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

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

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Manibozho . . . . . Medicine Wheels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marriage and Divorce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496 Native American Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mother Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Morning Star Ceremony . . . . . Maple Syrup and Sugar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mosaic and Inlay . . . . Medicine Bundles . 498 Ohio Mound Builders Okeepa. . . . . Midwinter Ceremony . . . . . . . Ornaments . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mogollon Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Military Societies . . . Oral Literatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact . . . . . . . . . Mounds and Mound Builders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Masks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Moccasins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact . . . . Mayan Civilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mississippian Culture . . . . 501 506 507 512 520 523 xxx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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 . . . . . . . . . Missions and Missionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oratory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Menses and Menstruation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Music and Song. Olmec Civilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maru Cult . . . . . . . . . Metalwork. Midewiwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

. . . . . . . . Star Quilts . . . . . . . . . Shells and Shellwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sun Dance . . . . . . . . . . Secret Societies . . . . . . . . . . . Suicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silverworking . Sports Mascots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sand Painting . . . . . . . . . . Serpent Mounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths Syllabaries . . . . Sign Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shaker Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Social Control .Contents Salmon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shalako . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Salt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Slavery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Squash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Snake Dance . . . . . . . Secotan. . Shaking Tent Ceremony . . . . . . . . . . . Scalps and Scalping . . . . . . . Stereotypes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sculpture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Societies: Non-kin-based . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Subsistence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stomp Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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 . . . . . Shields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spirit Dancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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Pasadena.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. California Hackensack. New Jersey . Inc. Barrett University of Mary Harvey J.

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

Baumhoff (1963). This abundant and easily collected nut became the dietary mainstay for various Indian groups. 1978.c. average 40-50 percent carbohydrates. making them a nutritious foodstuff providing about 168 calories per ounce. Washington. edited by William C.9 2. the more preferable the acorns. Acorns.. Sturtevant.: Smithsonian Institution.2 Source: Heizer. probably around 3500 b. “Desirability rating” scale created by Martin A. and 5-10 percent fat..e.Acorns / 1 Acorns Tribes affected: Tribes in California and the prehistoric Northeast Significance: Acorns provided a starchy food staple for various Indian groups. 3-4 percent protein. . By the historic period. however.5 1. Archaeological sites in Massachusetts dating from a millennium later also have produced clear evidence of the eating of large quantities of acorns.0 2.C. Note: Acorns were of great importance to California Indians even in areas in which not many were available. Northeastern Indians were using acorns only sparingly as food. The earliest unequivocal evidence of the dietary use of acorns comes from the Lamoka culture of New York.5 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 1.0 2. 8 in Handbook of North American Indians. particularly in the Northeast and California. the lower the number. the nuts of oak trees. Vol.0 1. Robert F. D. California. ed.

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

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

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

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

is the period after 1783. The second phase (at least in North America) is that covering the period from Columbus’ discovery to the close of the American Revolution. As new varieties of cucurbit emerged (from careful seed selection by the Indians). gourds were used as containers. They came to specialize in the production of food for the group. in the United States. . covering perhaps five thousand years. the earliest cultivated plants were the gourds. the men remained the hunters. some Indian tribes were supplying as much as 50 to 60 percent of their nutritional requirements from crops they planted. metal tools. the pulp was too bitter to eat. That reduced their dependence on fruits and nuts they could gather and on game they could kill. constituting the “peanuts” of Indian agriculture. Pre-contact Agriculture. with tools that lacked the precise usefulness of modern. By the time of European contact. did become a regular foodstuff. and much of the harvesting work. when the Indians were wards of the federal government. is all the time that transpired before Christopher Columbus initiated the flood of Europeans into the Western Hemisphere. All agriculture was hand labor. the Indians were able to produce larger and larger portions of their caloric requirements from agriculture. The third phase. In the earliest adaptations from wild plants. the cucurbits. and harvested. In time. The first phase. The story of Indian agriculture falls naturally into three phases. going off on hunting expeditions. The women were responsible for the planting. however. roughly from 1500 to 1783. During much of the millennium prior to European contact. The seeds. The pre-contact agriculture of the North American Indians began in the highlands of Mexico. cultivated. most Indians lived in relatively permanent villages. sometimes for weeks at a time. There.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. cultivation. however. squashlike vegetables were produced and eaten regularly.

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

evidence that maize as a cultivated crop was widespread among Native Americans by 1000 c. The arrival of the European colonists profoundly altered Indian agriculture in two principal ways: The Europeans. Two important crops that were not food crops were tobacco and cotton. 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 southwestern Indians also developed the necessary skills to convert the fiber to cloth.e. Tobacco was being grown all over what is now the United States by the resident Indians at the time of European contact. Tobacco was grown (mostly by men. How early a cultivated maize had developed in North America is under dispute among archaeologists.8 / Agriculture Without a doubt. goosefoot (Chenopodium bushianum or berlandieri). the Europeans brought many new crops. Prior to the development of maize. The story of how the first Europeans to arrive as colonists sur- . a native of the central Mexican highlands. Cotton was grown only in the Southwest. The Indians of Minnesota to this day have exclusive rights to the wild rice growing in those northern swamps. the most important Indian crop was maize. Sumpweed (Iva annua). as the latter fulfilled far more easily the carbohydrate nutritional needs of the Indians. however. by trading manufactured items with the Indians for agricultural products. Additionally. and sunflower (Helianthus annus) were the most important of these native plants that were domesticated by the Indians. Cultivation of these native species declined after the arrival of maize. it was developed as a crop sometime after 500 c. a cultivated version of the wild plant teosinte.e. There is. there is archaeological evidence of the cultivation of some native grasses that produced seeds rich in oil. some of which were eagerly adopted by the Indians. not women) for its ceremonial use. turned a portion of Indian agriculture into commercial agriculture. generally in irrigated plots. 1500-1783.

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

developed a definitive policy with respect to the Indians still living in the territory ceded by the British in 1783. from its author. this policy of separating the Indians from the white Americans became more explicit. otherwise called the General Allotment Act. Senator Henry Dawes. 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. however. Although agriculture had been slowly gaining among the Indians. 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. 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. as the Dawes Severalty Act. Congress passed what were known as the Trade and Intercourse Acts.” thus effectively separating them from the European Americans. With the Louisiana Purchase. 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. It therefore passed what was widely known. defining the relationship between Indians and white Americans. The victory of the colonists in the American Revolution had a profound impact on Indian agriculture. In the 1790’s. as soon as it was well organized. 1887-1934. an abrupt change occurred in the Indian policy of the federal government. a single man 80 acres.10 / Agriculture 1783-1887. The federal government. In 1887. considerable effort was devoted to inculcating white agricultural practices. The Indian agents appointed by the federal government for each tribe were instructed to promote such agricultural practices among the Indians. At the same time. The title to the land was held in trust by the federal government for twenty-five . the federal government obtained western areas where it could establish new reservations to which the Indians could be “removed. and a child 40 acres.

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

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

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

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

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

another was the PanIndian movement led by Tenskwatawa.000) than for other Americans (6. Smugglers made huge profits. established by Congress in 1975 to survey major reservation problems. Statistics at the time of the commission’s report emphasized the prevalence of the problem: Seventyone percent of all arrests on reservations involved alcohol. Many tribal political and religious leaders soon recognized the danger that alcohol posed to traditional culture. is fetal alcohol syn- . Many tribal leaders tried to ban alcohol from their villages. when Congress permitted its sale if local tribal governments voted to allow it. almost always caused by alcoholism. It found that almost one-half of Indian adults had some sort of chemical dependency. Another alcohol-related health problem.1 per 100. the United States government prohibited the sale of alcohol to Native Americans. The suicide rate among Native Americans— which drinking undoubtedly influences—was more than double the national rate. A number of post-contact religious movements. and bootlegging became one way of becoming very rich on the frontier. was more than four times greater for Indians (27. but such efforts rarely succeeded.000). with alcohol being the chemical most often abused. concluded that alcohol abuse was the most severe health care problem faced by Native Americans.16 / Alcoholism hol intoxication may also have been considered akin to being influenced or possessed by a supernatural being. Easier access to alcoholic beverages led to a steady increase in cases of alcoholism among Native Americans. and the death rate from drunk driving on reservations was three times the rate for the general population. among American Indians included abstinence from liquor as a central tenet: One was the Longhouse religion established by Handsome Lake. In the Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts of 1834. Impact on the Indian Population. Alcohol remained illegal on Indian reservations until 1953. but enforcing the law proved impossible. A report issued by the American Indian Policy Review Commission. or revitalization movements.3 per 100. one which has been recognized relatively recently. Death from cirrhosis of the liver.

One study of a reservation in North Dakota found that most residents faced almost daily pressure from friends and family members to drink.S. Other aspects of Indian alcoholism are the social factors thought. recognizing the severity of the problem. In addition. population. following the awakening (and suppression) of Indian activism in the 1960’s and 1970’s. poverty. younger Indians became increasingly aware of past injustices toward Indians and increasingly desperate regarding what seemed to be the lack of future opportunities. by some. drinking may be seen as representing a sense of community. is grim compared with that of most Americans. viewed in this way. It has been suggested that drinking may amount to a form of social protest: By not obeying the rules of white society. Many adults supported the idea that individuals have the right to become publicly intoxicated. Congress enacted the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.S. The economic situation of American Indians. a Native American displays contempt for those who destroyed his or her culture and who now do not offer opportunities in theirs. 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. and there is little pressure put on alcoholics to seek help or change their ways. 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. average. particularly those on isolated reservations. and alienation. In the late twentieth century. 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. In 1986. .Alcoholism / 17 drome (FAS). a disease that stunts growth and interferes with brain development in the babies of alcoholic mothers. to encourage drinking actively. Drinking is tolerated by many adults on reservations. A 1985 study reported that one-third of all Indian deaths were related to alcohol—three times as many as the U.

Conduct Disorder and Social Change: Navajo Experiences. Washington. 2000. Fixico. French. Ga.: University Press of America. Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America. Michael. Mihesuah. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous have opened chapters in Indian communities.S. Alcoholism: A High Priority Health Problem. In addition.. Relocation. Urban Indians. American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities. Drinking. 1995. and Jerrold E. See also: Employment and Unemployment. 2000. As Indian cultural pride and solidarity increase. Md. _______. New York: Harper & Row. Atlanta. Westport.Y. N. The Urban Experience in America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Devon A. Task Force on Indian Alcoholism. Laurence Armand. Stereotypes. Tischauser Sources for Further Study Dorris. Government Printing Office. . Donald Lee. New York: Oxford University Press.C. D. Lanham.: Praeger. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact. Leslie V. Levy. as more Indians themselves work for the Indian Health Service (which serves reservation communities). Kunitz. approaches involving groups and entire communities have proved more beneficial than have private counseling and treatment. and as sufficient funding becomes available. Counseling American Indians.18 / Alcoholism There is hope that the situation will begin to improve. 2000. Addictions and Native Americans. Mancall. 1996.: U. Conn.: Cornell University Press. Ithaca. Because Indian alcoholism so often involves group activity. 1997. The Broken Cord. Peter C. 1977. 1989.: Clarity. Stephen J. Indian Health Service. new possibilities exist for stemming the tide of alcoholism. the search for an Indian answer to alcoholism has involved the reawakening of interest in Indian spiritual and cultural traditions.

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

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

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

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

Oklahoma. while the records of the Cherokee Nation from 1839 through 1906 are held in the Indian Archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society. A second example is that of the Navajo Nation. social arrangements. just before Oklahoma statehood. The most important repository of American Indian knowledge remains with the tribal elders. All scholarship must access this wisdom and knowledge to reflect tribal tradition and history. Each tribe maintains its records in an individual way. Archives and Tribal Records.” whether Indian or non-Indian. This synthesis convincingly links physical conditions. which collects and preserves its records as a part of the Navajo Tribal Council Reference Library in Window Rock. Once removed from this vital core of information are the tribal archives and records. 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. and political behavior. 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. For example. intellectual and cultural assumptions.American Indian Studies / 23 ies. A third example is that of the Cherokee Nation. These records were placed in trust in 1906. which functions as a trustee for the United States government. These are held in a variety of ways. This knowledge and wisdom can be gained only with real commitment over a significant period of time. There is no substitute for this significant information. which maintains a portion of its records in the Archives of the Cherokee National Historical Society in Tahlequah. economic and demographic developments. Tribal elders have become wary of “instant experts. before the National Archives of the United States was created. with mythic patterns and images.

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

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

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

Slab-lined storage buildings and ramadas—roofed. 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 . but many were larger. open-walled structures shading work and living areas—were built on the surface. their villages became larger. some thirty-five feet across. more complex.” Pit houses became deeper. benches. Storage bins. Earth-covered wooden roofs were supported by four posts with crossbeams. a central fire pit. which the later Hopi called “kivas. and a draft deflector between the fire and the ventilator shaft were found in many dwellings. Some houses were dome-shaped. Roof or side entrances were retained.Anasazi Civilization / 27 As the Basket Maker Anasazi population grew and their territory expanded. and spacious. Almost all had ritual rooms. Within the village were many outdoor work and cooking areas. Some kivas were modified houses.

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

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

J. the kivas were enclosed within the circle of houses and walls. Rev. Mud plaster was applied inside and out. The Anasazi. Some of the cliff dwellings became quite large. the Mesa Verde Anasazi began to abandon many small settlements in the mesa. Kendrick. People of Chaco: A Canyon and Its Culture. the Chacoan culture began to decline. twenty-three-year drought occurred in the Southwest. About 1100. 1999. As their legacy they left descendants who became the Hopi. The Mesa Verde Anasazi prospered for some time in their cliff dwellings. and updated ed. Frazier. perhaps as watchtowers. By 1150. which initially followed the traditional Mesa Verde pattern with the kiva in front of the main dwelling. Stones closed the entrance to the pueblos. By 1300.30 / Anasazi Civilization or cliffs. W. too. Large pueblos developed. Roadside shrines were constructed in widened parts of the road. but decline fell upon these Anasazi. although they continued to farm the mesa. few Anasazi remained in their once-large domain. from prehistoric tribes to modern Pueblo people. Zuñi. These roads may have served some ceremonial purpose. Soon. Presents a definitive view of the Anasazi. Today the adobe pueblos of the Southwest serve as reminders of the great stone houses of their Anasazi forebears. as well as some of their religious and social traditions. The peace-loving people of Pueblo Bonito walled up the doors and windows facing the outside of the great houses. New York: Rizzoli International Press. Cliff Palace numbered two hundred rooms with twenty-three kivas. and other Pueblo peoples. New York: W. One hundred years later. leaving access by ladder only. 1990. The Mesa Verdeans left as the crisis intensified. Mary Pat Balkus Sources for Further Study Brody. Norton. Stone towers were built. the Mesa Verde Anasazi moved into the caves below the mesa. Concentrates . Walls were made of large rectangular sandstone blocks with little mortar. never to return. J. A savage. Slowly the people left the basin. Color photographs and illustrations.

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

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

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

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

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

A piece of ice might also be placed into the wall to provide natural lighting. which provided protection from the cold air on the floor below. these shelters generally consisted of a wood. Excavated several feet into the ground. Caribou skins or musk ox skins would be placed on the sleeping platform for additional insulation. Semi-Subterranean Houses. Because of the great effort involved in building and maintaining such shelters. found from East Greenland to South Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. stone. or whalebone framework covered with insulating sod. In North Alaska. they tended to be used by groups with year-round or seasonally occupied villages. Often. At least half of the interior included a raised sleeping and sitting platform. houses were rectangu- . a small hole would be punched through the roof to provide some air circulation and hence a guarantee against asphyxiation. Far more common than the snow house was the semi-subterranean house.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.

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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.

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

could be enlarged to make room for newly married couples. The smoke holes were also sources of light. Its simple construction of a frame and covering could be easily moved. which varied in length and accommodated more than a hundred people. Sleeping bunks ran along the sides of the building. 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 . Smoke holes placed about 25 feet apart represented the space given to an individual family. The pole-framed structure had a barrel or vaulted roof.46 / Architecture: Northeast needs of the particular tribe. Doors and storage areas were at each end. In the eastern portion of this region. A typical dwelling structure of Northeast region Indians was the wigwam. Primarily used for protection. architecture also expressed the Indians’ way of life. the Iroquois and Huron built long communal buildings which were used year-round by clan groups. The longhouse.

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

D. Native Villages and Village Sites East of the Mississippi. New York: Oxford University Press. Jr. Ceremonial lodges and many-sided dance lodges were the largest structures built by the Great Lakes Indians. See also: Birchbark. Nabokov.C. Reprint. it was made of a sapling frame covered with bark or canvas. William. Native American Architecture. N. . used mainly in winter.: University Press of New England. Diane C. Where the Northeast region came closer to the Plains region. Longhouse.: Government Printing Office. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Bushnell. 1919. often covered with canvas or animal hides.H. Used by the shaman. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. considered to be sacred. and it shook while the shaman was moving and speaking inside as he performed a rite. and Robert Easton. an extension of the domed type by use of a ridge pole. 1970. 1989. Wigwam. Morgan. the Indians also used the tipi type of dwelling. Hanover. David I.: Baker Book House.48 / Architecture: Northeast The Great Lakes region had several basic house types. and the summer square bark house. the conical wigwam. Kubiak. Indian New England Before the Mayflower. Howard S. Tipi. 1881. with vertical walls and a gabled roof. Mich. 2003. These were the domed wigwam. Peter. Washington. Great Lakes Indians: A Pictorial Guide.. Houses and House-Life of the American Aborigines. 1980. Russell. They were made with poles of cedar. Lewis H. A small religious structure called the shaking tent was a single-person hut. Grand Rapids.

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

when secured. accommodated smaller lodge poles to support cedar planks. circular pit measuring 9 to 15 feet in diameter. with the apex of the structure being open to serve as a smoke hole and en- .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. flat. with gradually sloping earthen walls of 3 feet. 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.

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

The Adena culture of the Ohio River valley (1000 b.-400 c. The dwellings were covered with thatched roofs.c. They date from about 1200 b. survive. and birds. The concentric ridges of shaped soil that define a large central plaza at Poverty Point.e.) in southern Ohio is 1. from Wisconsin to Louisiana. known as geoforms.-200 c.) raised cone-shaped burial mounds.247 feet in length and portrays a serpent clutching an egg in its mouth. The Great Serpent Mound (800 b. reptiles.c.e.e.e. a type of construction called wattle and daub.e. Louisiana. panthers.c. They also built dwellings that were 20 feet to 70 feet in diameter and had clay-covered latticework walls.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. The Hopewell cul- . Adena effigy mounds. depicting bears. are associated with this cultural influence.

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

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

producing a wall that was both aesthetically pleasing and strong. but eventually both visible surfaces were smoothed as well. the Anasazi refined their masonry further. whose walls and floor were now lined with carefully shaped and fitted stone blocks. Stone masonry also affected the kiva. During the Classic Pueblo period (1100-1300). some were as large as thirty or more contiguous rooms and were two stories high. This new masonry technique resulted in an increase in both the size and complexity of the pueblos. 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 . with a stone bench and stone pilasters to support the flat roof.62 / Architecture: Southwest bearing surfaces were shaped.

Flat roofs were constructed with beams laid across with poles and brush and covered with several inches of clay and mud. housing more than one thousand people and covering almost four acres. with eight hundred rooms rising in tiers from a single frontal story to five stories at the back. Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon was the largest pueblo in the Southwest. Pueblos of this period often rose to as many as five stories. and Kayenta continued to be major centers of Anasazi culture. Chaco Canyon. adding visual interest to the walls. They apparently made the move for reasons of defense. with heavy beams set into the walls to support the floors above ground level. Mesa Verde. because the caves were much less desirable places to live. being without . 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. (Library of Congress) ply construction: an inner and outer facing of shaped sandstone blocks with an interior filling of loose stones and adobe. Varying the shapes of the blocks created linear patterns. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Canoes. (Library of Congress) .Arts and Crafts: Great Basin / 81 handfan designs. brushes. toys. and Houses. water jars were sealed inside with pitch. Pot-shaped storage baskets with tight weave and small necks were used to protect food. These were used to knock seeds off grasses into a conical carrying basket. and other small objects were also made from basketry techniques. Scoops. Cradleboards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and it explored the relationship between humans and the sacred in the earth and sky. and these were usually painted by the same warrior on his personal buffalo robe or on his tipi cover. He would usually portray the most important moment of his triumph. As the independent lifestyle of the Plains people came to an end and the people were settled around forts. The winter camps were the fixed points between which yearly events were remembered. Instead of the horses. personal visions. and tribal paraphernalia. The describing of personal visions and mythological events was done with less narrative detail. men adapted to painting on cloth. narrate the personal bravery and skill of a specific warrior. and buffalo of the skin paintings. raids. The pipe was the single most important art object made by the Plains groups. and even towns. Ledgerbook art typically narrates the experience of Native Americans with the European American world. mythological events. clothing.Arts and Crafts: Plains / 91 (called wintercounts). the art of skin painting was lost. among the Northern Plains tribes. placing of tipis. Vision paintings were frequently done on shields or tipis. 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. including the concept of the universe. the ledger paintings portray forts. describing features of the landscape. it was left to the imagination of the viewer to complete the story. important tribal gatherings. Pipes as Miniature Sculpture. and sometimes one would be made as a . In its place. Tribal gatherings were also portrayed in narrative detail. ledgerbook painting was developed among the Southern Plains tribes. as well as raids and hunts. Each man carved his own private ceremonial pipe. Battle scenes. tipis. trains. 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. The calendar drawings have mnemonic value for remembering the major events that occurred in a tribe or band over a number of years. and important battles. wagons. and hunts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aztec militarism and religion became increasingly intertwined. Moctezuma II proved surprisingly ill-suited to deal with the crisis provoked by the Spaniards’ arrival in 1519. In 1487. the sun might not rise and preserve humanity. wondering if the strangers were Quetzalcóatl returning.Aztec Empire / 113 could be forestalled only by nourishing the gods with human blood. Social tensions were increasing. 1520. The Mexica continued to worship other Mesoamerican deities. Tenochtitlán had grown to 150. Moctezuma II claimed to be the incarnation of Huitzilopochtli. Wars brought captives to sacrifice. The warlike Cuitlahuac replaced him as tlatoani but perished from smallpox a few months later. Without human blood. as had long been prophesied. When Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II became tlatoani in 1502. Hernán Cortés acquired important indigenous allies by playing upon their hatred of the Aztecs. the Mexica staged mock battles (“flowery wars”) with rival cities so that both sides could take captives to sacrifice. . and the invaders captured the last tlatoani.000 inhabitants. More the meditative priest than the frenzied warrior. he vacillated. Their siege destroyed most of the city. but they raised the cult of Huitzilopochtli to an imperial obsession. Fatalism pervaded Aztec life: One’s destiny was determined at birth. Spanish weapons and horses were superior to Aztec missiles and obsidian-edged swords. such as Quetzalcóatl. in bloody rituals. He died while in their hands in 1520. Not only priests but also all people provided blood through ritual self-laceration. as he tried to escape. with perhaps 1. because commoners gained little material benefit from the conquests. By the mid-1400’s. Driven from Tenochtitlán in a bloody rout in June. Cuauhtémoc. whereupon they took him hostage. It mattered little whether one nourished the gods through self-sacrifice or as the captive victim. creating the ultimate marriage of Aztec militarism and religion. Tlaloc. the Spaniards and their allies returned in 1521.5 million living around Lake Texcoco. Moctezuma II allowed the Spaniards to enter Tenochtitlán. Aztec power was at its peak. To enhance his power. and Tezcatlilpoca. the Aztecs killed at least twenty thousand captives to appease Huitzilopochtli at the dedication of the enlarged Great Temple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arts and Crafts: Northeast. housing. covered baskets. and Karok. Native North Americans: An Ethnohistorical Approach. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. Iowa: Kendall/Hunt. deep bowls. North American Indian Art. 1988. New York: Rizzoli International. ed. 1990. New York: Harry N. The people of the Northwest Coast also made good baskets. Some of the finest basketry in North America was produced in California by the Pomo. Furst. 1998. N. Peter T. . Kansas City. Clothing. Carrying bags were made by twining from grasses and other fibers. and Jill L. and boats were also made using basketry techniques. Tulare. but they were not equal to the complexity of their carved art. 1982. 1965.122 / Baskets and Basketry burden baskets were made to be carried on the back for seeds. Mo. Dubuque. roots. Arts and Crafts: Southwest.Mex.. the latter sometimes resulted in baskets of fine woven quality. 1977. Arts and Crafts: Great Basin. Santa Fe.: School of American Research Press. Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art. Boxberger. Winnowing trays and toasting trays were used in the preparation of food. Pacific Coast. Coe. Washo. Feder. Norman. Arts and Crafts: Southeast. Southwestern Indian Baskets: Their History and Their Makers. Abrams. They made trays. Native North American Art.: Nelson Gallery Foundation. Ralph T. Ronald J. Daniel L. Andrew Hunter. Whiteford. and vase forms and adorned special baskets with elaborate feather designs. Furst. New York: Oxford University Press. American Indian Art. Janet Catherine. and other gathered foodstuffs. Arts and Crafts: Plateau. See also: Arts and Crafts: California. Baskets were made by both coiling and twining..

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

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

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

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

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

128 / Berdache Berdache Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: An anthropological term denoting the third gender status. which many tribes attributed to individuals who behaved and dressed like members of the opposite sex. (National Archives) . However. From early childhood. weaving a belt. imitation. Indian boys and girls learned through observation. and formal training those statuses and roles that their communities deemed proper for the respective genders. so that by the time they reached adulthood most willingly accepted them as major parts of their social identities. 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. Although varying widely in their content and elaboration.

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

Sue Ellen. though it took some skill to navigate them. The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture. Boston: Beacon Press. Pitch from evergreens was used to caulk the seams to make the canoe watertight. and Spirituality. Birchbark canoes were highly maneuverable. 1997. and Sabine Lang. birchbark canoes were widely used both for personal travel and for transporting goods. were stretched tight and bound together with cordage made from the inner bark of the basswood tree. Because they were so light in weight. in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. Walter. a single person could carry one over a portage. They were so ideal for use in northern waters that they were adopted by the French fur traders for use throughout Canada. from roofing material to the covering of canoes. 1986.130 / Birchbark Sources for Further Study Jacobs. Williams. . sheets of birchbark. 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. stripped from the trees in sevenfoot-long sheets. The image of figures gliding silently along a river in a birchbark canoe. Gender Relations and Roles. Sexuality. See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. as depicted in thousands of stories and films. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Societies: Non-kin-based. is one of the most common images people throughout the world have of American Indians. over this framework. Wesley Thomas. The canoes were made by first fashioning a framework of cedar. Indeed. comprising the keel and the ribs. Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity.

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

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

two-legged animals raced four-legged animals to see who would dominate the earth. The Black Hills acquired a special significance to the western Sioux and were perhaps the most loved area in the Sioux domain. 40 miles wide. They provided water and abundant food. and 4. the Black Hills were holy. they form a remote ridge of limestone and granite 110 miles long. The hills themselves were heavily wooded with dark pine and contained abundant animal and plant life as well as numerous springs and small lakes. lodgepoles for tipis. violating an earlier treaty.000 feet high. 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. According to legend. The Sioux had expelled the Kiowa from the area by 1814 and extended this border further west in the next few years. Formed in the Pleistocene era. White encroachment into Sioux territory led to war in the mid- . They were the site of vision quests and the home of Wakan Tanka. The Black Hills are located in southwestern South Dakota along the Wyoming and Nebraska borders. 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. The steep canyons provided protection from the severe winter weather. 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.S. and medicinal plants for healing. They provided a panoramic view of the vast prairie of buffalo grass below.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. the U. Spiritually. the Great Spirit. Congress took the Black Hills with no compensation in 1877. The Black Hills were reached in the late 1700’s by the Sioux chief Standing Bull and his followers as the Sioux migrated westward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

or in partnership. Many of these schools were supported by the manual labor of their students. the first federally operated boarding school. whether sponsored by the United States government. along with industrial training. but federal officials were convinced that they could develop schools and more efficiently accomplish assimilation. and arithmetic. At many schools students spent more time working than A group of Sioux boys arriving at the Carlisle Indian School in 1879. Carlisle Indian School. religious organizations. (National Archives) . was intended to strip Indian children of their language and culture and change them into mainstream Americans. Religious schools continued. Schools in both Canada and the United States mandated Englishonly and emphasized the acquisition of basic skills in reading. Indian education. writing.140 / Boarding and Residential Schools eral government assumed a more direct role in operating Indian schools. opened in 1879 with the goal of transforming the Indian into a patriotic American citizen. The federal government continued to endorse removal of children from their homes as the quickest way to achieve assimilation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both bows and arrows were made in proportion to the archer’s body. The materials from which archery tackle was made were often important in trade. Arrows. as were the finished products. plant fiber cordage. and most of Mexico. bows were longer in the east. and Quivers Bows.148 / Bows. In the north and west. Archery was also essential in warfare. and Quivers Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The bow and arrow was the most important missile weapon used by North American Indians. as did the materials utilized. An alternative bow type utilized sinew lashings to reinforce the bow but lacked the sinew backing. the formulae used varied with the size of tackle desired. where it existed. Arrows were predominantly of wood. southeastern Canada. Elsewhere the sinew was applied directly to the back of the bow with glue and sometimes with lashings as well. and was rich in symbolism. In the Arctic. but other types were known as well.or cane-shafted arrows with wooden foreshafts into which points might be set . hide. In general. Archery was universal in native North America. or bone were reinforced with sinew. The bow and arrow was of tremendous importance in hunting. 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. 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. The making of bows and arrows involved highly valued knowledge and skills. The design and scale of bows. and quivers varied regionally. Bows were of several types. but reed. Bowstrings were made of sinew. wooden bows and generally shorter bows of horn. This bow type seems to be virtually the only one definitely recorded for the eastern United States. which was vital to procuring the food supply in all parts of the continent. antler. arrows. Bracers were often simple hide straps. and the bow and arrow was by far the most important missile weapon complex in use. or gut. Arrows.

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

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

They were known as bragskins because a man preserved and recorded his individual exploits and attainments on the battlefield. tipi covers and liners. 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. or some other feature to represent their warrior society. these autobiographical accounts preserved the record of the life of the people. 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. and he would bring great dishonor on his family and relations. Bragskins were more than mere decoration and artistic skill was a minor consideration.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. which was highly individualized. buffalo robes. Truthfulness and accuracy were insisted upon or a man would be exposed in public as a liar. Men swore that the events depicted on their bragskins were absolutely true and correct as presented. Taken as a whole. The primary intent of a bragskin was to develop and preserve a personal narrative of accomplishments. their importance lay in communicating facts to their people. particularly deeds connected with warfare. headdress. According to tradition. and sometimes men’s shirts. Usually. pictographic accounts utilized certain conventions. They were also a constant pictorial reminder of the collective ideals of bravery and fortitude which underscored Plains Indian life. each man was the center of his . they were conscious historic records which were seen by the people on a daily basis. or they would depict the image painted on their shield. men represented themselves on their bragskins by drawing the lance. In this way. Typically bragskins were made up of a series of pictures which gave the full action of a single event in illustrative style. So that they could be read easily by all members of their tribe.

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

000. Cheyenne. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache).000.000. Others—among them the Arikara.000.000 16.000 10. Assiniboine. 1986). and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press.000 1. Source: Data are from Thornton. equestrian buffalo hunters.091 800 . Kiowa. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison. Russell. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. Hidatsa.000 12.000 14. Mandan.000. in 1983 it was estimated at 50.000.000 6. Atsina.000 4. Comanche.000.000 20. Blackfeet Confederacy.000 8.000. 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 1. 1895 395.000.000 18. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000.000.000 15. Russell.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. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.000.000 20. Thornton. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.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. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.000 2. 1987).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

however. Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Many of the captives were taken during hostile interactions between the Europeans and the indigenous peoples. although these narratives were often biased and many of them perpetuated stereotypes of Indians. The commercial success of the earlier captivity accounts resulted in further publications. 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). cultural outsiders became insiders who were later able to write about their experiences. 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. in relying too directly on these captivity accounts for objective information on Native Americans.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. Indians served as the stereotype of extreme waywardness. In this way. and by the nineteenth century hundreds of pamphlets and anthologies were available. This genre of literature served to warn erring Christians of the dangers in straying from a religious life. Many of these were written by women or featured a female heroine. 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. and Dealings with Her (1682). and thus they did not always relish their enforced observation of another culture. In addition. There is a risk. They provide informative vignettes of Native American life. Captivity narratives are accounts written by Europeans who were captured by Native Americans. Commended by Her. if the typical .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


based on hunting. In the northwest corner. facilitating seasonal hunting of deer and bears. and Central Valley Yokut and Maidu. In this core zone. dense forests. Such groups abandoned their traditional pit house structures for portable hide-covered tipis. Three cultural zones corresponded primarily to ecological subregions. In this region. Their clothing and bodies were decorated with copper and ornate shell jewelry. acorn meal). When horses were introduced from the Great Basin Shoshones. The Kwakiutl of the Wakashan showed their wealth through large houses of split logs. rugged topography. which broke down into the main Penutian and Hokan families (the former including Klamath-Modoc. Miwok. and the gathering of available vegetal food sources (including a universal staple. freshwater salmon fishing could be combined with hunting. economic patterns. California. 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. in terms of both subsistence and displays of their good fortune. . inhabited by tribes of two main linguistic groups: the Sahaptin (including Walla Walla and Nez Perce) and the Salish (Flathead and Wenatchi). limiting the scope of interaction. 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. Farther inland was the Plateau. 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. some tribes moved seasonally over the mountains into Idaho to hunt bison.Culture Areas / 195 harsh. fishing. 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. The Western coast and inland area farther south were more diversified in language groupings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

while curing. The Deer Dance is performed to achieve harmony with the spirits of the deer to ensure daily survival.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. the deer are enticed to the village with cornmeal and are fed. Lynne Getz See also: Dances and Dancing. The Deer Dance. reciprocity through gift-giving between humans and spirits is an inherent part of the dance. 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. 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. and hunting ceremonies occur in the winter. While the ceremony differs from pueblo to pueblo. In the Deer Dance. Like all game animal dances. In the Pueblo calendrical cycle. later the deer will feed the people. along with other game animal dances. In Pueblo culture. when household supplies are at their lowest and families feel the need for spiritual assistance in gathering food. is performed in the winter months. warfare.

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

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

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

and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation. genocide. Native American populations declined. For their relocation efforts. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. the U. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America. for example.355. the Choctaw. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration.” Within decades of European contact.9 percent. Furthermore. Seminole. Paralleling this demographic collapse. government acquired 115. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. Old World diseases. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust.218 / Demography mendous population declines. Other re- .400. In 1830. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. measles. and the introduction of alcohol. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size. By 1790 their population was approximately 55. later. decreases in their fertility performance.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199.300 Native Americans were thus removed. Between 1500 and 1820. approximately 81. forced migration. French. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. combined with warfare. Cherokee. cholera. Chickasaw. In the southeastern region.S. Between 1828 and 1838. and. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. English set in motion significant population changes. The colonization of the Spanish. Europeans brought smallpox. forced migration and relocation.900—a decline of 71.

After the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. from 1850 through 1880. for example.S. Aside from losing their land and resources. society. the European. The rise of people with Native American-European or Native American-African ancestry. Native Americans west of the Mississippi River began to experience directly the brunt of colonization and settlement.Demography / 219 moved Native American tribal nations suffered similar demographic losses. their population collapsed to between 125 and 1. forcing them eventually to merge. African American. western Native American populations had experienced introduced infectious diseases. By about 1850. and Latino populations grew. may have had significant implications for tribal survival and demographic recovery. Since contact. African Americans. intermittent warfare with Europeans. As Native American populations declined. or of all three ancestries. As the American population of European descent surpassed twenty-three million by 1850. In addition. The United States economy was industrializing. and an erosion of their resources. American society was becoming more urban. the increasing contact with non-Indians had other important demographic consequences.000.000. The incorporation of Europeans. and the federal government desired a link between the east and west coasts as a completion to its nationbuilding. with the Arikara and Hidatsa. Western indigenous nations. or other Native Americans promoted further those phenotypic and genotypic processes. The Mandan. Native Americans have experienced an increased genetic exchange with European and African populations.200 individuals. Their population changes during those decades were affected by the dramatic social and economic changes in U. the United States experienced a dramatic in- . witnessed continued demographic upheaval. Prior to that time. the estimated Native American population stood at 383. culturally and biologically. boasted an estimated at-contact population of possibly 15. occupying the available lands acquired from Native Americans. Some scholars suggest that depopulation and the following demographic recovery resulted in certain physical and genetic changes in those groups who survived.

S. and the death rate fell. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. The 1890 U. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. there were 306. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. health and sanitation conditions improved. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. cultural oppression lessened. To meet these economic and political demands. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). The combined impact of war.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. however. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate.155. from 1850 to 1880. isolated from society. In three decades. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. After 1930. Census recorded 248. the European population increased to 50. The result was a young age-sex structure.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. Poor sanitation. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. trachoma.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants.S. the U. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. . disease. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations.783. In 1920. as well as a rise in infant mortality. infant survivorship improved. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. western lands and resources were needed. poor nutrition. only 6.

Census witnessed a 71. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. for example. the Native American population has grown tremendously. the federal government instituted a relocation program. In the mid1950’s. Finally.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. As a result. In 1960. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities.000 age sixty-five or over. By 1970. Since the 1950’s. had 87. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. The 1980 U. especially infant and child health care. First. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. there were 551.000 reported an advanced degree.3 million (July 1.S. In 1990. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. there were 827. adding significantly to the population. Demographic Trends. Native . Native American health improved dramatically. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. A scant 125. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955.636 Native Americans.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. Census Bureau.S. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. with less than 300. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role.500 people of Native American descent.1 percent increase. Second.

000 members were the Tlingit (the largest).S. the U.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe.5 percent of the total U.000 members.000—and indeed. approximately three-quarters (3. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. Muscogee (Creek). Apache. article in Indian Country Today. suicide. population. diabetes. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages.4 percent.000 members.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. Blackfeet.S. Native American people reside in every state in the union. Of these. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. Nonetheless. constituting 1. Eskimo and Yupik. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. with nearly . poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. violence. 2000) was 2. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). 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. 2002. 2002. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. followed by Navajo. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. Population Since 2000. in both rural and urban areas. followed by the Athabascan. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. Unemployment.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. was 4. Chippewa. 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. as reported in a December.3 million in the United States alone. Deaths by accidents.000. remains high. Choctaw. tuberculosis. As of July 1.

400 their population increased.732 Native Americans have 1910 291. After European contact. . Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U.” 1.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. collapse that lasted for al3. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters. 4. these small groups of 1970 827. urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. mate.607 diversity. 1930 362. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943). 1980 1.380 Initially.420.273 1960 551.764* population but continue to 1860 339. 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 popula600.636 time. 1900 266. Morse population estimate (1822).417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. Today. 1990 1.421* represent a higher percent1870 313. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates). including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.959. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. Over 1950 377.427 onized a continent. most four hundred years.S.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. the Native Amertions.000 and some societies constructed large. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. their ancestors col1940 366.000* 1800 tions.543* 1890 273. devastating demographic 2. enumeration of Native can Population. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Beginning in 1880. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). Secretary of war estimate (1929).Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands.995 nificant population changes. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates.

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

995 Native Americans remained after the epidemiological onslaught of European colonization.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 225 Disease and Intergroup Contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Within decades after contact with Europeans. although the reasons for the demographic collapse of native North America are complex. pre-contact native North America was not a disease-free paradise. They were the survivors of perhaps 1. trepanematoid. The “new” pathogens therefore not only created a high degree of physiological stress but also engendered cultural stress. The epidemiological conquest of native North America accelerated after the early seventeenth century with English and French colonization along the Atlantic seaboard. circa 1520. . Epidemic episodes often resulted in a breakdown in the social system. introduced by European explorers and settlers. After the arrival of Europeans. the estimated aboriginal population of native North America began to decline. launched a series of lethal epidemics that infected various Native American people. 270. Although European infectious diseases devastated many Native American societies. Malnutrition. anemia. elevating mortality levels. a prominent factor in that decline was Old World infectious diseases. Native American societies experienced rapid population declines. The Spanish intrusion first into the Caribbean and then into the Southwest and Southeast. 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. By 1920. and a variety of tuberculoid. Biological and archaeological evidence documents the fact that pre-contact Native American populations suffered from a number of afflictions. The dramatic population decline of indigenous people continued until the early twentieth century. and other degenerative.2 million to 18 million Native Americans who inhabited North America at the time of the arrival of Europeans.

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

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

(National Archives) . By the eighteenth century.000.630. By contrast. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. the European population had reached an estimated 223. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways.000 people. By 1790. Introduced European infectious diseases. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward.100 or 31. for example. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. In sum. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199.400. By contrast. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. 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.4 percent. In the southeastern region of North America.900—a decline of 71.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases.9 percent. the European population grew to more than 5 million. the population was reduced to approximately 55.

It is estimated that seventeen thousand Native Americans on the northern Plains died before the epidemic subsided.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 229 Since the Nineteenth Century. suicide. Acute infectious diseases have been replaced by “diseases of poverty. more epidemics occurred during the nineteenth century. G. 2001. Robertson. and trachoma—chronic conditions that would infect Native Americans until the 1950’s. type II diabetes mellitus. but the northern Plains region was hit especially hard. Gregory R. The disease diffused across most of native North America. Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian. Such acute infectious diseases continued to plague Native American communities into the early reservation period. According to Henry Dobyns. Native Americans contracted measles and cholera every 22.9 years among some segment of the Native American population. Idaho: Caxton Press. than during any other.5 years. twenty-four epidemics affected Native American populations. The placement of Native Americans on reservations or in rural communities did not mark the end of epidemics. Smallpox continued to appear every 7. and alcoholism exceed the national average. with more frequency. R. 1998. . Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest. Deaths from tuberculosis. Campbell Sources for Further Study Cook. New York: Cambridge University Press. 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. an anthropologist and authority on Native American historical demography. Caldwell. tuberculosis. During the nineteenth century. One of the most devastating epidemics during this century was the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. Between the smallpox episodes. 1492-1650. violence. Only then did these infections give way to the twentieth century epidemics of influenza. In addition. Noble David.” Many of these afflictions reach epidemic proportions in some Native American communities. accidents.

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

Among the Ojibwas. One manifestation of the significance attributed to dreams was the traditional use of dream catchers by many tribes of the Northeast and Plains. inspects the craftsmanship of a dream catcher she made for a school project. (AP/Wide World Photos) . dream catchers are now commonly used by practitioners of New Age spirituality. 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. The interpretation of dreams was an important activity among American Indian peoples.Dream Catchers / 231 Dream Catchers Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A traditional method employed by Ojibwas and other tribes to block bad dreams. who are often credited with originating the tradition. Maysarah Syafarudin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earthlodges appeared around 700 c. and later the Arikara erected villages along the Missouri River. Drums are often decorated elaborately. Semi-nomadic villagers constructed earthlodges in three areas of the Plains. As well as providing musical accompaniment. drumming can be seen as a very secure form of communication. and the proper gods and spirits must be evoked. the Mandan.Earthlodge / 243 filled with water. drumsticks are decorated according to their particular ceremonial meaning. and such drums can be heard for miles. For some ceremonies. and the possession of such sticks may be a sign of prestige. Elsewhere. Music and Song.. Earthlodges are circular dome-shaped structures roofed by earth and entered by a covered passageway. The Pawnee . In the Dakotas. housing the earliest farm cultures on the Plains. Earthlodge Tribes affected: Plains tribes Significance: Earthlodges were among the earliest forms of shelter devised by cultures living on the Plains. in some area poles or planks may also be beaten. One way of doing this is to paint the proper pictures on the body of the drum. Since the signals produced were kept as secrets within a particular tribe. A sort of “Morse code” system was used. Marc Goldstein See also: Dances and Dancing. 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. and it was different for every tribe. drums were used as a form of long-distance communication. Pow-wows and Celebrations.e. Hidatsa. are used. Apart from the more common types of drums. The water greatly increases resonance. stretched hides.

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

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

the U. This school. which established this fund. was organized in 1837 by Colonel Richard Johnson in Scott County. the Choctaw Academy. The first manual labor school. academic. and practical instruction. and others that came later.S. English. which allowed $15. material. for that reason. The school operated until 1769 and enrolled as many as 150 Indian youth. The Act of March 3.246 / Education: Post-contact Another example of colonial religious schools was Moor’s Charity School. The terms usually called for teachers. 1819. Six hours were spent daily in the classroom and six at work on farm and shop detail. Congress established a civilization fund. when treaty making with the Indians ended. arithmetic. Kentucky. Usually these were located in Indian country or at a site convenient to several tribes and. 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. The first specific appropriation by Congress for Indian education was the Act of March 30. of which 120 had educational provisions. government was operating six manual labor .000 per year “to promote civilization among the aborigines. and equipment for educational purposes. founded in 1755 by Eleazar Wheelock. writing. a Congregationalist minister. This Connecticut school concerned itself with the academic training of Indian youngsters and included reading. offered religious. A common method of providing educational assistance during this period was by treaty stipulation. which believed that it was a waste of effort to provide only academic training. were agreeable to the Indians. the United States entered into almost four hundred treaties. which lasted until 1873. Manual labor schools had their beginnings during the period when the tribes were being moved out of the East and Northeast. to provide financial support to religious groups and other interested individuals who were willing to live among and teach Indians. They also drew support from the government. 1802. From the first treaty in 1778 until 1871. In 1819.” The money went mostly to missionary groups. and Latin in its curriculum. Greek. By 1840.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Raymond P. reservation laws made business investments difficult. Thousands of Indians joined the wage labor force during World War II (1939-1945). 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.266 / Employment and Unemployment Changes in the Mid-twentieth Century. off-reservation seasonal farming jobs became scarce with increasing technology. After the war. while those who returned to reservations began to focus on reservation economic development and employment. Many Indian men and women joined the armed services or moved to urban areas to work in war industries. Malace) . however. As a result. 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. tribes had difficulty securing loans. Reservations remained poor and unemployment high. Few jobs came to the reservations. many Indian people remained in urban centers. Additionally. Through the relocation program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

gross revenue from such operations passed $1 billion that year.000. In October of 1988. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. and gaming revenues began to subsidize reservation infrastructure. but they also guaranteed that ownership of gaming facilities and their revenues would belong to the tribes. According to the U. 1979. most important. The history of reservation gambling begins in 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. hospitals. which officially legalized gambling on reservations. Individual prizes in some reservation bingo games were reported to be as high as $100. Marion Blank Horn. The act also established the National Indian Gaming Commission to oversee gaming activities. By 1991. By early 1985. By the fall of 1988. gaming was sanctioned as a legitimate method of tribal economic development. 1987). saw a means of increasing their revenues by offering bingo games with prize money greater than that allowed by the U. when the Seminoles became the first Indian tribe to enter the bingo industry. not subject to state regulations. When challenged.Gambling / 299 Development of Gambling. while bingo stakes in surrounding areas under state jurisdiction were sometimes limited to one hundred dollars. roads—and. principal deputy solicitor of the Department of the Interior.S. schools. jobs. the Congressional Research Service estimated that more than one hundred Indian tribes participated in some form of gambling. which grossed about $255 million a year. Cabazon Band. California v. Department of the Interior.S. 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. As state-run lotteries became legal and proliferated throughout the United States. the tribes sued in federal court and won (Seminole Tribe v. Butterworth. For the first time. Indian tribal governments. described the fertile ground gambling enterprises had found in Indian country: . state’s law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Library of Congress) . Generally.310 / Gender Relations and Roles ecology. gender research concerning American Indians includes three types of study: the investigation of women’s behavior 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. the identification of more than two gender categories and their activities and history. and the development of theories to explain the identified gender relationships.

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

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

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

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

Pacific Inuit. possibly Tuscarora and Winnebago). Theoretical works generally focus on the discussion of two gender categories—heterosexual men and hetero- . Salinan. anthropologists discussed the berdache phenomenon in the context of cultural relativism (the concept that cultures must be evaluated based on their own values. Theories to Explain Gender. Miami. Wiyot. Traditionally. or were. and Quebec Inuit). Lakota Sioux. Among them were the Atsina (or Gros Ventres). specifically as an example of how notions of normal and abnormal behavior are culturally defined within individual societies. In some cases. Illinois. Baffinland Inuit. For example. Canadian Blackfoot. Cheyenne. Piegan. 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. Kutenai. individuals determined their own genders. There are. Navajo. Cherokee. the Great Plains (Lakota Sioux). Research has confirmed the expectation that gender varies culturally and that many Indian groups had roles for female gender transformers. Tolowa. among the historic period Inuit. various gender categories within different cultural groups. and Yokuts). the Great Basin (Eastern Shoshone. the Northeast (Delaware. California (Chumash.Gender Relations and Roles / 315 period in the Arctic (Aleut. and the Southeast (Timucua and Natchez). parents or other adults could change the gender of a child. and Tlingit. Ottawa. while among other groups. 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. and Paiute). the Southwest (Karankawa and Navajo). and not on those of outside groups). and each of these has (or had) varying roles and social status. 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. Kawaiisu. the Subarctic (Hare and Ingalik).

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

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

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

Education: Pre-contact. Canada: University of Calgary Archaeological Association. Crisis Movements. Such movements usually involve someone describing bizarre or frightening visions of a catastrophic change in world events. As a result of his visions. 1991. The Archaeology of Gender: Proceedings of the Twenty-second Annual Chacmool Conference. Women. most of which concern prehistory or history of Native Americans. Children. Menses and Menstruation. 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). Calgary. Index.Ghost Dance / 319 and understanding of Dakota women. eds. Willows. and these movements are often found among populations who are experiencing severe crisis. Marriage and Divorce. The Ghost Dance began in 1890 as a result of the visions of a Paiute Indian from Nevada called Wovoka. No index. Walde. 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. Selection of papers. and Noreen D. 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. These crises can be natural (earthquakes. Puberty and Initiation Rites. maps. volcanoes) but are more typically as- . illustrations and photographs. charts. Dale. See also: Berdache. massive fires.

was disrupted forever.” published in 1896. 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. The classic source is James Mooney’s government-supported study. The old way of life. as he himself described it.320 / Ghost Dance sociated with political/military conquest by a foreign people who seem strange and overwhelmingly powerful. a visit to the spirit world on the occasion of the total eclipse of the sun on January 1. Mooney. The major difficulty with this procedure is that the Ghost Dance movement was typically hostile toward white settlers’ presence.and third-person contacts. Wovoka had begun having his revelatory visions and experiences in 1887. This study was conducted within memory of the events described. with its familiar routines. 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. Also known as John (Jack) Wilson. as a white government official. Ghost Dance as a Crisis Movement. and the old ways were seen as a “golden age” to which many people wished to return. Although the Ghost Dance movement became widespread in 1889-1890. 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. 1889. In the case of the Ghost Dance of 1890. 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 United States government’s interest in the Ghost Dance movement was a direct result of the fact that the message of . Such a description clearly fits the experience of Native American tribes who found their lifestyle severely disrupted by the newly arrived settlers. since virtually all existing reports are second. Wovoka’s most influential and serious supernatural experience was. “The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

pervades various native traditions and serves important social functions. unattractiveness. a young woman’s resistance to getting married. the Shawnee Prophet was once known as Lalawethika (the Drum or Rattle) because of his boastfulness. in various forms. or unworthiness might follow someone through life or might later be replaced with a more desirable name. Lightheartedness might be used as a way of dealing with traditional restraints on expressing emotions. making pointed comments about a young man’s aptitude as a warrior.” often cousins. conveying a desired message of rebuke without the likelihood of physical retribution. 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. or an inappropriate choice of potential mate. Humor also served as a way of keeping interpersonal aggressions under control. however.Humor / 365 Humor Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: North American Indian humor. 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. After his spiritual awakening. An example is the tradition of “joking relations. In the controlled setting of a village or family unit. An unflattering name suggesting immaturity. 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. arguments deriving from inevitable tensions could be very disruptive of common order. and other forms of humor were—and are—widespread among North American Indians. . he became known as Tenskwatawa—the Open Door. who might use sarcasm to suggest corrections in undesirable behaviors. practical jokes. Playfulness. Similarly. These cousins monitored each other’s actions. For example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

if . head gates. A few centuries later. A feature of many North American kinship systems is joking relations. Barber See also: Agriculture. Joking relations are almost always paired with. and given definition by. Other historic tribes using irrigation include the Pueblo peoples and the Colorado River tribes (Mojave and Yuma).) Avoidance relations are typically with one’s parents.) North American Indians typically also practiced a strong avoidance relationship between sons.Joking Relations / 375 panded to a massive network. control features such as trash gates. siblings of the opposite sex. Technology. and this sort of irrigation was continued by the Pima. kin are to act in a reserved.and mothers-in-law. Russell J. for example. Hohokam irrigation had diminished to small-scale ditches with far less engineering sophistication than the earlier systems. a corresponding set of avoidance relations. In joking relations. by contrast. in addition. The kin with whom one may joke are typically a person’s grandparents and cross cousins. in some cases. By 1400. the canals were lined to reduce loss from seepage. among the Crow. and parallel cousins. (A cross cousin is a relative related to a person through that person’s father’s sister or mother’s brother. Hohokam Culture. formal fashion with each other. and plunge pools had been added to the system. however. (Parallel cousins are related through the father’s brother or the mother’s sister. 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. kin in avoidance relations are actually to avoid each other physically. including one main canal at least 17 miles long. In avoidance relations. who probably adopted their irrigation practices from the Spanish. certain kin engage in free and easy bantering and talk with each other.

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

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

The dolls. “Action dolls”—those carved in more active positions—have also been developed to appeal to the collector. although there are no examples dating earlier than about 1850. LouAnn Faris Culley . when the traders who came into the Southwest began to sell the dolls to collectors. and body markings of each kachina spirit. 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. fur. are not religious objects themselves and are not worshiped as idols. and feathers to replace features earlier represented by carving and painting.378 / Kachinas Members of the Hopi tribe making kachina figures during the mid-1930’s. the doll must be accurate and detailed. (Museum of New Mexico) It is not certain when the Puebloans began to carve modern versions of kachina dolls. although referring to religious spirits. Therefore. costume. This resulted in a greater naturalism in the modeling of the figures as well as the addition of pieces of cloth. nor are there any references to them in the literature of the period. The commercialization of the kachina doll began sometime in the 1880’s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

none prevailed. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. in 1983. 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. For example. and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them. In the United States. 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. and minerals. or fishing. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. 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. Similarly. the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands. however.Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting. For example. gas. In return. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. in 1986. the Canadian government created a new 770. especially those areas rich in oil. Many Inuit found that to . but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. violent confrontations. in 1991.000 square miles to the Inuit. 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 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. however. 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.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. in some cases. The courts have been reluctant. an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. trapping.

be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway. Bureau of the Census. rounded off to thousands.642. Source: U.159. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped.097.S. In other cases as well.000 58.408.000 36.: U.000 31.574. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction.737.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.314.786.608.000 863.000 12. Historical Statistics of the United States.661.000 56. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.000 32.S.314.079.698.407.000 41. in return.005.000 — 17.534. 1975.000 72.000 38.068. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.235. Washington.000 16.226. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.146.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances. In Mexico.000 Note: Figures represent acres. Part 1.000 10.000 84. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.000 77. Government Printing Office.502.000 55. the U.000 37.000 5.000 55. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.097. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data. 1994.000 35.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1. Colonial Times to 1970.S.000 Total 104.052.C. govern- .047. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops.000 4. Department of Commerce.000 72.000 41.000 Tribal 104.000 32. Means of Land Acquisition.094.618.865. D. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.602.000 39.

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

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

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

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

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

Penutian. Second. Aztec-Tanoan. Third. First. are irrelevant. the kinship. English yoke. Campbell and Mithun argue. listed three criteria for genetic classifications that would satisfy the traditionalists. linguists should look for as many cognates as possible. Specialists in individual families denounced Sapir’s broad classifications. in the spirit of Boas. Cognates (from Latin. words. in this view. 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). borrowings. some claiming that the resemblances he cited were purely fanciful and others faulting him for not distinguishing adequately between coincidental similarities. Algonquian-Mosan. comparisons of sounds. who followed Sapir in proposing families. they must be accompa- . and Hokan-Siouan. should be viewed with skepticism. Lyle Campbell and Marianne Mithun. In an influential 1929 Encyclopædia Britannica article. For example. and grammatical features must not be conducted piecemeal. The two sides were somewhat facetiously known as “splitters” and “lumpers. Latin iugum. NaDene. traditionalist linguists. rejecting the simple vocabulary comparisons of reductionists.” Traditionalist Classification. and German Joch are cognates deriving from the hypothetical Indo-European form jugo. 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).406 / Language Families larger families. The controversy persisted through the rest of the century. only purely linguistic evidence is admissible. for example. only resemblances between languages that include both sound and meaning are to be considered. the findings of cultural anthropologists or archaeologists. and true cognates when he compared vocabulary items. resisted large-scale classifications and argued with reductionists. 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. Basically.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. the religion of Handsome Lake was to become a significant response to and survival mechanism for the Seneca people. such as those found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. gambling. Among the more significant of the visions of Handsome Lake are his reports of punishments in hell for specific sins. as now. Parker’s 1913 edition (based on oral tradition as it existed in 1910). sexual promiscuity. The Code sounds very similar to apocalyptic biblical visions. and over sixteen years of activity. Furthermore. wife beating. Each of these sins was associated with a particularly graphic punishment in hell. pronounce a death sentence on a witch. as advice from the Great Spirit. 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. The Code is worded in a concerned and compassionate tone. such as stinginess. By 1861. Handsome Lake had many such visions after this initial one. 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. and quarrelsome family relations. saw little conflict in active membership in both movements. Many Senecas then. alcoholism. and the visions of Handsome Lake him- .416 / Longhouse Religion Lake heard them condemn alcoholism. and other threats to social existence. 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. Handsome Lake himself was told not to drink anymore. Indeed. it is a series of admonitions and bits of advice on preserving personal piety and family life and rejecting alcohol. Most of the information about the early development of the Handsome Lake religion. a “Code” of teachings was gathered and became a part of Seneca oral tradition. emphasizing the importance of the message. and condemn witchcraft generally. gambling. As the Code reads in Arthur C.

the Quakers sponsored the work of Henry Simmons. held at first in Cornplanter’s home. 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 . working with a descendant of Cornplanter. who translated into English the oral tradition as recollected by Cornplanter himself in about 1910. In 1798.. it is possible to summarize Longhouse religious practice as highly personal and often emotional. come from two main sources. Arthur C. not open to non-Indian investigation. Parker. 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. 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. regular occasions are set aside for recounting the Code of Handsome Lake. C. Furthermore. Jr. since it is not mine to give—I am only a follower.” From written accounts. Wallace. respondents generally reply with answers similar to the following: “I do not have the right to exploit this tradition. according to the Code of Handsome Lake. The modern practice of the Longhouse religion is largely a private affair. and Halliday Jackson. In response to modern questions.Longhouse Religion / 417 self. 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. which must be read before noon. this may take from three to five days.” 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. Joel Swayne. The journals of these Quaker workers represent eyewitness accounts. The journals have been edited and published by Anthony F. and we should give thanks for what is received. sponsored a project involving Edward Cornplanter and a Seneca Baptist Christian.

Smith-Christopher Sources for Further Study Handsome Lake. Tales of Manibozho are told throughout the Great Lakes region. _______. ed. Daniel L. Wallace. keeping in mind the sad history of exploitation that is very much in the minds of most Native American practitioners of native religious traditions. Manibozho Tribe affected: Ojibwa Significance: Manibozho—legendary wise man. Mechanicsburg. See also: Longhouse. Bulletin 163. David. Nana. Swatzler. Parker. 1913. Manibozho was a messenger from Gitche Manitou . 2000. The Code of Handsome Lake. A Friend Among the Senecas: The Quaker Mission to Cornplanter’s People. Visions and Vision Quests. ed. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians.: Stackpole Books. 1798-1800. Religion. 3 (1952): 325-349. such as the Longhouse religion. Non-Indian students interested in the Longhouse religion should exercise great care in investigating this tradition with Seneca members. New York: Alfred A.” Part 1. prophet. _______. Knopf. the Shaker Church. and other expressions of religious faith. 2 (1952): 117-147. New York: New York State Museum. and messenger from the Great Spirit—was also a trickster who was sometimes outdone by his own tricks. and Henry C.” Part 2.418 / Manibozho southern Canada. 1798-1800. no. Pennsylvania History 19. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. 1973. Pa. no. C. Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. Anthony F. and the Great Hare. Pennsylvania History 19. Edited by Arthur C. Simmons. the use of peyote (as in the Native American Church). Wenebojo. where he is also known as Nanabozho. and into Oklahoma on Seneca reservations there.

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

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

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

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

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

There was no exchange of goods and no honoring between families. Behavior within marriage was designed to bring esteem to the family and to create a harmonious home. Sometimes when the second or third wife was especially troublesome. The integrity of the family was foremost. would demand that the husband return her to her family. Because mutual respect between a virtuous woman and a man who was a bountiful provider was the basis for an honorable home. In some tribes. Most women practiced birth control with native herbs. wives were shared with guests for their pleasure. it was not held against them. so unwanted children were rare. Infidelity was frowned upon. Girls were warned not to succumb to boys’ advances and were usually chaperoned by an older female relative when they became teenagers. 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. it was done as a comforting gesture to a man risking his life in travel. it was practiced discreetly. within the communal atmosphere of the home. If the man were able to provide for such a large family. Sexual Relations. although a man could take a second wife in the form of a captured woman of another tribe or. although if they had tried marriage and found it unsuitable. Any children that were born belonged to the wife and were an accepted part of the household. who retained primacy. more often. Unmarried pregnancy was rare. Even among those who . he would choose a wife who was compatible with his first wife to maintain harmony in his home. This did not imply any disrespect for the wife. Elopements were another way of uniting.424 / Marriage and Divorce Marriage was considered a lifetime commitment. the first wife. all members of the extended family tried to provide an environment to support good behavior. An unhappy home was rarely chosen over removing the person in question. Still. so this alternative was less desired. a younger sister or cousin of his wife. Most tribes considered sexual behavior to be private.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. shall be administered by the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. responsibilities. the BIA began to organize a medical care division in the middle of the 1870’s. In many cases. by the 1920’s its main efforts were in the treatment of trachoma. Department of the Interior was created. health facilities for Indians. . Regrettably. . the radically underfunded programs aimed at meeting these needs were of two types. and conservation of Indian health . While initially inefficient at providing health care. Indians were given the right of American citizenship in 1924. . First. Second. This division grew slowly. . 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. tuberculosis. In 1955 the Public Health Service took over Indian health care via the Division of Indian Health. relating to the maintenance and operation of .Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 439 Early Indian Health Care. the next thirty years saw relatively little overall improvement of their health. At this time civilians took over Indian health care entirely as this charge passed into the hands of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).S. Initially. which stated that “all the functions. and the other contagious diseases that were endemic among reservation populations.” Three factors enabled the Indian Health . and duties . the U. however. despite the efforts of the health care practitioners who worked among them. Development of the Indian Health Service. authorities. In the middle of the nineteenth century. . The quality of the health care Indians received varied greatly and depended on the attitudes of the personnel who were involved in it. 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. which is now called the Indian Health Service. 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).

These factors are aggravated by the lack of many essential. First and foremost of these was the widespread use of antibiotics such as penicillin. these facilities are usually very well run within their limitations. and the fact that it is smaller than might be desired (51 hospitals and about 425 outpatient clinics and health centers). they became an essential cadre of advocates for the Indian Health Service. Second. This brought a great many more qualified individuals into the Indian Health Service. 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). Third. the transience and undersupply of its biomedical staff. Health Service Weaknesses and Solutions. 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 .440 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact Service to operate more efficiently than had previous agencies concerned with American Indian health. they also soon represented many members of its staff. One problem associated with the Indian Health Service is the lack of choice of individual physicians. Nevertheless. Now familiar with life and medical care off reservations. which could cure many diseases very quickly and gave Indians more faith in the efficacy of white medicine. reservation inhabitants must accept the care of a reservation’s appointed doctors or must purchase their own health care. armed forces during World War II had returned to their reservations. and clinics. The hierarchy leads to swifter action and to better communication than was possible under other systems.S. high-technology medical services at its component hospitals. many of the Indians who had served in the U. 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. health centers. Most weaknesses of the Indian Health Service arise from its relatively inadequate funding.

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

Indian population. Rather. These problems have been attributed to Indian families’ generally lower incomes as well as to their poorer nutrition and living conditions. 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. in most of these areas by the end of the twentieth century. Indian Health Service facilities are not limited to reservation-based Indians. population. Even in the best of times. however. depending upon the source of the estimate of the total U. but they often consist of being of one-fourth Indian blood. 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. A positive change is the increased number of Indians entering and projected to enter the system as professional staff.S. For example.S. Special Health Needs. service at one of its facilities depends on being recognized as an Indian by a contemporary Indian tribe. Inroads had been made.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. The Indian Health Service itself is not concerned with quantifying the amount of Indian blood in the people it serves. 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.S. NHSC). Another approach is based on the percentage of Indian blood possessed by a person. Identifying Indians to Be Served.2 . although most facilities are located on or near reservations. there has been a drop in infant mortality from 22. however. One basis for counting the Indian population is self-assessment of being an Indian via the U. Requirements for this recognition vary from tribe to tribe. Census.

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

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

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

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

bear power was most effective in treating burns. and continually revitalizing their medicines and paraphernalia through purification. Usually. during an annual rite. receiving a sign. 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. resurrection after “death. Shamans maintained their power through frequent renewal rituals such as sweating. Because of this concern. dreaming. according to elevation and time of year. and usually one’s tutelary spirit was associated with curing a particular illness. a man or woman who had acquired supernatural curing power through a variety of ritualized procedures. The principal medical practitioner was the shaman. Shamans tended to work individually but sometimes required the assistance of herbalists. heron power to retrieve a lost soul. Consequently. Native Americans developed extensive and successful methods of interpreting and treating different afflictions by the use of medical practitioners. and less frequently. isolation. dreaming. this was an occasion when one’s power could be stolen by a more powerful individual.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. if violated. but more often through the vision quest. survival of an illness. which. could mean the shaman’s loss of power or even illness and possibly death. fasting. inheritance from a kinsperson. illness could debilitate a group’s strategies for obtaining food. reciting special curing songs. The practitioner’s life was further burdened by almost continual stress in observing strict behavioral and dietary taboos. For example. shamans would publicly demonstrate their powers to the congregation. Shamans.” The supernatural power to cure could be general or specific to certain maladies. women who usually had a more complete knowledge of local plants and their medicinal uses and .

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

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

which could result in the hunter losing his mind and being condemned to endless wandering and continual hunger. and ritual therapies that required the intervention of a shaman. If the hunter was remiss. . uterine hemorrhaging. mentioned the name of the deceased. even when fecundity was thought to be a problem. Curing Rituals. the dead bear might appear in the man’s dream and pull back its scalp. For example. drumming. They administered decoctions. cures. prolapse. 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. sought for empowering courting flutes or providing love incantations or medicines. powders. failed to accord the deceased certain respect. abstain from sexual relationships and eat a restricted diet. then a specific illness would beset the offender. Women sometimes became shamans after menopause. They often instructed a menarcheal girl about pertinent taboos associated with being a woman. or cases of malposition. These rituals were shamanistic performances that included dancing. inflicted by the dead person’s ghost. or if the widow or widower married too soon. singing.450 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact knowledge that one possessed curing power and should fulfill the obligations of this responsibility. a man who killed a bear had to sing the death song of the creature and. on occasion. Female shamans were knowledgeable about abortives and contraceptives. roots. and they instructed the new mother about postnatal dietary and behavioral taboos. for if the survivors violated purification rites intended to prevent spiritual contamination. Treatment of supernatural illnesses depended upon an impressive array of medicines. for a prescribed period. and other medicines for dysmenorrhea and other female disorders. Female shamans were. or dreamed improperly of the dead person. when they could receive obstetrical power for assisting as midwives in difficult deliveries. Universal to Native Americans was the strict observance of dietary and behavioral taboos that surrounded an individual’s death.

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

Immediately he would throw the loose rawhide over the screen. The Native North American Almanac. During curing ritual shamans often had to be protected as their personal powers might be elsewhere seeking the cause of a patient’s malady. health and Welfare Canada. such as withstanding excruciating pain or demonstrating unusual manipulative skills. 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. shamans might also perform different proofs of ordeal. ed. 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. To demonstrate their power before curing. Note: A partial listing of herbal medicines still used today in Canada. Alberta Region. For example. 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.452 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact a hide screen. Detroit: Gale Research. Medical Services Branch. Temporarily without power.. Primary source.

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

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

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

Many tribal groups assumed that a menstruating woman would scare off game animals during the hunt or diminish a warrior’s medicine during warfare. and undergo special diets (often abstaining from eating meat) and baths. Other tribes. Believing that a menstruating woman possessed supernatural powers that might harm her or her tribe. In some practices she could not touch her hair or skin for fear of selfcontamination. to safeguard a young woman’s virginity. Often an older woman supervised her. especially in Northern California and Apache territory. Menstruation occasioned widely varied responses and rituals by indigenous tribal peoples. some groups viewed these as tests that predicted a woman’s future behavior. 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. avoid contact with men. but some customs dictated that the menstruant remain alone. usually the woman underwent a ritual bathing and received new clothes. for example. Some groups on the Northwest Coast. After Cheyenne chief Roman Nose was fatally wounded during the Battle of Beecher’s Island in 1868. Older women in Mesoamerican groups tried to keep a girl’s first menstruation secret from the men in the tribe. celebrated the onset of a girl’s puberty as a milestone of maturation with a great feast. but tribes in the intermountain basin. cloistered her from her first menstruation onward in part of the dwelling until her marriage. either he . the Yukon. meriting ritual treatment. Watchers scrutinized the woman to see how well she adhered to these prohibitions. most tribal peoples required her to go into seclusion.456 / Menses and Menstruation Menses and Menstruation Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Indigenous tribal peoples have viewed menstruation as an important phenomenon. At the end of the seclusion. 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.Metalwork / 457 or others in the tribe blamed his wound on his having eaten food that a menstruating woman had prepared or touched. Copper ornaments and weapons produced by cold hammering. Zuñi) Significance: Copper and. Iroquois. Altherr See also: Children. European American settlers and missionaries did not find these indigenous menstruation customs strange. have also been found that date to the Common Era. Women.e. These so-called Old Copper culture people did not practice true metallurgy. Southwest tribes (especially Navajo. Archaeologists have discovered necklace beads composed of thin copper strips and fish-shaped pieces fashioned from the same metal during this era. for fear she possessed special magic or linkage with the Devil. Thomas L. Puberty and Initiation Rites. The use of copper for personal ornamentation is one of the most striking differences . Onondaga. Metalwork Tribes affected: Hopewell prehistoric tradition. more recently. pieces of native copper were gathered and hammered into lance points and decorative or ritual objects. menstruation was the subject of certain cultural taboos. and some engraved sheets of silver of the Hopewell people. silver. Seneca). The earliest examples of metals being used in North America date to around 4000 b. have been used extensively for Indian ornamentation. Although most European American groups did not force menstruating women into seclusion or insist they refrain from cooking. Rites of Passage. Many men thought a menstruating woman unclean morally and physically and sometimes shunned her. since the native metal was simply beaten and treated as a malleable stone.c. Northeast tribes (especially Cayuga. In the Great Lakes region.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Culture Areas. Ohio Mound Builders. 1968. Kehoe.J. trade. Smith. in which the Indian confederacies of the southland were rooted. and Thomas E. Pauketat. Discusses a number of Mississippian settlement patterns. Greenwich. Emerson.. and mound construction in Cahokia. including those of Cahokia and the American Bottom.. Corn. Morse. Morse. A collection of essays that explore religion. Places the complex origins of the Cahokia site in the context of the entire Mississippian complex. and Ian Ballantine. Mississippian Settlement Patterns. Focuses on environmental adaptation and ceramics and other important artifacts. See also: Black Drink. and Phyllis A. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1992. 1993. Englewood Cliffs.472 / Mississippian Culture Sources for Further Study Ballantine. Atlanta: Turner. Bruce D. North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account. Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World. eds. social organization. Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archaeology of a Myth. New York: Academic Press. The Native Americans: An Illustrated History.: New York Graphic Society. Conn. Chapter 6 of this comprehensive treatment of Native American history discusses the emergence and demise of the Mississippian Culture Complex. triumph. New York: Academic Press. A comprehensive study of various mound-building prehistoric societies. Green Corn Dance. 1983. and deflation of the myth that the Mound Builders were a lost race. Discusses the emergence. and recommended lists. Timothy R. N. eds. Dan F. Mounds and Moundbuilders. charts. ed. Systematically traces the Americas’ earliest humans and discusses the people of each of seven geographical areas.. Betty. Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley. Maps. Robert. 1997. 1978. Alice B. Silverberg. 2d ed. .: Prentice-Hall. subsistence.

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

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

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. pipe stone sourced to the Mississippi and Wisconsin areas has been found at numerous Mogollon sites. shell beads. For example. 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 . while copper bells. some burial sites contained numerous and sumptuous grave goods. Anthropologists and archaeologists who have worked on interpreting Mogollon artifacts have speculated that Mogollon society showed some signs of class or status differences.Mogollon Culture / 475 Excavations carried out in the Mogollon area suggest that longdistance trade was an important component of the Mogollon economy. For example. and a wide variety of effigy designs are most likely of Mexican origin.

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

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

A comprehensive overview of scientific approaches to archaeology.. and Harold S. 1989. but became fragmented and subsequently evolved into the various contemporary Native American traditions now found in central New Mexico and eastern Arizona. Gladwin. Series III. 1968. its influence is felt. and George J. An overview of ceramic types for most Southwestern cultural traditions. 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. Cordell. New Perspectives in Archaeology.. Many Native American groups in central and southern New Mexico still make pottery. Whatever may have stimulated their decline. Some of this latter group of scholars have downplayed the idea of decline and inferred that the Mogollon tradition did not disappear. Includes many references to Southwest prehistory. Some Southwestern Pottery Types. D. These were not simple societies. Euro-Americans also have felt this influence when they visit ancient Mogollon sites. Glove. Binford. Although it is difficult to measure precisely the impact Mogollon culture has had on contemporary Southwest native traditions. or the impact it has had on contemporary EuroAmericans.C. .: Gila Pueblo.478 / Mogollon Culture Most scholars.: Smithsonian Institution Press. and Lewis R. Michael Findlay Sources for Further Study Binford. jewelry. however. Winifred. buy artwork. Gladwin. Ariz. Contains a variety of high-quality articles on Southwestern prehistory. take a synthetic or systemic view of Mogollon decline. Linda S. eds. Dynamics of Southwest Prehistory. or observe native ceremonies as they continue to be practiced. Sally R. 1933. but complex. long-held traditions that rival any found in other parts of the world. and textiles that resemble Mogollon forms. Chicago: Aldine. believing that the combined forces outlined in all of these theories caused the decline. Washington. Gumerman. eds.

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

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

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

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

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

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. Sacred. These mounds were constructed by a number of different Native Ameri- . with concentrations in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi River drainages. Earthen mounds are located in the eastern United States from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. 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. which served different cultural functions. 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. the. They are the children of Mother Earth and must treat her in ways that show respect and honor. Sacred Narratives. 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. the American Indian construction of these mounds was not fully accepted until 1894.484 / Mounds and Mound Builders man life. Spiritualism is seen as the highest form of political consciousness. Human beings are seen as the spiritual guardians and stewards of the natural world. Michael W. Those who honor Mother Earth live in accordance with traditions that sustain life. 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. Religion.

and other American Indian tribes.C. the Adena Indians. . The Adena gave rise to the Hopewell Indian culture. the Mississippian. trading networks.E. The last North American mound-building culture. and 200 C. Some researchers posit that Hopewellians were ancestral to the Iroquois.E. Louis. until about 400 or 500 C. now stands.E. Many scholars believe that the Mississippians were direct ancestors to the Cherokee.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. at Cahokia.E. also centered in the valleys of the Ohio River and its tributaries. Illinois. are thought to have lived between 700 B. The Hopewell developed vast. It developed around 700 C. where East St. was centered along the Mississippi River. Sioux.E. which is recognized from around 100 B.C. and flourished until after 1500. nearly continentwide.

which demonstrated that Native Americans had built the mounds.e. near St.). 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.c. Alabama (a dominant center from 1250 to 1500 c. the dispute originated during the early colonial period.e. When these mounds were first noted by Europeans in the late eighteenth century. which may explain the proliferation of hypotheses proposing that various early European groups built the earthen monuments. or others had constructed them. Caleb Atwater’s article “Description of the Antiquities Discovered in the State of Ohio and Other . European Americans also may have desired to construct a heroic past for members of their own cultures.486 / Mounds and Mound Builders can groups during several different time periods. their ancestors. Moundville. 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. Missouri (with a florescence between 1050-1250 c.). First. in 1787. In addition. Indians built conical mounds to inter their dead. namely whether Indians. while an 1812 work opted for the Welsh. centered in the Ohio Valley. For example. Some of the better-known mound sites are Cahokia.e. and they were used for a range of functions. they constructed flat-topped pyramidal mounds to serve as the foundations for important buildings such as temples or chiefly residences. in some instances. Second. and on racist beliefs concerning Native Americans. In some cases. more “civilized” people had once inhabited the area. while in other locations or time periods.e. it seemed unlikely to them that the Indian ancestors of these groups would have possessed the technological skills to construct the mounds.). Native American land rights could be denied if it could be demonstrated that earlier. Louis. it was suggested that the Ohio Mound Builders were Danes. they stimulated acrimonious debate concerning their origins. and those associated with the Hopewell culture (circa 200 b.-400 c. These arguments continued unabated until Cyrus Thomas’ Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology (1894).

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

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

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

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

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

492 / Music and Song many cases they have lost their original significance. there may be Christian hymns intermixed with ancient tribal songs. (Unicorn Stock Photos) . It is difficult to assess fully the influence of white culture on Indian music. Missouri. Many modern American Indians have adopted the Christian religion and no longer sing and dance to appease spirits. 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. At important tribal ceremonies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

: Free Press. Some songs still appeal to Jesus for health and help. 2002. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. Glenn J. judgment.: Clear Light Publishers. 1996.500 / Native American Church Christian ideology acceptable. The Peyote Religion. non-Indian participation is minimal. 1956. On the Symbolism of the Native American Church of North America. Religion.Mex. or half the population of adult Indians. Ruth. Reuben Snake. law classifies peyote as a psychotropic drug and prohibits non-Indian use. 18702001: A Companion Reader. Smith. Reprint. Zurich. James. Sterling. Swan. The Peyote Cult. Westport. . Slotkin. Santa Fe. comps.: Praeger. et al. John H. Foreword by Donald L. American Indians in American History. One Nation Under God: The Triumph of the Native American Church.” American Anthropologist 40 (1932): 698-715. Huston. and Walter B. but it is rare to find Christian symbols in the ceremony. G. and eds. Schiffman Sources for Further Study Evans.: Shoestring Press. Echo-Hawk. Since U. 1970. Conn. Hamden. 1999.000 members. ed. Shonle. Fixico. Jung Institute. and redemption are not found in Native American Church doctrine. Daniel C. Conn. Peyote Religious Art: Symbols of Faith and Belief. Glencoe. Ill. Christian sin. “Peyote. Laney. 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.. Switzerland: C. Weston. See also: Peyote and Peyote Religion. the Giver of Visions. 1938. The Native American Church continues to exist as an important pan-Indian movement uniting diverse cultures in common goals. In 1960 the church was believed to have about 200. LaBarre. 1964. N.S.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

514 / Oral Literatures as the great fertilizing agent of the universe. The Zuñi tell about Coyote. . not only to humans. Although the Juchi. where his torch turns from flames to embers. Because of his curiosity. time. where he is turned into the moon and she into the sun. They are always far away from each other. A large windstorm lifts the brother and sister into the sky. but to animals. The reward for his great power in bringing light to his tribe is that humans would thereafter be chiefs over animals. the sister runs. Cherokee. which is stolen by Grandmother Spider and brought to her people along with fire. most tribes give male attributes to the sun. In many tales. and the seasons. but falls in the snow. These Indians considered the celestial bodies supernatural beings and often told stories of various stars taking human form. The Plains tribes were primarily nomadic hunters and gatherers. who steals the sun and moon from the kachinas (supernatural intermediaries). wanting the box of light for his own. In one Winnebago myth of the sun’s creation. Man and woman then come tog