American Indian Culture

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American Indian Culture
Volume 1

Edited by

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Harvey J. Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

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

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

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

First Printing

printed in the united states of america

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


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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

Publisher’s Note

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

Publisher’s Note

• • • • • • • • •

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

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

Publisher’s Note

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


Thomas L. Altherr
Metropolitan State College of Denver

Richmond Clow
University of Montana

Richard G. Condon
University of Arkansas

T. J. Arant
Appalachian State University

Michael Coronel
University of Northern Colorado

Mary Pat Balkus
Radford University

Patricia Coronel
Colorado State University

Carl L. Bankston III
Tulane University

LouAnn Faris Culley
Kansas State University

Russell J. Barber
California State University, San Bernardino

Michael G. Davis
Northeast Missouri State University

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Jennifer Davis
University of Dayton

Bette Blaisdell
Independent Scholar

Ronald J. Duncan
Oklahoma Baptist University

Kendall W. Brown
Brigham Young University

Dorothy Engan-Barker
Mankato State University

Gregory R. Campbell
University of Montana

James D. Farmer
Virginia Commonwealth University

Byron D. Cannon
University of Utah

Michael Findlay
California State University, Chico

Thomas P. Carroll
John A. Logan College

Roberta Fiske-Rusciano
Rutgers University

Cheryl Claassen
Appalachian State University

William B. Folkestad
Central Washington University xiii


Raymond Frey
Centenary College

Helen Jaskoski
California State University, Fullerton

Lucy Ganje
University of North Dakota

Joseph C. Jastrzembski
University of Texas at El Paso

Lynne Getz
Appalachian State University

Bruce E. Johansen
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Marc Goldstein
Independent Scholar

Marcella T. Joy
Independent Scholar

Nancy M. Gordon
Independent Scholar

Charles Louis Kammer III
The College of Wooster

William H. Green
University of Missouri, Columbia

Nathan R. Kollar
St. John Fisher College

Eric Henderson
University of Northern Iowa

Philip E. Lampe
Incarnate Word College

Donna Hess
South Dakota State University

Elden Lawrence
South Dakota State University

C. L. Higham
Winona State University

Denise Low
Haskell Indian Nations University

Carl W. Hoagstrom
Ohio Northern University

William C. Lowe
Mount St. Clare College

John Hoopes
University of Kansas

Kenneth S. McAllister
University of Illinois at Chicago

Andrew C. Isenberg
University of Puget Sound

Heather McKillop
Louisiana State University

M. A. Jaimes
University of Colorado at Boulder

Kimberly Manning
California State University, Santa Barbara

Jennifer Raye James
Independent Scholar xiv


Harvey Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

William T. Osborne
Florida International University

Lynn M. Mason
Lubbock Christian University

Martha I. Pallante
Youngstown State University

Patricia Masserman
Independent Scholar

Zena Pearlstone
California State University, Long Beach

Howard Meredith
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Victoria Price
Lamar University

Linda J. Meyers
Pasadena City College

Jon Reyhner
Montana State University, Billings

David N. Mielke
Appalachian State University

Jennifer Rivers
Brigham Young University

Laurence Miller
Western Washington State University

Moises Roizen
West Valley College

David J. Minderhout
Bloomsburg University

John Alan Ross
Eastern Washington University

Molly H. Mullin
Duke University

Richard Sax
Madonna University

Bert M. Mutersbaugh
Eastern Kentucky University

Glenn J. Schiffman
Independent Scholar

Gary A. Olson
San Bernardino Valley College

Michael W. Simpson
Eastern Washington University

Nancy H. Omaha Boy
Rutgers University

Sanford S. Singer
University of Dayton

Max Orezzoli
Florida International University

Roger Smith
Linfield College



Daniel L. Smith-Christopher
Loyola Marymount University

Gale M. Thompson
Saginaw Valley State University

Pamela R. Stern
University of Arkansas

Leslie V. Tischauser
Prairie State College

Ruffin Stirling
Independent Scholar

Diane C. Van Noord
Western Michigan University

Leslie Stricker
Independent Scholar

Mary E. Virginia
Independent Scholar

Harold D. Tallant
Georgetown College

Susan J. Wurtzburg
University of Canterbury

Nicholas C. Thomas
Auburn University at Montgomery

Clifton K. Yearley
State University of New York at Buffalo


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Alphabetical List of Contents

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

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

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

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

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

. . . 484 . . . 487

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

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

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

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

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

. . . . . 611

. . . 709 . . . 711


Alphabetical List of Contents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the . In addition to expressing wealth. On the eve of the potlatch. or Eagle Clans. or shells. helping to drive away sadness so the celebration can proceed. the men in their crested button blankets perform the Chiefs’ Dance to begin the potlatch. The young dancers whirl in their one-of-a-kind satin shawls decorated with bright. Seminole and Miccosukee women of Florida have raised the use of decorative ribbons to an art form. younger Woodlands women adapted this style to create the cape dancer’s outfit now often seen at pow-wows. beads. The Kwakiutl people of the Northwest Coast are famous for their appliquéd button blankets. 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. In the mid-twentieth century.32 / Appliqué and Ribbonwork handmade. They are often embellished with stitching. Wolf. an extravagant giveaway once banned by the Canadian government. and beads. or a people and are thought to carry the essence of the original wearer. the wearing of these blankets imparts the qualities of clan animals. Appliqués are cutout decorations of contrasting color or fabric stitched to a garment. These formal outfits are worn in ceremony and at social gatherings. Woodlands men wear aprons and leggings of black velvet decorated in stylized nature designs. they are a visible history of a family. These are typically rendered in colorful combinations of appliqué. Worn as ceremonial shawls. clan. The Kwakiutl people are well known for the ceremonial potlatch. women wear button blankets as they dance in the smoke-filled great house. bold appliqués and yards of fringe. While the women sing mourning songs. Ribbonwork. embroidery. the red blankets carry large blue or black appliquéd crests of Raven. Appliqué. After contact with Europeans provided new fabrics. The next day. For ceremonies and pow-wows. 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 early patterns of wide bands of single contrasting colors soon evolved into elaborate multicolored patchwork strips.: National Geographic Society. The strips are combined with bands of ribbon in a manner similar to that used in quilting and sewn together. index. Both men and women wear garments of this distinctive type. Washington.Appliqué and Ribbonwork / 33 most recognizable styles in North America. D. They are shared with friends and handed down within families. Later a popular waist-length jacket was rendered in a Seminole ribbon style for men. women wear rainbow-colored headdresses of cascading ribbons as they parade through the public square. Jules B. Thompson Sources for Further Study Billard. The early tradition was knee-length shirts for elderly men and longer shirts for younger men. and acknowledgments. Designs are treasured but are not claimed as personal property. maps of culture areas. Traditional Seminole patterns are still used and are often altered as the tailor expresses her own ideas. Back-pocket map. Women and girls wore full-length ribbon skirts topped with a lightweight cape edged in ribbons. The use of ribbons in ceremonial dress was carried to Oklahoma by the Creek. The World of the American Indian. suggested by something they resemble. . More than 440 color illustrations. In the trading days of the late 1800’s. In the Ribbon Dance. et al. Copying of designs by those who admire them is considered an honor to the originator. such as checkers or rattlesnake. formerly of the Southeast. Gale M. poems and chants. and tribal location supplement. The practice may have begun after contact with Spanish officials who wore striped brocade on dress uniforms. Complex designs have names. 1974. The annual ceremony reaffirms and honors the role of women within the community. the hand-cranked sewing machine was readily adopted by Southeast women to adorn calico skirts and shirts..C. some of these attractive designs have been used for many decades.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. David I.H. Houses and House-Life of the American Aborigines.: University Press of New England. Great Lakes Indians: A Pictorial Guide. .C. and it shook while the shaman was moving and speaking inside as he performed a rite. Used by the shaman. Longhouse. 1980. often covered with canvas or animal hides. Native American Architecture. Lewis H. used mainly in winter. Native Villages and Village Sites East of the Mississippi. D. Morgan. it was made of a sapling frame covered with bark or canvas. New York: Oxford University Press. and Robert Easton. Howard S. Indian New England Before the Mayflower. William. Washington. Hanover. Grand Rapids. and the summer square bark house. the conical wigwam. Kubiak. Tipi. Nabokov. Russell. the Indians also used the tipi type of dwelling. These were the domed wigwam. 1881.48 / Architecture: Northeast The Great Lakes region had several basic house types. 1919. Diane C. Wigwam. 1989. Where the Northeast region came closer to the Plains region. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Bushnell. Jr. Peter. N. 2003.: Government Printing Office. Mich. See also: Birchbark. 1970. A small religious structure called the shaking tent was a single-person hut. with vertical walls and a gabled roof. Reprint. Ceremonial lodges and many-sided dance lodges were the largest structures built by the Great Lakes Indians.. considered to be sacred. an extension of the domed type by use of a ridge pole.: Baker Book House. They were made with poles of cedar.

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pipe was the single most important art object made by the Plains groups. ledgerbook painting was developed among the Southern Plains tribes. it was left to the imagination of the viewer to complete the story. narrate the personal bravery and skill of a specific warrior. Each man carved his own private ceremonial pipe. including the concept of the universe. and buffalo of the skin paintings. and sometimes one would be made as a . describing features of the landscape. the art of skin painting was lost. mythological events. personal visions. He would usually portray the most important moment of his triumph. clothing. Tribal gatherings were also portrayed in narrative detail. and these were usually painted by the same warrior on his personal buffalo robe or on his tipi cover. The describing of personal visions and mythological events was done with less narrative detail. and even towns. The most famous collection of ledger art comes from the seventy-two warriors from five Southern Plains tribes who were sent to Fort Marion in Florida after their surrender in 1875. As the independent lifestyle of the Plains people came to an end and the people were settled around forts. as well as raids and hunts. Instead of the horses. Vision paintings were frequently done on shields or tipis. placing of tipis. among the Northern Plains tribes. men adapted to painting on cloth. In its place. important tribal gatherings. The winter camps were the fixed points between which yearly events were remembered. and tribal paraphernalia. Battle scenes. trains. Pipes as Miniature Sculpture. and hunts. 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. Ledgerbook art typically narrates the experience of Native Americans with the European American world. and important battles. raids. tipis.Arts and Crafts: Plains / 91 (called wintercounts). and it explored the relationship between humans and the sacred in the earth and sky. the ledger paintings portray forts. The calendar drawings have mnemonic value for remembering the major events that occurred in a tribe or band over a number of years. wagons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

000 12.000 16.000. equestrian buffalo hunters. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century. Thornton.000.000 14. Comanche. Cheyenne.000 4. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache).000.000 10.000 2. 1987). when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.000 20.000. Hidatsa. Russell.000 8.000.000 20.000. Kiowa. 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. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic. Assiniboine. Others—among them the Arikara.000.000. Blackfeet Confederacy. in 1983 it was estimated at 50.000.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press.000. 1986). Russell.091 800 .000.000 1. Mandan.000.000 14. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.000 1.000 6. Source: Data are from Thornton. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000 18. 1895 395. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. Atsina.000 0 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 Note: In the twentieth century the buffalo population began to rebound from its 1895 low of about 800.000.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southwest Indian Drypainting. Religion. and Stories of Healing and Harmony. Hausman. Black Mustache. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Circle. Navaho Religion: A Study of Symbolism. Donald. may be left on the floor of the hogan to become part of the home’s floor. See also: Hand Tremblers. Navaho Symbols of Healing. however. Parezo. After the patient leaves. Nancy J. continuing to impart their good. Meditations with the Navajo: Prayers. Sacred Narratives. and prayer sticks are placed where the supernaturals will see them and be compelled to come. The patient is prepared for the ritual by being cleansed physically and spiritually. The patient is touched by the singer and his medicine bundle and is sprinkled with sand from appropriate parts of the sand painting. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Sandner. The sand painting is made. N. Princeton. Songs. Navajo Sandpainting. 2d ed. Rochester. Vt. Rochester. 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. Flagstaff: Museum of Northern Arizona Press. Vt. and the sand from the sand painting is deposited at a distance from the hogan. Wyman. Reichard. they continue to preserve this method of bringing harmony to their world. In spite of the availability of modern medicine to today’s Navajo. 1979. The Chantway system is unique to the Navajo and reflects a holistic approach to health and healing. Santa Fe.: Princeton University Press. 1983. Religious Specialists. Recorded by Berard Haile. 2001. Gladys A. the painting is erased in the order in which it was made. . 1991. 1983.: School of American Research Press. Waterway.: Healing Arts Press. 1950.166 / Chantways way is needed to effect the cure. 2 vols.. Sand Painting. Leland C.J. Diane C.: Bear & Co. Gerald.Mex. Blessingway paintings. N.

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

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

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

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

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

tribe members had to find new means to pass their culture on to the next generation. The art of hunting became increasingly difficult to teach. in rare cases. 1972. Indians: Children of Crisis. 4. Modern Indian Children. many tribes lost touch with their heritage. Chicanos. New York: Alfred A. children spent less time in nature and more time in school. . the Apache told of Mountain Spirits that dictated proper behavior. Calif. 1977. As a result. constricted way of life and facing the loss of their freedom. Indians of North America. Boston: Little. these dressed-up tribesmen warned. 1992.172 / Children to shape the character of young minds and to teach the difference between good and evil. while the Hopi related tales of the Soyoko (a “boogeyman” type of figure) to persuade children to follow a moral code. Knopf. Robert. Dictionary of Native American Mythology. had to be taught through planned events instead of everyday activities. frightened. such as self-sufficiency. For example.: ABC-Clio. ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Jennifer Davis Sources for Further Study Coles. Santa Barbara. Rev. 1969. Revivals. Harold E. or. Tribal elders encouraged children to carry on the ancient rituals (sometimes with revisions) and to maintain the tribal bloodline. Reservation life threatened the existence of American Indian culture. Richard. Vol. Driver. Often representing supernatural spirits. Many tribes found it hard to maintain their ancient traditions while living in an increasingly modern world. 1961. Eskimos. even whipped disobedient children. Gill. Some parents used disguised tribesmen to educate children about expected behavior. The Sun Dance People. as game was scarce on the reservations. Forced into an unfamiliar. Sam D. however. The skills and values emphasized during the pre-reservation period. Erdoes. have created new awareness of tribal traditions and customs. Brown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America. In the southeastern region. Europeans brought smallpox. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. Native American populations declined. combined with warfare. Furthermore. forced migration. Between 1500 and 1820. genocide. Chickasaw. Old World diseases.” Within decades of European contact. French. cholera. Paralleling this demographic collapse. Between 1828 and 1838. and the introduction of alcohol. decreases in their fertility performance. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust. For their relocation efforts. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people.900—a decline of 71. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation.9 percent. for example. government acquired 115. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199.355. later.218 / Demography mendous population declines. By 1790 their population was approximately 55.400. forced migration and relocation. the Choctaw. the U. In 1830.S. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size. and. Seminole. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. English set in motion significant population changes. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. approximately 81. Other re- .300 Native Americans were thus removed. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration. Cherokee. measles.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. The colonization of the Spanish.

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

253 Native Americans in the continental United States. the U. trachoma. To meet these economic and political demands. disease. and the death rate fell. isolated from society. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. however. poor nutrition. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. infant survivorship improved.155. The 1890 U. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. In 1920. The result was a young age-sex structure. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. as well as a rise in infant mortality. there were 306. In three decades. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. The combined impact of war.S. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. from 1850 to 1880.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. Census recorded 248.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. Poor sanitation. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880.S. . and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks.783. western lands and resources were needed. only 6. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. health and sanitation conditions improved. cultural oppression lessened. the European population increased to 50. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. After 1930.

especially infant and child health care. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. there were 551. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. The 1980 U. Since the 1950’s. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. Demographic Trends.3 million (July 1. Native . the federal government instituted a relocation program.S.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. Finally. with less than 300. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. A scant 125.000 age sixty-five or over. there were 827. First.000 reported an advanced degree. for example.1 percent increase. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. In 1990. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. In 1960. Second. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. had 87. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. the Native American population has grown tremendously. By 1970. Census Bureau. 2002) were under eighteen years of age.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. adding significantly to the population.636 Native Americans. In the mid1950’s. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. Native American health improved dramatically. Census witnessed a 71. As a result. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma.S. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased.500 people of Native American descent. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects.

constituting 1.4 percent.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues.000.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. as reported in a December. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. tuberculosis. the U. As of July 1. Unemployment.3 million in the United States alone. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. followed by Navajo. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West.5 percent of the total U.S. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. Nonetheless. 2000) was 2. diabetes.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. Blackfeet. remains high.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. approximately three-quarters (3. population. was 4. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). although the number of Native American-owned businesses increased by 64 percent between 1982 and 1987 and the introduction of Indian gaming in 1988 made inroads into the socioeconomic problems of poverty. Apache. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. violence.000 members. in both rural and urban areas. Population Since 2000.000 members. Chippewa. Deaths by accidents. with nearly . 2002.000—and indeed. Muscogee (Creek). Of these. 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. suicide. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. 2002. Native American people reside in every state in the union. article in Indian Country Today. Eskimo and Yupik. followed by the Athabascan. Choctaw. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent).S.

mate. most four hundred years.636 time. Today. their ancestors col1940 366. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters. devastating demographic 2. Beginning in 1880.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. 1900 266.273 1960 551. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943).995 nificant population changes. 1990 1. Morse population estimate (1822). Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates). Over 1950 377.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands.764* population but continue to 1860 339. enumeration of Native can Population. 4.S.000* 1800 tions. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates.732 Native Americans have 1910 291. After European contact.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. collapse that lasted for al3.” 1. 1980 1.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306.420.380 Initially.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. these small groups of 1970 827. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U.421* represent a higher percent1870 313.959. 1930 362. 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 and some societies constructed large. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. Secretary of war estimate (1929). urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. the Native Amertions.543* 1890 273.607 diversity.427 onized a continent.400 their population increased.

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

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

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

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

900—a decline of 71. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1.000. for example.4 percent.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. By contrast. Introduced European infectious diseases. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. In sum. By 1790. the European population grew to more than 5 million. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. the population was reduced to approximately 55. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward.400. (National Archives) . epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization.000 people. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations. the European population had reached an estimated 223.100 or 31. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases. By contrast.630. By the eighteenth century.9 percent. In the southeastern region of North America.

It is estimated that seventeen thousand Native Americans on the northern Plains died before the epidemic subsided. with more frequency. 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. violence. R. and trachoma—chronic conditions that would infect Native Americans until the 1950’s. In addition. Gregory R. tuberculosis. an anthropologist and authority on Native American historical demography. more epidemics occurred during the nineteenth century. but the northern Plains region was hit especially hard. One of the most devastating epidemics during this century was the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. suicide. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1492-1650. G. Caldwell. Between the smallpox episodes. Acute infectious diseases have been replaced by “diseases of poverty. Noble David. type II diabetes mellitus. Robertson. Campbell Sources for Further Study Cook.5 years. Smallpox continued to appear every 7.9 years among some segment of the Native American population. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest. and alcoholism exceed the national average.” Many of these afflictions reach epidemic proportions in some Native American communities. Native Americans contracted measles and cholera every 22. The disease diffused across most of native North America.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 229 Since the Nineteenth Century. . 1998. than during any other. Such acute infectious diseases continued to plague Native American communities into the early reservation period. According to Henry Dobyns. accidents. The placement of Native Americans on reservations or in rural communities did not mark the end of epidemics. 2001. Idaho: Caxton Press. Only then did these infections give way to the twentieth century epidemics of influenza. During the nineteenth century. Deaths from tuberculosis. twenty-four epidemics affected Native American populations. Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 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. (National Archives) . There are also large drums around which several people sit and play together. although the singers do not necessarily follow the rhythm of the drums. but woven baskets and hollowed gourds are often used as well. Drums come in a variety of types. The hand drum is carried by an individual and can be played while dancing. Drums are used for a variety of purposes in almost every American Indian culture. The most common material for this type of drum is hollowed wood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shortly after publication of the study. efforts to increase Indian enrollment in public day schools did not include examining the ability of these schools to meet Indian needs. the total Indian situation was growing progressively worse. As the new century began. Increasingly. The committee recommended better school facilities. most used the funds for other needs.250 / Education: Post-contact churches for funding of the mission schools. became commissioner of Indian affairs and immediately sought to implement the recommendations . there were more Indian children in public schools than in government schools. Indians were viewed in the same light as blacks at that time: as a permanent underclass for whom an inferior. John Collier. an increase in the number of Indian students in public schools. In 1924. These recommendations helped establish reservation day schools up to the sixth grade and reservation boarding schools up to the eighth grade. Some tribes maintained these schools in spite of the reduced resources. a government-sponsored study (the Meriam Report) claimed that the Bureau of Indian Affairs was providing poorquality services to Indians. the continued inability of boarding schools and English-only education to transform Indians into white people led to disillusionment and lowered expectations for Indian education. the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was operating twenty-five boarding schools in fifteen states for 9. By 1912. one of the BIA’s leading critics. In 1902. 1924-1944.736 students. and high school and college scholarships. At the same time. Moves to Reform Indian Education. In 1928. vocational education was appropriate and adequate. better trained personnel. it particularly pointed to the shocking conditions found in boarding schools. a “Committee of One Hundred Citizens” was called together by the secretary of the interior to discuss how Indian education could be improved. As government schools lost ground. The committee recommended that elementary children not be sent to BIA boarding schools at all. because of the staggering loss of land and the inefficiency of education. nonacademic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

national agencies. ed. all have roles in the regulation of Indian gaming. A collection of articles covering all perspectives. Appendices include the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and transcripts from the Cabazon case. According to the NIGA’s Web site. 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. Boulder. Eadington. William. which continues to provoke controversy. Nevertheless. A collection of essays by participants in the North American Conference on the Status of Indian Gaming with different perspectives. Today Indian gaming is big business. Class III gaming is subject to compacts between TGCs and state regulatory agencies. Reno: University of Nevada. Gabriel. list of gambling organizations. Starting in 1996.302 / Gambling including casino games (Class III). Gambler Way: Indian Gaming in Mythology. history. Indian Gaming and the Law. In addition. Colo.” Bruce E. Bibliography. the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Gambling. Calif. . History. opposition. updated by Christina J. 1995..: Johnson Books. San Diego. The latter two classes are subject to regulation by the tribal gaming commissions (TGCs). the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 1996. Charles P. Indian casinos became subject to Title 31 of the Bank Secrecy Act. and litigation by large non-Indian gaming interests as well as states. and Archaeology in North America. Covers traditional Indian gaming in myth. The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is the primary advocate and defender of Indian gaming. with state-of-the-art casinos across the nation that attract patrons from surrounding areas and beyond. “gaming has replaced the buffalo as the mechanism used by American Indian people for survival. Johansen. from investigative reports to a letter to 60 Minutes. Kathryn. 1998. and the Justice Department. of which there are nearly two hundred. Indian gaming continues to thrive. including the Internal Revenue Service. ed.: Greenhaven Press. Moose Sources for Further Study Cozic.

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

Football games were played across the continent. sleds. Pre-Columbian Native Americans played forms of field hockey. and kickball races. Inuits also did a blanket toss. there was more total participation. produce rain. kick-stick. Many Native American games involved teams playing against each other. Fielders would try to catch the ball and then throw it at the batter. soccer. who did an extensive study of Indian games. while communication within and among tribes took place using swift couriers. throwing spears. and courage required for survival in the Americas. Various forms of kickball were played. Inca runners ran thousands of miles. hunters literally ran down deer and other game. These games tested the strength. they were played to drive away sickness. kayaks. and their history and rules were often bound up in the traditional beliefs of the tribes. According to Stewart Culin. even though betting on outcomes was universally common. and rubber balls. running. Pueblo Indians would get up at dawn and run to their cornfields located miles away. including shuttle relay races. shooting arrows. in- . 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. In pre-Columbian America. and football. swings. uniting their empire. and participation was more important than winning. and fertilize crops Races and Ball Games. Games also had a religious aspect. Unlike the spectator sports of today. spreading a blanket like a trampoline and throwing participants as high as fifteen or twenty feet in the air. kicking sticks or balls. ice hockey. In 1980.304 / Games and Contests Athletic games involved wrestling. even by Inuits (Eskimos). toboggans. Plains tribes played a form of dodge ball in which the batter tossed and batted a rawhide ball. stilts. Various forms of races were held to develop the endurance of runners. who would try to dodge out of the way. stamina. and they developed canoes. Different tribes had various forms of foot races. snowshoes. and many other activities. in contrast to the more individualistic sports of pre-contact Europeans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grass House



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

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



Green Corn Dance

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

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

Green Corn Dance



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




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




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

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




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

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




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



Guardian Spirits

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




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

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




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

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

Hako /


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

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




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

Hako /


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




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

Hamatsa /


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

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



Hand Games

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

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

Hand Games



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

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



Hand Tremblers

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

Hand Tremblers



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




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




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




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

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




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




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

Hides and Hidework



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



Hides and Hidework

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

Hogan /


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

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



Hohokam Culture


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

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

Hohokam Culture



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



Hohokam Culture

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

Area of the Hohokam Culture

Kayenta Canyon de Chelly Mesa Verde

Chaco Canyon

Snaketown Casa Grande Point of Pines Mimbres



Hohokam Culture



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



Hohokam Culture

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

Hohokam Culture



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




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




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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. Similarly. especially those areas rich in oil.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. however. violent confrontations. however. 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. in 1986. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. In the United States. in 1983. Many Inuit found that to .Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. gas. trapping. none prevailed. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. and minerals. in 1991. 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. The courts have been reluctant. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. 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. Indians have often turned to the federal court system to enforce the terms of treaties or to set aside the effects of the General Allotment Act. In return. in some cases. an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands. or fishing. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting. For example. 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. and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them.000 square miles to the Inuit. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989. but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. 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. the Canadian government created a new 770.

000 10. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.000 41.159. 1994.000 Note: Figures represent acres.000 77. 1975. Colonial Times to 1970. Washington. rounded off to thousands. Government Printing Office.000 55. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.000 5.534. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway. govern- .S. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation. in return. the U.000 56. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.408.097.314.602. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.094.865.226. Department of Commerce.737.000 Tribal 104. Means of Land Acquisition.146.047.000 72.000 863. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.235.618. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.000 Total 104. Historical Statistics of the United States. Bureau of the Census.: U.000 58.079.S.000 55. D. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.000 35.502.000 32.000 4.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped.786.000 41.000 84.000 72.068. Part 1.574.000 12.000 38.000 32.000 — 17.000 31.314. In Mexico.052. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops.407. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction.005.661. In other cases as well.000 36. Source: U.C.000 37.S.642.000 16.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.097.000 39.608.698.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the bearing poles were carefully tied and stored in or against a tree for future use. 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. . A basic lean-to could accommodate four to five persons.Lean-To / 413 Lean-to dent upon materials at hand. With more complex lean-tos. number of occupants. and time required to construct the shelter. these structures were relatively large and were used for several weeks or even months by an extended family. in the Great Basin. John Alan Ross See also: Architecture: Plateau. Architecture: Subarctic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Austin: University of Texas Press. Among some tribes. In Mesoamerica. Crowell. . Denver: Denver Art Museum. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. Masks and Demons. or antlers. False Face Ceremony. Janet Catherine. masks are also made for commercial purposes. and Jill L.Mex. Native American Art in the Denver Art Museum. 1980.430 / Masks and/or black. Native North American Art. Masks made by American Indians today are still used for ceremonial purposes. Wherry. Indian Masks and Myths of the West. Their masks boldly emphasized the distinctive features of animals. as aids to help them get close to game animals. Religion.: Rio Grande Press. religion. New York: Oxford University Press. Glorieta. The Cherokee made masks for hunting. Furst. See also: Dances and Dancing. Diane C. Abrams. nose. 1999. Kenneth. Paints and Painting. 1923. Joseph H. 1972. Oliver. 1973. New York: Kraus Reprint. 1979. New York: Rizzoli International. Kachinas. Made of a wide variety of materials. LaFarge. Donald. Cordry. Macgowan. The Iroquois also made buffalo-head masks that were used in the Buffalo Dance. Peter T. Reprint. Husk Face Society. 1998. and aesthetics of the people. The Living Solid Face mask of the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) was considered a helpful spirit and guide as well as a living mask. Totems. mask making was a complex art form in which masks were used to record the history. Furst. such as the eyes. Mexican Masks.. New York: Thomas Y. Dubin. masks were symbolic expressions of beliefs and were worn at ritual dances. Richard. Conn. Introduction to American Indian Art. and Herman Rosse. 1982. N. North American Indian Art. et al. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Berlo. New York: Henry N. ears. Lois Sherr. 1974.

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

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

A few city-states. developed in the Preclassic period.Mayan Civilization / 433 Area of the Mayan Civilization G UL P A C I F I C O C E A N riod. astronomy. but it was the Classic period that witnessed the rise of the larger. During the late Preclassic period. located in the Petén region of Guatemala. The end of the Preclassic period and the beginning of the Classic period. such as El Mirador and Kaminaljuyu. One of the earliest and largest of the Classicperiod centers was Tikal. Consequently the “official” end of the Preclassic period and beginning of the Classic period has been changed from 300 to 250 or 200 c. mathematics. had formerly been defined by the appearance of vaulted stone architecture. more advanced city-states for which the Maya are known. and polychrome pottery. and the area in the Yucatan Peninsula prospered in the late Classic and Postclassic periods. subsequent finds have revealed that each of these traits appeared at different times during the Terminal Preclassic. but these were all more fully developed in the Classic period. writing. and calendars were used.e. monumental inscriptions. when the Maya flourished. However. architecture. 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 an aqueduct to direct water from a nearby stream to the center of the city and contained a building called the Palace. as well as the movement of Venus.434 / Mayan Civilization It covered a six-square-mile area. jade tubes were used. Teotihuacán. and there has been speculation that this was a . Copán. Although the Maya did not have telescopes. In the fifth century. which was in Honduras. The frescoes depict many activities and scenes of daily life not represented elsewhere. Some of the aforementioned centers had previously experienced a foreign influence early in the Classic period. Other important centers in the Yucatan peninsula. began to spread its influence throughout southern Mesoamerica. which was located in the central basin of Mexico. began in the Classic period but continued to flourish in the Postclassic period under the influence of the Toltecs. 224 feet high. including the Mayan cities of Kaminaljuyu. which helped to concentrate their vision on selected celestial bodies. Mexico. in Chiapas. may have been a scientific center specializing in astronomy. Some of these representations have helped scholars to realize that the Maya were not the peaceful people they once were believed to be. Perhaps its most famous feature is the tomb of the ruler Pacal. 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. who died in 683 after ruling for sixty-eight years. who invaded Mayan territory in the tenth century. with a four-story tower with an internal stairway. is the tallest pre-Columbian edifice in America. One pyramid. is best known for its Temple of Frescoes. The lid of the sarcophagus was a five-ton. and Tikal. Palenque. which was 228 feet long and 180 feet deep. Copán. and had an estimated forty thousand inhabitants. This influence ended in the eighth century. 250 miles southeast of Tikal. Bonampak. twelve-foot slab of limestone carved with a bas-relief image of the ruler as he entered the jaws of death in the underworld. Palenque also is special for the fact that two women ruled before Pacal assumed the throne. contained more than three thousand constructions. such as Chichén Itzá. also located in Chiapas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. nearly 30. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes.000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service.000 live births to 8. a rate very near that for the “U. diabetes. the promotion of seat belt use. alcoholism and related problems. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- . having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. all races” category. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread.7. solid waste disposal. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. In 2001. almost 200.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. 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. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. and the deterrence of drunk driving. 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. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. suicide. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. influenza/pneumonia.S.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1. Furthermore. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways. Between 1960 and 1991. homicide. Contemporary deaths from accident. Shamanic and Modern Health Care.

strengths. Many of today’s physicians find that the shamanic ceremonies and medicinal treatments are a useful complement to their ministrations. Sanford S. nurses. Carl A. Indian Health Service strengths. medicine. but they have also found wide utility in problems ranging from heart disease to dermatitis to cancer. Elinor D. Examples of syntheses of Indian and Western medicine that produce useful. Hammerschlag. interactive processes are carefully explored. . The Dancing Healers: A Doctor’s Journey of Healing with Native Americans. 1988. 1971. and Indian patients. problems. New Mexico. Federal Health Care (with Reservations). Kane. These procedures are deemed to be particularly important in resolving mental health problems. Kane was a director of the Indian Health Service Navajo service unit at Shiprock. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Points out problems. Ake. Hultkrantz. and other interesting aspects of federally funded care of American Indians from 1922 to 1937. Robert L. Its use is partly attributable to the fact that shamanic treatment is comfortable to many Indians. 1965. Various aspects of a psychiatrist’s experience with Indian healing are described. New York: Crossroad. New York: Springer. Both the historical and modern aspects of shamanic ritual are covered. Shamanic Healing and Ritual Drama: Health and Medicine in Native North American Religious Traditions. Also included is a copious set of valuable references.. and religion. shortcomings. 1992.444 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact dian Health Service facilities and elsewhere. Included are the capacity to respond to patient needs and conflicts engendered when health providers and consumers have different cultural backgrounds. and Rosalie A. and shortcomings are described knowledgeably. Singer Sources for Further Study Gregg. The Indians and the Nurse. San Francisco: Harper & Row. A detailed survey of Indian practice and belief in health. Provides much insight into physicians. Kane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Detroit: Gale Research. shamans were be- Traditional Indian Medicines Still Used Plant Black spruce Devil’s club Fireweed Lichen Sage Soapberry Spruce needles Spruce pitch Strawberry leaf Strawberry root Tamarack bark Wild rhubarb Wild rhubarb Willow leaves Symptom Cough Aching muscles Swelling Ulcers Colds Diarrhea Eye infection Infected wound Ensure safe pregnancy Diarrhea Stomach trouble Arthritis Infected wound Insect stings Preparation Soft inner bark Boiled Large infusion steamed Mixed with other herbs Boiled None Needles boiled Applied directly Dried and boiled Boiled Beaten. The Native North American Almanac. During curing ritual shamans often had to be protected as their personal powers might be elsewhere seeking the cause of a patient’s malady. health and Welfare Canada. tea added Boiled as tea Pounded root Chewed and applied How Used Chewed Drunk As poultice Chewed Inhaled Eaten As eye wash As poultice Drunk Drunk Drunk Drunk As poultice As poultice Source: Duane Champagne. Note: A partial listing of herbal medicines still used today in Canada. For example. Temporarily without power. shamans might also perform different proofs of ordeal. 1994.452 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact a hide screen. To demonstrate their power before curing. . ed. such as withstanding excruciating pain or demonstrating unusual manipulative skills. shamans might dramatically plunge an arm into boiling water or hold a hot stone to show the patient and group they were impervious to pain because of their power. Primary source. Alberta Region. Medical Services Branch. Immediately he would throw the loose rawhide over the screen..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

however. extending into the Sonoran Desert of northern Mexico). polychrome pottery. large and extensive settlements. but. and distinctive burials. Through time. 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. brown and red pottery. and beans. to 1000 c.e.). there was also a tendency toward increased sedentary settlement. .c. Diagnostic Mogollon culture traits first appear during a transitional phase from the older and more generalized Cochise period (7000 b. intensive agricultural systems. The florescence of “classic” Mogollon culture (roughly 900 to 1200 c. primarily maize.) is identified by the presence of multiple-room. Distinctively Mogollon culture came to dominate the core area of what is now central New Mexico by 750 c. Mogollon culture as a cohesive tradition began to fall apart. the Mogollon peoples created pueblo dwellings and a complex social order.e. By 1250. 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. The Mogollon cultural complex and its Southwestern counterparts are among the most notable cultural developments in North American prehistory. tightly stitched basket weaves.” which includes two other great traditions: Anasazi (of the Colorado Plateau) and Hohokam (central and southern Arizona. Classic Mogollon culture reached its pinnacle at approximately 1200.474 / Mogollon Culture Mogollon Culture Significance: Along with the Anasazi and Hohokam cultures. cotton textiles. Other traits include the presence of circular and semicircular house pits. and indications of a complex social and political order. 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. unlike their highly sedentary neighbors—for example. pueblostyle dwellings. squash. advanced textile weave patterns.e.e.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

with concentrations in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi River drainages. Religion. the. The spiritual traditions which have their roots in the natural world see all things as part of the sacred web of life. Sacred Narratives. Sacred. Spiritualism is seen as the highest form of political consciousness. Human beings are seen as the spiritual guardians and stewards of the natural world. Those who honor Mother Earth live in accordance with traditions that sustain life. Simpson See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. These mounds were constructed by a number of different Native Ameri- .484 / Mounds and Mound Builders man life. which served different cultural functions. They are the children of Mother Earth and must treat her in ways that show respect and honor. 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. 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. 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. It is thought that when people cease to use such means to express their respect and gratitude for her blessings all life will be destroyed and human life on this planet will come to an end. the American Indian construction of these mounds was not fully accepted until 1894. Michael W. Earthen mounds are located in the eastern United States from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

thus forming a logical and descriptive narrative. an orator was able to construct long chains of events." while the following section—the he did line—"tells what was done to it. in which one section—the there was line—"states the existence of a thing. Oral Literatures. See also: Kinship and Social Organization. metaphor. Kenneth S. By repeatedly calling his potential enemy “brother.” This was ironic.522 / Oratory to Harrison as “brother. assonance. Gustafson. Oratory in Native North America. because Tecumseh was notifying Harrison that if he did not make amends with the Indians. 2000. which can help make speec