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

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

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mayan Civilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midewiwin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mogollon Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496 Native American Church . . . . Olmec Civilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . Missions and Missionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418 420 422 425 427 431 432 438 446 454 455 456 457 459 460 462 463 468 473 474 479 481 482 483 484 487 Names and Naming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Music and Song. . . Mosaic and Inlay . . . . . . Marriage and Divorce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maple Syrup and Sugar . . . . . . . . . Medicine Bundles . . . . . 498 Ohio Mound Builders Okeepa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mounds and Mound Builders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Military Societies . Masks . . . Maru Cult . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine Wheels . . Oral Literatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . Moccasins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501 506 507 512 520 523 xxx . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mother Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ornaments . . Morning Star Ceremony . . . . . . . . . Metalwork.Contents Manibozho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midwinter Ceremony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Menses and Menstruation . . . Oratory . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact . . . . . . . . . . . Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mississippian Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. Pasadena. Barrett. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or transmitted in any form or by any means. without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997). P. Barrett. recording. 2 : alk. Harvey J. E98. Z39. I. 3 : alk. For information address the publisher.Copyright © 2004. Indians of North America—Social life and customs.O. 1 : alk. California 91115. Inc. and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999). p. paper) 1.. All rights in this book are reserved. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index. II. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol. Markowitz. III. ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk. Inc. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol. Salem Press. Series. essays have been updated and new essays have been added. Harvey.S7A44 2004 970.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995). cm. or any information storage and retrieval system. Markowitz. by Salem Press.004′97—dc22 2004001362 First Printing printed in the united states of america . including photocopy. Box 50062. electronic or mechanical. Carole A.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

as soon as it was well organized. At the same time. otherwise called the General Allotment Act. as the Dawes Severalty Act. Although agriculture had been slowly gaining among the Indians. developed a definitive policy with respect to the Indians still living in the territory ceded by the British in 1783. The federal government. from its author. and a child 40 acres. a single man 80 acres. an abrupt change occurred in the Indian policy of the federal government. Congress became convinced that it could significantly lessen the costs of Indian support (needed to supplement the produce of Indian agriculture) if it created the incentive of private property. The victory of the colonists in the American Revolution had a profound impact on Indian agriculture. 1887-1934. 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. With the Louisiana Purchase. The Indian agents appointed by the federal government for each tribe were instructed to promote such agricultural practices among the Indians. In the 1790’s. This act authorized the president to divide reservation land into individual allotments: Each head of household was to receive 160 acres.” thus effectively separating them from the European Americans. considerable effort was devoted to inculcating white agricultural practices. In 1887.10 / Agriculture 1783-1887. By acquiring vast lands in the trans-Mississippi region. 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. defining the relationship between Indians and white Americans. It therefore passed what was widely known. Senator Henry Dawes. Congress passed what were known as the Trade and Intercourse Acts. this policy of separating the Indians from the white Americans became more explicit. The title to the land was held in trust by the federal government for twenty-five . the federal government obtained western areas where it could establish new reservations to which the Indians could be “removed. however.

where tillage agriculture. 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. Raising livestock was a practical option. actually the most hopeful revenue for Indian agriculture in the plains states. 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. The allotment policy discouraged the development of tribal herds run on a cooperative basis. the land was to be divided among all his heirs. The result was. then the remainder of the land was opened to white settlement. 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. but it required many more acres than the 160 allotted. it in fact had the opposite effect. The secretary of the interior commissioned a report to be produced by a group of specialists headed by Lewis Meriam. at the end of which time full title to the land would be transferred to the Indian owner. An allotment of 160 acres was simply too little land in an area of light rainfall. that it should be used to amass individual wealth was wholly outside their sense of the appropriate. First. Most critics of the policy stress the fact that it attempted to impose. had three principal recommendations regarding agriculture. There were a number of reasons for this failure. a private-property culture on peoples whose own culture largely lacked such a concept. depended on heavy capital investment in plows and harvesting equipment. Their report. By the 1920’s. instead. if it could be carried on at all. To Indians. any notion of remaking . the land was made available by the Great Spirit for the use of his children. by legislation. it was clear that the allotment policy was a failure. If the reservation contained more land than was needed to allot each member of the tribe his prescribed share.Agriculture / 11 years. If that owner should die before the twenty-five years had elapsed. known as the Meriam Report (1928). 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. and some funds were provided for the purchase of additional land. John Collier. Prior to allotment. Gordon . The report recognized that most Indian land was only suitable for grazing anyway. but only a modest portion of the more than 50 million acres once assigned to Indians but lost under allotment was recovered. the federal government. Agriculture has continued to decline among Indians. Third. so that now no more than 10 percent are agriculturally active. In most recent years. Second. Any former reservation land that had been opened to white homesteading but not taken would be returned to the tribe. although recognizing its continuing responsibility to the Indians. has largely given up attempting to encourage agriculture among them. more government programs should be directed toward women to encourage subsistence gardening. These efforts had some success among Plains Indians. by the 1970’s that figure had dropped to around 50 million.12 / Agriculture the Indians into commercial farmers should be abandoned—the most that could be hoped for would be subsistence agriculture. These recommendations laid the basis for a reversal of Indian agricultural policy under the New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt. who had new ideas about how to conduct Indian policy. Since 1934. Indians had had more than 100 million acres under their control. particularly cooperative agricultural efforts. and modern methods of food preservation. The period since World War II has seen vacillating Indian policy on the part of the government. for which Indian men showed greater aptitude. poultry raising. Nancy M. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ended allotments for any tribes that agreed with the new policy. Collier pushed tribal initiatives. The Roosevelt Administration appointed a new commissioner of Indian affairs. the focus of Indian agriculture should shift from tillage to livestock raising.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As American Indian studies turns to more emotional content. attitudes. Questions of the use of quantification arise because of the almost exclusive use of United States and Western social science data. The establishment of an agenda for American Indian studies. 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. dragging the latent out of the manifest. “While the program is inessential to a liberal arts education. American Indian studies is united in its respect of tribal traditions. but never claim to be definitive. single idea emerges from the doubts that have been expressed about the power of economic development. They appeal to an interest in behavior that is very different from Anglo-American intellectual concerns. The obverse of the quest for meaning is an uneasiness with the material conditions of life that until recently seemed so compelling. A clear. hardly seems plausible. of a set of methods or purposes indigenous to the Americas. stating. American Indian studies many times are very personal and intuitive.22 / American Indian Studies The quest for meaning only multiplies the pluralism of current research and teaching. and symbolic acts become more prominent. which is a special mark of scholars and teachers in American Indian stud- . neither is the telling of a sustained story. the demand is for a more elusive process of comprehension. The very process of recovering deeper motivations and attitudes. not just a disagreement over collection of data. Analytical and technical research is increasingly limited. requires such personal feats of imagination and use of language that questions about plausibility and proof are bound to arise. it is not inconsistent with one. What is at stake is a profound epistemological question. as mental patterns. Senior faculty at one state-supported university in Oklahoma challenged the continuation of a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies. The insights are justified within a specific tribal context with powerful rhetorical and imaginative methods. or of a special task for its practitioners. There is observation of certain fundamental rules for using evidence so as to be intelligible across cultural boundaries.

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

which includes papers and proceedings of the National Archives Conference on Research in the history of Indian-white relations. such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. businesspersons. Maryland. not for the benefit of researchers. This refers to the records of a single agency. however. Another useful volume is Indian-White Relations: A Persistent Paradox (1976).24 / American Indian Studies U. The two most important of these are Guide to the National Archives of the United States (1974) and Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians (1981). These personal papers are collected in large part by state-supported university manuscripts collections. There are important guides to assist in research efforts. American Indian studies has long been limited in perspective because of the heavy dependence upon documents generated by Euro-American policymakers. Suitland. The agency filing system was designed for administrative purposes. the research that was used in the Indian Land Claims Act of 1946. and military personnel. 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. American Indian people were . These are housed in the Washington National Records Center. National Archives. The papers of the presidents and many of those of other high officials. The National Archives endeavors to keep records in the order in which they were maintained by the respective agency.S. The basic organizational unit in the National Archives collections is the record group. are regarded as their personal property. and in eleven regional Federal Archives and Records Centers throughout the United States. Large numbers of records about American Indian peoples are held by the National Archives of the United States. Additional materials concerning Indian-white relations are contained in the United States Supreme Court decisions. and in the manuscript collections of major universities throughout the western United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Northwest Coast Culture Area Eyak Tlingit Nishga Gitksan Tsimshian Haida Haisla Bella Bella Bella Coola Kwakiutl Nootka Squamish Semiahmoo Cowichan Nooksack Makah Quileute Clallam Quinault Skokomish Chehalis Twana Chemakum Duwamish Chinook Snoqualmie Puyallup Klikitat Clatskanie Nisqually Cowlitz Tillamook Siletz Yaquina Kalapuya Alsea Siuslaw Coos Umpqua Tututni Takelma Chasta Costa Klamath .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although varying widely in their content and elaboration. From early childhood. 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. which many tribes attributed to individuals who behaved and dressed like members of the opposite sex. (National Archives) . so that by the time they reached adulthood most willingly accepted them as major parts of their social identities. 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. However. imitation. weaving a belt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the 1960’s and 1970’s tribes began to insist that the school system for Indian children had to change. Education: Post-contact. Many boarding schools in the United States closed during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families. Carole A. Boarding schools. Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences. Basil. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 2000. Lomawaima. David Wallace. Barrett Sources for Further Study Adams. Tribal languages. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. and those that remain open provide specialized services such as foster care and developmental education to small numbers of youth. Child. Tribal Colleges. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. They Called It Prairie Light: The Story of Chilocco Indian School. Missions and Missionaries. Archuleta. cultures. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1900-1940. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press. ed. Tsianina. Education: Pre-contact. American and Canadian Indians lobbied intensely to close boarding schools and put education in the hands of native people. have given way to innovative tribally controlled schools that underscore selfdetermination and sovereignty. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience. once considered by both countries the optimal way to educate Indian children. and they asserted their rights to manage the education of their children. Indian School Days. 1994.142 / Boarding and Residential Schools Indian-Controlled Schools. Johnston. Brenda. The goal is no longer to assimilate but to educate and instill a sense of pride and selfworth in the students. K. and histories are vital parts of the curriculum in these schools. Margaret. 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. The last federal residential school closed in Canada in 1988. 2000. 1988. 1998. . See also: Children.

They then hollowed out the log with a stone axe and sometimes added planks along the sides or fastened two canoes together. Christopher Columbus first recorded the word canáoa. for example. Because of their heavy weight and the difficulty of overland transport. which was used by natives in the West Indies to describe their dugout boats. Native American watercraft generally fall into three basic types: dugout canoes. Canoes. and kayaks. Smaller canoes for two or three per- Nootka dugout canoe Algonquian birchbark canoe Inuit kayak . side by side. which they felled by building a fire at each tree’s base. 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. The Tlingit. constructed canoes for fishing and coastal voyages out of large red cedar trees. dugout canoes were primarily used by more stationary tribes or by those who fished or navigated on the oceans and thus needed a very strong craft. The word “canoe” is a general term that refers to many different types of light. birchbark canoes. who lived in the area of present-day southeastern Alaska along the Pacific coast. with spars made from sturdy branches for more stability in rough waters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

000 20.000 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. 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. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press.000.000. Kiowa. Thornton.000.091 800 .000 16.000. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Russell.000 2.000.000. 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. Cheyenne. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. 1986). They assembled as a tribe only during the summer.000 14. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache).000 4.000 1. equestrian buffalo hunters. Others—among them the Arikara.000 12.000. Blackfeet Confederacy.000. Comanche.000 15. Mandan. Assiniboine.000.000. Russell. 1895 395.000 14.000. 1987).000 1.000 20. Atsina.000 8. Hidatsa. in 1983 it was estimated at 50.000 10.000. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho. Source: Data are from Thornton.000. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic.000 6. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.

Foreword by William T. Pickering.: Johnson Books. In the late 1870’s. the Plains Indians were providing between 150. Isenberg Sources for Further Study Ewers. White Buffalo Society. Robert B. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Colo. By 1889.000 and 200. Indian hunting of the buffalo accelerated during the nineteenth century. Pemmican. Boulder. 1997. Colorado. By the 1840’s. Subsistence. Hides and Hidework. Plains Indian History and Culture: Essays on Continuity and Change. Indian commercial hunting had markedly reduced the number of bison in the eastern Great Plains. See also: Buffalo Dance. which divided to search for winter forage. Horses. where they destroyed the remaining herds by 1883. Andrew C. Hagan. In response to the fur trade. reflecting the actions of the herds. Seeing the White Buffalo. . White hide hunters delivered the final blow to the herds in the 1870’s and early 1880’s. having largely extirpated the bison from the southern Great Plains. Once the herds were destroyed. 1997.154 / Buffalo bison were congregated for the rutting season. John Canfield. 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. and Wyoming. the hide hunters moved to the north. there were about a thousand of the animals remaining in remote areas of the Texas panhandle.000 buffalo robes each year to European American fur traders along the Missouri River. During the rest of the year they were divided into bands. the Plains Indians were reduced to extreme poverty and had little alternative to the reservation system. The hide hunters were extraordinarily destructive: In the early years of the slaughter. By the 1850’s. Montana. every hide shipped to market probably represented five dead bison.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clowns Tribes affected: Pantribal but especially the Apache. While there is great variation in costuming. . and (most important for preservation of the cliff dwellings) Jesse Walter Fewkes. Pueblo. Often. they can also serve as powerful healers. In most tribes. Clifton K. ranging from the famous mud-head clowns of the Hopi and Zuñi to the black-andwhite-striped clowns of the Koshare and Apache. the clown figure usually has unusual beginnings. Most creation stories include the creation of a clown figure. Iatiku. Clowns engage in various forms of outrageous behavior. who receive their power from the Thunderbeings. as are the Sioux heyoka. Clowns are an important part of Indian mythology and ritual. Seminole. Adolph Bandelier. Kivas. clowns perform similar functions in all tribal groups. Pueblo. Navajo. As in the Keresan story of the clown being created from the epidermal waste of the creator. 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. clowns are more often associated with water and water rituals. These studies were expanded by Richard Wetherill. written while he was fighting the Navajos in 1849.180 / Clowns Lieutenant James Simpson’s descriptions of the cliff dwellings and other ruins in Canyon de Chelly and Chaco Canyon. While sometimes associated in mythology with the sun. Yearley See also: Anasazi Civilization. Sioux Significance: Through their behavior. Gustav Nordensjold. clowns reinforce a sense of order and the need for personal responsibility. one must be selected to be a clown and receive years of training in one of the clown societies. Architecture: Southwest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In three decades. To meet these economic and political demands. there were 306. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. and the death rate fell. from 1850 to 1880.S. health and sanitation conditions improved. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. as well as a rise in infant mortality. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations.155. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). the European population increased to 50.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. isolated from society. . The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. cultural oppression lessened. The combined impact of war. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. The result was a young age-sex structure. After 1930. trachoma. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. western lands and resources were needed. disease.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. only 6.783. poor nutrition. infant survivorship improved. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. Poor sanitation. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. In 1920. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions.S. however. the U. Census recorded 248. The 1890 U.

for example. By 1970. 2002) were under eighteen years of age.636 Native Americans.000 age sixty-five or over. Second. First. had 87. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma.000 reported an advanced degree.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. the federal government instituted a relocation program.S. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. As a result. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. Census witnessed a 71. Finally. In the mid1950’s. Demographic Trends.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. A scant 125. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.S. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. In 1960. The 1980 U. especially infant and child health care. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects.500 people of Native American descent. with less than 300. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. the Native American population has grown tremendously. Census Bureau. In 1990.1 percent increase. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. Native . adding significantly to the population. there were 551. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.3 million (July 1. there were 827. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. Native American health improved dramatically. Since the 1950’s.

7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. Unemployment. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. Native American people reside in every state in the union. article in Indian Country Today. Apache.000. constituting 1.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). 2002. 2000) was 2. Deaths by accidents.3 million in the United States alone. diabetes. suicide. 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. tuberculosis.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. was 4. remains high.4 percent. Of these. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. violence. followed by Navajo. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1.S. 2002. in both rural and urban areas. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages.5 percent of the total U. Blackfeet. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. Nonetheless. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. Eskimo and Yupik. followed by the Athabascan. population. Chippewa. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average.000 members. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). Population Since 2000. the U. Muscogee (Creek).000—and indeed. as reported in a December.000 members. As of July 1. with nearly . 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. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent).S. 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. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. approximately three-quarters (3. Choctaw.

Over 1950 377.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. . mate. these small groups of 1970 827. most four hundred years. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U. the Native Amertions.764* population but continue to 1860 339. collapse that lasted for al3. their ancestors col1940 366.273 1960 551.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. enumeration of Native can Population. Secretary of war estimate (1929). Morse population estimate (1822).000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857).Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates).000* 1800 tions.S.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312.400 their population increased. Beginning in 1880.380 Initially. 1980 1. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.995 nificant population changes. Today.421* represent a higher percent1870 313. 1930 362. 4. 1990 1.000 and some societies constructed large. 1900 266. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. 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. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates.427 onized a continent. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States.” 1.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. devastating demographic 2.543* 1890 273.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943).959.420. After European contact.607 diversity. urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters.636 time.732 Native Americans have 1910 291.

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

The “new” pathogens therefore not only created a high degree of physiological stress but also engendered cultural stress. The dramatic population decline of indigenous people continued until the early twentieth century.995 Native Americans remained after the epidemiological onslaught of European colonization. The epidemiological conquest of native North America accelerated after the early seventeenth century with English and French colonization along the Atlantic seaboard. trepanematoid. although the reasons for the demographic collapse of native North America are complex. launched a series of lethal epidemics that infected various Native American people. and other degenerative. 270.2 million to 18 million Native Americans who inhabited North America at the time of the arrival of Europeans. introduced by European explorers and settlers. Epidemic episodes often resulted in a breakdown in the social system. and a variety of tuberculoid.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 225 Disease and Intergroup Contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Within decades after contact with Europeans. the estimated aboriginal population of native North America began to decline. They were the survivors of perhaps 1. Native American societies experienced rapid population declines. pre-contact native North America was not a disease-free paradise. elevating mortality levels. . circa 1520. Increased mortality among Native Americans as a result of introduced European diseases such as smallpox is not attributable to a lack of sufficient immunological response to infections in general but to the fact that Native Americans had no prior exposure to these pathogens. a prominent factor in that decline was Old World infectious diseases. Although European infectious diseases devastated many Native American societies. The Spanish intrusion first into the Caribbean and then into the Southwest and Southeast. By 1920. anemia. Malnutrition. After the arrival of Europeans. Biological and archaeological evidence documents the fact that pre-contact Native American populations suffered from a number of afflictions.

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

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

000.400. Introduced European infectious diseases.100 or 31. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. for example. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. the European population had reached an estimated 223.4 percent. (National Archives) . In sum. By the eighteenth century. By 1790. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward.9 percent. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600.000 people. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. 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. the population was reduced to approximately 55. By contrast. By contrast. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases.900—a decline of 71. In the southeastern region of North America. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. the European population grew to more than 5 million.630.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century.

According to Henry Dobyns.9 years among some segment of the Native American population. One of the most devastating epidemics during this century was the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. G. Caldwell. Acute infectious diseases have been replaced by “diseases of poverty.” Many of these afflictions reach epidemic proportions in some Native American communities. Native Americans contracted measles and cholera every 22. Only then did these infections give way to the twentieth century epidemics of influenza. accidents. Noble David. with more frequency. During the nineteenth century. more epidemics occurred during the nineteenth century. but the northern Plains region was hit especially hard. In addition. Smallpox continued to appear every 7.5 years. 1492-1650. type II diabetes mellitus. than during any other. It is estimated that seventeen thousand Native Americans on the northern Plains died before the epidemic subsided. 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. violence. suicide. New York: Cambridge University Press. Idaho: Caxton Press. and trachoma—chronic conditions that would infect Native Americans until the 1950’s. an anthropologist and authority on Native American historical demography. The placement of Native Americans on reservations or in rural communities did not mark the end of epidemics. tuberculosis. R. twenty-four epidemics affected Native American populations. The disease diffused across most of native North America. .Disease and Intergroup Contact / 229 Since the Nineteenth Century. Between the smallpox episodes. 1998. 2001. Campbell Sources for Further Study Cook. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest. Robertson. and alcoholism exceed the national average. Deaths from tuberculosis. Gregory R. Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drums come in a variety of types. The hand drum is carried by an individual and can be played while dancing. but woven baskets and hollowed gourds are often used as well. 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. (National Archives) . There are also large drums around which several people sit and play together. 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. 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. Most often drumming accompanies singing.

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

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

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

By 1840.000 per year “to promote civilization among the aborigines. were agreeable to the Indians. when treaty making with the Indians ended. The terms usually called for teachers. which established this fund. Congress established a civilization fund. A common method of providing educational assistance during this period was by treaty stipulation. This Connecticut school concerned itself with the academic training of Indian youngsters and included reading. the U. for that reason. writing. and others that came later. founded in 1755 by Eleazar Wheelock. and practical instruction.S. the United States entered into almost four hundred treaties. The first specific appropriation by Congress for Indian education was the Act of March 30. was organized in 1837 by Colonel Richard Johnson in Scott County. to provide financial support to religious groups and other interested individuals who were willing to live among and teach Indians.246 / Education: Post-contact Another example of colonial religious schools was Moor’s Charity School. The first manual labor school. From the first treaty in 1778 until 1871. the Choctaw Academy. material. This school. Kentucky. Manual labor schools had their beginnings during the period when the tribes were being moved out of the East and Northeast. 1802. offered religious. Six hours were spent daily in the classroom and six at work on farm and shop detail. They also drew support from the government. government was operating six manual labor . The school operated until 1769 and enrolled as many as 150 Indian youth. which allowed $15. a Congregationalist minister. which believed that it was a waste of effort to provide only academic training. The Act of March 3. and equipment for educational purposes. Usually these were located in Indian country or at a site convenient to several tribes and. 1819. also gave the president complete authority over Indian education and remained the basic authorization for the educational activities carried out by the government on behalf of Indian people.” The money went mostly to missionary groups. of which 120 had educational provisions. In 1819. which lasted until 1873. academic. and Latin in its curriculum. Greek. English. arithmetic.

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

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

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

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

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

Edgar S. The amended version also encouraged the establishment of community-run schools and stressed culturally relevant and bilingual curricular materials. The American Indian Magnet School at Mounds Park All-Nations School in the St.252 / Education: Post-contact tending urban public schools. 1975. The Office of Education. Indian students still struggle for visibility in the education market. Forrest J. Our Brother’s Keeper: The Indian in White America. It was amended in 1975 to require that Indian parents be involved in the planning of these programs.. bachelor’s degrees earned by Indians comprised less than 0. High-school dropout rates for Indian students continue to be the highest for all minority groups. A collection of writings and pictures compiled by the Citizens’ . recommended that tribal history. from 130 to 102. Doctorates earned by Indians between 1980 and 1990 actually dropped. to the position. and David W. after a two-year study. with fewer than 50 percent completing a high school education. Hearne. Minnesota. In the 1990’s. but perhaps it will also take the lead in providing a vehicle for the land’s original citizens to assume their rightful place in American society. New York: New American Library. In spite of efforts to improve educational opportunities for Indians. using students’ own tongue as the language of instruction. 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. President Jimmy Carter created the new post of assistant secretary of the interior for Indian affairs and named a member of the Blackfoot tribe. Dorothy Engan-Barker. culture. Some reservation schools reported a yearly teacher turnover rate of 90 percent. and languages be emphasized. In 1990. public school system declared the goal of “placing education into culture instead of continuing the practice of placing culture into education. Paul. assisted by Bette Blaisdell Sources for Further Study Cahn. During 1977.5 percent of all degrees conferred. Gerrard.” Three centuries of national educational policy must take at least partial responsibility for the tragic decline of tribal cultures in the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(National Archives) . there was no prior large-scale experience with gambling as a commercial enterprise. but some tribe members protest its presence on reservations. but it has brought controversy culminating in firefights and death to others. Four Paiute Indians playing a gambling game in southwestern Nevada during the late nineteenth century. During the late twentieth century. 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. 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 provisions of the law were two-edged: They required tribes to negotiate with states on types and rules of gaming.000. The act also established the National Indian Gaming Commission to oversee gaming activities. Department of the Interior. and gaming revenues began to subsidize reservation infrastructure. schools. the Congressional Research Service estimated that more than one hundred Indian tribes participated in some form of gambling. but they also guaranteed that ownership of gaming facilities and their revenues would belong to the tribes. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. not subject to state regulations.S. 1979.Gambling / 299 Development of Gambling. When challenged.S. The history of reservation gambling begins in 1979. principal deputy solicitor of the Department of the Interior. Butterworth. jobs. gross revenue from such operations passed $1 billion that year. between seventy-five and eighty of the federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States were conducting some sort of organized game of chance. roads—and. saw a means of increasing their revenues by offering bingo games with prize money greater than that allowed by the U. 1987). described the fertile ground gambling enterprises had found in Indian country: . By 1991. hospitals. By the fall of 1988. which grossed about $255 million a year. the tribes sued in federal court and won (Seminole Tribe v. while bingo stakes in surrounding areas under state jurisdiction were sometimes limited to one hundred dollars. when the Seminoles became the first Indian tribe to enter the bingo industry. For the first time. Individual prizes in some reservation bingo games were reported to be as high as $100. gaming was sanctioned as a legitimate method of tribal economic development. According to the U. By early 1985. Indian tribal governments. 150 native reservations recognized by non-Indian governmental bodies had some form of gambling. California v. As state-run lotteries became legal and proliferated throughout the United States. In October of 1988. Marion Blank Horn. Cabazon Band. which officially legalized gambling on reservations. state’s law. most important.

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

By the early 1990’s. 1990. guaranteed jobs (if they were unemployed). Intervention of several police agencies from the United States and Canada followed the two deaths. According to the National Indian Gaming Association. A half-hour’s drive from Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Because of the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). bingo and other nonbanking card games lawful within the states as a whole (Class II). drive-by shootings. a suburb of San Diego.Gambling / 301 1990. Indian tribal casinos and other gaming centers have proliferated. which approved Proposition 105 in 1998—have shown support for Indian gaming. The tribe had taken out health insurance policies for everyone on the reservation and established day care for children of working parents. gambling was providing a small galaxy of material benefits for some formerly impoverished native peoples. and all other gaming. members became eligible for homes (if they lacked them). each member of the tribe was getting monthly dividend checks averaging two thousand dollars as shareholders in the casino. violence had spiraled into brutal beatings of antigambling activists. 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. The largest casino to open by mid-1991 was the three-million-dollar Sycuan Gaming Center on the Sycuan Indian Reservation near El Cajon. blackjack players crowded forty-one tables. California. and night-long firefights that culminated in two Mohawk deaths during the early morning of May 1. . Benefits. in 2002 two-thirds of the American public supported Indian gaming. despite continued state challenges. Since that time. and outside police presence continued for years afterward. operated by the 103 members of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux. and voters—such as California’s electorate. By that time. In addition to monthly dividends. while 450 other players stared into video slot machines inside the tipi-shaped Little Six Casino. and full college scholarships. Regulation and Ongoing Controversy. By 1991.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early twentieth century Cahuilla woman carrying berries or nuts she has gathered. Generally. the identification of more than two gender categories and their activities and history. (Library of Congress) . 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.310 / Gender Relations and Roles ecology. gender research concerning American Indians includes three types of study: the investigation of women’s behavior and history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An interesting summary of the Ghost Dance movement that emphasizes the important role of Wovoka himself is provided by Thomas Overholt. and many interviewees stressed that the visions of Wovoka actually taught a peaceful coexistence with the white settlers. at least among the Sioux. It is certainly possible that ideas varied. for example. and a time that is coming which would be free of suffering and disease. as well as the performance of the dance itself. initiated by a visionary named Wodziwob) and the Southern Okanagan Prophet Dance around 1800.322 / Ghost Dance performance of a dance ritual (the Ghost Dance itself). Wovoka himself. In Indian descriptions of the Ghost Dance precepts to white researchers such as Mooney. Related developments of the Ghost Dance movement were certain ethical precepts and. and possibly influenced by.” which identified adherents to the movement and were used in the performance of the ritual dancing itself. the initial fervor of the Ghost Dance and Wo- . however. Attempts to trace a prehistory of the Ghost Dance of 1890. such as the Ghost Dance of 1870 (which also occurred among the Paiutes. As predicted dates for the cosmic events described by Wovoka came and passed. Overholt also suggests that the Ghost Dance of 1890 was preceded by. the motif of the destruction of whites was muted. the creation and wearing of distinctive “ghost shirts. Yet it is also true that such visionary movements were not uncommon among western American tribes from the beginning of the nineteenth century. the primary focus seemed to be on the ideas of resurrection and the restoration of important elements of the old ways. who compares Wovoka with certain prophets of the Bible such as Jeremiah. did have some contact with missionaries. Roots of the Ghost Dance. Of these major ideas. must also reckon with the very high probability of some influence from the Old Testament biblical prophets through early contact with European missionary teachers. depending on the views and experiences of the tribes appropriating the basic message of Wovoka. as reported by Mooney. similar visionary/apocalyptic movements.

1973. Gift giving was a central feature of exchange customs common to North American Indians. Overholt. Reprint. 1989. Channels of Prophecy: The Social Dynamics of Prophetic Activity. Expanded ed. Bryan R. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Treaties. Wilson. Paul. Smith-Christopher Sources for Further Study Bailey. 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. They used this gift . Wovoka and the Ghost Dance. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.C. Vol 14. 1957. D. Los Angeles: Westernlore Press. the focus shifted from apocalyptic expectations of events to a longer-term stress on daily ethics. Magic and the Millennium. 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. Edited by Don Lynch. Among some tribes. Mooney. See also: Dances and Dancing. 1896.: Government Printing Office. Indians presented gifts to make and sustain alliances and to demonstrate continued control to the colonial powers. Visions and Vision Quests. Washington. Michael. however. “The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890.” In Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. In short. James. These presents symbolized the social bonds between the participants. 1997. Hittman. trade. 1965. New York: Harper & Row.Gifts and Gift Giving / 323 voka’s teachings in general began to dissipate. Wovoka: The Indian Messiah. Thomas. Daniel L. the movement became partially institutionalized.

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

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

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

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

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

Grass House



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

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



Green Corn Dance

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

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

Green Corn Dance



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




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




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

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




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

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




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



Guardian Spirits

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




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

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




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

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

Hako /


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

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




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

Hako /


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




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

Hamatsa /


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

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



Hand Games

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

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

Hand Games



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

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



Hand Tremblers

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

Hand Tremblers



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




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




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




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

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




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




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

Hides and Hidework



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



Hides and Hidework

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

Hogan /


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

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



Hohokam Culture


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

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

Hohokam Culture



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



Hohokam Culture

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

Area of the Hohokam Culture

Kayenta Canyon de Chelly Mesa Verde

Chaco Canyon

Snaketown Casa Grande Point of Pines Mimbres



Hohokam Culture



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



Hohokam Culture

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

Hohokam Culture



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




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




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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

It was important Igloo . were hemispherical structures of varying size made of wind-compacted snow. each course of snow blocks decreased in circumference until the very top. Igloos. which was completed with a capblock. The domoid igloo was divided into a living/cooking area and raised sleeping platform. Blocks were cut with bone or baleen knives. Additional insulation was provided by shoveling loose snow atop the completed structure. It normally took two men three hours to build such a structure.370 / Igloo Igloo Tribes affected: Primarily Inuit (Eskimo) groups in the Arctic culture area Significance: Igloos were the main dwelling structures of central Arctic tribes. A window for light was made of ice. found mostly in the central Arctic. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.618. Colonial Times to 1970. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.052. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.000 31. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops.661.000 Total 104.574.642.097.314.000 55. in return.C. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.786.000 84.047.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.502.000 5.235. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped. Bureau of the Census.000 12. D.S.079.602.000 38.000 37.000 Note: Figures represent acres. Government Printing Office.000 4. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.000 16. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction.534.094.000 863.865. Historical Statistics of the United States.000 56. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.000 36.097.737. Part 1. 1994. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 10. In other cases as well. rounded off to thousands. Department of Commerce.226.000 77.407.000 32. In Mexico. the U.000 72.000 39.000 — 17.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.000 41. Source: U.000 55.000 Tribal 104.000 32.608. Washington.S. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.005. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway.698.000 72.000 58.159.314. 1975.000 41.: U.000 35.408. govern- . Means of Land Acquisition.S.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in the Great Basin. Architecture: Subarctic. the bearing poles were carefully tied and stored in or against a tree for future use. and time required to construct the shelter. John Alan Ross See also: Architecture: Plateau. number of occupants. these structures were relatively large and were used for several weeks or even months by an extended family. With more complex lean-tos. to draft away any smoke or embers from a cooking or warming fire.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. A basic lean-to could accommodate four to five persons. .

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

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

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

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

Manibozho was a messenger from Gitche Manitou . 3 (1952): 325-349. Nana. no. such as the Longhouse religion. keeping in mind the sad history of exploitation that is very much in the minds of most Native American practitioners of native religious traditions. _______. Daniel L. where he is also known as Nanabozho. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. no. Non-Indian students interested in the Longhouse religion should exercise great care in investigating this tradition with Seneca members. 1913. New York: New York State Museum. and messenger from the Great Spirit—was also a trickster who was sometimes outdone by his own tricks. Wallace. the use of peyote (as in the Native American Church). and other expressions of religious faith. Simmons. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. New York: Alfred A. David. A Friend Among the Senecas: The Quaker Mission to Cornplanter’s People. Parker. and Henry C. Edited by Arthur C. Tales of Manibozho are told throughout the Great Lakes region. Swatzler. C. Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. _______. Pennsylvania History 19. Anthony F.” Part 1.418 / Manibozho southern Canada.: Stackpole Books. Visions and Vision Quests. Pennsylvania History 19. Smith-Christopher Sources for Further Study Handsome Lake. Wenebojo. The Code of Handsome Lake. 1798-1800. and the Great Hare. 1973.” Part 2. Religion. and into Oklahoma on Seneca reservations there. 1798-1800. Mechanicsburg. See also: Longhouse. Bulletin 163. Knopf. ed. Manibozho Tribe affected: Ojibwa Significance: Manibozho—legendary wise man. 2 (1952): 117-147. prophet. Pa. 2000. ed. the Shaker Church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

influenza/pneumonia. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- . nearly 30. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. homicide.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. the promotion of seat belt use. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. and the deterrence of drunk driving. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread. suicide. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. 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. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes. 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. solid waste disposal. all races” category.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1.000 live births to 8. a rate very near that for the “U. Contemporary deaths from accident.. Shamanic and Modern Health Care. In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. alcoholism and related problems.7. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. In 2001.S. Furthermore. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. Between 1960 and 1991. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. almost 200. diabetes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Native North American Almanac. shamans might also perform different proofs of ordeal. 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. Primary source. shamans might dramatically plunge an arm into boiling water or hold a hot stone to show the patient and group they were impervious to pain because of their power. 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. Medical Services Branch. health and Welfare Canada. Alberta Region. Note: A partial listing of herbal medicines still used today in Canada. 1994. To demonstrate their power before curing. Immediately he would throw the loose rawhide over the screen.452 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact a hide screen. such as withstanding excruciating pain or demonstrating unusual manipulative skills. For example. Temporarily without power. Detroit: Gale Research.. ed. .

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

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

There were numerous medicine wheels composed of stones laid out by the indigenous North Americans. picnic area. and campground. Arapaho. and one inner vessel shape. Sacred. found in the Bighorn Mountains in north central Wyoming. Religion. two outer vessel shapes. was used by a number of different tribes. Schiffman See also: Architecture: Plains. Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. Sacred. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact. and Lakota. Religious Specialists. Tribes have petitioned the government to declare twelve days on both sides of equinoxes and solstices limited to tribal use of the site. Medicine Wheels Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: A medicine wheel is a circle of iconic stones used as a teaching tool. some of which are still extant. Cheyenne. Clans. the. It is a circle 80 feet in diameter with twenty-nine spokes of numerous limestone slabs. The most famous. including Crow. Glenn J. One of the spokes points to the place on the horizon where the sun rises at summer solstice. The tribes also want the protected area around the medicine wheel enlarged so that the habitat within three miles of the wheel is undisturbed. The medicine wheel is a sacred.Medicine Wheels / 455 See also: Bundles. all placed at about 8.700 feet in altitude on Medicine Mountain. . powerful teaching circle. Religion. The Department of the Interior wishes to turn this site into a tourist attraction and build a visitor center. Another spoke points to Arcturus rising at spring equinox. with three small outer circles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

while copper bells. shell beads. Anthropologists and archaeologists who have worked on interpreting Mogollon artifacts have speculated that Mogollon society showed some signs of class or status differences.Mogollon Culture / 475 Excavations carried out in the Mogollon area suggest that longdistance trade was an important component of the Mogollon economy. 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. some burial sites contained numerous and sumptuous grave goods. 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. For example. For example. while others were sparse or contained only skeletal mate- Area of the Mogollon Culture CALIFORNIA ANASAZI Kayenta Canyon de Chelly Mesa Verde Chaco Canyon PATAYAN Snaketown Casa Grande Point of Pines Mimbres HOHOKAM MOGOLLON .

as defined by anthropologists. Chiefs found in contemporary horticultural societies enjoy higher status than other members of society but have little explicitly recognized political power. and their ability to persuade or influence decision making through speeches. Numerous artifacts suggesting religious themes have been found. To maintain such economic systems. Equally problematic have been attempts to reconstruct a tenable picture of Mogollon religion. Although few specific aspects of Mogollon religion can be described. and construction projects could be effectively organized and conducted. it is sufficient. interpretations have been highly speculative.476 / Mogollon Culture rial with no grave goods present at all. trade. It is possible that Mogollon leaders operated in much the same way as their modern counterparts. an exact reconstruction of Mogollon society can never be made. Kivas are cylindrical. The concept of a chiefdom has been used to describe sociopolitical structuring at this level. often during festivals or ceremonies. Despite such archaeological evidence. Kivas are present at all significant late-period Mogollon sites and are still in use throughout much of . anthropologists have looked at modern horticultural populations to provide a working analogy. 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. A chiefdom. subterranean structures used primarily for purposes of carrying out religious ceremonies. there are some continuities between historical Southwestern Native American populations and religious traits that occur in earlier Mogollon contexts. refers to a sociopolitical system that depends on the redistribution of goods through a local chief or set of subchiefs. bordering on large-scale. To understand what the Mogollon political system must have been like. These scholars have also speculated that these class differences indicate a general cultural evolutionary pattern favoring increases in intensive economic productivity. more centralized political authority must have become increasingly important so that various subsistence. however. to acknowledge that Mogollon society must have been relatively complex. Perhaps the most conspicuous is the kiva.

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

1933.478 / Mogollon Culture Most scholars. and George J. Includes many references to Southwest prehistory. Ariz. Washington. New Perspectives in Archaeology. Gladwin..: Gila Pueblo. A comprehensive overview of scientific approaches to archaeology. 1968. jewelry.C. 1989. Euro-Americans also have felt this influence when they visit ancient Mogollon sites. Michael Findlay Sources for Further Study Binford. Winifred..: Smithsonian Institution Press. D. Dynamics of Southwest Prehistory. eds. take a synthetic or systemic view of Mogollon decline. Glove. Sally R. Some of this latter group of scholars have downplayed the idea of decline and inferred that the Mogollon tradition did not disappear. Contains a variety of high-quality articles on Southwestern prehistory. Chicago: Aldine. its influence is felt. Many Native American groups in central and southern New Mexico still make pottery. An overview of ceramic types for most Southwestern cultural traditions. or observe native ceremonies as they continue to be practiced. however. but became fragmented and subsequently evolved into the various contemporary Native American traditions now found in central New Mexico and eastern Arizona. Some Southwestern Pottery Types. Whatever may have stimulated their decline. Gladwin. Gumerman. These were not simple societies. buy artwork. or the impact it has had on contemporary EuroAmericans. but complex. long-held traditions that rival any found in other parts of the world. eds. Although it is difficult to measure precisely the impact Mogollon culture has had on contemporary Southwest native traditions. Series III. . Binford. 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. believing that the combined forces outlined in all of these theories caused the decline. and Harold S. Cordell. and textiles that resemble Mogollon forms. Linda S. and Lewis R.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Indians in American History. Glencoe. comps. or half the population of adult Indians. Glenn J. 1964. The Peyote Cult. Conn. John H. Weston. Ruth.” American Anthropologist 40 (1932): 698-715. Swan.. Santa Fe. non-Indian participation is minimal. and eds. Sterling. Reprint. and redemption are not found in Native American Church doctrine. and Walter B. et al.: Praeger. Peyote Religious Art: Symbols of Faith and Belief. Reuben Snake. Westport. Fixico. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.Mex. Since U. In 1960 the church was believed to have about 200. law classifies peyote as a psychotropic drug and prohibits non-Indian use. Echo-Hawk. Foreword by Donald L. Hamden.S. G. ed.000 members. Shonle. Laney. James. One Nation Under God: The Triumph of the Native American Church. 1956.500 / Native American Church Christian ideology acceptable. See also: Peyote and Peyote Religion.: Shoestring Press. 1938. The Native American Church continues to exist as an important pan-Indian movement uniting diverse cultures in common goals. “Peyote. Smith. Conn. Zurich. Jung Institute. N. Switzerland: C. but it is rare to find Christian symbols in the ceremony. 1970. On the Symbolism of the Native American Church of North America. LaBarre. .: Clear Light Publishers. 2002. 1996. Daniel C. Some songs still appeal to Jesus for health and help. Slotkin. 18702001: A Companion Reader. the Giver of Visions. Schiffman Sources for Further Study Evans. Christian sin. The Peyote Religion. By 1947 the Native American Church was a widely prevalent religion among the Indians of the United States and had assumed the proportions of an intertribal religion. Huston. judgment. Ill. Religion.: Free Press. 1999.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The earthen platforms consisted of layers of worked colored stone laid out in large plazas and covered with as many as a dozen . and 150 feet high. Olmec civilization is considered to be one of the oldest civilizations of native North America. and Chiapas. Evidence of Olmec culture first appears about 1500 b. which led to the development of sedentary societies and advanced forms of social and political organization. the Olmec constructed large earthen platforms more than 3. Tabasco. Recognition and identification of Olmec culture are based exclusively on archaeological evidence.Olmec Civilization / 507 Olmec Civilization Significance: One of the earliest advanced civilizations on the North American continent. Seasonal flooding and the lush tropical environment permitted the development of agriculture and the exploitation of domesticated plants. At sites such as San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. perhaps meant to imitate mountains or volcanoes not found in the immediate Olmec area.” in reference to the production of rubber in the Olmec heartland. along the southern and western edge of the Gulf of Mexico. swampy coastal floodplains crossed by rivers draining from highland mountains to the south into the Gulf of Mexico to the north. upon which were erected ritual and ceremonial structures of stone and more perishable materials such as wood or plaster. particularly corn.e. the Olmec constructed conical pyramids in the center of their platform complexes. and burial sites for Olmec royalty. but Olmec influence extended across most of southern Mexico and northern Central America. gathering places for public ceremonies. At the site of La Venta. including residences for elite Olmec families and rulers. 1.000 feet wide. in the state of Tabasco.c. The area consists of flat. The term “Olmec” is drawn from the Aztec language Nahuatl and loosely translates as “the rubber people. The Olmec heartland included the present Mexican states of Veracruz. These platform complexes served several purposes.000 feet long. since no direct descendants of Olmec civilization have ever been identified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eloquence is Power: Oratory and Performance in Early America. Other oratorical techniques used by Native Americans include the careful use of rhythm. and they remain in