the government revised the Indian Act in 1951 and integrated Indian children into public schools. However. In response. . In 1927 compulsory attendance was strengthened. and discipline was harsh. and on authority of the Indian agent. It labeled boarding schools as harmful institutions for children and condemned many aspects of Indian education. Ultimately this became an issue in both Canada and the United States. Often these children were boarded in government facilities. Reforms to Hasten Assimilation. assimilation continued as the goal of Indian education in Canada and the United States. because they were expensive. school reforms ended with the Great Depression and World War II. Poor health was a continuous problem in boarding schools. and though parents often protested sending their children to the schools. Conditions in the school were difficult for the children. school reforms were instituted. and rife with health and physical and sexual abuse problems. children could be committed to boarding schools and kept until age eighteen. Many students attempted to run away from the schools. Many boarding schools closed. as a way to accomplish assimilation once and for all. In the 1950’s. a scathing critique of federal Indian programs.Boarding and Residential Schools / 141 learning basic skills. Nonetheless. was published.

David Wallace. In the 1960’s and 1970’s tribes began to insist that the school system for Indian children had to change. Johnston. have given way to innovative tribally controlled schools that underscore selfdetermination and sovereignty. 2000. 1998. In Canada and the United States a series of education acts permitted tribes to direct education and to enfold tribal languages and cultures into the curriculum. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Barrett Sources for Further Study Adams. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1988. Indian School Days. and they asserted their rights to manage the education of their children. See also: Children. Tribal languages. ed. Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families. Many boarding schools in the United States closed during the 1970’s and 1980’s.142 / Boarding and Residential Schools Indian-Controlled Schools. Child. once considered by both countries the optimal way to educate Indian children. Margaret. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience. Basil. The last federal residential school closed in Canada in 1988. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press. . They Called It Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School. Tribal Colleges. 2000. K. Education: Pre-contact. Carole A. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. cultures. Boarding schools. and histories are vital parts of the curriculum in these schools. Archuleta. American and Canadian Indians lobbied intensely to close boarding schools and put education in the hands of native people. Lomawaima. Education: Post-contact. 1994. Missions and Missionaries. 1900-1940. and those that remain open provide specialized services such as foster care and developmental education to small numbers of youth. Brenda. Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences. The goal is no longer to assimilate but to educate and instill a sense of pride and selfworth in the students. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. Tsianina.

and kayaks. Canoes.Boats and Watercraft / 143 Boats and Watercraft Tribes affected: Widespread but not pantribal Significance: Many native peoples used watercraft for hunting and transportation. Smaller canoes for two or three per- Nootka dugout canoe Algonquian birchbark canoe Inuit kayak . narrow boats with pointed ends that are propelled by paddling. dugout canoes were primarily used by more stationary tribes or by those who fished or navigated on the oceans and thus needed a very strong craft. Because of their heavy weight and the difficulty of overland transport. for example. constructed canoes for fishing and coastal voyages out of large red cedar trees. Christopher Columbus first recorded the word canáoa. who lived in the area of present-day southeastern Alaska along the Pacific coast. birchbark canoes. They then hollowed out the log with a stone axe and sometimes added planks along the sides or fastened two canoes together. with spars made from sturdy branches for more stability in rough waters. side by side. The Tlingit. Native American watercraft generally fall into three basic types: dugout canoes. The word “canoe” is a general term that refers to many different types of light. which was used by natives in the West Indies to describe their dugout boats. which they felled by building a fire at each tree’s base.

The birchbark canoe was first used by the Algonquin Indians in what is now the northeastern United States and Canada. hickory. dugout canoes made from pine. but barks other than birch absorbed water quickly. chestnut. They were extremely buoyant and sturdy. measures 63 feet long. and predominated in areas where birchbark was scarce. which made them particularly useful for exploration and trade and for hunting and trapping in smaller rivers. . or chestnut when birch was unavailable. It took one man ten or twelve days to make a dugout canoe by lighting a small fire in the center of the log and then chopping out the charred wood with an axe. They would first outline the craft’s shape by driving wood stakes into the ground. where birch trees were plentiful. spruce.144 / Boats and Watercraft sons were fashioned from cottonwood logs and used for river travel and fishing. pliable sheets of birchbark were placed inside and fastened to wooden gunwales (the upper edge of the canoe). The larger oceangoing canoes could carry as many as sixty people and measured up to 45 feet in length. once one of the largest tribes north of Mexico. Dugout canoes were heavy but sturdy. Indian birchbark canoes varied in length from 15 to almost 100 feet for canoes built to carry warriors. Canada. it was cut from a single log. oak. Often such canoes were built for limited use and then simply abandoned as they became waterlogged and heavy. and 5 feet deep. A dugout canoe on display in New York City’s Museum of Natural History from Queen Charlotte’s Island. were master canoe makers. Along the eastern coast of the United States. The Ojibwa (Chippewa). The early French missionaries. off the coast of British Columbia. basswood. the seams were made watertight with sap from spruce trees. Finally. and the bark was sewn with strings made from spruce roots. yet light enough to be carried over land. 3 inches wide. The frame was fortified with cedar ribs. and the adoption of the bark canoe by European explorers is in large part responsible for the rapid exploration and development of the continent. and explorers in North America all used birchbark canoes. fur traders. or tulip wood were common. then thick. 8 feet. Other tribes substituted bark from elm.

or whalebone. Kayaks were commonly built for one occupant but could be designed for two or three. kayaks were also useful in rivers with swift waters and rapids.Boats and Watercraft / 145 Eskimos often used umiaks to carry families and supplies. which the Eskimos made watertight by lacing their clothing over the rim of the hole. Since they were completely waterproof and highly maneuverable. Propelled by a double-bladed paddle. The kayak is completely covered except for a hole in which the paddler sits. (National Archives) Kayaks and Umiaks. which is perhaps the most seaworthy watercraft ever built. over which sealskin was tightly stretched and made waterproof by rubbing it with animal fat. One of the most significant achievements of the Eskimos (Inuits) was the invention of the kayak. They were first used as hunting boats for walrus and seals by the Eskimos of Greenland and later also used by Alaskan Eskimos. Most were about the size of a small canoe and were made from a frame of driftwood. saplings. . kayaks could be launched in rough surf and navigated through ice-infested ocean waters that would quickly swamp an open boat. Since the paddler sat low in the center. Some scholars suggest that the design of the birchbark canoes used by tribes in the more southerly areas of North America was adapted from the kayak. a capsized kayak could be righted by a skillful person without taking in any water by rolling full circle.

Conn. D. D. or competition. The Survival of the Bark Canoe. the hunter would lean forward. and their sails and paddles with outboard gasoline motors. Some of the Eskimo boats may also have been powered by sails. Washington. and Howard I. The modern descendants of Native American canoes and kayaks are made from wood. Straus.: Author. See also: Birchbark. aluminum. Calif. Transportation Modes.146 / Boats and Watercraft When pursuing seal or walrus. .” which is Eskimo for “woman’s boat. National Geographic on Indians of the Americas. Most Eskimos today have replaced their kayaks with wood or aluminum boats. 1932. New Haven. Oswalt.: Mayfield. concealed behind a small sail-like blind attached to the bow. John. 1975. 1996. among the other native peoples of the American continents. he would hurl a wooden spear attached to the boat by a line coiled in a tray on the deck. Edwin Tappan. The umiak was used for carrying families and supplies and was propelled by both paddles and oars—the only known instance of the use of oars by Native Americans before the coming of the Europeans. Government Printing Office. recreation. Giroux. This Land Was Theirs: A Study of North American Indians. Wendell H. Edward Moffat.” as it was most often piloted by the women in the group. canvas. 1955. Mountain View. As he drew close. The Eskimos also used a larger. Raymond Frey Sources for Further Study Adney.S. Washington. 5th ed. only the Mayas of the Yucatán Peninsula and the natives of the coast of Peru were known to have used sails before the Europeans arrived. The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America. or fiberglass. Chapelle. National Geographic Society. and are used for sport. Weyer.: U.C. 1964. New York: Farrar.: Yale University Press.C. open boat covered with animal skins called a “umiak. McPhee. The Eskimos: Their Environment and Folkways.

Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. The dance is preceded by a ritual of divination. lewd. It is a masked dance. Early forms of the Booger Dance were limited to winter performances. Should divination devices conclude that an illness was caused by “boogers” (bogeymen). The term “booger. The dance dramatizes hostility and disdain for white culture by mocking elements that cause cultural decay and defeat. The dance is not an independent rite but is a major symbolic feature of Cherokee night dances. in which masks made from gourds are often garishly painted with hideous designs. even obscene dramatic elements. Performed by four to ten men and sometimes two to four women. ridiculous. the Booger Dance is then determined to be the means of relief. Schiffman See also: Dances and Dancing. . Glenn J.” equivalent to “bogey” (ghost). as killing frost and bitter cold were associated with ghosts. and menacing. lewd. is used by English-speaking Cherokee for any ghost or frightful animal. The dance then evolved during the nineteenth century to deal with the appearance of whites.Booger Dance / 147 Booger Dance Tribe affected: Cherokee Significance: The Booger Dance is a major symbolic feature of Cherokee night dances. it incorporates profane. The dance is conducted to “scare away” the spirit causing the sickness. The Booger Dance originated among Eastern Mountain Cherokee as a way to portray European invaders as awkward.

Most common was a selfbow (a bow made of a single piece of wood with no laminating materials) of springy wood tapering toward both ends and sometimes narrowed at the grip. hide. Arrows. In the north and west. but reed. but other types were known as well. antler. Arrows were predominantly of wood. In general. Bracers were often simple hide straps.or cane-shafted arrows with wooden foreshafts into which points might be set . as were the finished products. arrows. An alternative bow type utilized sinew lashings to reinforce the bow but lacked the sinew backing. The making of bows and arrows involved highly valued knowledge and skills. This bow type seems to be virtually the only one definitely recorded for the eastern United States. or bone were reinforced with sinew. bows were longer in the east. southeastern Canada. The bow and arrow was of tremendous importance in hunting. Both bows and arrows were made in proportion to the archer’s body. and Quivers Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The bow and arrow was the most important missile weapon used by North American Indians. and most of Mexico. and quivers varied regionally. and Quivers Bows. the sinew was commonly attached in the form of many strands of a slender cable laced to the back of the bow so that its tension could be adjusted to suit the archer. Archery was universal in native North America. wooden bows and generally shorter bows of horn. Archery was also essential in warfare. which was vital to procuring the food supply in all parts of the continent. The materials from which archery tackle was made were often important in trade. and was rich in symbolism. In the Arctic. or gut. plant fiber cordage. Bowstrings were made of sinew. Elsewhere the sinew was applied directly to the back of the bow with glue and sometimes with lashings as well. as did the materials utilized.148 / Bows. Arrows. The design and scale of bows. the formulae used varied with the size of tackle desired. and the bow and arrow was by far the most important missile weapon complex in use. Bows were of several types. where it existed.

Arrows. and Quivers / 149 were common in the western and southern United States and southward.Bows. the left arrow is wooden with an iron point. Arrow points were of many types and were made of bone. and arrows. . In the north and west. antler. the right is a cane arrow tipped with stone. Quivers were generally narrow bags of animal skin that could be conveniently slung over the shoulder for ease in carrying. hardwood. and other materials as well as stone. Points and fletching were attached with lashings of sinew and sometimes with pitch or glue. animal skin quiver. a common quiver type was a fur bag that sheltered Southern Paiute (Great Basin) hardwood bow.

Baker. 1980. 2d ed. The form employed in shooting varied both between and within tribes. Martin’s Press. 1996. 1980. 1982. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. American Indian Archery.150 / Bows. Martin’s Press.C. and Quivers both the bow and its arrows from the weather. Other quivers were simply arrow cases. Leo. Hamilton. Encyclopedia of Native American Bows.D. Weapons: An International Encyclopedia from 5000 B. 1999. Volume 3. Accessories. Reginald. and Jim Hamm. ed. In the central United States and neighboring regions a separate case for the bow was sometimes attached to the quiver. Weapons. and Quivers. Davis Sources for Further Study Allely. M. Warfare and Conflict. such as sinew and arrow points or a fire drill. New York: The Lyons Press. Native Time: An Historical Time Line of Native America. The Traditional Boyer’s Bible. Arrows. . Native archery is said to have been deadly at a distance of fifty yards. See also: Atlatl. Laubin. Francis. Steve. Projectile Points. Lances and Spears. The bow and arrow was the constant companion of men of all ages. Michael G. Native American Bows. David. 1994. Harding. Hunting and Gathering. III. Boys commonly practiced archery from early childhood and began hunting small game while still very young. New York: St. Tools. New York: St. New York: Lyons Press with Bois d’Arc Press. to 2000 A. Arrows. et al. T. were often carried in the quiver or in bags attached to it. Tim. Columbia: Missouri Archaeological Society.

So that they could be read easily by all members of their tribe. and he would bring great dishonor on his family and relations. Taken as a whole. tipi covers and liners. Bragskins were more than mere decoration and artistic skill was a minor consideration. The primary intent of a bragskin was to develop and preserve a personal narrative of accomplishments. or they would depict the image painted on their shield. particularly deeds connected with warfare. buffalo robes. their importance lay in communicating facts to their people. In this way. They were also a constant pictorial reminder of the collective ideals of bravery and fortitude which underscored Plains Indian life. Truthfulness and accuracy were insisted upon or a man would be exposed in public as a liar. The drawings usually consisted of only a few strokes—characters and objects were represented by drawing the single striking feature or characteristic of a person or object. According to tradition. Typically bragskins were made up of a series of pictures which gave the full action of a single event in illustrative style. pictographic accounts utilized certain conventions. or some other feature to represent their warrior society. and sometimes men’s shirts. They were known as bragskins because a man preserved and recorded his individual exploits and attainments on the battlefield. they were conscious historic records which were seen by the people on a daily basis. men represented themselves on their bragskins by drawing the lance. Usually. headdress.Bragskins / 151 Bragskins Tribes affected: Plains tribes Significance: Bragskins are a particular type of pictograph or “picture writing” kept by Plains Indian warriors and painted onto elk hides. each man was the center of his . Men swore that the events depicted on their bragskins were absolutely true and correct as presented. all deeds of bravery or achievement depicted on the bragskins had to have been witnessed by at least two other men who also swore to their veracity. which was highly individualized. these autobiographical accounts preserved the record of the life of the people.

Plains tribes subsisted largely on the buffalo (or bison). Recitation of war stories was an important way to transmit and model the virtues of fortitude and bravery to young boys and to the tribe in general. the society members would take out their bragskins and publicly recount their deeds and exploits in warfare. In another instance. by the 1870’s. the combination of the fur trade and white hide hunters had nearly exterminated the herds. also called the bison. the Lakota drew Crow men with a knot or bunch of hair at the front of their heads. Barrett See also: Petroglyphs. While some estimates of the historic bison population have ranged as high as one hundred million. Wintercounts. Symbolism in Art. At certain times of the year each men’s warrior society would sponsor a feast for tribal members. Carole A. Bragskins provided a permanent record of these individual accomplishments in battle and reinforced the warrior ethic among the people. because in sign language the Lakota represented the Cheyenne by running the fingers horizontally across the lower arm. Each tribe had conventional ways of representing other tribes. forcing Plains tribes to submit to the reservation system. the American buffalo. Buffalo Tribes affected: Plains tribes Significance: Until the nineteenth century. and at those times. and everyone in camp knew how to read their meaning. was the dominant species in the Great Plains. Pictographs.152 / Buffalo own story and easily identifiable on his own bragskin. increasingly accurate assessments of the carrying capacity of the grass- . in Lakota bragskins the Cheyenne were indicated by drawing hash marks across the arm. because this represented that tribe’s distinctive hairstyle. Shields. Warfare and Conflict. From the end of the last Ice Age until the late nineteenth century. For example.

Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.000. Comanche. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer.000. Cheyenne. in 1983 it was estimated at 50.000 10.000. Thornton. 1987).000. Native Americans hunted bison on foot for thousands of years by surrounding a herd until the animals were within range of bows or by setting a fire to stampede a herd over a bluff.000.000 15. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press. Atsina. equestrian buffalo hunters.000.000 6.000.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic.000. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.000 12. Others—among them the Arikara.000 18.000 4.000 20.000 14. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000 16. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache). Hidatsa. Source: Data are from Thornton.000.000 1.000 1. Assiniboine.000 0 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 Note: In the twentieth century the buffalo population began to rebound from its 1895 low of about 800.000 14.000. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting.091 800 . The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison.000 8.000 2.000. Mandan.000.000 20. 1986). Kiowa. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.000. Blackfeet Confederacy. Russell.000.000. 1895 395. Russell.

Robert B.000 and 200. . Foreword by William T. By the 1840’s.: Johnson Books. John Canfield. reflecting the actions of the herds. which divided to search for winter forage. Colo. During the rest of the year they were divided into bands. 1997. Hides and Hidework. and Wyoming. 1997. In the late 1870’s. By the 1850’s. Pickering. Hagan. White Buffalo Society. In response to the fur trade. Seeing the White Buffalo. there were about a thousand of the animals remaining in remote areas of the Texas panhandle. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Andrew C. Boulder.000 buffalo robes each year to European American fur traders along the Missouri River. Horses. See also: Buffalo Dance. By 1889. where they destroyed the remaining herds by 1883. the hide hunters moved to the north. The hide hunters were extraordinarily destructive: In the early years of the slaughter. As many as two thousand buffalo hunters armed with large-caliber Sharps or Winchester rifles blanketed the southern Great Plains in the early 1870’s. Indian hunting of the buffalo accelerated during the nineteenth century. Pemmican. Montana. Isenberg Sources for Further Study Ewers. Indian commercial hunting had markedly reduced the number of bison in the eastern Great Plains. every hide shipped to market probably represented five dead bison. the Plains Indians were providing between 150. the Plains Indians were reduced to extreme poverty and had little alternative to the reservation system. Colorado. having largely extirpated the bison from the southern Great Plains. Plains Indian History and Culture: Essays on Continuity and Change. White hide hunters delivered the final blow to the herds in the 1870’s and early 1880’s.154 / Buffalo bison were congregated for the rutting season. Subsistence. Once the herds were destroyed.

The dancers carried buffalo hide shields and long lances. Here he was taught the dance. the dance originated when a white buffalo took a shaman to the home of the “buffalo people” in the sky. The Mandan. a hunting people of the northern Great Plains.Buffalo Dance / 155 Buffalo Dance Tribe affected: Mandan Significance: The Buffalo Dance and ceremony were meant to ensure an adequate supply of buffalo for the hunt. wore buffalo head masks with eye and nose holes. S. Then they were dragged away by other members of the tribe and symbolically skinned and butchered. performed the Buffalo Dance before the yearly hunt to ensure success. the Bull Dancers. According to Mandan tradition. As part of the dance cere- A Buffalo Dance performed at Hano. They had buffalo tails tied around their knees and danced until they fell to the ground from exhaustion. (E. Curtis/American Museum of Natural History) . A special society. and he brought it back to his people.

) . or even assure long life for an individual or a whole tribe. Dances and Dancing. Tischauser See also: Buffalo. Wrapped in the hide of a deer or the whole skin of an otter. Leslie V. get revenge on an enemy. Only in the 1930’s. Bundles. they are used in ceremonies to assure the well-being of an individual. The dancers then eat the mush. Sacred Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Sacred bundles contain objects that represent the power or medicine of their owner. so there was no longer a reason to perform the dance. though mostly for the benefit of tourists. assembled under the guidance of spirit beings. some tribal bundles were large enough to hold hundreds of items. the performers say a prayer to the gods thanking them for all they have provided and asking for their help in living as the gods wish. gain possessions. (Although the use of sacred bundles is treated as historical here to emphasize their great importance in many traditional American Indian cultures. As the dance ends. Sacred mony. with buffalo herds restored to a few areas of the Great Plains. while personal bundles were often small enough to carry in one hand. Women in the White Buffalo Calf Society then lure buffalo to the camp by putting on buffalo robes and dancing wildly. or tribe. it is important to note that many practices involving sacred bundles still occur today. White Buffalo Society. clan. Buffalo dancing had stopped by 1900—the buffalo were gone. win the affections of another. White reservation officials had already banned buffalo dancing because of its “pagan” nature. was the dance performed again. Mandan women prepare two large kettles of corn meal mush—which buffaloes like very much—and set them out at the edge of the village. Sacred bundles were believed to have supernatural power to cure the sick.156 / Bundles.

was willingly given to someone. Personal Bundles. Objects in a sacred bundle filled a definite purpose. such as a song. Often a song was given by the spirits as part of the seeker’s medicine. with its power. A relationship was established and directions were given for the spiritual path of the seeker. feathers. A powerful bundle could be duplicated for one or two others with permission of the spirits. for example. either spiritual or practical. contained a decorated pipe stem along with a tobacco cutting board . They were considered to be “alive” with supernatural power. The owner could remake a bundle that was lost or taken in a fight. In some tribes a bundle could be inherited through the father’s lineage. was shared with the tribe. a dance. stones. objects were gathered for the medicine bundle as symbols of the experience. or anything of special meaning could become part of the bundle. a painting on a shield. Unless the bundle. Tobacco. A large medicine-pipe bundle belonging to a member of the Blackfoot tribe. Upon return from the quest. or the telling of a particular incident. Something of the vision experience. The primary item in a medicine bundle symbolized the guardian spirit. fur. Bundles represented an important link with the past and supernatural beings and could be opened only under prescribed circumstances to benefit the person or the tribe. purchased. One went out alone for several days and fasted and prayed until the guardian spirit was encountered. An item representing the guardian spirit was usually worn to assure ongoing contact. a personal bundle was acquired through a vision quest. Sacred / 157 Sacred bundles required special care. it belonged to the owner until death. Traditionally.Bundles. In this way others received some of the power that was available as long as requirements were met for keeping the bundle. captured during a battle. but the great tribal bundles were secluded from everyday view. Some personal bundles were displayed in the owner’s lodge or hung outside the tipi. Because of their magical quality they were surrounded with taboos. or received in exchange for horses.

and when the pipe was used in keeping a vow. head of a crane. a bag of pine needles. mink. In some Plains tribes bundles were used to “keep the world together. Just before dawn on the fourth day. Other ceremonial tools were a rattle. a rawhide bag of roots for making smudge (sacred incense). bearskin. Nearly . a thong lariat. Personal items included necklaces. squirrel. mountain-goat headdress. the pipe bundle could be opened on four occasions: when the first thunder was heard in the spring. muskrat. an ear of corn. they danced and recited oral history to honor their mystical origin. and owl. when tobacco in the bundle was renewed. The Fox of the Great Lakes had forty sacred bundle groups in eleven major categories. a wooden bowl for food. and an Arapaho bundle held a special flat pipe. were sometimes displayed at ceremonies. and tongs for placing coals on the smudge. and skins of prairie dog. skin of a loon (used as a tobacco pouch). and a painted buffalo robe. a horse whip. but they were opened only on special occasions. fetus of a deer. The summer Green Corn Dance was a time of cleansing and renewal for the Seminole of Florida and Oklahoma. when the bundle was being transferred to a new leader. A Cheyenne bundle contained the four Medicine Arrows. the sacred bundle was blessed and opened. and a stone turtle. A sacred song was also given by the spirits and was sung any time the bundle was displayed.158 / Bundles. the stars were important in sacred traditions. Tribal Bundles. Sacred and pipe stokers. and the Evening Star bundle was assembled under the direction of that highly revered star guardian. The great tribal bundles. Meeting at sacred places in woods and near creeks.” The people believed that the tribe’s well-being depended on the proper care and protection of those bundles because the items within them symbolized life itself. Animal spirits were represented by an elk hide. In Blackfoot tradition. The Kiowas had a small stone image resembling a man that was shown to the people only once a year at the Sun Dance. eagle-wing feather. such as the Blackfoot Sacred Pipe bundle or the Pawnee Evening Star bundle. For the Pawnee of the Plains.

the. Paul. Red Man’s America: A History of Indians in the United States. Boston: Little. The Story of the American Indian. Underhill. New York: Crossroad. Native American Heritage. 1976. Religion. Ariz.. Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. Guardian Spirits. 1992. The Seminole believed that this renewal of the sacred bundle assured that the people would not die and the tribe would not disappear. Ruth Murray.: Navajo Community College Press. or not ready to know about it”. Redesigned ed. Deluxe illustrated ed. Joseph Epes. Visions and Vision Quests. Sources of Life. The sacred practitioners who worked with this secret and often dangerous knowledge learned by experimenting with natural forces after much ritual preparation. Radin. another said. 1982. . N.” Gale M. Green Corn Dance. Peggy V.: Garden City Publishing. The Spiritual Legacy of the American Indian. The Sacred: Ways of Knowledge. 1937. Sacred. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Tsaile. The power within sacred bundles was regarded with wonder. “I wouldn’t want to go near those medicine bundles if I didn’t know how to act. “the power might come back at me if I exposed myself to it when I was not prepared. Sacred / 159 seven hundred items wrapped in buckskin or white cloth contained sacred knowledge and medicine for the health of the tribe. See also: Calumets and Pipe Bags.Bundles. and sometimes fear. Medicine Bundles. as one individual put it. Thompson Sources for Further Study Beck. An untrained person would resist contact with this potent knowledge because. Brown. Brown. 1953. respect. and Nia Francisco. Merwyn S. Anna Lee Walters. Garden City. Garbarino.Y.

Calumet. representing the pueblo in dealings with outsiders. There. and it has been a central symbol of modern Pan-Indian movements.” This entails presiding at various religious ceremonies. Barber See also: Political Organization and Leadership. Calumets and Pipe Bags Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The calumet (sacred pipe) was the most widely used ceremonial object among North American Indians. from the French for reed pipe. the Spanish encountered Arawak Indians who applied the term “cacique” to their chiefs. allocating certain rights to agricultural fields. namely the peace leader of the community. In the Caribbean. Among North American Indians.160 / Cacique Cacique Tribes affected: Tribes of Spanish America Significance: Originally a term applied to Caribbean tribal chiefs. Russell J. it refers to the male religious-secular leader of a community. Widely used . The degree of power wielded by a cacique varies with that cacique’s personality. and appointing and training one’s successor. whose title and duties were modified by the Spanish. The Puebloan cacique is probably an outgrowth of a native office. The modern cacique serves as a representative of the pueblo as a whole and is said to have the duty of “looking after the people. to whom it designates a religious-secular office. refers to pipes with long wooden stems and detachable clay or stone bowls. “cacique” was adopted by the Eastern Pueblo peoples. The Spanish subsequently used the term to designate leaders with varying degrees of authority. the term has been adopted only by the Eastern Pueblo tribes along the Rio Grande of New Mexico.

Red pipestone was prized material for bowls.: Syracuse University Press. N. . Paul B. and sweatlodges and pipe ceremonies have become central symbols in pan-Indian movements such as the American Indian Movement (AIM). After a period of decline.Calumets and Pipe Bags / 161 for both personal and ceremonial purposes. Pipestone Quarries.Y. and many of the carvers were men with disabilities who could not participate in war. See also: Bundles. the lit pipe was offered to the six directions (north. or during a time of hardship. Charles Louis Kammer III Source for Further Study Steinmetz. Syracuse. up. male and female. Ceremonial pipes were understood to have a special power and were kept in bags (bundles) tended by specially trained women and men. such as White Buffalo Woman. 1998. In most ceremonies. south. before war. The long wooden stems were usually decorated with feathers or ornaments. west. to bind together confederacies. before the hunt. The decorations revealed when the pipe was to be used: for healing. and down) and then passed in the direction of the sun to all those gathered. Religion. Smoking the pipe was understood to link those present and the spirit beings in a cosmic harmony. calumet refers to only the sacred pipes. Sacred. The bowl and stem were joined only for ritual use. east. The Sacred Pipe: An Archetypal Theology. symbolizing the merger of earth and sky. The bowls were often carved in the images of animals or persons. brings the pipe at the time of the creation of the people. Some pipes were so powerful that only certain sacred persons could smoke them. The pipe serves as an ongoing means of communication with the spirit beings. Most tribal groups have myths similar to a myth of the Lakota Sioux in which a sacred being. although L shapes and inverted-T shapes were also common. or to make peace (the peace pipe). pipe carving has been revived. Archaeological evidence shows extensive use throughout North America that may date back four thousand years.

since in many cases captives were adopted into families and learned the languages and aboriginal cultures. to All That Desire to Know the Lord’s Doing to. In addition. In this way.162 / Captivity and Captivity Narratives Captivity and Captivity Narratives Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Captivity narratives provide cultural data concerning Native Americans and early contacts with Europeans. if the typical . Many of the captives were taken during hostile interactions between the Europeans and the indigenous peoples. Many of these were written by women or featured a female heroine. This genre of literature served to warn erring Christians of the dangers in straying from a religious life. and thus they did not always relish their enforced observation of another culture. Indians served as the stereotype of extreme waywardness. Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. There is a risk. Captivity narratives are accounts written by Europeans who were captured by Native Americans. They provide informative vignettes of Native American life. in relying too directly on these captivity accounts for objective information on Native Americans. however. although these narratives were often biased and many of them perpetuated stereotypes of Indians. and by the nineteenth century hundreds of pamphlets and anthologies were available. and Dealings with Her (1682). Mary Rowlandson. and this agenda seriously affects some of the data reported. captivity narratives were often published for the purpose of providing moral guidance to the masses (and were generally sensationalized for entertainment value). Commended by Her. The commercial success of the earlier captivity accounts resulted in further publications. It may be found in Charles Lincoln’s Narratives of the Indian Wars (1675-1699) (1913). A prime example is an early captivity narrative published by a minister’s wife under the title The Soveraignty and Goodness of God. cultural outsiders became insiders who were later able to write about their experiences.

published by the Smithsonian Institution. Susan J. Wurtzburg Sources for Further Study Hartman. sand painting. entitled History of Indian-White Relations (1988). Those with a male hero often had the man being seduced by the freedom of the wilderness and its native inhabitants to become one with his aboriginal hosts. .’s “White Conceptions of Indians” in volume 4 of the Handbook of North American Indians. Boulder. Chantways Tribe affected: Navajo Significance: “Chantways” is the term used to refer to the Navajo ceremonial healing system based on creation myths.Chantways / 163 plot is to be believed.: Westview Press. Occasionally. James D. 1999. Strong. these men attempted. as in Edwin James’s John Tanner’s Narrative of His Captivity Among the Ottawa and Ojibwa Indians (1830). Berkhoffer. A history of captivity narratives appears in Robert F. Based on Navajo creation myths that explain their understanding of the reciprocity of the natural and supernatural worlds. Captivating Others: The Politics and Poetics of Colonial American Captivity Narratives. to return to their former societies. Jr. Torture. and rituals for restoring balance and harmony to life. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Colo. and sacred objects. prayer. with difficulty. Slavery. 1999. chants. using a combination of singing. generally the purity of the protagonist allowed her to overcome the dangerous ordeal and to return unscathed to her former lifestyle. religious rituals requiring from two to nine days and nights are conducted that are both curative and preventative. Providence Tales and the Birth of American Literature. Captive Selves. See also: Adoption. The Navajo ceremonial system is composed of rites. Pauline Turner. Warfare and Conflict.

These seven are . Completed sand paintings obligate the Holy People to come and infuse the sand painting with their power. and the hoarding of property. to identify the patient with them. the sacred ceremony centering on the sand painting is the means to physical. with seven of these performed often. sanctified. and they are the center of activity and power in the Chantways ceremonials. Chantways. Sand Paintings. emotional. Because of the sacred and powerful nature of this exchange. All of creation is maintained by a delicate balance of natural and supernatural elements that results in a state of harmony and well being. injury. A painting can take from thirty minutes to ten or more hours to complete. Of twenty-four known complexes. so called because of the singing and shaking of rattles during the ceremonials. Sand paintings are a type of ritual altar on the floor of the hogan.164 / Chantways Belief. evil spirits and sorcery. In this system. excesses in activities. absorbing evil or imparting good. about half are well known. Practice. and other misfortune. The natural and supernatural operate in a system of mutual interchange in order to achieve this ideal state of health. often with several apprentice assistants working on it. and psychological restoration. Sand paintings are freehand drawings which serve three main purposes: to attract “the supernaturals”. complete and accurate sand paintings are always used only in a ritual context. For those who are suffering. are organized into ceremonial categories or complexes based on the interrelatedness of procedure and myth. The average painting takes about four hours. they are compelled to come to their likenesses in the painting. When the painting is completed it is inspected. and used immediately. and to serve as a medium of exchange. it is believed that people become ill as a result of disharmony in the world caused by such things as bad dreams. The Navajo believe that the universe is interrelated. The symbols and images used in sand painting are irresistible for the supernaturals. Navajos adhere to a rule of moderation in living to avoid sickness.

Participants include the singer and his assistants. Monster Slayer and Born-forWater. emergencies. head ailments. The other group is called the “Yei”. a diagnostician. Women are allowed to participate. and heart and lung trouble. each of which involves songs. and the consecration of a new home. Every ceremonial ends with a Blessingway rite. They are regulated by one of three rituals. family members. which has been ritually consecrated. If the Holy People are pleased. for injuries. nervousness. used to exorcise evil spirits or ghosts from outside the Navajo tribe. the Yei are led by Talking God and Calling God (who participate in the Nightway chant wearing masks). and the supernaturals. and good and Enemyway rites. A diagnostician determines what has caused the patient’s illness or trouble and which Chant- . Pregnant women are not allowed to participate. and Chiricahua Windway. plant medicine. called Holyway. Changing Woman. but extreme care is taken to protect them from contacting and absorbing any evil spirits. childbirth. Services are performed when needed. harmony. Rites included in these rituals are Blessingway rites to ensure peace. and the correct ritual procedure. sacred objects. prayers. Holyway uses the greatest variety of sand paintings and is performed at such events as marriage. The singing must be complete and correct to attract the Holy People. Trained singers possess the knowledge of the ritual and have undergone a long apprenticeship. to attract good.Chantways / 165 called Shootingway. or hogan. Mountainway. and their twin children. Holy People are supernaturals composed of two groups. One is represented by mythological figures such as Sun. arthritis. The ceremony is held in the family or relative’s home. respectively. They are used to treat such ailments as respiratory disease. Evilway to drive away evil. sand paintings. Flintway. Nightway. Handtremblingway. or Lifeway. Navajo Windway. the patient. Many singers learn only a few ceremonials. they are obligated to come and infuse the sand paintings with their power and restore health and harmony to the patient. Men are usually the singers.

continuing to impart their good. Gerald. Black Mustache. Navajo Sandpainting. they continue to preserve this method of bringing harmony to their world. 2d ed. and prayer sticks are placed where the supernaturals will see them and be compelled to come.166 / Chantways way is needed to effect the cure. 2 vols. Sand Painting. the individual then sits almost naked facing east on a specific part of the painting determined by the singer to relate most directly to the patient’s trouble. Recorded by Berard Haile. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. may be left on the floor of the hogan to become part of the home’s floor. Donald. Princeton. N. Flagstaff: Museum of Northern Arizona Press. and the sand from the sand painting is deposited at a distance from the hogan.: Princeton University Press. Vt. The Chantway system is unique to the Navajo and reflects a holistic approach to health and healing. Navaho Symbols of Healing.Mex.J. 1991. Songs. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Circle. . 1979. Diane C. Rochester. Santa Fe. 2001. however. 1983. The sand painting is made. After the patient leaves.: Healing Arts Press.: School of American Research Press. Sacred Narratives. Reichard. Leland C. the painting is erased in the order in which it was made. See also: Hand Tremblers. The patient is prepared for the ritual by being cleansed physically and spiritually. Religion. In spite of the availability of modern medicine to today’s Navajo. 1983. Gladys A. The patient is touched by the singer and his medicine bundle and is sprinkled with sand from appropriate parts of the sand painting. Parezo. Blessingway paintings.: Bear & Co.. Meditations with the Navajo: Prayers. Hausman. Rochester. Nancy J. N. Sandner. Waterway. Southwest Indian Drypainting. Navaho Religion: A Study of Symbolism. 1950. Religious Specialists. Vt. Wyman. and Stories of Healing and Harmony.

Chitimacha Significance: The chickee. These are reinforced by cross members. It consists of a platform built on top of four or more posts. Seminole. Beams are cut and laid on top of the posts. a dwelling on poles or stilts. is well suited to a wet climate.Chickee / 167 Chickee Tribes affected: Calusa. The chickee is a type of dwelling that was used in the wetter areas of the Southeast culture area. The roof is then thatched with Chickee . The posts are made of trimmed saplings sunk into the earth. Choctaw. Timucua. and poles are laid on top of them to support the roof. Chickasaw. and planks are lashed to the beams with braided cords to create a platform that serves as the floor. A framework of saplings is lashed together.

Michael W. Chickees were often built in groups of several. but they could also be isolated. Considered a gift from sacred forces. as the southeastern climate is usually warm and moist. The sometimes dangerous nature of Indian life increased the importance of children and made high birthrates common. mats are also used to cover the floor. and a child’s name reflected the qualities of that guide (an adult name would frequently be taken at puberty or when a major accomplishment was noted). their elders.168 / Children fronds of palm or grasses. The walls are open. During floods. They are arranged in layers that shed water. Similar types of dwellings were built by indigenous peoples throughout the Americas who live in wet environments. were an integral part of the community. and their births were greeted with community pride. Children born into traditional American Indian societies represented part of the never-ending chain of life. Often a dugout canoe or other water conveyance was tied to the stilts upon which the dwelling sat to serve as transportation when waters are high. The chickee was well suited to subtropical environments where seasonal flooding of rivers or marshy lands is common. the residents could use the chickee as a fishing platform. Simpson See also: Architecture: Southeast. Children Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: American Indian children. and tribal customs. Woven mats are sometimes used in place of walls. Families could thus be self-sustaining for long periods of time during the wet seasons. children entered the physical world under the guidance and protection of a spiritual guide. . reared with love and gentle guidance to respect nature.

These rigid carriers could be fastened to the mother’s back. Infants were often nursed up to the age of four. children were allowed to discover their world freely. stuck upright in the ground. Once out of the cradleboard. For most Indian children. helping to create a strong bond between mother and child.Children / 169 Paiute children playing “wolf and deer” during the late 1800’s in Northern Arizona. children frequently remained naked until four or five years of age. babies represented a potential danger to the tribe: Crying children might reveal the tribe’s position to enemies. or attached to horse packs. the first year of life was spent strapped to a cradleboard. Children flourished in a world surrounded by love and gentle care. (National Archives) Early Years. Although welcomed and cherished. Strong extended-family ties brought loving guidance and stability into the child’s life. Toilet training was not stressed. it became a common practice among some tribes (as among the Cheyenne and Sioux) to pinch babies’ nostrils to quiet them. and in . Therefore.

Many hours were spent with their elders. Tribal society could not tolerate unproductive members. Children were born by the good graces of the spirit world. strength. Children were the key to the future. and accuracy in the hunt. especially grandparents. Both sexes grew up around religious and social forms of music. Mothers passed down their talents in beadworking. Young girls erected miniature tipis and learned through imitating their mothers’ daily routine. Children were also taught the ceremonial dances of their tribe. children were directed from an early age to take only what they absolutely needed from Mother Earth.170 / Children some cases. children were occasionally naked until age ten. children began to learn the practical knowledge needed for adult life. caring for smaller children. and weaving. painting. hunting small game. Many tribes feared that this . and assisting their families in chores. Under the direction of their mothers. In addition. and elders sought to instill in them the tribe’s ancient traditions. and tanning hides. Discipline among the Indian people was based on respect. such as preparing food. Adults encouraged this education. Discipline. endurance. which would prepare children for their future tribal roles. such as the Algonquian peoples. young boys learned to ride early in life. so even small children contributed by picking berries. Around the age of five. learning tribal history and myths. competitive sports taught the boys vital warrior qualities such as self-sufficiency. Indian children were taught the beauties of nature and a deep respect for their elders. while girls learned chants and lullabies. Tending small gardens also helped eastern Indian girls learn to grow crops. Since survival was directly related to what was available and useful from their surroundings. Boys began to learn the drum music associated with tribal ceremonies. Art was also an important element of this stage of childhood. Preparing for Puberty. and physical punishment was rare. After the introduction of the horse into Indian cultures.

who interceded on the parents’ behalf. scarring from hot stones. or public lashings for severe offenses. including beatings. however. The responsibility of disciplining children was often undertaken by other family members or tribal elders. some children faced harsh treatment. Even with a societal preference for avoiding corporal punishment. discipline typically consisted of verbal reprimands designed to teach a lesson. (National Archives) . Instead. Storytelling and legends were frequently used Cherokee boy and girl in traditional costume on a North Carolina reservation.Children / 171 form of discipline would cause children’s souls to depart from their body and thus harm their personality and health.

Indians: Children of Crisis. while the Hopi related tales of the Soyoko (a “boogeyman” type of figure) to persuade children to follow a moral code. in rare cases. Richard. however. Erdoes. Dictionary of Native American Mythology. Eskimos. 1972. The skills and values emphasized during the pre-reservation period. For example. 1969. or. many tribes lost touch with their heritage. New York: Alfred A. Brown. The Sun Dance People. Often representing supernatural spirits. Many tribes found it hard to maintain their ancient traditions while living in an increasingly modern world. Jennifer Davis Sources for Further Study Coles. 1961. as game was scarce on the reservations. 1977. The art of hunting became increasingly difficult to teach. Indians of North America. Boston: Little. Some parents used disguised tribesmen to educate children about expected behavior. Vol. these dressed-up tribesmen warned. Rev. 4. children spent less time in nature and more time in school. Forced into an unfamiliar. Revivals. Driver. As a result. such as self-sufficiency. tribe members had to find new means to pass their culture on to the next generation. Robert. Sam D. the Apache told of Mountain Spirits that dictated proper behavior.: ABC-Clio. frightened. Santa Barbara. . Gill. 1992. Knopf.172 / Children to shape the character of young minds and to teach the difference between good and evil. Harold E. constricted way of life and facing the loss of their freedom. had to be taught through planned events instead of everyday activities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Calif. Reservation life threatened the existence of American Indian culture. ed. have created new awareness of tribal traditions and customs. Chicanos. Tribal elders encouraged children to carry on the ancient rituals (sometimes with revisions) and to maintain the tribal bloodline. even whipped disobedient children. Modern Indian Children.

The robes were worn and displayed to symbolize the wealth and status of the owner. New York: McGraw-Hill. was dyed white. Gender Relations and Roles. New York: Holmes & Meier. Education: Pre-contact. _______. Hand Games. Indian Orphanages. The accumulation and display of wealth was an important aspect of their tribal life. When . Everyday Life of the North American Indian. drums. Chicago: Ivan R. Jon Manchip. and blue with native dyestuff. Robert H. The Chilkat Tlingit were a Northwest Indian tribe. black. Dee. was a very important aspect of the robe.Chilkat Blankets / 173 Holt. Names and Naming. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. and wolves. 1979. The robes were illustrated with depictions of animals and objects that represented the chief’s crests. whales. Children of the Western Plains: The NineteenthCentury Experience. crafted of cedar bark and mountain goat wool. Games and Contests. Chilkat chieftains commissioned the finest weavers their clan could afford to prepare ceremonial robes. Puberty and Initiation Rites. Lowie. Indians of the Plains. bears. Marilyn Irvin. 2003. green. White. 1954. Some of the most popular designs included ravens. Toys. Missions and Missionaries. 2001. See also: Education: Post-contact. Chilkat Blankets Tribes affected: Tribes of the Northwest Significance: Chilkat blankets represent some of the finest and most visually impressive handwoven Indian artifacts. Weavers applied twining techniques used in basketry to craft technically intricate blankets. Goat wool. The fringe. yellow. and later commercial yarn. Weavers decorated the robes with long fringe sewn onto the bottom and sides.

Blankets. A clan. Among members of American Indian tribes with clans. in a patrilineal society. clan membership provides an individual with social identity and regulates marriage choices. Clans often have distinctive symbols. clans sometimes own property. in which the precise genealogical links among members are unknown. perform ceremonies. the clans function to regulate marriage. Clans may also hold property and perform specific rituals. Clans Tribes affected: Widespread but not pantribal Significance: In societies with these unilineal descent groups. and the number of weavers has increased. “clan” often connotes a clique of kin who avoid contact with outsiders. In a matrilineal society. Leslie Stricker See also: Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast. they lifted and swung their robes so that the fringe swung freely and created an impressive effect. However. and control political offices. Thus. Weaving. continued to produce blankets. In nearly all societies with clans. Definitions. Clans are unilineal descent groups into which a person is born. is distinguished . Jennie Thlunaut. however. interest among collectors has been renewed. Colloquially. only one Chilkat robe weaver. a clan is a unilineal descent group: a group of people who trace relationship to one another through either the mother’s line (matrilineal) or the father’s line (patrilineal) but not both. usually belief in a common ancestor. and for anthropologists working with such tribes. one is a member of one’s mother’s clan. By the 1980’s. one is a member of one’s father’s clan.174 / Clans chieftains danced. the term “clan” has a different connotation: two or more lineages closely related through a common traditional bond.

Clans / 175 from a lineage. most Indians from groups with unilineal descent groups use the term to refer to the descent group rather than to the residential group. most anthropologists have abandoned Murdock’s definition of clan. to all “Edgewater” people regardless of where they reside.” she means that she is related. Hunting and gathering societies usually lack clans. hence. define a clan as a “compromise kin group” that combines principles of descent and residence. retained matrilineal clans when they shifted from agricultural pursuits to bison hunting on the Great Plains. The core of the group is a unilineal descent group. Moreover. Groups with bilateral descent systems (in which descent is traced equally through both parents) have no lineages and. For example. or Fox) and the adjacent Subarctic Ojibwa. Navajo. as did the Mandan and Hidatsa of the Missouri River. Plateau. Today. There cannot. Many agricultural peoples of the East (such as Iroquoians and the Creek) and some in the Southwest (Western Pueblos. There can be lineages without clans. which had matrilineal clans. and Eastern Subarctic cultures. Distribution. no clans. and Western Apache) had matrilineal clans. close linguistic relatives of the Hidatsa. by matrilineal descent. Bilateral descent commonly occurs in Great Basin. however. Among the primary exceptions to this generalization are some Northwest Coast cultures and adjacent Athapaskan peoples of the Subarctic. in which each individual can trace descent from a known common ancestor. but the clan also includes the in-marrying spouses of descent group members. when a Navajo says that her “clan” is “Edgewater. Patrilineal clans were found mainly in two areas of North America: among Prairie farming tribes (such as the Omaha and Mesquakie. this is the case in most of aboriginal California and among the Bering Sea Eskimo. Arctic. . Some anthropologists. The Crow. Each Tlingit clan had a symbol (“crest” or “totem”) and unique mythic traditions. be clans without lineages. and in the Southwest among Yumans and Pimans. Plains. following the work of George Murdock in the 1940’s. however.

perform rituals. manages clan property. Such rules tend to increase the number of families which are allied by marriage. and maintain clan symbols. Notions of kinship are extended to members of these two clans and. own houses and sacred property. Clans as Corporate Groups. more generally. marriage to a member of the same clan would be considered incestuous. There are more than fifty matrilineal clans. for example) prohibit marriage into the father’s clan. however. acknowledged as the . but Hopi clans are also corporate groups which hold land.” She lives in the clan house and. Hopi clan-related marriage rules and hospitality are similar to those of the Navajo. Many matrilineal societies (Hopi. thereby increasing the network of kinship relations throughout the society. while many patrilineal systems (as with the Omaha) prohibit marriage into the mother’s clan. A Navajo is “born into” his mother’s clan and is “born for” his father’s clan. Bear clan. especially clan exogamy (the requirement that one marry a person of a different clan). The Navajo clan system illustrates the operation of marriage rules. In many tribes. Various additional restrictions based on clan relationships may also exist. The most common clan function involves marriage rules. to linked clans (phratry mates). These two are stewards of clan property and agents of the clan considered as a corporation. The Hopi also have more than fifty matrilineal clans grouped into nine phratries. Beyond marriage rules and the idioms of kinship and hospitality. The sequence of the arrival of the clans in Hopi country is a rough measure of the prestige of the clans. Each Hopi clan has its own migration legend. Navajo clans have few functions. For example. Because members of the same clan consider themselves to be closely related. with her brother or maternal uncle.176 / Clans Clans and Marriage. A Navajo cannot marry someone in either of these two clans or phratries. clans have functions in addition to marriage regulation. Sets of clans are linked into one of eight or nine groups (“phratries”). The eldest competent female of a clan’s highest ranking lineage is the “clan mother.

Two Crows Denies It: A History of Controversy in Omaha Sociology. Some Omaha clans are named after animals. 1970. Winnebago village chiefs are Thunderbird clan. Social Organization of the Western Pueblos. ed. Reprint. George Peter. eds. Introduction by Elisabeth Tooker. Indians of the Northwest Coast. Eric Henderson Sources for Further Study Barnes. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. have ceremonial property and political functions. For example.. The Siouan-speaking Winnebago and Omaha have twelve and ten patrilineal exogamous clans. 1994. 1984. like those of the Hopi. N. Driver. 1950. others take their names from human attributes or natural phenomena such as lightning. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Reprint. Garden City. Radin. According to ethnologist Paul Radin. 1967. Robert H. should provide the village chief and the leader of the important Soyal ceremony. 2d rev. Paul. 1997. DeMallie. Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family.: Natural History Press. Raymond J. 1969. Murdock. Eggan.” The Omaha conform less well to clan totem symbolism. The Winnebago Tribe. New York: Macmillan. Winnebago and Omaha clans. North American Indian Anthropology: Essays on Society and Culture. Reprint. A reprint of part of the 37th Annual . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1923. Each Winnebago clan is associated with an animal that serves as a clan symbol or clan totem. 1963. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lewis Henry. individual Winnebagos conceive of the relationship to the clan animal as one “of descent from an animal transformed at the origin of the present human race into human beings. Philip. Drucker. Harold E. and Alfonso Ortiz. 1955. Morgan.Clans / 177 first to arrive. respectively. Fred.Y. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1949. Indians of North America. Social Structure. while Bear clan has disciplinary functions. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Schusky. as at Capitol Reef (Utah). but the most notable sites are found in the Four Corners area. the ruins of nearly all cliff dwellings have been incorporated either into National Historical Parks. A culture based on settled agriculture combined with supplemental hunting and gathering. Tonto (Arizona). Today. 1972. See also: Adoption. Zuñi) Significance: Cliff dwellings identified with the Southwest’s Anasazi culture were constructed between 500 C. as at Bandelier (Colorado). New Mexico. Aztec Empire. Navajo (Arizona). Navajo. Manual for Kinship Analysis. Cliff Dwellings Tribes affected: Anasazi. Cliff Palace.. New York: Holt. The largest and best-preserved (or restored) of these ruins include Betatakin. or into National Monuments. and Square Tower House. 2d ed. Kinship and Social Organization. Montezuma Castle (Arizona). 1923. Ernest L. and Walnut Canyon (Arizona). Western Pueblo tribes (Hopi. Fire Temple. and Mesa Verde (Colorado). Rinehart and Winston. between 1100 and 1300. Oak Tree House. Societies: Non-kin-based.E. Spruce Tree House. and Utah meet. Marriage and Divorce. Chaco Culture National Historical Park (New Mexico). where the boundaries of Arizona. Colorado.178 / Cliff Dwellings Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. From as early as 500 c. and distinguished by its versatile and beautifully crafted basketwork. and the climax of what archaeologists define as the Pueblo III period. have been found over a wide area of the Colorado plateau. Incest Taboo. the Anasazi originally lived in pueblos of circular pit houses constructed in communal clusters. Gila Cliff Dwellings (New Mexico). Hovenweep (Colorado and Utah).e. The remains of these dwellings. Smithsonian Institution. some remarkably intact. Canyon de Chelly (Arizona). some of these dwellings were built in the .

particularly in the Four Corners area. (Museum of New Mexico) numerous cliff overhangs and caves common to the Colorado plateau. and the Mormon settlement of Utah. and kivas. beginning with . some of them three stories high. retaining the sunken portions as kivas—sacred rooms for men. housed scores of people—more than two hundred in Mesa Verde’s Cliff Palace— and included courtyards. The “opening” of the Southwest by white Americans. cliff dwellings. facilitated in the nineteenth century by the Gadsden Purchase. and wood. with their terraced apartments. built by the Anasazi civilization circa 1100. In time. Colorado. storage rooms. drew attention to previous occupants of the region. the construction of these structures was carried above ground. mud. Built of stone. Early Anasazi housing was represented by pit houses lined with stone slabs and with wooden roofs and entrances through the roof or passageways.Cliff Dwellings / 179 Restored ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde. In these regards they continued the essentials of older pueblo architectural traditions. There is only informed speculation about why the cliff dwellings were abandoned during the 1300’s. the discovery of gold in California.

These studies were expanded by Richard Wetherill. Clowns are an important part of Indian mythology and ritual. who receive their power from the Thunderbeings. Kivas. Gustav Nordensjold. Clowns engage in various forms of outrageous behavior. Clowns Tribes affected: Pantribal but especially the Apache. Often. they can also serve as powerful healers. one must be selected to be a clown and receive years of training in one of the clown societies. Pueblo. . Yearley See also: Anasazi Civilization. Most creation stories include the creation of a clown figure. clowns reinforce a sense of order and the need for personal responsibility. While sometimes associated in mythology with the sun. Sioux Significance: Through their behavior. Pueblo. clowns are more often associated with water and water rituals.180 / Clowns Lieutenant James Simpson’s descriptions of the cliff dwellings and other ruins in Canyon de Chelly and Chaco Canyon. as are the Sioux heyoka. Architecture: Southwest. Subsequent archaeological interest was stimulated by the explorations of John Wesley Powell and early archaeological work by Cosmos and Victor Mindeleff in the early 1890’s. clowns perform similar functions in all tribal groups. While there is great variation in costuming. As in the Keresan story of the clown being created from the epidermal waste of the creator. Adolph Bandelier. written while he was fighting the Navajos in 1849. In most tribes. Navajo. Iatiku. the clown figure usually has unusual beginnings. and (most important for preservation of the cliff dwellings) Jesse Walter Fewkes. Seminole. ranging from the famous mud-head clowns of the Hopi and Zuñi to the black-andwhite-striped clowns of the Koshare and Apache. Clifton K.

Watersprinkler. Because of their association with water. a good harvest. Also common is scatological behavior such as eating dirt or excrement. and sexual promiscuity. By doing things backward and by violating rules. through their humor. Charles Louis Kammer III See also: Humor. Finally. there have been women clowns in the Pacific Northwest. While the clowns are usually men. they are often powerful healers as well. They remind the healers and tribal leaders that. is an important figure in the Night Chant ceremony. they show that chaos develops when rules are not maintained. mimicking their behavior. tribal rules. clowns will do everything backward—walk backward. and wear winter clothing in the summertime. they are especially important in bringing rain and performing cleansing rituals. Like many other aspects of Indian culture. drinking urine. they do have a more serious purpose. The Navajo clown. despite their special gifts. Tricksters. Through humor. healers. follow behind ceremonial dancers. Their participation in ceremonies helps to assure fertility. By making them look foolish. clowns demystify their power. recent decades have seen a recovery and revival of the clown tradition and activities. Societies: Non-kin-based. While part of the clown’s intent is to entertain and generate laughter. Husk Face Society. Clown figures often figure prominently in cartoons in contemporary tribal newspapers. Additionally. clowns serve to keep the powerful in check through their mimicking. Like the koshare. cavorting naked. They may also. they reinforce the need for personal responsibility.Clowns / 181 like the Contrary Society of the Cheyenne. they are only human. Most important. and tribal order. and tribal leaders. one of the tribe’s most important healing rituals. they are viewed as very powerful. . Although clowns are humorous figures. and good health. they are trying to teach important lessons to the tribe. they show the danger of human vices such as greed. ride a horse backward. and simulating sexual acts in public. who are part of the Acoma Medicine Society. gluttony. like the Apache Crazy Dancers.

Individual pages range from 4 to 8 inches in width and from 8 to 10 inches in height. they used a logographic writing system in which each symbol represented a word or concept. Aztec and Mixtec codices were made of either deerskin or agave paper. Nahuatl. the Maya made theirs from paper made from tree bark covered with a thin layer of lime. some Aztec codex authors began to write their native language. and codices were probably read only by a specialized class of scribes.182 / Codices Codices Tribes affected: Aztec. a number of codices were produced by Hispanicized Aztecs which describe the pre-Hispanic culture. ritual. most codices were destroyed by the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Logographic writing systems are often called pictographic or hieroglyphic. or calendrical significance. in a phonetic alphabet borrowed from the Spanish. Maya. or occasionally a syllable. Rather. and Mixtecs of Mexico produced written literature called codices (the singular form is “codex”). Mixtec Significance: Codices were the books of the pre-Hispanic Aztec. while there are no surviving pre-Hispanic Aztec codices. this new writing was largely confined to place names and personal names. Only three preHispanic Mayan codices still survive. Someone reading a codex would begin with the logographs pictured in the upper right corner of a page and would then move down one column of figures and up the next. Maya. Codices were folded accordion-fashion and were read from right to left. Following the Spanish conquest. Following the Spanish conquest. Literacy was not widespread. Many described the histo- . however. Mayas. The content of codices varied greatly. who produced them. and the upper classes. The pre-Hispanic cultures of the Aztecs. who commissioned them. and Mixtec cultures. Pre-Hispanic cultures in Mexico did not use a phonetic alphabet (in which each written symbol represents a sound). several of these texts also survive. Surviving codices range in length from 4 to 24 feet. they describe events of historical.

Rather. is currently grown worldwide. Mayan Civilization. following his capture in battle.e. while others outline calendrical or astronomical events. these primers described rituals. readers had to provide many details of a narrative from their own memories. Mayan. As an example. or maize (Zea mays). the most famous surviving Mixtec codex tells the history of a chieftain named Eight-Deer from his birth in 1011 c. Some codices describe rituals and mythology. Codices were not comprehensive texts. they provided the main outline of their content. and Mixtec codices were destroyed by the Spanish priesthood in order to undermine the pre-Hispanic religions and to encourage the conversion of the Indians to Christianity. domesticated maize was cultivated from the Canadian Great Lakes region to Argentina. and the birth of his children. the expansion of his realm through conquest and strategic marriages. . When the Europeans arrived in the Americas. Corn Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: North American corn was first domesticated in Mexico. and etiquette with which the children were to be familiar. Aztec. Only after European contact was maize propagated beyond the American continents. stories. David J. for the children of nobility or scribes. Several varieties of corn were grown in different ecological zones in North and South America. The codex describes his rise to power. or teaching devices. Corn. to his death by sacrifice at age fifty-two. but the crop is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere.Corn / 183 ries or genealogies of rulers or important nobility. and by the seventeenth century it was a staple across much of the North American continent. Minderhout See also: Aztec Empire. ranging from sea level to high in the Andes and other mountains. Some codices apparently served as primers.

Indeed. corn cobs became larger. General theories concerning the speed of the development of . the Mayas. For example.” whereas other plant remains fit somewhere on a continuum in between. in addition. Maize probably first served merely to supplement local wild plant foods and only later became an important resource. it was suggested that prehistoric cultures that possessed traits such as settled villages or impressive architecture (which indicated complicated social organization) depended for their subsistence primarily upon corn agriculture. the Southeast. and the number and size of the kernels increased. the survival of European settlers depended on corn and other foods provided by the indigenous peoples of these regions. and use of corn rely upon archaeological investigations. Archaeological Information. Some maize cobs. It is now apparent that the process of maize domestication took place over hundreds of years. In many of these corn-growing areas. These and other changes marked the process of domestication. and the Incas of Latin America and among North America Indians of the Southwest. kernels. Such was the case among the Mayas of Central America and the Iroquois of upstate New York. the new settlers recorded aboriginal oral traditions which emphasized the cultural importance of corn. It was also formerly believed that maize domestication was a rapid process which had immediate cultural impact. the Plains. and the Northeast. archaeologists of the early 1900’s often overemphasized the importance of corn to prehistoric peoples. Perhaps as a result of the contact-period accounts of the primacy of corn agriculture. domestication.184 / Corn European explorers described maize agriculture among the Aztecs. Generally. Gradual genetic changes among the maize plants accompanied these slow cultural adaptations. and other remains can be definitely identified as either “wild” or “domesticated. By the 1990’s it was recognized that corn was one of several species that were important for New World agriculturalists and that. at different times during the early contact period. Studies concerning the prehistoric origin. not all complex societies depended on corn for their subsistence.

Comparative Studies of North American Indians. Massey.. Harold E. .Areas of Corn and Cotton Cultivation Archaeological evidence of corn Ethnographic evidence of corn Evidence of corn and cotton Source: After Driver. and William C. 1957.

Archaeological sites that provide important evidence concerning the earliest domestication of corn have been found in the Tehuacán Valley. MacNeish excavated the dry caves in the Tehuacán Valley because they would have provided shelter for ancient habitation. such as dry heat. since these tools were also associated with other crops. Smaller plant remains. such as the presence of agricultural implements. but archaeologists exercise caution in their inferences. ancient use of hoes. Botanical remains are best preserved under stable environmental conditions which discourage rotting.186 / Corn New World agriculture are based on specific archaeological information concerning ancient subsistence. In addition. which contributes to data concerning its origin. while at other locations lacking botanical data. and cobs. or water inundation. milling stones. such as stems. Cobs often provide additional information (such as the corn variety). Corn Domestication. and use. For this reason. many plant remains left at sites by past peoples are not preserved in the archaeological record. They are also more likely to be preserved when burned to a carbonized state. such as pollen or phytoliths (tiny silica bodies within the plant) can also provide evidence for the presence of corn agriculture. For these reasons. The Tehuacán archaeological-botanical project was directed by Richard S. domestication. The Tehuacán sites date from approximately eleven thousand years ago to the time of the Spanish conquest. kernels. For example. the preservation of botanical remains does not ensure that they will be carefully and scientifically excavated by professional archaeologists. At some archaeological sites. MacNeish. growth. the strongest demonstration of ancient maize agriculture is the discovery of pieces of corn plants. Puebla. and storage facilities may indicate a dependence on corn. and he anticipated good preservation of any botanical remains. who devoted decades to the search for evidence of early corn domestication. cold. researchers may rely on indirect evidence. and . Unfortunately. Mexico. site looting and destruction is a major problem throughout North and Central America. leaves. corn agriculture is well documented by finds of maize plant remains.

Generally accepted Maiz de Ocho dates are considerably later.e. The Southwest cultures farmed in harsh.e.e. not until as late as 1200. which included maize.c. in some areas. In the 1980’s.. such as the Lower Mississippi. A second variety of corn (Maiz de Ocho. results from bone chemistry analyses contributed to the archaeological understanding of the Tehuacán Valley. Maize agriculture on the Plains dates to approximately 800-900 c. These people obtained corn (the Chapalote variety of Zea mays) and their knowledge of corn agriculture from people in northern Mexico.e. . but this date is controversial. while for the Southeast there are a few dates as early as 200 c.c. unpredictable climatic conditions with the use of highly developed agricultural techniques. by 1300.e.e. The seasonally occupied sites of the corn-growing Chochise may date to approximately 1200 b. By this time. also known as New England flint corn) was introduced later into the Southwest. Botanists have argued that corn developed from a wild grass called teosinte.c. maize agriculture was vital to the Iroquoian economy.Corn / 187 maize pollen and wild maize cobs were excavated from levels dated to about 7000-5000 b. it seems that North American maize originated in central Mexico.. Agriculture did not provide a substantial contribution to the Southeast diet until 800-1000 and. It may have appeared in the southwestern United States by approximately three thousand years ago. The earliest use of Maiz de Ocho in this region may date to 1000 b. This corn variety was more productive than the earlier Chapalote. and this variety diffused eastward across the continent. in southern New Mexico. Based on the available evidence. Cultivated maize was dated to about 5000-3500 b. although this has not been definitively demonstrated. composed 90 percent of the ancient diet from 4500 b.e.c. This early evidence of corn agriculture is also helpful for determining the ancestral grasses of Zea mays. onward. ranging from planting strategies to the use of irrigation.c. Stable carbon isotope tests of Tehuacán human skeletal remains demonstrated that a chemically distinct group of plants. Indeed. corn was being grown in regions as diverse as southeast Colorado and upstate New York.

and Austin Long. or allowing the soil to rest fallow. and George J. Generally. England: Basil Blackwell. Prehistoric Food Production in North America. “Multiple Pathways to Farming in Precontact Eastern North-America. 4 (December. Richard I. and these must be replenished through planting other crops (such as beans. 1.” Journal of World Prehistory 4. successful corn agriculture has distinct requirements. 1985. ed. Corn Among the Indians of the Upper Missouri. 1984. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Will. 1991. and a diet based only on corn is inadequate. Gero and Margaret W. Hyde. which provided the missing lysine and resulted in a balanced. Susan J. Anthropological Papers 75. 1967. Austin: University of Texas Press. Richard A. “Temporal Trends Indicated by a Survey of Archaic and Woodland Plant Food Re- . Ann Arbor: Museum of Anthropology. healthy diet. 4 (1986): 826-837. and Mary C. Ford. Byers. eds. “Radiocarbon Dating of Corn. edited by Joan M. Conkey. “A Summary of the Subsistence.” In Prehistory of the Tehuacan Valley. edited by Douglas S. MacNeish. Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture. Gayle J. University of Michigan. and George E. Fritz. Mark N. Armelagos. no. Kennedy.” In Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory. New York: Academic Press. Creel. 1990): 387-435. Many groups ate beans as well. George F. Darrell. Watson.. Patty Jo. Corn lacks an amino acid (lysine).. “The Development of Horticulture in the Eastern Woodlands of North America: Women’s Role.. Richard S..188 / Corn Despite its utility. 2002. Yarnell. which contribute nitrogen). using fertilizers. Maize growing rapidly exhausts the soil’s nitrogen stores.” American Antiquity 51. vol. and M. corn plants need adequate moisture and approximately 120 frost-free days to mature. no. essential for humans. Jean Black. A healthy crop also requires some weeding and care of the developing plants. Oxford. Wurtzburg Sources for Further Study Cohen.

plants. Subsistence. the war chief or outside chief. and elements of the earth. Cherokee. Corn Woman. and their issue became the Pueblo race. superseding various inferior domesticated plants. Chickasaw. Pueblo. her sister goddesses. Southwest). one of whom married Naotsete. See also: Agriculture. and almost immediately became the preferred food plant in the region. or internal chief. As time progressed.Corn Woman / 189 mains from Southeastern North America. especially in Keres (a number of the Pueblo bands. Uretsete became known as Corn Woman (Iyatiku). 2 (1985): 93-106. In this matrilineal cosmogony. Corn Woman should serve as a sort of mother goddess—source of life and a staple of their diet. Southeast. no. Corn Woman Tribes affected: Apache. speak Keresan dialects) cosmogony. Naotsete served as the cacique. Seminole Significance: Corn Woman is important in terms of cosmology and religious practices in tribal cultures where maize is the key food source (Northeast. Creek. Chippewa. Most tribes believed that corn was a gift from the gods. Mother Corn Woman (Naiya Iyatiku). and Uretsete served as the hotchin.e. and this transmission was often recounted in folktale and song. Beans. Navajo. Therefore. Choctaw.” Southeastern Archaeology 4. Ts’its’tsi’nako (Thought-Woman. it was logical that. Iroquois Confederacy.c. The domestication of corn had moved north from Mexico to the Pueblo tribes of present-day New Mexico by 3500 b. Food Preparation and Cooking. Green Corn Dance. The Keres people believed that in the distant past. Uretsete gave birth to twin boys. or Creating-Through-Thinking Woman) chanted into life Naotsete and Uretsete. including the Acoma Pueblo and Laguna Pueblo. Naotsete and Uretsete carried baskets from which came all creatures. Squash. or Earth .

they also used the seed for extracting its nutritious oil. They used the fiber for spinning thread from which clothing. The Pima. and other items were woven. gods. spread to the American Southwest and was cultivated by the historic Pima for fiber and food. Hako. . Cotton (Gossypium herbaceum) has a highly complex domestication history with independent domestications in both Africa and South America.190 / Cotton Woman. the Sonoran Desert tribe widely believed to be descended from the Hohokam. South America Significance: Cotton. finally entering North America in the Southwest. Cotton Tribes affected: Pima and tribes of Mexico. a South American domesticate.c. Russell J. Mother Earth. and animals. Richard Sax See also: Corn.e. Barber See also: Hohokam Culture. Corn Woman is considered to be the mother of all people.000 b. were growing irrigated cotton when the Spanish first encountered them in the seventeenth century. were the first North Americans to use cotton.e. Cotton spread northward through Central America and Mexico. Some folk myths place Mother Corn Woman as a guardian at the gate of the spirit world. Central America. People of the Hohokam archaeological tradition. All cotton in pre-Columbian America descended from that domesticated in coastal Peru sometime before 4. and its cultivation probably was a spur to the development of the sophisticated irrigation developed by the Hohokam. centered in the Sonora Desert of Arizona and adjacent Mexico. Irrigation. Weaving. bags. Cotton requires a considerable amount of water for successful growing. probably around 100 c.

but “first coup” had higher status than second. Groups such as the Kiowa and Crow based tribal ranking and chief status on accumulated acts of bravery including acts of counting coup. A way to prove bravery was to touch (count coup) the enemy. First coup might entitle the warrior to wear an eagle feather. Omaha. All acts of coup had to be witnessed. as among the Crow. Sioux Significance: In warrior cultures. Kiowa. whether the enemy was living or dead. Crow. wearing a fox tail on the back of one’s moccasins. Acts of coup earned tribal designation. Military Societies. a ceremonial striped stick was used. Charles Louis Kammer III See also: Dress and Adornment. meaning “to strike a blow. marked by symbolic dress such as wearing a feather. Warfare and Conflict. The term “counting coup” comes from the French word coup. Such markings distinguished among the levels of bravery. special face paint markings. while third or fourth coup might earn only a buzzard feather. bravery was the highest virtue. stripes painted on leggings or on one’s horse. More than one warrior could count coup on the same enemy. or.” In warrior cultures. Touching could be done either with the hand or a special stick (a coup stick). success was rewarded with both signs of honor and tribal status.Coup Sticks and Counting / 191 Coup Sticks and Counting Tribes affected: Primarily Plains tribes. Blackfoot. and second ranked higher than third. Iowa. Feathers and Featherwork. including Arapaho. counting coup was a way to prove bravery and merit by touching the enemy. Assiniboine. Among the Cheyenne. Cheyenne. .

type of shelter) as well as their main cultural patterns. To some degree. degrees of formalization of kinship ties. Such a comparison of Indian culture areas necessarily involves discussion of material and cultural questions shared by all human societies. Tanoan. the most commonly adopted one in the general literature. essential social indicators of culture can be transferred over time and space. and Shoshonean). and marriage patterns. however. matriarchal versus patriarchal systems. Such sociocultural factors include assignment of leadership. No single method of assigning cultural boundaries between different groupings of Native Americans is fully adequate. and spiritual expression. Athapaskan. Muskogean.192 / Culture Areas Culture Areas Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Ecological conditions determined tribal methods of material subsistence (food supply. a situation which results in an equal amount of overlap in generalizations concerning original cultural traits. lodging construction. Siouan. Each of these elements of Indian life was influenced by . Considerations such as these make a division based on geographical/ecological factors the most manageable and. their linguistic origins overlap. for example. Because Native American groupings have undergone a series of displacements from region to region. making it difficult to draw boundaries between peoples of clearly distinct traditions. common artifacts. on the most important language groupings (Algonquian. Persuasive arguments exist for groupings that place primary emphasis. group organization. Among these cultural differences are food subsistence. Here again one encounters a phenomenon of cultural overlap because of patterns of borrowing between tribal groupings. indeed. Another mode of assigning culture areas draws on basic forms of technology—specifically on methods of producing household wares such as pottery and basketry. Caddoan.

Eskimo populations that specialized in sea mammal hunting (especially the Aleuts) stayed in isolated in areas where access to prey was assured. according to the season. which forms the interior landmass of northern Canada. Limited food sources limited human population patterns as well. either with distant kin or friendly neighbors. Central Inuit hunters in the interior of Alaska and the MacKenzie Territory. Subarctic Indians maintained a network of customs in common that. partially because the climate was less . reached their prey (usually caribou and moose) on toboggans or snowshoes. where kayak transportation was limited to a short summer season. Subarctic hunters relied extensively on trapping devices spread over a vast network. including living spirits in the form of animals or one’s deceased kin. One tribal meeting was the “potlatch. The northern continental zone running from the Arctic north to British Columbia and eastward to Hudson Bay. Religious traditions in these northern areas were usually based on a belief in spiritual forces coming both from the sky and the earth. helped celebrate nature’s bounty. Indians in these areas lived more easily off nature’s bounty. Both Central Inuit and Athapaskan-speaking Dene peoples inhabited the less bountiful Subarctic zone.Culture Areas / 193 the environmental conditions that existed in relatively distinct geographical zones. while not one culture area. Because of the limited density of animal populations. Because the northern Arctic zone is frozen most of the year. Frequent displacement for subsistence meant that Subarctic tribes maintained semipermanent camps rather than substantial villages. and storytelling. gifts. was characterized by a common practice: Natives survived primarily by hunting and fishing. in good times.” when food-gathering tasks were temporarily suspended and groups from afar could share shelter. Arctic and Subarctic. Northwest Coast and Plateau. especially deep in the interior. Like their Eskimo neighbors farther north.


Culture Areas / 195 harsh. and the gathering of available vegetal food sources (including a universal staple. facilitating seasonal hunting of deer and bears. When horses were introduced from the Great Basin Shoshones. Abundant sealife near the coast of Washington and Oregon and easy hunting grounds inland made Northwest Indians such as the Wakashan and Chinook relatively wealthy. economic patterns. Their clothing and bodies were decorated with copper and ornate shell jewelry. Farther inland was the Plateau. and the absence of a coastal plain set off isolated (both linguistically and culturally) inhabitants from the fertile core of PenutianHokan groups around San Francisco Bay and in the much milder ecological zone of the Central Valley. fishing. The Kwakiutl of the Wakashan showed their wealth through large houses of split logs. in terms of both subsistence and displays of their good fortune. Miwok. inhabited by tribes of two main linguistic groups: the Sahaptin (including Walla Walla and Nez Perce) and the Salish (Flathead and Wenatchi). based on hunting. In this core zone. the latter including Washoe and Yana in the north and in the central eastern zone near Nevada). Plateau river communication networks were less extensive than those of the Northwest. even between clans of similar tribal origin. In this region. Such groups abandoned their traditional pit house structures for portable hide-covered tipis. dense forests. Three cultural zones corresponded primarily to ecological subregions. some tribes moved seasonally over the mountains into Idaho to hunt bison. In the northwest corner. which broke down into the main Penutian and Hokan families (the former including Klamath-Modoc. rugged topography. freshwater salmon fishing could be combined with hunting. and Central Valley Yokut and Maidu. The Western coast and inland area farther south were more diversified in language groupings. California. Frequent public potlatches to commemorate social advancement (such as passage rites for youths and marriages) were paid for by the wealthiest families to attain recognition. . limiting the scope of interaction. acorn meal).

One of two main forms of lodging predominated: either the “house pit” scraped out of rolling knolls. particularly between the Luiseños of present-day San Diego and Riverside counties (themselves of Shoshone stock) and Nevadan tribes. or the wickiup. Chiefs tended to be heads of the most numerous family among a multitude of generally equal family subdivisions of each clan. Despite the ecological austerity of these vast expanses. usually located on . One similarity was the relative lack of formal institutional structures defining tribal organization and authority. exemplify the main lines of Southwest Indian culture. some (mainly Pomos and Patwins) producing wares sufficiently tightly woven to serve as water containers. These contacts were reflected not only in trade of goods. basic technology (reflected in lodgings and artisanal production. Central California tribes were highly skilled in basketweaving. supplemented by seasonally available wild plant foods. Among the several Indian subgroupings in the Southwest are the Hopi. Most also developed technologically advanced cultures. and Zuñi. a bark-thatched covering stretched around portable poles. nearly all Southwest Indians practiced some form of agriculture. Notable degrees of west-east interaction occurred. Indian villages in the Southwest were constructed in the compact stone and adobe pueblo form.196 / Culture Areas tended to lend similarities to tribal social and cultural patterns. but also in some shared cultural values that set the inland (less than the coastal) southern zone off from the relatively more developed Central Valley region. Southwest. including modes of dress) never attained levels that could be compared with tribes in the central region. although not identical. especially pottery and weaving. South of the Central Valley. Navajo. Beyond California was the inland cultural area of the Southwest. as judged from the remains of their lodging and ceremonial sites (particularly the pueblos) and various artifacts. increasing aridity affected not only food-gathering conditions. Characteristically. Their life patterns.

different responsibilities. according to the season. Paiute. Indian cultures tended to be rather dispersed. the pueblo was a microcosm for both political and religious life. Great Basin.Culture Areas / 197 higher ground or on mesas for purposes of defense. In the area wedged between California and the Plateau to the west. the main activities of Indian life. while others rested from their responsibilities. plus other symbols of nature (especially rain) were incorporated into each pueblo’s ceremonial dances. from practical work tasks to ceremonial leadership. and the Southwest and Great Plains to the east. were traditionally divided between two fully cooperative factions. organized in societies. When a particular “season” for representation of the pueblo’s ceremonial. all loyalty was due to the kiva of the designated faction. tended to be conducted in smaller bands. Areas of habitation remained highly dependent on the availability of water and vegetation to sustain limited village life. or medicine men. each faction maintained a kiva. In addition to being a dwelling and defense unit. on both the Colorado and Utah sides of the Rockies. Southwest Indian religion and ceremonies were frequently tied to the concept of an “earth mother navel” shrine located in a sacred place within each pueblo. al- . Particularly among the Eastern Pueblos. or religiously designated meeting place for its elders. Around this ultimate source of bounty for the members of each tight-knit pueblo community were arranged the symbols of life (seeds and their products). or administrative needs was recognized. for example. Such symbols. political. The limited circumstances of dry farming often meant that plantations were located some distance from the pueblo. and ceremonial dance (kachina) groups. Although broad tribal groupings existed (including Ute. counted some dozen territorial bands) could be only periodic. Living in different sections of the village. Contacts between subtribal bands (the Ute. This rather lower level of tribal cohesiveness relative to Plateau and Southwest Indians. from food gathering through marital. and Shoshone). and political alliances. social.

Pawnee. Some shared features of cultural existence within and between Great Basin tribes countered this general trend. which became the buffalo-hunting domains of competing Indian tribes. provided a common cultural symbol in most regions. who were forced to trade their agricultural goods with the Lakota. Among the Sioux. Although religious consciousness among Great Basin Indians never attained a high degree of ceremonial sophistication. created a situation of Indian nomadism on the Plains. certain symbolic rites. by tribes such as the Sioux. Cheyenne. among them the Sun Dance. Soon their nomadic way of life on the Plains allowed them to subjugate sedentary groupings such as the Arikara and Mandan. The high degree of mobility of Plains Indians also contributed to another key cultural trait: their tendency to war with rivals over hunting access. Acquisition of the horse from the Spanish after about 1600 transformed the subsistence potential of the Plains. and Comanche. Plains. The simplicity of the material culture of the Plains Indians was to some degree offset by the complexity of some of their social and . the Lakota were drawn into the Plains from the Eastern Prairie region after becoming expert horsemen. the best known resulting in the reduction and forced relocation of the Pawnee people after multiple encounters with representatives of the Sioux Nation.198 / Culture Areas lowed quarreling families from one band to “transfer” over to a band to which they were not tied by kinship. well before the French entered the upper Mississippi Valley. but also provided raw material for the organization of Plains tribes’ movable lodgings and the production of multiple lightweight artifacts. even lines between the tribes (Ute and Paiute. It was among the Plains Indians that the most dramatic subsistence struggle was played out. Pursuit of the great native herds of buffalo on horseback. beginning in the 1600’s. Buffalo hunting affected not only food supply. The characteristic warring urge of such Plains nomads resulted in serious intertribal disputes. for example) were not that definitely drawn.

either good or evil. paramount status being reserved for the hunter-head of closely related kin. to highly skillful beadworkers. Lodgings might be limited to a single family (typically a tipi) or a grouping of families under the . such as the Omaha. particularly among the Dakota peoples. Another product of the forest. ranging from warrior groups through “headmen” societies (elders who had distinguished themselves earlier as warriors or leaders). the paperlike bark of the birch tree. social organization among the tribes of the Northeast bore two major characteristics. Northeast and Southeast. Although not specifically connected to Plains religious beliefs (frequently associated with Sun Dance ceremonies and related celebrations of thanks for bounty. Groups that were known as hunters (such as the Micmacs of New Brunswick and Maine) lived as nuclear families. Heyoka status implied the ability to communicate with spirits. the most notable being one reserved specifically for individuals presumed to have the power to cure diseases. physical endurance. although this did not necessarily mean that agriculture was more developed. with hunting and trapping at least as important in most tribal economies. In the eastern third of the continent. In general. served multiple purposes. and interclan alliances). ranging from tipi-building material to the famous birchbark canoes used to fish or to travel through the extensive river and stream systems of the region. Heyoka societies were evenly divided into specialized branches. who defined qualification for entry into their “guild” and excluded inferior workmanship from being used in ritual ceremonies. among the women. Plantations for food tended to be scattered in the heavily wooded Northeast. Another specialized subgrouping. was the Heyoka. provided means for identifying individuals of importance emerging from each family or clan within the tribe. A number of honorary societies.Culture Areas / 199 cultural patterns. consisting of people who were recognized as possessing some form of supernatural or visionary power. a higher degree of sedentariness among various tribes prevailed. In some Siouan tribes. Recognition was also given.

gabled houses with mud wattle covering. noting communality in traits (such as a horticultural maize economy. and the Iroquois. be described as heavily wooded. rectangular. including modes of processing staple nuts. Choctaw. A series of lesser. but culturally significant.” blanketed by conifers and scrub oaks). those inhabiting the so-called Piedmont (further inland. with their extensive hardwood forests. making distinctions. traits justify treating Southeast Indians as a largely homogeneous entity. with higher elevations and differing vegetation patterns). found farther north. and those living in the Appalachian woodlands. suggest closer ties between coastal and inland dwellers in the Southeast (especially in linguistic links) than between Southeast Indians as a whole and any of their Northeast neighbors. Cherokee. Some experts argue that there was less communality in cultural development in the Southeast.200 / Culture Areas single roof of an extended longhouse. the Indian cultures of this area were substantially different. between peoples who were clearly reliant on the ecology of the first “layer” of the broad coastal plain (called the “Flatwoods. however. like the Northeast. The best known of these was the Iroquois “Five Nations. assign a southeastern origin to the Iroquois.” but other groups. A second characteristic of Northeast Woodlands Indian life revolved around political confederations involving several tribes. Although the Southeast region of the United States can. Natchez. offering a combination of possibilities for hunting and agriculture. especially acorns. including the Algonquins and Hurons. an absence of leather footwear. for example. A substantial number of differences marked by cultural specialists. and matrilineal clan organization) between key Southeastern tribes such as the Creek. parallel traditions (such as matrilineal kinship descent) could be offset by striking . and varied use of tobacco. however. ascription of chieftainship was determined by a hierarchy that also depended on hunting skills. Even among key Southeast tribes. Some experts. nucleated villages. formed federations for mutual security against common enemies. In most cases. characteristic nested twilled baskets.

It also contains . Ross. Cannon Sources for Further Study Catlin. this textbook is divided by geographical region. and Conditions of North American Indians. Attention is given to diverse patterns of local division of labor. Plateau. New York. New York: Harper & Row.” Spencer. Subarctic. including personal observations of Indian ceremonial practices and daily life. Robert. Thomas E. Sturtevant. 1969. 1841. had a class system dividing tribal nobles (deemed descendants of the Sun). Jennings. A Cultural Geography of North American Indians. 2d ed. Boulder. and Northeast culture areas. and commoners. and Tyrel Moore. “Rank and Social Class. Jesse D. 1977. Less detailed on local conditions of life. Alice B. Englewood Cliffs. and so on. et al. Harold E. Colo. The Native Americans. Washington. who could not even enter the presence of tribal aristocrats. N. Byron D. Handbook of North American Indians. including “Spatial Awareness. The Natchez tribe alone. Driver. George. gen. ed.” and “Migration. Great Basin. Customs. D. A recognized classic.J. Northwest coast. A very detailed text. Some editions include extremely valuable illustrations. Letters and Notes on the Manners..: Prentice-Hall. 1992. A widely cited textbook organized by subject area (for example. eds.: Westview Press. Contains contributions by specialists dealing with several different geographical themes relating to culture. which have gained international fame. Southwest. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1978-2001. for example. Like the Spencer and Jennings book (below). 1987. California. 2d ed. 2d ed. rites of passage.Culture Areas / 201 differences. Indians of North America. kinship. from whom the chief. Kehoe. William. or “Great Sun” was chosen. it contains useful summary texts within each chapter and a number of translations of original Indian texts. North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account. Plains.” “Land Ownership.C. The Smithsonian series contains volumes published on the Arctic.: Smithsonian Institution Press.” “Exchange and Trade”) rather than geographical location.

Dances and Dancing Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Among American Indians. When European explorers and settlers first encountered the native population of what would later become the United States. Mississippian Culture. Nevertheless. dancing has always played a highly significant role in religious ceremonies and other celebrations. Historical Background. Mayan Civilization. The usual view of the “red man” was as a savage—inherently inferior to the settlers and po- . The religious beliefs were like nothing the Europeans had ever encountered. The scholarship and coverage are both first rate. death. a celebration of birth. dancing still plays an important part in American Indian life. Hohokam Culture. Zapotec Civilization. some of the significance of tribal ceremonies has been lost. When white explorers and settlers first came to North America. Language Families. Aztec Empire. whether it represents a true continuation of the original tribal cultures. or other rites of passage. Olmec Civilization. they were immediately impressed by the amount of dancing in which the native population engaged. they found a wide variety of cultures. Centuries later. or merely a performance for non-Indian tourists. See also: Anasazi Civilization. all of them vastly different from the ones they had left behind. The American Indians had never developed a technological civilization. as more and more Indians have accepted white culture and religion. Mogollon Civilization. and the land was much less densely populated than that of Europe. Ohio Mound Builders.202 / Dances and Dancing separate volumes on the history of Indian-White relations and languages. The first Europeans in North America had no understanding of the native languages they encountered.

singing is still an important part of many Christian ceremonies and probably always will be. In the process. Certain traditions suggested this past. many native cultures were destroyed altogether.Dances and Dancing / 203 tentially dangerous. In the late twentieth century. It is very likely that the Europeans had once had a culture in which dancing and music were integral to religion. it is very difficult to determine the significance of many tribal rituals as they exist today. The result was a long series of wars. many Indians who survived the early warfare became a part of white culture and accepted its religious beliefs (chiefly Christianity). many Indians began to try to reclaim their ancient heritage. and Indians lived on reservations. while others were forced to move west. their own traditions had changed greatly since their days as small tribal groups. all the following rituals will be discussed in the present tense. As a result of all these factors. Religious Significance. For some. Gradually. By the time Europeans were settling in the Americas. Others may hold on to a tradition for the sake of tradition itself. and even living in large cities. including dances. Dances. in which the Europeans were ultimately victorious. The two major activities of the Europeans were to conquer the natives and to try to bring to them the Christianity that was virtually universal in Europe at the time. the old rituals. and it will be assumed that the dances still hold their original meaning to the participants. are little more than a way of attracting tourists. but this had long become a thing of the past. how- . Regardless of this confusion. often moving beyond tribal lines and creating a pantribal movement that strove to preserve the Indian cultures from complete assimilation. speaking English as their primary language. Some of these dances are rarely performed nowadays. while at the same time going to Christian churches. generally under very harsh conditions. Some Indians still retain their ancient beliefs and traditions despite centuries of domination. the last of “Indian territory” had been conquered. while others are making a resurgence as Indians try to regain their lost cultural identity. By the late nineteenth century.

during which various taboos are enforced and dancers are called only by ceremonial names. The American Indians. The dances are accompanied by drumming and chanting. who live along the coast of Oregon and Washington. although different tribes respond to this in different ways. however. or Hamatsa. and it was one of the last areas settled by European Ameri- . The Kwakiutl have three mutually exclusive dancing societies. The Northwest. The many Indian tribes in North America have different religious rituals. sometimes called “secret societies. The dancers are considered to be possessed by spirits. including dances. social affairs. with no deep religious or cultural significance. Conditions in different parts of the continent vary.” Initiation into one of these societies is highly ritualized. and the dances can become highly frenzied and emotional. People in the Dluwulaxa Society are possessed by spirits of the sky. fishing. The Northwest Coast was never very heavily populated by Indians. the earth and all living creatures on it were possessed by spirits. The Shaman Society is concerned with violent and dangerous supernatural spirits. The one aspect almost all of these people have in common is a close tie to the earth and the spirits that control it. rain. An excellent example of Northwest dancing involves the Kwakiutl. The Kwakiutl have highly formalized dancing. The Nutlam are possessed by their mythical ancestors. had largely become stylized. by a great number of elaborate dances and songs. and different spirits must be appeased under different circumstances. the wolves. and these spirits were understood. and to some extent controlled. To them. Both men and women are involved.204 / Dances and Dancing ever. Even seating arrangements at the festivities are based on dancing societies rather than on families and clans. had never developed such a differentiation between religious and social climates. and success in warfare. The most prestigious dancer is a cannibal/dancer. and numbers are limited. rites of passage. The Indians of the Pacific Northwest generally perform their dances singly. There were dances for hunting.

and finally the United States government. There are still many Indians who follow tradition as much as possible in the Northwest. and deserts in which water is the most important consideration for survival. This area was highly populated by a variety of Indian tribes. the traditions also continue. Farther inland. Oregon. The Southwest. This is the area where the greatest number of Indian reservations exist today and where the greatest proportion of Indians still practice their original rites. Climatic conditions vary widely. Washington. where most of the land is mountainous and much is national park and national forest land. and Portland. (American Museum of Natural History) cans. There are mountain ranges.Dances and Dancing / 205 Kwakiutl dancers performing during the early twentieth century. coastal areas subject to regular flooding. then taken over by the Spanish. There is a large American Indian population in big cities such as Seattle. but few live on reservations. . The condition in the Southwest is quite different. the Mexicans.

206 / Dances and Dancing It must be understood that most of the reservations were placed on land the white settlers did not want. and where the climate is harsh. frustration. The kachinas wear masks and dance for rain. on the other hand. Hunting is never easy. the great poverty in this area has led many to reenact ceremonies long extinct in order to please tourists. The southeastern tribes were among the first to be encountered by Europeans. The southeastern United States is probably the most easily endured climate in North America. On one hand. The kachinas are considered to be the spirits of children. and food is abundant. wars between Indians . While there are hurricanes and other natural disasters. and isolation are severe. Reservation Indians have both their own problems and their own advantages. The dancers impersonating the kachinas “become” rain gods and invoke the spirits who will provide the parched land with muchneeded water. because many reservations have made tourism a major economic factor. The Southwest is probably the best place in the United States to find Indian ceremonies in a state very close to what they were before white people appeared on the scene. There is great poverty. a fact which has had two directly opposite results in terms of the study of these cultures. these Indians were not opposed to accepting white people as a new tribe moving into the area. these Indians are more closely in touch with their origins. An interesting example of the dancing ceremonies in the Southwest is the kachina dances among the Zuñi of New Mexico. The Southeast. however. There are certainly many Indians there who still believe in the traditional religions. so the spirits must be evoked. and the social problems that accompany poverty. The traditional cultures of the Southwest may be the hardest for white visitors to understand. On the other hand. lost long ago in the wilderness and transformed into gods who live under a mystic lake. and many tribal ceremonies were seen by the explorers in their original state. When Sir Walter Raleigh and his men first set foot on the North Carolina coast. for the most part the people live in a generally warm and hospitable climate.

when the wars did take place. Some cultures were entirely destroyed. conditions could be extremely harsh. these ceremonies tended to be more social and political (and less religious) in nature than those of most North American Indians. with stretched deerhides for skin. or pebbles. Dancing seems to have had less significance here than it did elsewhere. In fact. and others were forced to move from their home territory. but the initial meetings were not nearly as friendly as they were farther south.Dances and Dancing / 207 and Europeans were a long way in the future. during the French and Indian War. The Northeast. On the other hand. In the Middle Atlantic and New England areas. Their chief rivals among Indians were the Algonquins. beans. the northeastern Iroquois were held together by a confederation of six tribes and an alliance with others. with whom they were often at war. The dances are often named after animals. In many cases. some of the best early descriptions of Indian dances and other rituals date from this era. there is little but historical evidence on which to draw. sometimes for many hours at a stretch. with groups of dancers replacing other groups as they grow tired. in general. especially in hunting ceremonies. they began on the East Coast. . gourd. but there are still many Iroquois in the area. The Southeast Indians use rattles made from gourds and filled with peas. Masks are often worn. There are Indian reservations in New York. These civilizations are by no means completely gone. flutes made of reed or cane. Indians of the Southeast generally dance in large groups. for example. where animal masks are used. where Iroquois live in longhouses and still maintain many of their ancient traditions. The British victory over the French in North America decimated the Algonquins. as accompaniments to their dances. the Algonquins took the part of the French and the Iroquois that of the English. or wood. The Indians of the Northeast also encountered Europeans very early. Therefore. In addition. and drums made of clay. and good land was not as plentiful as it was in the south. White settlers rarely saw Indian ceremonies.

the Sun Dance was one of the first Indian ceremonies to be banned by the U. Finally. women. and are highly formalized. This ban. are celebrating the animals’ lives rather than worshiping their spirits. After this. The Sun Dance is of interest for several reasons. Colorful. with feathers. however.S. First. the Sun Dance is more than a dance. The Plains Indians are the Indians who have been stereotyped in westerns. after which the ceremony continued in a somewhat curtailed fashion. was lifted in 1933. a celebration of the cyclical nature of life. and facial and body paint. it is still very much in practice. but young men are not as prominently featured in it as they originally were. Since Iroquois dances generally take place inside the longhouses. fur. many dances have animals as their subjects. Frenzied singing and dancing accompany the erection of the lodge. Dance is an integral part of the religious rites of the Indians of the northern Plains. beads. The Sun Dance is still practiced. because of its rather violent nature. and children and is not as clearly structured as it is in the cultures previously described. It is a ceremony formed around the building of a lodge. These are performed by both men and women. Grave injury sometimes results.208 / Dances and Dancing As in most Indian cultures. Second. government. . they cannot be as elaborate or involve as many people as the dances held outside by more southerly tribes. the Iroquois. A dance of particular interest is the Sun Dance. young men are initiated into the tribe and become warriors by having their breasts cut by a medicine man and a thong sewn through the cuts. although its nature has changed somewhat. Such ceremonies have been curtailed in modern society. and the mutilation has been replaced by symbolic sacrifice. In its original form. Dancing involves men. in large groups. The Northern Plains. never completely successful. it was elaborately described by Indians in the twentieth century. The young men dance and attempt to remove the thongs. elaborate costumes are worn. who saw it in its original form as children.

one may see others dressed in jeans and flannel shirts. Marc Goldstein Sources for Further Study Bancroft-Hunt. the American flag is raised. People of the Totem. P. Oklahoma has one of the largest proportions of Indian population in the United States. including a study of their history. 1930. and although the costumes can be as elaborate as they are in the north. among the dancers dressed in beads and feathers. for example. Barnes. One difference is a greater preponderance of war dances. as in most other aspects of life. The southern Plains were the last area in the contiguous states to be taken formally from the Indians. Oklahoma. Norman. In the southern Plains. New York: G. Today. and contemporary conditions. however. and there may be Christian as well as Sioux prayers said. As elsewhere. ceremonies. and thus the most traditional ceremonies can often be seen here. formalized dress is not required. actually a mixture of related tribes. The most important way in which the two areas differ in their ceremonies is in the degree of formality and the exclusiveness of a dance or ceremony to a particular tribe. Putnam’s Sons. Nearly anyone can get up and join in the festivities. some aspects of the modern world have changed the basic ceremonies. New York: A. Buttree. S. The Southern Plains. especially music . 1979. was still considered Indian Territory. The dances of the southern Plains groups are not very different from those of their northern neighbors in terms of symbolism and theme. A description of Indian rituals. Julia M.Dances and Dancing / 209 The people now called the Sioux. dances and pow-wows are as much social gatherings as religious rituals. Often. until it was opened to white settlement in 1889. Men have traditionally held the central place in dances. At the beginning of the Sun Dance ceremony. are strongly dominated by males. The Rhythm of the Red Man. many tribes will participate. A description of Northwest American Indian culture.

Among the many American Indian tribes studied by modern anthropologists. and contemporary conditions.Y. Robert F. 1977. Evans. Pow-wows and Celebrations. D. Charles. Evans. et al. including memories of childhood. there is a great variety of practices concerning death. Death and Mortuary Customs Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: American Indians have a wide variety of religious traditions and thus a wide variety of practices regarding the disposition of the dead. White Deerskin Dance. A compilation of articles by American Indians about their culture.. and May G. ed. from prehistory to contemporary times. Starwood Publishing. There is a virtually uni- . New York: Harper & Row. Jesse D. dying. Native American Dance: Ceremonies and Social Traditions. Jennings. Tobacco Society and Dance. historical beginnings. Bessie. Hamilton. Sun Dance. Washington. An encyclopedic discussion of American Indian culture. The Native Americans. and the disposition of dead bodies. 1972. Grass Dance. Music and Song. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.210 / Death and Mortuary Customs and dance.C.: National Museum of the American Indian. An illustrated guide to the dances of many American Indian tribes. 2003. A detailed study of the different dance forms of various Native American tribes.: Dover Publications. Ghost Dance. Gourd Dance. with descriptions of specific dances as well as general discussions of dance practices by region. including step-by-step instructions for a great number of dances and rituals followed by a variety of tribal groups. Cry of the Thunderbird: The American Indian’s Own Story. Heth. Mineola. Stomp Dance. Spencer. Native American Dance Steps. New ed. Charlotte. N. See also: Deer Dance. 1992.

In the southwestern United States. mass graves have been found. (National Archives) versal belief in the existence of a spirit separate from the body which can exist when the body is dead.Death and Mortuary Customs / 211 A depiction of a Native American burial ground from the mid 1800’s. many Indian tribal traditions had become extinct before they could be studied by modern scholars. . sometimes consisting merely of piles of heads or headless bodies. as well. In many Indian cultures death is accepted stoically by individuals. Traditional Practices. Generally. In a few cases. they are often feared. Since these spirits are considered capable of harming the living. Unfortunately. though there is considerable evidence of cremation. burial sites have been found in which only the bones of hands are buried. and some puzzling remains have been found. burial seems to have always been the most common way of disposing of dead bodies. but rituals are considered necessary to provide protection for the living.

A few tribes. under ground. In some cases. traditionally believed that the departing spirit needed a guide and killed dogs for the purpose. it was considered to be very close to the land of the living. however. a joyous gathering of tribe members where gifts are exchanged and long. As a general rule. with the spirits eating and drinking. Much more often. and dancing. Because American Indians have never been a single culture. beyond the sunset. One of the most common is the belief that the spirit. which were buried with their former masters. which seem to be almost universal among North American Indians. Many tribes believe that the spirit actually leaves the body during sleep and is capable of wandering in the land of the dead. During this time. many tribes had the custom of leaving bodies lying in state above ground for as long as a week. . including the Mesquakie (Fox) and some Eskimos. the realm of spirits was placed far from the living lands— in the sky. beliefs vary considerably. such places were dreaded and avoided. There are. In the far north. bodies have been left above the ground permanently. There are certain ideas. At death. hunting. Many northern tribes.212 / Death and Mortuary Customs In more recent times. Beliefs in an Afterlife. this land was considered to be very much like the land of the living. the separation is final. usually on a hill far from the village. the spirit can gain great knowledge of the afterworld and communicate with its ancestors. like the soul of Christian belief. The postulated location of the land of the dead also varies. Indians have been known to bury their dead in coffins. however. among the Eskimos (Inuits). quite a number of exceptions. however. Many tribes surrounded the body with possessions belonging to the deceased. for example. after which the remains were buried or cremated. or over the seas. with ceremonies not greatly different from those of Christians and Jews. including the Athapaskans and the Tlingit. involved feasts take place. is separate from the body and can leave the body. begin ceremonies with mourning and wailing and then proceed to have a potlatch. On the West Coast.

the body is generally buried in a Christian ceremony presided over by a minister and conducted in English. 2001. . Mounds and Moundbuilders. at least in part. especially in the more remote areas of the Arctic and Subarctic. W. 2d ed. This Land Was Theirs: A Study of North American Indians. Among the Athapaskans. Calif. Leaving a decaying body outside for a week at a time. Ohio Mound Builders. Spencer. Many of the practices cited above are unacceptable in the modern world. Native American Religions: An Introduction. Feast of the Dead. The Native American.Y. Religion. one traditional. Garden City. Clark. Deloria. 1993.Death and Mortuary Customs / 213 The Current Situation. for example. C. Rev. N. ed. New York: Paulist Press. for example. Denise Lardner. Oswalt.: Mayfield. 1971. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Colo. Wendell H. and John Tully Carmody. Afterward.. Jesse D. 7th ed. Indians of the United States. is considered a clear health hazard.: Doubleday. The First American: A Study of North American Archaeology. et al. God Is Red: A Native View of Religion. In addition. 2003. Jr.: Fulcrum. Rite of Consolation. New York: Harper & Row. Jennings. Rev. the majority of modern Indians have accepted Christianity. Marc Goldstein Sources for Further Study Carmody. 1977. Golden. See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. It is not unusual. Vine. Robert F. Wissler. the traditional potlatch is held. for two death ceremonies to be held: one Christian. Translated by Richard Winston and Clara Winston. conducted in the native language. 1966. Ceram. ed. Mountain View.

the deer are enticed to the village with cornmeal and are fed. the Deer Dance is believed to cause an increase in the deer population and also to enhance the skills of those who hunt them. agricultural ceremonies are held in the summer. along with other game animal dances. The Deer Dance. later the deer will feed the people. while curing. and hunting ceremonies occur in the winter. In Pueblo culture. when household supplies are at their lowest and families feel the need for spiritual assistance in gathering food. warfare.214 / Deer Dance Deer Dance Tribes affected: Pueblo tribes Significance: The Deer Dance was a winter ceremony called by hunters to ensure an increase in game and good luck in hunting. reciprocity through gift-giving between humans and spirits is an inherent part of the dance. The Deer Dance is performed to achieve harmony with the spirits of the deer to ensure daily survival. all social and religious life revolves around the theme of achieving harmony with the gods of nature to ensure the prosperity of agriculture and hunting. In the Deer Dance. Like all game animal dances. While the ceremony differs from pueblo to pueblo. . In the Pueblo calendrical cycle. is performed in the winter months. Lynne Getz See also: Dances and Dancing.

some have said that migration may also have occurred as recently as three thousand years ago. The colonization of the Americas by Paleo-Indians (an anthropological term for the ancestors of Native Americans) was one of the greatest demographic events in global history. Native North America. ecological adaptations to every environmental situation. A more generally agreed-upon time frame for the migrations. Over the millennia.2 to 18 million people. prior to the arrival of Europeans. most Native American nations experienced dramatic population losses. perhaps two hundred languages (of several distinct families). Although many Native Americans reject the hypothesis that their ancestors immigrated from greater Eurasia. Native Americans evolved hundreds of unique cultural traditions with their own worldviews. When Europeans arrived on the shores of North America. they encountered an estimated 1. Tragically. They were the “original Americans.” descendants of people who journeyed to North America thousands of years before Europeans. Some scholars have suggested that the earliest migrations occurred as far back as fifty thousand years ago. is between twenty-five thousand and twelve thousand years ago. and a range of forms of governance. but today they represent one of the fastest-growing segments of American society. however. represented one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the world.Demography / 215 Demography Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: After European contact. Yet Native Americans survived this demographic and cultural onslaught to represent one of the fastest-growing segments of American society today. Prehistoric Demographic Trends. much of this cultural mosaic was extinguished by massive population declines after European contact. There has been considerable controversy regarding the dates for early migrations to North America. archaeological evidence suggests that some first Americans may have entered the .

216 / Demography Western Hemisphere during the many glacial periods that exposed Beringia. Others may have made the journey using boats.e. the glacier largely prevented further immigration and colonization. eventually made possible the colonization of every available area on the North American continent.c. by 9000 b. Beringia periodically linked Siberia with the Americas. Paleopathological evidence indicates that prehistoric Native American populations faced a number of health risks. Archaeologists note that the Late Wisconsin glacier’s recession about fifteen thousand years ago allowed Native American people to migrate southward. these irregular waves of colonizers represented the last great global movement of people into unoccupied land—a migration hallmark in human history. eventually colonizing the remainder of the Americas. These hunter-gatherers and. Prior to that time. the Native American population’s growth rates were slow to moderate. Native Americans had reached southern South America. indicating that Native Americans had dispersed widely across the “New World’s” landscape. following a maritime route or traveling down a coastal corridor. and vital events. the Bering Strait land bridge. with cyclical rates of growth and decline. The above factors. Despite hypotheses that argue for an accelerated population growth rate. allowing animals and humans access to both continents. In North America. developed a greater variety of lifeways. and ecological conditions as local populations adapted to regional conditions. the cultural traditions known as Archaic societies. producing marked differences in population size. What specific routes they took and how rapidly people dispersed across both continents are topics of considerable archaeological debate. the trend toward regional and climatic aridity that altered local resources. it is likely that during this early colonization period.e. demographic.. later. Docu- . In any event. Native American demographic distribution and redistribution paralleled closely the glacial retreat north. distribution. How many “first Americans” entered the Americas is unknown.c. and cultural innovations. These population fluctuations reflected a complex array of changing social. There is firm evidence that by 9400 b.

residing in sedentary villages or cities. By the time of European contact. accidents..e. coupled with periodic trauma. Sometime before 3500 b. trepanematoid infections.Demography / 217 mented cases of malnutrition. Historical Demographic Trends. The European colonization of North America launched a series of catastrophic events for Native American populations. by 1300 c. Demographically. Southeast. in Mesoamerica. tuberculosis. At its height about 1100 c. and squash were domesticated. These afflictions. These areas may have supported from five to more than one hundred people per 10 square miles. was the urban center of Cahokia.e.e. resource-rich regions of the Pacific Northwest. Cahokia extended over 5 square miles and had a population of perhaps thirty thousand people. high population densities and size remained until the European encounter. along the Mississippi River. native North America demographically contained a variety of population sizes and densities. A cultural innovation that had significant demographic consequences was the invention and diffusion of agriculture. beans. many areas containing high population densities began to decline. for example. It is clear that in a number of regions. trachoma. The causes of the decline and social reorganization in some regions are open to debate. By the time Europeans arrived. and warfare. affected the demographic structure of regional populations. maize. Native American societies experienced tre- . and degenerative conditions occurred in pre-Columbian North America. Northeast. and along the major waterways of the greater Midwest adopted agriculture. anemia. Although regional population concentrations arose across native North America. ranging from fewer than one person per 10 square miles in the Great Basin to the densely settled. many Native American societies east of the Mississippi River. As this cultural knowledge spread northward. Near present-day Alton. agriculture promoted the development of larger populations. and Southwest. Illinois. Native Americans already had undergone a number of profound demographic events.c. in the Southwest.

In the southeastern region.” Within decades of European contact. combined with warfare.900—a decline of 71.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. The colonization of the Spanish. later. Other re- .400. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. Cherokee.218 / Demography mendous population declines. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. the U. Seminole. forced migration and relocation. Between 1500 and 1820.9 percent. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. and. approximately 81. Furthermore. measles. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. Between 1828 and 1838. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. Europeans brought smallpox. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. French. In 1830.S. genocide. For their relocation efforts. cholera.355. government acquired 115. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. Old World diseases. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people. Paralleling this demographic collapse. forced migration. and the introduction of alcohol. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration. English set in motion significant population changes. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. Native American populations declined. Chickasaw. By 1790 their population was approximately 55. for example.300 Native Americans were thus removed. decreases in their fertility performance. the Choctaw.

The incorporation of Europeans. the estimated Native American population stood at 383. the increasing contact with non-Indians had other important demographic consequences. Aside from losing their land and resources. Western indigenous nations. the European. Prior to that time.Demography / 219 moved Native American tribal nations suffered similar demographic losses. from 1850 through 1880. occupying the available lands acquired from Native Americans. intermittent warfare with Europeans. As Native American populations declined. Their population changes during those decades were affected by the dramatic social and economic changes in U. and an erosion of their resources. The rise of people with Native American-European or Native American-African ancestry.000. their population collapsed to between 125 and 1. Since contact. American society was becoming more urban. the United States experienced a dramatic in- . may have had significant implications for tribal survival and demographic recovery.S. forcing them eventually to merge. The United States economy was industrializing.200 individuals. culturally and biologically. Some scholars suggest that depopulation and the following demographic recovery resulted in certain physical and genetic changes in those groups who survived. Native Americans have experienced an increased genetic exchange with European and African populations. As the American population of European descent surpassed twenty-three million by 1850. or other Native Americans promoted further those phenotypic and genotypic processes.000. witnessed continued demographic upheaval. African American. with the Arikara and Hidatsa. After the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. and Latino populations grew. for example. African Americans. By about 1850. boasted an estimated at-contact population of possibly 15. or of all three ancestries. Native Americans west of the Mississippi River began to experience directly the brunt of colonization and settlement. society. western Native American populations had experienced introduced infectious diseases. In addition. The Mandan. and the federal government desired a link between the east and west coasts as a completion to its nationbuilding.

With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). from 1850 to 1880. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. the U. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. isolated from society. the European population increased to 50. trachoma. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. western lands and resources were needed.S. To meet these economic and political demands. disease. infant survivorship improved.783. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880.155. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. The 1890 U. .253 Native Americans in the continental United States.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. Census recorded 248.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. cultural oppression lessened. poor nutrition. In three decades. The result was a young age-sex structure. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. only 6. health and sanitation conditions improved. After 1930. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. and the death rate fell. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. there were 306. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations.S. Poor sanitation. as well as a rise in infant mortality. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. The combined impact of war. however. In 1920.

The 1980 U. First. As a result. adding significantly to the population. In 1960. the federal government instituted a relocation program.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. Second. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. In the mid1950’s. Native . there were 827.000 reported an advanced degree.500 people of Native American descent. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. Census Bureau. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. there were 551.1 percent increase. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. had 87. the Native American population has grown tremendously. Native American health improved dramatically. especially infant and child health care. with less than 300.S. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased.636 Native Americans. Census witnessed a 71. Demographic Trends.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. By 1970.3 million (July 1. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. Finally. for example. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. In 1990. A scant 125.S.000 age sixty-five or over. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. Since the 1950’s.

000 members. 2002. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. 2000) was 2. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). Muscogee (Creek). population.5 percent of the total U. Unemployment.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. 2002. the U.000—and indeed. with nearly . suicide. Chippewa. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. Population Since 2000.4 percent. diabetes. was 4. article in Indian Country Today. Of these.S. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). violence. constituting 1. Apache.000. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. Choctaw. in both rural and urban areas.3 million in the United States alone. Census Bureau estimated that the number of people who were American Indian and Alaska native or American Indian and Alaska native in combination with one or more other races.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. approximately three-quarters (3. followed by Navajo. Blackfeet. Deaths by accidents.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). Nonetheless. with the greatest concentration in California at 683.000 members. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. as reported in a December. tuberculosis. Native American people reside in every state in the union. Eskimo and Yupik. remains high. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. As of July 1. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. although the number of Native American-owned businesses increased by 64 percent between 1982 and 1987 and the introduction of Indian gaming in 1988 made inroads into the socioeconomic problems of poverty.S. followed by the Athabascan.

Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands. most four hundred years.427 onized a continent.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400.420. mate.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383.273 hunter-gatherers flourished.S. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States.” 1. .421* represent a higher percent1870 313. devastating demographic 2. collapse that lasted for al3. the Native Amertions.732 Native Americans have 1910 291.764* population but continue to 1860 339. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. Beginning in 1880.995 nificant population changes. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. 1930 362.000 and some societies constructed large.959.000* 1800 tions. After European contact. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943). 1990 1. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates.273 1960 551.607 diversity. The phenomenal growth rate among Native Americans exceeds the growth Native American Population for African Americans and 1800-1990 Americans of European deYear Population scent but not the increase in 1 the Latino or Asian popula600. 4.543* 1890 273.636 time. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian. Morse population estimate (1822). Over 1950 377. 1980 1. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates). these small groups of 1970 827. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). 1900 266.400 their population increased. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U. enumeration of Native can Population. their ancestors col1940 366.380 Initially. Today. Secretary of war estimate (1929). urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information.

American Holocaust. David E. Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Decline Among Northwest Coast Indians. Ubelaker. as well as continued ill health. Stannard. 1999. A collection of articles assessing the health and demography of pre-contact and post-contact Native American populations. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. R. New York: Oxford University Press. 1999. eds. Caldwell.C. Nancy. Shoemaker. Gregory R. . G. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Campbell.: Smithsonian Institution Press.. 2001. All demographic indicators point to continued population growth into the future. Verano. economic and social problems. Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian. See also: Disease and Intergroup Contact. Moose Sources for Further Study Boyd. John W. American Indian Population Recovery in the Twentieth Century. Employment and Unemployment.224 / Demography In spite of the demographic and cultural disruptions. D. the twentieth century Native American population made a remarkable recovery. A comprehensive examination of the smallpox epidemic of 1837-1838 and its impact on the American Indian. and social factors that have contributed to the growth of the Native American population. An examination of the cultural. Washington. updated by Christina J. Disease and Demography in the Americas. A discussion of Native American population decline in relation to European conquest and colonization. Robertson. Robert T. Idaho: Caxton Press. and Douglas H. An analysis of the role of infectious diseases on the size and structure of the Native American population. 1992. Relocation. Urban Indians. economic. Gambling. 1992. 1774-1874.

and a variety of tuberculoid. pre-contact native North America was not a disease-free paradise. a prominent factor in that decline was Old World infectious diseases. and other degenerative. After the arrival of Europeans. anemia. Increased mortality among Native Americans as a result of introduced European diseases such as smallpox is not attributable to a lack of sufficient immunological response to infections in general but to the fact that Native Americans had no prior exposure to these pathogens. Although European infectious diseases devastated many Native American societies. circa 1520. trepanematoid. 270. Epidemic episodes often resulted in a breakdown in the social system. although the reasons for the demographic collapse of native North America are complex. elevating mortality levels. introduced by European explorers and settlers. The epidemiological conquest of native North America accelerated after the early seventeenth century with English and French colonization along the Atlantic seaboard. Native American societies experienced rapid population declines. Biological and archaeological evidence documents the fact that pre-contact Native American populations suffered from a number of afflictions. The Spanish intrusion first into the Caribbean and then into the Southwest and Southeast.2 million to 18 million Native Americans who inhabited North America at the time of the arrival of Europeans. launched a series of lethal epidemics that infected various Native American people. The dramatic population decline of indigenous people continued until the early twentieth century. They were the survivors of perhaps 1. Malnutrition.995 Native Americans remained after the epidemiological onslaught of European colonization. By 1920.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 225 Disease and Intergroup Contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Within decades after contact with Europeans. . the estimated aboriginal population of native North America began to decline. The “new” pathogens therefore not only created a high degree of physiological stress but also engendered cultural stress.

South Atlantic states. Gulf area. Southwest South Atlantic states. 1520-1696 Date of Onset 1520 1531 1545 1559 1586 1592 Epidemic Smallpox Measles Bubonic plague Influenza Typhus Smallpox All regions Southwest Southwest South Atlantic states. Gulf area. but in populations with no prior exposure. Old Northwest. therefore. Midwest east of Mississippi River. greatly affected the post-contact disease experience of Native American societies. mortality could be as high as 60 percent. Great Lakes states. For four years.226 / Disease and Intergroup Contact North American Epidemics and Regions Affected. Gulf area Regions Affected 1602 1612 1633 1637 1639 Smallpox Bubonic plague Measles Scarlet fever Smallpox 1646 1647 1649 Smallpox Influenza Smallpox chronic. Gulf area North Atlantic states. 1520-1524. South Atlantic states. The general state of health. Great Lakes states. Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. The infected native populations experienced high death . No Old World pathogen was more lethal than smallpox. which was unleashed in the Americas during the Spanish conquest. in combination with ecological and cultural factors. Midwest east of Mississippi River Gulf area. South Atlantic states. Southwest North Atlantic states North Atlantic states. Whether smallpox reached pandemic proportions is debatable. Southwest Southwest North Atlantic states. South Atlantic states. the disease diffused across Central and North America. Old Northwest. Southwest North Atlantic states North Atlantic states North Atlantic states. and congenital conditions plagued indigenous populations.

Russell. diphtheria Smallpox Gulf area Regions Affected North Atlantic states. Florida’s Timucua population may have once had 772. but by 1524 the group was reduced to 361. rates. F. University of Tennessee Press. measles. Influenza Sources: Data are from Dobyns. 1987). Gulf area. twenty-three European infectious diseases appeared in native North America. Southwest North Atlantic states. Throughout the 1500’s and into the next century. European populations grew and expanded geographically as declining indigenous populations relinquished their lands and resources. Smallpox. .Disease and Intergroup Contact Date of Onset 1655 1658 / 227 Epidemic Smallpox Measles. Henry. southern Plains North Atlantic states North Atlantic states North Atlantic states North Atlantic states. Their Number Became Thinned (Knoxville. Thornton. Old Northwest. Gulf area 1662 1665 Smallpox 1669 1674 1675 1677 1687 1692 Smallpox Smallpox Influenza Smallpox Smallpox Measles 1696 Smallpox. Midwest east of Mississippi River South Atlantic states. Old Northwest. Those Native Americans who resisted white encroachment were vanquished through genocidal warfare or reduced to mission life. and the bubonic plague affected Native American populations largely east of the Mississippi and in the Southwest. Old Northwest. Great Lakes states.. Midwest east of Mississippi River North Atlantic states Gulf area. 1983). American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Great Lakes states. Midwest east of Mississippi River. Midwest east of Mississippi River South Atlantic states. Great Lakes states.000. Old Northwest. influenza.000 people. Great Lakes states.

the population was reduced to approximately 55. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. for example.000. By the eighteenth century. By 1790.630. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. (National Archives) . Introduced European infectious diseases. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915.000 people. the European population had reached an estimated 223. the European population grew to more than 5 million. In sum. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization.4 percent.9 percent. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. By contrast.100 or 31.400.900—a decline of 71. In the southeastern region of North America. By contrast.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations.

more epidemics occurred during the nineteenth century. According to Henry Dobyns.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 229 Since the Nineteenth Century. Gregory R.5 years. 1492-1650. with more frequency. violence. twenty-four epidemics affected Native American populations. Only then did these infections give way to the twentieth century epidemics of influenza. It is estimated that seventeen thousand Native Americans on the northern Plains died before the epidemic subsided.9 years among some segment of the Native American population.” Many of these afflictions reach epidemic proportions in some Native American communities. but the northern Plains region was hit especially hard. accidents. The placement of Native Americans on reservations or in rural communities did not mark the end of epidemics. . Acute infectious diseases have been replaced by “diseases of poverty. New York: Cambridge University Press. an anthropologist and authority on Native American historical demography. 1998. Noble David. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest. Robertson. Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian. than during any other. Deaths from tuberculosis. 2001. The disease diffused across most of native North America. and alcoholism exceed the national average. Between the smallpox episodes. type II diabetes mellitus. Native Americans contracted measles and cholera every 22. Such acute infectious diseases continued to plague Native American communities into the early reservation period. G. Campbell Sources for Further Study Cook. Native Americans now have to contend with another epidemic—the threat of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection—a disease that has made its presence felt in some Native American communities. and trachoma—chronic conditions that would infect Native Americans until the 1950’s. Idaho: Caxton Press. Smallpox continued to appear every 7. In addition. During the nineteenth century. suicide. tuberculosis. R. One of the most devastating epidemics during this century was the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. Caldwell.

Barber See also: Horses. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact. one long-legged and the other short-legged. and the modern chihuahua is descended from a dog bred particularly for eating. for pulling Inuit dogsleds. starving animals with jutting jaws and protruding ribs (representing famine). dogs were eaten more regularly. and as pets everywhere. Transportation Modes. especially in times of food shortage. In Western Mexico. had annual feasts at which the eating of a dog was a central part of the activities. food. These dogs are depicted in ceramic sculptures in prehistoric shaft tombs. Some dogs apparently were adept at forcing animals into the open by digging into their burrows. There is no evidence of selective breeding to keep breeds separate. such as the Iroquois. especially in Colima. Dogs occasionally were eaten throughout North America. Demography. Dogs Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Dogs provided hunting assistance. flushing game into the open or treeing it. Suicide. Dogs also were used for hauling travois in the Great Plains. The first dogs in America were domesticated from wolves in Asia and were brought to the Americas some time between forty thousand and fifteen thousand years ago.230 / Dogs See also: Alcoholism. appearing either as plump animals (indicating bounty) or as gaunt. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. Both breeds of dog were used primarily as hunting aids. Hunting and Gathering. Some groups. Missions and Missionaries. and companionship among all Indian groups. and the latter was similar to a beagle. and dogs with intermediate characteristics were common. There were two major breeds of dog in native North America. The former resembled a German shepherd in build. but it is unclear whether any tribes regularly trained dogs for hunting skills. though both were extremely variable in coloring and hair length. . Russell J.

Maysarah Syafarudin. One manifestation of the significance attributed to dreams was the traditional use of dream catchers by many tribes of the Northeast and Plains. dream catchers are now commonly used by practitioners of New Age spirituality. Among the Ojibwas. most of whom believed that dreaming represented a primary mechanism through which spirits communicated knowledge and their wishes to human beings. the dream catcher is made of a red willow hoop Image not available A fourth grader. who are often credited with originating the tradition. inspects the craftsmanship of a dream catcher she made for a school project. The interpretation of dreams was an important activity among American Indian peoples. (AP/Wide World Photos) .Dream Catchers / 231 Dream Catchers Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A traditional method employed by Ojibwas and other tribes to block bad dreams.

and Terms. Phoenix: OBYX Press. . 1999. which appropriated the tradition. Harvey Markowitz Sources for Further Study Baxter. Dubin. One occasionally sees dream catchers being worn as pendants in early reservation period photographs of Indian men dressed in their best clothing. Variations of this interpretation sometimes include the idea that the lattice represents the web of life. the production of dream catchers became a Pan-Indian phenomenon. woven by Spider Woman. This appropriation also engendered the fabrication of dream catcher earrings. Lois. dream catchers were suspended above the sleeping areas of infants in order that the good dreams contained in the night air would pass through their holes and fall onto the children while the bad dreams would become stuck in the webbing and be destroyed in the dawn’s light. Abrams. New York: Harry N. In the late twentieth century. Peoples.232 / Dream Catchers filled with a web of sinew (with a hole at its center) on which feathers and sometimes stones were hung. This development was the result of the rise of New Age spirituality. Kachinas. rings and other forms of jewelry. According to one popular version of their significance. Paula A. 2000. transforming and transvaluing it to coincide with this movement’s own assumptions concerning the nature and operation of spiritual power. See also: Feathers and Featherwork. Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry: A Guide to History. Native American Indian Jewelry and Adornment from Prehistory to Present.

Its trade value was twenty-five caribou skins. A ruff of wolverine fur on the hooded parka and eye coverings with narrow slits to protect against the sun’s glare on snow left no part of the body exposed to the elements. Sealskin mittens. In distinct contrast. the other with fur against the body. one layer with fur turned out. American Indian clothing and decoration also often designated group affiliation. social role. Materials used ranged from buffalo wool spun on a spindle to the inner bark of cedar trees woven into fabric. European accounts of early contact vividly describe the wide variety of clothing worn by the original people of North America. Between these extremes was a vast assortment of styles. Virtually every substance in nature was used in the making of clothing or ornamentation. and rank. Recorded in detail by skilled artists. Women of nomadic Plateau cultures wore no shirts. made an insulated cocoonlike outfit designed for survival in the bitterest of Arctic winters. moccasins. protection. and utility. all lined with fur. the men of the Plateau west of the Rockies were shown wearing the simplest of outfits—nothing. Occasionally they wore sandals and a short robe of rabbit skins. it often conveyed—and still conveys—a spiritual message to both wearer and observers. The decorative touch to the male Eskimo’s outfit was a carved ivory labret—a disk “buttoned” into his perforated lower lip. varied styles of dress emphasized the uniqueness of each group. A woman would wear a basketlike hat to protect her forehead from the carrying strap of the basket slung over the back. Similar modes of dress were seen among other peoples in similar climates.Dress and Adornment / 233 Dress and Adornment Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Designed for comfort. It was the custom to use all parts of anything taken from its . only simple apronskirts and sandals woven of soft fibers. and parkas. Drawings showed Inuit (Eskimo) people of the far north dressed in two-layered outfits of caribou skin.

fringe helped wet buckskin to dry quickly by wicking moisture away from the body. and other fibrous plants. tree bark. Furs. Artful adornment created by each group of American Indians expressed both spiritual style and beauty. The early people of North America created clothing for comfort and utility. The Adena wore copper bracelets and rings. leaves. Mogollon. pearl beads. birds. People of the Adena and Hopewell cultures. skins. Meanings Conveyed by Clothing. values. . a fibrous desert plant. wove clothing and blankets from cotton. A warrior painting his body as he dressed for battle was visibly declaring his purpose and praying for a successful outcome. symbolizing the beliefs. stone gorgets (armor for the throat).234 / Dress and Adornment natural habitat. A ceremonial feather cloak could serve as a sunshade or raincoat in a tropical climate. Rabbit fur and deerskin were punched with an awl and laced together with thongs. Plants were used for making natural dyes. and adorned themselves in turquoise jewelry. Mosses. and feathers. shells. ancient peoples in the Southwest. Women’s aprons and sandals were made of yucca. The Hohokam. Clothing evolved to suit the climate and the physical. Clothing of Ancient Peoples. and fish were the main materials for clothing or adornment. and cultural activities of the people. and Anasazi. bone masks. and mica ornaments. Clothing and decorations carried meaning. and headdresses. Gorgets protected the vulnerable throat. ornate feather cloaks. adding leggings and moccasins to the men’s shirt and breechcloth. In later times. cotton. when clothing was tailored. social. feathers. Hopewell people wore copper breastplates. bones. and claws of animals. Fabrics were woven of grasses. ancient Eastern Woodland cultures. teeth. animal fur. and downy plants such as milkweed were used for insulation. Women wore wraparound skirts and tunics of deerskin. Decoration could be functional as well as attractive. and intentions of the wearer. Beads and quillwork added strength to skins or fabric for longer wear. fashioned clothing from deerskin.

even from a distance. In battle. An outfit that indicated clan membership could guarantee food and shelter from other clan members for a traveler. (Library of Congress) . or society.Dress and Adornment / 235 Dress and adornment could indicate membership in a particular group. to distinguish outsiders from those belonging to the group. A Sioux man pictured in formal dance attire in 1899. Clothing often helped to identify social or familial bonds between people who had just met. this distinction could mean life or death. clan. making it possible.

worn only for ceremony or battle. was richly decorated with fringe. Under the shirt a belt held up the leggings and carried weapons. a single panel of plain buckskin or cloth held in place with a thong belt. and functional. similar to those worn by Woodlands men. Men often wore tunic or poncho-style shirts with split sides. scalps. eagle . these shirts were believed to be protective for the wearer. A coating of bear grease protected his skin from cold. with finely beaded floral designs. was the everyday garment for the Native American man of the Plains. Garments worn in successful battles were often copied. When beaded and decorated. In cold weather a decorated robe of buffalo hide or fur completed the outfit. which gave confidence and status to the wearer. the war shirt could weigh as much as forty pounds—an acceptable burden because of its medicine power. Painted with symbols of power. dark-green dyes. and germs. both to honor the warrior and to acquire some of his powerful medicine. The breechcloth. jingling bells. brush. The war shirt. clothing and items of adornment for both men and women were carefully planned. the same designs were rendered later in trade cloth. the fringe would break off. Clothing could be packed and transported easily when the nomadic Plains people traveled. Gifts of clothing were exchanged during large seasonal gatherings. insects. The decorations recalled the swaying grasses of the Plains. The ever-present fringe was handy for making repairs or using as cords. Leggings of elk hide or deer hide were practical for walking or riding through the brush or for sitting on the ground. finely decorated. tools. The southern Plains groups used rich.236 / Dress and Adornment Plains People. splashes of bright paint. Among the northern Plains people. In early times animal skins were used. For formal wear. patiently made. beads or quills. If snagged on brush or stone. Motion was expressed in swaying fringe. and other medicine items. the breechcloth was usually beaded or painted. leaving the wearer free and the garment intact. and beads or elk teeth. ermine tails. The people’s mobility helped promote a common style among various Plains groups. and a pipe bag. Crow men preferred a two-part apron.

repairing. it provided time for tailoring. Algonquian men of the temperate Northeast coastal area spent the summer months in breechcloth and mocca- . (National Archives) feathers. and Sioux—created ornate shirts with beads and quillwork. eagle bone whistles. In the Southeast. Crow. Blackfoot. Other Regions. dress in western Arizona was often reduced to loincloths. and decorating garments. as in most warm climates throughout the continent. the usual outfit for men was breechcloth and moccasins.Dress and Adornment / 237 Due to the warmer climate. When the long northern winter brought a hiatus to war. In contrast. as worn by these Native Americans in the late nineteenth century. and medicine bags for decoration. the northern peoples—Mandan.

She tied it over her right shoulder. The valuable Chilkat blanket marked the high point of Northwest weaving art. skirts. and robes. Elk teeth or cowrie shells adorned the shirts. Women dressed in wrapped deerskin skirts. Dozens of shell necklaces covered a sleeveless shirt. Shell hair ties and earrings completed the outfit. A wealthy Hupa woman of northern California wore a fringed skirt covered with a full apron of shells. All peoples of North America used jewelry for decoration and nearly all to indicate status. Men shaved their heads except for a scalp lock. Leggings and moccasins completed the outfit. Among the Iroquois of the Woodlands area. They sewed strings of valuable sacred wampum to their deerskin shirts. Crowns and cloaks of turkey feathers and necklaces made of prized wampum—purple clam shells and white conch shells—made elegant outfits. The ceremonial dress of the Zuñi woman was a rectangle of black hand-loomed cloth trimmed in dark blue.238 / Dress and Adornment sins. loose shirts. In cooler weather skin shirts and moccasins were added. The earliest jewelry was of shells. white. Chilkat blankets originated with the coastal Tsimshian group and were worn by men and women in ceremonial dances. The artisans of the Southwest worked with sil- . feathers. The Tlingit people made this blanket of goat’s wool woven into a cedar bark core in boldly stylized images of clan animals using black. then covered her shoulders with a white robe. In addition to the purple and white shell wampum in the eastern woodlands. tied the strings around their waists and in their hair. wrapped a long woven sash around her waist. and war paint was worn for ceremonies. Jewelry and Body Decoration. and the prized blue dye. yellow. and moccasins. turquoise stones. men wore deerskin kilts and leggings topped with shoulder sashes of woven fiber. the bear claw necklace was highly prized by warriors. and during cooler weather wore skin pants or leggings. and wore them as necklaces and bracelets. Women wore sliplike tailored dresses topped with cape-sleeves or the short poncho shirt. and easily worked copper.

and rings. Paint could also take the place of clothing in the summer.Dress and Adornment / 239 ver and turquoise to create distinctive jewelry—the Navajo “squash blossom” necklace and concha belt. individuality. In others this custom was reversed. or forehead for men or women. and spirituality. and the Zuñi silver pins inlaid with stone and shell. more often for ceremonies. Natchez men shaved one side of the head and wore their hair long on the other. black. cheek. leaving a center strip from forehead to the nape of the neck. West Coast people (bands on chin. In some groups. braids woven with ribbons and wrapped around the head for Az- . and Creek men shaved the sides of their heads. the Hopi layered silver cutout bracelet. legs. Styles varied from hair that was never cut (sometimes touching the ground). to shaved head with only a small scalplock left on top. Women’s hair styles included shoulder length with bangs for Western Apache. chest. and Natchez women (across the nose). with wrist bands and lines on the chest for some women). a middle part with two long braids for Jicarilla Apache. sometimes for decoration. especially for the highborn). High ranking men and women wore intricate designs that often completely covered the body. worn straight or braided. Body piercing for adornment was common and included jewelry such as labrets in the lips. Tattooing was done with charcoal. side buns of the “squash blossom” style for Hopi maidens. Various styles included: Subarctic (marks on the chin during girls’ puberty rites). Aztec commoners kept their long hair uncovered. or shells worn in the nose. Hair was a symbol of strength. bones. Face and body painting was done in most groups. and back. There was great diversity even among the same people. Teton women (lip and facial tattoos). earrings for men and women. and burned shells. needles. Haida (crests on arms. Some Plains men wore as many as eight long braids. and white were favored colors. women wore their hair long and men wore their hair short. dyed thread or cactus spines. Men of the Subarctic tucked their long hair under a turban. Red. Hair Styles and Status.

: National Geographic Society. Additions of ribbonwork and appliqué to basic styles were most elegantly done by East Coast people.. and hides were replaced with wool and other red or blue fabrics richly decorated with beads or quillwork. 1974. Zuñi men replaced their short cotton kilts with European-style loose white cotton shirts worn over white pants. in style.240 / Dress and Adornment tec commoners. Effects of European Contact. More than 440 illustrations. Western Apache women adopted the European full skirt of bright calico topped with a belted hip-length blouse. The World of the American Indian. Jules B. and adornment. warriors had large feather headdresses. The Aztecs defined four levels: commoner men and women wore their hair long and uncovered. poems and chants. caribou and buffalo robes were replaced with woolen coats or the hooded “capote”—a cloak made from the colorful Hudson’s Bay Company trade blanket. Satin dresses took the place of coarse woven fiber outfits. European contact influenced the clothing of almost every group. Washington. hair and headdressings designated a person’s role or rank. and the priestly wore elaborate outfits with headdresses representing gods and goddesses. Gale M. chiefs wore leather headbands with multicolored tassels or gold and turquoise crowns. index. . especially Iroquois of the north and Seminole of the south. and hair brought up and forward in bonnet shape (creating a natural sun visor) for Seminole women. and acknowledgments. fur. tribal location supplement with keys to back-pocket maps.C. et al. Earlier garments of natural colored fiber. several braids for Natchez women. In the North. maps of culture areas. More valuable materials and more ornate designs denoted higher status. In complex societies with various status levels. D. a topknot with ribbons for Creek. fabric type and color. Leather concho belts with silver disks and hard-soled sandals set a style eventually copied by Europeans. Thompson Sources for Further Study Billard.

Songs. historians. 1953. N. Curtis. list of museums. color photographs.Dress and Adornment / 241 Brown. quotations from well-known traditional people of North America. Images selected from thousands of photographs in the Curtis collection. Joseph Epes. N. Sturtevant. Maxwell. William. historic villages. War Bonnets. prehistory (including Mesoamerican).Y. and they include considerable information on (and illustrations of) modes of dress. Underhill. material culture. James A. Feathers and Featherwork. Surveys origins. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. history. religion. Handbook of North American Indians. and anthropologists. Garden City. Washington. Ruth M. .C. warriors’ regalia and weapons. Pleasantville. descriptions of ceremonies. ed. and mythology. including a diagram of the buffalo showing uses for every part of the animal. Shells and Shellwork. An in-depth study of Plains people: social customs and religion. Mails.: Reader’s Digest. 1972. The North American Indians: A Selection of Photographs by Edward S. Thomas E. buffalo and horse. Written from the perspective of the first peoples of North America. D. Mystic Warriors of the Plains. Moccasins. paintings. gen. Headdresses. cultural. Tattoos and Tattooing. Red Man’s America: A History of Indians in the United States. political.: Smithsonian Institution Press. et al.Y. America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage. Features people of many groups west of the Mississippi River. Beads and Beadwork. and social issues of early twentieth century. arts and crafts.. and archaeological sites. Hundreds of drawings by the author. Quillwork. captions and detailed notes on photographs. Comprehensive account of all culture areas. 1972. See also: Applique and Ribbonwork. New York: Aperture. 1978. 1978-2001. and drawings. The scholarship and thoroughness of the Smithsonian volumes are exemplary. clothing. social customs. with excellent examples of clothing and headdresses. Blankets.: Doubleday.

Most often drumming accompanies singing. There are also large drums around which several people sit and play together.242 / Drums Drums Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Drums and other percussion instruments are an almost universal part of Indian music. although the singers do not necessarily follow the rhythm of the drums. Water drums are made from hollow logs and are partially The drumheads used by this early twentieth century Eskimo dance orchestra were made from whale stomachs. but woven baskets and hollowed gourds are often used as well. Drums are used for a variety of purposes in almost every American Indian culture. (National Archives) . The most common material for this type of drum is hollowed wood. The hand drum is carried by an individual and can be played while dancing. Drums come in a variety of types. they are also used in nonmusical tribal ceremonies and have served as a means of communication.

Earthlodge / 243 filled with water. the Mandan. and the possession of such sticks may be a sign of prestige. In the Dakotas. and the proper gods and spirits must be evoked. and it was different for every tribe. A sort of “Morse code” system was used. in some area poles or planks may also be beaten. Music and Song. drumsticks are decorated according to their particular ceremonial meaning. Drums are often decorated elaborately. Earthlodges appeared around 700 c. The Pawnee . Pow-wows and Celebrations. Elsewhere. As well as providing musical accompaniment.e. and later the Arikara erected villages along the Missouri River. Hidatsa. and such drums can be heard for miles. Apart from the more common types of drums. For some ceremonies. Earthlodges are circular dome-shaped structures roofed by earth and entered by a covered passageway. Marc Goldstein See also: Dances and Dancing. drums were used as a form of long-distance communication. One way of doing this is to paint the proper pictures on the body of the drum. stretched hides. Earthlodge Tribes affected: Plains tribes Significance: Earthlodges were among the earliest forms of shelter devised by cultures living on the Plains. are used. Drumsticks are sometimes given much more significance than they have been accorded in European cultures. Much of American Indian singing has religious significance. without any attached drum body.. The water greatly increases resonance. drumming can be seen as a very secure form of communication. housing the earliest farm cultures on the Plains. Semi-nomadic villagers constructed earthlodges in three areas of the Plains. Since the signals produced were kept as secrets within a particular tribe.

and an opening in the roof vented smoke. The fireplace was in the center of the earthlodge. Earthlodges lasted from seven to ten years and were the property of the women. and a final coat of wet earth that dried like plaster. platform beds along the wall. storage (cache) pits. and Ponca also constructed earthlodges. The walls and roof were covered alternately with layers of willow branches. A slanted sidewall of smaller posts marked the circumference. Oto. Inside arrangements included a sacred area. A wheel of roof rafters radiated from the central smoke hole and extended to the central posts.244 / Earthlodge built earthlodge villages in the central Plains of Kansas and Nebraska. food platforms. a fencelike wooden fire screen. a shingling of sod. To the northeast the Omaha. The average earthlodge was 11 to 13 feet in height and 40 to 50 feet in diameter. grass thatching. and often a horse corral. All these people built their lodges in similar fashion. who provided much of the labor in building. In the Upper Missouri a bullboat was inverted over the Earthlodge . Four or more central posts—usually cottonwood—were set in the ground and were connected by cross beams.

including long hair for men and short hair for women. Missionary Activity and Paternalism. King James asked Anglican clergy to collect money for building “churches and schools for ye education of ye children of these Barbarians in Virginia. As more and more European settlers entered that part of the Americas now known as the United States. Tipi. Massachusetts. Carole A. self-governing “Indian prayer towns” where they could be instructed in Christian ethics and arts. Catholic and Protestant religious groups dominated non-Indian attempts to educate Indians. education was seen as a way of assimilating young Native Americans into the dominant white culture. in 1568. For the next three hundred years.Education: Post-contact / 245 hole to shut out moisture and regulate downdrafts. In order to become accepted by the Puritans in these prayer towns. The history of Europeanized Indian education over four centuries tells a story of cultural genocide.” One of the earliest of these religious schools was founded by the Reverend John Eliot in 1631 in Roxbury. Indians had to give up their old way of life completely. The first school specifically founded for the education of Indian youth in the New World was established by the Jesuits in Havana. Barrett See also: Architecture: Plains. however. . and public school systems—have assumed responsibility for educating American Indians under policies that often have devastated tribal well-being. In 1617. their primary residence was the earthlodge. He developed a plan to bring Indians together in small. 1568-1870. When the people went on large summer buffalo hunts they utilized tipis. Education: Post-contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Since 1568. Florida. the federal government. three major groups—Christian missionaries.

and others that came later.S. the U. when treaty making with the Indians ended. This school. By 1840. Congress established a civilization fund. a Congregationalist minister. Greek. which believed that it was a waste of effort to provide only academic training. and equipment for educational purposes. which lasted until 1873. offered religious. material. The first manual labor school. which established this fund. 1819. arithmetic. English. From the first treaty in 1778 until 1871. also gave the president complete authority over Indian education and remained the basic authorization for the educational activities carried out by the government on behalf of Indian people. which allowed $15. Six hours were spent daily in the classroom and six at work on farm and shop detail. The terms usually called for teachers. writing. were agreeable to the Indians. This Connecticut school concerned itself with the academic training of Indian youngsters and included reading. government was operating six manual labor . was organized in 1837 by Colonel Richard Johnson in Scott County.246 / Education: Post-contact Another example of colonial religious schools was Moor’s Charity School. to provide financial support to religious groups and other interested individuals who were willing to live among and teach Indians. In 1819. The Act of March 3. and practical instruction. A common method of providing educational assistance during this period was by treaty stipulation. The school operated until 1769 and enrolled as many as 150 Indian youth. Manual labor schools had their beginnings during the period when the tribes were being moved out of the East and Northeast. They also drew support from the government. The first specific appropriation by Congress for Indian education was the Act of March 30. Kentucky. Usually these were located in Indian country or at a site convenient to several tribes and. academic. and Latin in its curriculum. founded in 1755 by Eleazar Wheelock. 1802. of which 120 had educational provisions.000 per year “to promote civilization among the aborigines.” The money went mostly to missionary groups. for that reason. the United States entered into almost four hundred treaties. the Choctaw Academy.

the majority of their teachers had changed from easterneducated missionaries to locally trained teachers. included twentyone elementary schools and two academies. and elocution. the Cherokees. supported with funds obtained from the United States for land cessions.100. in 1842. In 1885. In all cases. before their removal from their original homelands. had instituted common schools. operated until the end of the American Revolution. with the help of missionaries and educators. The Mohawks did this as early as 1712 under the influence of the Reverend Thomas Barkley. (A number of states had not yet provided for a system of common schools in 1842. algebra. Latin.) The Cherokee system. Teachers were brought from the East to be in charge of advanced academic work. the schools were tribally supported. reestablished their schools.Education: Post-contact / 247 schools with eight hundred students and eighty-seven boarding schools with about twenty-nine hundred students. built and supported their own schools. of which seven experimented with teaching reading and writing to adults. the period of reservation settlement began and did not end until the 1930’s. Creek. an Anglican missionary. The Choctaws had nine schools. however. some . and the course of study included music. After the removal of these tribes to lands west of the Mississippi.” followed the example of the Cherokees and Choctaws within a few years and established school systems. Several Indian tribes. the Indian Bureau issued regulations that “all instruction must be in English” in both mission and government schools under threat of loss of government funding. The Chickasaw. The Choctaws and Cherokees. Within ten years. In 1851. Schools established on reservations were designed to devalue the traditional culture and religion of Indian people. also members of the “Five Civilized Tribes. and they operated without federal supervision until 1906. by 1852. and the Choctaws. One of the most significant ways of undermining Indian culture was the government’s attempt to suppress native language. In 1880. with one temporary suspension. when the tribal governments of these five tribes were destroyed by an act of Congress. botany. in 1841. astronomy. This school. The enrollment in that year was given as 1. and Seminole tribes.

Forts no longer needed by the army were converted into boarding schools.248 / Education: Post-contact teachers and administrators. recognizing the small utility of standard educational training and methods. was founded by General Richard Henry Pratt. students were required to speak. twelve such boarding schools were established. This practice came to be called the Carlisle Outing. until well into the twentieth century. Between 1889 and 1892. tailoring. . . safeguards of our Declaration and Constitution. a congressional committee suggested that “boarding schools remote from Indian communities” would be most successful in solving the “Indian problem. Pratt. students were placed with white families for three years. Girls were taught domestic skills. .” President Ulysses S. Government Control and Dependence. believed that true equality could come to the Indians only if they learned to feel at home in the white world. and write English and to assume the clothing and customs of white people. Grant. they worked in exchange for their upkeep. which enrolled children from the midwestern and western tribes. The families were paid fifty dollars a year to cover costs of clothing and health care.” At Carlisle. It was assumed—rightly—that if children could be taken at a young enough age and moved far enough away from the influences of family and tribe. They were taught skills which would later help them become employed in trades such as blacksmithing. Pennsylvania. alarmed at the “gross injustices to both races [Indians and blacks]” which he had observed. After completing school. supported the move. the odds against their ever again becoming a part of their original environment were remote. however. which Pratt proclaimed to be the “right arm” of the school. No special textbooks were developed. and farming. After studying conditions among some of the western tribes. believing that the only solution lay in “the civilization” of Indians into white culture. read. Little attention was paid to tribal differences in language and customs. where they deserved both “the opportunities and . 1870-1923. the boarding school system was launched when the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle. suggested that special materials be created for Indian children. In 1878. carpentry.

The shock. Morgan. Pratt. Feuding between Protestants and Catholics. With the appointment in 1889 of General Thomas J. and loneliness which these children faced upon being uprooted from everything familiar and known can only be imagined. the Republicans made a systematic effort to stop government funding of all missionary schools. aggravated because the Catholics were much more successful in establishing schools. About half the appropriations went to missionaries who were contracted to educate Indians. fear. Congress was appropriating more than a million dollars a year for Indian education. By 1887. had unwittingly contributed to one of the saddest chapters in Indian history. operating under the noblest of intentions. a Baptist minister. By 1900 all direct funding to these schools was ended.Education: Post-contact / 249 Boys from the Carlisle Indian School pictured in their cadet uniforms circa 1880. led the Protestants to support funding only governmentrun schools. however. Tribes continued to receive a portion of the dollars which the federal government had previously provided the . as commissioner of Indian affairs. (National Archives) Children as young as five years old were sent to the boarding schools.

As government schools lost ground. most used the funds for other needs. because of the staggering loss of land and the inefficiency of education. Some tribes maintained these schools in spite of the reduced resources. John Collier. At the same time. the continued inability of boarding schools and English-only education to transform Indians into white people led to disillusionment and lowered expectations for Indian education. The committee recommended better school facilities. In 1928. there were more Indian children in public schools than in government schools. better trained personnel. vocational education was appropriate and adequate. a “Committee of One Hundred Citizens” was called together by the secretary of the interior to discuss how Indian education could be improved. the total Indian situation was growing progressively worse. nonacademic. In 1902. In 1924. Moves to Reform Indian Education. and high school and college scholarships. Increasingly. Indians were viewed in the same light as blacks at that time: as a permanent underclass for whom an inferior. These recommendations helped establish reservation day schools up to the sixth grade and reservation boarding schools up to the eighth grade. one of the BIA’s leading critics. became commissioner of Indian affairs and immediately sought to implement the recommendations . a government-sponsored study (the Meriam Report) claimed that the Bureau of Indian Affairs was providing poorquality services to Indians. Shortly after publication of the study. The committee recommended that elementary children not be sent to BIA boarding schools at all.250 / Education: Post-contact churches for funding of the mission schools. it particularly pointed to the shocking conditions found in boarding schools. the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was operating twenty-five boarding schools in fifteen states for 9. an increase in the number of Indian students in public schools.736 students. As the new century began. By 1912. efforts to increase Indian enrollment in public day schools did not include examining the ability of these schools to meet Indian needs. 1924-1944.

Another program aimed at “relocation” helped Indians move from reservations to cities. but many felt displaced and unhappy. and welfare up to the states. Navajo Community College. Havighurst of the University of Chicago directed a research project entitled the National Study of American Indian Education. and that “Indian children more than any other minority group believed themselves to be ‘below average’ in intelligence. The Move Toward Self-Determination Since 1970. that Indian students lagged two to three years behind white students in school achievement. The Termination Era. and. educational and employment opportunities were better. the National Indian Education Association had been formed. by the end of the decade. In 1968 the first tribally controlled college. This act provided for special programs benefiting Indian children in reservation schools as well as those at- . The Johnson-O’Malley Act (1934) allowed the federal government to pay states for educating Indians in public schools. During this same period. Conditions improved little as states. leaving policy issues in health. education. a report compiled by a Senate subcommittee on Indian education revealed that Indian school dropout rates were twice the national average. 1945-1970. In the 1950’s. that one-fourth of teachers of Indian students preferred not to teach them. Between 1967 and 1971.Education: Post-contact / 251 of the Meriam Report. that only 1 percent had Indian teachers. The Senate report on the plight of Indians led to the passage of the Indian Education Act in 1972. and in 1971 the Coalition of Indian Controlled School Boards was established. presumably. was founded. six “termination” bills were passed.” During this time. under President Dwight Eisenhower. where. Indian educators had become increasingly active. Indian children in cities showed improved academic achievement. failed to provide adequate services in any of these arenas. for the most part. They were intended to end all federal involvement with the Indians. Their recommendations called for greatly increased Indian participation in goal setting and in implementation of programs. Robert J.

Our Brother’s Keeper: The Indian in White America. culture. with fewer than 50 percent completing a high school education. Paul. and David W. The American Indian Magnet School at Mounds Park All-Nations School in the St. Gerrard. Edgar S. Dorothy Engan-Barker. In spite of efforts to improve educational opportunities for Indians. recommended that tribal history.252 / Education: Post-contact tending urban public schools. Doctorates earned by Indians between 1980 and 1990 actually dropped. Indian students still struggle for visibility in the education market. The Office of Education. Minnesota. bachelor’s degrees earned by Indians comprised less than 0. after a two-year study. New York: New American Library. In the 1990’s. assisted by Bette Blaisdell Sources for Further Study Cahn.5 percent of all degrees conferred.. Some reservation schools reported a yearly teacher turnover rate of 90 percent. and languages be emphasized. two urban public school districts with relatively large Indian populations began to experiment with schools that focus on Indian culture along with traditional academic curricula. The amended version also encouraged the establishment of community-run schools and stressed culturally relevant and bilingual curricular materials. 1975. using students’ own tongue as the language of instruction. Forrest J. President Jimmy Carter created the new post of assistant secretary of the interior for Indian affairs and named a member of the Blackfoot tribe. public school system declared the goal of “placing education into culture instead of continuing the practice of placing culture into education. In 1990. Hearne. It was amended in 1975 to require that Indian parents be involved in the planning of these programs. During 1977. A collection of writings and pictures compiled by the Citizens’ .” Three centuries of national educational policy must take at least partial responsibility for the tragic decline of tribal cultures in the United States. High-school dropout rates for Indian students continue to be the highest for all minority groups. from 130 to 102. but perhaps it will also take the lead in providing a vehicle for the land’s original citizens to assume their rightful place in American society. to the position.

2d ed. including a discussion of those still operating in the 1960’s. Jr. New York: W. writing in opposition to the trend that sought to “integrate” the Indian. chronicles the plight of American Indians and actions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indians and Other Americans: Two Ways of Life Meet. Embree. Fischbacher. Chronological account of the role of the federal government in the education of American Indians living within the territory of the United States as disclosed in the government’s official records. New Ha- . Pratt. John. 1867-1904.Y. Edwin R.C. revived world interest in the unique lifestyles of North. Summarizes events leading up to and including the establishment of Indian boarding schools.” In To Live on This Earth. articles. Norton. Harold. History of the European influence on the culture of the American Indian. 1934. N. writes about four centuries of Western European impact on American Indian cultures. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.. Alvin M. New York: Harper & Row. 1970. Edited by Robert M.Education: Post-contact / 253 Advocate Center in Washington. Battlefield and Classroom: Four Decades with the American Indian. ed. Central.: Doubleday. Fey. Garden City. W. Indians of the Americas. Collier. Josephy. and D’Arcy McNickle. Red Power: The American Indian’s Fight for Freedom. 1970. Reprint. and other documents providing a documentary history of the critical decade of the 1960’s. 1972. The author. studies. Utley. San Francisco: R & E Research Associates. focuses on customs.S. Theodore. commissioner of Indian affairs. A Study of the Role of the Federal Government in the Education of the American Indian. and Robert Havighurst. Estelle. New York: Collier Books. 1999. Indians of the Americas. and South American tribes. Fuchs. includes first-person accounts by Indians from diverse tribes who shared common experiences regarding attempts by whites to “civilize” them. Rev. D. a former U. and mysteries of their religion. A collection of excerpts from speeches. 1974. Richard H.. “Boarding Schools. 1947. Embree. manners.

The Rapid City Indian School. both sex and age differences were observed.: Yale University Press. Congress. Missions and Missionaries.: Government Printing Office. With the exception of the “high cultures” of Peru and Mexico. includes photographs from the period. An analysis of the history of edcuation and Native Americans. including American Indian societies in the pre-contact period. a National Challenge. Children. Conn. . 1898-1933. the content of such education varied. Tribal Colleges. Education and the American Indian: The Road to Self-Determination Since 1928. 1964. In general. Instead. Senate. D. Education: Pre-contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Pre-contact education did not anticipate great changes in existing lifestyles and therefore centered on the maintenance and preservation of the tribe’s culture and way of life.S. 1999. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.C. Owing to the diversity across native cultures. however. 1969. chronicling his work in the establishment of Indian boarding schools. Margaret Connell. Washington. 3d ed. U.254 / Education: Pre-contact ven. An examination of the daily life of Native American children who attended a BIA boarding school. Szasz. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. See also: American Indian Studies. education did not occur in formal schools. education of the young was a shared function of families and communities. Scott. Education or socialization of the young is an important concern in all societies. 1999. Indian Education: A National Tragedy. The memoirs of General Richard Henry Pratt. Special Subcommittee on Indian Education. Riney.

The advent of puberty. fathers and male relatives served as primary teachers of boys. There were not only stories of the sacred. in particular. One focus of education was the learning of skills necessary for adult roles. was generally marked with advice and instruction on the girl’s new status and responsibilities. tanning. with a girl’s first menses. while mothers and female relatives served as primary teachers of girls. Such skills were learned through imitation. Among native peoples who subsisted by farming. Among these same peoples. direct instruction was involved. Older female relatives. Another major focus of education was the learning of attitudes and values appropriate to the culture. American Indians were noted for their love and mild treatment of children. often involving play activities. mothers and other older female relatives served as teachers of girls in gathering plant foods as well as processing and preparing both game and plant foods. too. In those native societies that had sodalities. children were most often teased and cajoled into proper behavior by their . fathers and other older male relatives taught boys the skills of the hunter. children received much instruction from adults in learning such skills as weaving. and the decorative arts. pottery making. as well as through direct instruction. traditions.Education: Pre-contact / 255 Learning Role Skills. and events but also stories of culture heroes. Discipline Strategies. and powers associated with them. The storytellers were most often older members of the family or community who were highly regarded for their storytelling skills. In addition to role modeling. played a part in this. A major device in instilling proper attitudes and values in children was storytelling. These. initiates were instructed in the character requirements as well as in the songs. tool making. Moral Education. played a major part in moral education. Similarly. and sometimes a shaman and older male relatives. Instead. Discipline was generally marked by an absence of corporal punishment. prayers. Among those peoples who subsisted by hunting and gathering. The latter. were differentiated according to gender.

One of these was ritual. Consequently. it was not practical to amass personal possessions and unnecessary items. preparing hides. In some of the matrilineal societies. These villages were extremely independent and required great responsibility and self-discipline from their members. . much of the responsibility for discipline was taken on by the mother’s brother. Cultural “frighteners” were also known but were not usually flagrantly used. the women did magnificent quill work. the Dakota lived in small villages. and arranging and preparing for social events. they did not develop their craftsmanship as extensively as did more agrarian cultures. Since they were seasonally nomadic. Education. the Dakota had no need for an extensive program beyond that of basic survival and limited arts and crafts. was accomplished in a variety of forms. gathering roots and berries. Although education may have been simplified. sometimes as small as an extended family. learning was reinforced. and this was taught to the younger females along with their domestic responsibilities. The young men were thus taught to respect living animals and not to allow them to depopulate. harvesting wild rice.256 / Education: Pre-contact parents and elders. The young were gradually brought into these work roles. The Dakota were sustained by a highly efficient ecosystem that had a cyclical chain of events that not only provided subsistence but also brought meaning and identity. Being primarily a hunting and gathering people. They regulated their hunting and trapping to maintain a balance of nature. Rituals were performed in order to recall events and certain natural laws. Only the very young child had no responsibilities. and the meaning was clearly explained. it was not insignificant or trivial. If the ritual was performed exactly as instructed. There were numerous chores to be done. When there was leisure. or the passing on of knowledge. A Dakota (Sioux) Example. In the early years. then whenever the ritual was performed. making maple sugar. Among the social responsibilities were preparing for the hunt. Another form of learning was storytelling.

Ella C. Vermillion. accompanying the older women when they picked berries and gathered roots. the Dakota did not limit creativity or initiative in educating their young. Young females would start their training even earlier. the elders were teaching the young people the things they should avoid doing. Harold E. elders used stories and examples that would help youths make their own decisions. Indians of North America. This left the avenue clear for the youths to pursue their own visions and goals armed with wisdom about what not to do.Dak. The younger males would accompany the older men on hunts and be allowed to witness warfare from a distance. S. humor. because the vision had to be confirmed through a careful evaluation by the council of elders.: Dakota Press. Driver. the vision gave a young man (the vision quest was typically a male experience) direction and purpose. Probably the most important learning experiences for young Dakotas were the sessions with elders. 1961. it was a monumental event.Education: Pre-contact / 257 Many stories and legends were passed down as soon as a young child could understand the spoken word. In talking about their mistakes. One of the most important learning experiences for the Dakota youth was the vision quest. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. but during his lifetime. 1979. Speaking of Indians. Donna Hess and Elden Lawrence Sources for Further Study Deloria. Stories contained moral lessons. They would relate how their own foolishness had caused them much grief and misery in the past. he would seek its meaning. In this sense. The young person might not clearly understand the vision. One could not easily claim a vision. This allowed young people to accomplish on their own the things they felt they should pursue. When asked for advice or direction. During these sessions the elders presented their experiences through the years. There was also much to be learned through experience. and stimulating anecdotes. Once confirmed. When a vision was received. .

swallows.: Prentice Hall. Pond. Sandoz. St. Only two or three have been reported in human form. Effigy mounds are . Hodge. New York: Hastings House. wolves. Powers. Mari. Visions and Vision Quests. See also: Children. Clark. Elderly. Oglala Women. Marla N. The Dakota or Sioux in Minnesota as They Were in 1834. The majority of mounds reported have eroded and indistinct shapes. Reprint. 1961. New York: Dover. earthen mounds in the shape of animals. buffalos. felines. These Were the Sioux. Gender Relations and Roles. Englewood Cliffs. Other Moccasins: Native American Cultural Adaptations. others clearly represent life forms. 1982. William. Rinehart & Winston. and geese. Effigy Mounds Tribe affected: Oneota Significance: Low. Kupferer. New York: Oxford University Press. low shapes. however. geometric forms. deer. Beverly. Phillips. The Ways of My Grandmothers. Wissler. The American Indian. 1981. and turtles. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Among the animals represented are bears. as well as eagles. They occur mainly in groups with conical and linear mounds. 1986. New York: Quill. New York: McClure. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press.J.258 / Effigy Mounds Eastman. Harriet J. The First Americans: Then and Now. Charles A. and other forms are among the most distinguishing features of the Woodland culture of the midwestern United States. 1988. foxes. 1950. Effigy mounds were constructed by mounding earth into large. Samuel W. 1971. 1902. Menses and Menstruation. Hungry Wolf. Ancient Drums. 1986. Indian Boyhood. New York: Holt. N.

the majority have been destroyed by plowing.Effigy Mounds / 259 known primarily from southern Wisconsin. Wisconsin. the position of the heart. stone axes. however. Unfortunately. The dates for effigy mound construction are not precisely known. one bird effigy was 6 feet tall and had a wingspan of 624 feet. Artifacts found associated with burials in effigy mounds include late Middle Woodland pottery in the form of conical or round-bottomed containers decorated with techniques such as cord-marking. the mounds are no more than 2 to 5 feet high. Offerings included with the dead include pottery vessels. for a spread of Mississippian populations from the American Bottom in central Illinois to areas of northwestern Illinois and southern Wisconsin around 800-1000. or the early Late Woodland period. copper. looting. near Madison and in Sauk and Waukesha counties. and northern Illinois. dentate stamping. Effigy Mounds National Monument. The largest concentrations of effigy mounds are in southern Wisconsin. and tobacco pipes of various materials. In general. such as the head. and many of the mounds may have been built around that time. At Mendota. or (in bird effigies) between the head and tail. is one location where these mounds have been preserved and restored. These suggest that the features are roughly contemporaneous with the late Hopewell culture of southern Ohio around 200-700 c. northeastern Iowa. Among the examples at this site are bird and bear effigies. where many have been preserved in parks or other public areas. Winding along the top of a prominent ridge. the snake . in McGregor. These burials are usually situated in key parts of the effigies. fingernail impressions. and punctuations. it represents an undulating snake with a tightly coiled tail. and construction activities. There is also evidence. as well as cremations. The majority of these mounds appear to have been burial grounds. Examples have been found to contain primary or secondary bundle burials. Many have been preserved in state parks. southeastern Minnesota.e. The effigies can be quite large. The largest and most famous effigy is the Great Serpent Mound in southern Ohio. the latter containing as many as thirty individuals. Iowa.

making it several hundred years earlier than the Wisconsin mounds. . Among native people. although attitudes vary by tribe. Serpent Mounds. one’s chronological age is not an operative factor in defining who that person is. The concept of aging is quite different in many native cultures from that of European American society. The exact number of older people among Native American populations has been difficult to determine. Traditional Views. and while birthdays are celebrated. Great Serpent Mound.439. is 1. but the 2000 census data placed the number at that time at 138. the elderly are treated with respect.330 feet long. in general. unlike most effigy mounds. did not contain burials. The mound. About 30 percent of the aged Indian population live on reservations. including coils. and perhaps another 25 percent live in rural areas. there was no concept equivalent to the modern idea of retirement. Birthdays were only introduced on reservations one hundred years ago. whereas reaching the age of sixty would be meaningless.260 / Elderly appears to be holding an oval object in its mouth. Older people remained active as long as they were able. American Indians and Alaska Natives constitute less than 1 percent of all Americans sixty-five years of age and older. In most traditional Indian tribal cultures. John Hoopes See also: Mounds and Moundbuilders. Ohio Mound Builders. grandparenting or physical disability would qualify a person as elderly. Elderly Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Native definitions of old age are predicated on tribal custom rather than chronological age. Its age is Early to Middle Woodland (circa 200 to 400).

Many Native American senior citizens were sent away to Indian boarding schools as children. separated forcibly from their families. Contemporary Issues. the elderly “gave themselves back to the spirit world” by starvation or exposure to extremes of weather. Studies by the National Council on American Indians indicate that American Indians living on reservations at age forty-five show the same age characteristics that other Americans do at sixty-five—a reminder that many racial and ethnic groups experience premature aging under the stress of harsh living conditions. At times they were assisted in this by family members. when they became physically unable to care for themselves. who will be considered an older Indian and therefore will be eligible to receive Title VI services. even symbolic labors. where they became too incapacitated to function. In some societies. In other societies. elderly native people generally enjoyed high esteem because of their age and experience.Elderly / 261 Each tribal culture and society had different attitudes toward the elderly. Despite the trend in many native cultures toward a quick death once productivity was impossible. Retirement has also be- . treated with respect and honor. they were “rulers of the house” and simply died of old age. If capable of performing minimal. very often serving in tribal positions of leadership. under Title VI of the Older Americans Act. Disruptive changes have altered much about Indian life. Because native people often measure age by productive capability and social role rather than by chronology. the prestige associated with old age has persisted among Native Americans. American Indian elders are not wellserved by a definition of aging set by a chronological measure. Only at the extreme. were they either abandoned or likely to dispose of themselves. At many of these institutions the children were made to feel inferior and were ridiculed when they spoke their language or showed respect for their Indian heritage. based on their own criteria. old people were treated with respect. Today. on the whole. Indian tribes are permitted to define. and Native American elders are still.

Age Through Ethnic Lenses. Laura Katz. Many American Indian elders living in cities are deprived of social contact with each other and with younger members of their tribes. 2001. Md. Lanham. it is not uncommon for elderly people to help support younger family members with their oldage benefits. Randy A. city-living American Indians have not congregated in neighborhoods. Some studies also indicate that the popular image of older American Indians living in multigenerational. Social Integration of an Elderly Native American Population.262 / Elderly come more accepted. however. do maintain a tradition of communal sharing among family members and a sense of family responsibility for the care of the elderly. Lucy Ganje Sources for Further Study John. Many native cultures. The fact that the elderly represent the repositories of traditional knowledge is widely recognized and is a major factor associated with their good treatment and high status. See also: Education: Pre-contact. This population has now reached retirement age and many have no intention of moving back to the reservation. Olson. New York: Garland.: Rowman & Littlefield. Many elderly Indian people living in urban areas were part of a large American Indian federal relocation project following World War II. extended family households is greatly exaggerated in the context of an urban setting. . 1995. Kinship and Social Organization. and because of high rates of unemployment among native people generally. Unlike other ethnic groups.

In these subsistence economies. division of labor was based primarily on gender and was less complex. with most tribal members working toward the common goal of providing food. but little is known about how the labor systems were organized. pottery. The first phase of . Much of North America and Canada was inhabited by nomadic hunting and gathering societies and semisedentary agriculturalists. Tribal groups in the Mississippi River area. and Central and South America. the labor of American Indians served group or tribal purposes. Arrival of Europeans. Traditional Labor. Division of labor was determined in part by gender. and clothing for survival. Such cultures stressed sharing and egalitarianism as a way to ensure the well-being of the people. talent. Labor was required to sustain this extensive trade network. In these societies. Indians had extensive trading networks throughout Canada. In the pre-contact period. Everyone worked for the common good. and natural resources such as seashells were bartered or sold. manufactured items such as jewelry. shelter.Employment and Unemployment / 263 Employment and Unemployment Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Before contact with Europeans. These societies were organized hierarchically and sometimes incorporated slaves (captives from other tribes). such as art or medicine. there was little opportunity for members to specialize in any one area. and Central and South America had highly specialized labor forces in which both men and women participated. employment and unemployment patterns in the twentieth century reflected the profound disruption of Indian life that occurred following contact. who performed undesirable labor. the southwestern United States. and social position. the United States. European migration to North America was primarily motivated by economic interests. and tanned hides. Agricultural goods.

The fur trade was an important source of labor for American Indians. Indian men and women labored to supply processed hides and pelts for the fur trade. The decline in the fur trade coincides with the emergence of the United States and marks a period of change in the economic position of Indians. In return for their labor. caused the U. needles. Indian labor during this period was still directed toward the good of the tribe.S. thus maintaining the tribal ideal of generosity and sharing. The trade goods changed the work patterns of both Indian men and women. but the fur trade period ended as animal populations decreased and as European fashion changed. Guns and traps permitted more men to hunt and kill more game. government to remove Indians from areas coveted by European Americans and resettle them on poor lands. but increasingly tribal welfare depended on sources outside the tribe. guns. . During this period. and traditional agricultural practices were not viable or were discouraged. which required the incorporation of Indian labor. those Indian people who obtained European trade goods would redistribute them among tribal members. and a variety of domestic goods. and it caused considerable change in the work patterns of tribal groups. The European American population was rapidly increasing and there was an increased desire for land. hunting and fishing were no longer possible on the restricted land base. Indians were paid with European trade goods—metal pots. Indians became a hindrance in this emerging economic system. The relative lack of demand for Indian labor. The reservation system afforded little opportunity for Indian people to provide adequately for their families and it is directly linked to contemporary reservation poverty. and. knives. women were required to tan more hides for trade. The early period of the fur trade is marked by relative equality among Europeans and native people. For the most part. in turn.264 / Employment and Unemployment European-Indian relations revolved around the fur trade. coupled with the high demand for Indian land. Indians were no longer needed as laborers in the new economy. The reservation system was firmly in place by the late nineteenth century.

take out low-interest loans to establish economic ventures on reservations. or other small items. This intended to enable tribes to consolidate severely checkerboarded reservation lands. The 1930’s. Federal Indian policy. so they were unable to sell their labor for wages off the reservations. federal Indian policy sought to address the problem of high unemployment and poor economic opportunity on the reservations. baskets. Partly in response to this study. High Indian unemployment rates caused gradual loosening of federal policies of confinement to reservations. the Bureau of Indian Affairs organized a division to place Indians in off-reservation jobs. criticized federal Indian policy that intentionally removed Indian control over lands and resources and contributed to the widespread poverty and unemployment that characterized reservations. and laborers. Indian women sometimes sold pottery. Income from these sources was small. reduced the Indian land base and subdivided the land among many heirs so that productive use of reservation lands became nearly impossible. The Problem of Indian Administration. . Government policy largely confined Indian people to their reservations. and encourage farming and ranching opportunities on reservations. and in mines. Most of this work was unskilled. however. particularly the Indian Division of the Civilian Conservation Corps.Employment and Unemployment / 265 During the early reservation period. seasonal. and off-reservation. A 1928 study. some Indian men worked for federal agents as freight haulers. the Indian Reorganization Act was passed in 1934. beadwork. The Great Depression prevented any significant business development on reservations. commonly known as the Meriam Report. most notably the General Allotment Act (1887). and by the early twentieth century Indians commonly worked in off-reservation jobs such as laborers on farms and ranches. a fair number of Indian people benefited through various New Deal programs. During the same period. which employed and trained more than eighty-five thousand Indians in nine years. mostly in agricultural jobs. The 1930 census indicates that 80 percent of Indian men were working for wages. policemen. In the 1930’s.

As a result. many Indian people remained in urban centers. while those who returned to reservations began to focus on reservation economic development and employment. Malace) . however. large-scale Indian urban migration continued after World War II and was encouraged by the federal policy of the 1950’s known as relocation. and many reservations were distant from markets.266 / Employment and Unemployment Changes in the Mid-twentieth Century. reservation laws made business investments difficult. Many Indian men and women joined the armed services or moved to urban areas to work in war industries. Reservations remained poor and unemployment high. off-reservation seasonal farming jobs became scarce with increasing technology. Indians were removed to urban areas where jobs could be found. They received job training and housing assis- Image not available An Ojibwa language professor at Bay Mills Community College. tribes had difficulty securing loans. Through the relocation program. (Raymond P. Additionally. After the war. Thousands of Indians joined the wage labor force during World War II (1939-1945). Few jobs came to the reservations.

contributed to unprecedented Indian migration to urban areas from 1950 to 1980. A larger number of American Indians than the total population were employed in service jobs: farming. . the median income of Indian workers was considerably less than that of the total population. Few businesses locate on reservations. or manufacturing. tribal governments were strengthened and tribes began pursuing economic development initiatives independent of the federal government. By the 1980 census. there has been little economic investment or growth on reservations. primarily due to lack of resources. Despite many sincere efforts. and unemployment rates more than double those of the urban white population. coupled with federal Indian policy. either tribal or federal. as compared to the total population. and 26 percent of American Indians were living below the poverty level. location.Employment and Unemployment / 267 tance. Urban Indians experience higher employment rates and per capita incomes than reservation Indians. however. Indians continue to move to cities because of poor economic opportunities on reservations. 60 percent of Indians sixteen years and older were in the labor force. and reservations still have high unemployment and poverty rates. According to the 2000 census. Many of the jobs held. with per capita income slightly ahead of urban African Americans and well behind urban whites. The lack of any meaningful jobs on reservations. In 2000. were seasonal or part-time. Concurrently. Modern Labor Force Participation. construction. forestry. The federal government abandoned relocation programs in the late 1960’s and turned its attention to revitalizing reservation economies. fishing. Success has been mixed. Census figures on labor force calculate only those who are employed or are actively seeking employment. On the majority of reservations. capital. the largest single source of jobs is government. and unemployment rates are in the 80 to 90 percent range on some reservations. however. and a skilled labor force. They remain poor. more than half the Indian population resided in urban areas. Fewer Indians. were employed in managerial or professional specialty occupations.

Urban areas offer more job opportunities. however. which are subject to fluctuation because of economic downturns. Indian participation in the labor force has increased as Indians have moved off reservations. sometimes referred to as “the new buffalo. success was limited. Federal law continues to frustrate these efforts. but these tend to be low-wage service positions such as cashiers and waitresses. The Indian population is young and lacks jobs experience. Job opportunities on the reservations are scarce. even in urban settings. paternalistic gov- . but overall. Indian unemployment remains high. Breaking the Iron Bonds: Indian Control of Energy Development. The gaming operations have brought jobs to many reservations. Indian gaming. Tribal governments look to gaming as a way to strengthen reservation infrastructures and improve the lives of the people while they search for other means to address the dual need for Indian employment and real economic development on the reservations. Ambler provides a historic analysis of problems. weather.” is being explored by many tribes as both a source of income for the tribe and as a way to provide jobs. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Carole A. nonmanual service jobs both on and off the reservation. however. compared to 69 percent of the white population. Marjane. Only 56 percent of American Indians graduate from high school. More significant. Tribal governments are increasingly asserting their sovereign status and distancing themselves from the federal government in hopes of creating viable economic institutions that will bring job opportunities to the reservations. During the 1980’s. and other factors. Barrett Sources for Further Study Ambler. some tribal governments managed to attract businesses and increase employment opportunities. 1990. is the education deficit among Indians. but male Indian labor is largely confined to manual occupations.268 / Employment and Unemployment American Indian labor force participation on reservations continues to be low because of a lack of economic opportunities. Female Indians are employed primarily in low-skilled.

Cornell. Economics is a strand woven into this tapestry. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. She focuses on the potential for energy development on reservations as a source of economic revitalization for tribes. Cornell’s book does not focus directly on Indian economic issues. 1996. Biolsi. and Martha C. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. tribes continue to be hamstrung in attempts to develop economically or politically apart from the federal government. Michael. Explores the devastating economic impact of dams along the Missouri River to Sioux reservations. 1999. New York: Oxford University Press. A study comparing how urban Indians and reservation Indians fare in the work force. The Return of the Native: American Indian Political Resurgence. In the 1950’s a series of dams upset reservation economies and caused long-lasting economic and cultural hardships. Dammed Indians. Stephen. The reform agenda of the IRA was not really designed to transfer power to tribal governments. Lawson. eds. Knack. Littlefield. Kasari. Examines what happened to the political and economic life of the Lakota people when the Indian Reorganization Act was implemented on two western reservations. Thomas. Alice. 1982. 1988.Employment and Unemployment / 269 ernment policy. as a result. but to community survival. . New York: Garland. The Impact of Occupational Dislocation: The American Indian Labor Force at the Close of the Twentieth Century. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. and exploitation which have prevented economic development on Indian lands. Organizing the Lakota: The Political Economy of the New Deal on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. Native Americans and Wage Labor: Ethnohistorical Perspectives. Patricia. 1992. This broader view permits one to see clearly some of the reasons reservation economic development has been so bleak to this point and why it is so vital for the continuation of tribal governments. A collection of ten essays examines how wage labor was critical not only to Native American individuals. rather it takes a broad look at the complexity of Indian-white relations in the United States.

and intellectual inquiry. In many cultures. or worldview. . which might be defined as the description of a group or individual’s relationship with that world.270 / Ethnophilosophy and Worldview Meriam. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. beliefs. The ethnophilosophy. Much of the analysis is still meaningful. observation. Myths are a link between philosophy and religion. and adaptations—the underlying philosophy of these cultures is a respect for the natural world and their place within it. Around the world and throughout history. et al. Relocation. One of these other aspects that is especially important is religion. The Problem of Indian Administration. 1928. Definitions. indigenous peoples have developed belief systems that shape their lifestyles to their natural environment in order to enhance their survival within it. Urban Indians. of any culture is a description of how that culture explains the structure and workings of the world in which it lives. It is based on experience. Ranching. Ethnophilosophy and Worldview Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Despite the diversity among indigenous American cultures—their environments. The distinction between worldview and religious influence. It explores in depth the poor economic conditions on reservations in the 1920’s and the reasons for them. See also: Agriculture. a behavioral guide that relies to some extent on emotional appeal. this worldview is relatively distinct from other aspects of its ideology. This seminal work appraises the failings of the federal government to give Indian people a true voice in their governance and destiny. Lewis. Such has been the case among the indigenous peoples of North America.

most North American natives consider their lives to be constant expressions of their abiding respect for the natural world and their place in it. is much less clear-cut in North American native cultures. In some cultures. Sometimes. It is not only foolish but also disrespectful to ask too much about the great mysteries. Spending a period of time in a sweatlodge is often part of the preparation. Wisdom is always a gift. . by reverence for its infinite sanctity. and the sanctity of the circle. These are the acceptance of visions and dreams as legitimate realities. Recurrent Themes. the necessity for maintaining balance in all aspects of life. though. As cultures and individuals. dance. dreams and visions are welcomed. the use of hallucinogens facilitates the vision experience. immigrant culture. constant attention to these themes is an integral experience of daily life. In many Native American cultures. It is wisdom. there are several recurrent themes that appear across the spectrum of differences. The extent to which these closely tied phenomena shape the daily lives and activities of indigenous peoples has been unrecognized or disregarded by the dominant. There are always sacred and unknowable “great mysteries. from too much direct inquiry: All that they are to know will be revealed to them. and many rituals. Fasting and solitude are also common practices. as sources of wisdom. Although there are many different belief systems and rituals among the groups. though perhaps reality in metaphor. Whatever information is gained is considered reality. music. These motifs appear repeatedly in art and decoration. Although shamans and members of secret religious societies might have more insight than the average tribe member into the ultimate and unknowable. There are rituals to prepare seekers for a vision experience.Ethnophilosophy and Worldview / 271 however.” Their existence is recognized and appreciated as part of the bond that ties people to life. even they are barred. Reverent. This blending has been both a strength and a weakness for the indigenous American peoples since Europeans came to their lands. these experiences are spontaneous. brotherhood with particular plants or animals. even sought.

Buffalo. and Mother Earth. and containers for storage and cooking. fish. Plants. deer. All life comes from and is dependent upon Mother Earth. caribou. when a person needs to kill something to use it. Because of Native Americans’ traditional reliance on the abundance of the land. The earth as mother is a major theme both in myth and in daily life. Cedar trees. It may be woven into the pattern of a blanket or basket or may become part of a costume worn during a ceremonial dance. In many indigenous cultures. Corn. clothing. which provided Northwest Coast Indians with material for their homes. both living and nonliving. boats. Crops emerge from the earth and are nourished by her. and tobacco were traditional crops. . rice. Several groups believe that they emerged as a people from the earth. Imagery from the dream or vision may be used later by their artists who make masks or who paint pottery. and snakes are important symbols of wisdom and strength. Native Americans accept their place in the natural world as being a part of creation rather than being separate from it. he apologizes to it first or explains to it the necessity for its death. beans. certain plants and animals have always been accorded special status. and whales were common sources of game food. Wolves. Therefore. squash.272 / Ethnophilosophy and Worldview Usually during one of these dream or vision experiences some animal or mythical being communicates with the participant. bears. Although North American natives’ lives were particularly dependent on these living things. they recognized the worth of all forms of life and took care not to harm them if possible. the only way to regard Mother Earth is with gratitude and reverence. They share equal status with other parts of creation. Its message is shared with the tribe and may become part of the myth system for that tribe. are revered in that region. eagles. Animals. Animals are sustained by the plants that the earth supports. Nonliving parts of the natural world were also valued. Many believe that after death their spirits will return to their source within Mother Earth. Some believe that future generations are developing within the mother now and will emerge from the mother as long as humankind exists.

On a somewhat smaller scale. When a person is suffering because he or she is out of balance. Balance in the natural world and in individual lives is seen as crucial for survival. They must treat with respect all that is taken from their surroundings. are considered sacred to those who live near them. Native Americans see it as their responsibility not to disturb natural balances. ethical behavior. as well as the ocean. their governments involving representatives in voting councils. It may be that the tribe believes that its future lies there— that the coming generations will need those places for their lives. Political systems have varied widely among groups. Solid forms may be fashioned into amulets or may be used in rituals. it is the responsibility of those currently living to take care of the site both physically. by not scarring or polluting it and spiritually. The model for the United States’ government was influenced by the Iroquois’ Confederacy of Six Nations. caves. which is one of the oldest continuously functioning systems of governance in the world. some North American tribal leaders were monarchs. Life in Balance. clay and various pigments. and avoidance of excess in order to maintain physical and mental health. They must not take more resources than they need for their survival or take more than the environment can bear to give. These sites may be revered because the natives believe that their ancestors originated there or because their ancestors are buried there. In their relationship with the environment. a healer or shaman may be able to help find the cause. Personal lives must be kept in balance by respectful attitudes. certain gems and minerals have particular symbolic importance. The sufferer may not even remember a seemingly minor . by regarding it with respect. In pre-contact days. Therefore. Other groups enjoyed relative democracy. for example. and their subjects lived within strict caste systems. or rivers.Ethnophilosophy and Worldview / 273 Certain mountains or rock formations. Balance must also be maintained in relationships within their communities. are used for ceremonial body paint. Even a plainlooking small stone can carry a prayer if it is handled reverently.

Factors as basic as the name by which a tribe knows itself and its environment. Tribal Names and Traditions. While these motifs are prominent in nearly all indigenous cultures of North America. and since the indigenous people live within it. The circular pattern is reiterated in the shape of many tribes’ houses. Frequently a tribe is named for its location or for some trait of its community. are the “Desert People.274 / Ethnophilosophy and Worldview transgression committed several years before. the healer or shaman performs ceremonies and offers advice to help the sufferer regain the balance necessary for good health. the Tohono O’odham. and as seemingly insignificant as the proper way to move about in the home are all matters related to the philosophy of respect for the worlds among which the various American indigenous cultures live.” and their Papago neighbors. For example. the Kaigini (Haida) of the Pacific coast. Most tribes credit mythical figures or their ancestors with having provided tribal names. and in the nests of birds and the webs of spiders. The circle expresses itself repeatedly throughout the natural world—in the rounded vault of the sky. in the cycle of the seasons.” Many tribes are known in their native tongues simply as “the People. in the hoops of games. the Nimipu (Nez Perce) of eastern Washington state. as major as the education of its children. the Pimas’ indigenous name is Akimel O’odham. Whatever the cause. Because of the sacred source for these names. or a child may be suffering because one of his or her parents unknowingly did something before the child was even conceived. tribal membership offers spiritual as well as social identity. in the shape of the sun and moon. many of the ways in which they are honored might not seem obvious.” Among them are the Dine (Navajo) of the American Southwest. in the choreography of dances. they must take care not to break it by either carelessness or intentionally destructive behavior. and the Maklaks (Klamath) of the mountainous California-Oregon border region. once the source of the problem is recognized. and in the form of religious structures. All creation is bound by a sacred circle. which means “River People. A .

even the way people move about within the group or inside their homes or religious structures is an expression of respect.” In every tribe. The oral tradition continues to be a sacred responsibility for both the teller and the listener. and Tsististas (Cheyenne). Anishinabe (Chippewa).Ethnophilosophy and Worldview / 275 few variations on this are Ani-yun-wiya (Cherokee).”) Certain tribal hunting techniques. In some tribes. Everything the children learn must be relevant to their lives. Children are taught not to cross between the fire and their elders so that they are not deprived of any heat or light. the method that several tribes used to slay buffalo was to herd and stampede them into running off cliffs. and traditions. (This type of sentimentalizing was prominent in the eighteenth century. and social survival of the children individually and for the tribe as a whole. “Beautiful People. the number of . Kaigwu (Kiowa). Before they had horses to use in their hunting expeditions. they are advised over the years to listen to stories several times. with the European concept of the “noble savage. they come to understand the metaphors and realities that are the bridges connecting their people’s history. philosophy. as well as some tribes’ capturing and selling of slaves and cruelty in warfare. Sentimentalization Versus Reality. As the children grow up in this oral tradition. or “Main People”. the way that the sun moves across the sky. Although it was customary for the hunters to apologize to the dying and dead. or “Real People”. “First Men”. the pattern of movement in the homes is always in a clockwise direction. Participants in nearly all religious and political meetings gather in a circle. Instead. It is important to realize that one should not become carried away with oversentimentalizing the worldviews and practices of Native Americans. religion. spiritual. attest the side of Indian life that sentimentalists do not consider. Children are discouraged from asking too many questions. Among some tribes. it is vital for the physical. Indian children are given instruction in the proper way to behave and are introduced to their origins through stories and myths told by parents and relatives or by tribal storytellers.

or who would not make good wives. The newcomers did not see themselves as being an integral part of their natural envi- . they brought with them a philosophy that was radically different from that of the natives they encountered. also used it as a political tool to humiliate their enemies and to gain power over them. and spiritual—because of the ethnophilosophical differences between the two groups. trading them for horses. The Pawnee sacrificed captured females—or one of their own. for example. The potlatch. and many carcasses remained at the foot of the cliffs to become carrion.276 / Ethnophilosophy and Worldview animals lost was in excess of what their tribes could use. Often these slaves were captured from other tribes during raids for that purpose. In the Pacific Northwest. cultural. Native Americans have suffered near annihilation—physical. The Kwakiutl. Sometimes non-natives were enslaved. Taking slaves was a common practice for tribes in many parts of the continent. Human sacrifice and cannibalism were not unknown. a large portion of the Chinook economy was the slave trading that they did up and down the coast. The Ute captured people for other tribes to use for slaves. Throughout their history with European immigrants. Comanches took Spaniards as slaves. the celebration among British Columbian and Pacific Northwest natives that has been seen as a symbol of generosity and a ceremony of sharing the host’s wealth among the guests. Those who were not suitable for slaves or sacrificial purposes. if necessary—as part of a ritual to ensure an ample harvest. Most tribes that practiced human sacrifice used prisoners who had been captured in conflicts. Most cases of cannibalism involved using the victims’ hearts to gain the enemies’ valor and strength. was not always an altruistic event. Immigrant Philosophy Conflict. including African Americans taken by the Cherokee. When Europeans began arriving on the shores of North America. Several tribes in the Southeast captured other natives for the English and Spanish to use on their ships and in the Caribbean colonies. were often tortured before they were killed.

comp. Highwater. and Plains Sioux. Lawrence. . Sources of Life. 1993.. They saw themselves as separated from it by their level of civilization—by how far they believed they had risen above the brutality and unpredictability of the natural world and by how well they had managed to exploit its resources. 1971. Ariz.. New York: Simon & Schuster. The author’s views are based on academic studies and on life experience in both Blackfeet (Blood) and non-native cultures. 1981. Joy Sources for Further Study Beck. compiled by a global newswire. C. New York: Harper & Row. Touch the Earth: A Self-Portrait of Indian Existence. Extensive bibliography and film lists. Tsaile. Essays by the world’s indigenous peoples. Native Americans’ quotations from the last three hundred years. French. Focuses on educational policies with discussion of pre. 1977. The Sacred: Ways of Knowledge. including American Indians.and postcontact attitudes among Cherokee. Well documented. Peggy V. Academic. Extensive bibliography. Jamake. San Francisco: Mercury House. Interesting non-American editorial perspectives. and Anna L. Story Earth: Native Voices on the Environment. Many photographs and maps. theoretical approach. Walters. Philosophy in elegant. Introduction by the prime minister of Norway. includes suggested readings. a source of conflict that has been disastrous to Native American communities across the continent. The Primal Mind.Ethnophilosophy and Worldview / 277 ronment. 1987. Many photographs. Inter Press Service. Athapaskan/Apache. and continues to be. Insightful and visually beautiful. T. Well organized and well documented. comp. Psychological Change and the American Indian: An Ethnohistorical Analysis. The essential difference in worldview was. Marcella T. New York: Garland. McLuhan. simple language.: Navajo Community College Press. participants in it who had to obey its laws. Discusses several North American cultures while concentrating on southwestern peoples.

Oreg. Romanticized non-native assumptions are examined. Well documented. Steve. Imagine Ourselves Richly: Mythic Narratives of North American Indians. 1991. Kent. New York: Crossroad. eds. 1988. 1988. discussing ways that philosophical concepts are expressed in daily life. Wisdom of the Elders: Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature. Long quotations from interviews with several American Indians. Native American Wisdom. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. See also: Children.278 / Ethnophilosophy and Worldview Nerburn. and Harvey Arden. . including North America. Christopher. A broadranging anthology. Hillsboro. Suzuki. 1992. Wisdomkeepers: Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders. Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths.: New World Library. Ridington. Calif. San Rafael. Vecsey.: Beyond Words. 1990. Mother Earth. and social scientists. and Peter Knudtson. Religious Specialists. past and present. Robin. Views of indigenous peoples from around the world. The introduction includes academic discussion of sources and functions of myths in general and of their value to Native Americans specifically. Wall. and customs of the Beaver Indians in British Columbia. Religion. theologians. Anthropological study of the philosophy. Not an academic work but informative and insightful. Short quotes from numerous Native Americans. Some photographs and a long reference list. Visions and Vision Quests. social life. Trail to Heaven: Knowledge and Narrative in a Northern Native Community. Sacred Narratives. Oral Literatures. Scholarly but readable. New York: Bantam Books. David. Several epigraphs by scientists from many disciplines. and Louise Mengelkoch. Moving text and photographs.

Midwinter Ceremony. although tricksters occur in Iroquois legends with many names and manifestations. His name links him to the legend of the test of moving a mountain. The Great False Face is the great trickster figure. The False Face Ceremony refers both to the rite performed by members of the False Face Society during the Midwinter Ceremony and to individual healing practices during which members of the society control sickness with the power of the spirit in the mask and the blowing or rubbing of ashes on the patient’s body. tells the Great False Face that his job is to rid the earth of disease. but they are most often “O”-shaped or spoon-shaped (a horizontal figure-eight shape). and feed him cornmeal mush. Hawenio. he will give the humans the power to cure disease by blowing hot ashes. Tricksters. Often spiny protrusions are carved on the mask. His movement is mimicked during the Doorkeeper’s Dance. Glenn J. and wrinkles. large. . or Creator. The mouths vary.False Face Ceremony / 279 False Face Ceremony Tribes affected: Iroquois tribes Significance: During the False Face Ceremony. The original “Great False Face” comes from an origin story and is depicted as a hunchback with a bent nose. Shagodyoweh-gowah travels the world using a great white pine as a cane. Schiffman See also: Masks. certain tribal members don special masks which they believe give them the power to cure disease. without which he would lose his balance. The False Face Society uses wooden masks with deepset eyes. the society comes to the longhouse to enable people to fulfill particular dreams or to renew dreams during a ritual called the Doorkeeper’s Dance. recognizing that Shagodyoweh-gowah (one of the names for the Great False Face) has tremendous power. make tobacco offerings. bent noses. in which he engaged with Hawenio. call him “grandfather” or “great one” (gowa). At midwinter. arched eyebrows. Shagodyoweh-gowah agrees that if humans will make portrait masks of him.

Iroquois Significance: The Feast of the Dead provided an outlet for mourning the dead and promoted tribal unity. The inside was lined with beaver robes. tribal councils gathered and announced the date and location for a Feast of the Dead. At the site. Leslie Stricker See also: Death and Mortuary Customs.280 / Feast of the Dead Feast of the Dead Tribes affected: Algonquian. The bones of the dead and the goods that had been buried with them were suspended from a platform. it became increasingly difficult to gather tribes for a Feast of the Dead. In turn. Though the Feast of the Dead is frequently referred to as an Algonquin ceremony. and wrapped the remains in beaver robes. reestablish friendships. The Feast of the Dead was a Native American religious ceremony that provided several villages a chance to gather together. and logs. bark. each family threw their deceased and grave goods into the pit. which was covered with mats. Family members exhumed the bodies and prepared them for the ceremony. Religion. The Mohawk and Seneca tribes continued to practice a variation of the ceremony into the twentieth century. a large pit was dug. Huron. Each village then traveled to the placed selected by the councils. and collectively mourn their dead. it was also practiced by Huron and Iroquois nations. Feasts. Every few years. . The bodies of the dead were disinterred from their temporary burial sites to be reburied in a common grave. When the Northeastern Indian nations broke up and moved west or north. They removed the flesh. which was burned.

the naming of a child. feasts usually featured choice ingredients and a wider diversity of foods than other meals. such as the visit of a dignitary. American Indian feasts tended not to be elaborate affairs. celebrated special occasions with communal meals. Common Features.Feasts / 281 Feasts Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: American Indians traditionally celebrated special occasions with special meals. Family feasts were sponsored by the family as a communal unit. feasts as part of sacred ceremonies usually included specified dishes and practices. The sponsor was expected to provide food for a feast. Native Americans. a success in diplomacy or war. or the completion of a house. Some feasts formed part of seasonal sacred ceremonies. while secular feasts usually had greater flexibility. this would be a man. Feasts accompanying the meetings of secular societies usually were sponsored by a person or persons who were seeking membership in the society or by the person at whose . While the meals often included ingredients and dishes that might appear at any meal. although a head of the household usually was conceived as the sponsor. and she would serve as sponsor. and they were presented with the same implements that would be used in everyday eating. and still others commemorated family events. Unlike European and Asian feasts. while the more secular feasts followed less rigid guidelines of expected behavior and courtesy. their assistance would be repaid later when they were sponsoring feasts and needed assistance. others accompanied meetings of secular voluntary societies. but some of the matrilineal tribes considered a woman to head the family. generally rendered as “feasts” in English. there were certain common features. In general. In many tribes. feasts that were part of a sacred ceremony were more formalized in their structure and might include fixed prayers or practices. and kin often would be called upon to assist. Regardless of the type of feast. in common with most peoples around the world.

such as the Cherokee. sometimes presenting it to the four cardinal points.or eight-day ceremony. Typically. regardless of who caught them. chief. held a four. the forgiving of transgressions. and this staple was recognized as critical to survival. often called the Green Corn Dance. appointing another guest to do the serving. for example. Details of manners varied from tribe to tribe. the sponsor and his immediate kin might abstain from eating during the feast. would be designated to prepare the salmon. . food was prepared by female members of the sponsoring group and was then ladled out by them from a communal pot onto each diner’s bowl or plate. who would sprinkle them with goose down while greeting the fish with a formalized welcome. Small family feasts usually would be served by the female head of household. or religious leader usually would signal the beginning of the feast by lifting up a bit of the food. Among the Nootka of the Northwest Coast. Many feasts were part of the ceremonies surrounding the beginning of the season when an important food became available. at the time of the earliest corn harvest.282 / Feasts house the meeting was to be held. and everyone (except menstruating women) would partake of the food. Under certain conditions. The first catch of salmon. except those menstruating. The sponsor had to take special care that no foods were included that would be taboo for any of the diners. Bones and innards from this feast would be returned to the water. This thanksgiving offering to the gods was performed in silence. salmon captured during their fall spawning runs were dried for use throughout the year. particularly if a feast was to honor a prominent person. ensuring that future generations of salmon would be plentiful and well-formed. Many Eastern tribes. but the male head of household. Ceremonies serving similar purposes were conducted by Pueblo agriculturalists at harvest time. This ceremony included social dances. Agriculturalists also held feasts within harvest festivals. the rekindling of fire. Women. Feasts accompanying sacred ceremonies would be sponsored by the tribe as a whole or by its chief as its representative. and a feast centered on the new corn. then dropping it to the ground or into the fire. would be presented to the chief.

The feasts that were part of these ceremonies served the practical purpose of feeding visitors and others whose ritual obligations kept them from regular eating arrangements. and Guests. Major ceremonies lasted eight days. Other tribes held special memorial feasts for all the dead of the tribe at a certain date or season. To share the burden of sponsorship. Many tribes maintained that a feast should be held in honor of a recently deceased person at a fixed number of days after that person’s death. and women and others not permitted to participate in the sacred kiva rituals were welcomed at the feasts. These feasts followed different protocols. fully one-quarter of the year could be taken up with ceremonies. Other sacred ceremonies focused on the dead. Sometimes food was brought ready-cooked to the meet- . Other feasts were part of calendric festivals. such as the myriad religious ceremonies held by the Hopi. while minor ceremonies lasted only four days. when the dead were conceived to return for the feast. especially in the Plains. Calendric Festivals. sponsored by the entire community and dedicated to the well-being and memory of the dead. enjoying the food that was given them by placing it on the ground or passing it through the fire. depending on the tribe and the society. for example. The meetings of volunteer societies. The Huron. and participants would travel to that village. the feast was held after four days. dressed them in the best of clothes. at which time they disinterred their dead from the previous year. held the Feast of the Dead in autumn. given the number of ceremonies per year. These feasts were viewed as a secular part of the overall ceremonies. This was accompanied by a feast in the evening. were characterized by a feast following the other activities. reverently stripped the remaining flesh from the bones. These feasts typically were family-sponsored. and laid them to their final rest in a communal burial pit. some groups waited several months. while the Iroquois waited ten days. different villages would sponsor different ceremonies each year. For most of the Plains tribes. Societies. The Inuit and most Northwest Coast tribes also held communal feasts for their dead in the winter.Feasts / 283 Memorial Feasts.

in other cases it was prepared during or after the meeting. kept warm. even those inclined to disparage Indian culture. Two common threads. Alvár Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. in Mexico. often involving extravagant numbers of dishes unavailable to commoners and served only to the Aztec emperor. Time and again. separated even from his retainers (servants) by a gilded door. since only members were expected to attend and a herald notified them individually. they seldom had a rigorous. a voluntary society. permitting the sponsoring family to adjust according to circumstances.284 / Feasts ing. Feasts held by families to commemorate special events were the most variable. accounts noted that even in times of famine or personal tragedy. or family. Among the best-known early Indian feasts are those honoring guests. Unlike feasts held with ceremonies or institutional activities. to be shared by members of the tribe. Second. an additional type of feast also existed: the royal feast. united these feasts. the arrival of a significant visitor was celebrated with a feast of the best foods available. Feasts north of Mexico were communal affairs. each person brought his or her own bowl. the emperor would have up to three hundred different dishes prepared for his dinner. The emperor ate alone. so that he would not be seen in the act of eating. He would sample the vari- . since these were the ones that early European writers were most likely to have witnessed and recorded. the early sixteenth century Spanish traveler who entered North America through Florida and left it through the Southwest and West Mexico. As described in native and European books. The Royal Feast. however. Farther south. one that had been shared by thousands of Indian visitors before the coming of the Europeans. described dozens of feasts at which nearly starving Indians marshaled their scant resources to honor him. Other writers echoed this experience. there was no public invitation. and ladled out to members. they were flexible. and they were served from a communal pot or pots. Europeans. prescribed structure. First. Instead. This meal was sumptuous. universally were impressed by Indian hospitality.

. Mexico City: Ediciones Euroamericanas. A very readable book treating major ceremonies. the entire community or tribe feasts together and demonstrates its commonality. Other ceremonies unite the spirits and the people in the sharing of food. Feasts served many functions in traditional Native America. these feasts permitted those experiencing bad years to share in the good fortune of those with abundant food. Functions. it is only a voluntary society of perhaps only a single family. Barber Sources for Further Study Beck. drawing on the Florentine Codex and other primary sources. feasts gave people an opportunity to demonstrate their common bond. since food sharing is a universal human symbol of oneness. In a broader sense.Feasts / 285 ous dishes. Potlatch: Native Ceremony and Myth on the Northwest Coast. In addition. Emphasizes the cultural context of feasting. An excellent distillation of information on Aztec foodways. 1974. Benitez. of the Northwest Coast tribes. Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books. over a lifetime. Mary Giraudo. Ceremonies for the dead. aggrandizing a single individual and setting that person apart from others. Ana M. in other ceremonies. as a special favor. which was significant in terms of ceremonies at which large numbers of visitors were present. Leftovers were eaten by guards. This type of feast. where feasts were an act of community. They filled the bellies of those involved. Russell J. at which the living eat the food and the dead share symbolically. passing one or another on to a retainer on the other side of the screen. Bilingual in Spanish and English. and the generosity of one year would be repaid subsequently. 1993. including feasts. every community would experience good years and bad years. was entirely alien to Indian practices north of Mexico. de Pre-Hispanic Cooking—Cocina Prehispánica. bond the dead with the living members of the tribe. For many ceremonies. but the principle is the same.

Food Preparation and Cooking. Highwater. The Indians of the Southeastern United States. Frederick W. Geological Survey 86 (Anthropological Series 12). including considerable information on feasts and food. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 1965. economic. and Richard de Rochemont.: Doubleday. Music. Eating in America: A History. Grosse Point. and Asia. New York: Viking Press. D. New York: William Morrow. 2001. Politics. Garden City. devoting four chapters to Native American foods and cooking. 1976. this monograph summarizes food. The Art of American Indian Cooking. Includes some extended quotations from early accounts describing feasts. Washington.C. Africa.286 / Feasts Dietler. . 1916. Bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution. Swanton. The introduction provides a historic (though somewhat romantic) context for the recipes. feasts. John R. which are divided by culture area.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Bureau of American Ethnology 137. Perhaps the best work of its kind. Mich. and Dance. food preparation. Memoir of the Canada Department of Mines. A compilation of fifteen essays examines the cultural. and Power. and related subjects for the Iroquois tribes in great detail. Yeffe. Jamake. A general history of food and cooking in North America. 1969. 1973. See also: Feast of the Dead. and Jean Anderson. Ritual of the Wind: North American Indian Ceremonies. Potlatch. N. Green Corn Dance. Waverly. Kimball. Root. Michael. The most widely available of American Indian cookbooks. National Museum of Man. and Brian Hayden. 1977. Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation.Y. but information of the ceremony of which they are part. A widely available compilation of several ceremonies from different tribes. Waugh. Reprint. and political significance of feasts from such places as the Americas. This classic and massive work contains detailed descriptions of the tribes of the Southeast. eds. Little detail on feasts as such.: Scholarly Press. Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food.

the prayer stick. A red spot painted on top represented the killing of an enemy. Eagle feathers were especially important in constructing war bonnets and as “exploit feathers. or fourth in counting coup on an enemy. Eagle feathers were also considered best for feathering arrows. Although not believed to possess inherent power. Feathers obtained from native birds were an important natural material used by North American Indians for both decorative and symbolic purposes. Among the Dakota Sioux. If the edges were cut. A split feather served as a medal of honor. as the eagle was taken alive. he may have been fifth. Indians preferred the feathers of the less common golden eagle found in the western mountains. Another way to acquire eagle feathers required a hunter to conceal himself in a covered pit near a baited noose and overpower the snared eagle attracted to the food. Feathers would also be obtained through trade. This was a courageous act. .Feathers and Featherwork / 287 Feathers and Featherwork Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Indian tribes used feathers for decorative and symbolic purposes. The number of notches in a feather indicated if a warrior had been second. The feathers on the shaft might be painted red when war was planned. if the feather was cut off at the top it meant that the enemy’s throat had been cut.” A white feather with a black tip was preferred. By far the most valued and significant feathers used were those of the eagle. each of these exploit feathers had a particular meaning depending on how it was shaped or painted. and birds were sometimes raised from eaglets and then plucked at maturity. or peace pipe. Among the items of spiritual significance that were decorated with feathers were the calumet. feathers could be used to represent spiritual powers and actual achievements of the wearers. The calumet shaft was often heavily decorated with feathers and even the skins and heads of birds. third. indicating the warrior had been wounded in battle. and the wand.

duck.288 / Feathers and Featherwork Image not available Feathers served a symbolic as well as decorative function in the ceremonial dress of Native Americans. quail. Feathers of the roadrunner. hawk. called “Medicine Bird” by the Plains tribes. chaparral cock (or roadrunner). bluejay. and blackbird. were believed to bring good luck if hung within the lodge. . (Unicorn Stock Photos) Other bird species used for various purposes included the wild turkey. Roadrunner feathers were also fashioned into whistles for use in the Medicine Dance. meadowlark. Some California tribes were reputed to have used the scalps of certain small birds as a form of currency. woodpecker.

In 1916.Fire and Firemaking / 289 Woodland Indians of the eastern United States used turkey. it cooked food. Headdresses. sometimes topped by a single eagle feather. and also by some tribes in the west. Patricia Masserman See also: Beads and Beadwork. The origins of human use of fire go so far back in prehistoric time that no one can say exactly when it began. War Bonnets. It seems probable that . Fire and Firemaking Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Fire was the Indian’s most versatile tool. Elaborate feather robes were constructed by eastern tribes. this has sometimes caused difficulty for those who wished to continue to use certain feathers for decorative and symbolic purposes. and other treaties with nations such as Mexico followed. was signed between the United States and Great Britain (for Canada). and by the early twentieth century. provided the focal point for religious ceremonies. crane. Other tribes made caps of overlapping circles of small feathers. laws such as the Lacey Act of 1900 were passed to protect native birds. the Migratory Bird Treaty. Elaborate figures or patterns were often created in these feather robes. Dress and Adornment. Quillwork. and heron feathers to fashion their headdresses. the skins sometimes being cut into strips and interwoven to form the garment. Although allowances were made for American Indians. Both feathers and skins of birds were used. and altered the environment. Heavy depredations by American and European fashion designers in the late nineteenth century threatened many native bird species. also aimed at protecting birds from extensive predation. Sometimes feathers of small birds were prepared and used for decoration in the same manner as porcupine quills.

A “drill”—a stick that is rotated rapidly with the hands with one end set in one of the pits of the hearth—was used. Keeping a fire going was a religious duty. Fire was essential for cooking the beans. A hearth of wood. it could then be blown into life and the tinder touched to it. squash. shaved or rubbed to act as tinder. fire was the tool that Indians used to shape the natural environment to meet their needs. and corn that were central to the Indian diet. with pits in it. Most important of all. It made it possible to bake the pottery that was so widely used for containers. was placed on the ground and held firmly in place by the knees of the fire maker. Fire was a cleansing and purifying agent. Much more widespread. In so doing they not only dis- . was firemaking by wood friction. The drill-stick shed fine material onto the hearth. Rapid rotation of the drill could also be produced by looping a string around it and tying both ends to a bow. they put out the old fires and started a new one. The Indians of Alaska used stones to generate sparks.290 / Fire and Firemaking when the ancestors of the North American Indians crossed the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska they brought fire with them. When they cleared a plot of land of trees to create a field in which to plant crops. it made it possible to brew a variety of drinks. they burned the vegetation. Tribal deliberations took place around the council fire. the bow was moved back and forth. Fire made it possible to keep warm in the colder months that all Indians experienced. The Indians are known to have used several methods of making fire. Fire made it possible to cook the meat that Indians obtained by hunting wild animals. Religious ceremonies nearly always took place around a fire. however. it made it possible to bake foods and to boil water. he or she had already prepared some very dry vegetable material. Fire was also central to the religion of many tribes. The possession of fire made many Indian practices possible. in the fashion of the flint stone. when the Indians wanted to mark the end of a cycle. and the friction generated by rapid movement produced enough heat to make the material on the hearth smolder.

Fish and Fishing Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Fish were a dietary mainstay in northern and northwestern North America and a significant part of the diet in most other regions of the continent. See also: Food Preparation and Cooking. Robert. This was done to eliminate underbrush and make it easier to move about in the woods. swallowed by fish). and nets. fish traps. Nets were set. thrown. Many of the trees that are associated with Indians of the forest grow only in areas that have been burned over. widely noted by the first Europeans to come to America. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. and traps sometimes were baited. Indians. 1999. for the Indians to burn the woods each year. Fish were captured by an impressive array of technology. Fire. In . and the Land in the Pacific Northwest. gorges (double-pointed spikes on lines. It was common practice. or dipped. all Indians utilized fish for food. for whom fish are taboo. but pitch pines also grow best in burned-over areas. ed. Gordon Source for Further Study Boyd. With the exception of a few tribes.Fish and Fishing / 291 posed of unwanted plant material but also added lime and potash to the soil to make it more fruitful. Religion. weirs (fencelike fish traps) sometimes incorporated set nets. such as the Hopi. It served another purpose: It drove game animals into groups so they could more easily be hunted. gorges. Hooks. Nancy M. leisters (spears with grabbing hooks alongside their points). including hooks and lines. many of the cultural practices commonly associated with American Indian societies would have been impossible. Without fire. bows and arrows. harpoons. the birch is the most widely known of these.

When spawning fish were dense. Shellfish were collected by different methods. All these techniques were widespread in North America. Lob- This Yurok fisherman was photographed in 1923 by Edward S. Most mollusks were collected by hand or by digging. though women often collected fish after they had been poisoned. Curtis. (Library of Congress) . work that usually was considered to be like plant gathering and was done by women. Men most frequently did the fishing.292 / Fish and Fishing some places. vegetable poisons were thrown into pools to bring stunned or killed fish to the surface. they might be clubbed out of the water or simply grabbed with the hands.

The Inuit of the Arctic also used a considerable amount of fish. Fish were important to tribes of the Atlantic coast. Less intensive river and ocean fishing secured a variety of other fish. There is no evidence that any Indian tribe used salt to preserve fish or other meat. crabs. and maximum advantage of their abundance can be taken only if their flesh can be preserved.c. few tribes relied on shellfish heavily. and other crustaceans usually were captured in nets or traps by men. where salmon runs provided vast quantities of food that was preserved for use through the year. Fish were relatively unimportant in the Plains and the arid Southwest and West. Salmon.e. the interior woodlands. In the far north. . These chemicals flavor the meat and inhibit the growth of microorganisms. In this culture area. but they did not assume the importance they did in the aforementioned areas. this can be accomplished by freezing. when mammals were less available. a fatty fish used for candles. The greatest reliance was in the Pacific Northwest. including the olachen. Most fish come together in great numbers during seasonal spawning. but elsewhere the technology must be more complicated. Tribes of the northern forests of Canada used large quantities of lake fish seasonally. Whales and Whaling. Russell J. Placing fish on racks over low fires dries the meat and impregnates it with chemicals from the smoke. Such drying-smoking racks are known archaeologically from as early as 6000 b. though sea mammals provided the greater part of their diet. Although shell heaps left from such gathering sometimes are extensive. and California. Barber See also: Hunting and Gathering. and fish can be preserved for several months by this method. The degree of reliance on finfish varied around North America. Weirs and Traps.Fish and Fishing / 293 sters. in New York’s Hudson Valley. the salmon run was a critical annual event surrounded by religious and social ritual to ensure success.

294 / Flutes Flutes Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Flutes were played in many American Indian cultures. Flutes could be constructed of any appropriate material. Most versions were simple hollow tubes with four or five finger holes to control pitch. Mexico. The flute and similar wind instruments such as pan-pipes and ocarinas were commonly revered by shamans and curers as sacred instruments for contacting the spirit world. and the American Southwest.” a mythological hump-backed figure. and shamanic power. and several preColumbian deities. Flutes. ceramics. bone. reed. and ceramic. reed flutes up to 6 feet in length. Major cults centered on the playing of flutes arose in several locales throughout the Americas and flute players are commonly depicted in paintings. and they were probably derived from Old World paleolithic prototypes. usually by shamans and participants in ceremonies. western Mexico. Flute players figure prominently in several Native American myths and legends. including wood. deception. the majority of archaeological specimens have been recovered from preserved deposits in the western and southwestern United States. called queñas. The central character in this cult is a figure identified by modern Hopi as “Kokopelli. and jewelry from South America. rattles.e. and hand drums are the oldest and most widespread musical instruments in the New World. were commonly depicted as flute players. Though flutes were widespread throughout the Americas. A particularly strong version of a flute cult appeared in the American Southwest around 500 c. and South America. Masked representations of Kokopelli appear in modern . in many cases literally manifesting the “voice” of the spirits. sometimes depicted as an insect or ithyphallic male and commonly recognizable by his playing of the flute. were played during male initiation ceremonies. the Aztec god of darkness. In South America. such as Tezcatlipoca.

especially if they lived in an area with limited fuel. technology. Much of North America had plentiful wood supplies. The . While a few. These factors meant that the more mobile tribes.Food Preparation and Cooking / 295 Hopi ceremonials. While ceramic pots could be exposed to fire. The masonry bread oven of the Pueblos was introduced by the Spanish. most of whom made little or no pottery. Sometimes. Tribes who made only the latter had to heat liquids in them by adding hot stones. and a seasonal dance called the Flute Ceremony is specifically devoted to the playing and honoring of large wooden flutes. Music and Song. James D. The greatest constraints surrounded heat for cooking. Wood typically was burned in an open fire. Flute playing was traditionally restricted to male shamans and ceremonial participants. skin and bark vessels would burn up. Food Preparation and Cooking Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Cooking techniques among indigenous North American peoples varied according to whether a tribe was mobile or sedentary and whether it used pottery. with food or cooking vessels suspended over it or buried in its coals. such as animal livers and berries. and energy sources. Flat rocks could be used as griddles. commonly were eaten raw. though parts of the arid West and the Arctic were deficient. the fire was made in a pit and covered with dirt. were quite limited in their cooking techniques. especially in the East. Farmer See also: Dances and Dancing. never obtaining more than a low simmer. Most foods in traditional North American Indian cuisines were eaten cooked. forming a slow-cooking earth oven (aboveground ovens were not used anywhere). the rest were transformed through techniques constrained by the available ingredients.

Biscuits . prepared most of their food by simmering ground seeds and tubers. for example. or whatever was available. berries. Other foods were wrapped in leaves and roasted in the coals. (Library of Congress) Washoe. based on cornmeal with various additions. The Wampanoag. often mixed with greens.296 / Food Preparation and Cooking A northern Plains woman preparing a meal in the nineteenth century by blending traditional techniques with European American customs. ate primarily stews and gruels. and they could exploit full boiling. for example. Sedentary tribes usually made pottery. meat.

Some foods were taboo. Corn. Pemmican. Hunting and Gathering. Feasts. as well as nutritional. The Pima grew cotton and extracted oil from its seeds. Salt. Many tribes offered a prayer before eating. Russell J. There. was widely used in the East. then ladled into individual serving bowls. but it requires a fat that will not burn easily. Fire and Firemaking. Fish and meat require a smoky fire to produce a nonperishable product. but they developed other fuel-saving practices. as will most animal fats.Food Preparation and Cooking / 297 were made on rock griddles. Certain foods might be eaten politely only with the hands. Buffalo. and fat. Indeed. and dumplings were made from leafwrapped dough. dry easily and well. were cooked in large pots for an entire extended family. and roasting. a tasty mixture of dried meat. like paper-thin piki bread. berries. significance. Desert agriculturalists of the Southwest had a special problem: dense populations with limited fuel. while others pose greater difficulties. and most tribes used meats to complement the plant seasonings collected and cultivated. Sautéing is quick and conserves fuel. . while vegetables usually were roasted in the coals. cooked almost immediately. Stews and soups. Barber See also: Agriculture. while others required the use of spoons or leaf scoops. Subsistence. Pemmican. and drying was most commonly used. Meat often was roasted on racks above a fire. such as beans and corn. Some dishes. the Pima developed sautéing as an adjunct to boiling. Without refrigeration. the most common meals. baking. Every tribe had distinctive rules surrounding cooking and eating. The Pueblo peoples had no cotton from which to extract oil. while others were relished. Some foodstuffs. using it for sautéing and seasoning. storing food became a major challenge. and the resultant taste became a flavoring for other dishes. These and other social conventions made eating an event with cultural. eating large chunks of meat was unusual.

but some tribe members protest its presence on reservations. there was no prior large-scale experience with gambling as a commercial enterprise. (National Archives) . The arrival of gaming has brought dividends to some native peoples.298 / Gambling Gambling Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Gambling facilities have brought needed income to some native peoples. Four Paiute Indians playing a gambling game in southwestern Nevada during the late nineteenth century. commercial gambling became a major source of income on Indian reservations across the United States. but it has brought controversy culminating in firefights and death to others. While many Native American cultures practiced forms of gambling as a form of sport (such as the Iroquois peachstone game). During the late twentieth century.

Butterworth. when the Seminoles became the first Indian tribe to enter the bingo industry. By early 1985. saw a means of increasing their revenues by offering bingo games with prize money greater than that allowed by the U. principal deputy solicitor of the Department of the Interior. When challenged. Department of the Interior. gross revenue from such operations passed $1 billion that year. most important. Cabazon Band. As state-run lotteries became legal and proliferated throughout the United States. hospitals. jobs. gaming was sanctioned as a legitimate method of tribal economic development. In October of 1988.000. state’s law. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. By the fall of 1988. According to the U.Gambling / 299 Development of Gambling. while bingo stakes in surrounding areas under state jurisdiction were sometimes limited to one hundred dollars. the tribes sued in federal court and won (Seminole Tribe v. For the first time. The history of reservation gambling begins in 1979. California v. 150 native reservations recognized by non-Indian governmental bodies had some form of gambling. The provisions of the law were two-edged: They required tribes to negotiate with states on types and rules of gaming. Individual prizes in some reservation bingo games were reported to be as high as $100. the Congressional Research Service estimated that more than one hundred Indian tribes participated in some form of gambling. described the fertile ground gambling enterprises had found in Indian country: . roads—and. Marion Blank Horn. which officially legalized gambling on reservations. schools. but they also guaranteed that ownership of gaming facilities and their revenues would belong to the tribes. Indian tribal governments. and gaming revenues began to subsidize reservation infrastructure.S. not subject to state regulations.S. 1987). which grossed about $255 million a year. 1979. between seventy-five and eighty of the federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States were conducting some sort of organized game of chance. The act also established the National Indian Gaming Commission to oversee gaming activities. By 1991.

As many as seven casinos had opened illegally along the reservation’s main highway. it brought violence to the Akwesasne Mohawks of St. the area became a crossroads for the illicit smuggling of drugs.300 / Gambling Casino Morongo in Cabazon. and tax-free liquor and cigarettes. Residents blockaded the reservation to keep the casinos’ customers out. . no costs for licenses or compliance with state requirements. prompting the violent destruction of the same blockades by gambling supporters in late April. Tension escalated after early protests against gambling in the late 1980’s (including the vandalizing of one casino and the burning of another) were met by brutal attempts by gambling supporters to repress this resistance. The reasons for growth in gambling on Indian land are readily apparent. The lack of any state regulation results in a competitive advantage over gambling regulated by the states. including cocaine. California. no restrictions by the states on days or hours of operations. These advantages include no state-imposed limits on the size of pots or prizes. Regis in upstate New York. The Indian tribal governments see an opportunity for income that can make a substantial improvement in the tribe’s [economic] conditions. Death at Akwesasne. While gambling brought benefits to some Native American communities. and no state taxes on gambling operations.

and night-long firefights that culminated in two Mohawk deaths during the early morning of May 1. members became eligible for homes (if they lacked them). which approved Proposition 105 in 1998—have shown support for Indian gaming. By that time. and full college scholarships. gambling was providing a small galaxy of material benefits for some formerly impoverished native peoples. The IGRA divides gaming into three classes: social or cultural forms (Class I). and voters—such as California’s electorate. By the early 1990’s. Indian tribal casinos and other gaming centers have proliferated. each member of the tribe was getting monthly dividend checks averaging two thousand dollars as shareholders in the casino. According to the National Indian Gaming Association. The tribe had taken out health insurance policies for everyone on the reservation and established day care for children of working parents. violence had spiraled into brutal beatings of antigambling activists. operated by the 103 members of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux. a suburb of San Diego. while 450 other players stared into video slot machines inside the tipi-shaped Little Six Casino. Regulation and Ongoing Controversy. Because of the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). By 1991. A half-hour’s drive from Minnesota’s Twin Cities. bingo and other nonbanking card games lawful within the states as a whole (Class II). Intervention of several police agencies from the United States and Canada followed the two deaths. blackjack players crowded forty-one tables. in 2002 two-thirds of the American public supported Indian gaming. . Since that time. The largest casino to open by mid-1991 was the three-million-dollar Sycuan Gaming Center on the Sycuan Indian Reservation near El Cajon. and outside police presence continued for years afterward. and all other gaming. California.Gambling / 301 1990. guaranteed jobs (if they were unemployed). Indian gaming is highly regulated and not solely under the jurisdiction of tribal governments. despite continued state challenges. drive-by shootings. 1990. In addition to monthly dividends. Benefits.

including the Internal Revenue Service. Indian Gaming and the Law. Starting in 1996. Colo. national agencies. Nevertheless. 1995. Gambling. Indian gaming continues to thrive.: Johnson Books. “gaming has replaced the buffalo as the mechanism used by American Indian people for survival. the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 1998. opposition. the Bureau of Indian Affairs.. and the Justice Department. Class III gaming is subject to compacts between TGCs and state regulatory agencies. . which continues to provoke controversy. Covers traditional Indian gaming in myth. Reno: University of Nevada. A collection of essays by participants in the North American Conference on the Status of Indian Gaming with different perspectives. list of gambling organizations. San Diego.” Bruce E. The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is the primary advocate and defender of Indian gaming. ed. History. According to the NIGA’s Web site. and Archaeology in North America. of which there are nearly two hundred. Kathryn. Johansen. William. Calif. ed. Bibliography. In addition. with state-of-the-art casinos across the nation that attract patrons from surrounding areas and beyond. The latter two classes are subject to regulation by the tribal gaming commissions (TGCs). Charles P. Boulder. Indian casinos became subject to Title 31 of the Bank Secrecy Act. history. from investigative reports to a letter to 60 Minutes. 1996. Appendices include the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and transcripts from the Cabazon case. Moose Sources for Further Study Cozic. Today Indian gaming is big business. and at least for those tribes with large interests the industry has spawned some improvement in the socioeconomic status of tribal members and reservation infrastructure.: Greenhaven Press. updated by Christina J. A collection of articles covering all perspectives. Gabriel. Eadington. and litigation by large non-Indian gaming interests as well as states. all have roles in the regulation of Indian gaming. Gambler Way: Indian Gaming in Mythology.302 / Gambling including casino games (Class III).

provided entertainment. the Bank Secrecy Act. Indian Gaming Handbook. Westport. Children tended to mimic adult activities to ready themselves for work and war.: U. Jerome L. Conn. Levine. Tourism. Games and Contests Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Games reflected the importance of athleticism to most Indian tribes. See also: Games and Contests. 1995.S. developing their skills and endurance. National Indian Gaming Commission regulations. Bibliography. and war.Games and Contests / 303 and modern times. U. eds. and Wendy Parnell. Congress. 1999. 1985.S.. Established federal standards and regulations for the conduct of gaming activities. hunting. while men tested themselves in preparation for hunting and warfare. Both men and women found entertainment in playing games. Government Printing Office. Bibliography. Los Angeles: Levine and Associations. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. American Indians traditionally participated in a variety of games and contests. Sr. Lane. Washington. Return of the Buffalo. Gambling on Indian Reservations and Lands. An overview and compendium of the law surrounding Indian gaming: the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. including games of chance. index.C. Internal Revenue Service publications. . D. related federal statutes and regulations. notes. and more. Ambrose I.: Begin and Garvey. including politics and current issues. the Department of the Interior’s gaming guidelines. and helped develop skills for work. Covers the historical development of California’s Cabazon band of Mission Indians and the landmark case that established the beginning of Indian gaming. taxes on wagering.

and kickball races. and participation was more important than winning. ice hockey. Pre-Columbian Native Americans played forms of field hockey. kicking sticks or balls. shooting arrows. According to Stewart Culin. who did an extensive study of Indian games. including shuttle relay races. Different tribes had various forms of foot races. produce rain. the Pueblo Indians celebrated the tercentennial of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 by reenacting the part played by the runners who spread the word of the rebellion. Pueblo Indians would get up at dawn and run to their cornfields located miles away. and many other activities. and courage required for survival in the Americas. and they developed canoes. uniting their empire. Inuits also did a blanket toss. throwing spears. swings. and fertilize crops Races and Ball Games. Games also had a religious aspect. In pre-Columbian America. In 1980. running. stamina. they were played to drive away sickness. even though betting on outcomes was universally common. Plains tribes played a form of dodge ball in which the batter tossed and batted a rawhide ball. spreading a blanket like a trampoline and throwing participants as high as fifteen or twenty feet in the air. Various forms of kickball were played. even by Inuits (Eskimos). and football.304 / Games and Contests Athletic games involved wrestling. These games tested the strength. Unlike the spectator sports of today. who would try to dodge out of the way. toboggans. in contrast to the more individualistic sports of pre-contact Europeans. in- . kick-stick. Many Native American games involved teams playing against each other. while communication within and among tribes took place using swift couriers. stilts. Fielders would try to catch the ball and then throw it at the batter. and rubber balls. Football games were played across the continent. Inca runners ran thousands of miles. Various forms of races were held to develop the endurance of runners. soccer. sleds. there was more total participation. snowshoes. and their history and rules were often bound up in the traditional beliefs of the tribes. hunters literally ran down deer and other game. kayaks.

Stick games that involved guessing which hand held a hidden marker were widespread. Other tribes would place an object in one of several moccasins. In the Southwest. The Choctaw played a game called kabocca with a wooden ball about the size of a golf ball. The Iroquois called kabocca the “little brother of war. and each team had supporters that dressed similarly and sang as the game was played to give their players power and to confound the opposing team. The ice version was played by both sexes. was uniquely American. Some tribes played games involving throwing or shooting arrows. with the object of correctly guessing the moccasin hiding the object. now known as lacrosse. corncob targets were knocked down with wooden balls. The Menominee would shake dice-like objects in a bowl and then throw them out. or to determine who were the best warriors. Games could be very rough and could last several days—scores could run into the hundreds. Various forms of bowling were practiced. Another Cherokee game involved rolling or sliding a disk-shaped stone while contestants simultaneously threw poles to land where they guessed the stone would stop. As many as seven hundred players on one team would try to move the ball toward one or another of the goalposts. either at circular targets drawn on the ground or through rolling hoops. using sticks with cup-shaped ends to catch and throw the ball. ball games were used to earn hunting privileges. to settle disputes. Gambling games were popular.Games and Contests / 305 cluding what was known in the 1980’s as hackeysack. Shinny is a form of hockey that was played throughout North America. which were as much as a mile apart. Doubleball was a variation of shinny that used two baseball-sized balls that were tied together with a half-foot leather strap.” This game. but the field version was played mainly by women. Gambling Games. Crow Indians still practice an arrow-throwing game involving throwing arrows at a circular target drawn on the ground. Crow Indians played the stick game with teams. . The Cherokee pitched stones at clay pins. A player carried the double ball or threw it with a hooked stick. In the Southeast.

who had won the silver medal in the same event in 1912. An American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1972 at Haskell Indian Junior College to honor Indian athletes.” Northwest Coast children played games such as fish trap. The greatest Indian athlete was Jim Thorpe (Sauk and Fox). and in the process he beat the United States Olympic record of Louis Tewanima (Hopi). he was considered the greatest athlete of the half-century. in a football uniform. Jon Reyhner . in the twentieth century Indians have participated in nonIndian athletic events. According to an Associated Press poll in 1950. Children participated in a variety of games. Girls would put up miniature dwellings and play “house. He won the gold medal for the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics and went on to play professional football and baseball. (National Archives) letes. Famous Athletes. at the of Olympic-class Indian athCarlisle Indian School circa 1919. a form of tag in which the “fishers” simulated a net while the “fish” tried to avoid getting caught. While usually any recognition given outstanding Indian athletes was fleeting at best.306 / Games and Contests Children’s Games.” while boys hunted small game to feed their “families. and there have been a number Jim Thorpe. Billy Mills (Sioux) won the gold medal for the tenthousand-meter race at the 1964 Olympics.

Describes the races held as part of the tercentennial commemoration of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. 1958. American Indian Sports Heritage. Stewart. Santa Fe.” In Teaching American Indian Students. Peter. “Physical Education. N. Oxendine. Joseph B. . In addition. 1988. Allan. Comprehensive history and description of Indian games along with short biographies of Indian sports figures. Handbook of American Indian Games. intended to teach children how to play the games. Nabokov. discusses the history and accomplishments of Indian runners. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. New York: Dover. New York: Julian Messner. this is the most extensive study of Indian games available. Indian Running: Native American History and Tradition.Games and Contests / 307 Sources for Further Study Anderson. Lacrosse. Gambling. Hand Games. 1987. 1951. 1992.: Ancient City Press. 1975. 2000. Describes various Indian games. See also: Ball Game and Courts. Madelyn Klein. An examination of the orgins and significance of games such as lacrosse. First published in the twenty-fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1902-1903). dice games. edited by Jon Reyhner. shinny. A biography of one of the most famous athletes of the twentieth century. with Henry Gilfond. Gene. Macfarlan. The Jim Thorpe Story: America’s Greatest Athlete. Robert W.Mex. Ill. Illustrated by Paulette Macfarlan. New York: Dover.: Human Kinetics Books. Grueninger. Champaign. Children. and guessing games to Native Americans. It includes detailed drawings of the various implements used in the games. Games of the North American Indians. Schoor. Describes a variety of Indian games appropriate for schools. and Paulette Macfarlan. North American Indian Games. Culin. New York: Franklin Watts.

typically pot- . that is. prehistories demonstrate cultural differences through archaeological studies of material culture. Indian societies were marked by variation in the types of gender categories present and in their manifestation over time. which involve both men and women. Subordinated groups whose discourse differs from the dominant mode may not be heard. Accounts of American Indian prehistory manifest similar problems. for as Alice Kehoe (“The Muted Class. 1991).308 / Gender Relations and Roles Gender Relations and Roles Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Gender roles are culturally defined entities that serve to structure social organization.” Typical of androcentric (male-oriented) writing is Claude Lévi-Strauss’s statement: “The entire village left the next day in about 30 canoes. Gender is typically regarded as a cultural or social construction. it is a tale of interactions among sexless cultures rather than among gendered individuals. in contrast to the biologically defined sexual division between male and female. Such male-centered research creates obvious problems for an adequate understanding of human interactions and behavior. Engendering Native Americans.” in Cheryl Claassen’s Exploring Gender Through Archaeology.” in Joan M. Much of our understanding of North American Indians and their history and prehistory is “degendered”. The implication is that women and children are unimportant and do not contribute to village society. 1992) explains: “Dominant groups dominate discourse. Conkey’s Engendering Archaeology. Even those accounts of Native Americans which incorporate gender commonly only include male roles. Generally. The creation of gender is an active process that may involve more than simply two-gender categories and that may vary through time among different cultures. leaving us alone with the women and children in the abandoned houses” (remarked upon in Alison Wylie’s “Gender Theory and the Archaeological Record. Gero and Margaret W.

but more intensely during the 1980’s and 1990’s. gender arrangements are unchanging through time. and tools are dropped here and there by faceless. and other fields which typically ignored gender among Indians. while for others they may be completely inaccurate. however. only two gender roles are found in other cultures. sexless beings defined mainly in terms of the space in which they move. and gay populations. these broad generalizations are often applied to Native Americans with little attempt to verify their truth. such as women. Typical androcentric studies concerning Native Americans generally include such erroneous assumptions as the following: Gender roles and relationships are irrelevant for the understanding of other cultures. archaeology. Willows’ The Archaeology of Gender. Elizabeth Graham (“Women and Gender in Maya Prehistory. gender relationships among Native American societies correspond directly to those found among European groups. Since the 1970’s. Some of this feminist-inspired research has a political component and is explicitly directed toward the empowerment of certain groups. feminist studies have had an impact on the fields of anthropology.Gender Relations and Roles / 309 tery or stone tools. a few of these assumptions may be correct. history.” in Dale Walde and Noreen D. For some American Indian groups. and women are passive and their work is of little value (whereas men are active and their work is socially important). Not all is politically motivated. women’s activities are defined in accordance to their reproductive capabilities. much as the “manland” relationship was typically seen as fundamental to cultural . The point is. and not all is even concerned with women. or the energy they expend. The unifying theme underlying gender research is a theoretical outlook which views gender relationships as the fundamental structural component to social organization. Native American studies.” Such reconstructions of the past may demonstrate differences in manufacturing styles among groups but generally do not advance understanding of the interactions among the men and women who composed these groups. 1991) succinctly explains: “Pots and lithics [stone tools] seem to move of their own accord across ancient landscapes. American Indians.

(Library of Congress) . the identification of more than two gender categories and their activities and history. Early twentieth century Cahuilla woman carrying berries or nuts she has gathered. Gender studies also may stress social diversity by emphasizing the presence of multiple “voices” or “narratives” within a group. Generally. gender research concerning American Indians includes three types of study: the investigation of women’s behavior and history.310 / Gender Relations and Roles ecology. and the development of theories to explain the identified gender relationships.

nor do these women always take their children with them on excursions. and children may be looked after by other mothers (who can nurse the infant). however. and women in the colonial period. Studies have demonstrated that this anthropologically undervalued occupation can generate a large proportion of the household’s daily diet. among them studies of famous women. whether working as a cooperative group or on their own. In fact. Other assumptions concerning women’s collecting behavior have been similarly corrected.Gender Relations and Roles / 311 Investigation of Women’s Behavior and History. whereas gathering was depicted as routine. This aspect of gender research includes many types of research. Based on the ethnographic data concerning women as gatherers and horticulturalists (practicing nonmechanized farming). and other scholars who have worked with Native Americans or Native American concerns. archaeologists. gathering women. mother’s brother and family. other women. Studies of famous women represent attempts to balance a maledominated history by showing the contributions of important women. Increased attention directed toward women’s roles has focused research on their gathering activities. women as gatherers and horticulturalists. it had been assumed that women’s biological functions (the bearing and rearing of children) limited their ability to roam far from home to obtain plants or raw materials. fathers. it had sometimes been assumed that male hunting contributed the major portion of the diet. Among some cultures. Generally. Previously. studies of prehistoric North American Indians assume that the women gathered plants and that the men hunted animals. Toward this goal. based primarily on data from male-focused ethnographies. once women have given birth. and crop domestication. An undervaluing of female roles ap- . do not remain consistently close to their home or camp. there is an obvious linkage between women. women as tool-makers. Previously. passive behavior. varying strategies of child care are possible. Hunting by males was regarded in the literature as an innovative and active event. plants. or other members of the group. researchers have written biographies of well-known Indian women and of women anthropologists. siblings.

Of less interest are skinning. or denied. and in village sites. archaeologists and ethnographers typically emphasized “man the toolmaker. researchers have not conducted edge-wear analyses (microscopic examinations of stone tool edges). In most cases. Archaeologists and members of the public are commonly interested in aesthetically appealing.” In addition to the fact that women’s roles as stone-tool users or .” in Gero and Conkey’s Engendering Archaeology).” in Engendering Archaeology) suggests that based on two assumptions—that “females comprised approximately half of all prehistoric populations” and that “these women carried out production activities at prehistoric sites”—then surely “women can be expected to be most visible and active in precisely the contexts that archaeologists are most likely to excavate: on house floors. however. despite the fact that open areas might be more likely locations for points. and food-preparing tools (such as knives). Gero (“Genderlithics: Women’s Roles in Stone Tool Production.” rendering human (likely women’s) actions or abilities unnecessary (according to Patty Jo Watson and Mary C. In addition to studies concerning women’s contributions to household subsistence. some researchers have examined women’s tool-manufacturing abilities. downplayed. where women would congregate to carry out their work. Typically. termed “projectile points” by archaeologists). elaborate stone pieces which display complex flaking patterns. Kennedy in “The Development of Horticulture.312 / Gender Relations and Roles pears to explain why descriptions of the development of horticulture commonly involve a process whereby “plants virtually domesticate themselves. the projectile-point identification is applied in excavated contexts ranging from open woodlands to domestic campsites. or on what material these actions were performed.” The role of women in tool manufacturing was commonly ignored. Joan M. In the past. usually associated with women. at base camps. while campsites are the more likely locations for knives and scraping implements. which demonstrate whether the items were used for piercing (point) or slicing (knife) functions. scraping. these items are typically identified as male hunting tools (such as arrowheads or spear points.

It has been ironically remarked by anthropologists with an interest in gender that women suddenly “appear” in the archaeologies of regions with the advent of ceramic manufacturing. For example.or understated. Despite dissatisfaction with such simplistically applied assumptions. and Kiowa-Apache). such as healing or marketing. Cree. observers may provide only a partial account of events. but in many cases. decorating. Iroquois. fuel. then the actual shaping of the clay may not be the most important part of the process. although this role may be the only one which is recorded by the investigator. and warfare (Cheyenne. many studies have concentrated on how changing trading priorities may . discussions of North American prehistory assume that Indian women were the prehistoric potters if the historically documented communities had women potters. trade (Hidatsa and Mandan). this category is meaningless for traditional kinship-oriented groups. If the entire household participates in ceramic manufacturing. Generally. and Pawnee).Gender Relations and Roles / 313 manufacturers typically vanish in archaeological reconstructions. it must be admitted that the identification of prehistoric gender-correlated activities is not an easy process. Scholars and Native Americans have worked to demonstrate women’s participation in areas in which their influence is commonly denied. much as men earlier “appeared” with the use of stone tools. sixteenth century writings describing the involvement of Aztec women in weaving and cooking may not mention other roles. Even in cases for which historic documents exist. shown in accompanying illustrations. Crow. religion (among Blackfoot. their roles in ceramic production may also be over. fire-tending. These include prestigious wealth-generating occupations (among Hopi. Ojibwa. For example. through the gathering of clay. and so on. Anthropologists often indicate whether women or men are the “potters” among the society studied. and Tlingit). A high proportion of the research concerning women’s roles in American Indian societies has been directed toward the demonstration of changes which occurred with the encroachment of the European social and mercantile system. water.

Descriptions of American Indians have often ignored common culturally accepted changes in gender typical of many Native American groups. There is abundant literature discussing the berdaches (typically defined as males who dress and behave as women) in the historic period. the women’s occupation at that time and place) before it could be exchanged with Europeans. This could be achieved through polygynous unions (marriage to more than one wife). Other effects of Indian-European contact have also been investigated. Theoretically. as described in “From Illusion to Illumination: Anthropological Studies of American Indian Women.” in Sandra Morgen’s Gender and Anthropology (1989). Within many Native American cultures. Several studies. Relatively recent emphasis on the understanding of diversity has led to a greater study and recognition of gender transformations among American Indians. Research on Plains (such as Lakota Sioux). women became producers within a system controlled by men. As pelts increased in value. In this manner. Albers’ research. Patricia C. have examined the influence of missionization on traditional gender roles. indicates that as many as 113 American Indian groups recognized transformative gender statuses and that among these.314 / Gender Relations and Roles have affected gender relationships. for example. there was increased pressure for a man to create relationships with more women who could treat the animal skins. Identification of More than Two Gender Categories. berdaches constituted a culturally accepted component of society. but each skin had to be prepared (typically. They were found across North America and have been identified during the historic . It has been suggested that this situation probably resulted in decreased power for the women of these groups. male transvestism (biologically male individuals who took on the cultural roles typical of women) predominated. a hunter (typically a man during the contact period for these groups) could obtain an infinite number of skins. rather than being the producers and organizers of their own economic enterprises. and Northeast (such as Ojibwa and Cree) cultures suggests that the European fur trade added value to the traditional production of prepared skins.

the Subarctic (Hare and Ingalik). Cherokee. Traditionally. Studies of berdaches from the 1970’s onward have instead tended to discuss transformative behavior within its specific social context and to include women gender transformers (women behaving as men) in addition to identifying other gender categories. Research has confirmed the expectation that gender varies culturally and that many Indian groups had roles for female gender transformers. Theoretical works generally focus on the discussion of two gender categories—heterosexual men and hetero- . Salinan. Kawaiisu. and not on those of outside groups). Lakota Sioux. and Quebec Inuit). For example. There are. Piegan. Pacific Inuit. Miami. Wiyot. Navajo. American Indian studies have concentrated more on the identification and description of different gender categories than on the explanation of these categories’ creation or function. specifically as an example of how notions of normal and abnormal behavior are culturally defined within individual societies. Ottawa. Kutenai. and Paiute). Illinois. and Yokuts). and the Southeast (Timucua and Natchez). while among other groups.Gender Relations and Roles / 315 period in the Arctic (Aleut. California (Chumash. possibly Tuscarora and Winnebago). various gender categories within different cultural groups. parents or other adults could change the gender of a child. Tolowa. among the historic period Inuit. girls were often dressed as boys if the parents had desired a son or if they wished the child to take on the name and characteristics of a deceased male. and each of these has (or had) varying roles and social status. the Southwest (Karankawa and Navajo). anthropologists discussed the berdache phenomenon in the context of cultural relativism (the concept that cultures must be evaluated based on their own values. In some cases. individuals determined their own genders. or were. the Great Basin (Eastern Shoshone. the Northeast (Delaware. Theories to Explain Gender. Among them were the Atsina (or Gros Ventres). and Tlingit. the Great Plains (Lakota Sioux). Canadian Blackfoot. Cheyenne. Baffinland Inuit.

although there are always exceptions. It is related to their economic contribution (such as their ability to contribute to the daily diet). Broadly. such as among the horticultural Iroquois. Improvement in women’s social status generally is correlated with a number of factors. Many of the societies with socially valued women also granted women claims to the resources they generated. In other cases. or to their homes. Among some societies (as among Blackfoot. such as with the nomadic buffalo-hunting groups of the Plains. the European trading . it seems that women have more freedom in marital matters when descent is traced through the women’s line (matrilineal descent). women had greater status than in societies where women contributed less to the daily diet. Additionally. In some cases. Among some groups. Activities do provide a strong indication of the demarcated gender role within the society (traditionally discussed under “divisions of labor”). it is related to their influence on the heredity of their offspring through matrilineal descent patterns. independent women. it is also related to their control over basic resources (such as homes or land) and to the yields from these resources (such as crops). and Ojibwa). for example) tend to be marked by the presence of powerful. Hopi. to the land. women played an active role in the selection of a spouse and were able to divorce their husbands. individuals could adopt the behavior of the opposite sex without changing their gender. using the variables of occupation or marital relationship. Iroquois. the European mercantile system seemed to decrease the status of women. Marital rights are also examined as an indicator of the relative freedom of women and men. Colonization resulted in many changes in the relationships between Indian women and men. whereas among other groups.316 / Gender Relations and Roles sexual women—and often examine their relative status and power through time (typically precolonial versus colonial). It has been suggested that in cases where women contributed noticeably to the household’s subsistence (as among the Hopi and Iroquois). such behavior was interpreted as a change in gender. Societies having all these attributes (Hopi society.

During the later prehistoric and early historic period. often misleading. including gay women. Gunn’s Laguna Pueblo and Sioux heritage influences her essays concerning Native American women. the means of wealth accumulation and prestige were increasingly in the hands of men. with a new preface. meant that women assumed greater control of village organization and resources. this male involvement in buffalo hunting (for hides and meat) did not translate into increased female status. These extended absences from villages. and sometimes completely inaccurate. corn) in the fields surrounding their villages.Gender Relations and Roles / 317 system may have advanced the status of women. Susan J. Lillian A. “became workers in a highly specialized production process over which men had ultimate control. 1992. A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of the Columbia Plateau. political. they ventured farther afield in search of furbearing animals. no illustrations. . New perspectives on gender have had a profound impact on the understanding of society and culture in general and of Native Americans in particular. and as prey became scarcer in the vicinity of their settlements. An examination of gender equality in four areas: domestic. It is now recognized that anthropological descriptions which fail to take gender into account are incomplete at best. as Albers notes. Paula Gunn. As a result. Iroquois women controlled horticultural production (most importantly. For nomadic Plains groups. With the arrival of Europeans.” The most important result of gender research is that it has increased awareness of the variation among Native American populations. Reprint. Comprehensive index. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Boston: Beacon Press. Wurtzburg Sources for Further Study Ackerman. and religious. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Iroquois men became fur traders. Allen. both in fur trading and in raiding. since women were eliminated from the cooperative buffalo hunts and. 2003. economic.

: American Anthropological Association. et al. many of whom wrote about Native Americans. Anthology of fictional and traditional prose. 1989. Gender and Anthropology: Critical Reviews for Research and Teaching. Gero.: WEEA.. most dealing with North America. An innovative archaeologist’s search for evidence . Morgen. charts. and Margaret W. Sandra. Good theoretical introduction. Janet D. and photographs. Anthology of papers by archaeologists providing research on gender issues. Claassen. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1989. D. Ute. 1989. Exploring Gender Through Archaeology: Selected Papers from the 1991 Boone Conference. What This Awl Means: Feminist Archaeology at a Wahpeton Dakota Village. Spector. American Indian Women: Telling Their Lives. 1991. including lesson plans and film suggestions.. no illustrations. Sisters in the Blood: The Education of Women in Native America. Gacs. maps. Newton. Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory.. Spider Woman’s Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary Writing by Native American Women. Washington. Joan M. Mass. Conkey. Index. 1992. Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies. No index. ed. eds. Bowker.: Prehistory Press. Bataille. drawings. Gretchen M. eds. Albers. 1984. Cheryl. ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Wis. 1993. No comprehensive index. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. ed. Brief authors’ biographies and suggestions for further reading. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Biographical data concerning women anthropologists. Contains useful review of research concerning American Indian women by Patricia C. Comprehensive index. New York: Fawcett Columbine.C. Comprehensive index and useful bibliography. Informative analyses based on interviews with 991 northern Plains women. Anthology of articles by specialists. and Kathleen Mullen Sands. 1993. An anthology of articles focusing on the synthesis of research and teaching methods.318 / Gender Relations and Roles _______. St. Ardy. Essays concerning Native American autobiography. Madison.

Index. The Ghost Dance began in 1890 as a result of the visions of a Paiute Indian from Nevada called Wovoka. Puberty and Initiation Rites. As a result of his visions. Canada: University of Calgary Archaeological Association.Ghost Dance / 319 and understanding of Dakota women. Walde. The Archaeology of Gender: Proceedings of the Twenty-second Annual Chacmool Conference. No index. Women. Ghost Dance Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The Ghost Dance was one of many religious rituals and movements that arose in the wake of European contact in response to permanent changes in traditional lifeways for native peoples. and Noreen D. massive fires. The Ghost Dance movement is usually described by scholars as an “apocalyptic” or “prophetic”-type movement (borrowing descriptive terms from the study of biblical history). Such movements usually involve someone describing bizarre or frightening visions of a catastrophic change in world events. Marriage and Divorce. Menses and Menstruation. Education: Pre-contact. Crisis Movements. most of which concern prehistory or history of Native Americans. 1991. Calgary. eds. These crises can be natural (earthquakes. Children. Wovoka began delivering a series of prophetic messages that described a future which would restore Native Americans to their life as it had been before contact with the European American settlers and would drive away or destroy the settlers on Native American traditional lands. and these movements are often found among populations who are experiencing severe crisis. Dale. See also: Berdache. Willows. illustrations and photographs. charts. Selection of papers. volcanoes) but are more typically as- . maps.

as he himself described it.and third-person contacts. Also known as John (Jack) Wilson. This study was conducted within memory of the events described. a visit to the spirit world on the occasion of the total eclipse of the sun on January 1. Mooney. was disrupted forever. and the old ways were seen as a “golden age” to which many people wished to return. since virtually all existing reports are second. the movement and its widespread popularity are usually attributed to the disastrous disruption of the traditional life of the indigenous populations of North America that came in the wake of European settlement beginning in the sixteenth century. The old way of life. Ghost Dance as a Crisis Movement. with its familiar routines. The major difficulty with this procedure is that the Ghost Dance movement was typically hostile toward white settlers’ presence. The classic source is James Mooney’s government-supported study. The precise content of the visions of Wovoka and the teachings and implications which he derived from these visions are difficult to describe with confidence. In the case of the Ghost Dance of 1890. 1889. Although the Ghost Dance movement became widespread in 1889-1890. The United States government’s interest in the Ghost Dance movement was a direct result of the fact that the message of . Wovoka had begun having his revelatory visions and experiences in 1887. Such a description clearly fits the experience of Native American tribes who found their lifestyle severely disrupted by the newly arrived settlers.” published in 1896. Wovoka’s most influential and serious supernatural experience was.320 / Ghost Dance sociated with political/military conquest by a foreign people who seem strange and overwhelmingly powerful. had to interview sources and interpret his reports as best he could. White encroachment had disastrous effects on the native peoples in the West in the nineteenth century. as a white government official. and one must suspect that reports collected by Mooney would have been delivered in a more conciliatory tone than discussions among Native Americans themselves. “The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890.

and the Northern Arapaho. Wovoka’s Visions. the Northern Cheyenne. such as that based on the visionary experiences of John Slocum. and related by him to his followers and representatives of other tribes. It was also influential on related movements. South Dakota. it took a relatively militant turn among the Lakota (Sioux) who were active in the movement. the necessity and importance of the . and through these messengers the movement spread widely among the Sioux. Included among the visions of Wovoka. The movement was deeply implicated in the historic massacre of Chief Big Foot’s band at Wounded Knee in Pine Ridge. Representatives from many other tribes were sent to hear of Wovoka’s revelations. The Ghost Dance was interpreted in different ways in different tribal contexts. a flood which would destroy only the white settlers. the restoration of game animals.Ghost Dance / 321 A depiction of the Arapaho Ghost Dance circa 1900. (National Archives) Wovoka had a very rapid impact that quickly crossed tribal lines. a member of the Coast Salish tribe whose own prophetic experiences led to the founding of the Indian Shaker Church. were such basic ideas as the resurrection of tribal members who had died.

It is certainly possible that ideas varied. Overholt also suggests that the Ghost Dance of 1890 was preceded by.” which identified adherents to the movement and were used in the performance of the ritual dancing itself. initiated by a visionary named Wodziwob) and the Southern Okanagan Prophet Dance around 1800. the creation and wearing of distinctive “ghost shirts. such as the Ghost Dance of 1870 (which also occurred among the Paiutes. An interesting summary of the Ghost Dance movement that emphasizes the important role of Wovoka himself is provided by Thomas Overholt. for example. the motif of the destruction of whites was muted. Roots of the Ghost Dance. and possibly influenced by. and a time that is coming which would be free of suffering and disease. who compares Wovoka with certain prophets of the Bible such as Jeremiah. Related developments of the Ghost Dance movement were certain ethical precepts and. as reported by Mooney. Wovoka himself. depending on the views and experiences of the tribes appropriating the basic message of Wovoka. did have some contact with missionaries. Yet it is also true that such visionary movements were not uncommon among western American tribes from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Of these major ideas. Attempts to trace a prehistory of the Ghost Dance of 1890. as well as the performance of the dance itself. at least among the Sioux. the primary focus seemed to be on the ideas of resurrection and the restoration of important elements of the old ways. and many interviewees stressed that the visions of Wovoka actually taught a peaceful coexistence with the white settlers. the initial fervor of the Ghost Dance and Wo- . must also reckon with the very high probability of some influence from the Old Testament biblical prophets through early contact with European missionary teachers. similar visionary/apocalyptic movements.322 / Ghost Dance performance of a dance ritual (the Ghost Dance itself). As predicted dates for the cosmic events described by Wovoka came and passed. In Indian descriptions of the Ghost Dance precepts to white researchers such as Mooney. however.

Vol 14. 1989. Wovoka: The Indian Messiah. Wovoka and the Ghost Dance.C. Los Angeles: Westernlore Press. Reprint. “The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Overholt.” In Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Hittman. See also: Dances and Dancing. Indians presented gifts to make and sustain alliances and to demonstrate continued control to the colonial powers. Visions and Vision Quests. Among some tribes. Mooney. Paul. These presents symbolized the social bonds between the participants. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Wilson. Magic and the Millennium. In short. Washington. They used this gift . Daniel L. however. trade. Channels of Prophecy: The Social Dynamics of Prophetic Activity. D. New York: Harper & Row. 1957. Gifts and Gift Giving Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Gift exchange was an essential mode of strategic interaction with other tribes and with the colonial powers. Thomas. Gift giving was a central feature of exchange customs common to North American Indians. Michael. Expanded ed. 1997. Bryan R. James. Smith-Christopher Sources for Further Study Bailey. Treaties. the movement became partially institutionalized. 1896. Edited by Don Lynch. 1965. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.Gifts and Gift Giving / 323 voka’s teachings in general began to dissipate. the focus shifted from apocalyptic expectations of events to a longer-term stress on daily ethics. 1973.: Government Printing Office. and other interactions demanded the distribution of various gifts among the parties. which is not uncommon for religious groups whose roots lie in visionary experiences.

to maintain peaceful interactions. however. and medicines were also offered as gifts. to counter influence from rival colonial governments. textiles. shells. food. skins. and other products were introduced into the giftexchange economy. rum. stories. Over time. They presented gifts to guarantee loyalty from tribes and chiefs. leather goods. animals. commodities such as manufactured goods. This commercial activity also countered the community-forming function of gift exchange by bringing Indians into conflict through commercial competition. European gift giving served to create kinship ties to important chiefs and to signify respect for Indians. to provide a basis for genuine friendships. and to foster trade. Other functions of gift giving were to establish an identity. and to create an economic order based on the redistribution of wealth. to foster an egalitarian social order. The European powers were forced to comply with a gift-giving political economy in order to obtain commercial advantages. sustain. This resulted in much destruction of their culture. rituals could produce presents of songs. Native Americans were drawn away from gift exchanges and toward commercial exchanges. The Europeans first participated reluctantly in gift exchange to receive commercial advantage. After European contact. In addition. Potlatch.324 / Gifts and Gift Giving giving to symbolize. and clothing. or healing ceremonies. Presents were also given to create and alter social relationships. In addition. baskets. Plants. brandy. Gift giving had always been in conflict with commercial economic activity. Trade. Among these items were artifacts such as looms. For example. subsistence hunting was replaced with the near extinction of species because of the commercial desire for certain pelts in the fur trade. William H. and equalize human relationships. Gift giving was supplanted by European-style commerce. . to buy service from Indian leaders. Green See also: Money. There were many varieties of items in the gift-exchange economy.

gold also had religious connotations. Coldhammering of gold nuggets or ingots into sheets eventually makes the gold springy and unworkable. depending on the kind of work they produced. appear to have been the result of trade rather than local manufacture. there is no evidence for the smelting of gold ore in pre-Columbian cultures. for their artistry. Aztec goldworkers produced jewelry. The . the occasional gold pieces found in Mayan sites. with goldsmiths being divided into those who hammered or beat gold and those who cast it in molds. or so-called virgin gold. It was a specialized task at the time of the Spanish conquest. or “excrement of the gods. Later it was discovered that gold dust and grains could be formed into ingots of workable size by fusing them.e. for example. anyone guilty of stealing gold was flayed alive to propitiate this deity. within these divisions. Aztec goldsmiths produced gold jewelry and implements of extraordinary beauty.” Aztec goldworkers had their own patron god. Aztec drawings show goldworkers using blowpipes. but pre-Columbian smiths learned that heating the beaten gold returns its malleability. Goldworking was not widespread in the preColumbian cultures of Mexico. Aztec goldworkers used gold nuggets or dust. ornaments. the word for gold was teocuitlatl. Gold was used by the Aztecs as a means of tallying tribute obligations. The first pre-Columbian Mexican goldwork involved shaping nuggets by grinding and hammering them. Archaeological evidence suggests that goldworking was introduced from South America into Central America and Mexico relatively late. the Toltec culture was working gold around 900 c. and implements of great beauty. using a blowpipe to quicken the flame. Before the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the sixteenth century. Nahuatl. Xipe Totec. there were many categories of artisans. In the Aztec language. Goldworking was a highly valued skill among the Aztecs.Gold and Goldworking / 325 Gold and Goldworking Tribe affected: Aztec Significance: Using a variety of techniques.

Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry: A Guide to History. Paula A.326 / Gold and Goldworking process of alternately hammering and heating gold is called annealing. David J. and Terms. 2000. Similarly. Minderhout Source for Further Study Baxter. Dress and Adornment. no goldworking shop has been discovered or excavated. No archaeological evidence has yet been able to date precisely the emergence of the various skills in pre-Columbian goldworking. Aztec goldworkers learned to solder intricate pieces together using gold alloyed with copper or silver. a goldworker first makes a wax model of the desired piece. much of which they melted down into ingots or reformed into Spanish coins. and after cooling the mold is broken apart. Phoenix. Vents are left in the clay to allow the wax to drain from the mold when it is heated. and it was widely used in Mesoamerica to produce not only gold but also various alloys of copper. In addition. Molten gold is then poured into a vent. Detailed descriptions of Aztec goldworking are contained in Spanish historical records. People. Aztec goldworkers also used the “lost-wax” method of working with gold.: Oryx Press. Metalwork. Silverworking. See also: Aztec Empire. Yet enough goldwork remains intact from the pre-Columbian and early contact period to testify to the great skill of Aztec goldworkers. with Allison Bird-Romero. The lost-wax technique allows for the production of intricate and finely wrought gold jewelry or ornamentation. Turquoise. The Spanish were astonished by the volume and value of Aztec gold. Ariz. however. In this technique. the wax form is covered with powdered charcoal so that it will release smoothly from the clay mold. which is then covered with clay. along with extensive inventories of golden objects seized by the conquerors. . Ornaments.

which featured the dancers. and in celebration of the victory and the return of the lost comrade. a drummer. A warrior who became lost after the victory wandered around for days.Gourd Dance / 327 Gourd Dance Tribe affected: Kiowa Significance: Part of a four-day ceremony honoring a Kiowa victory in a major battle. the Kiowa brought back the dance as part of a newly established Gourd Day celebration taking place on the Fourth of July. a whip man to keep the dancers moving. the Kiowa defeated the Arapaho and other enemies in a major battle along the Missouri River in Montana. In 1838. The warrior returned. In 1955. Skunkberry bushes full of red berries covered the battleground. Skunkberries were a symbol of endurance and bravery. a Gourd Dance Society formed and shook red-painted gourds covered with representations of skunkberry bushes while dancing the dance of the red wolf. Then he heard music coming from a red wolf. Tischauser See also: Dances and Dancing. The wolf told him to take the song back to his people and teach them the dance. and the Gourd Dance became part of a four-day festival until it was banned by reservation authorities in 1890. Only males performed the dance. seeking his people’s encampment. . who taught him to dance to a beautiful tune accompanied by a gourd rattle. Leslie V. and a director who set the pace. Drums. Music and Song.

During the dance there is a considerable amount of athletic jumping. and singers.328 / Grass Dance Grass Dance Tribes affected: Arapaho. Pawnee. drummers. Music and Song. In modern times. . Powwows and Celebrations. Iruska means “the fire inside of all things. Crow. The Grass Dance has developed a large repertory of drumming and singing sequences. Omaha. Iowa. Blackfeet. It may have originated with the Pawnee dance known as the iruska. Ponca Significance: The Grass Dance is a men’s competitive dance believed to give the participants the power to heal burns. Dancers perform either individually or in pairs. J. Kansa. food servers. Menominee. which confers on participants the power to heal burns. Drums.” The Pawnee man Crow Feather was given this ceremony of fire-handling and dancing. Hidatsa. a pipe keeper. The Grass Dance is a men’s competitive dance. Grass Dance societies typically have a number of officers: a leader. T. Grass dancers wear grass tied to their costumes. Arikara. Ojibwa. Lakota. Gros Ventre. Arant See also: Dances and Dancing. whip bearers. bending. The Grass Dance is regarded not only as a competitive event but also as a celebratory occasion. and stomping. There are music groups among some tribes that specialize in Grass Dance songs. the Grass Dance is a part of the dance competition at pow-wows along the summer circuit in the United States. Assiniboine.

Grass House



Grass House
Tribes affected: Primarily California, Great Basin, and Southwest tribes Significance: The grass house was constructed by covering a pole framework with layers of grass that formed both the walls and roof. There were basically two types of grass house: the conical beehive and the larger, elongated house, which could accommodate several extended families. In wet areas, grass houses were essentially dwellings set on exposed bearing poles several meters off the ground, with a ladder entrance. The beehive structure was formed by running straight or bowed poles to a vertical support center

A nineteenth century Bannock family pictured outside their grass tent. (National Archives)



Green Corn Dance

pole or simply by tying the slanted poles together at the apex. The longhouse was also constructed with vertical and horizontal poles. The grass covering was applied in one of several ways. Most commonly, long grass was bunched, with the top third folded over a horizontal cane or thin wood pole, and tied with grass to the longer outside length; grass was added until the course was completed. The next course would overlap or shingle the lower row, providing, when finished, effective water-shedding. This layering continued to the long, longitudinal ridge pole, where the opposing topmost rows were tied together. Some grass house coverings were better secured by stitching external horizontal willow or cane rods to the internal frame. Because of accumulated smoke residue and general deterioration, grass houses would be rethatched every three to five years, using the original frame. John Alan Ross See also: Architecture: California; Architecture: Great Basin; Architecture: Southwest; Wickiup.

Green Corn Dance
Tribes affected: Cherokee, Creek (Muskogee), Seminole, others in the Southeast Significance: This was the principal dance performed in the most important harvest ceremony of the southeastern tribes. Dance is a central component of Native American ceremonial life. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Eastern Woodland Green Corn Rite. Ritual dance is an important feature of this ceremony, which takes place in July or August at the final corn harvest. The Green Corn Dance is a necessary part of the planting of the corn. Great spiritual benefit is believed to derive from the performance, which occurs in the newly cleaned and sanctified town square. The square contains the sacred fire, which binds the community to their deceased and to their deity. Into the newly kindled fire, such items as new corn, tea leaves, meat, and medicine are offered.

Green Corn Dance



As it is presently performed in the Southeast, the dance has four stages, each of which is divided into various movements. Music includes the sounds of stone-filled gourd rattles as well as singing. Men and women, in their finest attire, dance separately but simultaneously around a high pole adorned with green boughs that provide shade for the musicians seated on benches below. First the men begin to dance. A leader followed by a column of ten to twenty men carrying guns circles counterclockwise in an area a few hundred yards from the town square. The leader sings and plays a rattle while the other men shoot their guns at various times. The first man in the column shoots first, then the second, and so on until the last man, who shoots twice. By shaking his rattle, the leader thus directs the shots. The rifle shots are supposedly symbolic of the sound of thunder. This men’s part of the dance takes place in the morning. At about noon participants break to eat food that the women have provided. The women dance in a single line and side by side in the main square. They are directed by a woman leader who uses leg rattles to keep time. This second stage of the dance performance symbolizes the fertilization of corn. Men come to the central square and combine with the women’s column, led by the men’s dance leader. All the men and women then commence to circle counterclockwise. After this portion of the dance, the whole community takes part in a feast. In the evening, the third stage of the dance begins. The men and the women are again separate, as in the beginning. The men carry guns and circle counterclockwise around the women. This movement continues until the sun sets. The fourth stage is done the next night, accompanied by animal sacrifices. At the conclusion of the Green Corn Ceremony, the individual, the family, the clan, and the nation are all renewed for another year. William H. Green See also: Corn; Corn Woman; Dances and Dancing; Mississippian Culture; Music and Song.




Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Though grooming and personal adornment were universally valued by American Indian peoples, the specific ways these were practiced varied from tribe to tribe. Bodily grooming and adornment performed a number of significant functions for individuals and groups throughout Native North America. Gender-specific norms related to personal appearance for both everyday life and special occasions existed in all Indian communities. Such norms prescribed methods by which men and women could make themselves attractive or could call attention to their special ranks and achievements. Tattoos and Body Painting. Among the most widespread of such grooming techniques were body painting and tattooing. The colors and designs associated with each of these practices were quite often used to symbolize an individual’s attainment of a specific status or accomplishment that was valued by his or her fellow community members. Thus, for example, among the Lakotas or Teton Sioux, the right side of the face of the lead akicitapi, or camp marshal, was marked with four stripes of black paint. In many tribes, face and body painting was an important element in rites of passage, including girls’ and boys’ puberty rituals and funeral ceremonies. Aside from marking social status, numerous Indian communities also used facial and body painting as a means of warding off evil spirits believed to cause illnesses during their curing ceremonies. Thus, for example, Siberian Inuits would paint the faces of sick persons with stripes of red ochre during their healing practices. Perhaps the most extensive use of body painting was practiced by the now extinct Boethuk tribe of the Northeast coast who colored their entire bodies, hair, clothing and equipment with a mixture of red ochre and grease. It is thought that the term “Red Indian” was first applied to the members of this tribe for that reason.




The men and women of the Plateau’s Thompson tribe also painted and tattooed themselves on a daily basis with a similar combination of fat and pigment. Tattoos were used extensively by Indians of the Northwest Coast, including decorating their arms, legs, and chests with family crests. It was common for the women of Indian tribes from northern California to the northern Northwest Coast decorated their chins with tattoos. Body Piercing. Body piercing served similar functions among many tribes as those already mentioned in connection with painting and tattooing. The Seminoles, like many other tribes, bored their earlobes in order to wear rings and bobs. Numerous Inuit peoples practiced the custom of perforating parts of their faces in order to insert labrets and pins. In many cases, these practices were

A Hopi woman arranges the hair of an unmarried girl into an appropriate style. (National Archives)




A woman attends to the hair of this Hopi man. (National Archives)

performed in association with a rite of passage. For example, two puberty ceremonies among the Mackenzie Delta Inuits involved piercing the cheeks and earlobes as preparation for labrets. Hair Styling. Manners of dressing and wearing hair were also important among most tribes. Such customs differed markedly from one group to another. For instance, whereas St. Lawrence Inuit males generally shaved their scalps, leaving only an encircling circumference of hair, men belonging to southern Tiwa groups reversed this pattern so that the unshaven scalp hair resembled a skullcap. Women’s hair displayed similar variations in style, sometimes braided, sometimes tied in a top knot, or worn in whorls over the ears, as was typical of many southwestern Indian groups. Occasionally younger and older women of the same tribe would wear their hair differently. Thus, for example, Hopi girls sported the distinctive whorl style, but after marriage they generally wore their hair in braids. Modes of tending and wearing one’s hair many times held religious and social significance. The Western Apaches and the Kio-




was, for instance, held ceremonies to mark the first cutting of a child’s hair. Among many Plains Indians, individuals cut their hair as part of ritual cycles connected with mourning. Hair styling and care involved the use of tonics, most commonly made of grease or marrow. The Lenni Lanape, or Delawares, also employed sap for this purpose. Many tribes utilized combs made of various materials, including wood and porcupine tail, as part of their styling and grooming regime. The use of tweezers to remove unwanted facial hair was also found among many Indian groups. Impact of Assimilation. From the late eighteenth through early twentieth centuries, Native American modes of bodily grooming, hair styling, and hair care underwent drastic changes due to the influence of federal assimilation policy and missionary work. As part of the so-called civilization and Christianization regime followed in both government and religious boarding schools, schoolmasters and matrons routinely cut and styled the hair of their young charges according to white fashion. Students were also expected to adopt western standards of personal grooming and adornment as signs of their cultural progress. With the revitalization of tribal values during the last few decades, however, some individuals have attempted to return to the traditional grooming and hair care practices of their tribes, especially during ritual or social celebrations. The influence of Hollywood and the media has also led to a stereotyped, “Pan-Indian” version of these practices, patterned after that of Plains Indians. Harvey Markowitz Source for Further Study Dubin, Lois Sherr. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. New York: Henry N. Abrams, 1999. See also: Dress and Adornment; Gender Relations and Roles; Rites of Passage; Tattoos and Tattooing.



Guardian Spirits

Guardian Spirits
Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: According to a belief held by many American Indian cultures, an individual may obtain contact with the supernatural world by seeking a guardian spirit to serve as a personal guide and protector. For many American Indians, the concept of a guardian spirit was most commonly associated with the natural world through the visible representation of animals or birds, such as the bear, wolf, or eagle. The particular association of a guardian spirit with a certain animal was the result of either ancestral ties (most typical of the Northwest Indians), the personal vision quest (common among Plains Indian tribes), inheritance (more typical of the Indians of the Southwest and Mexico), or, least often, transference or purchase. In the Northwest the guardian spirit of the clan is represented in the totem. The clan members obtain protection from the clan totem at the puberty ceremony. The totem can also become a guardian spirit offering personal as well as communal protection. Totem poles depict the guardian spirit of the ancestral father and other figures from the natural and supernatural world. Guardian spirits may also be obtained through a vision quest ritual in which the individual seeks a vision of the guardian spirit in a secluded place. At its appearance, the guardian spirit gives the individual some kind of special capacity and a medicine bundle to be used in hunting rituals. The vision quest is usually preceded by fasting, a sweatlodge experience and bathing, and a preparatory ascetic style of living. The spirit generally appears as an animal, but not in form and shape identical to a natural animal. An individual may cause the guardian spirit to depart if any taboos are violated, and not everyone who seeks a guardian spirit through the vision quest receives one. The vision quest is still practiced today, although not for hunting purposes in the way it was practiced prior to European contact. Guardian spirits had the most significance among the hunting tribes because they helped in providing game during the hunt. It




was taboo to eat the animal represented by the guardian spirit. Agricultural tribes of the Southwest and Mexico relied more on a variety of spirits for assistance in regard to fertility cycles and typically did not seek a personal guardian spirit, believing that one had already been received at birth. Boys more often than girls sought a guardian spirit, and obtaining a guardian spirit was often done as a puberty rite directly relating to future hunting success. An American Indian’s relationship to his or her guardian spirit is personal and intimate, expressed physically by wearing the fur, claws, or feathers of the spirit and symbolically by incorporating the animal’s name into his or her own. The shaman or medicine man was often believed to be able to change into his guardian spirit. Diane C. Van Noord See also: Bundles, Sacred; Puberty and Initiation Rites; Religion; Religious Specialists; Shields; Totems; Visions and Vision Quests.

Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Guns obtained from Europeans altered patterns of intertribal warfare and Indian-white warfare as well as traditional native economies. The introduction of guns by European traders and settlers powerfully reshaped American Indian patterns of warfare, intertribal politics, and economic life. Early seventeenth century muskets had a much greater effective range than traditional bows, and they inflicted more lethal wounds. Warriors armed with bows were easily defeated by smaller numbers of Europeans armed with guns. As Indians along the Atlantic coast learned of the effectiveness of the unfamiliar weapons in war and in hunting, they eagerly traded furs, the native commodity Europeans chiefly sought, to obtain them.




After their introduction by Europeans, guns were widely used by Native Americans as illustrated by this Paiute Indian in the late nineteenth century. (National Archives)

Tribes situated along the coast became middlemen in the exchange of European goods for furs from tribes in the interior. As tribes trapped out the beaver or other animals in their own territories, they made war on less well-armed neighbors to take possession of their hunting grounds, so that guns and the accompanying fur trade created an entirely new and more deadly source of intertribal warfare. The mid-seventeenth century destruction of the Huron Confederacy by the better-armed Iroquois is the bestknown example. The trade in furs and skins for guns and other Eu-

Hako /


ropean goods disrupted the traditional subsistence economies of Indian peoples, making them dependent on the Europeans, but no one could risk ignoring the new weapons. Guns spread steadily into the interior, reaching the Great Plains in the early nineteenth century. Armed with guns, Indians became a far greater military threat to Europeans. Bert M. Mutersbaugh Source for Further Study Taylor, Colin F. Native American Weapons. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. See also: Bows, Arrows, and Quivers; Warfare and Conflict; Weapons.

Tribes affected: Plains tribes, especially Pawnee Significance: The hako ceremony symbolizes the transferral of life forces from generation to generation. The word hako, which means “pipe” in the Wichita language, has been applied to a number of Indian ceremonies that center on the use of feather-ornamented hollow shafts of wood. In some general but not fully accurate descriptions, hako is deemed to be synonymous with the easily recognized calumet, or pipe ceremony, popularly associated with the “peace pipe.” In the early twentieth century writings of American ethnologist Alice C. Fletcher, however, who is still recognized as the first authority on hako, the much broader cultural symbolism suggested by the Pawnee term hakkwpirus, or “beating [in association with] a breathing mouth of wood,” is apparent. Early Observations. Feather-decorated pipe ceremonies that could be considered prototypes of what Fletcher and her associ-




ates studied under the general label of hako were first observed, but not fully understood, in the last quarter of the seventeenth century by the French Jesuit Jacques Marquette among the Illinois tribes. Similar traditions appeared in ceremonies practiced by Algonquian and Siouan peoples. Very little was known about the specialized symbolic content of hako, however, until Fletcher carried out and published, in 1906, what remains the most extensive fieldwork on the subject. The ceremonies she described reflected the traditions of Plains Indians in particular. Fletcher must have encountered a high degree of secrecy among the Omahas, where she first observed hako ceremonies during the 1880’s. After failing over a number of years in her efforts to learn the meaning behind the Omaha ceremonies, she turned to the Pawnees, where a Chawi tribal holy man, Tahirussawichi, gave her essential explanations and some ceremonial texts. The latter were eventually translated with the assistance of her main Pawnee assistant, James Murie. Meanings of the Ceremony. Before considering the hako ceremony itself, a description of the central “breathing mouth of wood” and accompanying ritual objects is essential. Usually the wood used (two pieces) consisted of stems three or four feet in length with burned-out piths to allow the passage of breath. One stem was painted blue to represent the sky. A long red groove symbolizing life stood for the path that would be symbolized in several phases of the ceremony. Ceremonial wood was always decorated with feathers on the forward tip to “carry” communications associated with hako. As in more general Indian belief systems, the brown eagle in particular is believed to have the power to soar to the domain of higher powers in the sky. Other forces were represented in the attachment of the breast, neck, and mandibles of a duck to the downward (earthward-pointing) end of the hollowed stem. The duck symbolized daily familiarity with all elements affecting life: land, water, and sky. A second white eagle-feathered stem, called Rahaktakaru (to contrast it with Rahakatittu, the “breathing mouth of wood with dark moving feathers”), was painted

Hako /


green for the earth. Its position in the hako ceremony was always different from its brown-feathered counterpart. The unconsecrated nature of the white eagle, and thus Rahaktakaru’s association with the male father, warrior, and defender, kept it separate from two other symbolic elements of hako, namely the mother and the children. The former, the giver of fruit and abundance, was represented by an ear of white corn (atira, or mother breathing forth life), with a blue-painted tip (the sky, dwelling place of the powers) from which four blue-painted strips, or “paths,” allowed powers to descend to join the red (life) grooves of the Rahakatittu. Unlike many Indian ceremonies, hako was not associated with a particular seasonal activity, such as planting, harvesting or hunting. As a ceremony celebrating life, it could occur at any time when signs of life were stirring, either in mating (spring), nesting (summer), or flocking (fall), but not during winter dormancy. In a hako ceremony there is always a symbolic position reserved for participants representing the “parents” and a second reserved for the “children.” The latter are traditionally from a group that is distinct from the host, or parent group. This element underlines the universality of the union of otherwise distinct groups in that all benefit from the cycle of life. Journey of Mother Corn. Hako ceremonies symbolize a journey taken by Mother Corn leading from the place of origin in the group or tribe of the fathers to a destination in the group or tribe of the children. The importance of the “breathing mouth of wood” bearing the power of the brown eagle feathers is that it allows Mother Corn to attain the blue-domed abode of the powers before redescending to the ceremonial lodge. When the journey is concluded, Mother Corn will seek out the son, who is considered the paramount representative of the children. Successful conclusion of Mother Corn’s passage symbolizes assurance of safe passage of life’s bounty from one generation to another. The songs accompanying the ceremony describe various stages in the arrival and reception of Mother Corn in the village and then in the lodge of the son. After a song proclaiming her arrival, the




tribe’s chief stands at the doorway to the ceremonial lodge holding Mother Corn. He is flanked by the Ku’rahus (spiritual “headman”) and his assistant, holding the brown eagle-feathered stem and the white eagle-feathered stem, respectively. As the son receives the bounty represented by Mother Corn, the central power image is the stem bearing the brown eagle feathers. Fletcher’s 1906 description of the meaning of the stem’s power is poignant: “Kawas [the brown eagle] has the right to make the nest and seek help from Tira’wa [the heavens] for the children.” A following stanza describes kawas’s flight inside the receiving lodge itself, the flapping of its sacred feathers driving out evil influences before a nest is made. Overall the ceremony is intended to ask for the gift of children and sustenance for the next generation, as well as for a firm bond between the parent and child. It also can symbolize the wish for peace and prosperity between those bearing the sacred objects and those who receive them. Hence, hako is associated with a ceremony of peace between tribes, one representing the fathers, the other the children. It is important to note that, although there is always a point in the hako ceremony for the offering of smoke to Tira’wa, and therefore the use of a ceremonial calumet, this aspect is not as important as the “true” symbol of the pipe in the ceremony, which is tied to the two “breathing mouths of wood” bearing the eagle feathers. Byron D. Cannon Sources for Further Study Driver, Harold E. Indians of North America. 2d ed., rev. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969. A general guide that can be used to compare forms of symbolism that place Hako in a broader cultural context. Fletcher, Alice C. The Hako: A Pawnee Ceremony. Twenty-second Annual Report to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of American Ethnology, 1904. This original work remains the most extensive description of Hako. _______. “A Pawnee Ritual Used When Changing a Man’s Name.”

Hamatsa /


American Anthropologist, n.s. 1 (1899): 82-97. Shows ways in which Hako symbolism extends to other realms. Murie, James. The Ceremonies of the Pawnee. Smithsonian Institution Contributions to Anthropology 27. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979. General coverage, by Fletcher’s primary assistant, of rituals that occur among the same tribes that practiced the “model” hako ceremony. See also: Calumets and Pipe Bags; Corn Woman; Feathers and Featherwork.

Tribes affected: Kwakiutl Significance: The Hamatsa, or Cannibal Dance, is intended to inspire fear and awe in the audience. The Hamatsa, a dance performed by the Kwakiutl of British Columbia, Canada, is used primarily to induct novice shamans into the Hamatsa Society. Their membership in this society assures them of higher status as community healers. The Hamatsa dance is also occasionally performed at ceremonial potlatches. The Hamatsa or “cannibal,” is the central figure of the dance. Before each performance, a fire is lit in a large ceremonial plank house. After the fire has burned down to coals and the proper mood has been established, the dance begins. Through repetitive arm gestures, shuffling of the feet from side to side, exaggerated and contorted facial expressions, and manipulations of the eyes, the Hamatsa dancer attempts to instill a sense of fear and awe in the audience. The skill of a Hamatsa dancer is measured by the reactions of people in the audience. If they seem uneasy and spellbound, the dance is considered successful. The dance roughly follows the story of a “wild” or “unkept” cannibal who lives in the forest and occasionally comes near villages to devour unsuspecting children. It is interesting to note that



Hand Games

although most Kwakiutl dances require the use of masks, they are not typically employed by Hamatsa dancers because so much of the effect of the dance relies on the improvisational use of facial contortions. To embellish the role of a wildman, the dancer’s face must be visible. Researchers who have worked with the Kwakiutl have speculated about the underlying functions of the dance. Some have suggested that it reaffirms a basic symbolic separation between things that are well-ordered, such as village life, and things that represent disorder, such as the forest. Thus, the Hamatsa theme might reinforce cultural values for village and societal togetherness, and at the same time point to what can happen if those values are neglected. Michael Findlay See also: Dances and Dancing; Potlatch.

Hand Games
Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Hand games were an important source of entertainment; they were used by shamans to dramatize their magic and by storytellers to illustrate important events. Native Americans played a wide variety of hand games, primarily for entertainment and for developing and displaying skill and dexterity. Hand games were frequently the basis of different games of chance and even gambling, and both genders and all ages participated. Children were encouraged in hand games at an early age, to help them develop hand-eye coordination. The more common hand games were jackstraws, stick games, basket dice, tops, ball juggling, four stick, tip cat, hidden ball/object, pebble games, ring and pin, shell game, whirling game with hemp, dice games, and cat’s cradle. Shamans used special hand games that involved legerdemain (sleight of hand), to demonstrate the user’s religious power during

Hand Games



Hand games served as the basis for gambling games such as kose-kaw-nuch. (Library of Congress)

curing rituals or prophesying. Skilled shamans could make game objects “speak” using ventriloquism, implying that the game had its own power or spirit. These special hand game objects were “fed” and sung to by their owners. Elders and skilled storytellers employed certain hand games to illustrate or dramatize events in creation stories or mythological accounts. Gifted hand game players frequently acquired status, and during winter confinement they would be called upon for entertainment. John Alan Ross See also: Children; Games and Contests.



Hand Tremblers

Hand Tremblers
Tribes affected: Navajo Significance: Hand trembling is a distinctive cultural practice among the Navajo, an expression of the Navajo view of the world as ruled by harmonious balance. Hand trembling is one of the most common techniques for divination, or obtaining knowledge by ceremony, used among the Navajo, also known as the Diné. The two other widely used techniques are stargazing and listening. In stargazing, the diviner uses quartz crystals to interpret flashes of light or images outdoors in order to obtain information about an illness or some other problem. A listener finds the cause of a problem by hearing and interpreting some meaningful sound, such as that of thunder, after a ritual. Stargazers and listeners tend to be men, while hand trembling is reported to be more common among women. Researchers of Navajo culture and religion have suggested that both stargazing and listening have declined over the years, while the use of hand trembling has increased. Hand trembling is thought to have been borrowed by the Navajo from the Apache after 1860. Its usual uses are to diagnose illnesses, to identify witches, and to find lost objects or lost children. While the knowledge obtained from stargazing and listening is said to come from the dangerous Coyote spirit, hand tremblers get their information from the spirit of the Gila Monster. Traditional Navajo believe that the Gila Monster sees everything that happens and watches the actions of every person, so that it is able to tell where a child has strayed, what taboo a person has violated to bring on an illness, or what witch has cursed a sufferer. Hand trembling is usually signaled by the uncontrollable shaking or trembling of the right arm. After someone shows signs of hand trembling, a ceremony must be performed to enable the individual to bring on the state at will. Without the ceremony, there is a danger that the trembling will become a disease. When an object is missing, the one who has lost it will sit or

Hand Tremblers



kneel in front of the hand trembler, who will shake the hand before the seeker. For an illness, the ceremony involves sprinkling pollen over the sufferer, singing four special songs, and presenting gifts to the Gila Monster, who takes possession of the hand trembler. The answer to the question about the location of the lost object or about the nature of the sickness comes either from interpreting the motions of the shaking hand or from a direct revelation to the trembler by the Gila Monster. The hand trembler does not cure illnesses, but prescribes the ceremony and the song needed for a cure. This generally involves sitting or lying on a sand painting while a singer performs the needed ritual. The diagnosis by hand trembling and the healing ritual are based on the Navajo idea that the world is ruled by harmony. If something goes wrong, it is a result of a disruption of harmony by someone’s unintentional actions or by the intentional selfishness of a witch. Ceremonies help to re-establish a harmonious balance. Carl L. Bankston III Sources for Further Study Goodman, James. The Navajo Atlas: Environments, Resources, People and History of the Diné Bikeyah. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982. Hill, W. W. “The Handtrembling Ceremony of the Navaho.” El Palacio 38 (1935): 56-68. Levy, Jerrold E., Raymond Neutra, and Dennis Parker. Hand Trembling, Frenzy Witchcraft, and Moth Madness: A Study of Navajo Seizure Disorders. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1987. See also: Chantways; Medicine and Modes of Curing: Postcontact; Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact; Music and Song; Religion; Sand Painting.




Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A symbol of tribal or clan affiliation and of connection to specific spiritual powers, the headdress indicated the status and wealth of the wearer and suggested the response appropriate from others. Headdresses were worn as the spirits guided or as honors were bestowed. Everyday head coverings were artfully made, but practical. For ceremonial headdresses, however, there were no limits. All available materials were used: fur, fabric, leather, wood, metal, and bone. Decorations and adornments included feathers, beads, quills, stones, shells, and various metals. The simplest headdress was a single eagle feather, a symbol of status among the Plains people. The brave became a warrior after his first killing of an enemy and was permitted to wear the feather. The familiar fillet headband of fabric, fur, or leather was often beaded or quilled. It also took the form of braids of sweetgrass or crowns of cottonwood leaves or sage. Eastern Woodlands. A bear claw on a headband held power for dancers; others might dance in a whole bearskin, head and all. The ceremonial crowns of Algonquian men had dozens of turkey feathers fastened only at the quill-tips so that they were kept in motion as the wearer moved. The Seneca used a deerskin cap lined with woven willow twigs for protection in battle. For ceremonies a silver headband was worn with a large bunch of feathers on top. In the Ojibwa Midewiwin (Grand Medicine Society), a headband with upright eagle feathers was used in healing rites. Southeast. Fur or deerskin headdresses trimmed with heron feathers were favored in the Southeast. At the Green Corn Ceremony the Creek chief wore a duckskin headdress. Warriors and chiefs had wampum or quill-decorated fillets with crane or heron feathers fastened at center front. The Hopewell shaman performed a burial ceremony in a hood made of a human skull trimmed with




deer hide fringe and human hair tassels. Shamans-in-training often had a stuffed owl perched on their heads. Plains. The ceremonial war bonnet of the Plains chiefs had a beaded headband, ermine tails, many eagle feathers slanted back, and more eagle feathers forming a trailer. At times one or two eagle feathers designated warriors or chiefs, such as Sitting Bull and Red Cloud, who had also earned the right to wear the full war bonnet. The majestic buffalo horn headdress had a cap of buffalo fur, beaded headband, ermine tails, buffalo horns, and a trailer of eagle feathers. Four Bears, a Mandan chief, had a buffalo-horn and eaglefeather bonnet. A red wooden knife fastened through the cap indicated that he had killed with such a weapon. Men of the Hidatsa Dog Society wore a headdress with a huge spray of magpie feathers, a fan of large upright turkey feathers at the back of the head, and one eagle plume at the crown. Cheyenne and Oto men wore wide headbands of fur decorated with feathers, beaded medallions, or small mirrors. Some Crow warriors perched a full stuffed crow at the back of their heads. The Pawnee warrior made a striking image with his partly shaved head painted red and topped with a red roach of deer tail hairs and an upright eagle feather. Sometimes on the Plains a full grizzly bearskin was used with the bear’s head as a helmet or with the snout upright. Southwest. Apache men wore braids of yucca fibers or a folded bandanna. The mountain spirits (Gans) danced in black hoods with turquoise or shell ornaments. Red scarves covered their faces. They wore long horns of yucca or a two-foot-high wooden slat frame, decorated with powerful symbols. Women in the Corn Dance wore the spectacular “tablita,” a large, brightly painted wooden headdress, while men danced with a bunch of small reddyed feathers on top of their heads. The Pueblo Deer Dance headdress was made of spruce boughs and deer antlers trimmed with feathers. Hopi men tied their headbands of red cloth, leaving the ends hanging down. For ceremo-




nies, the Snake priest wore a large spray of feathers. In the Southwest Yaqui Deer Dance, the headdress was an actual deer head with red scarves wrapped around its antlers. It was tied upright on the dancer’s head over a white scarf. California. The woodpecker’s bright red feathers were prized by the Hupa. Their men’s Jumping Dance headdress had more than fifty red woodpecker scalps on a white fur band. The Pomo

An important part of Native American dress was the headdress—often very elaborate in style. (Library of Congress)




used orange and black flicker feathers to decorate similar headbands. An elder in the Hupa Jumping Dance had a crown of sea lion teeth. The finely woven basket hat of Hupa women was decorated with painted images. The California Kuksu cult dancers wore enormous headdresses of feathers and long willow sticks. A trailer of yellow woodpecker feathers swayed as they danced. Northwest. The young Northwest Coast bride proclaimed her family’s wealth with a headdress of thousands of slender dentalium shells, glass beads, and Chinese coins, so long it touched the ground. Kwakiutl people wove basket hats with wide brims and conical tops, trimmed with copper and disk-shaped shells. The Nootka conical hat was waterproof, woven of spruce roots, and painted with stylized animal images. A headdress of long upright feathers was the symbol of power for the Nootka female shaman. Impressive Haida dance headdresses featured the clan animal crest of carved wood trimmed with ermine tails, feathers, and sea lion whiskers. The Kwakiutl dance crest was surrounded by swansdown and feathers and topped with long splints of whalebone. Tlingit people carved a full-head battle helmet of wood. Their shaman’s spirit mask worn on the forehead held a small carved wood face trimmed with feathers and white down. The Tlingit chief’s woven hat had a tall cone with rings declaring the number of potlatches he had sponsored. Arctic. The Aleut men of northwestern Alaska used long whiskers of the sea lion, beads, and paint to decorate their extendedvisor caps made of steamed and shaped wood. Aleut women’s headbands were beaded with a stylized floral pattern. Post-contact Influence on Headdresses. Styles and new fabrics from Europe and England led to changes in clothing and headdresses. To replace his deerskin cap, Cherokee chief Sequoyah adopted the silk turban. Seminole leader Osceola topped his turban with three ostrich plumes. When Shawnee warrior Tecumseh




joined the British as a general during the War of 1812, his uniform included a red cap with an eagle feather. The famous Apache Geronimo wore the rolled scarf headband. After his surrender to General Miles in 1886, he was photographed wearing a widebrimmed European hat. When a delegation of Osage leaders visited Washington, D.C., President Thomas Jefferson presented them with dark blue U.S. military tunics and top hats trimmed with red and white ostrich feathers. These became traditional wedding outfits for the Osage bride and groom. Never overshadowed by European styles, the distinctive Plains headdress has been, rather stereotypically, the one considered American Indian. In 1990, the United States Postal Service issued a set of commemorative stamps featuring several eagle-feather war bonnets. Gale M. Thompson Sources for Further Study Billard, Jules B., et al. The World of the American Indian. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1974. Brown, Joseph Epes. The North American Indians: A Selection of Photographs by Edward S. Curtis. New York: Aperture, 1972. Dubin, Lois Sherr. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. New York: Henry N. Abrams, 1999. Gattuso, John, et al. Insight Guide: Native America. Reprint. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Mails, Thomas E. Mystic Warriors of the Plains. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1972. Sturtevant, William, gen. ed. Handbook of North American Indians. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1978-2001. See also: Beads and Beadwork; Dress and Adornment; Feathers and Featherwork; Masks; Pow-wows and Celebrations; Quillwork; War Bonnets.

Hides and Hidework



Hides and Hidework
Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Hide was used by virtually all native groups for a variety of utilitarian purposes. Hide, either tanned or untanned (rawhide), was used by nearly all Native American groups for clothing, hats, burden cases, pouches, shields, masks, snowshoes, moccasins, strapping, hafting of wood and stone tools, stone-boiling, slings, quivers, rattles, weapons, saddles, shelters, fishing floats, survival food, kayak and umiak coverings, and a variety of other utilitarian articles. Though land mammal hide was most commonly used, there were instances of bird, reptile, and even salmon skin being utilized for various purposes. Hide tanning was laborious and sometimes labor intensive, particularly in the late summer or early fall when land mammal hides were prime. Consequently, a high division of labor existed for procuring and processing hides. Usually men were responsible for acquiring hides through hunting, trapping or snares, and, depending upon circumstances, skinning was accomplished by either gender. Once the animal’s skin was removed (usually intact), women were responsible for processing the hide. In fact, a woman could gain considerable status through her proficiency with hides, particularly if the hide was to be decorated with porcupine quills, shells, feathers, or teeth. A hide, if not to be used as rawhide, was processed in one of two ways: fur dressing, in which the hair was left on the hide, or complete hair removal. Fur dressing was a less complete method of tanning because the hide was not split, and limitations were imposed while tanning so as not to loosen the hair, which meant the hide frequently stiffened when wet. This type of tanning method was usually for clothing. Tanning a hide required basically four major steps. Regardless of the method of tanning, the skin was first washed and pounded with a stone maul to remove blood, fat, and excess flesh. The



Hides and Hidework

pounding broke down and softened the grain of fibers, making the hide more adherent to the tanning chemicals. Next the hide was dehaired, a process which varied among Native American groups. One procedure was to bury the stretched hide in hardwood ashes several inches underground for several days. Another procedure for hair removal was to “sweat” the hide in controlled conditions of humidity or warmth. Some groups would soak the hide in urine to facilitate hair removal. The next process was “beaming,” which removed any remaining hair, subcutaneous fat, and blood. The hide was pegged with wooden stakes or horn to the ground, or stretched onto a nearly vertical frame, or placed sectionally over a smooth log. The beaming was done with either a large mammal rib, scapula, or tibiae to which was hafted a flat, dull, ovid stone. Scraping stones were frequently lunette-shaped to prevent piercing the hide, and often were not hafted, but handheld. Further washing of the hide completed this difficult process. Ideally, the hide was then soft and flexible, ready for tanning. Among Native Americans there were essentially four methods of tanning, ones that required using either brains, urine, oil, or vegetables. Brain tanning, the most common method, required the brains of the animal to be kneaded into both sides of the pegged or loose hide. Any residue was later scraped away. The brains contained fat and an emulsifier. They were often mixed with animal liver, then kneaded with lichens to form small pads that were stored for future use. Sometimes this method of tanning was supplemented with washes from various deciduous tree barks, which actually was a combination of vegetable and brain tanning. Urine tanning was common in the Arctic region; it required submersion and manipulation of the hide in human urine, sometimes stored in ice troughs. Both urine- and brain-tanned hides become stiff when dry after being wet, and to maintain suppleness, hides were smoked with punk wood in small tipi-like structures. Oil tanning, though restricted in use, was a method that required working the animal’s fat and oil into the hide. In the Arctic and Subarctic, reindeer liver could supplement oil tanning. Vegetable

Hogan /


tanning was accomplished with solutions from deciduous tree barks that contain tannin, such as oak, chestnut, and sumac trees. This procedure commonly required enclosing the hide in a bag containing the tanning solution until tanning was complete. Oils were sometimes used in addition to the tannic acids. John Alan Ross Source for Further Study Dubin, Lois Sherr. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. New York: Henry N. Abrams, 1999. See also: Buffalo; Hunting and Gathering; Tanning.

Tribe affected: Navajo Significance: Hogans are unique housing structures suited to the pastoral lifeways of the Navajo. The typical Navajo hogan is a large, comfortable, one-family dwelling place. The usual construction method starts with four support poles, which may represent the four sacred directions or the four sacred mountains that anchor the Navajo universe. The entryway, facing east, represents the union of sun and earth, as in Navajo creation myths. Around the foundation supports, a sixsided structure is built of logs, which are laid against lateral braces and then chinked with clay and rock. The roof curves in to form a low dome with a smoke hole in the center. The smoke hole and an entrance, covered with a blanket or sheepskin in winter, are the only openings. The hogan is ideally suited to the high mesas of the Southwest with their dry winds and temperature extremes. From snowy winters to hot dry summers, the log and clay exterior of the hogan provides efficient insulation, while its rounded shape conserves heat in winter. The roomy hogan may also provide a temporary home



Hohokam Culture


to newborn lambs or pups, as well as a living space for their owners. Often, a brush shelter is built near the hogan. This allows for outdoor cooking and dining during the summer. In places where wood is scarce, hogans may be constructed of stone. Helen Jaskoski See also: Architecture: Southwest.

Hohokam Culture
Significance: Adapting to the desert environment, these ancestors of the modern Pimi and Papago established agricultural settlements and irrigation systems. One of four prehistoric cultures in the Southwest, the Hohokam people, ancestors of the modern Pimi and Papago, lived in the fertile valleys of the Salt and Gila Rivers in what is today southern Arizona. Artifacts show that this seemingly bleak region, the

Hohokam Culture



Arizona-Sonora Desert, was home to the Hohokam for more than seventeen hundred years, but archaeologists are not certain where they originated. Were they descendants of the earlier Cochise people, who hunted and gathered in the same desert area, or did they migrate from Mexico? Much of their cultural history suggests a Mesoamerican influence; however, this could have been acquired through the extensive trade routes established by the Hohokam. Development of Hohokam culture occurred in four phases: Pioneer, 300 b.c.e.-500 c.e.; Colonial, 500-900 c.e.; Sedentary, 900-1100 c.e.; and Classic, 1100-1400 c.e. The Hohokam culture was similar to the desert cultures of the Anasazi, Hakataya, and Mogollon, but a major difference was their complex irrigation system. Evidence from the Pioneer phase shows that the Hohokam lived in pit houses and began the cultivation of corn in their small villages. Floodplains along the rivers were rich with silt deposited from spring rains and snowmelt from nearby mountains. The earliest irrigation was probably achieved by directing the floodwaters. About 300 b.c.e., during the Pioneer phase, the village of Skoaquick, or Snaketown, was founded on the north bank of the Gila River. The first canal was built there to divert river water to irrigate fields as far as three miles away. Early canals were shallow but very wide. Later, using technology from Mexico, the Hohokam built narrow, deep canals with many branches and lined them with clay to channel water more than thirty miles. Gates made of woven grass mats controlled the flow from large dams throughout the canal system. Archaeological evidence suggests that construction of the canals was done by men using digging sticks and stone hoes. Earth was carried away in baskets by women and was probably used in building their pyramid ceremonial platforms. Continual maintenance was needed to keep the canals open after floods or thunderstorms, but this full-time technology provided a reliable subsistence for the Hohokam and supported a denser population. Instead of harvesting crops from the natural habitat, the Hohokam successfully brought agriculture into their villages to develop a stable farming society in which the men tended the fields instead of hunting.



Hohokam Culture

As domesticated corn moved northward from Mexico, it evolved into a new type with a floury kernel more easily crushed when dry. The Hohokam harvested their domestic corn and prepared it by traditional desert-culture methods of sun-drying, parching in baskets with coals, and grinding dried kernels. Storage in large pits kept their surplus food secure for several years. The plentiful food supply allowed time for the creation of art, including shell carving, loom weaving, and pottery making. Images of Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute player, a fertility god believed to assure a good harvest, frequently decorated the pottery. Epic poems carried Hohokam cultural history through many generations. The archaeological record shows that the Hohokam had no weapons; their bows, arrows, and spears were used for hunting deer, rabbits, and other small game to supplement their crops.

Area of the Hohokam Culture

Kayenta Canyon de Chelly Mesa Verde

Chaco Canyon

Snaketown Casa Grande Point of Pines Mimbres



Hohokam Culture



Deerskins and rabbit fur were used for ponchos, robes, and blankets. Cotton shirts and breechcloths were typical outfits for men, and apron-skirts of shredded fiber were worn by women. Both wore sandals of woven fiber and wickerwork. Other Hohokam artifacts include stone and clay pipes, cane cigarettes, noseplugs, wooden spoons, flutes, and prayer sticks. Stick and ring games, guessing games, gambling bones, and dice were also part of Hohokam culture. Petroglyphs, pot shards, pyramids, and pit houses tell the story of Hohokam contact with Mexico. In addition to pottery and domestic crops, which by 600 c.e. included cotton, the Colonial phase shows the use of astronomy to calculate planting dates. Narrower, deeper canals were dug to control evaporation, ball courts were built for ceremonial use, and images of the feathered serpent were used in ceremonial art. In the Sedentary phase, a smaller area of the desert was occupied by the Hohokam. Greater development occurred in the material culture, which showed more influence from Mexico: red-onbuff pottery, copper bells, turquoise mosaics, iron-pyrite mirrors, textiles, and bright-feathered macaws as pets in homes. During this period, Hohokam artists began the process of etching. The earliest people in the Western world to master the craft, they devised a method of covering the shells with pitch, carving the design, then dipping shells in the acidic juice of the saguaro cactus fruit. Along with salt, these shells were highly prized for exchange on the extensive trade route. During the Classic phase, the Salados (a branch of the Anasazi people) moved into Hohokam territory, bringing a new architecture of multistory adobe houses. They introduced other varieties of corn, as well as beans and squash, and brought basketry, the newest art form. Always peaceful people, the Hohokam coexisted with the Salados, who assisted with the building of canals. By 1350 c.e., the complex network extended more than 150 miles. Of great importance to the Hohokam were the new songs and ceremonies brought by the Salado, for these kept the world in balance and assured a life of abundance and harmony.



Hohokam Culture

As early as 300 b.c.e., Snaketown had been the year-round site of a village of about fifty families who relied on the production of domestic crops. It remained the center of Hohokam culture for fifteen hundred years. During the expansive period, more than one hundred pit houses covered the three-hundred-acre site. A highly developed social organization was needed to oversee the large population, produce abundant food, and maintain the network of canals. As their culture evolved from the Pioneer through the Classic phase, Hohokam social organization had shifted from small bands to tribes to chiefdoms to states. In the early fifteenth century, the Hohokam abandoned Snaketown and other settlements, possibly because of a long period of drought. In the nineteenth century, Mormon farmers used part of the network of canals skillfully engineered almost two thousand years earlier. Continuing the legacy, a canal at Snaketown near present-day Phoenix was reconstructed in the twentieth century to divert water from the Salt River. The ancient Hohokam spoke Uto-Aztecan, one of the seven Southwest language families, which also included Hopi, Pima, Yaqui-Mayo, and Huichol. In the Piman language, the term “Hohokam” translates as “the vanished ones.” Myths and songs about the mysterious desert whirlwinds are found in Piman culture, inherited from their Hohokam ancestors. Perhaps the whirlwinds hold the secret of the vanished ones. Gale M. Thompson Sources for Further Study Abbott, David R., ed. Centuries of Decline During the Hohokam Classic Period at Pueblo Grande. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003. An examination of the collapse of Hohokam culture during the fourteenth century. Ortiz, Alfonso, ed. Southwest. Vol. 9 in Handbook of North American Indians, edited by William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1979. _______. Southwest. Vol. 10 in Handbook of North American Indians, edited by William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithso-

Hohokam Culture



nian Institution, 1983. These two volumes in the Smithsonian’s multivolume history cover both the Pueblo (volume 9) and nonPueblo (volume 10) peoples of the Southwest. Maps, photographs, illustrations, bibliographies, indexes. Taylor, Colin, and William C. Sturtevant, eds. The Native Americans: The Indigenous People of North America. New York: Smithmark, 1991. Native American culture and lifestyle in nine culture areas, from the Arctic to the Southwest. Includes twenty-eight photographic spreads showing more than a thousand artifacts, dating from 1860 to 1920; 250 archival photographs, maps, and color plates, dating from 1850 to 1940; bibliography; catalog of artifacts; and index. Thomas, David Hurst. Exploring Ancient Native America: An Archeological Guide. New York: Routledge, 1999. Overview of Native American cultures and the evolution of numerous Native American civilizations. References more than four hundred accessible sites in North America. Discusses new scientific data from burial mounds, petroglyphs, artifacts, and celestial observations. Photographs, drawings, maps, and index. Underhill, Ruth M. Red Man’s America: A History of Indians in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953. Concise volume surveying origins, history, and definitive accounts of social customs, material culture, religion, and mythology. Written from the perspective of the first peoples of North America. Illustrations, maps, notes, extensive bibliography, and index. See also: Agriculture; Architecture: Southwest; Anasazi Civilization; Corn; Irrigation; Mogollon Civilization; Pottery.




Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: From the seventeenth century onward, the horse was an important aspect of many, if not most, North American Indian societies; it was most dominant in the lives of the Plains Indians. On his second voyage to the New World in 1493, Christopher Columbus imported the first horses to America. The settlement of Santo Domingo in Hispaniola became the horse-breeding center of the Caribbean islands. Subsequently, horse rancherías, both royal and private, were established in Cuba, Jamaica and other islands. When Hernán Cortés left Havana for the expedition to New Spain (Mexico) in 1519, he took with him sixteen horses, one of which foaled on board during the trip. After the fall of the Aztec empire, the Spaniards moved quickly to consolidate their gains. Antonio de Mendoza, the first viceroy of New Spain, faced the first serious challenge to Spanish rule since the conquest when natives rebelled in the northwestern province of Nueva Galicia, now the states of Jalisco and Nayarit. The rebellion, known as the Mixtón War of 1541-1542, caused the viceroy, for the first time, to send allied chieftains on horseback and use Spanish weapons to quell the uprising. It was with the Mixtón War that Native Americans started their long relationship with the horse. Dispersion of Horses. From New Spain, horses moved northward when Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, in his expedition of 1540-1542, took fifteen hundred horses with him to New Mexico (only a few of these animals survived). The first important breeding and distribution center of horses in what is now the United States was established in 1598 by Juan de Oñate in the San Juan Pueblo settlement on the east bank of the Rio Grande River, about 30 miles north of present-day Santa Fe, New Mexico. From this location, the horse was farther dispersed in an ever-northward and northwestward direction, arriving in the following areas in approximately these years: Colorado, 1659; Wyoming/Idaho, 1690-1700;




Montana/Oregon/Washington, 1720-1730; Canada, 1730-1750; California, 1769-1775. In an eastern and northeastern direction, the horse was dispersed to the following areas: Texas/Oklahoma, 1600-1690; Nebraska/Kansas/South and North Dakota, 17201750. Except for the Mixtón incident and reports that, in 1567, tribes were observed riding horses in the Sonora Valley of Mexico, there is nothing to suggest that Southwest natives were on horseback before the seventeenth century. When Native Americans acquired horses they did so by stealing them from the Spaniards. By early 1700, horses with Spanish brands had reached the northern Plains, transforming every aspect of life for the people in the region. Before the advent of the horse, people in the Plains area used dogs to help transport personal possessions on travois tied to the dog’s back. The newly acquired horse became a “new superior dog” that was harnessed to a larger travois and was capable of transporting

The horse enabled the Plains Indians to use bigger travois to transport a larger volume of goods. (Library of Congress)




greater volumes of material. Dog names were given to horses, honoring their function; the Assiniboine had two names for horses: Sho-a-thin-ga and Thongatch-shonga, both signifying “great dog”; the Blackfoot had Ponokamita, “elk dog”; the Gros Ventre, Itshouma-shunga, “red dog.” The Sioux word was Shonk-a-Wakan, “medicine dog”; and the Cree was Mistamin, “big dog.” Plains Horse Culture. Inevitably, horseback riding quickly followed the harnessed “big dogs,” and with the acquisition of firearms, mounted hunting parties enjoyed easier access to the vast buffalo herds roaming the Plains. Greater meat supplies raised many tribes above subsistence levels, providing time to pursue warlike activities such as raids for the acquisition of horses owned by other tribes. Individual horse ownership became an integral part of social transactions, and standards of wealth were measured in number of horses owned. Spiritual and religious customs incorporated the horse as powerful medicine, and members of horse cults believed they received their powers from horses. Horse breeding became commonplace among many tribes. The Flathead and Piegan acquired vast herds of horses (said to have numbered in the thousands), while the Nez Perce developed the outstanding, well-conformed, and spotted Appaloosa, which was known throughout the region as the hardiest and most reliable horse. The Blackfoot were the consummate horse keepers and trainers, and they practiced superior husbandry procedures. The Crow developed an honored horse “trading” tradition throughout the northern Plains and mountains. The Cheyenne attempted to steal horses without killing the members of the raided tribe, and the Comanche became the most dreaded and splendid horsemen of the Plains. The extermination of the buffalo, the sheer power of the western movement of European Americans, and the placement of the tribes on reservations ended the Native American horse culture. Moises Roizen See also: Buffalo; Dogs.

. Lightheartedness might be used as a way of dealing with traditional restraints on expressing emotions. arguments deriving from inevitable tensions could be very disruptive of common order. who might use sarcasm to suggest corrections in undesirable behaviors. After his spiritual awakening. An example is the tradition of “joking relations. a pejorative nickname based on undesirable physical attributes or lack of appropriate manly or womanly behavior might serve as an incentive to overcome limitations and conform to group norms. the Shawnee Prophet was once known as Lalawethika (the Drum or Rattle) because of his boastfulness. Playfulness. a young woman’s resistance to getting married. unattractiveness. in various forms. and other forms of humor were—and are—widespread among North American Indians. An unflattering name suggesting immaturity. he became known as Tenskwatawa—the Open Door.Humor / 365 Humor Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: North American Indian humor. In the controlled setting of a village or family unit. Conveying one’s point of view through humor rather than contention allowed for a socially acceptable release of emotions which might otherwise lead to socially harmful conflict. or unworthiness might follow someone through life or might later be replaced with a more desirable name. Similarly. pervades various native traditions and serves important social functions. however. practical jokes. In this way humor served as a way of discouraging deviant behavior and encouraging group norms while keeping the rebuke at a safe distance from the harmony of the immediate family. Humor also served as a way of keeping interpersonal aggressions under control. making pointed comments about a young man’s aptitude as a warrior.” often cousins. For example. or an inappropriate choice of potential mate. These cousins monitored each other’s actions. conveying a desired message of rebuke without the likelihood of physical retribution.

children—in the tolerant upbringing common to many native people—were often allowed to use humor and practical jokes. all related by kinship or marriage. however. Social Control. Usually. tribes were so well adapted that even in the most marginal areas they easily supplied their continuing caloric needs by utilizing a wide range of food sources. but they generally met their needs adequately and had significant leisure time. At the same time. Occasionally kinship was fictive.366 / Hunting and Gathering Indian cultures frowned on sarcasm or ridicule directed from parents toward their children in the interest of preserving family unity and protecting budding egos. Indeed. “Hunting and gathering” refers to the economic activities of the simplest and historically earliest form of human society. Because they were usually ignorant of techniques of food preservation. Hunting and Gathering Tribes affected: Prehistoric and pantribal Significance: Hunting and gathering societies could not amass surplus food supplies. Hunters and gatherers were migrant people possessing only rudimentary technology who traveled a fixed territory in pursuit of seasonal produce and game animals. Names and Naming. Humor allowed important messages about behavior to be communicated in nonthreatening ways and thereby served as an important reinforcement of the community. even against family members. hunters and gatherers did not collect surplus. hunters and gatherers maintained the most leisurely lifestyle of any human societies. Carroll See also: Joking Relations. Within bands the nuclear family was . Hunting and gathering tribes contained several small bands of less than fifty members. Thomas P. often devoting a scant two or three hours per day to subsistence activities. thereby making them susceptible to occasional food shortages.

Of all human societies. Bands usually maintained a central camp. instruction of women in abortion techniques and enforced sexual abstinence for more than a year after childbirth freed women from overly bur- . there was greater sexual equality than among other types of societies. of men or women. (National Archives) the primary economic and social unit. hunting and gathering bands were the most egalitarian.Hunting and Gathering / 367 A late nineteenth century Paiute woman gathering seeds in southern Nevada. Although bands usually acknowledged a headman. Occasionally bands met on ceremonial occasions or for the exchange. for example. his role was merely advisory. and food sharing was a principal feature of life. Likewise. through marriage. and his status was in recognition of unusual prowess in a vital skill such as hunting. Among the Ute of the Great Basin.

sewing. and Richard Daly. California. Catherine. Division of labor was by sex. with men hunting and women gathering food. eds. By the mid-twentieth century. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Hunting was awarded the highest social significance. Robert H. . Warfare and political functions were male responsibilities. Lacking higher authorities. material possessions among hunters and gatherers were usually few. eds. often conferring high status. 2001. Yet fully two-thirds or more of caloric needs were met by women’s gathering activities. The greatest pre-contact concentration of hunting and gathering tribes in North America was in the semi-arid Great Basin of Nevada. Panter-Brick. Likewise. Trial marriages were common. Subsistence. Ostracism and gossip within the band were also effective deterrents of crime. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1999. basketmaking. and divorce could be accomplished simply by returning to the parental camp. Richard B. Oral traditions. Idaho. Unusual storytelling ability was valued. Child rearing and domestic activities such as cooking.. all American Indian hunting and gathering tribes had abandoned their traditional lifestyles. See also: Gender Relations and Roles. which resulted in male dominance. elaborate rituals often surrounded a hunt. Mary E.368 / Hunting and Gathering densome maternal responsibilities. Hunter-gatherers: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. however. Virginia Sources for Further Study Lee. and Utah. Tensions were often diffused by elaborate and ritualized methods such as insult singing. decorative arts could also be elaborate. including storytelling and historical renditions. were often elaborate. Layton. and tanning hides were female duties. Oregon. discipline was usually performed within families. Because they were limited by their nomadic lifestyles. New York: Cambridge University Press. and Peter RowleyConwy. as were religious and ceremonial leadership.

Midwinter Ceremony. They also reverse dance roles in the Midwinter Ceremony. Paraphernalia also includes wooden hoes. agricultural spirits. 1987. and paddles for spreading or combing ashes. the Husk Faces are an Iroquoian medicine society ministering to specific illnesses and conducting certain ritual functions. which ranking members of the society recognize.Husk Face Society / 369 Husk Face Society Tribes affected: Iroquois tribes Significance: Also called the Bushy Heads. Membership in the Husk Face Society includes both men and women and comes as the result of dreaming of. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Masks. Schiffman Source for Further Study Fenton. Glenn J. The female members dress as men and the men as women. and before departing they usually prophesy an abundant corn harvest for the coming year. See also: Clowns. During False Face ceremonies.” Husk Face masks include protruded mouth holes from which healers expel a curative blow on hot coals. The False Faces of the Iroquois. Husk Face Society members seem to handle hot coals with ease. Husk Faces function in the Midwinter Ceremony in a key role as clowns. the Husk Faces act as “doorkeepers. or visioning. Public appearances at Green Corn and other ceremonies include functioning to dispel disease. Husk Faces wear masks braided or woven from cornhusks. William N. Husk Faces herald the arrival of False Face Society members during the autumnal Thanksgiving Ceremony. shovels. .

It was important Igloo . Igloos. each course of snow blocks decreased in circumference until the very top. The entrance tunnel sump was always lowest. were hemispherical structures of varying size made of wind-compacted snow. The domoid igloo was divided into a living/cooking area and raised sleeping platform. A window for light was made of ice.370 / Igloo Igloo Tribes affected: Primarily Inuit (Eskimo) groups in the Arctic culture area Significance: Igloos were the main dwelling structures of central Arctic tribes. Blocks were cut with bone or baleen knives. When placed one atop another in an inclined plane. found mostly in the central Arctic. so that entering cold air was warmed and then exited through a small opening over the sleeping area. Additional insulation was provided by shoveling loose snow atop the completed structure. It normally took two men three hours to build such a structure. which was completed with a capblock.

however. Prohibited relatives also often included parallel cousins (that is. The incest taboo is the near-universal prohibition against marrying close biological relatives. John Alan Ross See also: Architecture: Arctic. Incest was condemned in very grave terms by American Indian cultures. a man marrying his father’s brother’s daughter or his mother’s sister’s daughter). On occasion.Incest Taboo / 371 that the insulation effect not be reduced by the interior becoming too warm and the ice melting. In some cultures these marriages were not only permitted but also encouraged. The ban on incest involved not only marriage but also any sexual intercourse with forbidden classes of relatives. Such classes included. biological parents and siblings. No such widespread ban. individual igloos situated at productive resource areas. were joined by tunnels. The practice of incest was sometimes blamed for reduced success in hunting and other misfortunes which befell communities. as if to reinforce the prohibition on any marital or sexual relationship. particularly ice-sealing sites. In some cultures the same denotation was applied to such cousins as was applied to siblings. Incest Taboo Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: This proscription was and continues to be taken very seriously by American Indian cultures. and an alter- . but were not limited to. existed on relationships between cross cousins (a man marrying his father’s sister’s daughter or his mother’s brother’s daughter). even to the extent of being associated with witchcraft and sorcery. Igloo size varied from accommodation for an extended family to a large ceremonial structure. One way of examining the likely acceptability of a match between relatives is thus by examining the terms used for the relationships between them.

Since the army did not . Exogamy refers to certain traditional restrictions on marriage that are not based on such close biological ties. That policy remained in effect until 1878. restricting a greater number of relatives of the mother. A man was also usually allowed to marry his brother’s widow. kinship terms for in-laws are often not present. Exogamy within families may be patrilineal.372 / Indian Police and Judges native partner was wed only when no acceptable cross cousin was available. Kinship and Social Organization. restricting equal numbers of relatives of both parents. Related to the prohibition of incest is the practice of exogamy. in “Indian country. Schurz received warnings from army officers in the West that starving Indians on reservations were becoming desperate and that a rebellion could break out at any time. Indian Police and Judges Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: In 1878. In such communities. or bilateral. requiring suitors to take a spouse from another location. In 1817. and trials were held in federal courts. when Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz recommended to Congress the creation of the United States Indian Police. matrilineal. Marriage and Divorce. criminal and civil. One example is the requirement that one marry outside one’s clan. a native police force and judicial system were created to administer justice on reservations. restricting marriage and sexual bonds with a greater number of relatives of the father. dictates bans on marriage within a geographical community. local exogamy.” The army served as the police force for Native Americans. since there is a biological relationship between both parties and their parents. Another. the United States Supreme Court ruled that federal courts had jurisdiction over all cases. Thomas P. Carroll See also: Clans.

Congress gave the Indian police the authority to guard reservations against trespassers. Some whites in Congress and in white areas surrounding reservations. feared giving Native Americans . The police were to serve as judges in these courts. the Department of the Interior authorized creation of Courts of Indian Offenses. The officers and their men generally received high praise from Indians and white agents for their conduct. were working at forty agencies in the West. Indians respected their own police much more than they did white military personnel. even though it meant spending a little more money. so Congress approved hiring new Native American judges. find and return “truants” from the reservation. Policemen serving as both judges and arresting officers created conflicts in many trials. it was suggested that Indians themselves be trained to handle such problems. and provide other police services. In 1883.Indian Police and Judges / 373 Sioux Indian police at the Pine Ridge Agency in the late 1880’s. Congress approved the creation of a native police force under the control of Office of Indian Affairs agents. Within three years. all Native Americans. (National Archives) have enough troops available to react quickly to such an alarming possibility. however. arrest people for drunkenness. 162 officers and 653 privates.

beginning around 100 c. the secretary of the interior acted to limit the types of crimes heard in the Indian courts. was practiced widely in pre-Columbian Mexico and Peru. Indian judges could no longer hear cases concerning murder. 1980. Tischauser Source for Further Study Hagan. See also: Tribal Courts. manslaughter. These crimes were returned to the jurisdiction of United States marshals and federal district courts. unlined. the bringing of water to agricultural fields. and without sophisticated water control features. Indian Police and Judges: Experiments in Acculturation and Control. Irrigation Tribes affected: Southwestern tribes Significance: Irrigation permitted some tribes of the Southwest. Indian judges could try cases involving only petty criminal offenses. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. The earliest canals were modest in scope. or larceny. In 1885. Most of eastern North America had adequate rainfall for agriculture. Leslie V. to practice effective agriculture in arid lands. burglary. As a result. William T. assault. and much of western North America was so dry that agriculture was impractical. Despite these limits.374 / Irrigation full control of their criminal justice system. rape. irrigation in pre-Columbian North America was restricted to the Southwest. the Indian police and courts proved a successful reform in treatment of Native Americans by allowing for more self-government on reservations. arson. but it was used relatively little by prehistoric North American Indians. particularly in prehistoric times. Irrigation. There. By 700. they had been ex- . the earliest known irrigation was practiced by people of the Hohokam archaeological tradition.e.

kin in avoidance relations are actually to avoid each other physically. control features such as trash gates. In avoidance relations. By 1400. a corresponding set of avoidance relations. formal fashion with each other. Joking Relations Tribes affected: Widespread but not pantribal Significance: Joking relations refer to the humorous and informal relations between certain relatives in many Indian tribes. A few centuries later. Hohokam Culture. including one main canal at least 17 miles long. if . Russell J.and mothers-in-law. (Parallel cousins are related through the father’s brother or the mother’s sister. Technology. the canals were lined to reduce loss from seepage. Other historic tribes using irrigation include the Pueblo peoples and the Colorado River tribes (Mojave and Yuma). certain kin engage in free and easy bantering and talk with each other. who probably adopted their irrigation practices from the Spanish. (A cross cousin is a relative related to a person through that person’s father’s sister or mother’s brother. and given definition by. In joking relations. kin are to act in a reserved. and this sort of irrigation was continued by the Pima. A feature of many North American kinship systems is joking relations. however. and parallel cousins. head gates. in addition. and plunge pools had been added to the system.Joking Relations / 375 panded to a massive network.) North American Indians typically also practiced a strong avoidance relationship between sons.) Avoidance relations are typically with one’s parents. Hohokam irrigation had diminished to small-scale ditches with far less engineering sophistication than the earlier systems. in some cases. Joking relations are almost always paired with. for example. The kin with whom one may joke are typically a person’s grandparents and cross cousins. siblings of the opposite sex. among the Crow. by contrast. Barber See also: Agriculture.

and easygoing bantering marked interactions between grandparents and grandchildren. . Avoidance relations were formal. and behavior around avoidance kin was carefully controlled. joking relations were very informal and often bawdy. David J. who was thought to be unjust. personal warmth. Generally. mock aggression and sexual allusion were common. people were relaxed. Indians did not joke about or even talk about any topic even remotely related to sex with those kin.376 / Joking Relations a man’s mother-in-law entered an area. A Hidatsa man would tease a joking relative who had achieved few war honors or would tease a member of the Black Mouth secret society. joking relations served an additional function: creating conformity through teasing. Kin with whom a person has avoidance relations are people with whom a person may not have sexual intercourse. it would be judged incest. While a person’s interactions with parents were formal. the informality of the situation made the circumstances humorous and acceptable. Joking kin often tried to outdo one another in the obscenity of references to one another’s sexual exploits or attributes. which served as a kind of police force among the Hidatsa. A nonsexual relationship of mutual indulgence existed between grandparents and grandchildren. By comparison. Minderhout See also: Children. a son-in-law would excuse himself and leave. and sexual intercourse was permitted between cross cousins. informality. such as the Hidatsa. Once again. however. if sex between such individuals did occur. joking relations were primarily a source of recreation and entertainment for those involved. Incest Taboo. but an important social message was delivered at the same time. Kinship and Social Organization. In some cultures. With these kin. To avoid even the appearance of the possibility of incestuous relationships with some relatives. Children were taught from infancy to delight in considering some joking kin in sexual and conjugal terms. a crime North American Indians strongly proscribed. Humor.

is found among all the Puebloans in the Southwest. the kachinas are represented in various dances and ceremonies by men wearing masks. Additionally. . or Home Dance. These kachina dolls. Kachinas are spirits of the dead who act as intermediaries between humankind and the gods and who bring the clouds and the rain. which have more spectacular. or most sacred. and those representing the lesser spirits. While they are in the villages. found at the prehistoric site of Double Butte Cave in Arizona. believe that the kachinas live on mountaintops. and a wooden figurine or doll made to resemble one of the spirits. believe that they live under the lakes. spirits. the Hopi among them. or beaks. bears a similarity to Hopi “cradle dolls. The Hopi kachinas leave their mountain home to live in the villages for six months each year.Kachinas / 377 Kachinas Tribes affected: Pueblo tribes Significance: The kachina cult. arriving in late February for an initiation ceremony called the Powamu and returning after the Niman Ceremony. and changeable.” the simple flat kachina dolls tied to a baby’s cradle. features such as ears. in July. such as the Zuñi. while others. a small wooden effigy with the face painted to resemble a mask. which are simple and unchanging. The term “kachina” has three distinct meanings: a spirit being. the best examples of woodcarving found among the Puebloans. are made primarily by the Hopi and to a lesser extent by the Zuñi. There are two major categories of masks: those representing the greater. as well as in pictographs located throughout the Southwest. although belief in the kachina spirits is common to all the groups. noses. Masked figures very similar to modern kachina masks have been found in ancient kiva murals at Hopi and in the Rio Grande Valley. Some Puebloans. a dancer wearing a mask who impersonates one of the spirits in ceremonial dances. concerned with the growth of crops and the fertility of all life. All these suggest a prehistoric origin for the kachina cult.

fur. costume. The commercialization of the kachina doll began sometime in the 1880’s. LouAnn Faris Culley . “Action dolls”—those carved in more active positions—have also been developed to appeal to the collector. and feathers to replace features earlier represented by carving and painting. (Museum of New Mexico) It is not certain when the Puebloans began to carve modern versions of kachina dolls. are not religious objects themselves and are not worshiped as idols. nor are there any references to them in the literature of the period. especially the mask features. Kachina dolls are carved from cottonwood root and painted by the men of the pueblo to be given to their daughters or nieces in order to teach them the mask. This resulted in a greater naturalism in the modeling of the figures as well as the addition of pieces of cloth. the doll must be accurate and detailed. when the traders who came into the Southwest began to sell the dolls to collectors. although referring to religious spirits. although there are no examples dating earlier than about 1850.378 / Kachinas Members of the Hopi tribe making kachina figures during the mid-1930’s. and body markings of each kachina spirit. Therefore. The dolls.

The leaf was used commonly for making tea by boiling the dried leaves. deer. Kinnikinnick berries were used in meat and soups and. Tobacco. Kinnikinnick Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: This plant was used by Native Americans in many ways. dried. Religion. and often greased.: Northland.” dwarf wild rose. and it can make the uninitiated smoker dizzy. Sculpture. John Alan Ross See also: Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. Ariz. Masks. 2000. evergreen shrub that forms dense mats in well-drained sandy soils throughout much of North America. the leaf was dried. Traditional Hopi Kachinas: A New Generation of Carvers. See also: Arts and Crafts: Southwest. seal. “Indian marijuana. The Lillooet sometimes made temporary pipe stems from the dried roots. particularly when cooked slowly in bear. salmon.Kinnikinnick / 379 Sources for Further Study Day. Schaafsma. ed. 2000. the tea was drunk medicinally as a diuretic or tonic. Wherever the plant was found. huckleberry leaves. Flagstaff. and smoked as a substitute for tobacco or used as a mixture with other plants. Kinnikinnick. Some groups believed the plant was placed on earth primarily for use as a tobacco. The smoke has a sweet smell. is a low. trailing. which made them more palatable. or sturgeon grease. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. mountain goat. were made into dumplings. Kachinas in the Pueblo World. after the introduction of flour. After the plant had flowered. The berries were eaten raw or after cooking. toasted. moose. and red osier dogwood. . the leaves were picked. Polly. Most commonly. Jonathan S. a member of the heather family. including wild tobacco. the leaves and berries were utilized by Native Americans in a variety of ways.

380 / Kinship and Social Organization Kinship and Social Organization Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Kinship relationships of various types have often formed the basis for political and social customs among native North Americans. and various powers are passed down from mother to daughter. it should be noted that some traditions and customs have survived to the present day. identified by close familial relationship. The next group was the clan. as could the larger units of social organization. since many were virtually exterminated by the European invaders. Patrilineal societies pass property and power from father to son. men move into their wives’ households. two subgroups within the tribe. whereas others have not. The term “matrilineal” describes a society in which lineage. in matrilocal societies. A prime example of such changes is the fact that most Indians today are at least nominally Christian. property. extended or immediate. including systems both much like and vastly different from those of Europeans. or nation. The largest societal group was the tribe. traditional American Indian cultures considered family relationships to be of paramount importance. before further discussion of social organization. Like almost all cultures around the world. The precise number of tribes that have existed in North America is difficult to ascertain. often identified with particular animals. a number of terms must be noted before American Indian social organization can be examined. Within some tribes were moieties. these groups were of varying importance. and all live within the American legal . Finally there was the family group. Therefore. Patrilocal societies are those in which wives move into their husbands’ households. Almost all of those that have continued have been changed—some dramatically—by contact with the dominant European American culture. Among various Indian tribes. but they certainly numbered in the hundreds. Finally. Family relationships could be quite complex.

as they are usually assigned to the dictates of gods and spirits. In a few cases there was bilateral lineage. since many of these customs had already been altered before they were seriously studied. there are a number of different traditions among Indians. While there will be a brief discussion of modern conditions. . these rules are remarkably logical in terms of modern genetics. hunting and fishing or conducting warfare. In some cases. the men spent most of their time outside. Matrilineage was quite common. marriage between cousins was encouraged. patrilineal descent was more common. and the naming and meaning of various relatives were complex indeed. While it is impossible to determine how ancient taboos originated. the situations can be confusing. all the following will be referred to in the past tense as an indication that times have changed since first contact between Europeans and Indians. Some tribes described fathers and fathers’ brothers by the same term. In some cases. Many variations took place. the men customarily lived in “men’s houses. in which the male line is almost always considered predominant. Power and property were passed from father to son or from brother to brother. The women were in charge of the household and often tended crops. Unfortunately. the marriage had to be outside the moiety. Wives often moved into their husbands’ households at marriage. Lineage Patterns.” while the regular households were composed entirely of women and children. it is nonexistent. Unlike European traditions. but incest was almost a universal taboo. today. but they are ultimately under the control of the United States government. which also discourages marriage between close relatives. Tribal chiefs still exist. while differentiating between mothers and mothers’ sisters. notably the Subarctic tribes. Marriage within a clan was almost always forbidden. In some cultures. Polygamy used to be common among Indian tribes.Kinship and Social Organization / 381 system. In the Southwest. In many Indian cultures. such as certain Inuit groups. at least legally.

1957. and William C. Comparative Studies of North American Indians. Harold E. . Massey..Patterns of Descent Bilateral descent ral descent Matrilineal descent ineal descent Patrilineal descent Source: After Driver.

S. and he was answerable to a village council. Political Power. In many Indian cultures it was customary for a man. the Natchez of Alabama and Louisiana. religious leaders were also political leaders.Kinship and Social Organization / 383 The one common custom among many Indian tribes that was totally abolished (at least legally) by U. and occasionally great warriors achieved political power for a time. Much more common. was bowed to regardless of what he said. elected their chief. was a chief who was chosen by election. however. for example. who was practically considered a god. Gender roles among American Indians. but he became chief by agreement of the tribal members. he was not necessarily an old man or significantly involved in religious ceremonies. The shamans among the Eskimos (Inuits) were probably the most powerful people in their tribes. or simply became chief because he proved himself in battle or had great wealth. law was polygamy. were ruled by a chief called the Great Sun. to have several wives. Gender Roles. but the political structure there was very loose. The Crow of the northwestern Plains had a chief with widespread power. Chosen for his abilities. and was carried on a litter. He was an absolute dictator. including the division of labor between men and women and the amounts of social and political power held by each. especially a man of power and influence. Lesser men left his presence by walking backward. certainly. the number of wives a man married was an important sign of prestige. were first observed and . This chief was far from dictatorial. The common stereotype of the old chief sitting on his blanket and decreeing orders for the tribe was actually a very uncommon system of government among American Indians. In many cases. There were some such chiefs. whose political system is probably the best understood because they were among the last Indians to be significantly influenced by white culture. The Athapaskan peoples of the Subarctic. inherited his title but could be deposed by common opinion. In some tribes.

gender roles in American Indian societies represent an area of study that has been subject to some debate and reinterpretation. This was a league of six nations. who had dictatorial powers in time of war but was chosen on the basis of his ability rather than lineage. Social Organization. for example. the first European settlers in the area. While men almost always were officially in charge. the Iroquois Confederacy sided with the English. their uniting was mainly a result of their warfare with the Algonquians. warriors. and they were run by women. Cayuga. This post was handed down from father to son. The household had a sacred bundle (fetish). There was also a war chief. and Onondaga. the individual households were the most important unit. and the official leaders. women sometimes held considerable power. The ceremonies involving these fetishes were held by the brother or son of this woman. Seneca. Yet there were a number of exceptions. men were hunters. The village chief was a man. The degree of social organization within and among groups varied widely among tribes. As a general rule. from loosely knit groups of small families to huge nations with complex political structures. As a consequence. which was owned by the oldest woman in the household and passed down from mother to daughter. Oneida. the other major group in New York and southeastern Quebec. Such division is not surprising for societies that were largely agrarian or were oriented toward hunting or fishing. . the Mohawk. preindustrial European societies functioned in much the same way. sided with the Algonquians.384 / Kinship and Social Organization studied by European men who applied their own strong cultural biases and perceptions to what they observed. In the French and Indian War. while women kept up the homes and often tended crops. While these groups spoke a common language family and had many customs in common. and the chief generally was more a mediator than a ruler. Tuscarora. The union was strengthened when the French. Probably the most highly organized group of North American Indians were the Iroquois. Among the Hopi.

These people had an extremely loose political structure. nuclear family consisting of a husband. At the opposite extreme were the tribes of the Subarctic and Arctic. with common historical ancestors. American Indian societies today—although some traditions continue and others are being rediscovered and reintroduced—reflect the disruption and cultural adaptation brought about by centuries of contact . small clans tended to be most powerful. they were often nomadic. Paramount in most cases was the tribe. the family unit was the most important social structure. Among the Iroquois.Kinship and Social Organization / 385 The prehistoric traditions of the Iroquois are hard to determine. arranged the marriages. Beyond the clan was the moiety. the women owned the property. including the Athapaskans. It is known. one or more wives. that Iroquois society was probably the closest to a genuinely matriarchal society in North America. In the Southwest. As stated previously. often supposedly descended from a spirit or even an animal. Contemporary Conditions. extended families spanning several generations. and ruled the extended families. These people were not particularly warlike. The family unit varied from a small. moving in search of game. but they were more mediators in tribal disagreements than rulers or dictators. with a complex political structure. to large. larger clans prevailed. and disputes among clans were settled by councils of chiefs. the tribe tended to be highly powerful. In the Northeast. because they had very early contact with Europeans. and Aleuts. and this contact was usually violent. Generally. In the Northwest. Early European reports suggested that the real power was held by the women. who lived in large numbers in longhouses—log cabins that could hold a great number of people of several generations. A group of families constituted a clan. The original rulers were called sachems. although even here there were great differences. however. and any number of children. Eskimos (Inuits). Where there were chiefs at all. they were generally either elected or simply assumed to be in charge because they had proved themselves.

which continue to provide differences among tribes. it is not always obvious that an individual is of Indian descent. . and the Northwest Territories. the other is a Christian ceremony similar to one that might be held in any city or town in North America. including illustrations. two ceremonies will be held. They live in log cabins in tiny villages. Marc Goldstein Sources for Further Study Bandi. In addition to the wide variety of traditional lifeways of American Indians. who have been little affected by white culture. mostly in very remote areas. and maps. marriage. have generally acculturated to the dominant white culture. on the other hand. Typically. and reservation villages often still have chiefs and shamans. although still facing certain biases and prejudices. or even visitors. Broadly speaking. are rare apart from a few government officials and schoolteachers. three categories may be delineated: those who live in urban areas or large towns. the structures of contemporary Indian societies are strongly affected by where Indians live today. or death. White residents. that income from tourism has sometimes also played a part in the maintenance or reestablishment of certain ceremonies or customs.) There are still some Indians. those who live on reservations. (It might be noted. 1979. diagrams. however. and those who live in very remote areas (as in the Subarctic). usually with no more than eighty or ninety residents. English is the working language. Moreover. American Indians in cities and towns. but the native languages are used for traditional ceremonies. Eskimo Prehistory. Hans-George. Reservation Indians. are more likely to have preserved the old rituals. College: University of Alaska Press. An archaeological study of early Eskimos. at a major event such as a birth. discussing their culture from arrival upon the American continent. One is in the ancient language (complete with dances and songs) and is usually barred to whites. Probably the most widespread group still holding to ancient customs in many ways are the Athapaskans of Alaska. because there has been considerable intermarriage. the Yukon.386 / Kinship and Social Organization with European-derived culture.

Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family. See also: Clans. After Columbus: The Smithsonian Chronicles of the American Indians. Charles. from prehistory to contemporary times. A compilation of articles by American Indians about their culture. Spencer. eds. 1990. ethnicity. Morgan studied the kinship systems of more than one hundred cultures—exploring the similarities and dissimilarities among the groups.Kinship and Social Organization / 387 DeMallie. Morgan. North American Indian Anthropology: Essays on Society and Culture. Women. An encyclopedic discussion of American Indian culture. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Calif. 7th ed. Robert F. New York: Harper & Row.: Mayfield. A history of North American Indian cultures. Societies: Non-kin-based. Cry of the Thunderbird: The American Indian’s Own Story. Herman J. Raymond J. law. New ed. Mountain View. politics. The Native Americans. art. 1972. Osalt. and contemporary conditions. and religion.. D. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. A collection of essays on kinship and social organization. Washington. Jesse D. 1994. includes photographs and maps showing tribal areas.C. Jennings. This book was originally published in 1871. . with a particular emphasis on the changes in those cultures as a result of European influence. including memories of childhood. 1977. Marriage and Divorce. Lewis Henry. This Land Was Theirs: A Study of North American Indians. Introduction by Elisabeth Tooker.: Smithsonian Institution Press. historical beginnings. Viola. Gender Relations and Roles. 2d ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Hamilton. 2001.. et al. Wendell H. Social Control. Political Organization and Leadership. 1997. Description of representative tribes in various regions. and Alfonso Ortiz.

which served as the kiva—their ceremonial center. By circa 100 c. where members meet to commune with the spirits and with one another.e. the Hohokam then built an entire “wattle-anddaub” structure within the pit. consisting of small posts interlaced with brush and packed with mud and clay. a single center post supported a conical roof. without outside influence. about 5 feet deep and up to 25 feet in diameter. it is likely that they conceived and developed their architecture themselves. they always built one extra structure. the Modified Basket Maker Anasazi developed a circular pit house.. they designated one large pit house as a ceremonial kiva. offered better protection from the elements. semi-subterranean structure used for ceremonial purposes. The kiva first appeared in the Southwest among the prehistoric Mogollon. ac- . About 500 c.. a small hole near the central fire pit represented sipapu. The walls of the pit were plastered with clay. In the packed earthen floor. The Mogollon were the first to begin building permanent houses. each tribal clan or society. and a hole in the center of the roof provided a vent for the fire pit. A short.e. and Anasazi cultures.388 / Kivas Kivas Tribes affected: Pueblo people (prehistoric to modern) Significance: The kiva is a circular. The Hohokam were also pit house builders. sloping ramp on one side served as an entryway. This method. The roof now had a double pitch. but entry was still gained through a sloping ramp on one side. Hohokam. has its own kiva. usually deeper and larger. but their structures differed from those of the Mogollon both in design and in construction techniques. usually exclusively male. the opening through which humankind emerged onto the face of the earth. Starting with a large rectangular hole 20 to 30 feet in length. As the Mogollon constructed their pit house villages. and entrance was by ladder through the smoke hole. Like the Mogollon. the Mogollon circular pit house consisted of a hole several feet deep that was lined with poles and brush to create low sidewalls.

the kiva has served as the center of Puebloan ceremonial life. slightly curved rows of contiguous rooms. Clan membership and access to the kivas are reserved for men only. one for each of the clans or societies that play roles in influencing the spirits on behalf of all the people. a stone bench around the inside. Curtis/Museum of New Mexico) . the Anasazi pit house served as both home and ceremonial center. When the Anasazi built their stone pueblos consisting of long. low stone walls were eventually used to divide the pit house into two separate spaces. Originally. it had stone-lined walls and floor. the kiva also serves as Early twentieth century corn dancers entering a kiva in San Ildefonso Pueblo. and stone pilasters to support the roof. they placed their kivas in the center.Kivas / 389 cording to Puebloan legends of creation. Every pueblo has several kivas. The Pueblo Anasazi refined the earlier pit house into a more formal ceremonial structure which was deeper in the ground. (Edward S. Thus. one for daily living and one for ceremonial functions. From ancient times to the present.

Some knives. Pit House. LouAnn Faris Culley See also: Architecture: Southwest. Barber . Sacred. giving them a place to work and socialize that is exclusively their own—an important function in a matrilineal society. The crooked knife was made of trade iron but was based on an earlier native design made of bone. the ulu. These included the coldhammered copper knives used as grave offerings by Indians around the Great Lakes from 2500 to 500 b. which may be defined simply as tools for cutting. Knives Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Knives have been in use throughout prehistoric and historic times.e. the. doubtless were carried across the Bering Strait land bridge when the ancestors of American Indians entered the Americas tens of thousands of years ago. and the bone snow knives used by Inuits for cutting blocks for igloo construction. metals became more available for knives.c. Religion. were made from other materials or by other techniques in the prehistoric era. These early knives would have resembled those in common use throughout the prehistoric period: stone knives flaked on both faces to form a sharp edge. Russell J. Knives. Pueblo. or “woman’s knife. Another Inuit knife. Mogollon Civilization. One special type of knife was the crooked knife.390 / Knives a clubhouse for the men.” was half-moonshaped and made from ground slate. used by the Iroquois especially for carving false face masks. arriving sometimes as trade knives and sometimes as other iron items that were remade into knives by Indian craftspeople. mostly for special purposes. With the advent of Europeans.

: Collector Books. the lead dancer typically played the part of . The “Kuksu complex. Colo. Arrowheads and Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Amateur Archaeologist. In its traditional context.: Pruett. 2d ed. Pomo. Patwin (Southern Wintu). Native American Weapons. Kuksu ritual provided for the initiation of young males into adulthood. Colin F. the Kuksu cycle became the domain of a secret society dedicated to revitalizing native culture. G. 2000. See also: Lances and Spears. Yeager. took place in semi-subterranean houses and involved dancers who impersonated important mythical spirits and deities. however. the influence of the Kuksu society spread to include a significant number of tribal groups in central-northern California.. Northern Yokuts Significance: The Kuksu ritual and the emergence of the Kuksu society represent a shift from traditional religious beliefs that resulted from contact with European Americans. as a result of contact with Spanish. as they were traditionally practiced. Miwok. 1998. The Kuksu rituals. Tools. Weapons. Kuksu Rituals and Society Tribes affected: Costano. Projectile Points. As this became more and more the case. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. C. Paducah.Kuksu Rituals and Society / 391 Sources for Further Study Taylor. Boulder. Lawrence N.” as it is sometimes called by anthropologists. Mexican. Through time. The Kuksu Rituals. and Anglo populations and influence from the Native American Ghost Dance. Field Guide to Flint Arrowheads and Knives of the North American Indian: Identification and Values. 2001. Tully. For example. Tully. Ky. and Steven N. Maidu. refers to an integrated set of rituals or ceremonies originally practiced by the river Patwin of the central Sacramento Valley of California.

young initiates were subjected to a dance that involved the symbolic killing of the initiates. The dancers pretended. especially those associated with creation myths. Most of these materials actually allowed the dancers to impersonate various spirits. If a dancer made a mistake. to slit the throats of the initiates. a spirit of great significance in the scheme of Patwin cosmology. most of whom were actual shamans. Masks. veiled headdresses. Most of the Kuksu rituals involved elaborate use of performance paraphernalia. As such. Other spirit characters were Tuya (“Big-Headed Dancer”) and Chelito—who helped coordinate the movements of Tuya. Cultural Functions. most of the religious themes employed in these ceremonies relied to a significant degree on references to mythical characters. As mentioned above. as is typical of many Native American ceremonies. For example. and to enhance the status of the dancers as mystics.392 / Kuksu Rituals and Society Moki. for example. through clever manipulation of knives and other sharp objects. he ran the risk of insulting the spirit and. This ceremony began the ritual cycle which ran from fall to spring. acted out the revival of their subjects. Of all the Kuksu ceremonies. Each dancer had to know the precise set of choreographed movements associated with each of the spirit characters. the Kuksu ceremonies originally functioned primarily as a means of initiating adolescent males into the status of adults. The Hesi ritual took four days to complete and. feathered cloaks. was conducted in a highly formal and prescriptive manner. In the Hesi ritual. After this was done the dancers. Hesi was the most important. and drums (otherwise rare in California) were all used to enhance the performances of the dancers. creating the possibility of bringing bad luck to the village. This suggests that a major function of these ceremonies involved the reinforcement of mythic stories of cosmogony (origins) and cosmology (the nature of the cosmos). thus. these dances and ceremonies not only had the general effect of telling members of society how the world came into existence but also afforded . Anthropologists and historians have also pointed to a number of more subtle functions.

the Kuksu had been organized into a secret society. The Kuksu Society and Cult. As more and more people of European descent began to settle in central-northern California. thus. the Kuksu . were not allowed to attend Kuksu ceremonies. the term “Kuksu” was used to refer to a specific type of healer. Furthermore. women were defined as fundamentally different from men. Another emphasis found throughout the Kuksu cycle centered on the status and role of traditional healers. Moreover. Anthropologists have also noted that the Kuksu complex defined status differences across both age and gender dimensions. by way of their exclusion. many of the stories acted out in the dances pointed to specific tasks associated with men. for example. Prior to this time. Among the Pomo. for example. Women. This suggests. and 1890’s. This individual was usually responsible for organizing and carrying out those ceremonies connected with the Kuksu cycle. with the introduction of Ghost Dance elements. some shamans were able to obtain greater overall status by way of elevating their participation in Kuksu rituals.Kuksu Rituals and Society / 393 a way to make these ideas concrete and visible through ritual action. the Ghost Dance of the Great Basin and elsewhere in North America extended its influence into California. For example. This had the effect of reinforcing a division of labor into male and female activities. During the 1870’s. 1880’s. Kuksu practitioners began to incorporate elements of the Ghost Dance into their rituals. and these stories often carried themes indicating fundamental differences between the roles of males and females. at least to some anthropologists. the ceremonies essentially acted out much of the content of stories and myths. that shamans were extending their roles beyond part-time healing into a different function—that of community organizers. inevitable problems associated with close and immediate contact with Native American groups arose. two levels of status based on age were always clearly defined through the structure and carrying out of Kuksu ceremonies: young male initiates and their elders. Moreover.

et al. This continued into the 1920’s. Kroeber. for the underlying purpose of such movements was to revitalize a culture through purging all foreign and hostile elements. Hultkrantz.394 / Kuksu Rituals and Society society began to stimulate the formation of a reactionary organization whose primary goal was to invoke dead ancestors who would presumably expel whites from North America. Berkeley: University of California Press. _______. Whipple. 2d ed. New York: Holt. Puberty and Initiation Rites. Robert F. Walter. Berkeley: University of California Press. The Religions of the American Indians. Michael Findlay Sources for Further Study Frickeberg. A. when Kuksu eventually died out. many of the groups that had been involved with a more traditional approach to Kuksu themes had converted to a Ghost Dance version. 1968. Berkeley: University of California Press. Religion. Edwin Meyer. Ghost Dance. Berkeley: University of California Press. The Eastern Kuksu Cult. Alfred L.. 1979. Pre-Columbian American Religions. Heizer. Rinehart and Winston. and M. The Western Kuksu Cult. 1932. The California Indians: A Source Book. 1971. . By 1900. 1933. Berkeley: University of California Press. Ake. Loeb. 1932. See also: Dances and Dancing. Drums. The Patwin and Their Neighbors. Social scientists have referred to these types of associations as “revitalization” movements.

It was played on fields of varying sizes of up to 2 miles long and 200 yards wide. Lacrosse: The National Game of the Iroquois. and it became popular in North America and parts of Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. This feature is emphasized in the French name “lacrosse. 1998. European settlers learned the game.” meaning “the stick. 1995. it is believed to be more than a thousand years old. New York: Holiday House. American Indian Sports Heritage.Lacrosse / 395 Lacrosse Tribes affected: Pantribal except for the Southwest Significance: The most widespread and popular game among Indians in North America. lacrosse often had ceremonial significance. Donald M. European settlers in Canada and the United States learned and adopted the game. most notably the Iroquois. throw. Players carried sticks of 3 to 5 feet in length with a woven leather pouch on the end used to carry. The actual origins of the game are unknown. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. . Diane. Charles Louis Kammer III Sources for Further Study Fisher. and catch the ball. but based on its widespread popularity and similarity of rules throughout North America. See also: Games and Contests. Contests were also a means of friendly tribal rivalry and were often the focus for wagering. Hoyt-Goldsmith. 2002. While it was usually a man’s game. Today it remains popular among Indian peoples. Lacrosse: A History of the Game.” The game was often part of ceremonial events including healing ceremonies and a regular part of celebrations. Teams attempted to score by throwing a hard wooden or sand-filled buckskin ball through a goal. in some areas women also played. Joseph B. Oxendine. It is also firmly established as a college sport and is growing in popularity at the high school level.

The specific materials used and the lance’s form depended on environmental demands and available materials. The Inuit used them primarily for hunting. The Plains tribes made most extensive use of them in warfare. affixed to a long shaft of wood. The lance originated in ancient times as an effective distance weapon. The distance and force with which the lance could be propelled were significantly increased by means of a throwing stick. Among Type of spear used by the Micmac of the Northeast for salmon fishing. The spear or lance consisted of a projectile point. reducing the risk of injury and producing surer results than could be obtained from using close-quarter weapons such as knives. but they were used most extensively by the Inuit and Plains tribes. . similar to an arrowhead. they were also used as symbols in religious ceremonies. The lance and spear were widely distributed hunting and war weapons. probably because they were especially well suited to being thrown from horseback. Besides being used as weapons for hunting or combat.396 / Lances and Spears Lances and Spears Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Lances and spears were widely used since ancient times as weapons of battle and hunting. lances and spears acquired religious and ceremonial significance. the two barbs around the point hold the speared fish in place.

Land claims are a key component in conflicts between American Indians and federal.S. Weapons. See also: Atlatl. Bows. or status of the owner. Colin F.Land Claims / 397 some tribes they were housed in elaborately decorated sheaths that signified the society. Supreme Court justice John Marshall ruled that American Indian lands were “effectively vacant” and could be taken from Indians without their consent. and local governments throughout North America. office. For example. Arrows. The claims stem from the repeated seizure of Indian lands by non-Indians since the beginning of European contact. U. Land Claims Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: American Indians are using a variety of means to repossess land that was taken from them by conquest. Laurence Miller Source for Further Study Taylor. Projectile Points. or court decision. Subsequent U. which could make decisions on their behalf. Indian nations were seen as “domestic to and dependent upon” the U. Native American Weapons.S. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. and Quivers. by depopulation. 2001. government. Tools.S. American Indians have seen their land taken from them by military conquest. and by court action. Peck. by treaty. court cases in the early nineteenth century ruled that the federal government had precedent rights over American Indians by the fact of discovery. Knives. treaty. in the 1810 case of Fletcher v. Even the reservation land guaranteed to American Indians in . History. in the United States. state.

The General Allotment Act of 1887 ended the traditional Indian land tenure system of communal ownership by assigning plots of land as private property to individual Indians on reservations. The land was originally intended for settlement by other Indians and former slaves. such as the Crow Reservation in Montana. (Library of Congress) the more than three hundred treaties signed between Indians and the U. Creek. In this way. . non-Indians control nearly half of reservation land. Individual Indians were also given the right to dispose of their reservation allotment.S. Choctaw.398 / Land Claims An advertisement from 1879 selling land the U. On some reservations.S. the General Allotment Act gave the federal government the right to lease “surplus” reservation land to non-Indians or to incorporate it into national parks or forests. government bought from the Chickasaw. for example. Because there were far fewer Indians than land parcels in 1887. government between 1790 and 1870 was open to non-Indian exploitation. and Seminole tribes. and many individuals found themselves coerced by poverty or pressure from non-Indians to lease their holdings to nonIndians. American Indians lost effective control of two-thirds of the acreage assigned to them by treaty. family heads were assigned 160 acres.

and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them. an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. especially those areas rich in oil. The courts have been reluctant. however. in 1986. in 1991. but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. trapping. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. or fishing. Indians have often turned to the federal court system to enforce the terms of treaties or to set aside the effects of the General Allotment Act. gas.000 square miles to the Inuit. the Canadian government created a new 770. Many Inuit found that to . and minerals. In the United States. Many American Indians see land claims as basic to their efforts to improve their economic status and to gain an increased sense of self-worth and autonomy. the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. in some cases. a federal court in Minnesota awarded each individual of the White Earth Chippewa (Ojibwa) compensation for land lost to the General Allotment Act based on the value of the land at the time it was lost plus 5 percent compound interest. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. In return. in 1983. none prevailed. Similarly. For example. For example. This led to occasional violent confrontations between Indians and non-Indian sport fishermen when Indians asserted their treaty rights to set their own season and size limit for fishing. a federal court in Wisconsin gave Indians the right to hunt and fish by traditional methods both on and off their reservations in that state. violent confrontations.Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989. however.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. Individuals who did not agree with the court’s decision were granted the right to sue for outright return of land within a given time period. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting.

574.097. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway.235.000 58.052. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.608.000 39.000 36.000 31.000 16.000 Note: Figures represent acres.000 5. D.000 72. rounded off to thousands. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.: U. Means of Land Acquisition.068. In other cases as well.000 32.000 38.000 10.000 32.000 37.005.408. govern- .786. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.079. 1975.000 72.000 — 17.000 55. Government Printing Office. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops.000 12.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.000 55.407.661.097. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped.159.146.642. In Mexico.000 Total 104. Historical Statistics of the United States. Department of Commerce.094.314.534.C.000 35.226. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.000 41.602.S. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction.737.000 56.314. 1994.000 41.000 77. Colonial Times to 1970.000 Tribal 104.698. Bureau of the Census.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.047.S.502. the U. Washington.000 4.000 84. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects. Part 1.000 863. Source: U. in return.618.S.865.

which holds an area in the Southwest as big as the state of West Virginia. Since 1934. The largest reservation is that of the Navajo.Land Claims / 401 ment took more than 90 million acres of Indian land. Today in the United States. and Iroquois—and Congress continues to consider bills on land-into-trust issues. . James. “Native Land Claims in the United States: The Unatoned-for Spirit of Place.S. the Department of Interior has taken into trust for American Indians approximately 9 million acres. often in arid. and rural or remote areas. the Indian Land Consolidation Act authorized any tribe.” Cultural Survival Quarterly 17. Moose Sources for Further Study Anaya. rocky. Minderhout. this size is an exception. However. the more than five hundred federally recognized Indian tribes hold only about 2 percent of U. most reservations are only small pockets of land. Most of this area is broken into widely scattered and small parcels. S. In 1983. 4 (1994): 52-55. In all sections of the North American continent Indians see land claims as central to their disputes with non-Indians. Today much of the litigation and other activity surrounding land claims is directed toward acquisition of lands that historically were occupied by the tribes. Yakima. Sioux. a power conferred in 1934 through the Indian Reorganization Act. updated by Christina J. or approximately 50 million acres. It is also possible for the the Department of Interior to take land into trust for American Indian tribes. which was designed in part to compensate Native Americans for previous unjust takings of their land. no. Tribes can acquire land in trust by purchase from federal surplus lands or by an act of Congress. and some tribes have no land of their own. land. to exchange or sell tribal lands to eliminate undivided fractional interests in Indian trust or restricted lands or to consolidate its tribal holdings. subject to approval of the Department of Interior. but that is only 10 percent of the lands lost. Several amendments to this key piece of legislation have occurred since. David J. Legal proceedings and court cases to secure land continue across North America—involving tribes as disparate as the Chippewa.

New York: Knopf. 1999. Carrillo. Jo. Emily. that fact helps scholars reconstruct the origins and kinship of tribes. 4 (1994): 776-791. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.402 / Language Families Benedek. The Wind Won’t Know Me: A History of the NavajoHopi Land Dispute. Elias. . Land Claims. some separated by thousands of years. Haa Aani. Brugge. and Resistance. Menzies. Resources. ed. Haas. and Theodore H. Peter D. They came in a series of migrations. ancient source. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1998. and Euro-Canadians.” In Anthropology. Edited with an introduction by Thomas F. See also: Black Hills. Churchill. David M. Goldschmidt. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1992. 1992. Colonization. The Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute: An American Tragedy. Public Policy. Charles R. Ward.” In The State of Native America: Genocide. 1993. 1994. and Native Peoples in Canada. Readings in American Indian Law: Recalling the Rhythm of Survival.” American Ethnologist 21. “Stories from Home: First Nations. Boston: South End Press. Waldram. Walter R.. Anthropologists believe that humans first reached North America via a land bridge that intermittently connected Alaska and Siberia between twenty thousand and five thousand years ago. Thornton. Edited by Noel Dyck and James B. Our Land: Tlingit and Haida Land Rights and Use. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico. “Anthropology and Aboriginal Claims Research. Language Families Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A language family’s existence indicates that its member languages have descended from a common. no. “The Earth Is Our Mother: Struggles for American Indian Land and Liberation in the Contemporary United States.

The first. The second method. hunts for these historical connections. Soon after American linguistics began. In this sense. classifies languages based on structural similarities. New World languages seemed distinct from all other languages then known. these languages must share a family relationship—a genealogy— just as organisms descended from the same parent share physical traits. does not necessarily prove historical kinship. Typology. So disparate had the descendant languages become that when Europeans arrived on the American continents in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The original language the group spoke changed. each had its own language. they encountered what seemed to them a bewildering variety of languages radically unlike their own. Linguists often use the metaphor of a tree to characterize the . As a group slowly spread through North America and perhaps into Central and South America.Language Families / 403 and (the theory holds) each migrating group spoke a single language. For example. to which English has a known historical connection. Typology and Genetic Classifications. underlying relationships exist among the languages. Historical and comparative linguists analyze languages to discover features that can only have been inherited from the same source. and grammatical features among two or more languages that cannot be explained by coincidence or by borrowing. in other words. When they find similar pronunciations. Yet despite the apparent diversity. There are basically two ways to describe a linguistic relationship. and it changed at different rates and in different manners among the subgroups as each developed a distinct culture. a type that combines major grammatical features into single words. called typology. according to typological criteria. it fragmented into subgroups that settled different areas along the way. words and affixes. Soon subgroups spoke mutually unintelligible versions of the ancestral tongue. however. Many subgroups lost contact with one another. genetic classification. scholars noted that most Indian languages are polysynthetic (or incorporative). because all languages evolve. English is more like Japanese than it is like German.

Since the early nineteenth century. .404 / Language Families relationships: An ancestral language (also called a “proto” language) splits into branches. Yet a number of topics—how many families. Although their methods were often crude. and what the families say about the original settlement of the Americas—have remained controversial from their beginnings. an idea that scholars began exploring seriously in the late twentieth century. each branch into sub-branches. Even if the parent language no longer exists. Merritt Ruhlen lists 627 Indian and Eskimo languages in the Americas. evidence parallel to the ruins and middens studied by archaeologists and the skeletal remains studied by paleontologists. its living offspring reveal much of its nature. many American Indian languages do indeed belong in families. History of Classifications. reapplying linguistic methods developed during the study of the Indo-European languages. The first formal studies of individual North American languages appeared in the mid-seventeenth century: John Eliot’s Natick grammar in 1666 and Roger Williams’ Narragansett phrase book in 1643. these explorers were the first contributors to American linguistics. and grammar. many of which are extinct and known only from short word lists that European explorers compiled. which languages belong in each. Thomas Jefferson. wrote in 1789 that a common parentage might become apparent from a study of Indian vocabularies and suggested New World languages may have a kinship to Asian languages. words. for example. In A Guide to the World’s Languages (1987). linguists offer potential evidence of humankind’s prehistoric character. A grouping of multiple families is called a superfamily or phylum. which lends its name to the family. scholars have had notable success. affinities among them led to speculations about their relationships. By using modern evidence to reconstruct an ancient tongue’s sounds. The term “family” refers collectively to the descendants of the ancestral language. As European colonists moved westward and more Indian languages became known. and sub-branches into separate languages.

Gallatin’s classification remained the standard until 1891. Powell and his staff distinguished fifty-eight language families and isolates (languages which do not show kinship to other languages). worked to classify them in ever . He grouped all North American languages. while Brinton’s book did much the same for the languages of South America. a secretary of war. distributed a questionnaire to Indian language experts nationwide. had access to much more information than Brinton did. except those of California. Based on comparisons of vocabulary. Gallatin made his classification by systematically comparing the responses. Those students. The report served as the basis for subsequent investigations in North American linguistics well into the twentieth century. Later he changed his mind about the validity of genetic groupings and criticized the findings of his students. perceived a fundamental unity behind them. American linguistics has been divided by a dispute over methods. Boas collected and analyzed information on a remarkable number of Indian languages. Brinton. when separate studies by Daniel Brinton and John Wesley Powell appeared. principally Edward Sapir. The first comprehensive study came from Albert Gallatin in 1836 (revised and expanded in 1848). into thirty-two families. who included all the languages in both North and South America about which he could get information. a dispute that gradually arose between Columbia University anthropologist Franz Boas and several former students. collecting and assessing languages on their own. and early in his career he suggested that structural similarities among some languages bespoke a common origin. especially in California. soliciting information on six hundred words and some grammatical features. however. Powell. although he separated them into about eighty families for each continent in The American Race. as director of the Bureau of American Ethnology and a founder of the American Anthropological Association. he also had a staff of linguists to help him. His article in the bureau’s seventh annual report.Language Families / 405 Attempts to define the genetic relationship of American Indian languages began in the mid-nineteenth century. treated only those languages north of Mexico. Gallatin.

Cognates (from Latin. Campbell and Mithun argue. only purely linguistic evidence is admissible. they must be accompa- . First. listed three criteria for genetic classifications that would satisfy the traditionalists. Algonquian-Mosan. meaning “born together”) are words in different languages that have similar sounds and meanings because they derive from the same word in an ancestral language. are irrelevant. only resemblances between languages that include both sound and meaning are to be considered. and true cognates when he compared vocabulary items. The controversy persisted through the rest of the century. and German Joch are cognates deriving from the hypothetical Indo-European form jugo. Sapir tentatively proposed six families for all of North America and parts of Mexico and Central America because of similarities in vocabulary and grammar: Eskimo-Aleut. In their introduction to The Languages of Native America (1979). Lyle Campbell and Marianne Mithun. NaDene. English yoke. Basically. If two or more languages have only a similar sound structure (such as the same number and type of consonants) or only employ the same method for constructing words (such as the use of suffixes to turn verbs into nouns). some claiming that the resemblances he cited were purely fanciful and others faulting him for not distinguishing adequately between coincidental similarities. Latin iugum. comparisons of sounds.406 / Language Families larger families. resisted large-scale classifications and argued with reductionists. the findings of cultural anthropologists or archaeologists. should be viewed with skepticism.” Traditionalist Classification. For example. words. linguists should look for as many cognates as possible. Specialists in individual families denounced Sapir’s broad classifications. In an influential 1929 Encyclopædia Britannica article. Aztec-Tanoan. and Hokan-Siouan. for example. Third. The two sides were somewhat facetiously known as “splitters” and “lumpers. in the spirit of Boas. rejecting the simple vocabulary comparisons of reductionists. borrowings. Penutian. the kinship. in this view. and grammatical features must not be conducted piecemeal. who followed Sapir in proposing families. Second. traditionalist linguists.

Campbell and Mithun list 62 language families and isolates for North America. Such borrowings prove only physical proximity. not common origins and kinship. They recognize that many of the languages they list as isolates and some of the major branches will eventually be proved to belong together. Still. among the . they follow Sapir in some cases. paleoanthropological evidence fails to support such great diversity. Greenberg published Language in the Americas. Their classifications are pointedly conservative and uncontroversial. anthropologists have found that cultural diversity increases with time. they warn that not enough attention has been paid to “areal diffusion. Campbell and Mithun insist that the watchword for linguistics should be “demonstration. but they refuse to allow lumping based on comparisons of vocabulary alone. Applying these criteria and cautions. That a more recently settled region such as the Americas should show greater linguistic diversity than an older cultural area such as Africa flouts this principle. a fact which has made some linguists unhappy with the traditionalist approach. far more than exists in Europe or Africa—both of which were settled long before the Americas. Only then will the relation between the offspring languages be proved.Language Families / 407 nied by a hypothesis systematically explaining how changes took place. linguists must discover laws of change from a parent language to its offspring languages. however. In 1987 Stanford University’s Joseph H. intended to summarize contemporary research and serve as a starting point for further work. Additionally. they completely reject four of his six groupings. Yet their call for rigor and their criteria have placed traditionalists in something of a dilemma.” or the borrowing of words and (less often) grammatical features between groups living close to one another. Reductionist Classification. Their 62 families for North America and the 117 families posited for South America by the traditionalist Cestmir Loukotka in 1968 amount to considerable linguistic diversity.” in order to give American Indian linguistics a scientific rigor. In general. notably the universally accepted Eskimo-Aleut and Na-Dene families. That is.” not “lumping. Furthermore.

with about 149. Haida. then it is reasonable to assume that those languages descend from a common protolanguage. they compiled lists of words for universal concepts and natural phenomena. Na-Dene. which he argues are largely specious. and Navajo. He claims that it is not necessary to reconstruct sound laws in order to show linguistic relationships. terms for family members. which together have perhaps two thousand speakers. applied their system of “multilateral analysis” to hundreds of languages. his former student. Athapaskan. Because it has relatively little diversity. Greenberg and Ruhlen. and Amerind. Greenberg argues. Then they compared the words for a particular concept all at once. Na-Dene contains three independent languages. Eskimo-Aleut is thought to be the youngest of the three phyla. which has thirty-two languages. and Eyak. From this evidence. is the largest single Indian language in North America and the only one with a growing number of . most notably Chipewyan. and names for water. eliminates much valuable evidence. Apache. The Eskimo branches fall into two sub-branches.408 / Language Families most controversial books about historical linguistics published in the twentieth century. names for body parts. Navajo. because such words are seldom borrowed. Greenberg concluded that all the languages in the Americas belong to one of three phyla: EskimoAleut. Beaver. For this method. which meet at Alaska’s Norton Sound. To ignore cognates because no sound laws exist to explain their varying forms. In it he sweeps aside the traditionalists’ cautions. If two or more languages contain a sufficient number of cognates. not language by language as traditionalists would have it.000 speakers. and a large branch. Eskimo-Aleut includes ten languages and is spoken by about eighty-five thousand people living on the Aleutian Islands and in a belt of land that extends from western Alaska across the top of Canada to the coasts of Greenland. such as pronouns. western (or Yupik) and eastern (or Inuit). Tlingit. Together they discerned the etymologies (historical roots of modern words) of about five hundred words and found 107 grammatical features existing in more than one language.

and Northern California and a large island that covers a substantial portion of New Mexico and Arizona. Arapaho. by far the largest group with 583 languages. can only point to a common ancestral language. Detailed reconstructions of lan- . however. and Oto-Manguean (seventeen languages). and Ge-Pano-Carib (117 languages). Greenberg contends. Chibchan-Paezan (forty-three languages). Central Amerind includes Tanoan (forty-nine languages). and Washoe. Alabama. Mohawk. and Yucatec. Shawnee. Tillamook. with Kiowa and Taos. with Hopi. Penutian (sixtyeight languages). Choctaw. has impressed some scholars. Greenberg remarks that his broad approach to classification is a beginning. with Chinook. The large number of etymologies. Uto-Aztecan (twenty-five languages). and Nahuatl (the Aztec language). an Andean language in Colombia. Crow. which in its sub-branches has such famous languages as Blackfoot. Nez Perce. and Cherokee. and Bolivia. Yuma. EquatorialTucanoan (192 languages). Natchez. was immediately denounced by traditionalists. who not only rejected the phylum but many of the branches and sub-branches in it because Greenberg does not distinguish typological similarities from genetic similarities. Andean (eighteen languages).is a common third-person marker. Shoshone. occupy South America and the Caribbean islands. Dakota. not an end in itself. and Hokan (twenty-eight languages). two of which apply to North America. Peru. There has been little controversy about Eskimo-Aleut and NaDene. Greenberg and Ruhlen divide the Amerind phylum into six major stocks. about eight million.Language Families / 409 speakers. Mojave. Paiute. but Amerind. The Na-Dene phylum spreads from central Alaska as far as Hudson Bay in the east and south well into British Columbia. Ojibwa. Ecuador. There are also small linguistic islands of Athapaskan in coastal Washington. Massachusett. Quechau. Pawnee. such widespread features for basic language concepts. Most telling is the appearance of n in first-person pronouns and m in second-person pronouns in all Amerind subgroups. Northern Amerind contains Almosan-Keresiouan (sixty-nine languages). has the largest number of speakers. The remaining four major stocks. while i. Oregon. with Pomo. Cree. Comanche. Cheyenne.

came no more recently than twelve thousand years ago and may correspond. with possible affiliation to SinoTibetan. Turkic. Cavalli-Sforza studied variations in Rh factor. a postulated immense superfamily whose members include English. Greenberg’s Eskimo-Aleut. some Russian and American scholars have placed Na-Dene and Caucasian (languages of central Russia) in Dene-Caucasian. are still needed to work out the details in his proposal. Despite the debate among linguists. by population. a family that includes the Chinese languages. all modern languages may descend from a single stock. culture. Although he admits that some features of his groupings may need revising after such examinations. and Amerind categories have found some support from other scientific disciplines. but much more distantly. The periods are so vague because the archaeological and linguistic evidence is difficult to date precisely. Na-Dene. in anthropological terms. he remains confident that the overall plan is correct. Greenberg suggests.410 / Language Families guages and sound laws. CavalliSforza claims that Greenberg’s language phyla accord with his ge- . EskimoAleut may belong in Eurasiatic. Nonlinguistic Evidence. a blood antigen. and Japanese. He further proposes that the three American phyla show connections to Old World language groups. the scrutiny which traditionalists demand. The Na-Dene migration began to arrive sometime between seven and ten thousand years ago and probably became the Paleo-Arctic culture. The findings all appear to substantiate the theory that American Indians and Eskimos crossed from Asia in at least three migrations that correspond to the three language phyla. A team led by L. or Paleo-Indian. Amerind may also be related to Eurasiatic. about four to five thousand years ago. to the Clovis. The first. Geneticists also have found that American Indians belong in three distinct groups. the ancestors of Amerind speakers. Since Language in the Americas appeared. Ultimately. The Eskimo-Aleuts came last. and may have been the Thule culture. which he calls Proto-Sapiens and others have called Proto-World and Proto-Human. L. although that identification is uncertain.

or at least are skeptical of. et al. and the mutual influence of languages within regions present summary information on genetic and typological classifications. the multilateral analysis Greenberg and Ruhlen used to reach their conclusions. Sebeok. and contributors summarize research on seventeen of the families. Roger Smith Sources for Further Study Bright. which language-by-language comparison and deduction of sound laws will eventually confirm. 1997. Joseph H.. based on rigorous and systematic classification methods. William. The Languages of Native America: Historical and Comparative Assessment. An analysis of the history of Native American languages. A majority of linguists reject. and blood serums in modern Indian populations have produced corroborating findings. scientists largely agree that the Americas were populated by a small number of groups who traveled from Asia and whose languages slowly differentiated as the groups spread throughout the New World. Lyle.: Stanford University Press. eds. 1979. . protolanguages. Campbell. Thus. The Hague: Mouton. New York: Oxford University Press. Studies of variations in mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by Douglas C. analyses of human teeth. edited by Thomas A. Campbell. Wallace also appear to support Greenberg. 1973. American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. Language in the Americas. and Marianne Mithun. Austin: University of Texas Press. Finally. Greenberg. most assume that large-scale relationships do exist among the more than six hundred known Indian languages. 10 in Current Trends in Linguistics. Linguistics in North America. This controversial book classifies all languages in North and South America into three phyla based on correspondences in vocabulary and grammar. Stanford. At the same time. 1987. Essays devoted to the history of American linguistics.Language Families / 411 netic groups. The editors propose sixty-two language families and isolates. immunoglobulin G. Calif. Lyle. eds. Vol.

windbreaks. plaited willow. Stanford. another chapter presents major classification proposals for them and repeats Greenberg’s conclusions. mostly for shelter. See also: Culture Areas. Lean-To Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Lean-tos were most useful as quickly constructed. leaves. 1999. Joseph H. Marianne. discusses their relation to Old World language families. and outlines corroborating evidence from genetics and anthropology. The main attribute of this simple but effective structure was its ease of construction. An exhaustive and scholarly study of native North American languages. temporary shelters. Vol.412 / Lean-To Greenberg.. Calif. An illuminating chapter on classification methods helps make sense of the long-standing controversy over American Indian languages. cattails. The Languages of Native North America. It might also be supported against a tree or large boulder. Ruhlen. Merritt. “Linguistic Origins of Native Americans. Lean-tos were used as temporary structures throughout North America. Classification. Sign Language. 1992): 94-99. Mithun. The size of the structure was depen- . 1987. natives utilized natural materials available on the site such as tules. or privacy when people were in transit or at resource exploitation sites. New York: Cambridge University Press. grass. or even clothing or blankets.: Stanford University Press. strips of bark. A lean-to was basically an inclined rectangular or V-shaped side roof that was freestanding using several vertical supporting upright poles. seaweed. Summarizes the authors’ classification of American languages into three phyla. and Merritt Ruhlen. 1 in A Guide to the World’s Languages.” Scientific American 267 (November.

these structures were relatively large and were used for several weeks or even months by an extended family. number of occupants. to draft away any smoke or embers from a cooking or warming fire. Architecture: Subarctic. in the Great Basin. With more complex lean-tos. the bearing poles were carefully tied and stored in or against a tree for future use. and time required to construct the shelter.Lean-To / 413 Lean-to dent upon materials at hand. . A basic lean-to could accommodate four to five persons. John Alan Ross See also: Architecture: Plateau. Lean-tos were strategically situated so the prevailing wind was at a right angle to the opening.

as the name implies. The longhouse is. Longhouses usually have several fires for cooking and heating arrayed along their central axis. each maintained by a nuclear family. including native North America. when it was the primary form of housing. often reaching 50 to 70 feet in length and 12 to 15 feet in width. was the site of various tradi- Longhouse . Northwest Coast tribes Significance: The longhouse is a distinctive architectural structure used by various tribes for housing in traditional times and used as the setting for religious ceremonies today. relatively long and narrow. The longhouse is an architectural form that occurs widely throughout the world. The nuclear families within a longhouse usually are closely related and form a matrilineal extended family. Micronesia. Among the Iroquois. Africa. and Scandinavia. In North America.414 / Longhouse Longhouse Tribes affected: Primarily Iroquois. longhouses have been traditional for the Iroquois and various the Northwest Coast tribes. the longhouse is a symbol of traditional values and.

a fourth. Cornplanter. Handsome . 1799. During his conversations with the three men. Russell J. and as he recovered. who delivered his prophecies in 1810. In June. he began to talk with the three men. Longhouse Religion Tribes affected: Seneca. Handsome Lake was seriously ill and fell unconscious.” holds its ceremonies in a longhouse dedicated to that purpose.Longhouse Religion / 415 tional religious ceremonies. It was understood that there was one man missing. influential among the Iroquois. particularly the Senecas. who would come again at a later time. The Longhouse religion. “the good word. and alcoholism. wife beating. His first vision occurred in 1799. Though today Iroquois live mostly in single-family housing. He was a recognized Seneca chief. whom Handsome Lake later identified with the Great Spirit. He reported having a vision while in this state. Cornplanter was the better known of the two among non-Indians.” is the modern religious tradition that traces its roots to the Seneca prophet Handsome Lake. they offered berries to Handsome Lake. Longhouse Religion. The berries had a healing effect. New York. In this vision he saw three men holding berry bushes. other Iroquois tribes Significance: The Longhouse religion. commonly called the “Longhouse religion. near Avon. Architecture: Northwest Coast. or the Gaiwiio. stressed the importance of the family and the harmful effects of such “sins” as promiscuity. having traveled widely on behalf of Seneca and general Native American issues. Most Northwest Coast tribes use longhouses solely for potlatches and other ceremonies. Barber See also: Architecture: Northeast. the religious association of the longhouse has been continued. as was his half-brother. Handsome Lake was born at the Seneca village Canawaugus. The religion of Handsome Lake.

It is clear that the enumerated sins are signs of social breakdown and trouble among the Senecas themselves in times of contact with European American culture. gambling. a “Code” of teachings was gathered and became a part of Seneca oral tradition. Handsome Lake had many such visions after this initial one. and the visions of Handsome Lake him- . Handsome Lake was given to understand that his sins were not unforgivable and that he was to teach his people the proper way to live. Each of these sins was associated with a particularly graphic punishment in hell. and quarrelsome family relations. Among the more significant of the visions of Handsome Lake are his reports of punishments in hell for specific sins. witchcraft. in that it describes visions of heaven and hell and involves a conversation between a mortal and a being who describes what the person is seeing. As the Code reads in Arthur C. as advice from the Great Spirit. and other threats to social existence. alcoholism. Furthermore. and condemn witchcraft generally. Handsome Lake himself was told not to drink anymore. the religion of Handsome Lake was to become a significant response to and survival mechanism for the Seneca people. Parker’s 1913 edition (based on oral tradition as it existed in 1910). Many Senecas then. By 1861. Indeed. and over sixteen years of activity. Most of the information about the early development of the Handsome Lake religion. it is a series of admonitions and bits of advice on preserving personal piety and family life and rejecting alcohol. The Code is worded in a concerned and compassionate tone. traditional religion among the Senecas had been almost entirely replaced by membership in either a Christian missionary church or the Longhouse religion based on the teachings of Handsome Lake.416 / Longhouse Religion Lake heard them condemn alcoholism. as now. wife beating. The Code sounds very similar to apocalyptic biblical visions. pronounce a death sentence on a witch. such as those found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. sexual promiscuity. gambling. such as stinginess. emphasizing the importance of the message. saw little conflict in active membership in both movements.

The journals have been edited and published by Anthony F. not open to non-Indian investigation. working with a descendant of Cornplanter. and we should give thanks for what is received..Longhouse Religion / 417 self. In 1798.” From written accounts. it involves strong encouragement to maintain a pure lifestyle according to the teachings of Handsome Lake and emphasizes such important matters as alcoholism and family unity. Modern estimates of Longhouse religious practice suggest that nearly half of the Seneca-Iroquois are active participants and that adherents stretch from modern New York into . Parker. who translated into English the oral tradition as recollected by Cornplanter himself in about 1910. The journals of these Quaker workers represent eyewitness accounts. The modern practice of the Longhouse religion is largely a private affair. respondents generally reply with answers similar to the following: “I do not have the right to exploit this tradition. this may take from three to five days. which must be read before noon. according to the Code of Handsome Lake.” Modern practitioners frequently describe the Longhouse religion as “a way of living and feeling that is our way” or say that “the Earth is filled with gifts. In response to modern questions. Furthermore. Jr. regular occasions are set aside for recounting the Code of Handsome Lake. Arthur C. Joel Swayne. sponsored a project involving Edward Cornplanter and a Seneca Baptist Christian. and Halliday Jackson. the Quakers sponsored the work of Henry Simmons. Wallace. The other main source of information are the journals of Quaker workers who lived with the Senecas at the time of Handsome Lake’s visions and were on hand to record many of those visions at the precise time of Handsome Lake’s activity. since it is not mine to give—I am only a follower. They were not so much missionaries as relief workers whose intention was to teach trades and skills such as agriculture and spinning and to teach reading and writing to any young Senecas who were interested in attending regular school sessions. held at first in Cornplanter’s home. C. come from two main sources. it is possible to summarize Longhouse religious practice as highly personal and often emotional.

Non-Indian students interested in the Longhouse religion should exercise great care in investigating this tradition with Seneca members. Swatzler. the Shaker Church. where he is also known as Nanabozho. A Friend Among the Senecas: The Quaker Mission to Cornplanter’s People. the use of peyote (as in the Native American Church). Bulletin 163. Parker. prophet. and into Oklahoma on Seneca reservations there.418 / Manibozho southern Canada.” Part 1. such as the Longhouse religion. Knopf. 1913. Pennsylvania History 19. The Code of Handsome Lake. and the Great Hare.: Stackpole Books.” Part 2. New York: Alfred A. Edited by Arthur C. David. Nana. no. keeping in mind the sad history of exploitation that is very much in the minds of most Native American practitioners of native religious traditions. Pa. Manibozho Tribe affected: Ojibwa Significance: Manibozho—legendary wise man. no. 1798-1800. Mechanicsburg. Daniel L. ed. and other expressions of religious faith. Visions and Vision Quests. C. 1798-1800. Simmons. Pennsylvania History 19. Wenebojo. Wallace. 2000. Smith-Christopher Sources for Further Study Handsome Lake. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. See also: Longhouse. and messenger from the Great Spirit—was also a trickster who was sometimes outdone by his own tricks. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. ed. Tales of Manibozho are told throughout the Great Lakes region. 2 (1952): 117-147. _______. Anthony F. 3 (1952): 325-349. Religion. 1973. Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. _______. Manibozho was a messenger from Gitche Manitou . and Henry C. New York: New York State Museum.

Shortly after Manibozho’s magical birth near Gitchee Gumee (Lake Superior). Oral Literatures.” Once a great creator and magician. geese are calling. “High in the sky. He also invented kinnikinnick (smoking mixture). he wove a rope of cedar bark strips. Midewiwin. Swimming quietly under the floating birds. but they flew on. and remade the earth after the great flood. a rock. He shouted for them to stop. People listened respectfully when Manibozho sang of flying far and high. . Nana is falling. with Manibozho dangling at one end. was daughter of the Moon. His grandmother. Letting go. Thompson See also: Kinnikinnick. a flock of geese landed on the nearby lake. they are told in the winter. one day while he was picking berries. His greedy task took so long he gasped loudly for air when he came up. Tricksters. Down from the sky. Determined to catch as many as possible. Manibozho was said to have brought his people the gift of fire. but later they sang.Manibozho / 419 (Great Spirit). he strung them all together by tying their legs. he turned himself into a white rabbit. The geese took flight. Gale M. Wild geese have been flying in a V ever since. created the Midewiwin (Grand Medicine Society). According to one story about Manibozho. when spirits of the forest are asleep. with the middle goose in the lead and the others forming a V. his father was the West Wind. Tales of Manibozho still abound. Nokomis. Manibozho changed his form at will—to a tree. Manibozho was turned to stone by Gitche Manitou and now lies sleeping as an island in Gitchee Gumee. or any animal. he landed in a swamp.

Many indigenous tribal peoples in the Northeastern Woodlands relied on the saps and gums of certain trees for food and gum products. and fish dishes. What they could not use immediately. Tribes in Michigan. The last often supplied the tribes with a sweet. and stuffed sugar into duck bills for portable candy treats for their children. One school of thought holds that tribal peoples did not begin to boil down the syrup until the arrival of reliable iron pots from the Europeans. according . The Iroquois mixed it with corn mush. with the introduction of metal technology by European Americans.420 / Maple Syrup and Sugar Maple Syrup and Sugar Tribes affected: Northeast tribes Significance: Maple syrup and possibly maple sugar were used by tribes of the Northeast as foodstuffs and occasionally as trade goods. the Chippewa stored in mococks. Later. Once they had gathered enough syrup. tribal peoples used the sweetener in various ways. apparently distributed the syrup and sugar as a trade good. The Chippewa used a cedar spile. such as the Ottawa. The Abenaki cut a slanting gash and inserted an elderberry twig spile with its pith hollowed out and collected the drips in birchbark containers. Tribes from the Abenaki of northern New England and Quebec to the Chippewa (Ojibwa) of Minnesota and Ontario tapped the abundant maples for these products. The Abenaki. perhaps by centuries. blended it with water for a beverage. birches. Among these trees were spruces. syrupy substance they mixed with other foodstuffs and possibly boiled down to make sugar. vegetables. The techniques of gathering the sap varied only slightly. There exists some dispute among historians about the sugarmaking capacities of the indigenous people. The other camp believes that sugar making definitely predated European contact. sewn birchbark packages that often held five pounds of sugar. and maples. the iron or tin spile came into use (the dating for this switch is unclear). The Chippewa stirred it into wild rice. They point to the absence of description in contemporary travelers’ accounts.

because it was more plentiful and cheaper than cane products on the frontier. however. Many a colonist depended on maple syrup for a nip of sweetness. (National Archives) . Two women cooking cane sugar at the Seminole Indian Agency in the early 1940’s. Whatever the case. Demonstrations and images of sap gathering and sugar making. employed birchbark pails and clay pots for the boiling. early European American settlers soon adapted the customs themselves eagerly.Maple Syrup and Sugar / 421 to the second theory. Altherr See also: Food Preparation and Cooking. rarely point to the indigenous origins of the practice. Over the centuries. Thomas L. maple syrup and sugar production became a thriving industry in the Northeast and Canada to the point that states such as Vermont have become stereotypically identified with those products.

422 / Marriage and Divorce Marriage and Divorce Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: For the American Indian. Among most tribes. these items were distributed among the girl’s relatives. weapons. and food. it was the groom who would provide for the bride’s family. In the Northeast and Plains tribes there was usually not a ceremony to celebrate the wedding. divorce was possible. but it was not expected. That respect was publicly demonstrated by bringing goods to her family. Once the young man believed that there was a mutual attraction. they knew the families involved. A virtuous. with the man moving in with his bride’s family. tanned and painted robes. During these events. If accepted. . Marriage partners had often known each other all their lives. or it might only be a quick look at a public event. Usually. Among Plains tribes this could include a number of horses. Marriage customs differed from tribe to tribe. The amount of goods brought to the girl’s family was in accord with the status of the family and the girl. This encounter might be a formal courting situation. No marriages with members of one’s own clan were permitted. even if not in personal contact with each other. clothing decorated with quillwork or beadwork. industrious girl who would bring honor to a man’s home commanded respect. he would contact the bride’s family to arrange the terms of the union. the bride’s family reciprocated with a feast and gifts for the groom’s relatives. tanned hides. Establishing the Marriage. cooking utensils. Among the Hopi and Zuñi of the Southwest the marriage was less public. many items were also given to the new couple so that when they began their lives together it would be in the manner to which they were accustomed. reserved. The groom usually contacted the girl discreetly but personally to see whether she would accept him. but there were very strict arrangements made between the two uniting families before the couple came together. the integrity of the family was paramount.

It was not unheard of for men to remain single for years or not to marry at all. The house. They often had obligations to their sisters’ children. Patrilineal tribes. In this case. household goods. ding attire. Most couples lived in harmony according to custom. but it was the exception rather than the norm. and any children were to be cared for by the wife. She had only to put her husband’s personal items—his clothing and weapons—outside the door of their abode and the divorce was complete.Marriage and Divorce / 423 Divorce. such as the Ojibwa. marriages could be easily terminated by the woman. helpful in supplying food and teaching the children in the households. (National Archives) . differed somewhat because the right to use land was passed from father or uncle to son or nephew. This was the case in most matrilineal tribes. a divorced woman took her household goods and children and returned An Apache bride is pictured in her wedto her family’s area. Divorce was not uncommon. It was not unusual for a young man to come to stay at the home of his potential in-laws for a week or more prior to the wedding ceremony. Likewise. but if there was disharmony it was thought best to separate. The husband took his things and returned to the house of his mother or another female relative. These men added another presence to the households of their female relatives. In this way. the couple could decide without any pressure whether they were compatible.

424 / Marriage and Divorce Marriage was considered a lifetime commitment. Because mutual respect between a virtuous woman and a man who was a bountiful provider was the basis for an honorable home. Even among those who . wives were shared with guests for their pleasure. Girls were warned not to succumb to boys’ advances and were usually chaperoned by an older female relative when they became teenagers. within the communal atmosphere of the home. he would choose a wife who was compatible with his first wife to maintain harmony in his home. a younger sister or cousin of his wife. Unmarried pregnancy was rare. Behavior within marriage was designed to bring esteem to the family and to create a harmonious home. Girls were expected to be virgins when they married in most (but not all) tribes. it was considered a socially acceptable way for a young couple to begin if neither had much social standing and neither could provide goods. Elopements were another way of uniting. Still. Infidelity was frowned upon. Sometimes when the second or third wife was especially troublesome. more often. it was not held against them. Sexual Relations. Any children that were born belonged to the wife and were an accepted part of the household. although if they had tried marriage and found it unsuitable. Most tribes considered sexual behavior to be private. There was no exchange of goods and no honoring between families. who retained primacy. In some tribes. all members of the extended family tried to provide an environment to support good behavior. so unwanted children were rare. The integrity of the family was foremost. An unhappy home was rarely chosen over removing the person in question. it was done as a comforting gesture to a man risking his life in travel. the first wife. would demand that the husband return her to her family. so this alternative was less desired. although a man could take a second wife in the form of a captured woman of another tribe or. This did not imply any disrespect for the wife. it was practiced discreetly. Most women practiced birth control with native herbs. If the man were able to provide for such a large family.

1986. 2000. Edwin R. Ithaca. ed. Occasionally. 1977. See also: Children. Marla N. Kinship and Social Organization. New York: Collier Books. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1992. Nancy H. Among some Plains tribes.Y. which began as a religious ceremony and ideology in the 1870’s and resurfaced in the 1890’s among Plains Indians.Maru Cult / 425 could. way to come together. Reprint. America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage. a revitalization movement. women had their noses cut off in retribution for their behavior. Leslie. has beliefs in common with the Ghost Dance movement. Jennings. The Native Americans.. New York: Dover. American Indian Life. 1970. Elsie Clews. and Reality. N. Parsons. Pleasantville. Women.: Author. et al. it was an acceptable.: Cornell University Press. Jesse D. Reader’s Digest. Colonial Intimacies: Indian Marriage in Early New England. 2d ed. Ritual. N. New York: Hippocrence Books. Oglala Women: Myth. Spencer. New York: Harper & Row. women who were not faithful were physically punished. Omaha Boy Sources for Further Study Embree. Gourse.Y. though not esteemed. Native American Courtship and Marriage Traditions. 2000. Powers. Indians of the Americas. The Ghost . Clans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gender Relations and Roles. Ann Marie. The Maru cult of the California Pomo (surrounding the Clear Lake area in Northern California) is a direct offshoot of the Ghost Dance. Maru Cult Tribe affected: Pomo Significance: The Maru cult. 1978. 1939. Plane. Robert F.

all according to the dreams of the specific Maru. The actual ceremony usually involves an opening flag-raising to “purify” the hall where the ceremonies are to take place.426 / Maru Cult Dance involved various ideological aspects. and a number of drummers and singers.” or “dreamer. the cult was led by a “Maru. The ceremony may last many days and may vary in the style of dances and songs that are performed. among them a return to Indian ways and a rejection of settler culture. which arrived in Pomo territory as early as 1872. Prominent in most observations of the Maru cult are “BigHead Dancers” (so named because of their large headdresses). In its Pomo manifestation. believing that the simple ways of traditional warfare were not effective against the encroaching settler. As such. women have played an increasingly large role in the Maru ceremonies) who dreams and calls the ceremonies dictates the rules of the ceremony itself. or part-Pomo. The inequality in settler/Indian relations may explain why many tribal members sought supernatural comfort and deliverance.” a religious response to social circumstances of breakdown and change brought about by contact between two alien cultures—and the power difference between them. since 1920. He or she (for. A Maru who dreams becomes the individual leader of the ceremonies.” who was the head functionary of religious ceremonies. Although less frequent today. The influence of Christian missionaries can be discerned in the Noah’s Ark theme of these longhouse constructions. There are other dancers who must also observe a number of purity rules throughout the occupation of the ceremony itself. and it is not unusual for non-Pomo. Maru ceremonies are still observed. of which some pictures are available) were to be a place of refuge from an anticipated destruction. and the dream is highly respected as a source of direction from supernatural promptings. was seen as “revivalist. the Ghost Dance. typically four in number. Originally. and the many religious movements it inspired. The main influence of the Ghost Dance movements in California were the “Earthlodge” cults. the selecting of lodges for these ceremonies was inspired by the notion that large houses (dome-roofed constructions. peoples .

Daniel L. masks were used to control the spiritual world and for magical purposes. Clement W. Ghost Dance. See also: Dances and Dancing.. Makah. Masks Tribes affected: Aleut. Salish. Putting on a “false face” could provide protection or disguise. Smith-Christopher Source for Further Study Meighan. Eskimo. In the prehistoric times. Tsimshian. By putting on a false face it was . Haida. The occasion for the ceremonies varies. Plains tribes. Cherokee. Navajo. This allowed the wearer to present a different persona easily by changing the color of the face and by emphasizing certain features. The making and wearing of masks was an art form that served religious. or enhance the role of storytelling. and Francis Riddell. Los Angeles: Southwest Museum Papers. Bella Coola. Lenni Lenape. The simplest way of wearing a mask was to paint the face.Masks / 427 to be recognized as “dreamers” who may call for the ceremonies to begin. social. Kwakiutl. be used as a vehicle for contact with supernatural powers. Types of Masks. and artistic purposes for American Indians. but is always dependent on the dream instructions of the Maru. 1972. The Maru Cult of the Pomo Indians: A California Ghost Dance Survival. a transformation of personality took place. By painting the face. Iroquois tribes. others Significance: Masks have been used by many American Indian tribes since prehistoric times for ceremonial. Naskapi. Tlingit. Pueblo tribes. and religious purposes. Seneca. Nootka. social. giving the wearer a different outlook and the ability to affect the impression and response of others. allowing access to and control of the spiritual world. Maya.

and the wearer could become one with the spiritual power. and plant fibers in North America and of wood. Regional Examples. (Library of Congress) entertainment. Masks made the powers visible. which varied from tribe to tribe. war dances. In the Southwest masks were used to invoke spirits to help in providing rain. the spirit protector of the clan. and clay in Central and South America. Some Indians believed that the spirits of deceased ancestors returned in a mask. Masks were considered holy and sacred objects in themselves as they had the power to transform the wearer into the representative spirit. animal hides.428 / Masks believed that one could engage the power of the surrounding spirits. metals. and fertility rites. The Northwest Coast area had perhaps the greatest development in the quality and use of masks. They were . Masks were made of wood. who. Storytelling and dramatization of symbolic legends made A masked dancer from the Cowichan use of masks and provided tribe. Very often they were used in ritual dances to exorcise evil or invoke blessing. Ceremonial use included such occasions as initiations. Which material was used depended upon the region and its natural resources and the degree of development in the use of masks. stone. had an impact on one’s life. being good or evil. and in the Northwest masks were related to the clan totem.

Their masks displayed animal features representing a host of beings and phenomena. In the Southwest. long hair. and deeply set eyes. and carved wooden beaks. representing the duality of the inner human spiritual form and the outer animal form. The Kwakiutl made highly expressive. animal. the respective shapes could also represent deities or lesser spirits. Clan masks represented the clan totem. Masks were often in the form of a human face. The kachina dancer portrayed the spirit of a deceased clan member who lived in the underworld and was called upon for aid in assuring rain and good crops. and square heads represented the female. complex masks with moveable parts such as beaks. cloth. They also made large wooden masks to represent and honor the dead. Eskimos (Inuits) used masks in acting out cosmic dramas. who did not allow exact photographic reproductions of them. all having supernatural power. masks were used to drive away evil spirits. or the head of a bird. with a few representing animals. Sometimes masks were double-layered. Wooden masks were worn only by men. The masks were made by carvers (who were held in high esteem by the community) of wood. Some masks were hinged. A shaman wearing a mask could be transformed into the animal or spirit represented by the mask. and masks were ceremonially sanctified with sacred pollen or corn meal before being stored in the kiva. made of bands of braided corn husks. In the Eastern Woodlands region. were worn by both men and women.Masks / 429 used in curing ceremonies and midwinter performances of dramatized myths and legends in song and dance. These masks had distorted features. herbs. Masks were sacred to the Pueblos. others were made of fur. Rounded heads represented the male. or spirit. and they were painted in red . The wearer had to be purified before wearing a mask. Most Pueblo masks represented spirits. The Iroquois made masks for False Face Ceremonies to exorcise demons. generally cedar. and were colorfully and boldly painted. but Husk Faces. Pueblo Indians made simple head coverings of animal hides that were painted and decorated with feathers. they were left unpainted and bore solemn expressions. with dark green being a favorite color.

as aids to help them get close to game animals. Native American Art in the Denver Art Museum. and Jill L. Native North American Art. ears. 1982. Joseph H. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Berlo. New York: Oxford University Press. New York: Rizzoli International. . New York: Thomas Y. 1998. Religion. Indian Masks and Myths of the West.430 / Masks and/or black. Among some tribes. nose. Crowell. 1980. Oliver. Lois Sherr. The Iroquois also made buffalo-head masks that were used in the Buffalo Dance. religion. New York: Henry N. 1923. Abrams. Made of a wide variety of materials. Janet Catherine. Masks made by American Indians today are still used for ceremonial purposes. Glorieta.Mex. Macgowan. See also: Dances and Dancing. Diane C. The Living Solid Face mask of the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) was considered a helpful spirit and guide as well as a living mask. et al. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. Kachinas. 1972. 1999. Their masks boldly emphasized the distinctive features of animals. N. or antlers.. Conn. False Face Ceremony. Furst. masks are also made for commercial purposes. Husk Face Society. Richard. 1973. Cordry. mask making was a complex art form in which masks were used to record the history. Reprint. Paints and Painting. Denver: Denver Art Museum. and aesthetics of the people. Wherry. masks were symbolic expressions of beliefs and were worn at ritual dances. Introduction to American Indian Art. 1974. Kenneth.: Rio Grande Press. such as the eyes. Peter T. The Cherokee made masks for hunting. and Herman Rosse. LaFarge. Mexican Masks. Austin: University of Texas Press. Donald. Totems. 1979. Masks and Demons. New York: Kraus Reprint. Dubin. North American Indian Art. In Mesoamerica. Furst.

animals. had little use for extensive number systems. Bundles of sticks were also used to count and keep track of days. (The origin of the decimal system. Iroquois. number systems were based on groupings of twenty. In parts of California. people. seasons. to a lesser extent. Mathematical skills developed by American Indian tribes included the development of number systems—words and symbols used for calendrical measurement and economic bookkeeping. ternary. one stone for each object counted. and Sioux. Hunting tribes. and five (the binary. fish. Repeated addition (multiplication) was used for large numbers. one stick being removed . Similar to the number systems of most ancient cultures throughout the world. most tribes used additive and multiplicative principles and. and so on. was a result of the fact that humans are born with ten fingers and ten toes. three. and canoes. In North America. months. known as the vigesimal system. meaning that their numbers were based on groupings of ten. In the former case. noted by Aristotle long ago. knives. but number systems for counting were developed by most tribes. and years to be independently followed. Other systems based on two. To derive numbers. To preserve a record of counted objects a pile of stones could be used. respectively) were also used. Nine was considered one less than ten. subtractive and divisive principles. many number systems of North America were based on the decimal system. and eleven was one greater than ten. Salish. in the latter case. this included the Algonquian. this allowed the passage of days.Mathematics / 431 Mathematics Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The most highly developed mathematical systems in the pre-contact Americas were the Mayan and Aztec calendar systems. The fingers and toes of five men could be used to count one hundred objects.) Almost one-third of American Indian tribes that have been studied used the decimal system. since small numbers were sufficient for enumeration in the counting of objects such as spears. and quinary systems. for example. it simply meant counting objects.

432 / Mayan Civilization from a bundle to represent the passage of a day.c. Mayan Civilization Significance: These Mesoamericans contributed profound achievements in art. its adjacent lowlands. Every day—18. The highland areas of southern Guatemala and Chiapas flourished during the late Preclassic period.). and El Salvador. Honduras. to the Spanish conquest).980 in all—in the round had a unique combination of day numbers and names and month numbers and names. Classic (200-900 c. and the Petén region. Campeche. mathematics. in addition to the countries of Belize. In the Mayan system. The complex Mayan and Aztec calendar systems used both the 365-day year and a 260-day cycle tied to the cultures’ religious rituals.e. Yucatan.). every fifty-two years the two cycles returned to the same relative positions. Thomas See also: Aztec Empire. scholars refer to this fiftytwo-year period as the Calendar Round. lowland areas in the Petén region reached their height during the Classic pe- . Mayan Civilization. Nicholas C. A tally of years was kept by scratching notches in sticks. Tabasco. the central subregion of northern Guatemala.e. or months.e. and Postclassic (900 c. The 360-day period of named days was called the tun and was composed of eighteen uinals. The 260-day and 365-day cycles overlapped. Mayan history is divided into three periods: Preclassic (2000 b.200 c. the more accurate of the two.e. and the northern subregion of the Yucatan peninsula. Guatemala. and Quintana Roo. Scholars who study the Maya have divided the entire region into three subregions: the southern subregion of Guatemala highlands and the Pacific coast. astronomy. there were 360 “named” days in the years and 5 unnamed days. The Maya lived in an area that included the present-day Mexican states of Chiapas. and architecture. of twenty days each.

such as El Mirador and Kaminaljuyu. mathematics. A few city-states. located in the Petén region of Guatemala. and calendars were used. more advanced city-states for which the Maya are known. F OF CA LI FO G U L F N IA O F R M E X I C O Teotihuacán Tenochtitlán AZTEC Monte Alban Mitla MAYA ZAPOTEC . One of the earliest and largest of the Classicperiod centers was Tikal. architecture. During the late Preclassic period. when the Maya flourished. developed in the Preclassic period.e. However. Consequently the “official” end of the Preclassic period and beginning of the Classic period has been changed from 300 to 250 or 200 c. and the area in the Yucatan Peninsula prospered in the late Classic and Postclassic periods. astronomy. but it was the Classic period that witnessed the rise of the larger. subsequent finds have revealed that each of these traits appeared at different times during the Terminal Preclassic. The end of the Preclassic period and the beginning of the Classic period.Mayan Civilization / 433 Area of the Mayan Civilization G UL P A C I F I C O C E A N riod. and polychrome pottery. had formerly been defined by the appearance of vaulted stone architecture. but these were all more fully developed in the Classic period. monumental inscriptions. writing.

Some of these representations have helped scholars to realize that the Maya were not the peaceful people they once were believed to be. jade tubes were used. One pyramid. such as Chichén Itzá. 250 miles southeast of Tikal. contained more than three thousand constructions. twelve-foot slab of limestone carved with a bas-relief image of the ruler as he entered the jaws of death in the underworld. which was 228 feet long and 180 feet deep. with a four-story tower with an internal stairway.434 / Mayan Civilization It covered a six-square-mile area. Mexico. which helped to concentrate their vision on selected celestial bodies. who invaded Mayan territory in the tenth century. Copán. The frescoes depict many activities and scenes of daily life not represented elsewhere. Palenque also is special for the fact that two women ruled before Pacal assumed the throne. Bonampak. Some of the aforementioned centers had previously experienced a foreign influence early in the Classic period. which was located in the central basin of Mexico. Palenque. may have been a scientific center specializing in astronomy. began in the Classic period but continued to flourish in the Postclassic period under the influence of the Toltecs. and there has been speculation that this was a . Other important centers in the Yucatan peninsula. began to spread its influence throughout southern Mesoamerica. also located in Chiapas. which was in Honduras. and had an estimated forty thousand inhabitants. is best known for its Temple of Frescoes. In the fifth century. in Chiapas. Although the Maya did not have telescopes. had an aqueduct to direct water from a nearby stream to the center of the city and contained a building called the Palace. and Tikal. Copán. who died in 683 after ruling for sixty-eight years. Their knowledge of astronomy was such that they not only had an accurate calendar of 365 days but also were able to predict solar and lunar eclipses. 224 feet high. as well as the movement of Venus. including the Mayan cities of Kaminaljuyu. Perhaps its most famous feature is the tomb of the ruler Pacal. The lid of the sarcophagus was a five-ton. is the tallest pre-Columbian edifice in America. Teotihuacán. This influence ended in the eighth century.

Either existing structures were demolished and the material was used in the new construction. They had perfected the use of mortar. When a child was born. A major feature of the large ceremonial centers was the formal plaza lined by public buildings. plaster. Some of the main features of Mayan architecture were large. Buildings were typically covered with stucco. Much of this was made possible by the Mayan practice of cementing the cut stones together. At the top was an elite who ruled and enjoyed special privileges. which is believed to have been by patrilineal primogeniture accessible to others only through marriage. a priest would . flat-topped stone pyramids with steps that led to a temple decorated with tiled pediments known as “roof combs”. The Classic period was characterized by the construction of impressive structures. while the nobility were buried in tombs. the peasants were buried under the floor in their homes. the date would be recorded and the event would be celebrated with a religious ceremony that included bloodletting. or a new and larger structure enveloped the older one. Each city-state had its own ruling dynasty. large public squares or plazas. buildings covered with bas-reliefs. Mayan religious concerns encouraged the development of astronomy and mathematics.Mayan Civilization / 435 factor in the demise of the Classic period at the end of the ninth century. jutting corbeled arches or vaults. The inequality of treatment did not end with death. which may have been hereditary. Society was highly stratified. Religion was of central importance to Mayan culture. and important events. dates. Each day and number had its patron deity. If it was an important structure. and stucco. ballcourts. There were probably a number of strata between the royal family and the common farmers. altars. Myriad gods controlled everything and therefore had to be consulted and appeased constantly. and stelae. often one on top of the other. and monoliths inscribed with names. It was the function of the common people to provide not only necessities but also luxuries for the elite. based on birth or occupation.

The former may have included environmental degradation. others were beheaded. Economic success brought growth and prosperity to the many city-states. overpopulation relative to the food supply. but it also brought increased competition for territory and power. a child would owe a special devotion to the ascendant deity throughout its lifetime. and intellectual superstructure of society. Some of the conquered rivals provided sacrificial victims to satisfy the gods. lips. Bloodletting took the form of human sacrifices— either of enemies or possibly of devout martyrs—and nonfatal self-mutilation. Warfare was a frequent outcome. Invasion and economic collapse due to changes in other parts of Mesoamerica are possible external causes. Thus fortunes changed for communities and individuals alike. earlobes. In addition to giving nurture and praise to the gods.and long-distance trade. and decay of the artistic. The blood was sometimes dripped onto paper strips that then were burned. The end of the classic Mayan civilization was both swift and mysterious. there were both internal and external causes. not only among the Maya but with other indigenous peoples as well. with the heads possibly used as trophies. a revolution of peasants against the elite. Religious ceremonies were of the utmost importance. which later was defeated by Dos Pilas. Each day and each moment was governed by a different god. or penis.436 / Mayan Civilization predict its future with the aid of astrological charts and books. While the southern part of the Mayan civilization was undergoing collapse and depopula- . Tikal was defeated by Caracol. Numerous theories attempt to explain the rather sudden and widespread demise of the prosperous lowland Mayan communities. The latter seems to have been a common practice. Depending on the exact day and time of its birth. An important aspect of some religious ceremonies was the practice of shedding human blood. which entailed the piercing of the tongue. During this period. political. the Maya believed contact could be made with gods or deceased ancestors by the letting of blood. There was an extensive system of short. Undoubtedly. The Classic period was marked by competition and conflict. disease and malnutrition.

Examines Mayan culture from the earliest settlements through the period of Spanish conquest.J. Norman. Diego de. 1982. N. Hammond. 1981. See also: Astronomy. Ivanoff. Historical explanation of manuscript by Landa. New Brunswick. David. The Aztec. Landa. New York: Dover. Philip E. Ancient Maya Civilization. Culture Areas. Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. Ball Game and Courts. Translated by William Gates.: Rutgers University Press. The World of the Ancient Maya. Ithaca. Good synthesis of available data. . Religions of Mesoamerica. 1996-2000. New York: Cambridge University Press.Mayan Civilization / 437 tion. Codices. 1973. Pierre. The succeeding Postclassic period. and Zapotec civilizations are studied before and after contact with Europeans. Olmec. Maya Monuments of Civilization. continued until the Spanish conquest in the midsixteenth century. John. which witnessed the dominance of the Yucatan area. Carrasco. with scholars’ theories and interpretations. Henderson. 1978. Mayan. 3 vols. New York: Madison Square Press. Mathematics.: Cornell University Press. N. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Religion. Lampe Sources for Further Study The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas. which is the source of much of the information available on Mayan history and culture. Photographs and brief text on many important sites. the centers in northern Yucatan continued to prosper and some southward immigration occurred to fill the vacuum.Y. 1990. Includes chapters on Mayan religion and closely related practices.

especially those living on reservations. in the Snyder Act. Indians were historically guaranteed health care services. New Mexico. found today in thirty-two states. Some health care was also provided by religious and social groups. Arizona. nearly all the native population of the United States had been consigned to reservations. and Wisconsin. and many alcohol-related diseases—have complicated the problem of providing adequate health care to Indians. In various treaties with the federal government. It was not until 1921 that the federal government. officially mandated that health services be provided to American Indians. the widespread existence of Indian poverty. These reservations. Moreover. is largely the responsibility of the Indian Health Service. diabetes. such care was under the jurisdiction of the Department of War and was provided by military doctors stationed on or near reservations. By the middle of the nineteenth century. Minnesota. Utah. the American Indian population had been decimated by three centuries of contact with Europeans and European Americans. Montana. Washington. are located primarily in Alaska. by the mid. By the middle of the twentieth century.438 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Meeting the health care needs of contemporary American Indians.to late nineteenth century. South Dakota. depression. Indian health care had come under the jurisdiction of the Indian Health Service of the federal Public Health Service. Until the late nineteenth century. Central issues such as the rural location of many American Indians. Among the primary factors in this vast depopulation was the devastation caused by infectious European diseases (such as smallpox). . against which Indians did not have immunity. and the high incidence of certain health problems among Indians—especially accidental death.

the BIA began to organize a medical care division in the middle of the 1870’s. and conservation of Indian health . . relating to the maintenance and operation of . which stated that “all the functions. nineteenth century peace treaties between the federal government and the Indian tribes who agreed to live on reservations included some sort of health care provisions. This change was mandated by Public Law 83-568 (the Transfer Act). despite the efforts of the health care practitioners who worked among them. authorities. First. Initially. In the middle of the nineteenth century. Second. and duties . . In 1955 the Public Health Service took over Indian health care via the Division of Indian Health. In many cases.” Three factors enabled the Indian Health . by the 1920’s its main efforts were in the treatment of trachoma. . the U. shall be administered by the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. Department of the Interior was created. While initially inefficient at providing health care.S. . which is now called the Indian Health Service. tuberculosis. Indians were given the right of American citizenship in 1924. This division grew slowly.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 439 Early Indian Health Care. The quality of the health care Indians received varied greatly and depended on the attitudes of the personnel who were involved in it. the next thirty years saw relatively little overall improvement of their health. the radically underfunded programs aimed at meeting these needs were of two types. however. health facilities for Indians. . and the other contagious diseases that were endemic among reservation populations. health funds were combined with funds aimed at general education and were administered by either religious or philanthropic organizations that operated with widely varying degrees of success. At this time civilians took over Indian health care entirely as this charge passed into the hands of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Regrettably. Development of the Indian Health Service. . responsibilities. the Department of War used the most appropriate—or convenient—personnel at military posts close to the individual reservations to carry out Indian medical care and training in health-related areas such as sanitation.

These factors are aggravated by the lack of many essential. and clinics. these facilities are usually very well run within their limitations. Now familiar with life and medical care off reservations. armed forces during World War II had returned to their reservations. federal legislation made it possible for physicians and other health professionals to serve in the Public Health Service Officer Corps instead of performing active military service. The hierarchy leads to swifter action and to better communication than was possible under other systems. such as the facts that the population being served lives mostly on reservations that are located in isolated rural areas and that transportation difficulties arise when patients must be moved . many of the Indians who had served in the U. high-technology medical services at its component hospitals. which could cure many diseases very quickly and gave Indians more faith in the efficacy of white medicine. health centers. Most weaknesses of the Indian Health Service arise from its relatively inadequate funding. reservation inhabitants must accept the care of a reservation’s appointed doctors or must purchase their own health care. Nevertheless. First and foremost of these was the widespread use of antibiotics such as penicillin. the transience and undersupply of its biomedical staff.440 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact Service to operate more efficiently than had previous agencies concerned with American Indian health. This brought a great many more qualified individuals into the Indian Health Service. they also soon represented many members of its staff.S. Another valuable aspect of the Indian Health Service is its efficient hierarchical organization and governance at all of its levels from the national office to its management areas to its service units (often a whole tribe). Second. they became an essential cadre of advocates for the Indian Health Service. Health Service Weaknesses and Solutions. Third. and the fact that it is smaller than might be desired (51 hospitals and about 425 outpatient clinics and health centers). One problem associated with the Indian Health Service is the lack of choice of individual physicians.

000.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 441 to distant. This reservation. Rather. and Utah. increased budgets for the Indian Health Service and additional hospital facilities will be required. The problems of Indian Health Service health care delivery. are reported to be only 75 to 80 percent filled. including Indian reservations. homicide. as well as some of the solutions. In the long run. for example. on which live the members of the largest American Indian tribe. This is particularly problem- . Other problems include the high incidence of heart disease. and diabetes that consume much of the resource base of the Navajo reservation service units. Permanent nursing positions in the Indian Health Service. the problem is viewed as being largely attributable to both geographic and professional isolation. for example). New Mexico. are exemplified by the Navajo reservation. A partial solution to this logistics problem is the use of a relatively economical ambulance service operated by the Navajo tribe. is located on an area about the size of West Virginia and sprawls over parts of Arizona. Complicating the issue still more are the existing decreases and the expected ending of some federal programs that pay all of the educational costs of physicians and nurses in return for a term of practice in the underserved regions of the United States. suicide. alcoholrelated deaths (from cirrhosis of the liver. Present solutions include using both Medicare and Medicaid revenue obtained for qualifying Indians. Another severe problem is the high turnover and shortage of nurses and other essential health care professionals. with a population of more than 200. It contains hospitals with a total of about five hundred beds as well as numerous clinics and other health centers. Problems of overcrowding and the already mentioned lack of high-technology health services necessitate the expensive transfer of many Navajo Indian patients to private-sector facilities. It has been noted by upperlevel Indian Health Service administrators that increasing staff salaries will only partly solve the problem. The reservation’s Indian Health Service component is divided into 8 of the 137 service units found in the United States. private-sector health providers for services that are otherwise unavailable to them.

Indian Health Service facilities are not limited to reservation-based Indians. Rather. One basis for counting the Indian population is self-assessment of being an Indian via the U. although most facilities are located on or near reservations. however. A positive change is the increased number of Indians entering and projected to enter the system as professional staff. Inroads had been made. Even in the best of times. For example. The Indian Health Service itself is not concerned with quantifying the amount of Indian blood in the people it serves.442 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact atic because a large percentage of the Indian Health Service professional staff comes from this source (the National Health Service Corps.S. These problems have been attributed to Indian families’ generally lower incomes as well as to their poorer nutrition and living conditions. Another approach is based on the percentage of Indian blood possessed by a person. Identifying Indians to Be Served. service at one of its facilities depends on being recognized as an Indian by a contemporary Indian tribe.S. but they often consist of being of one-fourth Indian blood.S. however. Census.2 . One reason that the service provides care for both reservation and nonreservation Indians is that many tribes count individuals as members regardless of their formal place of residence. Requirements for this recognition vary from tribe to tribe. population. there has been a drop in infant mortality from 22. The American Indian population has traditionally exhibited a significantly greater incidence of infant mortality as well as adult deaths from a number of diseases than seen in the general U. depending upon the source of the estimate of the total U. NHSC). Estimates of the percentage of American Indians who are being treated by the Indian Health Service vary from 60 to about 80 percent. only 5 to 10 percent of NHSC physicians have remained in the Indian Health Service for even one year beyond the time required by their scholarship program obligations. Special Health Needs. in most of these areas by the end of the twentieth century. Indian population.

S.7. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. Another aspect of disease prevention among Indians is a widespread nutrition and dietetics program in which clinical nutrition counseling and general health aspects are promoted. influenza/pneumonia. In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. homicide. alcoholism and related problems. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- .000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service. Furthermore. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. almost 200.000 live births to 8. Shamanic and Modern Health Care. suicide. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread.. all races” category. Contemporary deaths from accident.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1. a rate very near that for the “U. nearly 30. Improvement of both health services and living conditions has also diminished the absolute numbers of deaths from the main diseases that kill modern Indian adults. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. solid waste disposal. Between 1960 and 1991. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. diabetes. and the deterrence of drunk driving. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. In 2001. the promotion of seat belt use.

but they have also found wide utility in problems ranging from heart disease to dermatitis to cancer. Points out problems. Indian Health Service strengths. shortcomings. New York: Springer. Ake. A detailed survey of Indian practice and belief in health. problems. 1971. Sanford S.. Elinor D. New Mexico. Kane. Kane. Also included is a copious set of valuable references. Carl A. Hultkrantz. 1965. Federal Health Care (with Reservations). Provides much insight into physicians.444 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact dian Health Service facilities and elsewhere. Its use is partly attributable to the fact that shamanic treatment is comfortable to many Indians. Hammerschlag. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Various aspects of a psychiatrist’s experience with Indian healing are described. New York: Crossroad. and Indian patients. The Indians and the Nurse. Examples of syntheses of Indian and Western medicine that produce useful. Singer Sources for Further Study Gregg. 1988. Included are the capacity to respond to patient needs and conflicts engendered when health providers and consumers have different cultural backgrounds. medicine. Robert L. The Dancing Healers: A Doctor’s Journey of Healing with Native Americans. strengths. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Kane was a director of the Indian Health Service Navajo service unit at Shiprock. . and Rosalie A. Both the historical and modern aspects of shamanic ritual are covered. and religion. Shamanic Healing and Ritual Drama: Health and Medicine in Native North American Religious Traditions. Many of today’s physicians find that the shamanic ceremonies and medicinal treatments are a useful complement to their ministrations. interactive processes are carefully explored. These procedures are deemed to be particularly important in resolving mental health problems. and shortcomings are described knowledgeably. 1992. and other interesting aspects of federally funded care of American Indians from 1922 to 1937. nurses.

the Indian Health Service. Everett R. 2001. This interesting multiauthored book covers mental health problems of North American Indians.. eds. Trends in Indian Health. Shamanic aspects are also described.C. This report briefly describes the Indian Health Service and its history and gives many modern statistics about Indian health care. Religious Specialists. C. 1989-. ed. selected special health topics. Clifford E. and Indian mental health care needs. and Survival Among Native Americans. Division of Program Statistics. Promotion. handy health statistics. Included are the federal-Indian relationship. drugs. many aspects of Indian health care. Calif. H. alcoholism. See also: Alcoholism. Trafzer. and extensive references. New York: MSS Information Corporation. E. in depth. Hendrie. An examination of the thought and practice of health care in the Native American communtiy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Office of Technology Assessment. Included are organizational data. Indian Health Service. 2000. U. 1986. Walnut Creek.: Government Printing Office. F. Disease and Intergroup Contact. Foulkes. suicide. U. a population overview.: AltaMira Press. 1974. and statistics on many related issues. cultural conflicts. et al.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 445 Rhoades. . Medicine Ways: Disease.. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. American Indian Health: Innovations in Health Care. Indian Health Care. and Policy. American Indian health status. Fuller.S. Community Health and Mental Health Care Delivery for North American Indians. Department of Health and Human Services. Torrey. Washington. and Diane Weiner. Health. This substantive book covers. A comprehensive review of the health and health care of Native Americans.S. D. E. It includes articles on general problems.

Many internal illnesses and psychological afflictions. During the prehistoric period. or geophagy. such as fractures. they will develop diarrhea. It was not unusual for Native Americans to learn medical procedures from the close observation of certain animals. . and supernatural approaches. bruises. who possessed special benevolent religious powers and abilities. including medicinal. were diagnosed as being the result of sorcerers who were capable of manipulating supernatural malevolent powers. wounds. For example. however. diagnosis. was universally utilized by Native Americans for curing diarrhea. and even occupationally related deaths. skin irritations. and they consume clay to correct this condition. consisting of a corpus of time-tried explanations and therapeutic procedures that were inextricably related to the notion of supernatural and natural causes. resulting in maladies that could be treated only by medical practitioners. in the early spring. or shamans. and prognosis of all illnesses and diseases were explained by a definite classification that was usually unique to a particular group. Medical Systems. were considered to have been caused by natural means. Indigenous medical systems resulted from a group’s particular adaptation to a certain environment—its wide variety of medicinal as well as noxious plants. snake and insect bites. when deer go from browsing to grazing. The cause. Similarly. as clay effectively absorbs liquids. Most external injuries. ritualistic.446 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Traditional American Indian cultures had a number of explanations of illness and approaches to healing. dislocations. clay eating. Native American groups had adequate medical systems for successfully treating illness and disease. Clay was also applied externally for certain dermal eruptions.

Usually. this was an occasion when one’s power could be stolen by a more powerful individual. and less frequently. dreaming. The principal medical practitioner was the shaman. Shamans maintained their power through frequent renewal rituals such as sweating. illness could debilitate a group’s strategies for obtaining food. during an annual rite. a man or woman who had acquired supernatural curing power through a variety of ritualized procedures. isolation. reciting special curing songs. receiving a sign. could mean the shaman’s loss of power or even illness and possibly death. women who usually had a more complete knowledge of local plants and their medicinal uses and . and usually one’s tutelary spirit was associated with curing a particular illness. fasting. and continually revitalizing their medicines and paraphernalia through purification.” The supernatural power to cure could be general or specific to certain maladies. which.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact / 447 Hunters and gatherers were more concerned with illness than with the advent of death because of their need to maintain a high degree of mobility in order to exploit the animal and plant foods that were located in different areas. survival of an illness. but more often through the vision quest. according to elevation and time of year. Because of this concern. heron power to retrieve a lost soul. shamans would publicly demonstrate their powers to the congregation. dreaming. if violated. Native Americans developed extensive and successful methods of interpreting and treating different afflictions by the use of medical practitioners. The curing knowledge and skills of a shaman were sometimes acquired through serving an apprenticeship to a known shaman or to an established practitioner of one’s family who would serve as a sponsor and guide during the often long and arduous training period. bear power was most effective in treating burns. Shamans. For example. Consequently. The practitioner’s life was further burdened by almost continual stress in observing strict behavioral and dietary taboos. resurrection after “death. Shamans tended to work individually but sometimes required the assistance of herbalists. inheritance from a kinsperson.

during the late nineteenth century. (National Archives) properties than did men. the attending shaman could be accused of being the sorcerer. They were also considered psychologically different from others because of their ability to perform shamanistic rites such as soul-flight. Shamans were respected and even feared. Oklahoma.448 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact A medicine man. . Medical practitioners were sometimes physically different because of blindness. minor congenital defects. or permanent injuries. for a person who could cure was also believed capable of sorcery. near Fort Sill. Often esoteric medical knowledge was jealously guarded. If a patient died. Little Big Mouth.

Causes of Illness. illnesses and injuries attributable to natural causes were well understood and could be treated by an elderly. ventriloquism. and. poisoning. sorcery (as in soul loss. Therefore. Illness or even death could occur if one failed to ac- . in some cases. upon awakening in the morning. many Native Americans. glossalalia (nonmeaningful speech or “speaking in tongues”).Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact / 449 physical and spiritual transformation. one that ensured the particular power would be acquired later by another person. Spiritual or supernatural illnesses were invariably thought to be caused by a sorcerer who had successfully manipulated an individual’s soul or tutelary spirit because the victim had offended or humiliated someone—or simply because the sorcerer was malicious. more knowledgeable kinsperson. legerdemain. as revealed in one’s dream. In fact. spirit intrusion. or object intrusion). or malicious was subject to being sorcerized. pneumonia. arthritis. Consequently. misusing one’s power. Native Americans were not disease-free. and if the person in the dream was not properly warned. They experienced mostly gastrointestinal problems. the fear of sorcery was an effective means of social control. it was common for the dreamer to experience that specific misfortune. It was not unusual for an aged or sick shaman to give up his or her curing power through a special ritual. Illness could be self-induced through breaking a taboo or by not informing a person who was to suffer an illness or some misfortune. If one had such a prophetic dream. and some endemic maladies. revealed their dreams to an elderly member of the family who would interpret the dream’s significance and prescribe appropriate behavior to prevent misfortune. Supernatural maladies and death were believed to be caused by moral transgression. boisterous. A person who was greedy. selfish. unfulfilled dreams. and various prophetic skills. not only because of the dire consequences but also because one was not always certain who was a sorcerer. It also freed the aged shaman from further responsibilities and possible maladies.

singing. prolapse. uterine hemorrhaging. inflicted by the dead person’s ghost. Treatment of supernatural illnesses depended upon an impressive array of medicines. Female shamans were. then a specific illness would beset the offender. mentioned the name of the deceased. They administered decoctions. or cases of malposition. For example. a man who killed a bear had to sing the death song of the creature and. for a prescribed period. drumming. on occasion. or dreamed improperly of the dead person. powders. They often instructed a menarcheal girl about pertinent taboos associated with being a woman.450 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact knowledge that one possessed curing power and should fulfill the obligations of this responsibility. If the hunter was remiss. or if the widow or widower married too soon. which could result in the hunter losing his mind and being condemned to endless wandering and continual hunger. sought for empowering courting flutes or providing love incantations or medicines. These rituals were shamanistic performances that included dancing. the dead bear might appear in the man’s dream and pull back its scalp. abstain from sexual relationships and eat a restricted diet. cures. Universal to Native Americans was the strict observance of dietary and behavioral taboos that surrounded an individual’s death. even when fecundity was thought to be a problem. for if the survivors violated purification rites intended to prevent spiritual contamination. . Nor was it unusual for a person who had not accorded proper respect through the strict observance of taboos associated with killing an animal to become ill. Curing Rituals. and other medicines for dysmenorrhea and other female disorders. and they instructed the new mother about postnatal dietary and behavioral taboos. when they could receive obstetrical power for assisting as midwives in difficult deliveries. and ritual therapies that required the intervention of a shaman. failed to accord the deceased certain respect. Female shamans were knowledgeable about abortives and contraceptives. roots. Women sometimes became shamans after menopause.

dreaming. or they had tutelary spirits that would communicate the needed information. facilitated group confession of moral transgressions. trances. noting reasons for illness and anxiety. and even the specific cause. for it was feared that a shaman could lose his or her power if the knowledge were divulged. or therapeutic interview. Shamans effectively utilized various prophetic rituals and interpreted signs to ascertain the diagnosis and prognosis of illness. and provided an opportunity for others to make confessions of transgressions that would prevent them from becoming ill. and the use of musical instruments and singing. Medical knowledge was jealously guarded. tobacco. Often a shaman’s prophetic abilities in foreseeing medical problems were enhanced by the use of drugs. These rituals invariably lasted until the patient was completely rehabilitated. This collective psychodrama functioned to integrate the group and to reinstate a moral order. hypnosis. or a container of water. Prior to a curing ceremony. which meant that the practitioner and his or her entourage would reside temporarily with the patient. The offending sorcerer could be identified and might later participate in removing the malevolent power that was causing the affliction. and on occasion the entire village. it was not uncommon to tie a shaman’s hands and feet securely with rawhide and place him behind . Shamans were sometimes attended by a medical chorus who chanted curing songs and played percussion and wind instruments which were believed to facilitate a shaman’s power flight in seeking a vision or recovering a lost soul. a collective ceremony in which the patient and shaman were joined by family and friends.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact / 451 and the use of religious paraphernalia that were personal and power-associated. It was an effective therapeutic session that publicly permitted shamans to demonstrate their power and ability. fasting. spiritual transformation. Some groups had prophetic devices such as special tule mats. An important aspect of treating supernatural illnesses was the group medical inquest. expiated guilt through oral catharsis. sand paintings. smoke. The group medical inquest also afforded the patient a managerial role.

tea added Boiled as tea Pounded root Chewed and applied How Used Chewed Drunk As poultice Chewed Inhaled Eaten As eye wash As poultice Drunk Drunk Drunk Drunk As poultice As poultice Source: Duane Champagne. 1994. Note: A partial listing of herbal medicines still used today in Canada. ed. During curing ritual shamans often had to be protected as their personal powers might be elsewhere seeking the cause of a patient’s malady. . The Native North American Almanac. health and Welfare Canada. Immediately he would throw the loose rawhide over the screen. Detroit: Gale Research. shamans were be- Traditional Indian Medicines Still Used Plant Black spruce Devil’s club Fireweed Lichen Sage Soapberry Spruce needles Spruce pitch Strawberry leaf Strawberry root Tamarack bark Wild rhubarb Wild rhubarb Willow leaves Symptom Cough Aching muscles Swelling Ulcers Colds Diarrhea Eye infection Infected wound Ensure safe pregnancy Diarrhea Stomach trouble Arthritis Infected wound Insect stings Preparation Soft inner bark Boiled Large infusion steamed Mixed with other herbs Boiled None Needles boiled Applied directly Dried and boiled Boiled Beaten. For example. To demonstrate their power before curing. Primary source.452 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact a hide screen. such as withstanding excruciating pain or demonstrating unusual manipulative skills.. Medical Services Branch. shamans might also perform different proofs of ordeal. shamans might dramatically plunge an arm into boiling water or hold a hot stone to show the patient and group they were impervious to pain because of their power. Temporarily without power. Alberta Region.

particularly the role of the shaman. Medicines. The Story of the American Indian.: Charles C Thomas. An article dealing with aboriginal and syncretic medicine in the Plateau. cathartics. An early but significant recognition of Native American medical systems that explains the role of ritual in treating psychosomatic illnesses. Paul. anesthetics. William Thomas. New York: Boni & Liveright. expectorants. astringents. which is representative of many Native American groups. 1935. estimated to have been approximately fifty-four percent chemically active. emetics. John Alan Ross Sources for Further Study Corlett. and faunal substances. . It was constituted from geological. salves. particularly if the shaman used a sucking tube. narcotics. no. Most medicines were acquired locally. John Alan. On occasion. poisons. Ill. 1927. 3 (1989). A book that explains the cultural significance of medicines and their ritual application.” Medical Journal 62. Medicines were administered in the form of poultices. the shaman may have been required to have a power duel with the malevolent power. since their power could be lost or taken by a more powerful person. Ross. Through continual observation and long use. but some were obtained through trade. stimulants. These compounds and simple medicaments were administered to most internal and external afflictions by shamans who were knowledgeable of the intended effect. Springfield. diuretics. a struggle which was evident by the practitioner’s unusual behavior when he or she was thrown about or lifted into the air. The Medicine-Man of the American Indian and His Cultural Background. vermifuges. Native Americans developed an extensive materia medica. A shaman of lesser power could be killed by the illness when it was removed from the patient. “Indian Shamans of the Plateau: Past and Present.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact / 453 lieved susceptible to danger. Radin. and infusions. floral. febrifuges.

Contains a comprehensive bibliography. This excellent book is the most definitive study of Native American medicine because of extensive research. references. Virgil J. Helen Jaskoski . Clio Medicia 7. Eric. whether shaman. clan’s. the bundle represents and contains great power: It is the physical embodiment of the spiritual power of the owner. and other aromatic herbs are renewed periodically. may be given by a mentor to a disciple. In any case. as well as natural or found items such as feathers. Medicine Bundles Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A medicine bundle is a physical token of an individual’s. Religious Specialists. or nation’s relationship to the spiritual world and its power. It is illustrated and stresses the significance of medicinal plants. 1970. American Indian Medicine. and herbs and sweet grasses collected for the bundle. smooth stones. The objects may include artifacts such as the carved stone statue of the Kiowas (known as the Tai-me). or may be constructed according to directions received in a vision. gaming dice. Medicine Among the American Indians. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact. A medicine bundle is a collection of objects that have connection with sacred power. the bundle is always carefully arranged. sage. 1962. warrior. The bundle may be inherited from clan or family.454 / Medicine Bundles Stone. and readability for the nonspecialist. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. naturally occurring crystals. whether bound by string and tied with special knots or rolled into a bark or buckskin container. Sweet grass. Whatever the contents. or whittled sticks. Vogel. See also: Disease and Intergroup Contact. A comprehensive text explaining indigenous Native American medical systems that contains an extensive bibliography. or priest. New York: Hafner.

the. Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. Cheyenne. Religious Specialists. Tribes have petitioned the government to declare twelve days on both sides of equinoxes and solstices limited to tribal use of the site. Arapaho. The medicine wheel is a sacred. The most famous. It is a circle 80 feet in diameter with twenty-nine spokes of numerous limestone slabs. There were numerous medicine wheels composed of stones laid out by the indigenous North Americans. with three small outer circles. Schiffman See also: Architecture: Plains. Another spoke points to Arcturus rising at spring equinox. and campground. picnic area. powerful teaching circle. The tribes also want the protected area around the medicine wheel enlarged so that the habitat within three miles of the wheel is undisturbed. and one inner vessel shape. . Religion. Medicine Wheels Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A medicine wheel is a circle of iconic stones used as a teaching tool. One of the spokes points to the place on the horizon where the sun rises at summer solstice. Sacred. found in the Bighorn Mountains in north central Wyoming. Clans. Religion. The Department of the Interior wishes to turn this site into a tourist attraction and build a visitor center. some of which are still extant.700 feet in altitude on Medicine Mountain.Medicine Wheels / 455 See also: Bundles. Glenn J. two outer vessel shapes. all placed at about 8. Sacred. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. and Lakota. including Crow. was used by a number of different tribes.

After Cheyenne chief Roman Nose was fatally wounded during the Battle of Beecher’s Island in 1868.456 / Menses and Menstruation Menses and Menstruation Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Indigenous tribal peoples have viewed menstruation as an important phenomenon. Believing that a menstruating woman possessed supernatural powers that might harm her or her tribe. meriting ritual treatment. Some groups on the Northwest Coast. the Yukon. some groups viewed these as tests that predicted a woman’s future behavior. especially in Northern California and Apache territory. cloistered her from her first menstruation onward in part of the dwelling until her marriage. celebrated the onset of a girl’s puberty as a milestone of maturation with a great feast. Many tribal groups assumed that a menstruating woman would scare off game animals during the hunt or diminish a warrior’s medicine during warfare. avoid contact with men. usually the woman underwent a ritual bathing and received new clothes. but some customs dictated that the menstruant remain alone. Other tribes. At the end of the seclusion. Watchers scrutinized the woman to see how well she adhered to these prohibitions. Older women in Mesoamerican groups tried to keep a girl’s first menstruation secret from the men in the tribe. to safeguard a young woman’s virginity. but tribes in the intermountain basin. for example. either he . and undergo special diets (often abstaining from eating meat) and baths. Menstruation occasioned widely varied responses and rituals by indigenous tribal peoples. most tribal peoples required her to go into seclusion. In some practices she could not touch her hair or skin for fear of selfcontamination. Often an older woman supervised her. Even those tribal groups that did not insist on strict cloistering demanded that a menstruating woman keep clear of cooking areas and away from any task necessary to tribal survival. and Canadian Subarctic regions treated the girl as dangerous to the welfare of herself and the group and constructed elaborate rules she had to follow to prevent contaminating others.

She was often treated circumspectly. more recently. menstruation was the subject of certain cultural taboos. Iroquois. European American settlers and missionaries did not find these indigenous menstruation customs strange. Rites of Passage. Thomas L. Copper ornaments and weapons produced by cold hammering. Archaeologists have discovered necklace beads composed of thin copper strips and fish-shaped pieces fashioned from the same metal during this era. The use of copper for personal ornamentation is one of the most striking differences . Women. Many men thought a menstruating woman unclean morally and physically and sometimes shunned her. have been used extensively for Indian ornamentation. Altherr See also: Children. have also been found that date to the Common Era. Northeast tribes (especially Cayuga. and some engraved sheets of silver of the Hopewell people. Puberty and Initiation Rites. pieces of native copper were gathered and hammered into lance points and decorative or ritual objects. Zuñi) Significance: Copper and. since the native metal was simply beaten and treated as a malleable stone. Onondaga. In the Great Lakes region. Although most European American groups did not force menstruating women into seclusion or insist they refrain from cooking.e. Metalwork Tribes affected: Hopewell prehistoric tradition. silver. Southwest tribes (especially Navajo. The earliest examples of metals being used in North America date to around 4000 b. Seneca).Metalwork / 457 or others in the tribe blamed his wound on his having eaten food that a menstruating woman had prepared or touched. for fear she possessed special magic or linkage with the Devil. These so-called Old Copper culture people did not practice true metallurgy.c.

The more intricate techniques of silverworking were introduced to the Southwest Navajo by Mexican silversmiths during the early second half of the nineteenth century. and buttons are only a few of the objects that. Bracelets. have been cre- A depiction of an Indian blacksmith shop.458 / Metalwork between North American tribes and the pre-Columbian cultures of South and Central America. and cut European silver coins for jewelry. concha belts. Cayuga. and die work was rarer. Most North American tribes lacked any effective metalworking skills until after contact with other cultures. Zuñi work was more intricate in detail. the Zuñi (Pueblo) learned the craft from the Navajo. Northeast tribes. hammered. whereas the sixteenth century Spanish explorers of the New World found welldeveloped metalwork skills in Mexico and Central America. earrings. shaped. necklaces. such as the Seneca. Indian silversmiths produce work of extraordinary variety and beauty that reflects the unique creativity of Indian art. where gold was extensively used. (Library of Congress) . Later. through the years. bow guards. The Navajo style was distinguished by die-stamp designs that showed off the metal itself. rings. By the seventeenth century. and Onondaga.

they paid a fee and were assigned a teacher. 1999. representative of one which appeared to the Ojibwa from the eastern sea and led them west. See also: Gold and Goldworking. Turquoise. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. Lois Sherr. Iowa. Ojibwa (Chippewa). Ornaments. this knowledge and power were given by the Great Spirit through an intermediary during a time of trouble and death. Miami. These scrolls are one of the few examples of Indian writing north of Mexico. New York: Henry N. Silverworking. herbal medicines. they are unable to reproduce the beauty of authentic hand-made pieces. Thomas Source for Further Study Dubin. was both a secret society and a series of initiation and healing ceremonies. To join a society. Ponca. and stories of tribal origins are recorded in picture writing on birchbark scrolls. The Midewiwin. rules for moral living were given. Although commercial imitations of Navajo and Zuñi work have been massproduced for the tourist market. rites. a man or woman had to be recommended by a member. which was frequently used in ornamentation long before the introduction of silversmithing.Midewiwin / 459 ated from hand-wrought silver. Nicholas C. Menominee. In tribal myths. Winnebago Significance: Midewiwin refers to a secret society and set of rituals that transferred knowledge of healing rites. has also featured prominently in Indian silverwork. Turquoise. A central symbol is the white shell. also called the Grand Medicine Society. . Abrams. If accepted. Midewiwin Tribes affected: Fox. The songs. and moral codes to succeeding generations. Simultaneously with the shell.

both moral and spiritual. The power of the Midewiwin was considered so great that members resisted Christian conversion. eight days of thanksgiving. The Midwinter Ceremony. Midwinter Ceremony Tribes affected: Iroquois Confederacy (Six Nations) Significance: The Midwinter Ceremony was. initiates were ritually shot with pieces of white shell from a Mide bag. and curing ceremonies traditionally began five days after the first new moon after the Pleiades were directly overhead at sunset. propitiatory. and is. a Mide bag (medicine bundle) made of bird or animal skin containing the elements associated with that degree was presented. Charles Louis Kammer III See also: Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. Medicine Bundles. the pivotal event of the annual Iroquois ceremonial cycle. With the renewal of Indian culture that began in the 1960’s. In the central ceremonies. Although the ceremony is still important today. is the biggest annual ceremony in Iroquois culture. Similar practices are found in the shell society of the Omaha and the Navajo chantway rituals. each of which required separate initiation rites. reviving the initiates to new life. At the higher levels. after which they feigned death. usually celebrated in the spring and lasting several days.460 / Midwinter Ceremony There were eight degrees of instruction. Secret Societies. The Midewiwin powers of healing and code for living were believed to guarantee a long life. however. this article will dis- . persons were taught the use of herbal medicines and poisons. The fragments were then removed by Mide leaders. movements such as the Three Fires Society have revived the practice of the Midewiwin. legal and cultural pressures led to a decline of the practice. Religious Specialists. At each level. sometimes called the New Year Ceremony. Eventually.

Next the children born since the Green Corn Ceremony of midsummer were given clan names. interspersed with pauses for praying and rejoicing that life continues. the rite of personal chant. Here a new fire was kindled. Another key ceremony was the arrival of the Husk Face Society. The spirit of the dog served as messenger to the Master of Life. The Iroquois put much faith in the sacred quality of dreams. The Midwinter Ceremony began at dawn of the first day with shamans entering the village compounds beating on drums. Hearth fires for the new year were kindled from this fire. Then the Great Feather Dance was conducted. and a dream-guessing festival to initiate new members into the established medicine societies and to purge living souls of bad thoughts and spiritual tortures. The game did not end until one moiety controlled all 108 dice. acted as clowns. One popular event of the Midwinter Ceremony was the gambling game. One moiety of four clans played against the other moiety for personal power and certain political and ceremonial rights in the coming year. men who imitated women.Midwinter Ceremony / 461 cuss it in the past tense to emphasize that the discussion concerns the ceremony as it existed before it was somewhat modified by contact with European culture. and prophesied an abundant corn harvest in the coming year. Fifty-three songs accompanied the Thanksgiving Prayer. conveying the good wishes and thankfulness of the people. was then offered. The Thanksgiving Address. The villagers assembled were congratulated for having survived to participate in another Midwinter Ceremony. with its many songs. Other events included washing with fire. a cosmological statement of profound holistic knowledge. The last ceremony of the Midwinter Ceremony was the sacrifice of the white dog. which were brought to the longhouse where the ceremony was held. The Midwinter Ceremony was ordained first by the Peacemaker. and mnemonics for its recitation are found on wampum . This ritual reflected the game of dice played between Creator and Dead Earth for the right for life to exist on earth. The ashes of each hearth were swept to find glowing coals.

Lewis H. New York: Alfred A. 1977. The Native Americans. no. _______. Alvin M. These voluntary societies were often agegraded. 1992). 2d ed. New York: Harper & Row. Husk Face Society. Henry. Glenn J. Games and Contests. See also: False Face Ceremony. New York: Paulist Press. Syracuse. Jennings. Carol. Rochester. and highly developed. Morgan. They were most common.. The Iroquois Ceremonial of Midwinter. or Iroquois. The Indian Heritage of America. or sodalities. 2000. Schiffman Sources for Further Study Cornelius. Native North American Spirituality of the Eastern Woodlands. N. “The Thanksgiving Address: An Expression of the Haudenosaunee Worldview. Thomas R. Jesse D. .: Syracuse University Press. et al. Elisabeth. Military societies.Y. 1979. 1851. Spencer. Jr. and that version is the one in use today. were made up of men from different bands within a tribe. 1968. N. Josephy. in the Plains.. 1955. Military Societies Tribes affected: Primarily Plains tribes Significance: The main function of military societies was to enculturate young men into the ways and ethos of warfare. with a person usually gaining greater status with age.Y. Knopf. Wilderness Messiah: The Story of Hiawatha and the Iroquois. Tooker.462 / Military Societies belts.: Sage and Brothers. 3 (Fall. ed. The prophet Handsome Lake adjusted the Thanksgiving Prayer to fit the needs of the 1800’s. Robert F.” Akwe:kon Journal 9. New York: Bonanaza Books. League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee.

and created pantribal connections. to exercise social control during communal bison hunting. though fundamentally alike in their internal organization. Many societies were totemic by name and origin. such as the Blackfeet. and to accord status to a society’s members. built schools and churches. horses. and dress. The main functions of these societies were to enculturate young men into the ways and ethos of warfare. war and dance songs. spread disease . to embody the concepts of self-control. Missionaries helped implement the policies of assimilation.Missions and Missionaries / 463 Sometimes one could shift membership and allegiance to another society. John Alan Ross See also: Secret Societies. had its own sacred and profane paraphernalia. bravery. agrarianism.” There was often competition between the societies in games. messengers. From the 1500’s. emblems. missionaries influenced both American Indians and U. until the 1950’s. Warfare and Conflict. to police tribal ceremonies.S. Some tribes. and honor. and cultural extermination. and “ambassadors. rattles. and military deeds. which was sometimes reflected in dances and in art form upon shields. The societies’ leaders were the main war chiefs of the tribe. policy toward Indians. Missionaries taught English. pipes. They also. who would have an entourage of subchiefs. however. power bundles. physical endurance. and even a member’s body. Missions and Missionaries Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Missionaries and their missions provided American Indians with their first concentrated contact with white culture. Societies: Non-kin-based. Each fraternity. when Spanish and French explorers brought Roman Catholic priests to North America. had as many as seven military societies.

Most missionaries were well-meaning. The French allowed Catholic missionaries into their territory. while being constantly threatened by the stronger tribes. In the seventeenth century. such as the Apaches and the Navajos. but they were not state-sponsored as they were in the Spanish Empire. but instead they brought smallpox. learned farming techniques. The Spanish reestablished the missions within fifteen years. Some were so convinced of the correctness and superiority of their own culture and belief system that they tried to suppress and destroy those of the Indians. Jesuits attempted to Christianize the Hurons. and the Iroquois attacked and killed off most of the Hurons. such as the Pueblo Indians. Texas. the remaining members . John Eliot of Massachusetts established praying villages where Indians lived “as white men”: They wore English clothes. and California. but since the 1950’s. Missionaries first entered North America through the Spanish Empire in Mexico and through French trading posts in Quebec. This upset the tribal balance of power. They provided protection. and shelter to the weaker tribes. when tribes rose up and chased the missionaries and the Spanish settlers out of New Mexico. The English Protestants also saw Christianization of the Indians as part of their role in North America.464 / Missions and Missionaries and forced assimilation and Christianization on Indians. food. which decimated the tribe. and became Christians. Missionaries and their missions remain controversial in most American Indian communities today. Arizona. but their efforts were often misguided. State-sponsored Catholic missionaries developed missions in New Mexico. The Spanish viewed Christianization as their holy duty to God and used it to rationalize conquest. As disease decimated many of the Northern Woodlands tribes. Sixteenth Century Through Eighteenth Century. Missionary work supported by various denominations continues today. missionaries have been more sensitive than their predecessors to Indian culture. This system suffered a setback in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt (also known as Pope’s Revolt). The Jesuits retreated and simply kept missions at trading posts until the 1790’s.

to work with Indians. In the 1850’s. All these early missionaries—Spanish. Mission work exploded with the development of large missionary societies between 1830 and 1850. both male and female. most died from diseases spread by the whites within the praying villages. Many entered into agreements with the U. which inspired other Protestant groups to send missionaries among the Indians. the missionary societies grew impatient with the lack of progress. The high attendance rate made the school appear to be a success. Additionally. perhaps most conspicuously with Plains and Northwest Coast groups.S. and Catholic societies sponsored hundreds of missionaries.Missions and Missionaries / 465 joined the praying villages for survival. The government wanted a certain number of “pacified” Indians in exchange for its invested dollars. David Brainerd. By the 1870’s. Money was supplied to help assimilate all Indian groups to sedentary farming and Christianity. Individual missionaries became responsible for their own financial support. Methodist. . The Cherokee used the mission to learn English and to learn about white culture. Though many of the Indian residents did convert. an Eliot student. The villages appeared to be successful at attracting converts. This method was a general failure. Nineteenth Century. Missionaries built schools and churches to attract Indians to Christianity and white civilization. and English—believed in the power of Christianity. began a mission among the Cherokee in Tennessee. Despite these efforts. They expected Indians to convert in large numbers and to support their own missions financially (as the natives of India and Africa had done). Presbyterian. They accepted money from the American government to help support their missions. Baptist. In return. French. the importance of sedentary farming. missionary societies lost patience with the lack of success and cut off funding for missionaries. and the necessity of extinguishing Indian culture. the Indians showed little interest in converting to Christianity. the government demanded that the missionaries increase their efforts to Christianize and “civilize” the Indians. government that tied them to conversion quotas.

and other native groups. At this time.466 / Missions and Missionaries Young girls praying at the Phoenix Indian School in the early twentieth century. (National Archives) missionaries wrote pamphlets and books about the “wretched condition” of specific Indian groups. The height of this policy occurred during the 1870’s when the government’s “peace policy” allowed missionaries to administer the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). and cultural extermination. Missionaries removed Indian children from their parents and sent them away to be acculturated into white society. missionaries continued their program of assimilation. Despite their funding problems. agrarianism. the Salish. Missionaries forbade the children to speak their own language. or practice any aspect of their own culture. These writings influenced public views of the condition of the American Indian. wear their own clothes. the Cheyenne. Many of these missionary works formed the basis for anthropological studies of the Sioux. the Navajo. . residential schools became popular.

Finally. most had developed a resentment of missionaries and saw them as agents of cultural genocide. and continued to act as agents and intermediaries for the government. 1966. This development helped many tribal groups in their legal battles against white governments. Noble. John Webster. Berkeley: University of California Press. Church. C. education created bicultural natives who understood their own culture and white culture. 1630-1900. Moon of Wintertime: Missionaries and the Indians of Canada in Encounter Since 1543. Grant. C. wrote reports. and the American Indians. Higham Sources for Further Study Beaver. Though missionaries generally attempted to destroy Indian cultures and societies in their efforts to help Indians. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Robert.Missions and Missionaries / 467 At this point. They ran schools. Positive Contributions. missionaries remained part of Indian policy through the 1950’s. Second. Albuquerque: University of Mexico Press. Devens. 1984. 1965. 1820-1900. Countering Colonization: Native American Women and Great Lakes Missions. 2000. the residential school system provided a common experience for native leaders and gave them the opportunity to meet people from different tribal groups. By the end of the nineteenth century. Few Indians had converted to Christianity. Carol. missionaries had fallen out of favor with the government. Robert Pierce. 1992. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. State. which saw their attempts at fostering assimilation as failures. education and acculturation provided Indian groups with a common language—English. Salvation and the Savage. . Louis: Concordia. L. However. Jr. Berkhofer. missionary and government policy coalesced into one united front against Indian culture. they made some positive contributions. Higham. L. Wretched and Redeemable: Protestant Missionaries to the Indians in Canada and the United States. St. First.

with a ceremonial center at Spiro. “Mississippian” describes hundreds of Native American societies that populated the river valleys and the drainage system of the Mississippi River from about 750 to about 1500 c. and the South Appalachian Mississippian culture centered around Etowah in present-day Georgia. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. The Mississippian Culture Complex included six major areas: Oneota. See also: Boarding Schools. now in Oklahoma. A sin- . between 800 and 1100.. Children. there were dramatic developments taking place in the area. Disease and Intergroup Contact. The immediate source of this cultural pattern is not clear. the Mississippian period saw a new way of life with new kinds of technology and a new relationship to the surroundings. Robert. It has been said that the period was the closest to being a time of cultural revolution that the prehistoric Central Valley had experienced up to that time. This period is the last prehistoric period in the Eastern Woodlands culture pattern. Cahokia. Praying Indians. however. now Alabama. around the Great Lakes. Mississippian Culture Significance: A maize-based economy that dominated the Eastern Woodlands and built its largest city. a period of some forty generations. Fort Ancient in present-day Ohio. Not just a time of change in the style of artifacts. Education: Post-contact.468 / Mississippian Culture Kelley. Chief among the developments of the period was a turning away from the traditional cultivation of native plant crops. Religion. 1983. with a center in Nunih Waya in presentday Mississippi. the Middle Mississippian area. the Caddoan Mississippian. American Protestantism and United States Indian Policy. with centers in Cahokia (Illinois) and in Moundville. Plaquemine Mississippian.e.

the nonindigenous maize.Mississippian Culture / 469 gle species of corn. an eight-rowed maize that matured more quickly and was more frost-resistant than earlier tento twelve-row varieties. within what is called the American Bottom region just opposite what would become St. The hub of much of this reorganization was under way by about 950. when the city of Cahokia in present-day Illinois emerged as a center of urban expansion. thousands of families poured into the area. One change led to others. Its dispersed community covered an area of almost five square miles. the people along the middle Ohio River Valley. Missouri. thrived in some of the country’s richest farmland. the arrangement of housing gave greater distance between nobles and commoners. beans and squash. The Mississippians also cultivated two other crops. Louis. and the Mandan and Pawnee people in the Great Plains area. Within a century. This development led to radical changes in the social and political fabric of the people. there developed a need for more centralized authority and more concentrated social controls. Later. that along with maize formed what the Iroquois called the Three Sisters. The Northern Flint variety of maize. Maize would become the staple of the Oneota people on the Great Lakes. As these proliferating societies were connected by the common denominator of maize. Agricultural surpluses were needed for redistribution of food. and the people responded to the challenge by reorganizing their settlements into hierarchical arrangements. making Cahokia the largest city north of Mexico. and the population has been estimated at approximately thirty thousand. came to dominate both the fields and the lives of the Mississippian peoples. . It is the largest archaeological site in the eastern United States. These crops were supplemented by game and fish. That is. crops available in quantities sufficient to provide the main food supply. Cahokia was located north of the Central Valley. and those in the river valleys to the southeast and in the Midwest. maize would be just as important in the lives of the Creek and Choctaw to the south. the Iroquoian Confederacy to the northeast.

the elite literally towered over everyone and everything in the Cahokia area. . east Texas. and warfare. These ceremonies expressed obligations to ancestors. and functions distributed in a pattern that indicates an organized community. now called Monk’s Mound. it now is approximately 100 feet high and extends 1. had been constructed. The sense of community was closely related to long-term political cycles. In other locations in Cahokia. perhaps as much as 5 percent of the population. As long as chiefs were particularly effective. The bestknown of the burial mounds at Cahokia is the one now labeled Mound 72. The more social and political ranking increased. On some of the flat-topped mounds. the more important ceremony and sacrament became to the people. shapes. hunts. Not all the mounds were used as sites for palaces of royalty. Examination of the style and content of arrow points has indicated sources in Wisconsin. on which various kinds of structures were built. conch shells indicated contacts with people living along the Atlantic Ocean.470 / Mississippian Culture The walled city of Cahokia was characterized by the presence of more than one hundred mounds of various sizes. was originally taller because there was a conical mound atop it. celebrated successful harvests. The greatest of the mounds. the people gladly accepted their rule and united as a regional community. palaces for the living ruler and housing for the new nobility. and involved elaborate death rituals in homage to social leaders. the huge community became fragmented into several townships. In it was found copper from Lake Superior and mica from the southern Appalachians. and eastern Oklahoma. Tennessee. perhaps arranged around plazas.037 feet north to south and 790 feet east to west. some were burial mounds. When a chief died. The Cahokian aristocrats presided over complex ceremonies and rituals that were at the center of the Mississippian’s life. Thus. The majority of the mounds were platform mounds. and the burial offerings in the mounds reveal much about the extensive communication that the Mississippians had with other people on the Atlantic coast. This mound provides extensive information about the major trade contacts of the Mississippians.

Choctaw. mostly at major centers such as Cahokia. It included a network of artifacts and motifs. long bones. was taken with great ceremony and in the belief that the drink conferred spiritual purification upon all participants. the drink was believed to clear the minds for debate and to cleanse and strengthen the bodies of warriors for battle. Although Cahokia and other great Mississippian centers were already in decline prior to Hernando de Soto’s arrival in North America. human skulls. Burial rituals for ancestors and support for royalty ended. and eagle. For example. dancing men in elaborate costumes. the complex political and social mores that defined the Mississippians were greatly diminished. the Southern Death Cult. Also important were animal symbols such as the feathered serpent. also survived. shows the influence of the fertility rituals associated with the maize crop. falcon. the Black Drink. woodpecker. their ultimate collapse is associated with the appearance of Europeans in their territory. Ceramics modeled on animal and human forms could be found throughout much of the East during Mississippian times. Victoria Price .Mississippian Culture / 471 The religious system that evolved is called the Southern cult. raccoon. and symbols of the sun. winged or weeping eyes. Some of the important motifs included crosses. Rich in caffeine. human hands with eyes or crosses on the palms. or Green Corn ceremony. The objects are associated with the burial of high-status personages. Disease in epidemic proportions overtook people in the surviving towns. the puskita. and by 1500. arrows. many of the Mississippian beliefs lived on among southeastern tribes of later generations. These symbols are found on pottery and on shell and copper ornaments. The drink. Another ceremony of the Southern Cult. Creek. and the distribution of particular styles is outside regional boundaries. and Chickasaw. made from roasted leaves of the sassina shrub. such as the Cherokee. Nevertheless. Constructed public works such as the mounds and palisades were no longer built. or the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex.

. charts. Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archaeology of a Myth.. Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley. Discusses the emergence. and deflation of the myth that the Mound Builders were a lost race. Englewood Cliffs. Mounds and Moundbuilders. The Native Americans: An Illustrated History. Systematically traces the Americas’ earliest humans and discusses the people of each of seven geographical areas. New York: Academic Press. social organization. 2d ed. Timothy R. New York: Academic Press. 1968. Green Corn Dance. A collection of essays that explore religion.. Alice B. 1992.: New York Graphic Society. and Thomas E. 1983. in which the Indian confederacies of the southland were rooted. 1978.472 / Mississippian Culture Sources for Further Study Ballantine. and recommended lists. Mississippian Settlement Patterns. Betty. eds. N. Smith. Places the complex origins of the Cahokia site in the context of the entire Mississippian complex. Conn. Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World. Ohio Mound Builders. and Phyllis A. Focuses on environmental adaptation and ceramics and other important artifacts. including those of Cahokia and the American Bottom.: Prentice-Hall. Chapter 6 of this comprehensive treatment of Native American history discusses the emergence and demise of the Mississippian Culture Complex. 1993. North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account. Greenwich. Pauketat. and Ian Ballantine. ed. Bruce D. triumph. Kehoe. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Morse. Culture Areas. eds. See also: Black Drink. Silverberg. Maps. Corn. and mound construction in Cahokia. Morse. trade. A comprehensive study of various mound-building prehistoric societies. Atlanta: Turner. Robert.J. Dan F. Emerson. subsistence. 1997. Discusses a number of Mississippian settlement patterns..

The hides of deer. although in the Arctic sealskin is preferred. . There are many styles of moccasin. footwear is most often made of cedar and other vegetable fibers. in the form of a slipper. while others are tied with straps. Simpson See also: Dress and Adornment.Moccasins / 473 Moccasins Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Animal-skin moccasins. buffalo. cut to medium height to make an ankle-high shoe. particulars regarding materials. Some are slipped on. On the Northwest Coast. and decoration are tribe-specific. elk. some use laces. comfortable and practical. Michael W. Hides and Hidework. moose. were the type of American Indian footwear most widely worn in North America. Moccasins are soft leather shoes or slippers made of animal hide and worn throughout the Americas in areas where animal skins are used in the making of clothing and footwear. The word “moccasin” is an Anglicization of the Natick term mohkussin. Moccasins can be cut low. Moccasins are often decorated with beautiful designs using porcupine quills or beads of various kinds. and other large game are most often used. Although this type of footwear is widely used. construction. or made in the form of a boot that can be tied as high as the thigh. styles. which is derived from the Algonquian word maxkeseni.

extending into the Sonoran Desert of northern Mexico). there was also a tendency toward increased sedentary settlement.) is identified by the presence of multiple-room. but. Other traits include the presence of circular and semicircular house pits.e. advanced textile weave patterns. Mogollon culture as a cohesive tradition began to fall apart. cotton textiles. pueblostyle dwellings. however. to 1000 c. The pre-Columbian Mogollon cultural tradition of the Southwest (distributed throughout central New Mexico and extending into eastern central Arizona and northern Mexico) is a subcultural variant of the “Pueblo Complex. the Anasazi and Hohokam—the Mogollon maintained numerous seasonal village sites and periodically shifted residence according to the availability of water and wild food resources. The florescence of “classic” Mogollon culture (roughly 900 to 1200 c. The Mogollon cultural complex and its Southwestern counterparts are among the most notable cultural developments in North American prehistory. By 1250. Classic Mogollon culture reached its pinnacle at approximately 1200. polychrome pottery. primarily maize. the Mogollon peoples created pueblo dwellings and a complex social order.474 / Mogollon Culture Mogollon Culture Significance: Along with the Anasazi and Hohokam cultures.” which includes two other great traditions: Anasazi (of the Colorado Plateau) and Hohokam (central and southern Arizona. Through time.). Distinctively Mogollon culture came to dominate the core area of what is now central New Mexico by 750 c. and beans.c. unlike their highly sedentary neighbors—for example. and indications of a complex social and political order. intensive agricultural systems.e. Diagnostic Mogollon culture traits first appear during a transitional phase from the older and more generalized Cochise period (7000 b. . and distinctive burials. This transition is characterized by a gradual shift away from an exclusively hunter-gatherer and foraging way of life to one dominated by domestication of plants.e. tightly stitched basket weaves. brown and red pottery.e. large and extensive settlements. squash.

shell beads.Mogollon Culture / 475 Excavations carried out in the Mogollon area suggest that longdistance trade was an important component of the Mogollon economy. Materials that originated in regions as far away as the Mississippi Valley and Mesoamerica (particularly southern and central Mexico) have been found at Mogollon sites. and a wide variety of effigy designs are most likely of Mexican origin. some burial sites contained numerous and sumptuous grave goods. while others were sparse or contained only skeletal mate- Area of the Mogollon Culture CALIFORNIA ANASAZI Kayenta Canyon de Chelly Mesa Verde Chaco Canyon PATAYAN Snaketown Casa Grande Point of Pines Mimbres HOHOKAM MOGOLLON . Anthropologists and archaeologists who have worked on interpreting Mogollon artifacts have speculated that Mogollon society showed some signs of class or status differences. while copper bells. pipe stone sourced to the Mississippi and Wisconsin areas has been found at numerous Mogollon sites. For example. For example.

as defined by anthropologists.476 / Mogollon Culture rial with no grave goods present at all. trade. and their ability to persuade or influence decision making through speeches. to acknowledge that Mogollon society must have been relatively complex. Numerous artifacts suggesting religious themes have been found. To maintain such economic systems. Kivas are cylindrical. more centralized political authority must have become increasingly important so that various subsistence. refers to a sociopolitical system that depends on the redistribution of goods through a local chief or set of subchiefs. It is possible that Mogollon leaders operated in much the same way as their modern counterparts. subterranean structures used primarily for purposes of carrying out religious ceremonies. Although few specific aspects of Mogollon religion can be described. Equally problematic have been attempts to reconstruct a tenable picture of Mogollon religion. Despite such archaeological evidence. bordering on large-scale. and construction projects could be effectively organized and conducted. Perhaps the most conspicuous is the kiva. but without specific ethnographic or historical data to indicate their actual cultural functions. there are some continuities between historical Southwestern Native American populations and religious traits that occur in earlier Mogollon contexts. The concept of a chiefdom has been used to describe sociopolitical structuring at this level. Kivas are present at all significant late-period Mogollon sites and are still in use throughout much of . To understand what the Mogollon political system must have been like. These scholars have also speculated that these class differences indicate a general cultural evolutionary pattern favoring increases in intensive economic productivity. Their real power typically rests on their ability to redistribute goods effectively. it is sufficient. anthropologists have looked at modern horticultural populations to provide a working analogy. interpretations have been highly speculative. Chiefs found in contemporary horticultural societies enjoy higher status than other members of society but have little explicitly recognized political power. an exact reconstruction of Mogollon society can never be made. however. A chiefdom. often during festivals or ceremonies.

the ritual cycles of the contemporary Acoma and Zuñi are closely tied to the annual growing cycle. Researchers speculate that the Mogollon subsistence economy could not withstand this shift in climate and eventually collapsed. Some archaeologists have suggested that Mogollon decline resulted from severe changes in climate. For example.Mogollon Culture / 477 the Native American Southwest. religion is integrated closely with other aspects of life. It is likely that the Mogollon ritual cycle followed the same basic annual pattern. Other scholars have suggested that Mogollon society fell apart as a result of internal cultural disintegration. Calling for rain by appealing to kachinas or nature spirits is also highly religious. From about 1200. the Mogollon area. might have permanently disrupted the Mogollon way of life. and human osteological data) have generated four basic theories to explain the decline. although contemporary researchers cannot describe in detail how these rituals were conducted. and much of the artistic splendor of the classic period disappeared. and may have become too disconnected from practical economic concerns. . these researchers posit. possibly as early as 1100 c. In addition. and continuing into the fourteenth century. Kachina symbols appear as art motifs in the Mogollon area. Many of the large pueblo sites were abandoned. paleoclimatological. Still others have indicated that warfare may have delivered the final blow. Moreover. along with the neighboring Hohokam and Anasazi areas. various general characteristics of contemporary Southwest practices suggest some general features of Mogollon religion. These researchers have pointed out that tree ring and pollen data show that after 1200. The presence of Athapaskan-speaking groups (Navajo and Apachean). who were latecomers in the Southwest. experienced a period of rapid decline. Some artifactual material suggests that Mogollon cultural institutions were highly inflexible and fragile. Archaeologists analyzing various types of artifactual remains (material culture.e. planting corn is considered a religious activity. the Southwest became much more arid than it had been previously. among contemporary Zuñi and Acoma peoples. offers evidence of cultural conflicts that.

Ariz. and Harold S. Whatever may have stimulated their decline. . eds. New Perspectives in Archaeology. Gumerman. or the impact it has had on contemporary EuroAmericans.. Includes many references to Southwest prehistory. buy artwork. Cordell. Dynamics of Southwest Prehistory. 1933. but complex. A comprehensive overview of scientific approaches to archaeology. Washington. Sally R. Series III. however. D.: Gila Pueblo. jewelry. Gladwin. Some of this latter group of scholars have downplayed the idea of decline and inferred that the Mogollon tradition did not disappear. These were not simple societies. and Lewis R. Some Southwestern Pottery Types. Gladwin. Chicago: Aldine. Binford. but became fragmented and subsequently evolved into the various contemporary Native American traditions now found in central New Mexico and eastern Arizona. it is accurate to say that the Mogollon have had a significant impact on modern views of pre-contact Native American societies of the Southwest and in North America in general. believing that the combined forces outlined in all of these theories caused the decline. Contains a variety of high-quality articles on Southwestern prehistory.. Many Native American groups in central and southern New Mexico still make pottery. Michael Findlay Sources for Further Study Binford. its influence is felt. and textiles that resemble Mogollon forms. An overview of ceramic types for most Southwestern cultural traditions. long-held traditions that rival any found in other parts of the world. 1968. Euro-Americans also have felt this influence when they visit ancient Mogollon sites. and George J. 1989.478 / Mogollon Culture Most scholars. take a synthetic or systemic view of Mogollon decline. Winifred.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Linda S. Although it is difficult to measure precisely the impact Mogollon culture has had on contemporary Southwest native traditions. Glove. or observe native ceremonies as they continue to be practiced. eds.C.

A detailed article on the archaeology of the Mogollon culture area. Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest. 1979. edited by Alfonso Ortiz. “Prehistory: Mogollon. Money Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A variety of monetary systems were developed by American Indians for economic and ceremonial purposes. The daily life of this ancient community has been deduced from the artifacts found in the more than 100 rooms that have been excavated at this site. Money has certain defining criteria: value (worth and desirability). Dean R. New York: Thames and Hudson. Grasshopper Pueblo: A Story of Archaeology and Ancient Life. Vol. 9 in Handbook of North American Indians. Culture Areas. The Archaeology of North America. Architecture: Southwest.Money / 479 Martin. Grasshopper Pueblo is a prehistoric ruin that was the home to a Mogollon community. 1997. Money can be defined as a medium of exchange that is used by common consent to pay for goods and services. New York: Chelsea House. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. divisibility (it can be separated into parts). Arts and Crafts: Southwest.” In The Southwest. Hohokam. Hohokam Culture. in-depth overview of North American archaeology. and Stephanie Whittlesey. D. portability. Stephen. standardization (which may be established by authority or custom). Snow. Religion. the two shared many features. 1989. and Mogollon cultures. See also: Anasazi Civilization. Paul. Jefferson. although these systems differed from European coinage systems. Includes a notable section on Southwestern archaeology. Reid.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Pottery. Washington. Plog. durability. Political Organization and Leadership. stability . An examination of the Anasazi. 1999. A detailed.

Red ochre. bride buying. For several centuries sacred and secular monies existed side by side and sometimes were combined into a single medium. symbolized blood or earth’s life substances. an average two-inchlong piece of finished magnesite was worth about eight hundred clam shells. Indians clearly had money. unlike European systems of coinage and currency. “blood money” indemnification. Stones were thought to resemble animals and had healing powers. These materials were ground and shaped to a uniform size and appearance and polished on deerskin to give them a beautiful shine. the hiaqua consisted of no more than twenty-five shells to the fathom (six feet). Kop kop consisted of . At one time a necklace of 160 clam shell beads was worth about one dollar. Barter. Feathers represented the wind. and blankets became valued exchange media. Shells symbolized water (the Haida believed the first people came from a shell. as tools. By these criteria. In contrast. These monies were used for a variety of purposes. and obsidian blades also had monetary value. was often intimately involved with myth and religion. a type of shell. money became more secularized.480 / Money (its value is relatively constant). as it circulated eastward. abalone. and dentalia. and health. cloth. With the advent of trade with whites. traded by the Apaches and Mojaves. birth. its value and desirability increased significantly. Woodpecker scalps. although coinage was entirely unknown. such as purchase of staples and goods. good luck. on the other hand. and cognizability (it is known or recognized). the shells of haliots. This money assumed many different forms and. Dentalium. weapons. golden orange magnesite cylinder beads were most valued and white clam or snail shell discs less so. and rain. For the Chinook. Shells also symbolized fecundity. soul. was the exclusive medium on the Northwest Coast. and ornamental symbols of wealth and status. olivella. In southern and central California. atonement for religious trespass. need only involve mutual consent involving an exchange between two parties. Money came into being when certain items became desirable and symbolized wealth. to the Omaha shells embodied the Great Spirit).

For the Pawnee. Its central act was the raiding of another village. Trade. The Skidi Pawnee of the central Plains were the last group to practice this ritual. she was killed by an arrow through the heart. Morning Star Ceremony Tribe affected: Pawnee Significance: The Morning Star Ceremony. and a sacred pipe. which were acquired from whites in exchange for beaver fur. Dentalium eventually gave way to blankets. the capture of a young girl. The stars entrusted humans with sacred bundles that became the focus of Pawnee ceremonies.Morning Star Ceremony / 481 smaller shells strung together with broken ones and shells of poorer quality and was used as small change. the Morning Star (a young warrior) and the Evening Star (a young woman) were the parents of a daughter who was the mother of the first humans (the son of the Sun and Moon was the father). a sacred Pawnee ritual. After observing the rising of the Morning Star. He was equipped with objects from the bundle. Laurence Miller See also: Blankets. Tied to a wooden scaffold. was intended to ensure the abundance of corn and buffalo. The ceremony itself was orchestrated by the caretaker of the Morning Star bundle. Shells and Shellwork. a hawk. including an otter-fur collar. and her sacrifice at the rising of the Morning Star (Mars or Venus). he undertook the raid and brought back an adolescent girl to sacrifice. Her blood was included in a burnt offering of buffalo meat. Preparations included the procure- . The Morning Star Ceremony was one of the most sacred Pawnee rituals. The many songs sung during the ceremony indicate its purpose was to ensure the growth and abundance of corn and buffalo. It began when a young warrior underwent purification rituals and prepared special materials. an ear of corn. The Tlingit used sea otter and caribou skins as money. Wampum.

and architecture. Chichimec. Carib. The sacrifice commenced with sacred songs and dances extending over four days. Corn. jewelry. Tlingit. Maya. Olmec. pavements. walls. mosaic and inlay were used by the Maya Indians for funeral masks—small pieces of turquoise. the Southwest. and mother-of-pearl were glued to a wooden base and buried with the deceased.482 / Mosaic and Inlay ment of buffalo meat. Pueblo. male members of the village (including children) shot arrows into her body as part of their contributions to the ritual. Music and Song. or other materials such as feathers and straw to form a decorative design or picture. tile. They also covered the interior and exterior of buildings with precisely patterned tiled mosaics. The Aztecs made feathered mosaic shields for their commanders and chiefs. Mixtec. red and white shells. and the Northwest. The Zapotec Indians decorated their cultural center with stone mosaics in zigzag patterns. Navajo. jade. Some exterior walls . She was then dressed in ritual clothing and fixed to a scaffold made of several different kinds of wood. Zuñi Significance: Mosaic and inlay were used for decorative purposes by Indians prior to European contact and continue to be used by modern Indians. the victim was treated well and instructed to eat with a special horn spoon and bowl. Mosaic is an art form using small pieces of stone. Mosaic and Inlay Tribes affected: Aztec. In Mesoamerica. glass. After her death. The Mixtec Indians made ceremonial shields by covering a ceramic base with cut and polished turquoise stones. mosaic art was common among the Indians of Mesoamerica. Used for such things as masks. and walkways were often covered with tiled mosaics. floors. John Hoopes See also: Buffalo. During this time. Ceilings. Zapotec.

In many mythopoeic oral traditions throughout the Americas. Everything that exists is further defined by its relationship to all other things. In North America. abalone shell was most commonly used for inlay. bracelets. Shells and Shellwork. Plant and animal life as well as the elements and forces of nature are the source of hu- . After the Spanish conquest. Turquoise. red and black. The Pueblo and Zuñi made jewelry and pendants with colored shell mosaics. the Pueblo made crosses with inlays. The Navajo are known for making silver and turquoise jewelry. Animists believe that all things are alive and related. In the Northwest region.Mother Earth / 483 had patterns inlaid on them using cut stones that were cemented in the walls like bricks. Turquoise was the most commonly used stone in mosaic design and inlay in the Southwest and Mesoamerica because of its availability and also because of its mystical association with both the sky and water. This personification of the regenerative and provident attributes of nature has its roots in animism. Van Noord See also: Feathers and Featherwork. the ancient Anasazi were known to have made turquoise mosaic pendants. using turquoise stones inlaid in polished silver forms. Mother Earth Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The original people of the Americas viewed Mother Earth as the source of all life. such as squash blossom necklaces. Diane C. Modern Zuñi jewelry uses mosaic patterns of stones and shells in turquoise and white. Metalwork. In the Southwest. the Tlingit Indians of the Northwest made headdress frontlets and hats carved out of cedar and inlaid with abalone shells. all things receive their life from the earth itself. and small silver boxes.

Religion. Michael W. Sacred. Earthen mounds are located in the eastern United States from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. It is thought that when people cease to use such means to express their respect and gratitude for her blessings all life will be destroyed and human life on this planet will come to an end. They are the children of Mother Earth and must treat her in ways that show respect and honor. These mounds were constructed by a number of different Native Ameri- . Mounds and Mound Builders Tribes affected: Northeast and Southeast tribes (prehistoric and historic) Significance: Various groups of American Indians built earthen mounds at different time periods in different locations. with concentrations in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi River drainages. Spiritualism is seen as the highest form of political consciousness. Sacred Narratives. The spiritual traditions which have their roots in the natural world see all things as part of the sacred web of life. Simpson See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. Traditional native peoples and their belief in Mother Earth are seen as the primary sources of knowledge that can reverse the destructive materialistic worldview and processes of Western civilization. the. Those who honor Mother Earth live in accordance with traditions that sustain life. which served different cultural functions. Human beings are seen as the spiritual guardians and stewards of the natural world. Numerous ceremonial and ritual means can be used to address Mother Earth—such as the sweatlodge ceremony and prayer—in order to ensure her continued beneficence. the American Indian construction of these mounds was not fully accepted until 1894.484 / Mounds and Mound Builders man life.

C. Many scholars believe that the Mississippians were direct ancestors to the Cherokee. until about 400 or 500 C. Illinois.E. where East St. It developed around 700 C.E. and 200 C. was centered along the Mississippi River.Mounds and Mound Builders / 485 Areas of Mound Building Aztalan Norton Mounds State Park Miamisburg Fort Ancient Cahokia Angel Kincaid Newark Grave Creek Adena Seip Serpent Mound Mound Bottom Spiro Chucalissa Hiwassee Island Etowah Winterville Belcher Hollywood Moundville Ocmulgee Kolomoki Adena culture Emerald Mound Mount Royal Hopewell culture Mississippian core area Mississippian culture The earliest of the Ohio River Mound Builders. and flourished until after 1500. are thought to have lived between 700 B. the Adena Indians.E. .E. Some researchers posit that Hopewellians were ancestral to the Iroquois. Sioux. The Adena gave rise to the Hopewell Indian culture.C.E. at Cahokia. now stands. The Hopewell developed vast. The last North American mound-building culture. nearly continentwide. Louis. and other American Indian tribes. trading networks. also centered in the valleys of the Ohio River and its tributaries. which is recognized from around 100 B. the Mississippian.

near St. Louis. or others had constructed them. Native American land rights could be denied if it could be demonstrated that earlier. they constructed flat-topped pyramidal mounds to serve as the foundations for important buildings such as temples or chiefly residences. while in other locations or time periods. they stimulated acrimonious debate concerning their origins. European Americans also may have desired to construct a heroic past for members of their own cultures.-400 c. Alabama (a dominant center from 1250 to 1500 c. while an 1812 work opted for the Welsh. in some instances.e. their ancestors. Moundville. Missouri (with a florescence between 1050-1250 c.). namely whether Indians. in 1787. Second. and they were used for a range of functions. In some cases. which may explain the proliferation of hypotheses proposing that various early European groups built the earthen monuments. Some of the better-known mound sites are Cahokia. when settlers’ understanding of Native American culture was based on their interactions with socially disrupted Indian groups no longer continuing all of their pre-Columbian activities.e. it was suggested that the Ohio Mound Builders were Danes. more “civilized” people had once inhabited the area. centered in the Ohio Valley. the dispute originated during the early colonial period. When these mounds were first noted by Europeans in the late eighteenth century. and on racist beliefs concerning Native Americans. it seemed unlikely to them that the Indian ancestors of these groups would have possessed the technological skills to construct the mounds. First. For example.e. In addition. These arguments continued unabated until Cyrus Thomas’ Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology (1894). Indians built conical mounds to inter their dead. There are several underlying factors that explain why it took scholars so many years to accept the aboriginal origins of the moundbuilders.). based on these data.).486 / Mounds and Mound Builders can groups during several different time periods.e. and those associated with the Hopewell culture (circa 200 b. which demonstrated that Native Americans had built the mounds. Caleb Atwater’s article “Description of the Antiquities Discovered in the State of Ohio and Other .c.

and it provided funds to the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology. more evolved “race” from the local Indians. When Europeans first encountered the natives of North America. By the 1880’s.Music and Song / 487 Western States” (1820) went so far as to propose Hindu builders. believing them to be of a different. to investigate the mounds. 2d ed. With the publication of Thomas’ 1894 report. the “Mound Builders controversy” was effectively quelled. the United States Congress became involved in the controversy. Va. Squier and E. Cole. Blacksburg. Effigy Mounds. Others. but these dissenting voices did not affect general public opinion. Susan J. See also: Astronomy.. singing. McDonald. in particular. Ohio Mound Builders. Because this culture was considered “primitive” and was thus branded inferior. Serpent Mounds. Granted. including religious rituals. such as E. Hopewell. favored Mayan or Aztec construction.: McDonald & Woodward. and Fort Ancient People. G. they found a culture vastly different from their own. Davis. Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to Mounds and Earthworks of the Adena. there were a few dissenters from the prevailing views of the time. in their Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley (1848). . Powell appointed Cyrus Thomas to lead the Division of Mound Exploration. H. and a Native American origin for these constructions was accepted. and Jerry N. is essential in many ceremonies. 2002. as well as at social gatherings. Music and Song Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Music has always played an important role in American Indian culture. directed by Major John Wesley Powell. Wurtzburg Source for Further Study Woodward. Susan L.

This attitude persisted well into modern times. There are also personal songs composed by individuals who have had visions. The Indian Scale. often of a religious nature. musical styles changed over the centuries before the Europeans’ arrival. and songs celebrating victory in war. religious music. The Indians use songs for specific purposes. Indian cultures have never codified music as European cultures have. as there has been in Europe and in the cultures the Europeans brought to North America. and it was assumed that Indian songs. For this . song.488 / Music and Song there was little attempt to understand the culture of the “savages” at first. and “serious” music. they varied greatly among the assorted cultures of North America. There is no group of professional composers or performers. but modern researchers are at a loss to trace prehistoric developments of this sort. As American Indians began the attempt to reclaim their cultural heritage. as none of the American tribes developed written languages or a system of describing specific tunes in a permanent manner. Possibly the most essential difference between the European and American Indian cultures when it comes to music is that. and singing in particular. and dance were complex. American Indian music was often described as atonal chanting. There has never been a difference between popular or folk songs. songs in preparation for war. There are songs to appease the spirits. As a general rule. it was found that American Indian music. One of the major reasons that early settlers and explorers found American Indian music so difficult to comprehend was that the Indians had a completely different concept of music in general. In this sense. songs for success in hunting and fishing. were less advanced than those of the Europeans. like other aspects of their culture. Indian Concept of Music. Indian singing is accompanied only by percussion instruments or is unaccompanied. all Indian music is folk music. and scholars began taking this culture seriously. virtually everyone may participate in music and singing. moreover. in Indian cultures. Undoubtedly.

though this is far from universal. The Inuits (Eskimos). To the American Indian. fish. Yet this element is far more essential to American Indian songs. Another type of religious singing is the chanting of spells to cure disease.) The result of this situation is that many Indian songs sound discordant to people used to European musical traditions. Music is considered a gift of the gods and is vital to almost all religious ceremonies. rather. all music has a strong supernatural element. for example. they sing specific songs for whales. Religious Songs. a song does not have to be “in tune” in the sense that a specific scale must be used at all times. and there is considerable popular music based on religious themes. seals. and the proper chant may drive out this spirit. . This aspect can also be found in Christian cultures. The Plains Indians have songs for buffalo. and other potential food sources. A song may not even come close to the harmonic patterns to which white cultures are accustomed. especially herbal treatments. they are specific to a particular spirit or aspect of nature. are greatly dependent on the sea for their survival. It is therefore impossible to play American Indian music on an instrument that is limited to the twelve-tone chromatic scale that has played an essential role in European music at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. and other game.Music and Song / 489 reason. but these have a very limited range in pitch and are not used to accompany songs. A common scheme is a steady fall in pitch during the song. (Some tribes play flutelike instruments made of hollowed wood or reeds. hymns are an important part of church services. In their boats. for example. thus giving the hunter or fisherman a greater chance of subduing his prey. An Indian with a serious disease is often considered to be possessed by an evil spirit. The songs involved are not hymns as such. Many songs in many tribes are named after animals and are intended to appease the spirit controlling the animal. deer. When other remedies. It is also impossible to use standard musical notation to record tunes accurately. One very common type of religious song is essentially a prayer.

the songs still play a vital role. In arid areas. It is difficult to explain this. In areas subject to flooding. There are songs to ensure crop fertility as well. The Navajo have a strong tradition in this regard. some religious songs are used as a celebration of religious events rather than as an invocation. From the “tra-la-las” of traditional European songs to the “doo- . An unusual aspect of some Indian songs is the use of nonsense syllables (vocables). they are not much different from the love songs that are sung in European cultures. There are also songs to control the forces of nature. Finally. American Indians have never separated the religious and secular sides of life to any great extent. Secular Songs. Jews. however. Often these meaningless syllables are inserted into a song to fill out a necessary rhythm. owned by the singers. For this reason. there are many songs to appease the rain spirits and cause muchneeded rain. These are personal songs. In essence. These songs are usually of an individual nature. except that it is not limited to American Indian cultures. the case is vastly different. but sometimes entire songs have no concrete meaning whatsoever. Not all songs are related to specific religious rituals. There are also lullabies to put children to sleep and children’s songs for pure entertainment. During the rest of the week. Everything on earth is controlled by spirits. The herbs must be sung over to ensure their potency. there is really no way of speaking of secular songs in a strict sense of the term. and spirits may not be mentioned in them at all. love songs. they work in secular occupations that have no relation to their worship. and Moslems worship once a week. In American Indian cultures. and every facet of life has a religious aspect. Most modern Christians. Personal songs are considered a form of wealth.490 / Music and Song are used. There are. sometimes related to courting rituals but often made up simply to express affection. composed and sung by a person who has had a vision. of course. and may say prayers at other special times. there are songs to appease the water gods and lessen the rain.

Like virtually all aspects of American Indian society. The singing of nonsense songs may be an indication that music for music’s sake is a universal enjoyment. Many centuries ago. Modern Changes. other cultures have often used this device. Both the dance steps and the songs can be extremely complex and are often performed in elaborate sequences. however. but in . There are dance/song cycles in many areas. The traditions are still very much in evidence. There was probably religious dancing at some time in ancient Europe.Music and Song / 491 wahs” of 1950’s rock and roll songs. however. This is another great difference between the European and American Indian cultures. One major reason for this is the close ties both singing and dancing have to religious rituals. A virtually universal aspect of American Indian song is its relationship to dance. American Indians have developed very little in the way of instrumental music. In some cases. as it seems to be a nearly universal aspect of cultures around the world. Its use in American Indian songs. The very fact that not all Indian songs have literal meaning suggests that the act of singing is enjoyed for its own sake and is not always a prayer or a prelude to war or hunting. dance still retains its religious aspect and is often accompanied by songs. may have a somewhat deeper meaning. songs are accompanied by body movements. and most dancers did not sing at the same time. a Beethoven sonata has no concrete meaning. apart from percussion accompaniment to singing. Song and Dance. often highly ritualized body movements specific to a particular song. A comparison can be made to European culture’s development of instrumental music unaccompanied by singing. Indian songs have been somewhat altered by contact with white culture. Among American Indians. hundreds of songs with their related dance steps must be sung in a specific sequence to fulfill a religious obligation. especially among the Navajos and a number of Plains tribes. dancing in Europe became strictly a social event. With rare exceptions.

there may be Christian hymns intermixed with ancient tribal songs.492 / Music and Song many cases they have lost their original significance. (Unicorn Stock Photos) . It is difficult to assess fully the influence of white culture on Indian music. at least partly because the only written records of Indi- Image not available These drummers and singers provided the important song element at a powwow in Springfield. Many modern American Indians have adopted the Christian religion and no longer sing and dance to appease spirits. At important tribal ceremonies. Missouri.

It does not provide an exact rhythm for the song. however. There was a movement toward increasing social and political meaning in a genre that was once mostly concerned with romance. Yet one particular modern development must be considered. Indian songs are almost always accompanied by drums of various sorts. The particular musical instruments involved will be discussed below. who did not understand the cultures they were facing. They often speak of love of the earth. this has meant that Indian song is not necessarily confined to a particular scale. As discussed above. The most common tone is one of sadness. Even if they are sung in English. Musical Accompaniment. Usually these songs were written in English so that they could reach as wide an audience as possible. and historical events. but it is essential here to stress that tonal instruments are rarely used while singing is going on. One of the most disturbing aspects of American Indian music for someone used to the European tradition is that the singers may not follow the rhythm of the drums. they tend toward a longing for a return to basics. for a recapturing of a lost world. American Indians were among the many who used this vehicle to express their concerns. to the accompaniment of electric guitars or even orchestras. The “protest songs” written and sung by American Indians are in some ways fundamentally different from those written by white Americans. the lyrics often involve some use of a native language and are essentially born of the same thoughts and feelings that inspired the ancient songs.Music and Song / 493 ans in the earliest days of contact were written by whites.” . religion. They rarely have the angry tone that so many songs protesting ill conditions have. Rather. of ancient traditions and ceremonies. This development suggests a true resurgence of the ancient uses of song among the Indian cultures. is a common accompaniment of singing. it is completely acceptable to be “off the beat. American folk music changed drastically in many ways. In the 1960’s. Drumming. of a return to the land.

One common type of drum is a hand drum. and hollowed gourds are used in the Southwest. with a sort of “Morse code” utilized to send messages over long distances. A decorated drumstick can be a sign of prestige in certain tribes. Water drums are made from hollowed logs that are partially filled with water. Although in many cases the drumsticks are merely twigs. most often a deer. but woven baskets are used in some areas. The musical instrument most often associated with American Indians is the drum. The materials used in construction vary according to the materials available. beads and leather thongs are often added. covered with leather. . and stretched hides with no drum body attached. or a large wooden structure may be made. There are other percussion instruments used in Indian music. quickly discarded. Most often the body of the drum is made of hollowed wood. and have particular ceremonial meanings. they play it together. in other ceremonies. The proper spirits must be invoked for many ceremonies. Drums are frequently decorated in elaborate fashions. Another type of drum is a large drum around which several people are seated. Indians place a somewhat greater importance upon drumsticks than European cultures do. one of the ways to invoke the spirit is by drawing or painting the appropriate pictures on the drum. wooden or metal washtubs have sometimes been used. This may be made by simply planting stakes in the ground and stretching a hide over them. which can be carried about by an individual and played while dancing. and. Drums are almost always used to accompany singing and dancing and have also been used as a form of communication. since drums are so heavily involved. The water greatly increases resonance. the drumsticks may be decorated. The head is generally the hide of an animal. In modern times.494 / Music and Song Drums. and the sound of such a drum can be heard for miles. The paintings are often filled with religious symbolism. including poles or planks around which a number of players are seated.

including a study of their history. rawhide is shaped into an appropriate receptacle. New York: A. The Rhythm of the Red Man. A descripton of Indian rituals. or seeds. Rattles are also made by suspending small objects so that they clash together. In some places.Music and Song / 495 Wind Instruments. Butree. Densmore. New York: G. Putnam’s Sons. While they may have variable pitch. Julia M. and contemporary conditions. the body of a rattle is a hollowed gourd. rattles are often painted and decorated. It may be made of clay. by shamans invoking spirits. A description of the Northwest American Indian culture. Flutes and whistles are used alone or in concert with percussion instruments. it has a few holes to vary pitch and is blown through the top end. New York: Woman’s Press. Marc Goldstein Sources for Further Study Bancroft-Hunt. and rituals followed by a variety of tribal groups. The American Indians and Their Music. again depending upon available materials. Norman. The most common sort of flute is much like a recorder. A comprehensive guide to Ameri- . Some Indian tribes have used flutes and whistles to produce music. bits of clay. dances. they are made individually from natural materials and are far from standard in their scales. Barnes. music. P. Rattles are nearly universal instruments among North American Indian tribes. Rattles. Whistles are far simpler and are used more often as signals than for playing music. especially music and dance. wood. Wind instruments are not generally used as an accompaniment to song. The most common type of rattle is a hollow object filled with pebbles. In many areas. People of the Totem. They are used by men courting women. 1979. Like drums. S. This sort of rattle is very important in many tribal ceremonies and is an essential component of many medical treatments. ceremonies. 1930. or reeds. including step-by-step instructions for a number of songs. 1936. or by war parties passing signals. Frances.

Flutes. An examination of how song is created. Robert F. rather than attaching a surname as was the European fashion. musical instruments. An encyclopedic discussion of American Indian culture. Jesse D. Hand Tremblers. Spencer. and dances. Lassiter. The Native Americans. Nettl. including a long and comprehensive chapter on American Indian music. 1976. At the time of first contact with Europeans. Religion. Jennings. Luke E. understood. Folk Music in the United States. The Power of Kiowa Song: A Collaborative Ethnography. from prehistory to modern times. Bruno.496 / Names and Naming can Indian music. ed. Drums. from prehistoric times to the 1970’s. and its purpose to individuals. New York: Harper & Row. 1977. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. et al. Includes an overview of Indian culture and specific discussions of songs. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Feasts. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. although mistranslations were common. 1998. Indian names were often descriptive of some action or trait or of some occurrence in the life of the bearer. and dance. The translations were deemed “colorful” by Europeans. song.. Pow-wows and Celebrations. A general overview of American folk music. both as discussed by the first European settlers and as it exists in contemporary times. See also: Dances and Dancing. Names and Naming Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Indian names were often descriptive of a person’s unique trait or of a significant action or event in his or her life. North American Indians generally used a single name for an individual. such as the case in which a name meaning “Young Man Whose Very Horses Are Feared” was mistranslated as “Young Man Afraid of . 3d rev.

This often paralleled the intensification of pregnancy taboos surrounding the mother.) Some tribes gave children derogatory or unflattering nicknames. Some names could be inherited from a dead ancestor.Names and Naming / 497 His Horses. It was considered improper for an Indian to mention his or her own name. and were bestowed following the prevalent line of descent. success in hunting or warfare for boys. either matrilineal or patrilineal. also served as an occasion for a new name. the boy might be prevented from assuming the name until he had attained a status in warfare or hunting comparable to that of his father. such as a father. When names were inherited from living relatives. When the baby was given the name of a dead ancestor. (Inuit parents refrained from slapping or verbally abusing their children. shamans. and husbands and wives generally did not use their proper names when speaking to each other. For boys. some tribes believed that the ancestor’s spirit entered into the child. which were extended after the baby’s birth. naming might be delayed from a few days to a few months. Various tribes followed different naming practices. Some names were . Common occasions for the bestowal of new names included the onset of menses for girls. When an Indian child was born. Usually Indians did not name themselves but were given names by parents.” These names were not static throughout life. or other members of their tribal group. initiation into a sodality (a club or organization for men). but could change many times between birth and late adulthood. Baby names were not considered particularly important or anticipatory of an individual’s character or performance in later life. or the acquisition of a supernatural power during the vision quest for both genders. resulting in the child’s death. fearing that the ancestor’s spirit would be offended and depart the child’s body. Older men past the age of active hunting and warfare would often turn their attentions to civil and religious affairs and would assume new names related to their activities. with the intent of encouraging them to seek accomplishments that would bring the bestowal of an appropriate new name.

he could call out the name of a companion. and that warrior was honor-bound to return and attempt to rescue him. or perhaps identifying clan affiliation. famous ancestors. when the spoken word could be made manifest within the creation. Rites of Passage. The collection of teachings that became the doctrine of the Native American Church had their beginnings in the 1880’s. Many tribes did not speak the name of a deceased member for fear of attracting the departed’s spirit back from the other world. Patricia Masserman See also: Children. Among the Apaches. even if such action meant his own certain death. Belief in the power of a name was strong. Native American Church Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: From its beginnings in the late nineteenth century. The origin of this belief can be traced to ancient tales of the beginnings of the people. such as the names of certain animals.498 / Native American Church taboo and were never used. If a warrior was about to be left behind in battle. Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. Puberty and Initiation Rites. but when a living person was given the name. Among the main themes of the church’s ethical code are mutual aid among . the taboo was lifted. the Native American Church has been a unifying force for scattered Native American peoples. Surnames are common—often tying the bearer to parents. The church emphasizes the brotherhood of all American Indians. probably among the Kiowas and Comanches living in Oklahoma. Others have adopted or been given names from the mainstream American culture that do not reflect their Indian heritage. use of a person’s name called forth obligations that were almost impossible to ignore. Modern American Indians choose names in many different ways.

and Indian agencies. After 1900 the ceremony spread rapidly throughout tribal North America. American Indians of every tribe were still reeling from the devastating effects of three centuries of contact with European American culture. and other use is vigorously opposed. Today church members find the universalism of . Its form was similar to that of present-day meetings. The use of peyote is strictly limited to the church’s ceremonies. At that time. it rejected both significant belief aspects of that tribe and the dominant white culture. Nevertheless. Yet American Indians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries created a monotheistic church with discernible and complex doctrines. and an individualistic approach that emphasized profound original spiritual experiences. the confiscation of land. The ceremony that was to become central to the Native American Church was first described by anthropologist James Mooney in 1892. forced labor. In 1918 it was chartered as a legal church. the use of peyote has at times made the church controversial among Indian leaders and organizations. a body of symbolically rich origin legends. and the avoidance of alcohol. enslavement. The ingestion of peyote is part of the ritual of the church (the church has sometimes been called the Peyote Church). peyote is both a teacher and a healer. a strong family. Wherever the church entered a tribe.Native American Church / 499 members. Jesus is seen as a deified spirit with whom church members can communicate. Indians had been subjected to slaughter. self-reliance. a strong sense of morality. ethics. Opposition to its spread came from traditional tribalists. The Native American Church was chartered as a Christian church in 1918. catastrophic depopulation. To the Native American Church. and forced religious conversion. the destruction of food supplies. forced dispersal. Peyote produces an altered state of consciousness. shrewdly aided by insightful Indians who included Christian elements to make the chartering process more amenable to legislatures. Christian missionaries. Anthropologists helped write the articles of incorporation and appeared before judicial and legislative bodies in defense of the church. and rituals.

Reprint. Smith.S. 1956. 2002. Fixico. Ruth. Slotkin. Sterling. Religion. N. Jung Institute. 1999. and redemption are not found in Native American Church doctrine. and Walter B. law classifies peyote as a psychotropic drug and prohibits non-Indian use. comps. Reuben Snake.: Shoestring Press. “Peyote. .: Praeger. Swan. Zurich. On the Symbolism of the Native American Church of North America. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. 1938. The Peyote Religion. Echo-Hawk. The Peyote Cult. James. Glencoe.Mex. ed. One Nation Under God: The Triumph of the Native American Church.500 / Native American Church Christian ideology acceptable. or half the population of adult Indians. Ill. the Giver of Visions. but it is rare to find Christian symbols in the ceremony. et al.. Christian sin. American Indians in American History. Since U.: Free Press. 1964. Some songs still appeal to Jesus for health and help. and eds. See also: Peyote and Peyote Religion. Glenn J. non-Indian participation is minimal. In 1960 the church was believed to have about 200. Laney. G. Peyote Religious Art: Symbols of Faith and Belief.000 members. Weston. The Native American Church continues to exist as an important pan-Indian movement uniting diverse cultures in common goals. 18702001: A Companion Reader. Huston. Conn. John H. Schiffman Sources for Further Study Evans. Switzerland: C. Foreword by Donald L. judgment. Daniel C.: Clear Light Publishers. 1970. By 1947 the Native American Church was a widely prevalent religion among the Indians of the United States and had assumed the proportions of an intertribal religion.” American Anthropologist 40 (1932): 698-715. Hamden. Shonle. Santa Fe. Conn. LaBarre. Westport. 1996.

and South America as the ice sheets melted. careful studies by the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology demonstrated that the mounds were built by ancestors of the historic North American tribes. presumably sedentary agriculturalists of high culture. the Vikings. and reasonable hypotheses for their origin and relationship to the historic Indian tribes have been developed. other hypotheses suggested that the Mound Builders were an offshoot of. these Middle American cultures.Ohio Mound Builders / 501 Ohio Mound Builders Significance: The earliest “architects” in North America built elaborate burial sites. the ancestors of native North Americans seemed an unlikely source for their grandeur. Most evidence suggests that the original natives of North and South America were members of Siberian tribes that crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska some time after fifteen thousand years ago. Few explanations allowed for a relationship to North American Indians. Central. called PaleoIndians. Late in the nineteenth century. or ancestral to. This was during the early stages of the last glacial retreat. This oversight of Native Americans is surprising. How did the builders of such elaborate structures. when the Bering Strait was dry land. develop? How did they give rise to the more mobile. These tribes were big-game hunters who moved south into North. at least to the European mind. given the high culture developed by the Native Americans in Mexico and Peru. and other Old World groups. In fact. moved into the eastern part of North America and came . but much is known about the Mound Builders. When a large number of human-made burial mounds were found in the Ohio River drainage and other parts of eastern North America in the nineteenth century. Various non-Indian Mound Builders were hypothesized: the lost tribes of Israel. and seemingly less highly cultured. however. These people. natives encountered by the pioneers? These questions cannot be answered definitively.

and a few built small burial mounds. Archaeologists recognize a second Native American culture.e. They used a spear-throwing device called an “atlatl” (developed by Archaic or late Paleo-Indians) to produce greater flight speed in their spears. ultimately obtained from Mexico). and were more sedentary than their Archaic predecessors. The larger burial mounds are widespread throughout eastern North America but are centered in the Ohio River drainage.502 / Ohio Mound Builders to live in sparse.c. They added burials to individual mounds through time. beginning about eight thousand years ago.e. the Archaic. the Archaic Indians are thought to have given rise to the Mound Builders around 700 b. the presumed progenitors of the more elaborate burial mounds built by the Woodland Indians. wide-ranging populations in the forests that developed there after the glacier melted. which was also centered in the valleys of the Ohio River and its tributaries. more intensive cultivation of native plants. natural hills. and 200 c.c. until about 400 or 500 c. The earliest of the Ohio River Mound Builders are called Adena Indians and are thought to have lived between 700 b. and more elaborate funeral procedures and burial mounds. it was not the staple it became in Middle American and Mississippian cul- . they gathered wild plant products and hunted available animals. In addition to cultivating plants. and the development of elaborate rituals and practices for burying their dead.e.e. some cultivation of corn (Zea mays. Directly descended from Paleo-Indians. They also worked stone to make pipes and various ornaments. The Adena gave rise to the Hopewell Indian culture. Some late Archaic woodland groups buried their dead in small. Their culture is characterized by the development of fibertempered pottery. The Ohio Hopewell culture is recognized from around 100 b.c. The Hopewell tradition is characterized by advanced pottery production and stoneworking. domestication of several kinds of native plants. There is evidence that trading networks developed between the Adena people and contemporaneous American Indian cultures. including the mounds in which they were buried. Although corn was grown by the Hopewell people.e.

Hopewell characteristics are all elaborations of Adena characteristics. The Hopewell differentiation of class. trading networks. The Hopewell Indians also developed vast. .. Numerous hypotheses have been proposed for the decline of Hopewellian peoples.e. There is some anthropological evidence that the Hopewell people’s more diversified diet. based on the cultivation of several native plant species and supplemented by hunting and gathering. These men were buried with more elaborate material goods and in larger and more complex mounds than were other members of the population. the Hopewell tradition is a continuation of the Adena culture. Instead. Many artifacts. presumably prized possessions and tools needed for the next life. corn seemed to be grown more for symbolic and religious ceremonies. and their mound-building activities. As a result. are hypothesized on the basis of such artifacts and specific conditions of the burials. Large mounds with many burials were built in stages.Ohio Mound Builders / 503 tures. were buried with the dead.e. More of these are found in Hopewell burials than in Adena burials. This trade may have been associated with another cultural development that differentiates the Hopewell from the Adena. The theories range from an environmental catastrophe. It is impossible to determine the point in time at which the Adena culture ended and the Hopewell began. at least as Mound Builders. Clearly. with one set of burials superposed upon an earlier group. called a borrow pit. Researchers have hypothesized that some Hopewell men obtained privileged positions in society due to their trading skill and trade contacts. Adena and Hopewell mounds were built by people carrying baskets full of dirt from a source region. The Hopewell culture peaked in the Ohio River Valley around 200 c. nearly continentwide. Hopewell burials suggest a class structure not seen in the more egalitarian Adena burials. instead. at least. and depositing the dirt on the growing mound. there is a lengthy transition period. and contrasting Adena egalitarianism. produced a healthier population than did the cornintensive diet of the Mississippians. disappeared between 400 and 500 c.

” In Ancient North America: The Archeology of a Continent. Hoagstrom Sources for Further Study Fagan. North American archaeology traces its professional roots to the exploration of their mounds. now stands. The Ohio Mound Builders maintained a developing culture for more than a millennium and played a central role in North American prehistory for much of that time. abandoned mound-building activities. Sioux. and other structures were built. William F. Louis. and flourished until after 1500. 1995. through intermediates who. It developed around 700 c. Carl W. 2d ed.e. Illinois. and Magicians of the Eastern Woodlands. 2000. The last North American mound-building culture. Akron. Illustrations. but many Mississippian mounds were platforms upon which temples. Some researchers posit that Hopewellians were ancestral to the Iroquois. maps. the Mississippian. Mysteries of the Hopewell: Astronomers. “The Eastern Woodlands. where East St. bibliography.504 / Ohio Mound Builders brought on by larger population concentrations and intensive agriculture. An analysis of the Hopewell and . index. Describes the Mound Builders and their place in prehistory. Adena and Hopewell mounds were primarily burial mounds. Their descendants gave rise to the prehistoric Mississippian culture and to historic Indian tribes. houses. was centered along the Mississippi River. for unknown reasons. Chapter 2 gives a brief history of the European Mound Builder hypothesis. Geometers. In addition. to changes in trade balances that brought an end to the Hopewell people’s strategic central position between the northern and southern and between the eastern and western sources of raw materials and finished goods. at Cahokia. Brian M. Many also believe that the Mississippians were directly ancestral to the Cherokee. and other historic American Indian tribes. Romain. New York: Thames and Hudson. Ohio: University of Akron Press. Many scholars believe that these Mississippian Mound Builders were descendants of the Hopewell.

maps. Shaffer. bibliography. Washington. and other artifacts of the Adena and Hopewell people. New York: Chelsea House. maps. . index. Reprint. Native Americans Before 1492: The Moundbuilding Centers of the Eastern Woodlands. Describes the Bureau of Ethnology’s mound work. Effigy Mounds. Illustrations. bibliography. Lynda Norene. E. See also: Culture Areas. Va. Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology. Chapter 1 covers the Mound Builder mystery and its importance in American archaeology. maps. Thomas. Snow. Blacksburg. index. Mississippian Culture. and Jerry N.: McDonald and Woodward. Mounds and Moundbuilders. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press..Y. William S.Ohio Mound Builders / 505 their achievements in astronomy. 1894. lists of pertinent topographic maps and publications. index. Armonk. maps.C. Susan L. Illustrations. Webb. 1989. index. index. maps. geometry. pipes. Explores Mound Builder cultures and the interactions and interrelationships between those cultures and other Native American cultures. McDonald. N. The Mound Builders. Discusses the European-Mound-Builder-race hypothesis and its demise. maps.” In The Archaeology of North America. Illustrations. A guide to Adena and Hopewell sites that can be visited by the public. Descriptions of the mounds. Snow. index. bibliography. Dean R. Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to Adena and Hopewell Sites. Illustrations. Also describes the American Indian Mound Builder cultures. D. pottery. bibliography.: M. Illustrations. Outlines the prehistory of the Mound Builders. Serpent Mounds. 1974. Woodward. and Charles E. Illustrations. Robert. Silverberg. 1986. “The Nations of the Eastern Woodlands. Sharpe. 1970.. and measurement.: Smithsonian Institution Press. glossary. 1985. Cyrus. Athens: Ohio University Press. 1992. The Adena People. The introduction to the 1985 edition adds historical perspective.

506 / Okeepa Okeepa Tribe affected: Mandan Significance: The Okeepa was a Mandan summer ceremony conducted to reestablish the tribe’s ties with nature. At the conclusion of this grueling experience. such as the snake or beaver. Ruffin Stirling See also: Religion. who would proceed to cut off one or two of their fingers. a seminomadic tribe living in the northern Great Plains. The Okeepa was a ceremony conducted by the Mandans. centered on two young men who dangled in the air. The main action. They then had to make their way to a masked warrior. Other members were painted to represent day and night. Participants sometimes collapsed and had to be dragged. which Mandan legend claimed had once covered the earth in a flood. After a certain period of time they were lowered to the ground. however. Any young man who excelled in withstanding the ceremony was considered a good candidate for future leadership positions. hung by ropes stuck into their flesh with pegs. Sun Dance. Tribal members took part in the ceremony by impersonating certain animal spirits. It was a ritual held during the summer that was seen as a means to renew the life of the tribe and to reestablish the tribal relationship with nature. the two men ran a circle around the outside of the medicine lodge. The specific purpose of the Okeepa was to appease the spirits of the waters. .

Seasonal flooding and the lush tropical environment permitted the development of agriculture and the exploitation of domesticated plants. perhaps meant to imitate mountains or volcanoes not found in the immediate Olmec area. At the site of La Venta. Tabasco. swampy coastal floodplains crossed by rivers draining from highland mountains to the south into the Gulf of Mexico to the north.e. which led to the development of sedentary societies and advanced forms of social and political organization. These platform complexes served several purposes. gathering places for public ceremonies.000 feet long. The term “Olmec” is drawn from the Aztec language Nahuatl and loosely translates as “the rubber people. since no direct descendants of Olmec civilization have ever been identified. including residences for elite Olmec families and rulers.000 feet wide. upon which were erected ritual and ceremonial structures of stone and more perishable materials such as wood or plaster. 1. along the southern and western edge of the Gulf of Mexico. but Olmec influence extended across most of southern Mexico and northern Central America.” in reference to the production of rubber in the Olmec heartland. and burial sites for Olmec royalty. The area consists of flat. particularly corn. and Chiapas. The earthen platforms consisted of layers of worked colored stone laid out in large plazas and covered with as many as a dozen . the Olmec constructed conical pyramids in the center of their platform complexes. The Olmec heartland included the present Mexican states of Veracruz. the Olmec constructed large earthen platforms more than 3. in the state of Tabasco. and 150 feet high.Olmec Civilization / 507 Olmec Civilization Significance: One of the earliest advanced civilizations on the North American continent. Olmec civilization is considered to be one of the oldest civilizations of native North America.c. At sites such as San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. Recognition and identification of Olmec culture are based exclusively on archaeological evidence. Evidence of Olmec culture first appears about 1500 b.

or metal tools.508 / Olmec Civilization sequential layers of sand and earth piled one on top of the other to construct the platforms. Most information regarding Olmec culture that does not come from their architecture is drawn from their remaining artworks. Advanced systems of political organization must have been in place to enable the assembly and management of the workforce necessary to construct such elaborate complexes. What has survived in great abundance is Olmec stone sculpture. were transported as much as sixty miles from volcanic mountain ranges such as the Tuxtla mountains. particularly volcanic basalt and jade. along with the evidence of extensive farming and agriculture. It is also significant that the Olmec created their buildings and monuments without the wheel. Elaborate drainage systems. composed of sections of carved stone. The scale and complexity of the earthen platforms. channeled water throughout the platforms. such as paintings and textiles. Large basalt boulders. neither of which occurs naturally near the Olmec heartland sites. At least ten large-scale Olmec sites have been identified in the Olmec heartland. Platforms were engineered and constructed to control water flow throughout the structure. some more than ten feet tall and weighing several tons. domesticated animals. The Olmec were extremely adept at working very hard types of stone. sacred green jade was imported from areas of western Mexico or eastern Guatemala and Belize. most of these forms have not survived in the archaeological record. none of which was used by any Mesoamerican peoples. usually human but occasionally representing animals or mythological deities. Although the Olmec probably created a wide variety of art forms. The complexity suggests that the process of construction was as important as the final structure. probably originally intended to be displayed in the open . suggest that several thousand people may have used or occupied the sites at one time. and the remaining carved stone images convey a great deal of information about Olmec beliefs. The basalt boulders were carved into a variety of shapes. diverting it for waste runoff and public hygiene and creating decorative and sacred ponds and streams of fresh water within the platform complexes.

Warriors and human prisoners are frequently depicted in Olmec sculpture. Many of the large carved boulders were intentionally defaced or broken and buried within the platforms during Olmec times. One of the most common types of boulder sculptures is a series of human heads carved in a lifelike. Facial features vary noticeably from one head to the next. since that is the source of the rubber used for the ball itself. usually by decapitation. and. evidence suggests that the heads portray either former Olmec rulers or defeated enemies. suggesting that the Olmec practiced formalized warfare and related forms of human sacrifice. Smaller stone objects. suggesting individualized depictions. and jade was much valued by all preColumbian societies. Olmec art reveals much about Olmec political and religious beliefs. naturalistic style. chief among which were powerful animals such as the cayman or alligator. and implements such as ax heads were frequently formed in the shape of humans. They worshiped a pantheon of natural spirits. were ritually sacrificed. The caps may represent royal headdress or a type of headgear worn by participants in a ball game similar to modern-day soccer. including jade. suggesting that either the Olmec or a foreign people symbolically killed the sculptures before abandoning the sites. suggesting a spiritual tie between the function of the object and its symbolic imagery. Olmec sites were probably governed by elite royal families and kings. the eagle. and each wears a distinctively different type of skullcap or helmet. The color green was probably considered sacred. the size and degree of naturalism attest the Olmec sculptors’ ability to manipulate large. Humans and animals were common subjects. were carved from other hard stones. I-shaped courts throughout ancient Mesoamerica. The losers of this game. Although the specific identity of the subjects is not clear. and burial offerings. the shark. the jaguar. ritual implements.Olmec Civilization / 509 plazas of the earthen platforms. hard stone for artistic purposes. such as jewelry. Portions of the ball game may have developed in the Olmec heartland. which was played on stone. The Olmec were . Regardless of the specific identity of the stone heads. perhaps most important.

510 / Olmec Civilization similar to most Native American cultures in that the most important religious figures in Olmec society were the shamans. Stirling. D. seem to have considered the Olmec as their divine ancestors. Collected papers focusing on shared artistic influences between Olmec and neighboring or later Mesoamerican cultures. Michael D. Several later Mesoamerican cultures..e.c. One of the earliest comprehensive treatments of . Elizabeth P. After 500 b. Carved jade and ceramics in Olmec style have been found in central and far west Mexico. After 300 b. paintings. Olmec culture disappears from the archaeological record. America’s First Civilization.C. The evidence suggests that the Olmec were interacting with a large number of non-Olmec cultures throughout the area at this time. and Olmecstyle rock carvings. and the Maya. Large Olmec-style carved boulders and upright stones occur along the southern Pacific coast of Guatemala and El Salvador during this period.e. New York: American Heritage. Trustees for Harvard University. particularly the Maya of Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula. who were believed to be able to change into animal forms at will and communicate directly with the supernatural world. 1981. Olmec influence stretched far beyond the Olmec heartland. inherited and continued many aspects of Olmec style and culture. Olmec sculpture frequently depicts shamans in the act of such transformations.e. ed. and earthen platforms occur in areas south of Mexico City.. Coe.. similar to the later hieroglyphic writing of the Maya. Between 1000 and 300 b.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections. but these cases are rare. 1968. The Olmec and Their Neighbors: Essays in Memory of Matthew W..c.c. and Olmec ceramics are found as far east as eastern Guatemala and Belize. and Olmec civilization appears to have declined before the writing system was fully exploited. appear in a few isolated examples of Olmec art. early examples of hieroglyphic writing. in fact. or curers. Washington. James D. Farmer Sources for Further Study Benson.

New York: Rizzoli International Publications. Translated by Warren McManus. Sculpture.. Michael D. Corn. 5th ed. Mayan Civilization. more widely known Mesoamerican cultures such as the Maya. Extensive report of archaeological investigations at the Olmec site of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán between 1966 and 1968. Roman. Coe was the first scholar to interpret Olmec culture as the precursor to later. Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs. Includes artists’ reproductions of Olmec lifeways. Well-illustrated volume of Olmec art. Pina Chan. . Sharer. Stuart. 5 (November.” National Geographic 184. and David C. Michael D. 1989. Grove. Discusses up-to-date interpretations of Olmec culture and art. New York: Thames & Hudson. Robert J. New York: Cambridge University Press. and Rex Koontz. 2002. Presents a thorough summary of Olmec art. Coe. and culture by a noted Mexican and pre-Columbian scholar. and Richard A. Culture Areas. George S. 1993): 88-115. Regional Perspectives on the Olmec. An exhaustive introduction to Mexico’s early history and peoples. no. Diehl. Includes numerous detailed maps and line drawings and illustrations of stone monuments from the site.Olmec Civilization / 511 Olmec art and culture. 1989. Ball Game and Courts. Austin: University of Texas Press. In the Land of the Olmec. Political Organization and Leadership. See also: Agriculture. Religion. including previously undocumented monuments and controversial translations of Olmec hieroglyphic writing. archaeology. 1980. Coe. Discusses Olmec culture in the broader context of greater Mesoamerica. Scholarly treatment of Olmec cultural interaction with other pre-Columbian cultures.. “New Light on the Olmec. The Olmec: Mother Culture of Mesoamerica. eds..

stories are altered to fit the present situation. Some tribes occupied wooded mountains where rivers and waterfalls were plentiful. or mountains. trees. cultural traditions and philosophies are transmitted orally. Oral storytelling differs greatly from written literature because stories are slightly varied with each telling. Geographic Influence. others existed on dusty plateaus. mountains. ritual.512 / Oral Literatures Oral Literatures Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: With no written languages. troublemakers may become mountain peaks as lessons for future rascals. events. and landforms are all interrelated. destined to chase . rivers. With each generation. the surviving legends link Indian history to the present. they can exaggerate some aspects or eliminate ideas altogether. For example. American Indian peoples transmitted their ideas from one generation to the next through storytelling. Mountains. animals. regardless of the environment. and magic. shells—pulsate with life. Storytellers have individual styles and preferences. senior members of a tribe used storytelling to pass ideas. and rivers may be given human characteristics and feelings. with some Indians living in desert conditions. Some characters are permanently assigned natural forms. Tribes occupied a wide range of geographical landscapes. stars. Among peoples who do not have a written language. rocks. Just as quickly. Indian stories are religious experiences that include taboo. Legends of American Indians relate closely to all elements of the natural environment. others by the sea. while humans may be turned into fish. these elements may return to their former states. Humans. In traditional American Indian cultures. The Supernatural. Natural elements are often personified during the course of a storyline. vegetation. all parts of the natural landscape—pebbles. Legends also set human lovers as stars in the sky. In Indian tales. and value systems to the next generation.

Indian legends are not isolated stories for entertainment but are part of a lifetime collection which educates tribe members about religion. Without knowledge of the full significance of the word “sun. They followed the sun’s placement in the sky as an indication of the seasons. The time progression reflects the Indian belief that all reality is cyclical.” listeners may misinterpret a particular story. They studied the stars carefully to determine when their crops should be planted and harvested. however. oral stories are often told in chains. The sun is seen . which promotes both the remembrance and the understanding of oral legends. Sun and Moon. certain words may have meaning only if previous tales have been heard. They also attempt to explain the mysterious nature of the skies. Many tales are not intended to be isolated from previous episodes. these stories are parts of a progression. This fascination with the heavens is reflected in Indian legends. The sky held great significance for American Indians. The chain often reaches back in time. the supernatural. They claim that recognizable beginnings and endings are missing. the word for “sun” may represent the name of a sun god who is present in a whole line of stories. Indian tales are filled with an interweaving of supernatural and natural elements. Indian stories are not intended to be evaluated by Western logic. Those accustomed to European storylines have at times criticized Indian legends as chaotic or incomplete. Story Structure. The knowledge of past legends may be needed to understand a particular story. instead. with one image or character triggering another story. There is often a circular element to the progression of Indian legends and stories that is different from the linearity of European storylines. The repetitive circular patterns allow listeners to hear subtle variations on themes.Oral Literatures / 513 each other for eternity. Moreover. and living in harmony with nature and with other humans. Many Indian tales center on celestial elements that are used to inspire appropriate behavior and to punish unacceptable actions and attitudes. For example.

where his torch turns from flames to embers. with the sun coming out only after the moon is gone. The moon and sun escape into the sky. the trickster. they relied greatly on the stars to indicate direction. In many tales. which is stolen by Grandmother Spider and brought to her people along with fire. Coyote disobeys the chief and opens the box to examine the light. A large windstorm lifts the brother and sister into the sky. These Indians considered the celestial bodies supernatural beings and often told stories of various stars taking human form. and Inuit regard the sun as female. who steals the sun and moon from the kachinas (supernatural intermediaries). but to animals. In a Brule Sioux tale. They are always far away from each other. the sister runs. The Cherokee give female qualities to the sun. time. The Zuñi tell about Coyote. The Plains tribes were primarily nomadic hunters and gatherers. who carries a torch of his own. Cherokee. most tribes give male attributes to the sun. After the rape. The reward for his great power in bringing light to his tribe is that humans would thereafter be chiefs over animals. lighting her way with a torch. The Stars. and the seasons. . Man and woman then come together on Earth and through mutual understanding and caregiving join their bodies to people the earth. the male sun removes an eye and throws it into the wind. Because of his curiosity. where he is turned into the moon and she into the sun. Her brother. Although the Juchi. In time.514 / Oral Literatures as the great fertilizing agent of the universe. The sun directs the moon maiden to walk along a bridge of lightening so that she can roam the earth. In one Winnebago myth of the sun’s creation. The Blackfoot explain the origin of the North Star in this way: A young maiden looks longingly at the Morning Star and wishes that she could have that star for her husband. the orb is reduced to a small object that is snared by Little Brother. but falls in the snow. the sun makes love to mortal women who then give birth. where it becomes the moon woman. wanting the box of light for his own. The Inuit tell about a brother raping his sister. and cold comes to the world. follows. Coyote is greedy. not only to humans.

Some tribes describe life in the interior of the world. The Zuñi of New Mexico use the Pleiades to determine when planting should begin. Indians of the Northwest tell of entering a hole in the sky in order to emerge on the earth. Many Indian legends incorporate the Pleiades. These inhabitants dig their way up from the center of the world until the top layer. earth. The disappearance of the Pleiades tells the Tapirape Indians that the rainy season will soon end. never moves and is called the Fixed Star by the Blackfoot and the Star That Does Not Walk Around by the Omaha. The Cherokee of the Southeast give special significance to the Pleiades because there are seven stars in the group. Raccoon’s children and Littlest Coyote run away to Sky Country to be protected from the selfishness of Coyote. The seven stars of the Pleiades hold great significance for many cultures. As punishment. is reached. the children of Raccoon kill all Coyote’s children. east. From the California region and the Southwest come tales . Many explanations describe a watery primordial environment from which mud is brought up to make the earth. who is not selfish. Earth. After several warnings from the elders. these children become so lightheaded that they drift into the sky. lead him to kill Raccoon. except for Littlest Coyote. however. Many tribes have myths which explain the emergence of the earth. her curiosity and disobedience result in her son being turned into a star. Sun and Moon. and center. The maiden is married to Morning Star and lives a life of ease in Sky Country. up. This star. Earth is that environment which is in light. the North Star. The Shasta. They become the Pleiades. the trickster. from the forested lands of Northern California. south. tell how the greed and selfishness of Coyote. never to return. down. This small cluster of stars helps define the calendar and signals coming events. The Onondaga of the Northeast tell of seven children who neglect their chores and dance throughout each day. west.Oral Literatures / 515 the Morning Star appears on Earth as a handsome youth who takes the maiden to the house of his parents. Seven is a sacred number because it represents seven directions—north.

. In frustration. The Hopi tell a tale about two goddesses who cause the waters of the world to recede eastward and westward until dry land appears. In most tales. Humans. carrying all living things to death. The Cherokee describe an Earth suspended in delicate balance. Animals and humans are later brought to life. which humans must maintain for survival. and pregnancy. Many legends have women as the first humans. is given credit for breathing life into humans. To bring light a