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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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American Indian Culture .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the focus of Indian agriculture should shift from tillage to livestock raising. John Collier. The Roosevelt Administration appointed a new commissioner of Indian affairs. but only a modest portion of the more than 50 million acres once assigned to Indians but lost under allotment was recovered. and modern methods of food preservation. In most recent years. and some funds were provided for the purchase of additional land. The steady decline in Indian land under the allotment policy was reversed. These recommendations laid the basis for a reversal of Indian agricultural policy under the New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt. Gordon . has largely given up attempting to encourage agriculture among them. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ended allotments for any tribes that agreed with the new policy. more government programs should be directed toward women to encourage subsistence gardening. Any former reservation land that had been opened to white homesteading but not taken would be returned to the tribe. Agriculture has continued to decline among Indians. Second. Since 1934.12 / Agriculture the Indians into commercial farmers should be abandoned—the most that could be hoped for would be subsistence agriculture. These efforts had some success among Plains Indians. the federal government. for which Indian men showed greater aptitude. so that now no more than 10 percent are agriculturally active. The report recognized that most Indian land was only suitable for grazing anyway. poultry raising. The period since World War II has seen vacillating Indian policy on the part of the government. particularly cooperative agricultural efforts. by the 1970’s that figure had dropped to around 50 million. Nancy M. Collier pushed tribal initiatives. Indians had had more than 100 million acres under their control. although recognizing its continuing responsibility to the Indians. who had new ideas about how to conduct Indian policy. Prior to allotment. Third.

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

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

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

among American Indians included abstinence from liquor as a central tenet: One was the Longhouse religion established by Handsome Lake. and the death rate from drunk driving on reservations was three times the rate for the general population. and bootlegging became one way of becoming very rich on the frontier. with alcohol being the chemical most often abused. or revitalization movements. In the Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts of 1834. The suicide rate among Native Americans— which drinking undoubtedly influences—was more than double the national rate. Smugglers made huge profits. but enforcing the law proved impossible. one which has been recognized relatively recently. the United States government prohibited the sale of alcohol to Native Americans.16 / Alcoholism hol intoxication may also have been considered akin to being influenced or possessed by a supernatural being. established by Congress in 1975 to survey major reservation problems.1 per 100.000). is fetal alcohol syn- . A report issued by the American Indian Policy Review Commission. Alcohol remained illegal on Indian reservations until 1953.000) than for other Americans (6. Impact on the Indian Population. A number of post-contact religious movements.3 per 100. Death from cirrhosis of the liver. was more than four times greater for Indians (27. Statistics at the time of the commission’s report emphasized the prevalence of the problem: Seventyone percent of all arrests on reservations involved alcohol. but such efforts rarely succeeded. Many tribal political and religious leaders soon recognized the danger that alcohol posed to traditional culture. when Congress permitted its sale if local tribal governments voted to allow it. It found that almost one-half of Indian adults had some sort of chemical dependency. another was the PanIndian movement led by Tenskwatawa. Many tribal leaders tried to ban alcohol from their villages. Easier access to alcoholic beverages led to a steady increase in cases of alcoholism among Native Americans. Another alcohol-related health problem. concluded that alcohol abuse was the most severe health care problem faced by Native Americans. almost always caused by alcoholism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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. frame homes near the foothills were covered with mud thatch for greater protection and warmth.44 / Architecture: Great Basin In the winter.

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

). succeeded the Adena constructions. and economic center of the Mississippi tradition.60 / Architecture: Southeast ture’s funerary mounds. Creek and Yuchi Indians built large villages with ceremonial plazas and ball courts. These mounds supported chieftains’ houses and public buildings or contained burials. and Robert Easton. New York: Oxford University Press. where the Seminoles built wide-eaved. found in the Ohio Valley. 700 feet in width. Cahokia’s central pyramid is the largest manmade structure north of Mexico. The Cahokia site (800 c. measuring more than 1. One notable exception was in Florida’s southern marshes. . many southeastern tribes had adopted European-style buildings. squares. Under the Mississippi tradition (700-1000 c. Peter. open-sided dwellings with elevated platforms of cypress poles and palmetto thatch known as chickees. the result of fourteen different building campaigns over three centuries. monumental circles. When European explorers first arrived in the Southeast. By the nineteenth century. Louis. Mounds and Moundbuilders. they encountered Indian townsites with shaped mounds dominating the community and its plaza. 1989.000 feet in length. The Creek chakofa was a communal structure with a thatched conical roof. Missouri.e. and pentagonal geoforms. Mississippian Culture. Native American Architecture.e. communities periodically enlarged their flat-topped trapezoidal mounds. William B. Wattle and Daub. Folkestad Source for Further Study Nabokov. was the political.) near St. The Cherokees also built communal structures on low earthen mounds to house sacred fires. The Natchez Indians of Mississippi continued the temple mound building tradition into the early eighteenth century. and 100 feet in height. religious. See also: Chickee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Native North American Art. Feder. New York: Hudson Hills Press. Cattail leaf mats were woven around other willows. “Washoe Innovators and Their Patrons. Bulrush duck decoys were also made.Mex. Reno: University of Nevada Press. Houses were also made with basketry techniques and were essentially upside-down baskets. Boxberger. and near the top. and the mats were tied into place to form the walls. Whiteford. Duncan Sources for Further Study Arkush. 1986.82 / Arts and Crafts: Great Basin death. Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes. edited by Edwin L. Iowa: Kendall/Hunt. Marvin. . The top of the frame was tied inward to form a closed-in shape. “The Great Basin Culture Area. Margaret M. The cradleboard for a larger infant was made with a wooden frame onto which a basketry back and hood were woven. 1967. Cohodas.” In The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. Dubuque. Janet Catherine. 1965. leaving a broader stern where a person could sit and direct the craft. Brooke S. edited by Daniel L. Wheat. Santa Fe. A willow frame was made by setting up twelve or more vertical willows that were approximately 10 feet long. N. Armload bundles of bulrush were tied together with twisted cattail leaf ropes in such a way that a narrow prow was formed. New York: Oxford University Press. New York: Harry N. Ronald J. Abrams. Norman. Small canoes were also made with bulrushes (or tule). 1990. A cradleboard for a small infant was made completely by basketry techniques. Southwestern Indian Baskets: Their History and Their Makers. American Indian Art. They were tied together by other willows running horizontally—just above the ground. Berlo.: School of American Research Press. similar to reed boats made in Peru.” In Native North Americans: An Ethnohistorical Approach. midway up. Wade. Andrew Hunter. 1998. Long grass could also be used to form the walls. with a curved hood to protect the head and a soft back. 1988.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Their siege destroyed most of the city. in bloody rituals. 1520. Moctezuma II claimed to be the incarnation of Huitzilopochtli. Spanish weapons and horses were superior to Aztec missiles and obsidian-edged swords. Tlaloc. the Spaniards and their allies returned in 1521. More the meditative priest than the frenzied warrior. the sun might not rise and preserve humanity. the Aztecs killed at least twenty thousand captives to appease Huitzilopochtli at the dedication of the enlarged Great Temple. . Without human blood. 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. but they raised the cult of Huitzilopochtli to an imperial obsession. and Tezcatlilpoca. Wars brought captives to sacrifice. Moctezuma II allowed the Spaniards to enter Tenochtitlán. he vacillated. whereupon they took him hostage. When Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II became tlatoani in 1502. as had long been prophesied. Driven from Tenochtitlán in a bloody rout in June. Hernán Cortés acquired important indigenous allies by playing upon their hatred of the Aztecs. The Mexica continued to worship other Mesoamerican deities. Tenochtitlán had grown to 150. To enhance his power.000 inhabitants. wondering if the strangers were Quetzalcóatl returning. Social tensions were increasing. as he tried to escape. the Mexica staged mock battles (“flowery wars”) with rival cities so that both sides could take captives to sacrifice. such as Quetzalcóatl. The warlike Cuitlahuac replaced him as tlatoani but perished from smallpox a few months later. Not only priests but also all people provided blood through ritual self-laceration. Cuauhtémoc. He died while in their hands in 1520.5 million living around Lake Texcoco. because commoners gained little material benefit from the conquests. Aztec power was at its peak. Aztec militarism and religion became increasingly intertwined. creating the ultimate marriage of Aztec militarism and religion. It mattered little whether one nourished the gods through self-sacrifice or as the captive victim. and the invaders captured the last tlatoani. with perhaps 1. By the mid-1400’s. In 1487. Fatalism pervaded Aztec life: One’s destiny was determined at birth.

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

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

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

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

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

Since the fibers that form the coils are wrapped. Groups of coils can be stacked one on top of the other.Baskets and Basketry / 119 stitched together. (National Archives) . a wider range of materials can be adapted to coiling than is the case with twining. and so on until the basket is formed. and this may be the reason for its popularity. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Williams. though it took some skill to navigate them. The canoes were made by first fashioning a framework of cedar. Sexuality. Birchbark Tribes affected: Tribes throughout the Northeast and Great Lakes areas Significance: Birchbark served a wide variety of purposes for the northeastern and boreal Indians. Birchbark canoes were highly maneuverable. sheets of birchbark. from roofing material to the covering of canoes. comprising the keel and the ribs. stripped from the trees in sevenfoot-long sheets. in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. Societies: Non-kin-based. 1997.130 / Birchbark Sources for Further Study Jacobs. Walter. Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity. and Sabine Lang. birchbark canoes were widely used both for personal travel and for transporting goods. is one of the most common images people throughout the world have of American Indians. Pitch from evergreens was used to caulk the seams to make the canoe watertight. Wesley Thomas. were stretched tight and bound together with cordage made from the inner bark of the basswood tree. The image of figures gliding silently along a river in a birchbark canoe. Gender Relations and Roles. Because they were so light in weight. Sue Ellen. a single person could carry one over a portage. and Spirituality. 1986. Indeed. over this framework. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. . See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. as depicted in thousands of stories and films. The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture. Boston: Beacon Press. They were so ideal for use in northern waters that they were adopted by the French fur traders for use throughout Canada.

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

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

and 4. The Black Hills acquired a special significance to the western Sioux and were perhaps the most loved area in the Sioux domain. The Black Hills are located in southwestern South Dakota along the Wyoming and Nebraska borders. lodgepoles for tipis. Congress took the Black Hills with no compensation in 1877. They provided a panoramic view of the vast prairie of buffalo grass below. the Great Spirit. Spiritually. and medicinal plants for healing. The thunder-being proclaimed that the Black Hills were the heart of the earth and that the Sioux would come back some day and live there.S. The Sioux had expelled the Kiowa from the area by 1814 and extended this border further west in the next few years. 40 miles wide. Formed in the Pleistocene era. The Black Hills were reached in the late 1700’s by the Sioux chief Standing Bull and his followers as the Sioux migrated westward.000 feet high. According to legend. The Sioux called these hills Paha Sapa (Black Hills) because they were so heavily wooded with dark pine that from a distance they looked black. The hills were seen as a reclining female figure whose breasts provided life-giving forces and to whom the Teton went as a young child would go to its mother. They provided water and abundant food. 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 holy.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. they form a remote ridge of limestone and granite 110 miles long. They were the site of vision quests and the home of Wakan Tanka. violating an earlier treaty. The steep canyons provided protection from the severe winter weather. White encroachment into Sioux territory led to war in the mid- . the U.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

000.000 8. Blackfeet Confederacy.000. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic.000.000.000 20. Russell.000 1. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.000 14. equestrian buffalo hunters. 1895 395.000 16. Kiowa. Cheyenne.000 1.000.091 800 .000. 1987).000 2.000 6.000 10. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. Atsina.000. Russell. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.000.000 20.000 12. Thornton. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press.000. 1986).000. Others—among them the Arikara. Native Americans hunted bison on foot for thousands of years by surrounding a herd until the animals were within range of bows or by setting a fire to stampede a herd over a bluff.000. in 1983 it was estimated at 50. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho. Hidatsa.000.000. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting.000. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison. Assiniboine. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache).000 4.000 15.000. Comanche.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million.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. Mandan.000 14.000 18. Source: Data are from Thornton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Between 1500 and 1820. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size. Paralleling this demographic collapse.9 percent. Seminole. Chickasaw. Old World diseases. Other re- .300 Native Americans were thus removed.355.” Within decades of European contact. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust. forced migration and relocation. government acquired 115. The colonization of the Spanish. For their relocation efforts. the Choctaw. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. measles. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people. By 1790 their population was approximately 55. cholera. decreases in their fertility performance. the U. genocide. English set in motion significant population changes. Europeans brought smallpox. Native American populations declined. combined with warfare. for example. later. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. Furthermore. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. forced migration.218 / Demography mendous population declines. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. French. In 1830. In the southeastern region. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America. approximately 81. and the introduction of alcohol. Cherokee. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. and. Between 1828 and 1838.400.S.900—a decline of 71.

or other Native Americans promoted further those phenotypic and genotypic processes.200 individuals. with the Arikara and Hidatsa. the European. or of all three ancestries. Since contact. Aside from losing their land and resources. forcing them eventually to merge. may have had significant implications for tribal survival and demographic recovery. Western indigenous nations. In addition. for example. the United States experienced a dramatic in- . witnessed continued demographic upheaval. intermittent warfare with Europeans. After the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. the increasing contact with non-Indians had other important demographic consequences. their population collapsed to between 125 and 1. American society was becoming more urban. society. the estimated Native American population stood at 383. The United States economy was industrializing. occupying the available lands acquired from Native Americans. The Mandan. and Latino populations grew. African American. African Americans. culturally and biologically. boasted an estimated at-contact population of possibly 15. from 1850 through 1880. The rise of people with Native American-European or Native American-African ancestry. Some scholars suggest that depopulation and the following demographic recovery resulted in certain physical and genetic changes in those groups who survived. The incorporation of Europeans. As Native American populations declined. Prior to that time. and an erosion of their resources.000.S. Native Americans west of the Mississippi River began to experience directly the brunt of colonization and settlement. Their population changes during those decades were affected by the dramatic social and economic changes in U. and the federal government desired a link between the east and west coasts as a completion to its nationbuilding. western Native American populations had experienced introduced infectious diseases. Native Americans have experienced an increased genetic exchange with European and African populations. As the American population of European descent surpassed twenty-three million by 1850. By about 1850.000.Demography / 219 moved Native American tribal nations suffered similar demographic losses.

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

4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. By 1970.000 reported an advanced degree. had 87. Census witnessed a 71.S. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.500 people of Native American descent. In 1990. there were 551.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities.000 age sixty-five or over. especially infant and child health care. Native American health improved dramatically. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. A scant 125. Since the 1950’s.1 percent increase. there were 827. Finally. As a result. In the mid1950’s. Demographic Trends. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.S. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. the Native American population has grown tremendously. Second. Native . the federal government instituted a relocation program. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. with less than 300. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. The 1980 U. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. adding significantly to the population. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. In 1960. for example. Census Bureau. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. First. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role.3 million (July 1. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade.636 Native Americans.

only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. Population Since 2000. Apache.000 members. Alaskan tribes with more than 5.S.000 members. Unemployment. Chippewa. followed by the Athabascan. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). followed by Navajo. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. violence. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. suicide.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population.4 percent. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. Choctaw. article in Indian Country Today. As of July 1. was 4. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. with nearly . 2002. remains high. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. Deaths by accidents. as reported in a December.5 percent of the total U. Blackfeet. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. Native American people reside in every state in the union. the U. 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.000. 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. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. in both rural and urban areas. 2000) was 2. constituting 1.000—and indeed.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. population. diabetes. 2002.S. Of these. approximately three-quarters (3. Muscogee (Creek).3 million in the United States alone. Eskimo and Yupik. tuberculosis. Nonetheless.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest).7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average.

including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.764* population but continue to 1860 339.636 time. collapse that lasted for al3. these small groups of 1970 827. 1980 1. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). Today. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates).273 1960 551.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. most four hundred years.000 and some societies constructed large. 1930 362. Over 1950 377.959. 1990 1.420. urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. their ancestors col1940 366.543* 1890 273. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471.273 hunter-gatherers flourished.732 Native Americans have 1910 291.421* represent a higher percent1870 313.S.607 diversity. Beginning in 1880.” 1. 4.000* 1800 tions.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. .000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. 1900 266. Morse population estimate (1822). the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. 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. the Native Amertions. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U.995 nificant population changes. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates. devastating demographic 2. enumeration of Native can Population. mate.380 Initially.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943).417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. After European contact. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. Secretary of war estimate (1929).400 their population increased.427 onized a continent.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands.

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

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

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

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

400. Introduced European infectious diseases. In the southeastern region of North America. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward. the population was reduced to approximately 55. (National Archives) .630.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. By 1790. for example.000.9 percent. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. the European population grew to more than 5 million.000 people. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. the European population had reached an estimated 223. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915.100 or 31. By the eighteenth century. By contrast. By contrast. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases.4 percent.900—a decline of 71. In sum. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A collection of writings and pictures compiled by the Citizens’ . It was amended in 1975 to require that Indian parents be involved in the planning of these programs. 1975. bachelor’s degrees earned by Indians comprised less than 0.252 / Education: Post-contact tending urban public schools. Edgar S. recommended that tribal history. President Jimmy Carter created the new post of assistant secretary of the interior for Indian affairs and named a member of the Blackfoot tribe.” Three centuries of national educational policy must take at least partial responsibility for the tragic decline of tribal cultures in the United States. High-school dropout rates for Indian students continue to be the highest for all minority groups. The Office of Education.5 percent of all degrees conferred. from 130 to 102. Dorothy Engan-Barker. Indian students still struggle for visibility in the education market. Some reservation schools reported a yearly teacher turnover rate of 90 percent. Hearne. In spite of efforts to improve educational opportunities for Indians. Minnesota. The amended version also encouraged the establishment of community-run schools and stressed culturally relevant and bilingual curricular materials. with fewer than 50 percent completing a high school education. Gerrard. New York: New American Library. and languages be emphasized. culture.. Paul. 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. after a two-year study. Doctorates earned by Indians between 1980 and 1990 actually dropped. to the position. Our Brother’s Keeper: The Indian in White America. In the 1990’s. and David W. assisted by Bette Blaisdell Sources for Further Study Cahn. In 1990. public school system declared the goal of “placing education into culture instead of continuing the practice of placing culture into education. During 1977. 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. using students’ own tongue as the language of instruction. The American Indian Magnet School at Mounds Park All-Nations School in the St. Forrest J.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the prestige associated with old age has persisted among Native Americans. and Native American elders are still. At times they were assisted in this by family members. based on their own criteria. 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. the elderly “gave themselves back to the spirit world” by starvation or exposure to extremes of weather. Contemporary Issues. on the whole. At many of these institutions the children were made to feel inferior and were ridiculed when they spoke their language or showed respect for their Indian heritage. Retirement has also be- . Because native people often measure age by productive capability and social role rather than by chronology. who will be considered an older Indian and therefore will be eligible to receive Title VI services. even symbolic labors. Despite the trend in many native cultures toward a quick death once productivity was impossible. separated forcibly from their families.Elderly / 261 Each tribal culture and society had different attitudes toward the elderly. they were “rulers of the house” and simply died of old age. Indian tribes are permitted to define. 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. treated with respect and honor. In other societies. In some societies. Today. were they either abandoned or likely to dispose of themselves. Many Native American senior citizens were sent away to Indian boarding schools as children. Disruptive changes have altered much about Indian life. Only at the extreme. where they became too incapacitated to function. under Title VI of the Older Americans Act. If capable of performing minimal. elderly native people generally enjoyed high esteem because of their age and experience. very often serving in tribal positions of leadership. old people were treated with respect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

378 / Kachinas Members of the Hopi tribe making kachina figures during the mid-1930’s. The dolls. especially the mask features. costume. fur. although referring to religious spirits. although there are no examples dating earlier than about 1850. The commercialization of the kachina doll began sometime in the 1880’s. Therefore. Kachina dolls are carved from cottonwood root and painted by the men of the pueblo to be given to their daughters or nieces in order to teach them the mask. and feathers to replace features earlier represented by carving and painting. “Action dolls”—those carved in more active positions—have also been developed to appeal to the collector. when the traders who came into the Southwest began to sell the dolls to collectors. LouAnn Faris Culley . This resulted in a greater naturalism in the modeling of the figures as well as the addition of pieces of cloth. are not religious objects themselves and are not worshiped as idols. 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. nor are there any references to them in the literature of the period.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

that income from tourism has sometimes also played a part in the maintenance or reestablishment of certain ceremonies or customs. which continue to provide differences among tribes.) There are still some Indians. Moreover. are more likely to have preserved the old rituals. and those who live in very remote areas (as in the Subarctic). . who have been little affected by white culture. or even visitors. on the other hand. English is the working language. discussing their culture from arrival upon the American continent. Broadly speaking. however. Hans-George. In addition to the wide variety of traditional lifeways of American Indians. the structures of contemporary Indian societies are strongly affected by where Indians live today. two ceremonies will be held. but the native languages are used for traditional ceremonies. usually with no more than eighty or ninety residents. and reservation villages often still have chiefs and shamans. Reservation Indians. They live in log cabins in tiny villages. and maps. diagrams. marriage. the Yukon.386 / Kinship and Social Organization with European-derived culture. American Indians in cities and towns. An archaeological study of early Eskimos. those who live on reservations. and the Northwest Territories. Probably the most widespread group still holding to ancient customs in many ways are the Athapaskans of Alaska. (It might be noted. although still facing certain biases and prejudices. White residents. are rare apart from a few government officials and schoolteachers. including illustrations. three categories may be delineated: those who live in urban areas or large towns. mostly in very remote areas. Eskimo Prehistory. Marc Goldstein Sources for Further Study Bandi. Typically. One is in the ancient language (complete with dances and songs) and is usually barred to whites. at a major event such as a birth. 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. because there has been considerable intermarriage. College: University of Alaska Press. 1979. have generally acculturated to the dominant white culture. or death.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in 1983. 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.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. For example. the Canadian government created a new 770.Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting. 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. none prevailed. especially those areas rich in oil. however. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. a federal court in Minnesota awarded each individual of the White Earth Chippewa (Ojibwa) compensation for land lost to the General Allotment Act based on the value of the land at the time it was lost plus 5 percent compound interest. and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them. gas. 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. in 1991.000 square miles to the Inuit. 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. trapping. and minerals. For example. Many Inuit found that to . an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands. In the United States. in 1986. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. however. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. Similarly. Indians have often turned to the federal court system to enforce the terms of treaties or to set aside the effects of the General Allotment Act. or fishing. The courts have been reluctant. violent confrontations. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989. in some cases. In return.

000 4.000 32. In other cases as well.000 Note: Figures represent acres. rounded off to thousands.000 38. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.737.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.865.000 31.000 77.000 72.000 863.408. Means of Land Acquisition.C.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.159.000 16.786.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.642. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.052.000 84.000 56. govern- .097.000 39. Colonial Times to 1970.000 36. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.094.314. In Mexico. Historical Statistics of the United States. 1975. 1994. Bureau of the Census.314.235.407.226.068.000 41.000 5.698. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.000 72.608.097. in return.000 Total 104.: U.602.005. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway.000 58.502. Source: U.047.574.534.000 — 17. the U.079.146.000 37.000 35. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.000 41.618.000 55.661. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.000 12. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.000 Tribal 104.000 10.S.000 32. Part 1.000 55. Government Printing Office. Department of Commerce.S. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.S. D. Washington.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread.S. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. nearly 30.000 live births to 8.000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. a rate very near that for the “U. alcoholism and related problems.7. homicide. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. almost 200. suicide. Contemporary deaths from accident. Furthermore. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. Shamanic and Modern Health Care. solid waste disposal. In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. Improvement of both health services and living conditions has also diminished the absolute numbers of deaths from the main diseases that kill modern Indian adults.. Between 1960 and 1991. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. diabetes. and the deterrence of drunk driving. influenza/pneumonia. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- . and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. the promotion of seat belt use. In 2001. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways. Another aspect of disease prevention among Indians is a widespread nutrition and dietetics program in which clinical nutrition counseling and general health aspects are promoted.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. all races” category.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

452 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact a hide screen. shamans were be- Traditional Indian Medicines Still Used Plant Black spruce Devil’s club Fireweed Lichen Sage Soapberry Spruce needles Spruce pitch Strawberry leaf Strawberry root Tamarack bark Wild rhubarb Wild rhubarb Willow leaves Symptom Cough Aching muscles Swelling Ulcers Colds Diarrhea Eye infection Infected wound Ensure safe pregnancy Diarrhea Stomach trouble Arthritis Infected wound Insect stings Preparation Soft inner bark Boiled Large infusion steamed Mixed with other herbs Boiled None Needles boiled Applied directly Dried and boiled Boiled Beaten. The Native North American Almanac. health and Welfare Canada. ed. Alberta Region. 1994. Medical Services Branch. 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 might also perform different proofs of ordeal. For example. Immediately he would throw the loose rawhide over the screen. To demonstrate their power before curing. Note: A partial listing of herbal medicines still used today in Canada. Temporarily without power. Detroit: Gale Research. During curing ritual shamans often had to be protected as their personal powers might be elsewhere seeking the cause of a patient’s malady.. Primary source. 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. . such as withstanding excruciating pain or demonstrating unusual manipulative skills.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Y. Carol. Schiffman Sources for Further Study Cornelius. 1979.: Sage and Brothers. 3 (Fall. Elisabeth. Games and Contests. 2000. Henry. They were most common. 1992). Tooker. Knopf. Alvin M. “The Thanksgiving Address: An Expression of the Haudenosaunee Worldview. Josephy. New York: Alfred A. Wilderness Messiah: The Story of Hiawatha and the Iroquois. The prophet Handsome Lake adjusted the Thanksgiving Prayer to fit the needs of the 1800’s. The Native Americans. Jennings. and highly developed. Thomas R. et al. Morgan. The Iroquois Ceremonial of Midwinter. Robert F. Spencer. These voluntary societies were often agegraded. New York: Paulist Press. Glenn J. 1851. Lewis H. Husk Face Society. or Iroquois. with a person usually gaining greater status with age. See also: False Face Ceremony. Native North American Spirituality of the Eastern Woodlands. .Y. New York: Bonanaza Books. N. Syracuse. Jesse D. in the Plains. were made up of men from different bands within a tribe. and that version is the one in use today. New York: Harper & Row. Jr.: Syracuse University Press. Military societies. 2d ed. Rochester. ed. The Indian Heritage of America. League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee. N.. or sodalities. _______. 1968. no. 1955.462 / Military Societies belts. 1977.. 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.” Akwe:kon Journal 9.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Peyote Cult. Conn.: Clear Light Publishers. ed. Schiffman Sources for Further Study Evans. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. 1938. but it is rare to find Christian symbols in the ceremony.” American Anthropologist 40 (1932): 698-715. et al. Weston. judgment. Smith. On the Symbolism of the Native American Church of North America. Reprint. Conn. LaBarre. the Giver of Visions. American Indians in American History. Ill. Shonle. Fixico. Sterling. 18702001: A Companion Reader. comps.: Free Press. non-Indian participation is minimal. N. Reuben Snake. Slotkin. Daniel C. Glenn J. Switzerland: C. John H.S. and eds.: Shoestring Press. 1999. G. law classifies peyote as a psychotropic drug and prohibits non-Indian use. By 1947 the Native American Church was a widely prevalent religion among the Indians of the United States and had assumed the proportions of an intertribal religion. Peyote Religious Art: Symbols of Faith and Belief. Santa Fe. 1956. and redemption are not found in Native American Church doctrine.500 / Native American Church Christian ideology acceptable. James. Zurich. Religion. Westport.Mex. Christian sin. Echo-Hawk. Swan. or half the population of adult Indians.. . Laney. Foreword by Donald L. Huston. “Peyote. In 1960 the church was believed to have about 200.000 members. Some songs still appeal to Jesus for health and help. 1964. Glencoe. Since U. Hamden. See also: Peyote and Peyote Religion. 2002. and Walter B. Jung Institute.: Praeger. 1970. The Native American Church continues to exist as an important pan-Indian movement uniting diverse cultures in common goals. Ruth. The Peyote Religion. 1996. One Nation Under God: The Triumph of the Native American Church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After 300 b. Olmec influence stretched far beyond the Olmec heartland. Large Olmec-style carved boulders and upright stones occur along the southern Pacific coast of Guatemala and El Salvador during this period.C. but these cases are rare. 1968. Olmec culture disappears from the archaeological record. D. Stirling.c.e. and Olmecstyle rock carvings. Farmer Sources for Further Study Benson. Washington. Collected papers focusing on shared artistic influences between Olmec and neighboring or later Mesoamerican cultures. who were believed to be able to change into animal forms at will and communicate directly with the supernatural world.c. Elizabeth P. inherited and continued many aspects of Olmec style and culture. Olmec sculpture frequently depicts shamans in the act of such transformations.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections. Several later Mesoamerican cultures. America’s First Civilization. After 500 b.. Carved jade and ceramics in Olmec style have been found in central and far west Mexico. particularly the Maya of Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula. early examples of hieroglyphic writing. in fact.. One of the earliest comprehensive treatments of . Michael D. 1981.510 / Olmec Civilization similar to most Native American cultures in that the most important religious figures in Olmec society were the shamans.. Between 1000 and 300 b. ed. Coe.e.c. and Olmec ceramics are found as far east as eastern Guatemala and Belize. appear in a few isolated examples of Olmec art. or curers.e. The evidence suggests that the Olmec were interacting with a large number of non-Olmec cultures throughout the area at this time.. paintings. similar to the later hieroglyphic writing of the Maya. and Olmec civilization appears to have declined before the writing system was fully exploited. Trustees for Harvard University. The Olmec and Their Neighbors: Essays in Memory of Matthew W. and the Maya. seem to have considered the Olmec as their divine ancestors. New York: American Heritage. James D. and earthen platforms occur in areas south of Mexico City.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

” This was ironic. Kenneth S. 2000. because Tecumseh was notifying Harrison that if he did not make amends with the Indians. an orator was able to construct long chains of events. Oral Literatures. McAllister Sources for Further Study Clements. Eloquence is Power: Oratory and Performance in Early America. and alliteration. which can help make speeches more easily understood and remembered. thus forming a logical and descriptive narrative. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. This device operates as a form of parallel construction. . they would declare war. Another technique which Bahr describes is t