American Indian Culture

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American Indian Culture
Volume 1

Edited by

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Harvey J. Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

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

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

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

First Printing

printed in the united states of america

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


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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

Publisher’s Note

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

Publisher’s Note

• • • • • • • • •

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

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

Publisher’s Note

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


Thomas L. Altherr
Metropolitan State College of Denver

Richmond Clow
University of Montana

Richard G. Condon
University of Arkansas

T. J. Arant
Appalachian State University

Michael Coronel
University of Northern Colorado

Mary Pat Balkus
Radford University

Patricia Coronel
Colorado State University

Carl L. Bankston III
Tulane University

LouAnn Faris Culley
Kansas State University

Russell J. Barber
California State University, San Bernardino

Michael G. Davis
Northeast Missouri State University

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Jennifer Davis
University of Dayton

Bette Blaisdell
Independent Scholar

Ronald J. Duncan
Oklahoma Baptist University

Kendall W. Brown
Brigham Young University

Dorothy Engan-Barker
Mankato State University

Gregory R. Campbell
University of Montana

James D. Farmer
Virginia Commonwealth University

Byron D. Cannon
University of Utah

Michael Findlay
California State University, Chico

Thomas P. Carroll
John A. Logan College

Roberta Fiske-Rusciano
Rutgers University

Cheryl Claassen
Appalachian State University

William B. Folkestad
Central Washington University xiii


Raymond Frey
Centenary College

Helen Jaskoski
California State University, Fullerton

Lucy Ganje
University of North Dakota

Joseph C. Jastrzembski
University of Texas at El Paso

Lynne Getz
Appalachian State University

Bruce E. Johansen
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Marc Goldstein
Independent Scholar

Marcella T. Joy
Independent Scholar

Nancy M. Gordon
Independent Scholar

Charles Louis Kammer III
The College of Wooster

William H. Green
University of Missouri, Columbia

Nathan R. Kollar
St. John Fisher College

Eric Henderson
University of Northern Iowa

Philip E. Lampe
Incarnate Word College

Donna Hess
South Dakota State University

Elden Lawrence
South Dakota State University

C. L. Higham
Winona State University

Denise Low
Haskell Indian Nations University

Carl W. Hoagstrom
Ohio Northern University

William C. Lowe
Mount St. Clare College

John Hoopes
University of Kansas

Kenneth S. McAllister
University of Illinois at Chicago

Andrew C. Isenberg
University of Puget Sound

Heather McKillop
Louisiana State University

M. A. Jaimes
University of Colorado at Boulder

Kimberly Manning
California State University, Santa Barbara

Jennifer Raye James
Independent Scholar xiv


Harvey Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

William T. Osborne
Florida International University

Lynn M. Mason
Lubbock Christian University

Martha I. Pallante
Youngstown State University

Patricia Masserman
Independent Scholar

Zena Pearlstone
California State University, Long Beach

Howard Meredith
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Victoria Price
Lamar University

Linda J. Meyers
Pasadena City College

Jon Reyhner
Montana State University, Billings

David N. Mielke
Appalachian State University

Jennifer Rivers
Brigham Young University

Laurence Miller
Western Washington State University

Moises Roizen
West Valley College

David J. Minderhout
Bloomsburg University

John Alan Ross
Eastern Washington University

Molly H. Mullin
Duke University

Richard Sax
Madonna University

Bert M. Mutersbaugh
Eastern Kentucky University

Glenn J. Schiffman
Independent Scholar

Gary A. Olson
San Bernardino Valley College

Michael W. Simpson
Eastern Washington University

Nancy H. Omaha Boy
Rutgers University

Sanford S. Singer
University of Dayton

Max Orezzoli
Florida International University

Roger Smith
Linfield College



Daniel L. Smith-Christopher
Loyola Marymount University

Gale M. Thompson
Saginaw Valley State University

Pamela R. Stern
University of Arkansas

Leslie V. Tischauser
Prairie State College

Ruffin Stirling
Independent Scholar

Diane C. Van Noord
Western Michigan University

Leslie Stricker
Independent Scholar

Mary E. Virginia
Independent Scholar

Harold D. Tallant
Georgetown College

Susan J. Wurtzburg
University of Canterbury

Nicholas C. Thomas
Auburn University at Montgomery

Clifton K. Yearley
State University of New York at Buffalo


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Alphabetical List of Contents

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

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

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

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

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

. . . 484 . . . 487

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

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

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

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

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

. . . . . 611

. . . 709 . . . 711


Alphabetical List of Contents

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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American Indian Culture .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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

E98. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol. ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk. paper) 1.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995).S7A44 2004 970. essays have been updated and new essays have been added. Inc. California 91115. Series. Harvey J. I. Box 50062.O. II. Barrett. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials.. Z39. and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999). Carole A. cm. Harvey. recording. P. or any information storage and retrieval system. Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997). Markowitz. electronic or mechanical. Pasadena. by Salem Press. For information address the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. Inc. 2 : alk. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or transmitted in any form or by any means. Indians of North America—Social life and customs. including photocopy. p. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol. All rights in this book are reserved. Salem Press. Markowitz. 3 : alk. 1 : alk. Barrett. III. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol.004′97—dc22 2004001362 First Printing printed in the united states of america . without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.Copyright © 2004. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index.

Acorns.0 2.. . however. This abundant and easily collected nut became the dietary mainstay for various Indian groups. the more preferable the acorns. probably around 3500 b.0 1.5 1. Vol. edited by William C. 1978.: Smithsonian Institution. The earliest unequivocal evidence of the dietary use of acorns comes from the Lamoka culture of New York. Washington.2 Source: Heizer.C.5 1. particularly in the Northeast and California. “Desirability rating” scale created by Martin A. 3-4 percent protein. making them a nutritious foodstuff providing about 168 calories per ounce. the lower the number. Archaeological sites in Massachusetts dating from a millennium later also have produced clear evidence of the eating of large quantities of acorns. D. Baumhoff (1963). Robert F. the nuts of oak trees.9 2.0 2. Note: Acorns were of great importance to California Indians even in areas in which not many were available. By the historic period. average 40-50 percent carbohydrates.. and 5-10 percent fat. Sturtevant.e. Northeastern Indians were using acorns only sparingly as food. 8 in Handbook of North American Indians.Acorns / 1 Acorns Tribes affected: Tribes in California and the prehistoric Northeast Significance: Acorns provided a starchy food staple for various Indian groups.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. California.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prints are produced in series of fifty per image. and spirits. located in the Brooks Range of North Alaska. Juneau: Friends of the Alaska State Museums. 1993. 1991.74 / Arts and Crafts: Arctic Dorset. In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art. time. Quebec: Canadian Ethnology Service. Most carvers are male and. the almost clothlike baskets require great skill. The stiff baleen is extremely difficult to work. as with printmaking. and patience. Some notable recent pieces have depicted social concerns such as alcohol abuse. hair. and beard. many of the images are of animals and hunting. there are also a few makers of coiled baleen baskets. Condon Sources for Further Study Black. Twined Aleut baskets are among the most delicately woven in the world. Pamela R. Glory Remembered: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters. Although there are clearly developed community styles. Generally woven from wild rye beach grasses. and baskets are also produced in the region. and a finely made basket commands a high price. while women more often depict relationships. Sculptures of fossil whalebone and soapstone are produced from St. and lithography are the most common printmaking methods. and stone block printing. Graceful birds delicately shaped from musk ox horn are also a recent innovation. Few Aleut women continue this painstaking activity. Hull. many of these tend to be artifacts of local printmaking techniques. families. Among the Iñupiat of North Alaska. In the Iñupiat community of Anaktuvuk Pass. Canadian Museum of Civilization. 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. . Mercury Series Paper 124. Stern and Richard G. jewelry. stenciling. The first baleen baskets were produced in Barrow around 1914 at the request of the trader Charles Brower. Lawrence Island in the west to Baffin Island in the east. Lydia T. The primary differences in artistic style are those of gender—men tend to produce scenes of hunting and other “male” activities. Dolls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

000. Russell.000 15.000.000 0 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 Note: In the twentieth century the buffalo population began to rebound from its 1895 low of about 800. Kiowa.000. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting.000 6. Cheyenne. 1895 395.000.000.000 12.000. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century. Comanche.000 1.000. Others—among them the Arikara. Native Americans hunted bison on foot for thousands of years by surrounding a herd until the animals were within range of bows or by setting a fire to stampede a herd over a bluff.000 1.000. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison.000.000. Russell.000 14.000 20.000.000 16.091 800 .000. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.000 8. Atsina.000.000 10.000 4. Thornton. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000 20. Hidatsa. equestrian buffalo hunters. Blackfeet Confederacy.000.000 14.000.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache). 1986). Mandan. Assiniboine. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic. in 1983 it was estimated at 50. Source: Data are from Thornton.000 18.000 2. 1987). when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chickasaw. government acquired 115. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. forced migration. By 1790 their population was approximately 55. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size. genocide. In 1830. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America.S. Other re- . forced migration and relocation.218 / Demography mendous population declines. French. Old World diseases. and. decreases in their fertility performance. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. for example.400.355. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. Native American populations declined. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation.900—a decline of 71. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. approximately 81. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. Seminole. cholera.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. and the introduction of alcohol. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration. the U. Cherokee.300 Native Americans were thus removed. Between 1500 and 1820. Between 1828 and 1838. the Choctaw. English set in motion significant population changes. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. Paralleling this demographic collapse. In the southeastern region. combined with warfare. Furthermore. later.” Within decades of European contact. Europeans brought smallpox. For their relocation efforts.9 percent. The colonization of the Spanish. measles. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases.

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

health and sanitation conditions improved. In 1920. . Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. Census recorded 248.S. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. To meet these economic and political demands.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. disease. and the death rate fell. The combined impact of war. The result was a young age-sex structure. from 1850 to 1880. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. the European population increased to 50.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. however. cultural oppression lessened. poor nutrition. as well as a rise in infant mortality. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. infant survivorship improved. only 6. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890.783.155. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. The 1890 U. Poor sanitation.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. western lands and resources were needed. In three decades.S. trachoma. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. After 1930. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. isolated from society. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. the U. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). there were 306. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions.

In 1960. the federal government instituted a relocation program.S. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. had 87. for example. Native . the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. By 1970. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. Second. there were 827.3 million (July 1.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. the Native American population has grown tremendously. with less than 300. In 1990. In the mid1950’s. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. Census Bureau. As a result.000 age sixty-five or over. Native American health improved dramatically.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.500 people of Native American descent. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. especially infant and child health care. A scant 125. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. The 1980 U. Since the 1950’s. Finally. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. adding significantly to the population. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. Census witnessed a 71.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. First. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present.1 percent increase.000 reported an advanced degree. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Demographic Trends.S. there were 551. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects.636 Native Americans.

4 percent.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. tuberculosis.000—and indeed. Deaths by accidents. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. 2002. followed by the Athabascan. Blackfeet.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest).000 members.3 million in the United States alone. followed by Navajo. Census Bureau estimated that the number of people who were American Indian and Alaska native or American Indian and Alaska native in combination with one or more other races. 2000) was 2. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. 2002. as reported in a December. the U.S. Of these. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. approximately three-quarters (3. Chippewa. in both rural and urban areas. Apache. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. population. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. Native American people reside in every state in the union.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. Population Since 2000.000 members. diabetes. Nonetheless.000. suicide. Unemployment. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. Choctaw.5 percent of the total U. violence. remains high. constituting 1. Muscogee (Creek). only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12.S. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. article in Indian Country Today. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). with nearly . Alaskan tribes with more than 5. Eskimo and Yupik. As of July 1. was 4. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. 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.

1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. . 1930 362.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. their ancestors col1940 366.995 nificant population changes. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates).930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. most four hundred years.421* represent a higher percent1870 313.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. After European contact.000 and some societies constructed large. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent.543* 1890 273. 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 popula600.400 their population increased.427 onized a continent.607 diversity. enumeration of Native can Population.273 1960 551.420.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. the Native Amertions. collapse that lasted for al3. 4. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.S.959. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. 1990 1. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943). Today. 1980 1.764* population but continue to 1860 339. Over 1950 377. Morse population estimate (1822).000* 1800 tions. 1900 266. Secretary of war estimate (1929).732 Native Americans have 1910 291.” 1.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. devastating demographic 2. urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U. mate.380 Initially. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters.636 time. Beginning in 1880.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands. these small groups of 1970 827.

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

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

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

Old Northwest. Gulf area. rates. Henry. Old Northwest. Thornton. Midwest east of Mississippi River. Great Lakes states. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Throughout the 1500’s and into the next century. F. influenza. Southwest North Atlantic states. Great Lakes states. but by 1524 the group was reduced to 361.000 people. measles. Midwest east of Mississippi River South Atlantic states. twenty-three European infectious diseases appeared in native North America.Disease and Intergroup Contact Date of Onset 1655 1658 / 227 Epidemic Smallpox Measles. southern Plains North Atlantic states North Atlantic states North Atlantic states North Atlantic states.. Florida’s Timucua population may have once had 772. Smallpox. Old Northwest. Russell. Old Northwest. Those Native Americans who resisted white encroachment were vanquished through genocidal warfare or reduced to mission life. and the bubonic plague affected Native American populations largely east of the Mississippi and in the Southwest. Their Number Became Thinned (Knoxville. Influenza Sources: Data are from Dobyns. European populations grew and expanded geographically as declining indigenous populations relinquished their lands and resources. 1983). Gulf area 1662 1665 Smallpox 1669 1674 1675 1677 1687 1692 Smallpox Smallpox Influenza Smallpox Smallpox Measles 1696 Smallpox. University of Tennessee Press. Midwest east of Mississippi River South Atlantic states. . Great Lakes states. 1987).000. Midwest east of Mississippi River North Atlantic states Gulf area. Great Lakes states. diphtheria Smallpox Gulf area Regions Affected North Atlantic states.

European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. By the eighteenth century. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. Introduced European infectious diseases. By contrast.4 percent. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases.100 or 31. the European population grew to more than 5 million. the European population had reached an estimated 223. for example.400. the population was reduced to approximately 55.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century.000. In sum. By 1790. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. (National Archives) . By contrast.9 percent. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority.900—a decline of 71. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. In the southeastern region of North America.630.000 people. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leather concho belts with silver disks and hard-soled sandals set a style eventually copied by Europeans. In the North. and acknowledgments. maps of culture areas. hair and headdressings designated a person’s role or rank. et al. several braids for Natchez women. and the priestly wore elaborate outfits with headdresses representing gods and goddesses. More valuable materials and more ornate designs denoted higher status.: National Geographic Society. More than 440 illustrations. fur. a topknot with ribbons for Creek.. Satin dresses took the place of coarse woven fiber outfits. chiefs wore leather headbands with multicolored tassels or gold and turquoise crowns. Effects of European Contact. The Aztecs defined four levels: commoner men and women wore their hair long and uncovered. 1974.240 / Dress and Adornment tec commoners. . in style. The World of the American Indian. Gale M. poems and chants. fabric type and color. Western Apache women adopted the European full skirt of bright calico topped with a belted hip-length blouse. Thompson Sources for Further Study Billard. In complex societies with various status levels. D. Zuñi men replaced their short cotton kilts with European-style loose white cotton shirts worn over white pants. 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. Jules B. index. warriors had large feather headdresses. especially Iroquois of the north and Seminole of the south. European contact influenced the clothing of almost every group. tribal location supplement with keys to back-pocket maps. Earlier garments of natural colored fiber.C. Washington. and hair brought up and forward in bonnet shape (creating a natural sun visor) for Seminole women. and hides were replaced with wool and other red or blue fabrics richly decorated with beads or quillwork. Additions of ribbonwork and appliqué to basic styles were most elegantly done by East Coast people. and adornment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

culture. after a two-year study. with fewer than 50 percent completing a high school education. 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. and David W. A collection of writings and pictures compiled by the Citizens’ . New York: New American Library. Doctorates earned by Indians between 1980 and 1990 actually dropped. Our Brother’s Keeper: The Indian in White America. Forrest J. Paul. Gerrard. 1975. The amended version also encouraged the establishment of community-run schools and stressed culturally relevant and bilingual curricular materials. Hearne. recommended that tribal history. Indian students still struggle for visibility in the education market. Edgar S.5 percent of all degrees conferred.” Three centuries of national educational policy must take at least partial responsibility for the tragic decline of tribal cultures in the United States. In spite of efforts to improve educational opportunities for Indians. The American Indian Magnet School at Mounds Park All-Nations School in the St. President Jimmy Carter created the new post of assistant secretary of the interior for Indian affairs and named a member of the Blackfoot tribe. to the position. In the 1990’s. public school system declared the goal of “placing education into culture instead of continuing the practice of placing culture into education. Dorothy Engan-Barker.. Minnesota. and languages be emphasized. During 1977.252 / Education: Post-contact tending urban public schools. bachelor’s degrees earned by Indians comprised less than 0. from 130 to 102. assisted by Bette Blaisdell Sources for Further Study Cahn. Some reservation schools reported a yearly teacher turnover rate of 90 percent. using students’ own tongue as the language of instruction. It was amended in 1975 to require that Indian parents be involved in the planning of these programs. In 1990. The Office of Education. High-school dropout rates for Indian students continue to be the highest for all minority groups. but perhaps it will also take the lead in providing a vehicle for the land’s original citizens to assume their rightful place in American society.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potlatch. See also: Feast of the Dead. and political significance of feasts from such places as the Americas. Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food. The introduction provides a historic (though somewhat romantic) context for the recipes. this monograph summarizes food. 1973. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada. 2001.286 / Feasts Dietler. Waugh. National Museum of Man. and Richard de Rochemont. Frederick W. but information of the ceremony of which they are part. The most widely available of American Indian cookbooks. Mich. 1969. Jamake. Michael. and Power. and related subjects for the Iroquois tribes in great detail. Food Preparation and Cooking. N. Washington. and Brian Hayden. feasts. Little detail on feasts as such. which are divided by culture area. Memoir of the Canada Department of Mines. The Indians of the Southeastern United States.: Doubleday. 1965. and Jean Anderson. Reprint. A general history of food and cooking in North America. Bureau of American Ethnology 137. Perhaps the best work of its kind. eds. Africa. devoting four chapters to Native American foods and cooking. Politics. 1977.C. A compilation of fifteen essays examines the cultural.Y. Yeffe.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation. Swanton. and Dance. Waverly. D. Root. This classic and massive work contains detailed descriptions of the tribes of the Southeast. New York: William Morrow. Kimball. . Music. 1976. Geological Survey 86 (Anthropological Series 12). food preparation. Grosse Point. Garden City. Eating in America: A History. Ritual of the Wind: North American Indian Ceremonies. economic. A widely available compilation of several ceremonies from different tribes. Green Corn Dance. including considerable information on feasts and food. John R. The Art of American Indian Cooking. New York: Viking Press.: Scholarly Press. and Asia. Includes some extended quotations from early accounts describing feasts. Bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution. Highwater. 1916.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to the NIGA’s Web site.” Bruce E. Indian casinos became subject to Title 31 of the Bank Secrecy Act.: Johnson Books. Johansen. and the Justice Department. history. The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is the primary advocate and defender of Indian gaming. 1995.302 / Gambling including casino games (Class III). all have roles in the regulation of Indian gaming. In addition.: Greenhaven Press. Indian gaming continues to thrive.. Moose Sources for Further Study Cozic. Bibliography. Boulder. Gambling. from investigative reports to a letter to 60 Minutes. Appendices include the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and transcripts from the Cabazon case. national agencies. Class III gaming is subject to compacts between TGCs and state regulatory agencies. History. . 1998. “gaming has replaced the buffalo as the mechanism used by American Indian people for survival. Indian Gaming and the Law. Eadington. updated by Christina J. which continues to provoke controversy. Covers traditional Indian gaming in myth. A collection of articles covering all perspectives. Gambler Way: Indian Gaming in Mythology. and Archaeology in North America. ed. San Diego. 1996. 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. opposition. Kathryn. The latter two classes are subject to regulation by the tribal gaming commissions (TGCs). A collection of essays by participants in the North American Conference on the Status of Indian Gaming with different perspectives. William. Reno: University of Nevada. Nevertheless. the Federal Bureau of Investigation. with state-of-the-art casinos across the nation that attract patrons from surrounding areas and beyond. Colo. Charles P. ed. the Bureau of Indian Affairs. including the Internal Revenue Service. Starting in 1996. Gabriel. Calif. of which there are nearly two hundred. Today Indian gaming is big business. list of gambling organizations. and litigation by large non-Indian gaming interests as well as states.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The village chief was a man. Among the Hopi. There was also a war chief. who had dictatorial powers in time of war but was chosen on the basis of his ability rather than lineage. This post was handed down from father to son. and the official leaders. preindustrial European societies functioned in much the same way. As a consequence. The degree of social organization within and among groups varied widely among tribes. Tuscarora. While these groups spoke a common language family and had many customs in common. The union was strengthened when the French. while women kept up the homes and often tended crops. the Mohawk. the individual households were the most important unit. for example. the Iroquois Confederacy sided with the English. Yet there were a number of exceptions. The ceremonies involving these fetishes were held by the brother or son of this woman. Social Organization. their uniting was mainly a result of their warfare with the Algonquians. 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. . the other major group in New York and southeastern Quebec. and they were run by women. While men almost always were officially in charge. the first European settlers in the area. Cayuga. As a general rule. Oneida. gender roles in American Indian societies represent an area of study that has been subject to some debate and reinterpretation. from loosely knit groups of small families to huge nations with complex political structures. which was owned by the oldest woman in the household and passed down from mother to daughter. This was a league of six nations. sided with the Algonquians. The household had a sacred bundle (fetish). women sometimes held considerable power. warriors. and the chief generally was more a mediator than a ruler. In the French and Indian War. men were hunters. Seneca. Probably the most highly organized group of North American Indians were the Iroquois. and Onondaga.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them. For example. in 1991. a federal court in Minnesota awarded each individual of the White Earth Chippewa (Ojibwa) compensation for land lost to the General Allotment Act based on the value of the land at the time it was lost plus 5 percent compound interest. and minerals. 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. however. in 1983. the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands.000 square miles to the Inuit. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting. 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. especially those areas rich in oil. in 1986. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. violent confrontations. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. 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. In return. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. gas. however.Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. trapping. an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. Many Inuit found that to . or fishing. In the United States. in some cases. none prevailed. 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. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. The courts have been reluctant. the Canadian government created a new 770. Similarly. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. 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. For example.

under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. Part 1.602.000 72. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway. D.000 37. Historical Statistics of the United States. Government Printing Office. In Mexico.618.000 39.000 35. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.000 Total 104. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.737.314. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.235.000 56.S. In other cases as well.000 Tribal 104.226.314.000 31. Means of Land Acquisition.534. govern- . 1975.S.000 Note: Figures represent acres.698. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed. 1994.079.000 32.000 10.C. the U.000 4.000 55. in return.000 41.000 16.S.000 84.000 32.097.000 41. Source: U. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.642.047.000 58.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.000 12.000 5. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.: U.000 72.000 55.159.408.608.000 863.786.000 38.661.574.068.000 — 17.000 77. Washington. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped. Department of Commerce.407.502. Bureau of the Census.097.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — Colonial Times to 1970. rounded off to thousands.052.000 36.005.

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

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

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

As European colonists moved westward and more Indian languages became known. 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 1643.404 / Language Families relationships: An ancestral language (also called a “proto” language) splits into branches. Even if the parent language no longer exists. 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. and sub-branches into separate languages. affinities among them led to speculations about their relationships. In A Guide to the World’s Languages (1987). these explorers were the first contributors to American linguistics. for example. Although their methods were often crude. each branch into sub-branches. which languages belong in each. many American Indian languages do indeed belong in families. The term “family” refers collectively to the descendants of the ancestral language. its living offspring reveal much of its nature. and grammar. words. Yet a number of topics—how many families. Merritt Ruhlen lists 627 Indian and Eskimo languages in the Americas. reapplying linguistic methods developed during the study of the Indo-European languages. linguists offer potential evidence of humankind’s prehistoric character. Since the early nineteenth century. History of Classifications. and what the families say about the original settlement of the Americas—have remained controversial from their beginnings. . Thomas Jefferson. scholars have had notable success. A grouping of multiple families is called a superfamily or phylum. an idea that scholars began exploring seriously in the late twentieth century. many of which are extinct and known only from short word lists that European explorers compiled. evidence parallel to the ruins and middens studied by archaeologists and the skeletal remains studied by paleontologists. By using modern evidence to reconstruct an ancient tongue’s sounds. which lends its name to the family.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mechanicsburg. keeping in mind the sad history of exploitation that is very much in the minds of most Native American practitioners of native religious traditions. Pa. and the Great Hare. no. Pennsylvania History 19. no. Edited by Arthur C. Nana. and messenger from the Great Spirit—was also a trickster who was sometimes outdone by his own tricks. the Shaker Church. Visions and Vision Quests. 2 (1952): 117-147. Wenebojo. 1798-1800.418 / Manibozho southern Canada.” Part 1. ed. New York: Alfred A. A Friend Among the Senecas: The Quaker Mission to Cornplanter’s People. and Henry C. and into Oklahoma on Seneca reservations there. Manibozho Tribe affected: Ojibwa Significance: Manibozho—legendary wise man. Manibozho was a messenger from Gitche Manitou . Parker. 1913. New York: New York State Museum. Religion. 1973. Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. 2000. The Code of Handsome Lake. Tales of Manibozho are told throughout the Great Lakes region. Non-Indian students interested in the Longhouse religion should exercise great care in investigating this tradition with Seneca members. Simmons. _______. 3 (1952): 325-349. Knopf. Daniel L.” Part 2. prophet. Bulletin 163. and other expressions of religious faith. C. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. where he is also known as Nanabozho. _______. Anthony F. Pennsylvania History 19. 1798-1800.: Stackpole Books. David. ed. Wallace. the use of peyote (as in the Native American Church). Smith-Christopher Sources for Further Study Handsome Lake. See also: Longhouse. Swatzler. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. such as the Longhouse religion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

). Campeche. The complex Mayan and Aztec calendar systems used both the 365-day year and a 260-day cycle tied to the cultures’ religious rituals. and Postclassic (900 c. every fifty-two years the two cycles returned to the same relative positions.e. to the Spanish conquest). and El Salvador. Every day—18.432 / Mayan Civilization from a bundle to represent the passage of a day. and the northern subregion of the Yucatan peninsula. The 360-day period of named days was called the tun and was composed of eighteen uinals. In the Mayan system. Classic (200-900 c. Mayan Civilization. scholars refer to this fiftytwo-year period as the Calendar Round. there were 360 “named” days in the years and 5 unnamed days. A tally of years was kept by scratching notches in sticks. Thomas See also: Aztec Empire. and Quintana Roo. the central subregion of northern Guatemala. Scholars who study the Maya have divided the entire region into three subregions: the southern subregion of Guatemala highlands and the Pacific coast. The highland areas of southern Guatemala and Chiapas flourished during the late Preclassic period. Mayan history is divided into three periods: Preclassic (2000 b. Yucatan. in addition to the countries of Belize. or months.200 c.e. The Maya lived in an area that included the present-day Mexican states of Chiapas. The 260-day and 365-day cycles overlapped. Honduras. and the Petén region. Tabasco. Guatemala.e. lowland areas in the Petén region reached their height during the Classic pe- .).e. mathematics. Nicholas C.980 in all—in the round had a unique combination of day numbers and names and month numbers and names. astronomy. its adjacent lowlands. of twenty days each.c. Mayan Civilization Significance: These Mesoamericans contributed profound achievements in art. the more accurate of the two. and architecture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1965. Both the historical and modern aspects of shamanic ritual are covered. Kane. 1992. Ake. The Dancing Healers: A Doctor’s Journey of Healing with Native Americans. and shortcomings are described knowledgeably. and other interesting aspects of federally funded care of American Indians from 1922 to 1937. interactive processes are carefully explored. New Mexico. and Rosalie A. nurses. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. The Indians and the Nurse. 1988.444 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact dian Health Service facilities and elsewhere. shortcomings. medicine. Provides much insight into physicians. 1971. . New York: Springer. Hultkrantz. but they have also found wide utility in problems ranging from heart disease to dermatitis to cancer. Many of today’s physicians find that the shamanic ceremonies and medicinal treatments are a useful complement to their ministrations. Included are the capacity to respond to patient needs and conflicts engendered when health providers and consumers have different cultural backgrounds. Elinor D. problems. These procedures are deemed to be particularly important in resolving mental health problems. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Points out problems. A detailed survey of Indian practice and belief in health. strengths. Also included is a copious set of valuable references. Kane. Federal Health Care (with Reservations). Carl A. Various aspects of a psychiatrist’s experience with Indian healing are described. New York: Crossroad. Sanford S. Singer Sources for Further Study Gregg.. and religion. and Indian patients. Kane was a director of the Indian Health Service Navajo service unit at Shiprock. Shamanic Healing and Ritual Drama: Health and Medicine in Native North American Religious Traditions. Its use is partly attributable to the fact that shamanic treatment is comfortable to many Indians. Examples of syntheses of Indian and Western medicine that produce useful. Indian Health Service strengths. Robert L. Hammerschlag.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As long as chiefs were particularly effective. shapes. Tennessee. and warfare. . The greatest of the mounds. perhaps as much as 5 percent of the population. palaces for the living ruler and housing for the new nobility. On some of the flat-topped mounds. now called Monk’s Mound. hunts. the huge community became fragmented into several townships. celebrated successful harvests. The majority of the mounds were platform mounds. conch shells indicated contacts with people living along the Atlantic Ocean.470 / Mississippian Culture The walled city of Cahokia was characterized by the presence of more than one hundred mounds of various sizes. on which various kinds of structures were built. was originally taller because there was a conical mound atop it. The more social and political ranking increased. These ceremonies expressed obligations to ancestors. and eastern Oklahoma. In other locations in Cahokia. some were burial mounds. perhaps arranged around plazas. and functions distributed in a pattern that indicates an organized community. and involved elaborate death rituals in homage to social leaders. and the burial offerings in the mounds reveal much about the extensive communication that the Mississippians had with other people on the Atlantic coast. The bestknown of the burial mounds at Cahokia is the one now labeled Mound 72.037 feet north to south and 790 feet east to west. In it was found copper from Lake Superior and mica from the southern Appalachians. the elite literally towered over everyone and everything in the Cahokia area. Thus. Examination of the style and content of arrow points has indicated sources in Wisconsin. The sense of community was closely related to long-term political cycles. the more important ceremony and sacrament became to the people. The Cahokian aristocrats presided over complex ceremonies and rituals that were at the center of the Mississippian’s life. had been constructed. east Texas. the people gladly accepted their rule and united as a regional community. Not all the mounds were used as sites for palaces of royalty. it now is approximately 100 feet high and extends 1. When a chief died. This mound provides extensive information about the major trade contacts of the Mississippians.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2002. Sandra M.” Tecumseh suggested that his people wanted peace and he reinforced the idea that European Americans and Native Americans were equal. were common among all tribes. and they remain in use by Native American orators today. . By repeatedly calling his potential enemy “brother. because Tecumseh was notifying Harrison that if he did not make amends with the Indians. William M. Kenneth S." while the following section—the he did line—"tells what was done to it. assonance. Another technique which Bahr describes is the “there was/he did