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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

California. 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. Sturtevant.5 1. “Desirability rating” scale created by Martin A. Northeastern Indians were using acorns only sparingly as food. Acorns. This abundant and easily collected nut became the dietary mainstay for various Indian groups. edited by William C. Washington. D. the nuts of oak trees. particularly in the Northeast and California. .C.. By the historic period. Baumhoff (1963). 8 in Handbook of North American Indians. the more preferable the acorns.2 Source: Heizer. 1978.9 2. however. the lower the number. Vol. making them a nutritious foodstuff providing about 168 calories per ounce.: Smithsonian Institution. and 5-10 percent fat.c.0 1. probably around 3500 b. Robert F.Acorns / 1 Acorns Tribes affected: Tribes in California and the prehistoric Northeast Significance: Acorns provided a starchy food staple for various Indian groups. ed. 3-4 percent protein. The earliest unequivocal evidence of the dietary use of acorns comes from the Lamoka culture of New York.5 1. Note: Acorns were of great importance to California Indians even in areas in which not many were available. Archaeological sites in Massachusetts dating from a millennium later also have produced clear evidence of the eating of large quantities of acorns.. average 40-50 percent carbohydrates.0 2.e.0 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 quest for meaning appeared in many guises. In all these examples. the expansion of traditional approaches to knowledge and wisdom. Issues and Concerns. structures. the acceptance of grammar and logic stemming from native languages. and perspectives on truth in presentation. Of primary importance is that Indian people are now controlling institutions that directly affect them. The tribally controlled colleges are far outstripping the state-supported and private colleges and universities in retention of American Indian students. There was also a movement in American Indian studies toward narrative storytelling in the literature. however. There was pervasive anxiety that the individual is being submerged in community. In the early 1990’s. These are real stories.American Indian Studies / 21 College. American Indian studies places human beings and the comprehensible societies in which they live into the story. American Indian studies emerged in a period of questioning current methods and practices concerning spirit. all too often. These colleges are proving to be better suited to the needs of American Indian students and communities than their state-supported and private counterparts. The tribally controlled colleges have become important centers of research. . contexts. survived in a climate of despair. There was additional attention being given to the way people feel as well as the way they behave. and intent. meaning. philosophy. 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. roles. The interest in the emotional component of community life. Sinte Glista College on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation has grown to become the first fully accredited tribally controlled four-year institution of higher learning. The tribally controlled colleges offer hope to tribes that have. among others. Lummi College of Aquaculture in Washington has expanded to become the Northwest Indian College.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

frame homes near the foothills were covered with mud thatch for greater protection and warmth. 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. Those who lived near other geographical regions often borrowed the architectural styles of the neighboring Indian tribes.

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

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

the floor was covered with fir boughs. There were many different styles of the basic domed wigwam. A central fire was used for cooking and heating. . these poles met at the center point of a circular shape on the ground. and smoke escaped through a parting of the mats. on the circumference of which were positioned the poles’ ends. tipis were made by leaning straight poles vertically together.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 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. (National Archives) and then covered with rolls of bark or reed mats. The smoke hole was at the top of the tipi where the poles met. Sapling stringers were lashed to the frame for stability. They were sometimes insulated by laying grass over the frame and covering this with sheets of birchbark. at the top.

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(National Archives) . another bunch of fibers is added and wrapped to lengthen the coil. Since the fibers that form the coils are wrapped. Groups of coils can be stacked one on top of the other. and this may be the reason for its popularity.Baskets and Basketry / 119 stitched together. and so on until the basket is formed. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

such as Senator Bill Bradley’s land return legislation in 1985.134 / Bladder Festival nineteenth century. meaning “something done with bladders” in the Yupik language. The Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 ended this war and created the permanent Great Sioux reservation. Called Nakaciuq. and ritual performances of songs and dances. which took the Black Hills without compensation. however. was perhaps the most elaborate and most important of the traditional Yupik religious festivals. of which the Black Hills formed a part. 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. The Sioux refused. In . have not succeeded. In 1877 Congress ratified the Manypenny Agreement. Bladder Festival Tribes affected: Yupik (Eskimo) Significance: As the major religious event of the traditional Yupik. The festival lasted five or six days. Various attempts to have the Black Hills returned to the Sioux. the annual festival consisted of gift giving. The pressures of white settlement and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills. It culminated with the return to the sea of the bladders of all the seals and walruses harvested in the previous year. Hitchcock. which occurred at the winter solstice. This violation of the 1868 treaty was upheld in the 1903 Supreme Court decision Lone Wolf v. In 1911 the Sioux began what was to become a protracted legal process to regain the Black Hills. led the government to try to purchase or lease them. Laurence Miller See also: Land Claims. The Bladder Festival. feasting. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

opened in 1879 with the goal of transforming the Indian into a patriotic American citizen. and arithmetic. or in partnership. 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. The federal government continued to endorse removal of children from their homes as the quickest way to achieve assimilation. along with industrial training. (National Archives) . Many of these schools were supported by the manual labor of their students. the first federally operated boarding school. writing. Indian education. 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. Carlisle Indian School. religious organizations. At many schools students spent more time working than A group of Sioux boys arriving at the Carlisle Indian School in 1879. Religious schools continued. whether sponsored by the United States government.

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

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

side by side. The Tlingit. Smaller canoes for two or three per- Nootka dugout canoe Algonquian birchbark canoe Inuit kayak . birchbark canoes. 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. They then hollowed out the log with a stone axe and sometimes added planks along the sides or fastened two canoes together. which was used by natives in the West Indies to describe their dugout boats. Christopher Columbus first recorded the word canáoa. Canoes. The word “canoe” is a general term that refers to many different types of light. constructed canoes for fishing and coastal voyages out of large red cedar trees. 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. which they felled by building a fire at each tree’s base. 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. and kayaks. for example. narrow boats with pointed ends that are propelled by paddling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1895 395.000.000 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. in 1983 it was estimated at 50. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press. Russell.000 4.000 14.000. Hidatsa. Kiowa.000. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache).000.000.000. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison.000 10.000. equestrian buffalo hunters.000.000. Atsina.000 2.000 15.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. Assiniboine. Thornton.000.000 1. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000 20.000.000. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting.000 14. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Others—among them the Arikara. Cheyenne. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. Russell.000 1.000.091 800 .000.000 20. Mandan.000 6. 1986).000 8. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20. 1987).000 16.000 18. Native Americans hunted bison on foot for thousands of years by surrounding a herd until the animals were within range of bows or by setting a fire to stampede a herd over a bluff.000 12.000. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic. Source: Data are from Thornton. Comanche. Blackfeet Confederacy.

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

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. Curtis/American Museum of Natural History) . A special society. S. 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. a hunting people of the northern Great Plains. The Mandan. They had buffalo tails tied around their knees and danced until they fell to the ground from exhaustion. the Bull Dancers. the dance originated when a white buffalo took a shaman to the home of the “buffalo people” in the sky. Here he was taught the dance. wore buffalo head masks with eye and nose holes. The dancers carried buffalo hide shields and long lances. According to Mandan tradition. performed the Buffalo Dance before the yearly hunt to ensure success.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. for example. and the introduction of alcohol.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. Old World diseases. The colonization of the Spanish. In 1830. approximately 81. Native American populations declined. decreases in their fertility performance.355. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent.300 Native Americans were thus removed. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199.” Within decades of European contact. Furthermore. cholera.9 percent. By 1790 their population was approximately 55. For their relocation efforts. Europeans brought smallpox. English set in motion significant population changes. forced migration and relocation. Paralleling this demographic collapse. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation. later. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America. Chickasaw. and. combined with warfare. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people.218 / Demography mendous population declines. measles. Cherokee. the Choctaw. Between 1828 and 1838. Between 1500 and 1820.S. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. forced migration. In the southeastern region.900—a decline of 71. Other re- . as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. government acquired 115. genocide. French. Seminole. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration.400. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. the U. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust.

the increasing contact with non-Indians had other important demographic consequences. witnessed continued demographic upheaval. and an erosion of their resources.Demography / 219 moved Native American tribal nations suffered similar demographic losses. Their population changes during those decades were affected by the dramatic social and economic changes in U. their population collapsed to between 125 and 1.000. The rise of people with Native American-European or Native American-African ancestry.S. forcing them eventually to merge. intermittent warfare with Europeans. The incorporation of Europeans. The Mandan. After the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. with the Arikara and Hidatsa. the estimated Native American population stood at 383. Western indigenous nations. Aside from losing their land and resources. African Americans. society. By about 1850. culturally and biologically. from 1850 through 1880. or of all three ancestries. the United States experienced a dramatic in- . In addition. boasted an estimated at-contact population of possibly 15. As the American population of European descent surpassed twenty-three million by 1850.000. western Native American populations had experienced introduced infectious diseases. may have had significant implications for tribal survival and demographic recovery. Some scholars suggest that depopulation and the following demographic recovery resulted in certain physical and genetic changes in those groups who survived. the European.200 individuals. for example. and the federal government desired a link between the east and west coasts as a completion to its nationbuilding. As Native American populations declined. Native Americans west of the Mississippi River began to experience directly the brunt of colonization and settlement. Prior to that time. and Latino populations grew. Native Americans have experienced an increased genetic exchange with European and African populations. American society was becoming more urban. African American. occupying the available lands acquired from Native Americans. Since contact. or other Native Americans promoted further those phenotypic and genotypic processes. The United States economy was industrializing.

S. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. . as well as a rise in infant mortality. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. The 1890 U.S. western lands and resources were needed. To meet these economic and political demands. health and sanitation conditions improved. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations.783. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. Native American populations grew because fertility increased.155. only 6. the U. there were 306. The result was a young age-sex structure. After 1930. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. from 1850 to 1880. disease. infant survivorship improved. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. the European population increased to 50.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. The combined impact of war. cultural oppression lessened. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. however. In 1920.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. isolated from society. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. poor nutrition. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. and the death rate fell.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. In three decades. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. Poor sanitation. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. trachoma. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. Census recorded 248.

000 age sixty-five or over. As a result. Census witnessed a 71. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry.500 people of Native American descent. In 1960. there were 827. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. Demographic Trends. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. Census Bureau. the federal government instituted a relocation program. Finally.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. Since the 1950’s. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. In the mid1950’s. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. By 1970.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. with less than 300. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.S. The 1980 U. had 87.1 percent increase. First.636 Native Americans. especially infant and child health care. A scant 125. Native American health improved dramatically.S. adding significantly to the population. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. Native .3 million (July 1. for example. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. Second. the Native American population has grown tremendously. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects.000 reported an advanced degree. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. there were 551. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. In 1990.

Blackfeet.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe.5 percent of the total U. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent).4 percent. followed by the Athabascan. in both rural and urban areas. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). approximately three-quarters (3.000. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. suicide. Eskimo and Yupik. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. Muscogee (Creek). was 4. followed by Navajo. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages.S. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. violence. Choctaw. Deaths by accidents. Native American people reside in every state in the union. 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. diabetes. 2002. constituting 1. with nearly . population. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. Apache. 2002. 2000) was 2.000 members.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population.3 million in the United States alone. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12.000—and indeed. the U. Population Since 2000. Chippewa. Of these. remains high. As of July 1.S. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). tuberculosis. Nonetheless. as reported in a December. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538.000 members.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. Unemployment. article in Indian Country Today. 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. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average.

400 their population increased. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857).959. most four hundred years.380 Initially.273 1960 551.273 hunter-gatherers flourished.636 time. 1930 362.420.000 and some societies constructed large. Secretary of war estimate (1929). 1900 266.S. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. collapse that lasted for al3. Today. mate.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 popula600.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent.421* represent a higher percent1870 313. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943). devastating demographic 2. the Native Amertions. 1990 1.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. these small groups of 1970 827. enumeration of Native can Population. Over 1950 377.000* 1800 tions.543* 1890 273.607 diversity.427 onized a continent. 1980 1. 4. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.764* population but continue to 1860 339.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270.995 nificant population changes. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Beginning in 1880.” 1.732 Native Americans have 1910 291. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates. their ancestors col1940 366.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates). urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters. After European contact. .

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

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

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

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

By the eighteenth century. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. for example.000. In the southeastern region of North America. Introduced European infectious diseases.9 percent. In sum.900—a decline of 71. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. the population was reduced to approximately 55.630. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases. the European population grew to more than 5 million.000 people. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. the European population had reached an estimated 223.100 or 31.4 percent. By contrast.400. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. By 1790. By contrast. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. (National Archives) .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nonacademic. vocational education was appropriate and adequate. a “Committee of One Hundred Citizens” was called together by the secretary of the interior to discuss how Indian education could be improved. it particularly pointed to the shocking conditions found in boarding schools. The committee recommended that elementary children not be sent to BIA boarding schools at all. efforts to increase Indian enrollment in public day schools did not include examining the ability of these schools to meet Indian needs. 1924-1944. In 1902. By 1912.736 students. there were more Indian children in public schools than in government schools. one of the BIA’s leading critics. John Collier.250 / Education: Post-contact churches for funding of the mission schools. Increasingly. These recommendations helped establish reservation day schools up to the sixth grade and reservation boarding schools up to the eighth grade. the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was operating twenty-five boarding schools in fifteen states for 9. As the new century began. The committee recommended better school facilities. and high school and college scholarships. Indians were viewed in the same light as blacks at that time: as a permanent underclass for whom an inferior. an increase in the number of Indian students in public schools. most used the funds for other needs. 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. Shortly after publication of the study. a government-sponsored study (the Meriam Report) claimed that the Bureau of Indian Affairs was providing poorquality services to Indians. Some tribes maintained these schools in spite of the reduced resources. Moves to Reform Indian Education. better trained personnel. As government schools lost ground. In 1928. became commissioner of Indian affairs and immediately sought to implement the recommendations . At the same time. In 1924. because of the staggering loss of land and the inefficiency of education. the total Indian situation was growing progressively worse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

low shapes. however. New York: Hastings House. Among the animals represented are bears. foxes. New York: Holt. Visions and Vision Quests. buffalos. Menses and Menstruation. 1950. Pond. Hodge. Wissler. Only two or three have been reported in human form. Powers. New York: Oxford University Press. N. deer. Harriet J. and turtles. New York: Dover. William. earthen mounds in the shape of animals. See also: Children. The American Indian. 1986. 1982. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Reprint. Sandoz. as well as eagles. Englewood Cliffs. Indian Boyhood. Effigy mounds were constructed by mounding earth into large. These Were the Sioux. Rinehart & Winston. 1971. The Ways of My Grandmothers. and geese. Effigy mounds are . wolves. Samuel W. 1902. Hungry Wolf. felines. Other Moccasins: Native American Cultural Adaptations. Phillips. Charles A. 1981.258 / Effigy Mounds Eastman. Clark.: Prentice Hall. Gender Relations and Roles. 1986. New York: McClure. The Dakota or Sioux in Minnesota as They Were in 1834. 1961. Ancient Drums. The majority of mounds reported have eroded and indistinct shapes. and other forms are among the most distinguishing features of the Woodland culture of the midwestern United States. Marla N. Effigy Mounds Tribe affected: Oneota Significance: Low. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press.J. Kupferer. The First Americans: Then and Now. swallows. others clearly represent life forms. Elderly. Beverly. Oglala Women. They occur mainly in groups with conical and linear mounds. 1988. Mari. St. New York: Quill. geometric forms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

including North America. Several epigraphs by scientists from many disciplines. Long quotations from interviews with several American Indians. Not an academic work but informative and insightful. theologians. and Peter Knudtson. Moving text and photographs. See also: Children. social life. Well documented. New York: Bantam Books. Oral Literatures. Mother Earth. Scholarly but readable. past and present. 1991.278 / Ethnophilosophy and Worldview Nerburn. Native American Wisdom. Sacred Narratives. Wall. eds. New York: Crossroad. Some photographs and a long reference list. 1990. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. discussing ways that philosophical concepts are expressed in daily life. 1988. Views of indigenous peoples from around the world. Trail to Heaven: Knowledge and Narrative in a Northern Native Community. Wisdomkeepers: Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders. Religion. Hillsboro. Ridington. and Louise Mengelkoch. Visions and Vision Quests. . Calif. The introduction includes academic discussion of sources and functions of myths in general and of their value to Native Americans specifically.: Beyond Words. Suzuki. Kent. Anthropological study of the philosophy. Romanticized non-native assumptions are examined. Vecsey. Religious Specialists. Wisdom of the Elders: Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature. David. 1988. Oreg. Imagine Ourselves Richly: Mythic Narratives of North American Indians. and Harvey Arden. and customs of the Beaver Indians in British Columbia. A broadranging anthology. Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths. Robin. Short quotes from numerous Native Americans. Christopher. 1992. and social scientists. San Rafael. Steve.: New World Library.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Library of Congress) .310 / Gender Relations and Roles ecology. the identification of more than two gender categories and their activities and history. 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. Early twentieth century Cahuilla woman carrying berries or nuts she has gathered. Generally. and the development of theories to explain the identified gender relationships.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Masks. Anthropologists and historians have also pointed to a number of more subtle functions. and drums (otherwise rare in California) were all used to enhance the performances of the dancers. to slit the throats of the initiates. through clever manipulation of knives and other sharp objects. Cultural Functions. especially those associated with creation myths. creating the possibility of bringing bad luck to the village. he ran the risk of insulting the spirit and. After this was done the dancers. Each dancer had to know the precise set of choreographed movements associated with each of the spirit characters. young initiates were subjected to a dance that involved the symbolic killing of the initiates. 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 mentioned above. thus. veiled headdresses. Hesi was the most important. Most of these materials actually allowed the dancers to impersonate various spirits. If a dancer made a mistake. Most of the Kuksu rituals involved elaborate use of performance paraphernalia. The dancers pretended. the Kuksu ceremonies originally functioned primarily as a means of initiating adolescent males into the status of adults. feathered cloaks. for example. This ceremony began the ritual cycle which ran from fall to spring. and to enhance the status of the dancers as mystics. Of all the Kuksu ceremonies. was conducted in a highly formal and prescriptive manner. The Hesi ritual took four days to complete and. acted out the revival of their subjects. As such.392 / Kuksu Rituals and Society Moki. most of whom were actual shamans. Other spirit characters were Tuya (“Big-Headed Dancer”) and Chelito—who helped coordinate the movements of Tuya. 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). For example. In the Hesi ritual. most of the religious themes employed in these ceremonies relied to a significant degree on references to mythical characters. a spirit of great significance in the scheme of Patwin cosmology. as is typical of many Native American ceremonies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and minerals. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. The courts have been reluctant. the Canadian government created a new 770. 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. For example. 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. or fishing. In return. an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. especially those areas rich in oil. none prevailed. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989. gas. in some cases. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. a federal court in Minnesota awarded each individual of the White Earth Chippewa (Ojibwa) compensation for land lost to the General Allotment Act based on the value of the land at the time it was lost plus 5 percent compound interest. however. For example. in 1983. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. in 1986.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. in 1991. 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. Many Inuit found that to . Similarly. In the United States. 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. trapping. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them. the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands. but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. violent confrontations.Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. however.000 square miles to the Inuit.

000 39. D.698.068.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances. Historical Statistics of the United States. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.000 41.079. Government Printing Office.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.642.000 55.000 5. In other cases as well.094.000 Tribal 104.608.618.574. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.534. In Mexico.000 Note: Figures represent acres. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. rounded off to thousands. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.159. Department of Commerce. the U.047.314.: U. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped. 1975.000 58.235.407. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.S.000 4.502.314.000 56.000 84.000 36.000 35. in return.000 10. Source: U. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1. Bureau of the Census.000 32.146.000 37.000 77. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway.S. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.000 72.226.786.052.661. Means of Land Acquisition.737.000 41.C.000 863.000 Total 104.000 16.000 72.000 32. govern- . Part 1. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.S.602.097.000 — 17.000 31. Colonial Times to 1970.865. 1994. Washington.000 55.000 38. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Van Noord Sources for Further Study Berlo. New York: Rizzoli International. Mexican Masks. Native North American Art.Mex. New York: Thomas Y. Furst. and Jill L. Masks made by American Indians today are still used for ceremonial purposes. New York: Oxford University Press. Among some tribes. 1974. N. Their masks boldly emphasized the distinctive features of animals. The Iroquois also made buffalo-head masks that were used in the Buffalo Dance. Diane C. Native American Art in the Denver Art Museum. masks were symbolic expressions of beliefs and were worn at ritual dances. Janet Catherine. 1923. as aids to help them get close to game animals. nose. 1999.430 / Masks and/or black. Introduction to American Indian Art. LaFarge. Made of a wide variety of materials. . 1998. 1982. Abrams. such as the eyes. 1972. Masks and Demons. Austin: University of Texas Press. False Face Ceremony. Joseph H. et al. Paints and Painting. The Cherokee made masks for hunting. 1980. and aesthetics of the people. Dubin. Religion. 1979. ears. Wherry.: Rio Grande Press. Richard. Kachinas. Donald. Indian Masks and Myths of the West. Denver: Denver Art Museum. Lois Sherr. religion. 1973. Husk Face Society.. Macgowan. Cordry. Oliver. Totems. mask making was a complex art form in which masks were used to record the history. The Living Solid Face mask of the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) was considered a helpful spirit and guide as well as a living mask. masks are also made for commercial purposes. Peter T. Crowell. New York: Henry N. In Mesoamerica. and Herman Rosse. Furst. Conn. Reprint. New York: Kraus Reprint. See also: Dances and Dancing. Glorieta. North American Indian Art. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. or antlers. Kenneth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives.S. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. the promotion of seat belt use. alcoholism and related problems. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding.7. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. solid waste disposal.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread. almost 200. In 2001. and the deterrence of drunk driving. diabetes.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways. 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. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. suicide. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. a rate very near that for the “U. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes. influenza/pneumonia. all races” category. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. homicide.. 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.000 live births to 8. Shamanic and Modern Health Care. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. Contemporary deaths from accident. Furthermore.000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service. nearly 30. Between 1960 and 1991. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

484 / Mounds and Mound Builders man life. They are the children of Mother Earth and must treat her in ways that show respect and honor. Michael W. Sacred Narratives. with concentrations in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi River drainages. 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. The spiritual traditions which have their roots in the natural world see all things as part of the sacred web of life. Spiritualism is seen as the highest form of political consciousness. Simpson See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. the American Indian construction of these mounds was not fully accepted until 1894. Sacred. 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. These mounds were constructed by a number of different Native Ameri- . Those who honor Mother Earth live in accordance with traditions that sustain life. Religion. 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. which served different cultural functions. Earthen mounds are located in the eastern United States from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. Human beings are seen as the spiritual guardians and stewards of the natural world. Traditional native peoples and their belief in Mother Earth are seen as the primary sources of knowledge that can reverse the destructive materialistic worldview and processes of Western civilization. the.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These techniques. thus forming a logical and descriptive narrative. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. which can help make speeches more easily understood and remembered. Wampum.” Tecumseh suggested that his people wanted peace and he reinforced the idea that European Americans and Native Americans were equal. Sandra M.” This was ironic. 2000. Oratory in Native North America. Oral Literatures.522 / Oratory to Harrison as “brother. Another technique which Bahr describes is the “there was/he did” technique. because Tecumseh was notifying Harrison that if he did not make amends with the Indians. Kenneth S. assonance. they would declare war. metaphor. By repeatedly calling his potential enemy “brother. 2002. See also: Kinship and Social Organization. and alliteration. ." Using this technique. in which one section—the there wa