American Indian Culture

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American Indian Culture
Volume 1

Edited by

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Harvey J. Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

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

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

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

First Printing

printed in the united states of america

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


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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

Publisher’s Note

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

Publisher’s Note

• • • • • • • • •

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

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

Publisher’s Note

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


Thomas L. Altherr
Metropolitan State College of Denver

Richmond Clow
University of Montana

Richard G. Condon
University of Arkansas

T. J. Arant
Appalachian State University

Michael Coronel
University of Northern Colorado

Mary Pat Balkus
Radford University

Patricia Coronel
Colorado State University

Carl L. Bankston III
Tulane University

LouAnn Faris Culley
Kansas State University

Russell J. Barber
California State University, San Bernardino

Michael G. Davis
Northeast Missouri State University

Carole A. Barrett
University of Mary

Jennifer Davis
University of Dayton

Bette Blaisdell
Independent Scholar

Ronald J. Duncan
Oklahoma Baptist University

Kendall W. Brown
Brigham Young University

Dorothy Engan-Barker
Mankato State University

Gregory R. Campbell
University of Montana

James D. Farmer
Virginia Commonwealth University

Byron D. Cannon
University of Utah

Michael Findlay
California State University, Chico

Thomas P. Carroll
John A. Logan College

Roberta Fiske-Rusciano
Rutgers University

Cheryl Claassen
Appalachian State University

William B. Folkestad
Central Washington University xiii


Raymond Frey
Centenary College

Helen Jaskoski
California State University, Fullerton

Lucy Ganje
University of North Dakota

Joseph C. Jastrzembski
University of Texas at El Paso

Lynne Getz
Appalachian State University

Bruce E. Johansen
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Marc Goldstein
Independent Scholar

Marcella T. Joy
Independent Scholar

Nancy M. Gordon
Independent Scholar

Charles Louis Kammer III
The College of Wooster

William H. Green
University of Missouri, Columbia

Nathan R. Kollar
St. John Fisher College

Eric Henderson
University of Northern Iowa

Philip E. Lampe
Incarnate Word College

Donna Hess
South Dakota State University

Elden Lawrence
South Dakota State University

C. L. Higham
Winona State University

Denise Low
Haskell Indian Nations University

Carl W. Hoagstrom
Ohio Northern University

William C. Lowe
Mount St. Clare College

John Hoopes
University of Kansas

Kenneth S. McAllister
University of Illinois at Chicago

Andrew C. Isenberg
University of Puget Sound

Heather McKillop
Louisiana State University

M. A. Jaimes
University of Colorado at Boulder

Kimberly Manning
California State University, Santa Barbara

Jennifer Raye James
Independent Scholar xiv


Harvey Markowitz
Washington and Lee University

William T. Osborne
Florida International University

Lynn M. Mason
Lubbock Christian University

Martha I. Pallante
Youngstown State University

Patricia Masserman
Independent Scholar

Zena Pearlstone
California State University, Long Beach

Howard Meredith
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Victoria Price
Lamar University

Linda J. Meyers
Pasadena City College

Jon Reyhner
Montana State University, Billings

David N. Mielke
Appalachian State University

Jennifer Rivers
Brigham Young University

Laurence Miller
Western Washington State University

Moises Roizen
West Valley College

David J. Minderhout
Bloomsburg University

John Alan Ross
Eastern Washington University

Molly H. Mullin
Duke University

Richard Sax
Madonna University

Bert M. Mutersbaugh
Eastern Kentucky University

Glenn J. Schiffman
Independent Scholar

Gary A. Olson
San Bernardino Valley College

Michael W. Simpson
Eastern Washington University

Nancy H. Omaha Boy
Rutgers University

Sanford S. Singer
University of Dayton

Max Orezzoli
Florida International University

Roger Smith
Linfield College



Daniel L. Smith-Christopher
Loyola Marymount University

Gale M. Thompson
Saginaw Valley State University

Pamela R. Stern
University of Arkansas

Leslie V. Tischauser
Prairie State College

Ruffin Stirling
Independent Scholar

Diane C. Van Noord
Western Michigan University

Leslie Stricker
Independent Scholar

Mary E. Virginia
Independent Scholar

Harold D. Tallant
Georgetown College

Susan J. Wurtzburg
University of Canterbury

Nicholas C. Thomas
Auburn University at Montgomery

Clifton K. Yearley
State University of New York at Buffalo


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Alphabetical List of Contents

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

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

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

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

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

. . . 484 . . . 487

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

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

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

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

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

. . . . . 611

. . . 709 . . . 711


Alphabetical List of Contents

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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American Indian Culture .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inc. essays have been updated and new essays have been added. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index. Carole A. recording. p. P.S7A44 2004 970. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol.O. Salem Press. Markowitz. Indians of North America—Social life and customs. paper) 1. electronic or mechanical. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. Harvey. ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk.Copyright © 2004.004′97—dc22 2004001362 First Printing printed in the united states of america .. Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997). and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999). II. Harvey J. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. Series. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol. 3 : alk. without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. or any information storage and retrieval system. Barrett. Barrett. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or transmitted in any form or by any means. E98. Pasadena.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995). Inc. including photocopy. 1 : alk. For information address the publisher. Box 50062. All rights in this book are reserved. III. by Salem Press. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol. cm. I. 2 : alk. Z39. Markowitz. California 91115.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

e. How early a cultivated maize had developed in North America is under dispute among archaeologists. The southwestern Indians also developed the necessary skills to convert the fiber to cloth. some of which were eagerly adopted by the Indians. the most important Indian crop was maize. The arrival of the European colonists profoundly altered Indian agriculture in two principal ways: The Europeans. goosefoot (Chenopodium bushianum or berlandieri). The Indians of Minnesota to this day have exclusive rights to the wild rice growing in those northern swamps. Cultivation of these native species declined after the arrival of maize. Additionally.e. There is. and sunflower (Helianthus annus) were the most important of these native plants that were domesticated by the Indians. by trading manufactured items with the Indians for agricultural products. as the latter fulfilled far more easily the carbohydrate nutritional needs of the Indians. 1500-1783.8 / Agriculture Without a doubt. evidence that maize as a cultivated crop was widespread among Native Americans by 1000 c. Cotton was grown only in the Southwest. the Europeans brought many new crops. not women) for its ceremonial use. Prior to the development of maize. Two important crops that were not food crops were tobacco and cotton. One important food plant that was never fully domesticated (although there is some evidence of domestication by the Chippewas) but was harvested for many centuries by the Indians of the northern tier of the United States was wild rice. a cultivated version of the wild plant teosinte. The story of how the first Europeans to arrive as colonists sur- . Tobacco was grown (mostly by men. however. it was developed as a crop sometime after 500 c. turned a portion of Indian agriculture into commercial agriculture. generally in irrigated plots. a native of the central Mexican highlands. Sumpweed (Iva annua). Tobacco was being grown all over what is now the United States by the resident Indians at the time of European contact. there is archaeological evidence of the cultivation of some native grasses that produced seeds rich in oil.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

S. Laurence Armand. In addition.Y. N. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.: Clarity.: University Press of America. and Jerrold E. 1989. Indian Health Service.: U. Md. new possibilities exist for stemming the tide of alcoholism. The Broken Cord. Fixico. Ithaca. Counseling American Indians. Levy. American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities. New York: Harper & Row. Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact. Tischauser Sources for Further Study Dorris. 2000. Westport. 1996.18 / Alcoholism There is hope that the situation will begin to improve. Conduct Disorder and Social Change: Navajo Experiences. as more Indians themselves work for the Indian Health Service (which serves reservation communities).C. Stephen J. Stereotypes. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous have opened chapters in Indian communities. Ga. and as sufficient funding becomes available. Urban Indians. Washington. . French. Mancall. Atlanta.: Cornell University Press. Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America. Mihesuah. Conn. Addictions and Native Americans. See also: Employment and Unemployment. 1997. 1995. Lanham. 2000. Devon A. approaches involving groups and entire communities have proved more beneficial than have private counseling and treatment. Alcoholism: A High Priority Health Problem. 1977. The Urban Experience in America. the search for an Indian answer to alcoholism has involved the reawakening of interest in Indian spiritual and cultural traditions. As Indian cultural pride and solidarity increase. Because Indian alcoholism so often involves group activity. Donald Lee. Task Force on Indian Alcoholism. Kunitz. Peter C. D. Leslie V.: Praeger. Michael.. Drinking. _______. New York: Oxford University Press. Relocation. 2000. Government Printing Office.

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

This act provides for some federal support for tribally controlled colleges initiated by tribes in the western United States. six programs also offered a master’s degree. Tribally controlled colleges added new energy to American Indian studies. and the University of California. Standing Rock College. the University of Washington. Dull Knife Memorial College. at least nine additional colleges have been initiated. this helped support thirteen tribally controlled colleges. Salish Kootenai College. eighteen programs offered a major leading to a bachelor’s degree. Los Angeles. The Native American studies degree program at the University of Oklahoma was accepted by the higher regents in 1993. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. By the mid-1980’s. California had the largest Native American population in the United States. Since the act’s passage. Colleges that followed the creation of Navajo Community College include Sinte Glista College. Blackfeet Community College. and Cornell University. Fullerton. budget size. Oklahoma had the second-largest native population. among others. Initially. Of these. Dartmouth College. In 1968. various programs began to emerge at the University of California. At that time. one at Northeastern State University at Tahlequah. and one at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. Other American Indian studies degree programs were created at the University of Minnesota. and quality of program leadership. the Navajo Nation created the first tribally controlled institution of higher learning. Tribally Controlled Colleges. the University of North Dakota. Two degree programs were created in Oklahoma in the early 1970’s. the University of New Mexico. Washington State University. the University of Illinois (Chicago). and Stone Child . Little Bighorn College. Montana State University. the University of Arizona. Other programs developed in the California State University system on campuses at Long Beach. Navajo Community College was a success and led to the passage of the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978.20 / American Indian Studies different degrees of institutional support. Evergreen College. the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Berkeley. and Northridge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and others have been compressed. and pottery shards labeled “Scientifacts” and “Real Indian Blood. and dozens of other factors. Part of the text is written backward to force the viewers to face the past. Addressing this objectification in The Good Doctor’s Bedside (1983). peoples. As the only group in America who live on and visit their ancestral lands. Jean La Marr (Paiute/Pit River) in They’re Going to Dump It Where? (1984) shows. The cultures of the Iroquois.” James Luna (Diegueño/Luiseño) in 1986 took the ultimate step in illustrating . and social position at the hands of the politically and economically dominant. culture. beads. education. American Indians are particularly responsive in their work to the loss of their lands and the destruction of the environment. intertwined with culture and religion. religion. American Indians are sensitized to the past and present manipulation of their land. the piece includes “Pocahontas Underwear. standardized. and packaged. Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne/Arapaho) in Native Hosts (1988) put up aluminum signs in New York parks with messages such as New York today your host is Shinnecock to indicate to today’s residents whose land they occupy. Sioux. in both traditional and contemporary styles. Jimmie Durham (Cherokee). in his installation On Loan from the Museum of the American Indian (1986). At the same time. to acknowledge the land as sacred. personal taste. Since the earliest days of European conquest. the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility being struck by lightning—a statement against the destruction of sacred sites for the fostering of European American technology. While American Indian art can never be funneled into a single definition. reflected in the eyeglasses of a Paiute woman.Art and Artists: Contemporary / 69 Shared Concerns.” which is decorated with feathers. Hopi. Lance Belanger (Maliseet) documents the stitchwork of a physician who closed the operation scar of a native woman with beads. degree of assimilation. speaks to the dominant view that anything Indian is worth collecting and displaying. assuming similarities across social class. there has been a tendency by European Americans to objectify all American Indians. some American Indian artists continue. many of these artists do share a sense of community resulting in part from a common history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arts and Crafts: Great Basin / 81 handfan designs. (Library of Congress) . brushes. 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. Scoops. 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. Canoes. and Houses. Cradleboards. water jars were sealed inside with pitch. toys.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

both men and women of the Plateau used buckskin clothing decorated with beadwork. New York: Harry N. eagles. The Plateau bead workers used triangles. .S. Carving. shin straps. and shaman’s wands included anthropomorphic forms. and saddle bags. Similar to the Northern Plains people. mane covers. Native North American Art. cuffs. Janet Catherine. Coe. Kansas City. but figurative motifs became increasingly important in the twentieth century. flag. Beading was also used to cover coiled baskets. but later overall beading was used for shirts. 1977.96 / Arts and Crafts: Plateau Beads and Beading. Small wooden bowls included figures carved in relief on the surfaces as well as decorative patterns of parallel or serrated lines. Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art. Duncan Sources for Further Study Berlo. and crosses to create geometric designs. headbands. Originally beads were added to fringes. bags. and other accessories.: Nelson Gallery Foundation. 1965. and horse trappings. baskets. including bridles. among other things. stirrup covers. belts. and the figurative patterns incorporate floral motifs. The handles of wood-carving tools were themselves elaborately carved. New York: Oxford University Press. Ralph T. Beading was used for horse trappings. Beading was done on clothes. Abrams. Norman. and represents an influence from the Plains tribes to the east. 1998. The handles of scoops and spoons were carved with animal and human figures. squares. Human figures carved of wood represented ancestral spirits or beings. Feder. Occasionally figures were carved in three dimensions on the sides of bowls. American Indian Art. and the U. scoops. reflecting influences from the neighboring Northwest Coast peoples. Figures. Mo. Ronald J. and small bowls were carved of wood and horn. diamonds. grave marker totems. among many other patterns. The bead designs were geometric during the nineteenth century.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II became tlatoani in 1502. whereupon they took him hostage. Cuauhtémoc. The warlike Cuitlahuac replaced him as tlatoani but perished from smallpox a few months later. Tlaloc. Spanish weapons and horses were superior to Aztec missiles and obsidian-edged swords. he vacillated. the Aztecs killed at least twenty thousand captives to appease Huitzilopochtli at the dedication of the enlarged Great Temple. the sun might not rise and preserve humanity. . in bloody rituals. because commoners gained little material benefit from the conquests. creating the ultimate marriage of Aztec militarism and religion. but they raised the cult of Huitzilopochtli to an imperial obsession. such as Quetzalcóatl. wondering if the strangers were Quetzalcóatl returning. 1520. Social tensions were increasing. and the invaders captured the last tlatoani. The Mexica continued to worship other Mesoamerican deities. More the meditative priest than the frenzied warrior. and Tezcatlilpoca. He died while in their hands in 1520. with perhaps 1. Moctezuma II claimed to be the incarnation of Huitzilopochtli. as he tried to escape. Moctezuma II allowed the Spaniards to enter Tenochtitlán.5 million living around Lake Texcoco. Without human blood. Their siege destroyed most of the city. Driven from Tenochtitlán in a bloody rout in June. the Spaniards and their allies returned in 1521. Not only priests but also all people provided blood through ritual self-laceration. Fatalism pervaded Aztec life: One’s destiny was determined at birth. Aztec power was at its peak. Moctezuma II proved surprisingly ill-suited to deal with the crisis provoked by the Spaniards’ arrival in 1519.000 inhabitants. Aztec militarism and religion became increasingly intertwined. Tenochtitlán had grown to 150. In 1487. By the mid-1400’s. the Mexica staged mock battles (“flowery wars”) with rival cities so that both sides could take captives to sacrifice. Hernán Cortés acquired important indigenous allies by playing upon their hatred of the Aztecs. as had long been prophesied. Wars brought captives to sacrifice.Aztec Empire / 113 could be forestalled only by nourishing the gods with human blood. It mattered little whether one nourished the gods through self-sacrifice or as the captive victim. To enhance his power.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York: Lyons Press with Bois d’Arc Press. The bow and arrow was the constant companion of men of all ages. Weapons. New York: St. Projectile Points. Encyclopedia of Native American Bows. 1980. Warfare and Conflict. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Native American Bows. 1982. M. The Traditional Boyer’s Bible. to 2000 A. Davis Sources for Further Study Allely. ed. Harding. Arrows. Leo. 2d ed. Columbia: Missouri Archaeological Society. In the central United States and neighboring regions a separate case for the bow was sometimes attached to the quiver. Boys commonly practiced archery from early childhood and began hunting small game while still very young. Lances and Spears. Francis. Reginald. The form employed in shooting varied both between and within tribes. 1999.150 / Bows. David. New York: St. Martin’s Press. and Jim Hamm. Volume 3. were often carried in the quiver or in bags attached to it. Hunting and Gathering. such as sinew and arrow points or a fire drill. Native Time: An Historical Time Line of Native America. et al. Laubin. Tim.D. Tools. American Indian Archery. T. Michael G. 1996. III. Other quivers were simply arrow cases.C. 1980. Martin’s Press. Baker. and Quivers. See also: Atlatl. and Quivers both the bow and its arrows from the weather. Arrows. Hamilton. Steve. 1994. Native archery is said to have been deadly at a distance of fifty yards. New York: The Lyons Press. . Accessories. Weapons: An International Encyclopedia from 5000 B.

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

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

Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million.000 1.000 12. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache). Cheyenne.091 800 .000.000.000 2.000.000 0 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 Note: In the twentieth century the buffalo population began to rebound from its 1895 low of about 800. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting. Mandan.000.000 1. in 1983 it was estimated at 50.000 4.000 10. Thornton. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison.000.000 14.000. 1895 395. Source: Data are from Thornton. Hidatsa.000.000.000. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century. Russell. 1987). when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press. Kiowa.000. Blackfeet Confederacy.000 14. 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. Assiniboine.000 20. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.000 16.000 6.000.000 18. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic.000.000. Others—among them the Arikara. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho. 1986).000 20.000. Comanche. equestrian buffalo hunters.000.000 15. Atsina. Russell.000 8.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This genre of literature served to warn erring Christians of the dangers in straying from a religious life. and thus they did not always relish their enforced observation of another culture. There is a risk. if the typical . captivity narratives were often published for the purpose of providing moral guidance to the masses (and were generally sensationalized for entertainment value). Commended by Her. A prime example is an early captivity narrative published by a minister’s wife under the title The Soveraignty and Goodness of God. to All That Desire to Know the Lord’s Doing to. Many of these were written by women or featured a female heroine. In this way. in relying too directly on these captivity accounts for objective information on Native Americans. Captivity narratives are accounts written by Europeans who were captured by Native Americans. In addition. The commercial success of the earlier captivity accounts resulted in further publications. and Dealings with Her (1682). It may be found in Charles Lincoln’s Narratives of the Indian Wars (1675-1699) (1913). They provide informative vignettes of Native American life. Indians served as the stereotype of extreme waywardness.162 / Captivity and Captivity Narratives Captivity and Captivity Narratives Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Captivity narratives provide cultural data concerning Native Americans and early contacts with Europeans. since in many cases captives were adopted into families and learned the languages and aboriginal cultures. although these narratives were often biased and many of them perpetuated stereotypes of Indians. however. and this agenda seriously affects some of the data reported. cultural outsiders became insiders who were later able to write about their experiences. Mary Rowlandson. Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Many of the captives were taken during hostile interactions between the Europeans and the indigenous peoples. and by the nineteenth century hundreds of pamphlets and anthologies were available.

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

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

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

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

The roof is then thatched with Chickee . and poles are laid on top of them to support the roof. Choctaw. Beams are cut and laid on top of the posts. is well suited to a wet climate. The posts are made of trimmed saplings sunk into the earth. Timucua. It consists of a platform built on top of four or more posts. These are reinforced by cross members. Chickasaw.Chickee / 167 Chickee Tribes affected: Calusa. Chitimacha Significance: The chickee. 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. Seminole. a dwelling on poles or stilts. A framework of saplings is lashed together.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At death. During this time. bodies have been left above the ground permanently. beliefs vary considerably. which were buried with their former masters. with ceremonies not greatly different from those of Christians and Jews. the realm of spirits was placed far from the living lands— in the sky. however. usually on a hill far from the village. it was considered to be very close to the land of the living. begin ceremonies with mourning and wailing and then proceed to have a potlatch. A few tribes.212 / Death and Mortuary Customs In more recent times. Many northern tribes. One of the most common is the belief that the spirit. On the West Coast. for example. involved feasts take place. traditionally believed that the departing spirit needed a guide and killed dogs for the purpose. There are certain ideas. including the Mesquakie (Fox) and some Eskimos. . hunting. under ground. the spirit can gain great knowledge of the afterworld and communicate with its ancestors. after which the remains were buried or cremated. beyond the sunset. a joyous gathering of tribe members where gifts are exchanged and long. however. In some cases. among the Eskimos (Inuits). As a general rule. Many tribes surrounded the body with possessions belonging to the deceased. this land was considered to be very much like the land of the living. is separate from the body and can leave the body. In the far north. Beliefs in an Afterlife. however. There are. The postulated location of the land of the dead also varies. or over the seas. Much more often. Many tribes believe that the spirit actually leaves the body during sleep and is capable of wandering in the land of the dead. like the soul of Christian belief. including the Athapaskans and the Tlingit. which seem to be almost universal among North American Indians. and dancing. the separation is final. quite a number of exceptions. with the spirits eating and drinking. such places were dreaded and avoided. 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. Indians have been known to bury their dead in coffins.

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

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

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

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

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

French.218 / Demography mendous population declines. Paralleling this demographic collapse.400. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America. later. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. Between 1500 and 1820.S. By 1790 their population was approximately 55.9 percent. forced migration. measles.355. and. genocide. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust. and the introduction of alcohol. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration. cholera. English set in motion significant population changes. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. In 1830. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. decreases in their fertility performance. the Choctaw. for example. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. In the southeastern region.” Within decades of European contact. Europeans brought smallpox. Old World diseases. Cherokee. government acquired 115. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people.300 Native Americans were thus removed.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. Other re- . the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. the U. approximately 81. Native American populations residing east of the Mississippi River declined to approximately 6 percent of their atcontact size. Seminole. Chickasaw. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. For their relocation efforts. Native American populations declined. The colonization of the Spanish.900—a decline of 71. Between 1828 and 1838. Furthermore. forced migration and relocation. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. combined with warfare.

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

there were 306. trachoma. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. In three decades.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. infant survivorship improved. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. health and sanitation conditions improved. poor nutrition. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. . the European population increased to 50.155. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. isolated from society. the U. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. however.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions.783. from 1850 to 1880. After 1930. only 6. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations.S. cultural oppression lessened. western lands and resources were needed. Census recorded 248. To meet these economic and political demands. The result was a young age-sex structure. In 1920. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. as well as a rise in infant mortality. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. Poor sanitation. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. disease. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. and the death rate fell. The 1890 U. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States.S. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. The combined impact of war.

Since the 1950’s. The 1980 U.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. Finally.500 people of Native American descent.1 percent increase. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. By 1970. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas.3 million (July 1. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. As a result.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. had 87. In the mid1950’s. especially infant and child health care. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry.000 reported an advanced degree. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. Native American health improved dramatically. there were 551. the federal government instituted a relocation program.000 age sixty-five or over.636 Native Americans. In 1990. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. Census Bureau. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. Census witnessed a 71. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. adding significantly to the population. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. First. for example.S.S. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. Demographic Trends. there were 827. A scant 125. the Native American population has grown tremendously. Native . In 1960. with less than 300.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. Second.

Alaskan tribes with more than 5. Deaths by accidents.4 percent. 2002. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). constituting 1. suicide. violence. although the number of Native American-owned businesses increased by 64 percent between 1982 and 1987 and the introduction of Indian gaming in 1988 made inroads into the socioeconomic problems of poverty.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. Population Since 2000.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538.S. Chippewa. with nearly . Unemployment. diabetes.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. Of these. Native American people reside in every state in the union.000 members. Choctaw. 2002. As of July 1. 2000) was 2. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. Blackfeet. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent).S. approximately three-quarters (3. population.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. was 4. 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. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. Muscogee (Creek). While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. in both rural and urban areas. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. article in Indian Country Today. as reported in a December.5 percent of the total U. followed by the Athabascan. Eskimo and Yupik.000—and indeed. the U. tuberculosis. Apache.000 members.000. remains high. Nonetheless. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700. followed by Navajo. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West.3 million in the United States alone.

959.380 Initially.636 time. Beginning in 1880.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383.000 and some societies constructed large.995 nificant population changes. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates).421* represent a higher percent1870 313. 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. these small groups of 1970 827.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306.000* 1800 tions.427 onized a continent. 1990 1.420. 1930 362. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. their ancestors col1940 366.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. enumeration of Native can Population. mate. urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information.543* 1890 273. devastating demographic 2. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U. Today. . most four hundred years.732 Native Americans have 1910 291.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. 1980 1.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. 4. Morse population estimate (1822). 1900 266.273 1960 551. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates. After European contact.400 their population increased. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943). Secretary of war estimate (1929). the Native Amertions.764* population but continue to 1860 339.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. Over 1950 377.” 1. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands. collapse that lasted for al3.S.607 diversity. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.

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

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

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

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

the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases. By 1790. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward.000 people. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. By the eighteenth century. the European population grew to more than 5 million. In sum.400. the population was reduced to approximately 55.630.000.9 percent.4 percent.900—a decline of 71. By contrast. In the southeastern region of North America.100 or 31.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. By contrast. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations. the European population had reached an estimated 223. (National Archives) . for example. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. Introduced European infectious diseases. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority.

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

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

Among the Ojibwas. dream catchers are now commonly used by practitioners of New Age spirituality. Maysarah Syafarudin. The interpretation of dreams was an important activity among American Indian peoples. One manifestation of the significance attributed to dreams was the traditional use of dream catchers by many tribes of the Northeast and Plains. 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. 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. inspects the craftsmanship of a dream catcher she made for a school project. (AP/Wide World Photos) .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Indians of Alaska used stones to generate sparks. and corn that were central to the Indian diet. Religious ceremonies nearly always took place around a fire. In so doing they not only dis- . Fire was essential for cooking the beans. fire was the tool that Indians used to shape the natural environment to meet their needs. was firemaking by wood friction. Tribal deliberations took place around the council fire. Rapid rotation of the drill could also be produced by looping a string around it and tying both ends to a bow. however. Fire was a cleansing and purifying agent. it could then be blown into life and the tinder touched to it. Much more widespread. The Indians are known to have used several methods of making fire. shaved or rubbed to act as tinder. Fire made it possible to keep warm in the colder months that all Indians experienced. and the friction generated by rapid movement produced enough heat to make the material on the hearth smolder. 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. when the Indians wanted to mark the end of a cycle. they burned the vegetation. A hearth of wood. The possession of fire made many Indian practices possible.290 / Fire and Firemaking when the ancestors of the North American Indians crossed the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska they brought fire with them. was placed on the ground and held firmly in place by the knees of the fire maker. Fire was also central to the religion of many tribes. Most important of all. they put out the old fires and started a new one. It made it possible to bake the pottery that was so widely used for containers. The drill-stick shed fine material onto the hearth. in the fashion of the flint stone. squash. When they cleared a plot of land of trees to create a field in which to plant crops. Fire made it possible to cook the meat that Indians obtained by hunting wild animals. the bow was moved back and forth. Keeping a fire going was a religious duty. it made it possible to bake foods and to boil water. with pits in it. it made it possible to brew a variety of drinks. he or she had already prepared some very dry vegetable material.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wiyot. the Subarctic (Hare and Ingalik).Gender Relations and Roles / 315 period in the Arctic (Aleut. and Tlingit. various gender categories within different cultural groups. Tolowa. and each of these has (or had) varying roles and social status. Navajo. Ottawa. Theories to Explain Gender. Cherokee. 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. Cheyenne. the Great Plains (Lakota Sioux). and Yokuts). For example. Kutenai. Canadian Blackfoot. Pacific Inuit. California (Chumash. Kawaiisu. Baffinland Inuit. and not on those of outside groups). while among other groups. Research has confirmed the expectation that gender varies culturally and that many Indian groups had roles for female gender transformers. and Paiute). girls were often dressed as boys if the parents had desired a son or if they wished the child to take on the name and characteristics of a deceased male. the Southwest (Karankawa and Navajo). the Northeast (Delaware. Traditionally. Studies of berdaches from the 1970’s onward have instead tended to discuss transformative behavior within its specific social context and to include women gender transformers (women behaving as men) in addition to identifying other gender categories. parents or other adults could change the gender of a child. specifically as an example of how notions of normal and abnormal behavior are culturally defined within individual societies. In some cases. the Great Basin (Eastern Shoshone. Lakota Sioux. and the Southeast (Timucua and Natchez). Miami. Salinan. and Quebec Inuit). Theoretical works generally focus on the discussion of two gender categories—heterosexual men and hetero- . possibly Tuscarora and Winnebago). individuals determined their own genders. Among them were the Atsina (or Gros Ventres). Illinois. or were. among the historic period Inuit. anthropologists discussed the berdache phenomenon in the context of cultural relativism (the concept that cultures must be evaluated based on their own values. There are. Piegan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

initiated by a visionary named Wodziwob) and the Southern Okanagan Prophet Dance around 1800. In Indian descriptions of the Ghost Dance precepts to white researchers such as Mooney. the motif of the destruction of whites was muted. Attempts to trace a prehistory of the Ghost Dance of 1890. at least among the Sioux. depending on the views and experiences of the tribes appropriating the basic message of Wovoka. for example. the creation and wearing of distinctive “ghost shirts. and possibly influenced by. must also reckon with the very high probability of some influence from the Old Testament biblical prophets through early contact with European missionary teachers.” which identified adherents to the movement and were used in the performance of the ritual dancing itself. similar visionary/apocalyptic movements. the initial fervor of the Ghost Dance and Wo- . 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. did have some contact with missionaries. however. 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.322 / Ghost Dance performance of a dance ritual (the Ghost Dance itself). 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. Overholt also suggests that the Ghost Dance of 1890 was preceded by. Related developments of the Ghost Dance movement were certain ethical precepts and. An interesting summary of the Ghost Dance movement that emphasizes the important role of Wovoka himself is provided by Thomas Overholt. and a time that is coming which would be free of suffering and disease. Wovoka himself. and many interviewees stressed that the visions of Wovoka actually taught a peaceful coexistence with the white settlers. Roots of the Ghost Dance. such as the Ghost Dance of 1870 (which also occurred among the Paiutes. It is certainly possible that ideas varied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The lance and spear were widely distributed hunting and war weapons. they were also used as symbols in religious ceremonies. lances and spears acquired religious and ceremonial significance. The Plains tribes made most extensive use of them in warfare. The specific materials used and the lance’s form depended on environmental demands and available materials. The lance originated in ancient times as an effective distance weapon.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. Among Type of spear used by the Micmac of the Northeast for salmon fishing. but they were used most extensively by the Inuit and Plains tribes. reducing the risk of injury and producing surer results than could be obtained from using close-quarter weapons such as knives. . Besides being used as weapons for hunting or combat. affixed to a long shaft of wood. The Inuit used them primarily for hunting. 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. similar to an arrowhead.

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

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

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

786. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects.005.000 — 17.000 32. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census.314. govern- .000 Tribal 104.698.661. In Mexico.079.502. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.000 12.226.097.: U.159.000 55. rounded off to thousands. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. the U.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.000 84.618.000 58.000 31.865. Part 1.000 10.000 863. 1975.574. In other cases as well.000 56.407. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.S. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped.097. Colonial Times to 1970.534.608. Means of Land Acquisition.602.000 35.000 16.000 72.000 36.S.000 Total 104. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.235.000 72.000 39. Source: U.094. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway.314.737. D. in return.S.000 5. Washington.000 55.068. Government Printing Office.000 4.C.000 38.000 37.000 41.000 32.052. Historical Statistics of the United States.000 41.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.000 Note: Figures represent acres.000 77.146.642. 1994.408. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.047.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mexico. who died in 683 after ruling for sixty-eight years. One pyramid. jade tubes were used. with a four-story tower with an internal stairway. and had an estimated forty thousand inhabitants. Palenque. and Tikal. began to spread its influence throughout southern Mesoamerica. is the tallest pre-Columbian edifice in America. may have been a scientific center specializing in astronomy. twelve-foot slab of limestone carved with a bas-relief image of the ruler as he entered the jaws of death in the underworld. Their knowledge of astronomy was such that they not only had an accurate calendar of 365 days but also were able to predict solar and lunar eclipses. Bonampak. Copán. began in the Classic period but continued to flourish in the Postclassic period under the influence of the Toltecs. had an aqueduct to direct water from a nearby stream to the center of the city and contained a building called the Palace. The lid of the sarcophagus was a five-ton. which was in Honduras. Perhaps its most famous feature is the tomb of the ruler Pacal. Some of these representations have helped scholars to realize that the Maya were not the peaceful people they once were believed to be. and there has been speculation that this was a . including the Mayan cities of Kaminaljuyu. who invaded Mayan territory in the tenth century. The frescoes depict many activities and scenes of daily life not represented elsewhere. 224 feet high. In the fifth century. Palenque also is special for the fact that two women ruled before Pacal assumed the throne. which helped to concentrate their vision on selected celestial bodies. which was 228 feet long and 180 feet deep. Some of the aforementioned centers had previously experienced a foreign influence early in the Classic period. Other important centers in the Yucatan peninsula.434 / Mayan Civilization It covered a six-square-mile area. contained more than three thousand constructions. Although the Maya did not have telescopes. This influence ended in the eighth century. such as Chichén Itzá. as well as the movement of Venus. also located in Chiapas. in Chiapas. which was located in the central basin of Mexico. Copán. Teotihuacán. 250 miles southeast of Tikal. is best known for its Temple of Frescoes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Health Needs. Inroads had been made.S. Another approach is based on the percentage of Indian blood possessed by a person. Rather. depending upon the source of the estimate of the total U. A positive change is the increased number of Indians entering and projected to enter the system as professional staff. although most facilities are located on or near reservations. NHSC). These problems have been attributed to Indian families’ generally lower incomes as well as to their poorer nutrition and living conditions. Requirements for this recognition vary from tribe to tribe. service at one of its facilities depends on being recognized as an Indian by a contemporary Indian tribe. One reason that the service provides care for both reservation and nonreservation Indians is that many tribes count individuals as members regardless of their formal place of residence.442 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact atic because a large percentage of the Indian Health Service professional staff comes from this source (the National Health Service Corps. only 5 to 10 percent of NHSC physicians have remained in the Indian Health Service for even one year beyond the time required by their scholarship program obligations. Census. The American Indian population has traditionally exhibited a significantly greater incidence of infant mortality as well as adult deaths from a number of diseases than seen in the general U. Estimates of the percentage of American Indians who are being treated by the Indian Health Service vary from 60 to about 80 percent. Identifying Indians to Be Served.S. population. there has been a drop in infant mortality from 22. however.S. The Indian Health Service itself is not concerned with quantifying the amount of Indian blood in the people it serves.2 . in most of these areas by the end of the twentieth century. One basis for counting the Indian population is self-assessment of being an Indian via the U. however. Indian population. Indian Health Service facilities are not limited to reservation-based Indians. Even in the best of times. For example. but they often consist of being of one-fourth Indian blood.

alcoholism and related problems. and the deterrence of drunk driving. Furthermore. In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. all races” category. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. the promotion of seat belt use.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. suicide. Contemporary deaths from accident.. an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman. diabetes. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread. nearly 30. Shamanic and Modern Health Care. 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.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1. influenza/pneumonia. homicide. Improvement of both health services and living conditions has also diminished the absolute numbers of deaths from the main diseases that kill modern Indian adults.000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- .S. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population.000 live births to 8. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. In 2001.7. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways. almost 200. Between 1960 and 1991. solid waste disposal. a rate very near that for the “U.

Hultkrantz. Kane was a director of the Indian Health Service Navajo service unit at Shiprock. Also included is a copious set of valuable references. Kane. Various aspects of a psychiatrist’s experience with Indian healing are described. New York: Crossroad. Carl A. Both the historical and modern aspects of shamanic ritual are covered. Many of today’s physicians find that the shamanic ceremonies and medicinal treatments are a useful complement to their ministrations. Shamanic Healing and Ritual Drama: Health and Medicine in Native North American Religious Traditions. These procedures are deemed to be particularly important in resolving mental health problems. 1965. New York: Springer. and Indian patients. and religion. Kane. San Francisco: Harper & Row. Ake. Indian Health Service strengths. Provides much insight into physicians. but they have also found wide utility in problems ranging from heart disease to dermatitis to cancer. Hammerschlag. Federal Health Care (with Reservations). 1992. Singer Sources for Further Study Gregg. and Rosalie A. Elinor D. The Indians and the Nurse. Points out problems. . Robert L. shortcomings. Included are the capacity to respond to patient needs and conflicts engendered when health providers and consumers have different cultural backgrounds. problems. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. interactive processes are carefully explored. Its use is partly attributable to the fact that shamanic treatment is comfortable to many Indians. The Dancing Healers: A Doctor’s Journey of Healing with Native Americans.. and shortcomings are described knowledgeably. New Mexico. medicine. nurses. strengths. 1988. and other interesting aspects of federally funded care of American Indians from 1922 to 1937. 1971.444 / Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact dian Health Service facilities and elsewhere. Examples of syntheses of Indian and Western medicine that produce useful. A detailed survey of Indian practice and belief in health. Sanford S.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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