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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It therefore passed what was widely known. Congress became convinced that it could significantly lessen the costs of Indian support (needed to supplement the produce of Indian agriculture) if it created the incentive of private property. This act authorized the president to divide reservation land into individual allotments: Each head of household was to receive 160 acres. 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. developed a definitive policy with respect to the Indians still living in the territory ceded by the British in 1783. With the Louisiana Purchase. defining the relationship between Indians and white Americans.” thus effectively separating them from the European Americans. an abrupt change occurred in the Indian policy of the federal government. The victory of the colonists in the American Revolution had a profound impact on Indian agriculture. Senator Henry Dawes. In 1887. 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. 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. however.10 / Agriculture 1783-1887. and a child 40 acres. from its author. this policy of separating the Indians from the white Americans became more explicit. otherwise called the General Allotment Act. At the same time. as the Dawes Severalty Act. Congress passed what were known as the Trade and Intercourse Acts. a single man 80 acres. 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. The Indian agents appointed by the federal government for each tribe were instructed to promote such agricultural practices among the Indians. Although agriculture had been slowly gaining among the Indians. In the 1790’s. 1887-1934. considerable effort was devoted to inculcating white agricultural practices.

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

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

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

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

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

among American Indians included abstinence from liquor as a central tenet: One was the Longhouse religion established by Handsome Lake. Impact on the Indian Population. Easier access to alcoholic beverages led to a steady increase in cases of alcoholism among Native Americans. established by Congress in 1975 to survey major reservation problems. but such efforts rarely succeeded. is fetal alcohol syn- . It found that almost one-half of Indian adults had some sort of chemical dependency. Smugglers made huge profits. another was the PanIndian movement led by Tenskwatawa. A report issued by the American Indian Policy Review Commission. concluded that alcohol abuse was the most severe health care problem faced by Native Americans. A number of post-contact religious movements. one which has been recognized relatively recently. Many tribal leaders tried to ban alcohol from their villages.000) than for other Americans (6. Alcohol remained illegal on Indian reservations until 1953. or revitalization movements. the United States government prohibited the sale of alcohol to Native Americans. was more than four times greater for Indians (27.16 / Alcoholism hol intoxication may also have been considered akin to being influenced or possessed by a supernatural being.000). Many tribal political and religious leaders soon recognized the danger that alcohol posed to traditional culture. and the death rate from drunk driving on reservations was three times the rate for the general population.1 per 100. with alcohol being the chemical most often abused. Statistics at the time of the commission’s report emphasized the prevalence of the problem: Seventyone percent of all arrests on reservations involved alcohol. Death from cirrhosis of the liver. and bootlegging became one way of becoming very rich on the frontier. Another alcohol-related health problem. when Congress permitted its sale if local tribal governments voted to allow it. The suicide rate among Native Americans— which drinking undoubtedly influences—was more than double the national rate. but enforcing the law proved impossible.3 per 100. In the Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts of 1834. almost always caused by alcoholism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

evolution. Collection of original (edited) articles dating from 1888 to 1963 and arranged by culture areas. and archaeological sites. introduction by William C. The North American Indians: A Sourcebook. and mythology. Milanich. A definitive report on the Seminole people which provides an examination of their clothing and ornaments. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. and a directory of 250 educational films.. prehistory (including Mesoamerican). Ruth M. housing. Sturtevant. 2000.34 / Appliqué and Ribbonwork Garbarino. Surveys origins. religion. Clay. Headdresses. history.. Red Man’s America: A History of Indians in the United States. Beads and Beadwork. Includes more than seven hundred color illustrations as well as descriptions of ceremonies. political. et al. Underhill. Macmillan: New York. and designs of Seminole ribbonwork clothing. Owen. New York: Chelsea House. social customs. Culture. and social perspectives of the mid-twentieth century. color and black-and-white photographs. . cultural. MacCauley. Shells and Shellwork. Sixth impression. and other features of their daily existence. The Seminole. history. history. See also: Arts and Crafts: Southeast. 1989. Seminole resistance under leader Osceola. Pleasantville: Reader’s Digest. Foreword by Jerald T. Dress and Adornment. and social issues of early twentieth century. Merwyn. List of museums. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. material culture. 1978. Comprehensive account of culture areas. Roger G. Includes references. et al. Maxwell. America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage. 1960. James A. and effect of European contact on the Seminole people. and demography. additional reading list. historic villages. The Seminole Indians of Florida. Written from the perspective of the first peoples of North America. 1967. crafts. Quillwork.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The California Culture Area Tolowa Karok Shasta Yurok Hupa Wiyot Wintun Mattole Sinkyone Wailaki Yuki Achumawi Atsugewi Yana Yahi Maidu Pomo Patwin Wappo Coast Miwok Miwok Costanoan Monache Esselen Yokuts Salinan Tubatulabal Chumash Fernandeño Chemehuevi Serrano Gabrielino Luiseño Juaneño Cupeño Diegueño Quechan Kamia Cahuilla .

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

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

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

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

46 / Architecture: Northeast needs of the particular tribe. The pole-framed structure had a barrel or vaulted roof. Sleeping bunks ran along the sides of the building. In the eastern portion of this region. The basic structure of the wigwam was made of sapling frames bent into arches and tied together with fibercord The Northeast Culture Area Micmac Maliseet Passamaquoddy Nipissing Ojibwa Ottawa Algonquin Penobscot Abenaki Pennacook Menominee Potawatomi Winnebago Sauk Fox Miami Kaskaskia Illinois Kickapoo Huron Petun Neutral Erie Seneca Cayuga Onondaga Oneida Mohawk Nottaway Nipmuck Pequot Massachusett Wampanoag Narragansett Wappinger Lenni Lenape Susquehannock Nanticoke Powhatan Piankashaw Shawnee Moneton Secotan Tuscarora Pamlico Mahican . architecture also expressed the Indians’ way of life. Primarily used for protection. A typical dwelling structure of Northeast region Indians was the wigwam. Its simple construction of a frame and covering could be easily moved. Smoke holes placed about 25 feet apart represented the space given to an individual family. The longhouse. The smoke holes were also sources of light. Doors and storage areas were at each end. could be enlarged to make room for newly married couples. which varied in length and accommodated more than a hundred people. the Iroquois and Huron built long communal buildings which were used year-round by clan groups.

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

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

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

which. interior planked screen. The center ridgepole. the tapered vertical wall planks were put into place. Once the structural framework was constructed. The entrance was an oval or circular doorway cut into the base of the center ridgepole facing the shoreline. with the lineage head and his family occupying the rear. interior vertical support poles.Architecture: Northwest Coast / 51 holes by pulling and wedging them into position. Tall ridgepoles supported heavy posts at the front and back. often fitted with a movable shutter. followed by the elevation of cross beams. allowed directed interior ventilation. and the house front typically exhibited elaborate carved and painted totem crests that validated the ancestral legacy of the Based on a sketch from the 1830’s. The horizontal beams were elevated into the notched holes of the vertical uprights. an engraving of a Chinook lodge in the Oregon Territory. which in turn supported the roof planks with a central opening for a smoke hole. (Library of Congress) . The interior contained a planked. The upper platform provided assigned sleeping space for each family. platform floor with bench steps (sometimes movable) leading down to a central fire pit located directly below the roof smoke hole.

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

During the Classic Pueblo period (1100-1300). Stone masonry also affected the kiva. This new masonry technique resulted in an increase in both the size and complexity of the pueblos. some were as large as thirty or more contiguous rooms and were two stories high. but eventually both visible surfaces were smoothed as well. the Anasazi refined their masonry further.62 / Architecture: Southwest bearing surfaces were shaped. producing a wall that was both aesthetically pleasing and strong. developing walls built with a three- The Southwest Culture Area Navajo Jicarilla Tiwa Apache Tewa Zuni Yavapai Jemez Pecos Laguna Maricopa South Acoma Quechan Tiwa Coyotero Cocopa Apache Mimbreño Tohono Apache O’odham Mescalero Chiricahua Apache Apache Pima Suma Hopi Opata Seri Jumano Tarahumara Lipan Apache Karankawa Coahuiltec Havasupai Walapai Mojave Yaqui Tobosco Comarito Lagunero Zacatec . whose walls and floor were now lined with carefully shaped and fitted stone blocks. with a stone bench and stone pilasters to support the flat roof.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synonymous terms include spear thrower and dart thrower. Originating from Old World prototypes . Revolving Female (part of Ursa Minor). A painted hide at the Field Museum in Chicago records the Milky Way and many Pawnee constellations. Colo.. Boulder. the language spoken by the Aztecs of sixteenth century central Mexico. Revolving Male (Ursa Major). 1997.108 / Atlatl villages in the pattern of the North Star. including First Big One (Scorpio). Earth Below: American Indians and Nature. so each home repeated the cosmic arrangement. Stars were important to the nomadic Navajos. Their creation account describes how Black God made stars from crystals. Mayan Civilization. Utah. He placed constellations in the sky. and the Pleiades. Boulder. 2000. Stars of the First People: Native American Star Myths and Constellations. has ports through which sunlight enters during the solstices and equinox. Atlatl Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The atlatl was an ancient and widespread hunting and warfare weapon throughout the Americas. Stars Above.: Pruett. Ancient Anasazi sites in the Southwest still show the yearly cycle of the sun. They arranged the posts of their earthen lodges in the same pattern. Rabbit Tracks (near Canis Major). ed. Slender First One (in Orion).” applied to many versions of the implement. Mounds and Moundbuilders.: Roberts Rinehart. A stone house at Hovenweep. Colo. Denise Low Sources for Further Study Bol. Marsha C. Dorcas S. The term “atlatl. and morning star. Medicine Wheels. Miller. evening star. See also: Mathematics. Star charts on cave roofs had ceremonial importance. is derived from Nahuatl.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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) . and this may be the reason for its popularity. and so on until the basket is formed. another bunch of fibers is added and wrapped to lengthen the coil. Since the fibers that form the coils are wrapped.Baskets and Basketry / 119 stitched together. a wider range of materials can be adapted to coiling than is the case with twining.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

led the government to try to purchase or lease them. The Sioux refused. In 1911 the Sioux began what was to become a protracted legal process to regain the Black Hills. In . feasting. The pressures of white settlement and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills. Hitchcock. was perhaps the most elaborate and most important of the traditional Yupik religious festivals. In 1980 the Supreme Court affirmed a 1979 Court of Claims ruling that the Sioux were entitled to $106 million in compensation for the taking of the Black Hills. and ritual performances of songs and dances. which occurred at the winter solstice. have not succeeded. such as Senator Bill Bradley’s land return legislation in 1985. which took the Black Hills without compensation. the annual festival consisted of gift giving. Laurence Miller See also: Land Claims. The Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 ended this war and created the permanent Great Sioux reservation. depending upon the community. however. of which the Black Hills formed a part. Bladder Festival Tribes affected: Yupik (Eskimo) Significance: As the major religious event of the traditional Yupik. The festival lasted five or six days. In 1877 Congress ratified the Manypenny Agreement. This violation of the 1868 treaty was upheld in the 1903 Supreme Court decision Lone Wolf v. Called Nakaciuq. the Bladder Festival not only expressed the cosmology of the Yupik but also reiterated the social and economic relationships between people and between humans and animals. The Bladder Festival.134 / Bladder Festival nineteenth century. It culminated with the return to the sea of the bladders of all the seals and walruses harvested in the previous year. meaning “something done with bladders” in the Yupik language. Various attempts to have the Black Hills returned to the Sioux.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assiniboine.000. 1987).000.000. Kiowa. Thornton.000 15. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.000 6. Mandan. 20.000. Native Americans hunted bison on foot for thousands of years by surrounding a herd until the animals were within range of bows or by setting a fire to stampede a herd over a bluff.000. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison.000.000 12. 1986).000 16.000 2. Blackfeet Confederacy. in 1983 it was estimated at 50. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000 10.000 20.000 8.000 Hidatsa. Comanche. Cheyenne. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.000 14. Russell. 1895 395. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic. Russell.000.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million.000 18. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Source: Data are from Thornton.000.000 1.000. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache). Atsina. equestrian buffalo hunters.000 4.000 1.000 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. Others—among them the Arikara.091 800 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massey. . and William C. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cultural oppression lessened. only 6. western lands and resources were needed. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. Census recorded 248. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. disease.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. Poor sanitation. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis.155. and the death rate fell. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. as well as a rise in infant mortality. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. the European population increased to 50. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. the U.783. The combined impact of war. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. . these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. infant survivorship improved. trachoma. however. After 1930. isolated from society. In three decades. from 1850 to 1880.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. there were 306. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. In 1920. poor nutrition. health and sanitation conditions improved. To meet these economic and political demands. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. The 1890 U.S. The result was a young age-sex structure.S.

there were 827. As a result. there were 551.S. Demographic Trends. Since the 1950’s. First. with less than 300. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U.3 million (July 1.500 people of Native American descent. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. adding significantly to the population. In 1990.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. especially infant and child health care. Census Bureau. Second. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4.636 Native Americans. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The 1980 U. the Native American population has grown tremendously. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955.000 age sixty-five or over. In 1960. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1.S. Census witnessed a 71.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role.000 reported an advanced degree. By 1970. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. A scant 125. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. Native American health improved dramatically.1 percent increase. Finally. for example. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. had 87. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. Native . the federal government instituted a relocation program. In the mid1950’s.

3 million in the United States alone. remains high.000. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. article in Indian Country Today. Alaskan tribes with more than 5.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. tuberculosis.000—and indeed. Muscogee (Creek). followed by the Athabascan. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. as reported in a December. As of July 1.000 members. Of these. Choctaw. 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. was 4. Population Since 2000. constituting 1. followed by Navajo. Eskimo and Yupik. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12.4 percent. although the number of Native American-owned businesses increased by 64 percent between 1982 and 1987 and the introduction of Indian gaming in 1988 made inroads into the socioeconomic problems of poverty.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. Apache. Chippewa. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1.S. the U. 2000) was 2. Blackfeet. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest).S. Native American people reside in every state in the union. diabetes. suicide.5 percent of the total U. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. Deaths by accidents. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). with the greatest concentration in California at 683. violence. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent).222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population.000 members. Unemployment. with nearly . the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. Nonetheless. population. 2002. approximately three-quarters (3. in both rural and urban areas. 2002. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50.

Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. Over 1950 377. Secretary of war estimate (1929). urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates. 4.764* population but continue to 1860 339. 1930 362. 1900 266. devastating demographic 2.400 their population increased. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). enumeration of Native can Population.636 time. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters.427 onized a continent. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943).000* 1800 tions.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. collapse that lasted for al3.959. these small groups of 1970 827.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. mate. . Beginning in 1880. 1990 1. 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. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates).607 diversity.421* represent a higher percent1870 313. 1980 1. Morse population estimate (1822). The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent.732 Native Americans have 1910 291. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian. most four hundred years. their ancestors col1940 366.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands.273 1960 551.380 Initially.420.995 nificant population changes.S. Today. the Native Amertions.000 and some societies constructed large.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. After European contact.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383.” 1.543* 1890 273. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U.273 hunter-gatherers flourished.

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

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

For four years. Old Northwest. Midwest east of Mississippi River. mortality could be as high as 60 percent. which was unleashed in the Americas during the Spanish conquest. Gulf area. in combination with ecological and cultural factors. the disease diffused across Central and North America. Southwest Southwest North Atlantic states. South Atlantic states. Great Lakes states. The infected native populations experienced high death . Southwest North Atlantic states North Atlantic states North Atlantic states.226 / Disease and Intergroup Contact North American Epidemics and Regions Affected. The general state of health. No Old World pathogen was more lethal than smallpox. Southwest South Atlantic states. South Atlantic states. South Atlantic states. South Atlantic states. Southwest North Atlantic states North Atlantic states. Gulf area. greatly affected the post-contact disease experience of Native American societies. Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Midwest east of Mississippi River Gulf area. Gulf area North Atlantic states. and congenital conditions plagued indigenous populations. but in populations with no prior exposure. therefore. 1520-1696 Date of Onset 1520 1531 1545 1559 1586 1592 Epidemic Smallpox Measles Bubonic plague Influenza Typhus Smallpox All regions Southwest Southwest South Atlantic states. Old Northwest. Gulf area Regions Affected 1602 1612 1633 1637 1639 Smallpox Bubonic plague Measles Scarlet fever Smallpox 1646 1647 1649 Smallpox Influenza Smallpox chronic. 1520-1524. Whether smallpox reached pandemic proportions is debatable. Great Lakes states.

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

By contrast. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority.100 or 31. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases.900—a decline of 71. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations. for example. the European population had reached an estimated 223. By 1790. By the eighteenth century.630. Introduced European infectious diseases. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915.4 percent.000 people.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. (National Archives) . epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1.9 percent. By contrast. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. the European population grew to more than 5 million.000. the population was reduced to approximately 55. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward.400. In the southeastern region of North America. In sum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

better trained personnel. Indians were viewed in the same light as blacks at that time: as a permanent underclass for whom an inferior. 1924-1944. an increase in the number of Indian students in public schools. As government schools lost ground. Some tribes maintained these schools in spite of the reduced resources. By 1912. became commissioner of Indian affairs and immediately sought to implement the recommendations . In 1928.250 / Education: Post-contact churches for funding of the mission schools. efforts to increase Indian enrollment in public day schools did not include examining the ability of these schools to meet Indian needs.736 students. The committee recommended better school facilities. Shortly after publication of the study. a “Committee of One Hundred Citizens” was called together by the secretary of the interior to discuss how Indian education could be improved. At the same time. the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) was operating twenty-five boarding schools in fifteen states for 9. In 1902. Moves to Reform Indian Education. most used the funds for other needs. vocational education was appropriate and adequate. 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. the continued inability of boarding schools and English-only education to transform Indians into white people led to disillusionment and lowered expectations for Indian education. there were more Indian children in public schools than in government schools. because of the staggering loss of land and the inefficiency of education. nonacademic. The committee recommended that elementary children not be sent to BIA boarding schools at all. As the new century began. These recommendations helped establish reservation day schools up to the sixth grade and reservation boarding schools up to the eighth grade. one of the BIA’s leading critics. In 1924. it particularly pointed to the shocking conditions found in boarding schools. John Collier. and high school and college scholarships. Increasingly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1971. Charles A. They occur mainly in groups with conical and linear mounds. deer. Effigy mounds are . Kupferer. Harriet J. Rinehart & Winston. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. earthen mounds in the shape of animals. and geese. Hungry Wolf. Samuel W. Clark. geometric forms. Beverly. and other forms are among the most distinguishing features of the Woodland culture of the midwestern United States. 1986. William. N. St. 1982. others clearly represent life forms. New York: McClure. 1950. low shapes. Reprint. Ancient Drums. Phillips.: Prentice Hall. Among the animals represented are bears. The Dakota or Sioux in Minnesota as They Were in 1834. Effigy Mounds Tribe affected: Oneota Significance: Low. The Ways of My Grandmothers. 1902. Sandoz. New York: Dover.J. New York: Holt. Powers. The majority of mounds reported have eroded and indistinct shapes. however. New York: Hastings House. These Were the Sioux. wolves. Effigy mounds were constructed by mounding earth into large. See also: Children. Wissler. foxes. Mari. Other Moccasins: Native American Cultural Adaptations. Marla N. Indian Boyhood. felines. 1981. Pond. and turtles. Only two or three have been reported in human form. Englewood Cliffs. The First Americans: Then and Now. swallows. The American Indian. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. Menses and Menstruation. Elderly. New York: Oxford University Press. 1986.258 / Effigy Mounds Eastman. Oglala Women. Hodge. Visions and Vision Quests. 1961. New York: Quill. buffalos. Gender Relations and Roles. as well as eagles. 1988.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Library of Congress) . Generally.310 / Gender Relations and Roles ecology. Early twentieth century Cahuilla woman carrying berries or nuts she has gathered. and the development of theories to explain the identified gender relationships. 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. gender research concerning American Indians includes three types of study: the investigation of women’s behavior and history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

000 58. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed. Bureau of the Census. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data. Means of Land Acquisition.000 77. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops.534.314.S. In Mexico.000 10.000 72.000 5. Source: U. Historical Statistics of the United States.094. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January. In other cases as well. Washington.698.000 Tribal 104.000 31. Government Printing Office. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.068. the U.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.408. in return.000 863.000 39. Colonial Times to 1970.618.000 41.865. D.159.000 12. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.235. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation. 1975.: U. govern- .407. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.786.000 35.097.000 41.047.502.000 56. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway.000 32. 1994.000 32.000 38.000 16.000 36. Department of Commerce.005. Part 1.000 — 17.S.000 84.000 37.079.574.608.S.146.226.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.000 Total 104.000 55.642.737. rounded off to thousands.097.314.000 55.052.661.602.000 4. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.C.000 72.000 Note: Figures represent acres.

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

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

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

History of Classifications. Even if the parent language no longer exists. Merritt Ruhlen lists 627 Indian and Eskimo languages in the Americas. these explorers were the first contributors to American linguistics. which languages belong in each. each branch into sub-branches. its living offspring reveal much of its nature. By using modern evidence to reconstruct an ancient tongue’s sounds. affinities among them led to speculations about their relationships. for example. scholars have had notable success. evidence parallel to the ruins and middens studied by archaeologists and the skeletal remains studied by paleontologists. wrote in 1789 that a common parentage might become apparent from a study of Indian vocabularies and suggested New World languages may have a kinship to Asian languages. In A Guide to the World’s Languages (1987). which lends its name to the family. reapplying linguistic methods developed during the study of the Indo-European languages. and what the families say about the original settlement of the Americas—have remained controversial from their beginnings. many American Indian languages do indeed belong in families. Thomas Jefferson. many of which are extinct and known only from short word lists that European explorers compiled. words. and sub-branches into separate languages. linguists offer potential evidence of humankind’s prehistoric character. . Since the early nineteenth century. A grouping of multiple families is called a superfamily or phylum. The term “family” refers collectively to the descendants of the ancestral language. and grammar. Yet a number of topics—how many families. Although their methods were often crude. an idea that scholars began exploring seriously in the late twentieth century.404 / Language Families relationships: An ancestral language (also called a “proto” language) splits into branches. The first formal studies of individual North American languages appeared in the mid-seventeenth century: John Eliot’s Natick grammar in 1666 and Roger Williams’ Narragansett phrase book in 1643. As European colonists moved westward and more Indian languages became known.

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

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

they follow Sapir in some cases. Greenberg published Language in the Americas. however. In 1987 Stanford University’s Joseph H. intended to summarize contemporary research and serve as a starting point for further work.” or the borrowing of words and (less often) grammatical features between groups living close to one another. Such borrowings prove only physical proximity. they completely reject four of his six groupings. but they refuse to allow lumping based on comparisons of vocabulary alone. That is. among the . Their 62 families for North America and the 117 families posited for South America by the traditionalist Cestmir Loukotka in 1968 amount to considerable linguistic diversity. They recognize that many of the languages they list as isolates and some of the major branches will eventually be proved to belong together. linguists must discover laws of change from a parent language to its offspring languages. anthropologists have found that cultural diversity increases with time. a fact which has made some linguists unhappy with the traditionalist approach.” not “lumping. In general.Language Families / 407 nied by a hypothesis systematically explaining how changes took place. Applying these criteria and cautions. Reductionist Classification. Additionally. Their classifications are pointedly conservative and uncontroversial. notably the universally accepted Eskimo-Aleut and Na-Dene families.” in order to give American Indian linguistics a scientific rigor. not common origins and kinship. Yet their call for rigor and their criteria have placed traditionalists in something of a dilemma. they warn that not enough attention has been paid to “areal diffusion. Still. Campbell and Mithun insist that the watchword for linguistics should be “demonstration. far more than exists in Europe or Africa—both of which were settled long before the Americas. 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. Campbell and Mithun list 62 language families and isolates for North America. Only then will the relation between the offspring languages be proved. paleoanthropological evidence fails to support such great diversity. Furthermore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

S. The Indian Health Service itself is not concerned with quantifying the amount of Indian blood in the people it serves. Special Health Needs.2 .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. Census. in most of these areas by the end of the twentieth century. Indian Health Service facilities are not limited to reservation-based Indians. there has been a drop in infant mortality from 22. Even in the best of times. only 5 to 10 percent of NHSC physicians have remained in the Indian Health Service for even one year beyond the time required by their scholarship program obligations. One basis for counting the Indian population is self-assessment of being an Indian via the U. Another approach is based on the percentage of Indian blood possessed by a person. NHSC). depending upon the source of the estimate of the total U.S. but they often consist of being of one-fourth Indian blood. although most facilities are located on or near reservations. For example. 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. Estimates of the percentage of American Indians who are being treated by the Indian Health Service vary from 60 to about 80 percent. service at one of its facilities depends on being recognized as an Indian by a contemporary Indian tribe. 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. Inroads had been made. These problems have been attributed to Indian families’ generally lower incomes as well as to their poorer nutrition and living conditions. Identifying Indians to Be Served. Indian population.S. however. however. population. Requirements for this recognition vary from tribe to tribe. A positive change is the increased number of Indians entering and projected to enter the system as professional staff. Rather.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

which served different cultural functions. Sacred Narratives. 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. Religion. Michael W. Spiritualism is seen as the highest form of political consciousness. These mounds were constructed by a number of different Native Ameri- . They are the children of Mother Earth and must treat her in ways that show respect and honor. Numerous ceremonial and ritual means can be used to address Mother Earth—such as the sweatlodge ceremony and prayer—in order to ensure her continued beneficence. the American Indian construction of these mounds was not fully accepted until 1894. Human beings are seen as the spiritual guardians and stewards of the natural world. The spiritual traditions which have their roots in the natural world see all things as part of the sacred web of life.484 / Mounds and Mound Builders man life. 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. Simpson See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. with concentrations in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi River drainages. the. Earthen mounds are located in the eastern United States from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. Sacred. Those who honor Mother Earth live in accordance with traditions that sustain life. 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.

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

Caleb Atwater’s article “Description of the Antiquities Discovered in the State of Ohio and Other .). Alabama (a dominant center from 1250 to 1500 c.). In addition. while an 1812 work opted for the Welsh.486 / Mounds and Mound Builders can groups during several different time periods. they constructed flat-topped pyramidal mounds to serve as the foundations for important buildings such as temples or chiefly residences. First. the dispute originated during the early colonial period.e. For example. based on these data.c. Some of the better-known mound sites are Cahokia. while in other locations or time periods. which may explain the proliferation of hypotheses proposing that various early European groups built the earthen monuments. Moundville. in some instances.e. Second. Native American land rights could be denied if it could be demonstrated that earlier. which demonstrated that Native Americans had built the mounds. when settlers’ understanding of Native American culture was based on their interactions with socially disrupted Indian groups no longer continuing all of their pre-Columbian activities. and they were used for a range of functions.e. and those associated with the Hopewell culture (circa 200 b. more “civilized” people had once inhabited the area. European Americans also may have desired to construct a heroic past for members of their own cultures. namely whether Indians. or others had constructed them. When these mounds were first noted by Europeans in the late eighteenth century. There are several underlying factors that explain why it took scholars so many years to accept the aboriginal origins of the moundbuilders. they stimulated acrimonious debate concerning their origins. Indians built conical mounds to inter their dead. Missouri (with a florescence between 1050-1250 c. centered in the Ohio Valley.e. Louis. and on racist beliefs concerning Native Americans. in 1787. These arguments continued unabated until Cyrus Thomas’ Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology (1894). their ancestors. In some cases. it was suggested that the Ohio Mound Builders were Danes. it seemed unlikely to them that the Indian ancestors of these groups would have possessed the technological skills to construct the mounds.-400 c.). near St.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These techniques. Another technique which Bahr describes is the “there was/he did” technique. See also: Kinship and Social Organization. Oral Literatures. Political Organization and Leadership. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. because Tecumseh was notifying Harrison that if he did not make amends with the Indians. This device operates as a form of parallel construction.” Tecumseh suggested that his people wanted peace and he reinforced the idea that European Americans and Native Americans were equal. Tucson: Universi