American Indian Culture | Indigenous Peoples Of The Americas | Essays

American Indian Culture

This page intentionally left blank


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 . . . . . . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

323 325 327 328 329 330 332 336 337 339 343 344 346 348


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

This page intentionally left blank .

American Indian Culture .

This page intentionally left blank .

American Indian Culture .

This page intentionally left blank .

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

Z39. Salem Press.004′97—dc22 2004001362 First Printing printed in the united states of america . For information address the publisher. Harvey J. paper) 1. electronic or mechanical. P. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. or any information storage and retrieval system. I. Indians of North America—Social life and customs. Box 50062. All rights in this book are reserved. Inc. E98. cm. 1 : alk. 2 : alk. California 91115. Inc. Markowitz. Pasadena.O. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or transmitted in any form or by any means. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol. and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999). ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk. without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. including photocopy. recording. essays have been updated and new essays have been added. II. Markowitz.Copyright © 2004.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995). p. Barrett. by Salem Press. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index. Harvey. Carole A. Series. III. 3 : alk. Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997).. Barrett.S7A44 2004 970.

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

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

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secotan. . . . . . . . Snake Dance . . . . . . . . . . Shells and Shellwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shields . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stomp Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sculpture . 633 635 636 638 641 642 644 645 647 649 651 651 654 658 659 662 666 667 670 678 679 683 684 686 691 692 702 703 709 711 xxxii . . Sports Mascots . . . . . . . . . . . Slavery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Serpent Mounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Social Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spirit Dancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stereotypes . . . . . . Shaker Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Suicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shalako . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Salmon. . . . . . . . Star Quilts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sand Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Subsistence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Squash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silverworking . . . . Secret Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sun Dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sign Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . Societies: Non-kin-based . . . . . . . Scalps and Scalping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths Syllabaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shaking Tent Ceremony . . . Salt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

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

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

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

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

This page intentionally left blank .

American Indian Culture .

This page intentionally left blank .

American Indian Culture .

This page intentionally left blank .

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

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

Northeastern Indians were using acorns only sparingly as food. and 5-10 percent fat. California.5 1. 8 in Handbook of North American Indians. edited by William C. making them a nutritious foodstuff providing about 168 calories per ounce. the more preferable the acorns.. Baumhoff (1963).e. however. .2 Source: Heizer. Robert F.0 2. 3-4 percent protein. the nuts of oak trees. Vol. ed. Sturtevant. D.9 2.5 1. The earliest unequivocal evidence of the dietary use of acorns comes from the Lamoka culture of New York. Seven Oak Trees Used by California Indians Common Name Tan oak Black oak Blue oak Valley oak Coast live oak Oregon oak Engelmann oak Species Lithocarpus densiflora Quercus kelloggii Quercus douglasii Quercus lobata Quercus agrifolia Quercus garryana Quercus engelmannii Desirability Rating 1. particularly in the Northeast and California. Archaeological sites in Massachusetts dating from a millennium later also have produced clear evidence of the eating of large quantities of acorns. Note: Acorns were of great importance to California Indians even in areas in which not many were available. the lower the number. By the historic period.c.: Smithsonian Institution.Acorns / 1 Acorns Tribes affected: Tribes in California and the prehistoric Northeast Significance: Acorns provided a starchy food staple for various Indian groups.0 1.. average 40-50 percent carbohydrates.0 2. probably around 3500 b.C. 1978. Acorns. This abundant and easily collected nut became the dietary mainstay for various Indian groups. “Desirability rating” scale created by Martin A. Washington.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Plains Culture Area Sarsi Plains Cree Blood Blackfoot Piegan Atsina Assiniboine Crow Hidatsa Mandan Arikara Teton Sioux Yanktonai Sioux Santee Sioux Cheyenne Ponca Yankton Sioux Pawnee Omaha Iowa Oto Kansa Missouri Arapaho Kiowa Osage Quapaw Comanche Apache of Oklahoma Wichita Kichai Tonkawa Lipan Apache Caddo .

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

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

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

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

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

measuring more than 1.e. . Wattle and Daub. the result of fourteen different building campaigns over three centuries. When European explorers first arrived in the Southeast. succeeded the Adena constructions. communities periodically enlarged their flat-topped trapezoidal mounds. open-sided dwellings with elevated platforms of cypress poles and palmetto thatch known as chickees.000 feet in length. and 100 feet in height. monumental circles. 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. 1989.60 / Architecture: Southeast ture’s funerary mounds. Peter. William B. One notable exception was in Florida’s southern marshes. The Creek chakofa was a communal structure with a thatched conical roof.e.) near St. Creek and Yuchi Indians built large villages with ceremonial plazas and ball courts. and pentagonal geoforms. The Cahokia site (800 c.). and economic center of the Mississippi tradition. they encountered Indian townsites with shaped mounds dominating the community and its plaza. By the nineteenth century. New York: Oxford University Press. These mounds supported chieftains’ houses and public buildings or contained burials. was the political. squares. Mounds and Moundbuilders. religious. Mississippian Culture. Folkestad Source for Further Study Nabokov. where the Seminoles built wide-eaved. 700 feet in width. Under the Mississippi tradition (700-1000 c. Missouri. and Robert Easton. found in the Ohio Valley. many southeastern tribes had adopted European-style buildings. Cahokia’s central pyramid is the largest manmade structure north of Mexico. See also: Chickee. Louis. Native American Architecture.

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

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 . 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. This new masonry technique resulted in an increase in both the size and complexity of the pueblos. producing a wall that was both aesthetically pleasing and strong.62 / Architecture: Southwest bearing surfaces were shaped. whose walls and floor were now lined with carefully shaped and fitted stone blocks. the Anasazi refined their masonry further. with a stone bench and stone pilasters to support the flat roof.

(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.Architecture: Southwest / 63 Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. 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. They apparently made the move for reasons of defense. being without . because the caves were much less desirable places to live. Chaco Canyon. Mesa Verde. housing more than one thousand people and covering almost four acres. Varying the shapes of the blocks created linear patterns. Pueblos of this period often rose to as many as five stories. adding visual interest to the walls. Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon was the largest pueblo in the Southwest. their influence had spread from the upper Rio Grande Valley to Texas and Nevada and to central and southern Arizona. and Kayenta continued to be major centers of Anasazi culture. with eight hundred rooms rising in tiers from a single frontal story to five stories at the back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southwestern Indian Baskets: Their History and Their Makers. Boxberger. Houses were also made with basketry techniques and were essentially upside-down baskets. A willow frame was made by setting up twelve or more vertical willows that were approximately 10 feet long. Brooke S. Dubuque. Santa Fe. Wheat. Wade. They were tied together by other willows running horizontally—just above the ground. and the mats were tied into place to form the walls. edited by Edwin L.” In Native North Americans: An Ethnohistorical Approach. Marvin. Norman.” In The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. edited by Daniel L. A cradleboard for a small infant was made completely by basketry techniques. Reno: University of Nevada Press. 1986. “The Great Basin Culture Area. Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes. Berlo. Margaret M.: School of American Research Press. 1990. Small canoes were also made with bulrushes (or tule). Cattail leaf mats were woven around other willows. Native North American Art. 1967.82 / Arts and Crafts: Great Basin death. New York: Oxford University Press. The top of the frame was tied inward to form a closed-in shape. Cohodas. “Washoe Innovators and Their Patrons. 1988. Duncan Sources for Further Study Arkush. similar to reed boats made in Peru. Andrew Hunter. midway up. 1998. Iowa: Kendall/Hunt. 1965. Abrams. . The cradleboard for a larger infant was made with a wooden frame onto which a basketry back and hood were woven. Armload bundles of bulrush were tied together with twisted cattail leaf ropes in such a way that a narrow prow was formed. leaving a broader stern where a person could sit and direct the craft. N.Mex. Bulrush duck decoys were also made. Whiteford. and near the top. with a curved hood to protect the head and a soft back. New York: Harry N. Long grass could also be used to form the walls. Janet Catherine. New York: Hudson Hills Press. Feder. American Indian Art. Ronald J.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. rules prescribing the behavior and goals for each of the sexes were a sociocultural universal among native North American peoples. and formal training those statuses and roles that their communities deemed proper for the respective genders. imitation. However.128 / Berdache Berdache Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: An anthropological term denoting the third gender status. (National Archives) . From early childhood. Although varying widely in their content and elaboration. both A Zuñi man from the late 1800’s dressed as a woman. which many tribes attributed to individuals who behaved and dressed like members of the opposite sex.

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

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

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

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

000 feet high. Formed in the Pleistocene era. The steep canyons provided protection from the severe winter weather.S. lodgepoles for tipis. 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. They were the site of vision quests and the home of Wakan Tanka. 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. violating an earlier treaty. the Black Hills were holy. The hills themselves were heavily wooded with dark pine and contained abundant animal and plant life as well as numerous springs and small lakes. White encroachment into Sioux territory led to war in the mid- . the Great Spirit. 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. two-legged animals raced four-legged animals to see who would dominate the earth. Spiritually. 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 were reached in the late 1700’s by the Sioux chief Standing Bull and his followers as the Sioux migrated westward. and medicinal plants for healing. and 4. The Black Hills are located in southwestern South Dakota along the Wyoming and Nebraska borders. They provided a panoramic view of the vast prairie of buffalo grass below. Congress took the Black Hills with no compensation in 1877. the U.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. According to legend. they form a remote ridge of limestone and granite 110 miles long. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting. Comanche.000.000 4. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. Source: Data are from Thornton.091 800 . in 1983 it was estimated at 50. 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. Blackfeet Confederacy. 1895 395. equestrian buffalo hunters.000 1.000.000. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison.000.000 14. 1986).000.000 14.000 1. Others—among them the Arikara.000 10.000.000 15. Russell. Mandan.000. Hidatsa.000 18.000.000 20.000 6. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic.000 16.000 2.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.000.000. Cheyenne. Assiniboine.000. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.000. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press.000 12. Atsina.000.000 8. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.000. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache).000 20. Thornton.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. 1987). Kiowa.000. Russell.

and Wyoming. the Plains Indians were providing between 150. During the rest of the year they were divided into bands.000 buffalo robes each year to European American fur traders along the Missouri River. . reflecting the actions of the herds. Indian commercial hunting had markedly reduced the number of bison in the eastern Great Plains. In the late 1870’s.: Johnson Books. Plains Indian History and Culture: Essays on Continuity and Change. Pemmican. Subsistence. the hide hunters moved to the north. Isenberg Sources for Further Study Ewers. Boulder. Hagan. Foreword by William T. By 1889. where they destroyed the remaining herds by 1883.000 and 200. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Colo. there were about a thousand of the animals remaining in remote areas of the Texas panhandle. 1997. having largely extirpated the bison from the southern Great Plains. Montana. 1997. Andrew C. the Plains Indians were reduced to extreme poverty and had little alternative to the reservation system. Hides and Hidework. Horses. Pickering. Seeing the White Buffalo. Indian hunting of the buffalo accelerated during the nineteenth century. which divided to search for winter forage. 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. Once the herds were destroyed. See also: Buffalo Dance. John Canfield. Robert B. By the 1840’s. In response to the fur trade. White Buffalo Society. By the 1850’s.154 / Buffalo bison were congregated for the rutting season. White hide hunters delivered the final blow to the herds in the 1870’s and early 1880’s. The hide hunters were extraordinarily destructive: In the early years of the slaughter. every hide shipped to market probably represented five dead bison. Colorado.

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

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

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

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

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

and appointing and training one’s successor. The degree of power wielded by a cacique varies with that cacique’s personality. 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. Calumet. representing the pueblo in dealings with outsiders. to whom it designates a religious-secular office. from the French for reed pipe. Russell J. Widely used . “cacique” was adopted by the Eastern Pueblo peoples.160 / Cacique Cacique Tribes affected: Tribes of Spanish America Significance: Originally a term applied to Caribbean tribal chiefs. whose title and duties were modified by the Spanish. There. allocating certain rights to agricultural fields. The Puebloan cacique is probably an outgrowth of a native office. The Spanish subsequently used the term to designate leaders with varying degrees of authority. Barber See also: Political Organization and Leadership.” This entails presiding at various religious ceremonies. the term has been adopted only by the Eastern Pueblo tribes along the Rio Grande of New Mexico. the Spanish encountered Arawak Indians who applied the term “cacique” to their chiefs. namely the peace leader of the community. 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. it refers to the male religious-secular leader of a community. In the Caribbean. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. corn plants need adequate moisture and approximately 120 frost-free days to mature. Ann Arbor: Museum of Anthropology. “A Summary of the Subsistence. Patty Jo. Corn Among the Indians of the Upper Missouri. 1991. New York: Academic Press. Oxford. healthy diet. and these must be replenished through planting other crops (such as beans. 2002. no.” American Antiquity 51. Generally. Corn lacks an amino acid (lysine). 1967. Prehistoric Food Production in North America. 1990): 387-435. George F. Armelagos. no. Jean Black. Richard I. and a diet based only on corn is inadequate. Mark N. Kennedy. ed.. using fertilizers. essential for humans. Maize growing rapidly exhausts the soil’s nitrogen stores. Darrell. Anthropological Papers 75. Yarnell. “Radiocarbon Dating of Corn. edited by Douglas S. Conkey. University of Michigan.” In Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory. Fritz. Austin: University of Texas Press. MacNeish. Richard A. Wurtzburg Sources for Further Study Cohen. “Temporal Trends Indicated by a Survey of Archaic and Woodland Plant Food Re- . Hyde. and Austin Long. edited by Joan M.. and Mary C.. England: Basil Blackwell. 4 (December. successful corn agriculture has distinct requirements. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 4 (1986): 826-837. Creel. “Multiple Pathways to Farming in Precontact Eastern North-America. and George E. and George J. 1985.188 / Corn Despite its utility. or allowing the soil to rest fallow. A healthy crop also requires some weeding and care of the developing plants. Watson. eds. Ford. Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture. which provided the missing lysine and resulted in a balanced. which contribute nitrogen). 1984. Will..” Journal of World Prehistory 4. Many groups ate beans as well. Gero and Margaret W.” In Prehistory of the Tehuacan Valley. “The Development of Horticulture in the Eastern Woodlands of North America: Women’s Role. and M. vol. Richard S. Byers. Susan J. Gayle J.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

from 1850 to 1880. poor nutrition.S. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). western lands and resources were needed.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. The 1890 U. only 6. In three decades. the U. In 1920. The combined impact of war. Poor sanitation. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. After 1930.S. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. health and sanitation conditions improved. disease. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. as well as a rise in infant mortality. infant survivorship improved. cultural oppression lessened. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. trachoma. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. there were 306.783.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. Census recorded 248. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. isolated from society. the European population increased to 50. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. . and the death rate fell.155. To meet these economic and political demands. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. however. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. The result was a young age-sex structure.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States.

A scant 125. for example. Demographic Trends. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. In the mid1950’s. Finally. By 1970. with less than 300. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. Native . First. especially infant and child health care. The 1980 U. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. adding significantly to the population. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry.S.000 reported an advanced degree.3 million (July 1. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. the Native American population has grown tremendously. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. Native American health improved dramatically. Census witnessed a 71. there were 827.500 people of Native American descent. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. had 87. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. As a result. In 1960.636 Native Americans. the federal government instituted a relocation program. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4.S. Since the 1950’s. Census Bureau. In 1990.000 age sixty-five or over.1 percent increase. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. there were 551. Second. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1.

constituting 1.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. 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.5 percent of the total U. Apache.4 percent. Deaths by accidents. Chippewa. Of these. the U. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. Native American people reside in every state in the union. 2000) was 2. in both rural and urban areas. Choctaw. 2002. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). As of July 1.000 members.000. Eskimo and Yupik. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. tuberculosis. remains high. 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. violence. followed by Navajo.S. was 4. population. diabetes. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. article in Indian Country Today.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent).000 members. 2002. Unemployment. suicide. Muscogee (Creek).000 members were the Tlingit (the largest).S.000—and indeed. followed by the Athabascan.3 million in the United States alone. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. with nearly . Blackfeet. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. Population Since 2000. as reported in a December. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. Alaskan tribes with more than 5.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. Nonetheless. approximately three-quarters (3.

” 1.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian. Today.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. enumeration of Native can Population. most four hundred years. 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. collapse that lasted for al3. . urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. Morse population estimate (1822).421* represent a higher percent1870 313. 1930 362.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters.273 1960 551. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943). Native Ameri1810 — 2 471.S. mate. Beginning in 1880. After European contact. these small groups of 1970 827.427 onized a continent.400 their population increased. Over 1950 377. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent.764* population but continue to 1860 339. 1980 1.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. 4.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands. Secretary of war estimate (1929).607 diversity. devastating demographic 2.380 Initially. 1900 266. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857).420.732 Native Americans have 1910 291.959.000 and some societies constructed large. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383.000* 1800 tions. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates).995 nificant population changes. the Native Amertions.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270.543* 1890 273.636 time. 1990 1. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates. their ancestors col1940 366.

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

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. the estimated aboriginal population of native North America began to decline. trepanematoid. After the arrival of Europeans. elevating mortality levels. Native American societies experienced rapid population declines. .995 Native Americans remained after the epidemiological onslaught of European colonization. although the reasons for the demographic collapse of native North America are complex. introduced by European explorers and settlers. anemia. circa 1520.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 225 Disease and Intergroup Contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Within decades after contact with Europeans. Epidemic episodes often resulted in a breakdown in the social system. They were the survivors of perhaps 1. pre-contact native North America was not a disease-free paradise. Malnutrition. Although European infectious diseases devastated many Native American societies. Biological and archaeological evidence documents the fact that pre-contact Native American populations suffered from a number of afflictions. 270. a prominent factor in that decline was Old World infectious diseases. The Spanish intrusion first into the Caribbean and then into the Southwest and Southeast. By 1920.2 million to 18 million Native Americans who inhabited North America at the time of the arrival of Europeans. and a variety of tuberculoid. The “new” pathogens therefore not only created a high degree of physiological stress but also engendered cultural stress. The epidemiological conquest of native North America accelerated after the early seventeenth century with English and French colonization along the Atlantic seaboard. The dramatic population decline of indigenous people continued until the early twentieth century. launched a series of lethal epidemics that infected various Native American people. and other degenerative.

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

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

By contrast. Introduced European infectious diseases. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations.630. for example. (National Archives) . In the southeastern region of North America.000.900—a decline of 71. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. By the eighteenth century. By contrast. the European population grew to more than 5 million. the population was reduced to approximately 55. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority.100 or 31.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century.400.9 percent. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. the European population had reached an estimated 223. In sum. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915.4 percent.000 people. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward. By 1790.

1998. G. twenty-four epidemics affected Native American populations. accidents. tuberculosis. Idaho: Caxton Press. Smallpox continued to appear every 7. an anthropologist and authority on Native American historical demography. The disease diffused across most of native North America. more epidemics occurred during the nineteenth century. type II diabetes mellitus. The placement of Native Americans on reservations or in rural communities did not mark the end of epidemics. Acute infectious diseases have been replaced by “diseases of poverty. than during any other. but the northern Plains region was hit especially hard.” Many of these afflictions reach epidemic proportions in some Native American communities.9 years among some segment of the Native American population. In addition. One of the most devastating epidemics during this century was the 1837-1838 smallpox epidemic. Between the smallpox episodes. suicide. Rotting Face: Smallpox and the American Indian. violence. 2001. Gregory R. During the nineteenth century. and trachoma—chronic conditions that would infect Native Americans until the 1950’s. Deaths from tuberculosis. and alcoholism exceed the national average. Caldwell. According to Henry Dobyns. New York: Cambridge University Press. Campbell Sources for Further Study Cook. . It is estimated that seventeen thousand Native Americans on the northern Plains died before the epidemic subsided. 1492-1650.5 years.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 229 Since the Nineteenth Century. Native Americans now have to contend with another epidemic—the threat of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection—a disease that has made its presence felt in some Native American communities. Such acute infectious diseases continued to plague Native American communities into the early reservation period. with more frequency. Native Americans contracted measles and cholera every 22. R. Noble David. Only then did these infections give way to the twentieth century epidemics of influenza. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest. Robertson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

leaving us alone with the women and children in the abandoned houses” (remarked upon in Alison Wylie’s “Gender Theory and the Archaeological Record. 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. Gero and Margaret W. for as Alice Kehoe (“The Muted Class. Generally. 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. in contrast to the biologically defined sexual division between male and female.” in Cheryl Claassen’s Exploring Gender Through Archaeology. Engendering Native Americans. 1991). Accounts of American Indian prehistory manifest similar problems. Such male-centered research creates obvious problems for an adequate understanding of human interactions and behavior. prehistories demonstrate cultural differences through archaeological studies of material culture.” 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. which involve both men and women. The implication is that women and children are unimportant and do not contribute to village society. Even those accounts of Native Americans which incorporate gender commonly only include male roles. Conkey’s Engendering Archaeology. it is a tale of interactions among sexless cultures rather than among gendered individuals. Gender is typically regarded as a cultural or social construction.” in Joan M. typically pot- . Indian societies were marked by variation in the types of gender categories present and in their manifestation over time.

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

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

passive behavior.Gender Relations and Roles / 311 Investigation of Women’s Behavior and History. and children may be looked after by other mothers (who can nurse the infant). Previously. Other assumptions concerning women’s collecting behavior have been similarly corrected. Among some cultures. based primarily on data from male-focused ethnographies. and women in the colonial period. researchers have written biographies of well-known Indian women and of women anthropologists. or other members of the group. 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. Studies of famous women represent attempts to balance a maledominated history by showing the contributions of important women. whereas gathering was depicted as routine. however. This aspect of gender research includes many types of research. and other scholars who have worked with Native Americans or Native American concerns. gathering women. whether working as a cooperative group or on their own. Generally. Toward this goal. Studies have demonstrated that this anthropologically undervalued occupation can generate a large proportion of the household’s daily diet. In fact. varying strategies of child care are possible. and crop domestication. among them studies of famous women. Increased attention directed toward women’s roles has focused research on their gathering activities. nor do these women always take their children with them on excursions. Previously. archaeologists. plants. there is an obvious linkage between women. women as tool-makers. other women. An undervaluing of female roles ap- . 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. Based on the ethnographic data concerning women as gatherers and horticulturalists (practicing nonmechanized farming). once women have given birth. women as gatherers and horticulturalists. Hunting by males was regarded in the literature as an innovative and active event. mother’s brother and family. it had sometimes been assumed that male hunting contributed the major portion of the diet. siblings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also known as John (Jack) Wilson. as a white government official.” published in 1896.320 / Ghost Dance sociated with political/military conquest by a foreign people who seem strange and overwhelmingly powerful. 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. This study was conducted within memory of the events described. Although the Ghost Dance movement became widespread in 1889-1890. as he himself described it. Such a description clearly fits the experience of Native American tribes who found their lifestyle severely disrupted by the newly arrived settlers. The old way of life. a visit to the spirit world on the occasion of the total eclipse of the sun on January 1. “The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890. The major difficulty with this procedure is that the Ghost Dance movement was typically hostile toward white settlers’ presence. 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 . Ghost Dance as a Crisis Movement. was disrupted forever. had to interview sources and interpret his reports as best he could. and one must suspect that reports collected by Mooney would have been delivered in a more conciliatory tone than discussions among Native Americans themselves. Wovoka’s most influential and serious supernatural experience was. Mooney. White encroachment had disastrous effects on the native peoples in the West in the nineteenth century. 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. In the case of the Ghost Dance of 1890. with its familiar routines. The classic source is James Mooney’s government-supported study.and third-person contacts. Wovoka had begun having his revelatory visions and experiences in 1887. 1889. and the old ways were seen as a “golden age” to which many people wished to return.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. In Mexico.000 12. rounded off to thousands. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped.146.865.602. Source: U.000 84.000 Total 104.000 72.000 58.618.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.000 — 17.642. D.000 32.000 39.S.: U.C.698. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.407. in return. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.502. Department of Commerce.786. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.159.000 55.000 10. the U.534.000 41. Historical Statistics of the United States.097. 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 56.047.000 72.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.000 32.314. Means of Land Acquisition.079. Washington.000 5.S.314.068.408. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 16. In other cases as well. Colonial Times to 1970.000 55. 1975.005.000 35.574.S.000 863.094. 1994. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.661.000 Note: Figures represent acres.000 Tribal 104.000 41.000 77.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.000 37.608. Bureau of the Census.000 38.000 31. Part 1.052. govern- .000 36. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.000 4.097. Government Printing Office.

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

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

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

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

Based on comparisons of vocabulary. while Brinton’s book did much the same for the languages of South America. American linguistics has been divided by a dispute over methods. especially in California. a dispute that gradually arose between Columbia University anthropologist Franz Boas and several former students. soliciting information on six hundred words and some grammatical features. 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. distributed a questionnaire to Indian language experts nationwide. Gallatin made his classification by systematically comparing the responses. who included all the languages in both North and South America about which he could get information. into thirty-two families. The report served as the basis for subsequent investigations in North American linguistics well into the twentieth century. Brinton. had access to much more information than Brinton did. Gallatin. treated only those languages north of Mexico. Gallatin’s classification remained the standard until 1891. although he separated them into about eighty families for each continent in The American Race. except those of California. perceived a fundamental unity behind them. however. Later he changed his mind about the validity of genetic groupings and criticized the findings of his students. he also had a staff of linguists to help him. He grouped all North American languages. 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. collecting and assessing languages on their own. The first comprehensive study came from Albert Gallatin in 1836 (revised and expanded in 1848). as director of the Bureau of American Ethnology and a founder of the American Anthropological Association.Language Families / 405 Attempts to define the genetic relationship of American Indian languages began in the mid-nineteenth century. Powell. His article in the bureau’s seventh annual report. when separate studies by Daniel Brinton and John Wesley Powell appeared. Boas collected and analyzed information on a remarkable number of Indian languages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also: Dances and Dancing. nose. Donald. Their masks boldly emphasized the distinctive features of animals. Made of a wide variety of materials. Crowell. as aids to help them get close to game animals. Wherry. Janet Catherine. New York: Kraus Reprint. Abrams.: Rio Grande Press. Masks made by American Indians today are still used for ceremonial purposes. 1979. Furst. Native North American Art. The Iroquois also made buffalo-head masks that were used in the Buffalo Dance. and aesthetics of the people. Among some tribes. Husk Face Society. N.Mex. New York: Rizzoli International. Paints and Painting. religion. 1974.430 / Masks and/or black. North American Indian Art. North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment: From Prehistory to the Present. Religion. masks were symbolic expressions of beliefs and were worn at ritual dances. such as the eyes. New York: Henry N. New York: Thomas Y. Introduction to American Indian Art. Peter T. Cordry. et al.. Conn. The Cherokee made masks for hunting. Kenneth. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Berlo. Native American Art in the Denver Art Museum. Macgowan. 1972. Richard. Mexican Masks. . Glorieta. mask making was a complex art form in which masks were used to record the history. Diane C. Kachinas. In Mesoamerica. and Jill L. False Face Ceremony. Lois Sherr. Furst. 1998. Indian Masks and Myths of the West. or antlers. 1980. and Herman Rosse. Masks and Demons. The Living Solid Face mask of the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) was considered a helpful spirit and guide as well as a living mask. New York: Oxford University Press. 1999. Oliver. Joseph H. ears. LaFarge. 1982. Reprint. Denver: Denver Art Museum. 1923. 1973. masks are also made for commercial purposes. Austin: University of Texas Press. Dubin. Totems.

Bundles of sticks were also used to count and keep track 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. since small numbers were sufficient for enumeration in the counting of objects such as spears. and quinary systems. Hunting tribes. one stick being removed .Mathematics / 431 Mathematics Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: The most highly developed mathematical systems in the pre-contact Americas were the Mayan and Aztec calendar systems. noted by Aristotle long ago. knives. Salish. and eleven was one greater than ten. To preserve a record of counted objects a pile of stones could be used. this included the Algonquian.) Almost one-third of American Indian tribes that have been studied used the decimal system. respectively) were also used. Nine was considered one less than ten. and five (the binary. Similar to the number systems of most ancient cultures throughout the world. The fingers and toes of five men could be used to count one hundred objects. and canoes. and so on. Iroquois. three. In North America. people. one stone for each object counted. but number systems for counting were developed by most tribes. animals. meaning that their numbers were based on groupings of ten. to a lesser extent. subtractive and divisive principles. it simply meant counting objects. most tribes used additive and multiplicative principles and. for example. this allowed the passage of days. and years to be independently followed. In parts of California. had little use for extensive number systems. To derive numbers. was a result of the fact that humans are born with ten fingers and ten toes. ternary. number systems were based on groupings of twenty. seasons. Repeated addition (multiplication) was used for large numbers. many number systems of North America were based on the decimal system. fish. months. Other systems based on two. in the latter case. known as the vigesimal system. (The origin of the decimal system. and Sioux. In the former case.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. influenza/pneumonia. a rate very near that for the “U. Furthermore. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. homicide. nearly 30. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. Between 1960 and 1991.7. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems.000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. Another aspect of disease prevention among Indians is a widespread nutrition and dietetics program in which clinical nutrition counseling and general health aspects are promoted. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways.. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. Contemporary deaths from accident. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- . and the deterrence of drunk driving. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread. all races” category. Shamanic and Modern Health Care.000 live births to 8. almost 200. suicide. In 2001. 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. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures.S. diabetes. the promotion of seat belt use. alcoholism and related problems. solid waste disposal.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. such as withstanding excruciating pain or demonstrating unusual manipulative skills. health and Welfare Canada. Immediately he would throw the loose rawhide over the screen. shamans might dramatically plunge an arm into boiling water or hold a hot stone to show the patient and group they were impervious to pain because of their power. To demonstrate their power before curing. Note: A partial listing of herbal medicines still used today in Canada. Alberta Region. tea added Boiled as tea Pounded root Chewed and applied How Used Chewed Drunk As poultice Chewed Inhaled Eaten As eye wash As poultice Drunk Drunk Drunk Drunk As poultice As poultice Source: Duane Champagne. .. shamans were be- Traditional Indian Medicines Still Used Plant Black spruce Devil’s club Fireweed Lichen Sage Soapberry Spruce needles Spruce pitch Strawberry leaf Strawberry root Tamarack bark Wild rhubarb Wild rhubarb Willow leaves Symptom Cough Aching muscles Swelling Ulcers Colds Diarrhea Eye infection Infected wound Ensure safe pregnancy Diarrhea Stomach trouble Arthritis Infected wound Insect stings Preparation Soft inner bark Boiled Large infusion steamed Mixed with other herbs Boiled None Needles boiled Applied directly Dried and boiled Boiled Beaten. For example. Medical Services Branch. shamans might also perform different proofs of ordeal.452 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Pre-contact a hide screen. 1994. ed. The Native North American Almanac. Temporarily without power. Primary source.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

missionaries continued their program of assimilation. 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). and other native groups. Despite their funding problems. the Salish. These writings influenced public views of the condition of the American Indian. Missionaries forbade the children to speak their own language. (National Archives) missionaries wrote pamphlets and books about the “wretched condition” of specific Indian groups. agrarianism. 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. At this time. Missionaries removed Indian children from their parents and sent them away to be acculturated into white society. wear their own clothes. or practice any aspect of their own culture. and cultural extermination. residential schools became popular. the Navajo. the Cheyenne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

000 feet wide. At sites such as San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. The Olmec heartland included the present Mexican states of Veracruz. Olmec civilization is considered to be one of the oldest civilizations of native North America. and Chiapas. since no direct descendants of Olmec civilization have ever been identified. 1.Olmec Civilization / 507 Olmec Civilization Significance: One of the earliest advanced civilizations on the North American continent. and 150 feet high. upon which were erected ritual and ceremonial structures of stone and more perishable materials such as wood or plaster. in the state of Tabasco. particularly corn. The term “Olmec” is drawn from the Aztec language Nahuatl and loosely translates as “the rubber people.” in reference to the production of rubber in the Olmec heartland. These platform complexes served several purposes. Evidence of Olmec culture first appears about 1500 b. which led to the development of sedentary societies and advanced forms of social and political organization. Seasonal flooding and the lush tropical environment permitted the development of agriculture and the exploitation of domesticated plants. perhaps meant to imitate mountains or volcanoes not found in the immediate Olmec area. The earthen platforms consisted of layers of worked colored stone laid out in large plazas and covered with as many as a dozen . including residences for elite Olmec families and rulers. Tabasco. along the southern and western edge of the Gulf of Mexico. swampy coastal floodplains crossed by rivers draining from highland mountains to the south into the Gulf of Mexico to the north. and burial sites for Olmec royalty.c. the Olmec constructed large earthen platforms more than 3.000 feet long. The area consists of flat. the Olmec constructed conical pyramids in the center of their platform complexes. At the site of La Venta. but Olmec influence extended across most of southern Mexico and northern Central America. gathering places for public ceremonies.e. Recognition and identification of Olmec culture are based exclusively on archaeological evidence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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