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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American Indian Culture .

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American Indian Culture .

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New Jersey . Pasadena. Inc. Markowitz Washington and Lee University Salem Press. California Hackensack. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(National Archives) made of this material. uncles. and adoption was a widespread practice. In most American Indian cultures.Adoption / 3 A single-family Zuñi adobe dwelling in 1879. 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. Simpson See also: Architecture: Southwest. many more people were considered family to begin with. Pueblo. Adobe is energy-efficient. aunts. Buildings made of adobe can rise up to five stories in height. as it insulates well against both heat and cold. parents-in-law. cousins. Adoption Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Native Americans had very different ideas about family from those now accepted in America. Pit House. and other related individuals who might need the “sponsorship” .

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

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

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

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

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

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

developed a definitive policy with respect to the Indians still living in the territory ceded by the British in 1783. the federal government obtained western areas where it could establish new reservations to which the Indians could be “removed. otherwise called the General Allotment Act.” thus effectively separating them from the European Americans. 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. The Indian agents appointed by the federal government for each tribe were instructed to promote such agricultural practices among the Indians. By acquiring vast lands in the trans-Mississippi region. from its author. With the Louisiana Purchase. as soon as it was well organized. In 1887. Senator Henry Dawes.10 / Agriculture 1783-1887. In the 1790’s. and a child 40 acres. The victory of the colonists in the American Revolution had a profound impact on Indian agriculture. 1887-1934. as the Dawes Severalty Act. however. This act authorized the president to divide reservation land into individual allotments: Each head of household was to receive 160 acres. Congress passed what were known as the Trade and Intercourse Acts. At the same time. defining the relationship between Indians and white Americans. Although agriculture had been slowly gaining among the Indians. this policy of separating the Indians from the white Americans became more explicit. 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. The title to the land was held in trust by the federal government for twenty-five . a single man 80 acres. It therefore passed what was widely known. 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. considerable effort was devoted to inculcating white agricultural practices. The federal government. an abrupt change occurred in the Indian policy of the federal government.

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

Prior to allotment. has largely given up attempting to encourage agriculture among them. so that now no more than 10 percent are agriculturally active. Second.12 / Agriculture the Indians into commercial farmers should be abandoned—the most that could be hoped for would be subsistence agriculture. particularly cooperative agricultural efforts. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ended allotments for any tribes that agreed with the new policy. and modern methods of food preservation. poultry raising. but only a modest portion of the more than 50 million acres once assigned to Indians but lost under allotment was recovered. Since 1934. Agriculture has continued to decline among Indians. The period since World War II has seen vacillating Indian policy on the part of the government. The Roosevelt Administration appointed a new commissioner of Indian affairs. The report recognized that most Indian land was only suitable for grazing anyway. the focus of Indian agriculture should shift from tillage to livestock raising. The steady decline in Indian land under the allotment policy was reversed. and some funds were provided for the purchase of additional land. who had new ideas about how to conduct Indian policy. In most recent years. Collier pushed tribal initiatives. for which Indian men showed greater aptitude. These efforts had some success among Plains Indians. the federal government. Third. by the 1970’s that figure had dropped to around 50 million. more government programs should be directed toward women to encourage subsistence gardening. Nancy M. These recommendations laid the basis for a reversal of Indian agricultural policy under the New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt. 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. Gordon . although recognizing its continuing responsibility to the Indians. John Collier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .44 / Architecture: Great Basin In the winter. frame homes near the foothills were covered with mud thatch for greater protection and warmth.

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

The exterior was made of layered sewn tule mats. when secured. circular pit measuring 9 to 15 feet in diameter. The aboveground shape was achieved by erecting three or four top-forked poles which.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. accommodated smaller lodge poles to support cedar planks. with gradually sloping earthen walls of 3 feet. which were covered with sewn willow mats. with the apex of the structure being open to serve as a smoke hole and en- . flat.

This structure was often used for large gatherings and ceremonial rituals. tipi dwellings. inverted-V-type pole-constructed lodge. but the best-known Southeast constructions were large earthen mounds. Southeastern tribal architecture is distinguished by a tradition of monumental mound building. A major influence on southern Plateau architecture was the introduction of the horse. where firewood was kept. These rectangular structures averaged 30 feet in length and approximately 10 feet in width. and chickees were among the dwelling types of the Southeast. some of which can still be seen. old tule mats. Pit House. The second type of winter village dwelling was the tule matcovered. 1989.58 / Architecture: Southeast trance up or down a notched log or hafted. usually with no ridge pole. Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths. runged ladder. In the mid-1800’s. bark. food was stored in hemp and pliable root bags suspended from the ceiling. Often the floor was excavated to a depth of one foot. and longhouses. Peter. Tipi. they could accommodate three to six extended families. Various grasses. chakofas. Entrance was usually from both ends. New York: Oxford University Press. and Robert Easton. John Alan Ross Source for Further Study Nabokov. and bear skins covered the dwelling floor. tule. Southeastern mound construction may have originated with Mexican Indians who moved to this lo- . See also: Lean-to. as evidenced by the adoption of the tipi. and cattail mats began to give way to canvas as a preferred covering material for sweatlodges. permitting greater involvement with Plains culture through trade and bison hunting. Architecture: Southeast Tribes affected: Southeast tribes Significance: Wattle and daub structures. Native American Architecture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a young Canadian artist named James Houston traveled to Port Harrison in northern Quebec. 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. this trade accelerated and grew in importance at the beginning of the twentieth century. hired Houston to act as a roving arts and crafts officer. often in the form of miniatures of native material culture. . concerned about the dire financial situation of most Inuit communities. the skills necessary to produce artwork were widely distributed. where he became entranced by the miniature carvings made by local Inuits. As the volume of arts and crafts exports increased each year. Thus. when a time of economic hardship existed for Arctic natives because of the dramatic drop in fox pelt prices. natives had manufactured and decorated highly sophisticated utilitarian objects. He returned to Montreal. In Alaska. Throughout the Arctic culture area. which were shipped south for sale. the federal government of Canada. the Canadian government was instrumental in the establishment of arts and crafts cooperatives in most Canadian Inuit communities. For generations. much of the early tourist or souvenir art consisted of models or miniatures of items of traditional material culture. The export of arts and crafts from the North remained modest until after World War II. Houston was later instrumental in starting the printmaking industry in the Baffin Island community of Cape Dorset. Although the organization of arts and crafts production varies somewhat from one northern community to another. Throughout the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. in Canada the cooperatives continue to play a vital role in the training of artists and the marketing of their work. At the same time. where he organized an exhibition sponsored by the Canadian Handicrafts Guild. In 1948.72 / Arts and Crafts: Arctic and native residents quickly discovered that they could obtain desirable trade goods by providing those souvenirs. Inuit artists began experimenting with larger carvings made from soapstone and serpentine. An umbrella organization known as Canadian Arctic Producers was established to assist in the purchase of raw materials and the distribution of finished products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The totem pole seems only to have developed during the nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century and earlier. The facades of chiefly houses could be painted with the images of mythical animals who were the head of the lineage. The house itself was the cosmos in a microcosm.Arts and Crafts: Northwest Coast / 87 Totem Poles. The authorship of a pole was assigned to the one who conceptualized it. The pole became a public proclamation of ancestry and the rights to positions of prestige along with their benefits. as well as the image of the spirit as a heraldic crest for the family. and supernatural characteristics. Each family may possess more than one crest. The opening was frequently portrayed as the mouth or the vagina of the animal lineage head of the family. crests are inherited by the children in each generation. with the hearth being the navel of the world. 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. eagle. forming a vertical cosmic axis. and common ones include the bear. frog. and sometimes a large entrance hole was cut into it. The origin story usually tells about the original ancestor encountering a spirit who gave him and his descendants a special power. Multiple crests may be represented on a pole. The vertical series of figures making up the pole traces the family to the time the lineage was founded in the mythic past. The carver of a totem pole was expected to be a relative of the man honored. In . the crest poles of houses were carved. and the smoke hole was the connection between the earth and the heavenly world. The poles were as much as 60 feet tall. mountain lion. House Facades and Crest Poles. Totem poles stand in front of houses as a statement of the sacred history of the family. which served as the door for the house. obligations. and they were mnemonic devices to record the heritage of the family. and wolf. but similar poles were carved earlier as the crest poles of houses. he could conceptualize the piece and name a skilled carver to execute it. The totem poles were carved and erected as memorials to men of chiefly status who had died. the house posts were the supports of the earth and sky.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and small bowls were carved of wood and horn. The Plateau bead workers used triangles. Norman. diamonds. Originally beads were added to fringes. mane covers. Carving. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. The handles of scoops and spoons were carved with animal and human figures. Human figures carved of wood represented ancestral spirits or beings. both men and women of the Plateau used buckskin clothing decorated with beadwork. scoops. eagles. Abrams. 1998. Occasionally figures were carved in three dimensions on the sides of bowls. and saddle bags. including bridles. flag. Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art. and the figurative patterns incorporate floral motifs. New York: Harry N. The handles of wood-carving tools were themselves elaborately carved. Ronald J. but figurative motifs became increasingly important in the twentieth century. and represents an influence from the Plains tribes to the east. Janet Catherine. Similar to the Northern Plains people. headbands.S. belts. Feder. New York: Oxford University Press. Beading was done on clothes. reflecting influences from the neighboring Northwest Coast peoples. Kansas City. American Indian Art. baskets. Figures. squares. cuffs. stirrup covers. among other things. Native North American Art. bags. but later overall beading was used for shirts. Coe. The bead designs were geometric during the nineteenth century. Beading was also used to cover coiled baskets. Small wooden bowls included figures carved in relief on the surfaces as well as decorative patterns of parallel or serrated lines. among many other patterns. and shaman’s wands included anthropomorphic forms. and other accessories. 1965. Mo. . and crosses to create geometric designs. and the U. Beading was used for horse trappings. and horse trappings. 1977.96 / Arts and Crafts: Plateau Beads and Beading.: Nelson Gallery Foundation. shin straps. Ralph T. grave marker totems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early Native American knowledge of the heavens ranged from the complex Mayan calendars to more simple markings of the solstices. showing stylized images from the natural worlds. and in keeping with the quillwork tradition. It was because of this material’s adaptability that these tribes did not make pottery or many baskets. it was even used to make canoes and houses. Ronald J. 1999. and many built structures for observing or measuring the movement of the sun and stars. Astronomy Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The ancient people of the Americas observed the heavens carefully. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. Human and animal figures were carved. New York: Oxford University Press. to reveal the brown layer beneath. such as knife handles and spoons. similar to those of the Northeast culture area. Quillwork. Throughout North America. these figures were highly stylized. Beads and Beadwork. and both were highly stylized. references to the sun. Animal and plant figures from the area were normally shown on birchbark. Birchbark. . 1998.106 / Astronomy both pliable and strong. See also: Baskets and Basketry. Birchbark designs could be made by scraping the outside layer of the bark. Simple sgraffito drawings were also done occasionally on wooden surfaces. and pictographs. Dubin. Some Subarctic groups did wood carvings of small objects. Native North American Art. moon. Lois Sherr. geometric signs. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. which was white. Woodwork. New York: Henry N. Janet Catherine. Abrams.

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

A painted hide at the Field Museum in Chicago records the Milky Way and many Pawnee constellations. See also: Mathematics. Boulder. the language spoken by the Aztecs of sixteenth century central Mexico. The term “atlatl. Colo. Medicine Wheels. Synonymous terms include spear thrower and dart thrower. Colo. so each home repeated the cosmic arrangement. is derived from Nahuatl.. Originating from Old World prototypes . Mayan Civilization. Slender First One (in Orion). Atlatl Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The atlatl was an ancient and widespread hunting and warfare weapon throughout the Americas. Stars Above. 1997. Denise Low Sources for Further Study Bol. Boulder.” applied to many versions of the implement. Revolving Male (Ursa Major). Rabbit Tracks (near Canis Major). Dorcas S. A stone house at Hovenweep. and morning star. Utah. Earth Below: American Indians and Nature. Miller. Marsha C.: Pruett.: Roberts Rinehart. ed. has ports through which sunlight enters during the solstices and equinox. Star charts on cave roofs had ceremonial importance. He placed constellations in the sky. Ancient Anasazi sites in the Southwest still show the yearly cycle of the sun. Mounds and Moundbuilders. 2000.108 / Atlatl villages in the pattern of the North Star. Stars were important to the nomadic Navajos. evening star. Revolving Female (part of Ursa Minor). They arranged the posts of their earthen lodges in the same pattern. including First Big One (Scorpio). Stars of the First People: Native American Star Myths and Constellations. Their creation account describes how Black God made stars from crystals. and the Pleiades.

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

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

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

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

the Spaniards and their allies returned in 1521.000 inhabitants. creating the ultimate marriage of Aztec militarism and religion. the Aztecs killed at least twenty thousand captives to appease Huitzilopochtli at the dedication of the enlarged Great Temple. Spanish weapons and horses were superior to Aztec missiles and obsidian-edged swords. he vacillated. Aztec power was at its peak. The warlike Cuitlahuac replaced him as tlatoani but perished from smallpox a few months later. Moctezuma II allowed the Spaniards to enter Tenochtitlán. with perhaps 1. Driven from Tenochtitlán in a bloody rout in June. 1520. and Tezcatlilpoca. such as Quetzalcóatl. When Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II became tlatoani in 1502. Without human blood. the Mexica staged mock battles (“flowery wars”) with rival cities so that both sides could take captives to sacrifice. It mattered little whether one nourished the gods through self-sacrifice or as the captive victim. Wars brought captives to sacrifice. the sun might not rise and preserve humanity. Cuauhtémoc. as he tried to escape. because commoners gained little material benefit from the conquests.5 million living around Lake Texcoco. By the mid-1400’s.Aztec Empire / 113 could be forestalled only by nourishing the gods with human blood. Tenochtitlán had grown to 150. To enhance his power. . Fatalism pervaded Aztec life: One’s destiny was determined at birth. as had long been prophesied. Moctezuma II proved surprisingly ill-suited to deal with the crisis provoked by the Spaniards’ arrival in 1519. wondering if the strangers were Quetzalcóatl returning. Social tensions were increasing. and the invaders captured the last tlatoani. In 1487. Hernán Cortés acquired important indigenous allies by playing upon their hatred of the Aztecs. Moctezuma II claimed to be the incarnation of Huitzilopochtli. Aztec militarism and religion became increasingly intertwined. but they raised the cult of Huitzilopochtli to an imperial obsession. More the meditative priest than the frenzied warrior. The Mexica continued to worship other Mesoamerican deities. whereupon they took him hostage. Their siege destroyed most of the city. in bloody rituals. He died while in their hands in 1520. Tlaloc. Not only priests but also all people provided blood through ritual self-laceration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000.000.000 20.000 6. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Cheyenne. Assiniboine.000.000.000 14.000 0 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 Note: In the twentieth century the buffalo population began to rebound from its 1895 low of about 800.000 18. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison. Blackfeet Confederacy. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache). They assembled as a tribe only during the summer.000.000. Russell.091 800 .000 12. Russell. Source: Data are from Thornton.000.000 4. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20. Comanche.000.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million.000 10.000 2.000 8.000 1. Atsina. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting. equestrian buffalo hunters. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century. Others—among them the Arikara. 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. in 1983 it was estimated at 50.000 1.000 14. 1895 395.000.000.000 20. Mandan.000.000 16. 1987).000.000. 1986).000.000 15. Hidatsa. Thornton. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic. Kiowa.000.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beams are cut and laid on top of the posts. 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. Seminole. 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. Timucua. and planks are lashed to the beams with braided cords to create a platform that serves as the floor. Chickasaw. Chitimacha Significance: The chickee. The roof is then thatched with Chickee . The posts are made of trimmed saplings sunk into the earth. A framework of saplings is lashed together. a dwelling on poles or stilts. Choctaw. It consists of a platform built on top of four or more posts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

forced migration. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust.355. Other re- . the Choctaw. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration.S. approximately 81. Cherokee. By 1790 their population was approximately 55.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. Native American populations declined. the U. French. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people. Chickasaw. government acquired 115. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. Furthermore. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. Between 1500 and 1820.9 percent. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America.400. and the introduction of alcohol. In the southeastern region. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. Seminole. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size.900—a decline of 71. decreases in their fertility performance. Paralleling this demographic collapse. The colonization of the Spanish. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. later. For their relocation efforts. cholera. forced migration and relocation. English set in motion significant population changes. measles. combined with warfare. Between 1828 and 1838.218 / Demography mendous population declines. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. Old World diseases. genocide. and.300 Native Americans were thus removed. Europeans brought smallpox. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation.” Within decades of European contact. for example. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. In 1830.

boasted an estimated at-contact population of possibly 15. culturally and biologically. Some scholars suggest that depopulation and the following demographic recovery resulted in certain physical and genetic changes in those groups who survived. Since contact.000. After the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. from 1850 through 1880.200 individuals.000. Their population changes during those decades were affected by the dramatic social and economic changes in U. Western indigenous nations. The Mandan. the European. intermittent warfare with Europeans. Prior to that time. society. African American. Native Americans have experienced an increased genetic exchange with European and African populations. the United States experienced a dramatic in- . the estimated Native American population stood at 383. or other Native Americans promoted further those phenotypic and genotypic processes. American society was becoming more urban. and Latino populations grew. Aside from losing their land and resources. As the American population of European descent surpassed twenty-three million by 1850. forcing them eventually to merge. may have had significant implications for tribal survival and demographic recovery. occupying the available lands acquired from Native Americans. The United States economy was industrializing. western Native American populations had experienced introduced infectious diseases. By about 1850. Native Americans west of the Mississippi River began to experience directly the brunt of colonization and settlement. witnessed continued demographic upheaval. the increasing contact with non-Indians had other important demographic consequences. or of all three ancestries. The incorporation of Europeans. their population collapsed to between 125 and 1. and an erosion of their resources. and the federal government desired a link between the east and west coasts as a completion to its nationbuilding. for example. African Americans. The rise of people with Native American-European or Native American-African ancestry. In addition.S. with the Arikara and Hidatsa. As Native American populations declined.Demography / 219 moved Native American tribal nations suffered similar demographic losses.

the European population increased to 50. The result was a young age-sex structure. Census recorded 248. western lands and resources were needed. isolated from society. as well as a rise in infant mortality.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks.783.S. infant survivorship improved. poor nutrition. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. and the death rate fell.155.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants.S. After 1930. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. there were 306. . these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. disease. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. To meet these economic and political demands. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. cultural oppression lessened. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. however. the U. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. health and sanitation conditions improved. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. trachoma. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). from 1850 to 1880. The combined impact of war.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. In 1920. The 1890 U. Poor sanitation. only 6.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. In three decades.

Since the 1950’s.636 Native Americans. with less than 300. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. Native American health improved dramatically. Census Bureau. In 1990. In 1960.S. especially infant and child health care.000 age sixty-five or over.S. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. adding significantly to the population. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. there were 827. Demographic Trends. By 1970. Native . Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. the Native American population has grown tremendously. A scant 125. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. First.3 million (July 1. there were 551. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. In the mid1950’s. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. 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 1955.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. The 1980 U. for example. many Native Americans migrated to major cities.500 people of Native American descent. Census witnessed a 71. had 87. Second. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U.000 reported an advanced degree. As a result. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. Finally.1 percent increase. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. the federal government instituted a relocation program.

000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). as reported in a December. the U.S. Choctaw.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. population. diabetes. Of these. constituting 1. 2002. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. remains high.000. followed by the Athabascan.000 members. Nonetheless. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). Population Since 2000. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. 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. in both rural and urban areas. article in Indian Country Today. was 4. approximately three-quarters (3. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. Eskimo and Yupik. Apache.S. tuberculosis. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. violence.000 members. Deaths by accidents. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). Muscogee (Creek). poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average.000—and indeed. Blackfeet. As of July 1. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status.5 percent of the total U. with nearly . Unemployment. Chippewa. 2000) was 2. 2002.3 million in the United States alone. suicide. Native American people reside in every state in the union.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. followed by Navajo. 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. with the greatest concentration in California at 683.4 percent.

1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U.000* 1800 tions.000 and some societies constructed large.607 diversity. Secretary of war estimate (1929). including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian. collapse that lasted for al3. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. mate. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943).400 their population increased.995 nificant population changes.636 time.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. enumeration of Native can Population.380 Initially.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. these small groups of 1970 827.764* population but continue to 1860 339.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands. Morse population estimate (1822). 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. devastating demographic 2. 1990 1. 1980 1. Today.421* represent a higher percent1870 313. their ancestors col1940 366.S.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312.427 onized a continent. Beginning in 1880. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates).420. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). 1900 266.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. After European contact.732 Native Americans have 1910 291. 4. the Native Amertions. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States.959. 1930 362.” 1. urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. . most four hundred years.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. Over 1950 377.273 1960 551.543* 1890 273.

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

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

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

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

By 1790. In the southeastern region of North America. the European population had reached an estimated 223. By contrast. the European population grew to more than 5 million. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations.4 percent.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. By the eighteenth century. for example. Introduced European infectious diseases. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600.900—a decline of 71.100 or 31. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority.000 people. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization.000. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. In sum.9 percent. By contrast.400. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. the population was reduced to approximately 55. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases. (National Archives) .630. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

offered religious. 1802. which allowed $15. the United States entered into almost four hundred treaties. They also drew support from the government. The terms usually called for teachers. when treaty making with the Indians ended. The first specific appropriation by Congress for Indian education was the Act of March 30. The school operated until 1769 and enrolled as many as 150 Indian youth. material. was organized in 1837 by Colonel Richard Johnson in Scott County. Greek. This school. This Connecticut school concerned itself with the academic training of Indian youngsters and included reading. Usually these were located in Indian country or at a site convenient to several tribes and. 1819. Manual labor schools had their beginnings during the period when the tribes were being moved out of the East and Northeast. were agreeable to the Indians. From the first treaty in 1778 until 1871. The first manual labor school. English. 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 Act of March 3.000 per year “to promote civilization among the aborigines. government was operating six manual labor . founded in 1755 by Eleazar Wheelock. of which 120 had educational provisions. Kentucky.S. which believed that it was a waste of effort to provide only academic training. Congress established a civilization fund. and practical instruction. By 1840. writing. the U. for that reason. and equipment for educational purposes. In 1819.” The money went mostly to missionary groups. the Choctaw Academy. and others that came later. A common method of providing educational assistance during this period was by treaty stipulation. Six hours were spent daily in the classroom and six at work on farm and shop detail. which established this fund.246 / Education: Post-contact Another example of colonial religious schools was Moor’s Charity School. and Latin in its curriculum. which lasted until 1873. arithmetic. academic. a Congregationalist minister. to provide financial support to religious groups and other interested individuals who were willing to live among and teach Indians.

Education: Post-contact / 247 schools with eight hundred students and eighty-seven boarding schools with about twenty-nine hundred students. In 1880. After the removal of these tribes to lands west of the Mississippi. and they operated without federal supervision until 1906. reestablished their schools. Within ten years. Latin. the Cherokees. and the course of study included music. the schools were tribally supported. some . before their removal from their original homelands. by 1852. the majority of their teachers had changed from easterneducated missionaries to locally trained teachers. In 1885. in 1841. The Mohawks did this as early as 1712 under the influence of the Reverend Thomas Barkley. included twentyone elementary schools and two academies. and Seminole tribes.” followed the example of the Cherokees and Choctaws within a few years and established school systems. supported with funds obtained from the United States for land cessions. an Anglican missionary. astronomy. however. Schools established on reservations were designed to devalue the traditional culture and religion of Indian people. built and supported their own schools. operated until the end of the American Revolution. the period of reservation settlement began and did not end until the 1930’s. This school. One of the most significant ways of undermining Indian culture was the government’s attempt to suppress native language. algebra. Several Indian tribes. in 1842.100. The Choctaws had nine schools. also members of the “Five Civilized Tribes. when the tribal governments of these five tribes were destroyed by an act of Congress. (A number of states had not yet provided for a system of common schools in 1842. and elocution. Teachers were brought from the East to be in charge of advanced academic work. In 1851. The Chickasaw. In all cases.) The Cherokee system. botany. with the help of missionaries and educators. 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. of which seven experimented with teaching reading and writing to adults. and the Choctaws. Creek. The Choctaws and Cherokees. had instituted common schools. with one temporary suspension. The enrollment in that year was given as 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A general history of food and cooking in North America. 2001. and Richard de Rochemont. Ritual of the Wind: North American Indian Ceremonies. and related subjects for the Iroquois tribes in great detail. Memoir of the Canada Department of Mines. Root. This classic and massive work contains detailed descriptions of the tribes of the Southeast. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada.: Scholarly Press. The Indians of the Southeastern United States. Politics. feasts.Y. A compilation of fifteen essays examines the cultural. which are divided by culture area. Reprint. Bureau of American Ethnology 137. but information of the ceremony of which they are part. Waverly. Bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution. economic. Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food. Yeffe.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Little detail on feasts as such. Food Preparation and Cooking. and Brian Hayden. The introduction provides a historic (though somewhat romantic) context for the recipes. A widely available compilation of several ceremonies from different tribes. Grosse Point. 1977. Garden City. Swanton. and Asia. Kimball. this monograph summarizes food. The most widely available of American Indian cookbooks. and political significance of feasts from such places as the Americas. Eating in America: A History. 1916. Jamake. Mich. National Museum of Man. See also: Feast of the Dead. devoting four chapters to Native American foods and cooking. Michael. Africa. eds.C. The Art of American Indian Cooking. Music. Green Corn Dance. and Jean Anderson. Includes some extended quotations from early accounts describing feasts. Geological Survey 86 (Anthropological Series 12). food preparation. Highwater. 1969.286 / Feasts Dietler.: Doubleday. New York: William Morrow. Potlatch. 1973. New York: Viking Press. 1965. Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation. Perhaps the best work of its kind. N. 1976. . and Power. Washington. Frederick W. including considerable information on feasts and food. and Dance. D. Waugh. John R.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

there was no prior large-scale experience with gambling as a commercial enterprise. but it has brought controversy culminating in firefights and death to others. (National Archives) . 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 some tribe members protest its presence on reservations. The arrival of gaming has brought dividends to some native peoples. Four Paiute Indians playing a gambling game in southwestern Nevada during the late nineteenth century. commercial gambling became a major source of income on Indian reservations across the United States.

not subject to state regulations. roads—and.S.000. saw a means of increasing their revenues by offering bingo games with prize money greater than that allowed by the U. the Congressional Research Service estimated that more than one hundred Indian tribes participated in some form of gambling. Butterworth. According to the U. For the first time. described the fertile ground gambling enterprises had found in Indian country: . Individual prizes in some reservation bingo games were reported to be as high as $100.Gambling / 299 Development of Gambling. Indian tribal governments. state’s law. 1979. By the fall of 1988. schools. The act also established the National Indian Gaming Commission to oversee gaming activities. and gaming revenues began to subsidize reservation infrastructure. most important. By early 1985. In October of 1988. Marion Blank Horn. which grossed about $255 million a year. Department of the Interior. 150 native reservations recognized by non-Indian governmental bodies had some form of gambling. when the Seminoles became the first Indian tribe to enter the bingo industry. 1987). jobs. but they also guaranteed that ownership of gaming facilities and their revenues would belong to the tribes. the tribes sued in federal court and won (Seminole Tribe v.S. while bingo stakes in surrounding areas under state jurisdiction were sometimes limited to one hundred dollars. principal deputy solicitor of the Department of the Interior. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The history of reservation gambling begins in 1979. which officially legalized gambling on reservations. By 1991. The provisions of the law were two-edged: They required tribes to negotiate with states on types and rules of gaming. hospitals. As state-run lotteries became legal and proliferated throughout the United States. gross revenue from such operations passed $1 billion that year. Cabazon Band. When challenged. California v. gaming was sanctioned as a legitimate method of tribal economic development. between seventy-five and eighty of the federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States were conducting some sort of organized game of chance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

none prevailed. however. the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands. 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. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. violent confrontations. The courts have been reluctant. 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. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. Individuals who did not agree with the court’s decision were granted the right to sue for outright return of land within a given time period. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting.000 square miles to the Inuit. but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. 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. 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. in some cases. For example. an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. gas. in 1983.Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. In return.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. trapping. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989. Similarly. the Canadian government created a new 770. in 1991. 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. in 1986. Many Inuit found that to . and minerals. especially those areas rich in oil. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. In the United States. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. however. and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them. For example. or fishing.

C.000 31.S.737. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.052.000 863. Government Printing Office. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.314.000 Tribal 104. Washington.000 77.000 39.146.: U.661.314.097.000 10.000 32. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped. rounded off to thousands.097. Bureau of the Census.000 38.000 36. Department of Commerce.000 58.000 72. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.502. Source: U.000 Note: Figures represent acres.000 41. Part 1.574.786.642.000 55.068. Colonial Times to 1970.000 4. D. the U.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.602.000 5.226.000 16. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway. Historical Statistics of the United States.000 37. In other cases as well.407.000 84.000 55. Means of Land Acquisition.865.608.079. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.S.000 12. govern- . 1994. 1975. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.000 56.000 72.000 32.000 35.408. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.618.000 41.047.235. in return.159.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.000 — 17.005.S.534.000 Total 104.698. In Mexico. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops.094.

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

ancient source. “Anthropology and Aboriginal Claims Research. The Wind Won’t Know Me: A History of the NavajoHopi Land Dispute.. Edited by Noel Dyck and James B. David M. New York: Knopf. 1992. They came in a series of migrations. 1998.402 / Language Families Benedek. Colonization. Churchill. Haa Aani. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico. Language Families Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A language family’s existence indicates that its member languages have descended from a common. Carrillo. 1993. See also: Black Hills. Ward. Our Land: Tlingit and Haida Land Rights and Use. Walter R. Land Claims. some separated by thousands of years. Goldschmidt. Peter D. that fact helps scholars reconstruct the origins and kinship of tribes. 1999. ed. and Resistance. Waldram. Resources.” In Anthropology. no. Edited with an introduction by Thomas F. 1994. 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. “Stories from Home: First Nations. Public Policy. Thornton. . Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Haas. Readings in American Indian Law: Recalling the Rhythm of Survival.” In The State of Native America: Genocide. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. and Theodore H. and Euro-Canadians. Brugge. 1992. The Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute: An American Tragedy. Menzies. Emily. Charles R. Boston: South End Press.” American Ethnologist 21. and Native Peoples in Canada. 4 (1994): 776-791. Jo. “The Earth Is Our Mother: Struggles for American Indian Land and Liberation in the Contemporary United States. Elias.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York: Cambridge University Press. grass. “Linguistic Origins of Native Americans. Sign Language. See also: Culture Areas. seaweed. temporary shelters. Lean-tos were used as temporary structures throughout North America. Calif. plaited willow.: Stanford University Press. Lean-To Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Lean-tos were most useful as quickly constructed. Joseph H. discusses their relation to Old World language families. and Merritt Ruhlen. An exhaustive and scholarly study of native North American languages. It might also be supported against a tree or large boulder. or privacy when people were in transit or at resource exploitation sites. natives utilized natural materials available on the site such as tules. The size of the structure was depen- . The main attribute of this simple but effective structure was its ease of construction. Marianne. 1987. Classification. The Languages of Native North America. Summarizes the authors’ classification of American languages into three phyla. 1999. Stanford. strips of bark. Vol. windbreaks.” Scientific American 267 (November. A lean-to was basically an inclined rectangular or V-shaped side roof that was freestanding using several vertical supporting upright poles. 1992): 94-99.412 / Lean-To Greenberg. leaves. Merritt. cattails. Mithun. and outlines corroborating evidence from genetics and anthropology. or even clothing or blankets. mostly for shelter.. Ruhlen. another chapter presents major classification proposals for them and repeats Greenberg’s conclusions. An illuminating chapter on classification methods helps make sense of the long-standing controversy over American Indian languages. 1 in A Guide to the World’s Languages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

however. First. relating to the maintenance and operation of . This division grew slowly. and conservation of Indian health . tuberculosis. authorities. 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. the next thirty years saw relatively little overall improvement of their health. responsibilities. the radically underfunded programs aimed at meeting these needs were of two types. In many cases. which stated that “all the functions. despite the efforts of the health care practitioners who worked among them. . . Regrettably. .Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 439 Early Indian Health Care. by the 1920’s its main efforts were in the treatment of trachoma. 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. the BIA began to organize a medical care division in the middle of the 1870’s. This change was mandated by Public Law 83-568 (the Transfer Act). health facilities for Indians. . In the middle of the nineteenth century. .” Three factors enabled the Indian Health . Department of the Interior was created. the U. In 1955 the Public Health Service took over Indian health care via the Division of Indian Health. Development of the Indian Health Service. Indians were given the right of American citizenship in 1924. While initially inefficient at providing health care.S. and the other contagious diseases that were endemic among reservation populations. 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. Initially. and duties . The quality of the health care Indians received varied greatly and depended on the attitudes of the personnel who were involved in it. At this time civilians took over Indian health care entirely as this charge passed into the hands of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). shall be administered by the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. which is now called the Indian Health Service. . Second.

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

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

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

This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. diabetes.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1. homicide. solid waste disposal. Contemporary deaths from accident. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. Between 1960 and 1991.000 live births to 8. a rate very near that for the “U. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. suicide. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection.. 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. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success.000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. Shamanic and Modern Health Care.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. all races” category. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- . In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. In 2001. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. and the deterrence of drunk driving. almost 200. nearly 30.7. Furthermore.S. 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. alcoholism and related problems. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes. the promotion of seat belt use. influenza/pneumonia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example. ed. Detroit: Gale Research. Medical Services Branch. health and Welfare Canada. 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. Note: A partial listing of herbal medicines still used today in Canada. Primary source. Temporarily without power. Alberta Region. shamans might also perform different proofs of ordeal.452 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact a hide screen. . 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. During curing ritual shamans often had to be protected as their personal powers might be elsewhere seeking the cause of a patient’s malady. 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. such as withstanding excruciating pain or demonstrating unusual manipulative skills. To demonstrate their power before curing. 1994.. The Native North American Almanac. Immediately he would throw the loose rawhide over the screen.

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

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

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

avoid contact with men. 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. Believing that a menstruating woman possessed supernatural powers that might harm her or her tribe. Many tribal groups assumed that a menstruating woman would scare off game animals during the hunt or diminish a warrior’s medicine during warfare. At the end of the seclusion. In some practices she could not touch her hair or skin for fear of selfcontamination. Often an older woman supervised her. celebrated the onset of a girl’s puberty as a milestone of maturation with a great feast. 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. to safeguard a young woman’s virginity. Some groups on the Northwest Coast.456 / Menses and Menstruation Menses and Menstruation Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Indigenous tribal peoples have viewed menstruation as an important phenomenon. Older women in Mesoamerican groups tried to keep a girl’s first menstruation secret from the men in the tribe. the Yukon. After Cheyenne chief Roman Nose was fatally wounded during the Battle of Beecher’s Island in 1868. but tribes in the intermountain basin. cloistered her from her first menstruation onward in part of the dwelling until her marriage. some groups viewed these as tests that predicted a woman’s future behavior. meriting ritual treatment. especially in Northern California and Apache territory. most tribal peoples required her to go into seclusion. Other tribes. and undergo special diets (often abstaining from eating meat) and baths. Watchers scrutinized the woman to see how well she adhered to these prohibitions. Menstruation occasioned widely varied responses and rituals by indigenous tribal peoples. usually the woman underwent a ritual bathing and received new clothes. either he . for example. but some customs dictated that the menstruant remain alone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They are the children of Mother Earth and must treat her in ways that show respect and honor. 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. 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. These mounds were constructed by a number of different Native Ameri- . 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. the American Indian construction of these mounds was not fully accepted until 1894.484 / Mounds and Mound Builders man life. with concentrations in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi River drainages. the. Spiritualism is seen as the highest form of political consciousness. Michael W. Religion. Simpson See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. 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. Human beings are seen as the spiritual guardians and stewards of the natural world. Sacred. Those who honor Mother Earth live in accordance with traditions that sustain life. Sacred Narratives. Earthen mounds are located in the eastern United States from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. It is thought that when people cease to use such means to express their respect and gratitude for her blessings all life will be destroyed and human life on this planet will come to an end.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At important tribal ceremonies. Missouri. (Unicorn Stock Photos) . It is difficult to assess fully the influence of white culture on Indian music. there may be Christian hymns intermixed with ancient tribal songs. 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.492 / Music and Song many cases they have lost their original significance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many myths have the creation of Earth eliminating the darkness of the universe. In most tales. or from animals. for sorcerers and shamans are called upon to put the sun higher so that the earth will not be too hot for human survival. A number of legends have the first woman of Earth impregnated by a sunbeam. To bring light and warmth to this land. the world will tumble. The two goddesses then create a little wren out of clay. however. If the ropes break. Human creation myths seek to answer mysteries about the human condition. Humans are generally created from supernatural beings. .516 / Oral Literatures about the original world parents. Humans feed mostly on rabbits and deer. The earth will then be like a submerged island. The Hopi tell a tale about two goddesses who cause the waters of the world to recede eastward and westward until dry land appears. the first human is a child endowed with supernatural powers. the first humans are twins. The Brule Sioux. The deceitful side of humans is the result of having been created by Coyote. This tale also incorporates the supernatural. the goddesses leave to live in the middle of the ocean. conception. which humans must maintain for survival. a salmon. In others the trickster. who brings sacred ceremonies and prayers to his tribe by building the first sweatlodge for purification. for women are associated with fertility. from natural elements. Animals and humans are later brought to life. which leads to many quarrels. say that the first human is an old woman who has sacred medicinal powers. The Cherokee describe an Earth suspended in delicate balance. is given credit for breathing life into humans. The earth floats on waters and is tied to the ceiling of the sky by four ropes connected to the sacred four directions. The Sioux tell of Stone Boy. or the west wind. always in pairs. In frustration. Earth and Sky. Humans. Coyote. In some stories. and pregnancy. born of a supernatural god. covered with water. the sun removes his skin of gray fox and dons a yellow skin to brighten the sky. carrying all living things to death. For some tribes. Many legends have women as the first humans. animals and plants precede the creation of humans.

and cook for their families. At times. The characters are often given tests to demonstrate the strength of their commitments.Oral Literatures / 517 The Modoc tell about Kumush. he supplies fish and beasts. battles are fought between two men for the love of a young maiden. Old Man of the Ancients. the Klamath easily frightened. Indian love stories teach responsibility and commitment to loved ones. The Penobscot tell of a young man “born from the foam of the waves. where spirits gather to sing and dance. animals are often responsible in whole or in part for the creation of humans. gather berries and dig roots. Kumush longs for light. The Pima tell how Man Maker uses clay to mold human images and then places them in an oven. a rabbit comes across a clot of blood and begins to kick it around as if it were a ball. they have different shapes and colors. Love. he takes some underground spirits with him to people his world. the processes and rhythms of nature bring life to humans. In a tale from the White River Sioux. To feed these people. Because all elements of nature are related. The movement of the clot brings it to life in human form. He and his daughter descend into the underground. These contests . He makes the Shastas brave warriors.” Some stories explain the different races. foam quickened by the wind and warmed by the sun. and after a week. In some tales.” In human creation myths. roots and berries. and the Modoc the bravest of all. He saves the forms that please him best. The Modoc explain that Kumush. Darkness permeates the underworld. the others are sent to live in various places across the water. Women shall get wood and water. He then designates certain roles for the people: “Men shall fish and hunt and fight. When he removes the various forms. Old Man of the Ancients. gathers bones in the underworld and selects certain ones to make Indians to reside in particular places. the earth and the universe are often seen as neverending circles within which humankind is just another animal. When he returns to the upper world.” The same legend tells of a girl born after “a drop of dew fell on a leaf and was warmed by the sun.

makes way for the arrival of the new. A legend of unselfishness comes from the Multnomah. The tale illustrates that women depend on men for survival. her spirit. The Haida tell of a great flood which takes the lives of many people. These tales also include traditions that had significance in the courting process. a death in the name of love. Because his guardian spirit no longer exists. In various stories. dressed in white. In the worlds before this world. . Death. and floods to destroy the previous worlds. he also kills his guardian elk. however. people did not know how to act properly. The Keres Pueblo tell a story about men and women who try to live apart. The Wishram tell of an Indian hunter who kills more elk than is needed for food. earthquakes. a whale takes a human wife. the young brave dies in the Lake of the Lost Spirits. a man marries the moon. In doing so. Survivors drift in the waters until they reach mountain peaks sticking out of the ocean. He told the people that they must live in harmony with one another and with all living things. Crazy Horse claimed that being willing to die was a way of honoring the human spirit. so Creating Power used fire. To ease the pain of losing loved ones. and a wife follows a butterfly man.518 / Oral Literatures are fought until death. exists in the waters of Multnomah Falls. The tribes are dispersed in this way. American Indians believe that accepting death is an affirmation of life. human lovers are transformed into stars. The Caddo explain that people must die because the earth is too crowded. it concerns a maiden who shows great love for her people by sacrificing her life to the spirits so that all those suffering from sickness will be cured. Legends of love also weave the natural and supernatural together. The end. Today. She jumps from a cliff as the moon rises over the trees. a medicine man sings songs that call the spirits of the dead to come and reside with those still living. He then remade the world and populated it with people of understanding and speech. From the Brule Sioux comes another story which teaches that humans must live in balance with nature. Indian tales reveal not only human death but also the crumbling of cultures and nations.

1984. Through their art. American Indian Myths and Legends. This collection of nine California Indian legends is followed by a thorough discussion of each piece. When greed and egotism cause humans to treat nature or other people abusively. and Alfonso Ortiz. Theodora. 2d ed. Vancouver. Erdoes. Oral storytelling gives importance to the elders in a tribe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1959. Richard. Douglas. comp. British Columbia: J. Indians pass on models of behavior that reflect harmony between physical and spiritual realms. and Ray A. An appendix gives background on sixty-eight tribes from North America. and ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Oral Literatures / 519 All Indian legends teach the need for balance between living creatures and natural phenomena. The selections are arranged geographically. Karl. then the offenders are punished. This collection of 166 Indian legends covers a wide range of native people of North America. Traditional Literatures of the American Indian: Texts and Interpretations. A pronunciation guide to vocabulary is included. Jean Guard. they preserve culture. comps. J. Williamson. Kroeber. . New York: Pantheon Books. 1973. Included are a glossary and suggested further readings. Linda J. for they are respected for their wisdom. Most of these stories are taken from their original sources. The Inland Whale. Kroeber. Meyers Sources for Further Study Bemister. A discussion is also offered about qualities of Indian stories and about the place of oral literature in the study of comparative literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1997. This collection of star myths comes from North American Indians who lived all across the United States. eds. By weaving natural and supernatural elements into every story. Margaret. They are the transmitters of traditions and history. Monroe. A collection of essays that provide an introduction to the analysis and understanding of Native American oral literatures. A fine bibliography is included. Thirty Indian Legends of Canada. 1987. They Dance in the Sky.

as a spiritual power. in Pima and Papago Ritual Oratory (1975). See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. the ability to speak effectively was a respected trait and a necessary one. The information handed down included family and tribal histories. This book does not include stories but is a discussion of the philosophy behind many Cherokee traditions. The ability to speak powerfully and persuasively is a talent every culture admires. craft techniques. Religion. so human experience was memorized and transmitted orally from one generation to the next. Voices of Our Ancestors. Perhaps the most concise division of the types of Native American oratory comes from A. Dhyani. Sacred Narratives. mythology. most native peoples had no written language. since oratory was seen. nonceremonial. Donald M. and the content and syntax of rituals and ceremonies. and songs and stories.520 / Oratory Ywahoo. LaVonne Brown Ruoff’s book American Indian Literatures (1990). . Most tribes developed both understandings of what made oratory effective and formal rituals surrounding the practice of it. Many tribes honored articulate speakers with leadership. Wampum. Oratory. 1987. Before the invasion of North America by Europeans. For Native Americans. or a mixture of these two. uses a more complex system for categorizing such orations as ritual oratory. Boston: Shambhala. Oratorical skill is still highly valued today. preaching. which had no written languages. Oratory Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: In traditional American Indian cultures. along with dreaming. Ywahoo discusses oral teachings rather than oral stories. in which the author suggests that Native American oratory may be ceremonial. Bahr. oratory is an extremely important element of ceremonial and nonceremonial life.

as well as tribal values and the original meanings behind customs and ceremonies. hope. the status of women as orators has grown significantly.Oratory / 521 Ceremonial or ritual oratory occurs in sacred situations. particularly. In the Southwest. “Public speaking was associated with nearly every kind of public ceremony and was an important means of settling political and legal questions. when Creek leader Tecumseh confronted Governor William Henry Harrison about his violation of various agreements. Ruoff notes. and may take the form of prayer or the tale of a hero’s journey. including Chief Viola Jimulla (Yavapai). Bonnin (Sioux name: Zitkala Sa). he frequently referred . The most commonly collected examples of native oratory are speeches given at tribal councils and U. Warcaziwin (Sioux). These addresses may be directed toward the powers of nature or to the tribe itself. Over the past several decades. Nonceremonial oratory. Celsa Apapas (Cupeño). leaders and warriors were often moved to eloquence as they expressed sorrow. but there have been numerous exceptions. or preaching. takes place in public settings. In rituals of mourning and celebration. was generally restricted to men. government forums in which Native Americans struggled for peace and for their rights. and Gertrude S. the orator is able to emphasize certain themes and is able to make each speech more memorable for his or her listeners.” Theodore Balgooyen writes. Every respected warrior was expected to speak on matters of policy if he had a strong opinion. oratory took many forms. Children and adults learned history and geography from tribal storytellers. Sarah Winnemucca (Paiute).” In daily practice. By repeating key words or phrases. and council meetings. A variety of techniques can be identified in Native American oratory. such as at parties. For example. battle sites. In his essay “The Plains Indian as a Public Speaker. The right to speak publicly. tribal leaders often gave a sermon each morning from the top of a hut or mound. One of the most common tropes is repetition. and thanksgiving for all that the Great Spirit had done. whatever its context.S. political events.

2002." Using this technique. thus forming a logical and descriptive narrative. in which one section—the there was line—"states the existence of a thing. which can help make speeches more easily understood and remembered. 2000. Wampum. they would declare war. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Gustafson.” This was ironic. See also: Kinship and Social Organization. metaphor. These techniques. This device operates as a form of parallel construction. Other oratorical techniques used by Native Americans include the careful use of rhythm. and they remain in use by Native American orators today. because Tecumseh was notifying Harrison that if he did not make amends with the Indians. an orator was able to construct long chains of events.” Tecumseh suggested that his people wanted peace and he reinforced the idea that European Ame