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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carole A. I. — (Magill’s choice) Includes bibliographical references and index. and Racial and Ethnic Relations in America (1999). recording. Markowitz. Box 50062. Z39.Copyright © 2004. For information address the publisher. Indians of North America—Social life and customs. Salem Press.O. Harvey. Inc. Pasadena. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-194-7 (vol. II. Inc. Harvey J. Markowitz.004′97—dc22 2004001362 First Printing printed in the united states of america . electronic or mechanical. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-247-1 (vol. Barrett. Series. including photocopy.481992 (R1997) Most of the essays appearing within are drawn from Ready Reference: American Indians (1995). 2 : alk. Great Events from History: Revised North American Series (1997). p. Barrett. paper) 1. 1 : alk. cm. California 91115. essays have been updated and new essays have been added. 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. by Salem Press. without written permission from the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. III. paper) — ISBN 1-58765-193-9 (vol.S7A44 2004 970. P.. 3 : alk. E98. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data American Indian culture / edited by Carole A. or any information storage and retrieval system. ∞ The paper used in these volumes conforms to the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. ISBN 1-58765-192-0 (set : alk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cultivation of these native species declined after the arrival of maize. Prior to the development of maize.e. there is archaeological evidence of the cultivation of some native grasses that produced seeds rich in oil. Sumpweed (Iva annua). Additionally. The story of how the first Europeans to arrive as colonists sur- . goosefoot (Chenopodium bushianum or berlandieri). not women) for its ceremonial use. the most important Indian crop was maize. it was developed as a crop sometime after 500 c.e. some of which were eagerly adopted by the Indians. a native of the central Mexican highlands. Tobacco was grown (mostly by men.8 / Agriculture Without a doubt. the Europeans brought many new crops. The arrival of the European colonists profoundly altered Indian agriculture in two principal ways: The Europeans. The southwestern Indians also developed the necessary skills to convert the fiber to cloth. There is. a cultivated version of the wild plant teosinte. turned a portion of Indian agriculture into commercial agriculture. as the latter fulfilled far more easily the carbohydrate nutritional needs of the Indians. One important food plant that was never fully domesticated (although there is some evidence of domestication by the Chippewas) but was harvested for many centuries by the Indians of the northern tier of the United States was wild rice. Cotton was grown only in the Southwest. generally in irrigated plots. by trading manufactured items with the Indians for agricultural products. How early a cultivated maize had developed in North America is under dispute among archaeologists. Tobacco was being grown all over what is now the United States by the resident Indians at the time of European contact. 1500-1783. Two important crops that were not food crops were tobacco and cotton. however. evidence that maize as a cultivated crop was widespread among Native Americans by 1000 c. and sunflower (Helianthus annus) were the most important of these native plants that were domesticated by the Indians. The Indians of Minnesota to this day have exclusive rights to the wild rice growing in those northern swamps.

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

At the same time. Congress passed what were known as the Trade and Intercourse Acts. as the Dawes Severalty Act. defining the relationship between Indians and white Americans. 1887-1934.10 / Agriculture 1783-1887.” thus effectively separating them from the European Americans. With the Louisiana Purchase. however. This act authorized the president to divide reservation land into individual allotments: Each head of household was to receive 160 acres. considerable effort was devoted to inculcating white agricultural practices. this policy of separating the Indians from the white Americans became more explicit. and a child 40 acres. In 1887. 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. By acquiring vast lands in the trans-Mississippi region. otherwise called the General Allotment Act. a single man 80 acres. an abrupt change occurred in the Indian policy of the federal government. That policy essentially involved separating the two groups—pushing the Indians into areas not inhabited by white Americans so as to open up more of the land for settlement by the colonists. The title to the land was held in trust by the federal government for twenty-five . 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. It therefore passed what was widely known. The federal government. Senator Henry Dawes. Although agriculture had been slowly gaining among the Indians. The victory of the colonists in the American Revolution had a profound impact on Indian agriculture. from its author. developed a definitive policy with respect to the Indians still living in the territory ceded by the British in 1783. The Indian agents appointed by the federal government for each tribe were instructed to promote such agricultural practices among the Indians. In the 1790’s. the federal government obtained western areas where it could establish new reservations to which the Indians could be “removed. as soon as it was well organized.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The economic situation of American Indians. and there is little pressure put on alcoholics to seek help or change their ways. viewed in this way. Other aspects of Indian alcoholism are the social factors thought. In addition. 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. It has been suggested that drinking may amount to a form of social protest: By not obeying the rules of white society. by some. In the late twentieth century.S. In 1986. following the awakening (and suppression) of Indian activism in the 1960’s and 1970’s. . 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. is grim compared with that of most Americans. poverty. Those who have studied Indian drinking generally believe that alcohol abuse among Native Americans results from the same factors that lead to high levels of alcoholism among other populations: It is a means of coping with unemployment. Many adults supported the idea that individuals have the right to become publicly intoxicated. population. recognizing the severity of the problem. Drinking is tolerated by many adults on reservations. and alienation. drinking may be seen as representing a sense of community. to encourage drinking actively. A 1985 study reported that one-third of all Indian deaths were related to alcohol—three times as many as the U.Alcoholism / 17 drome (FAS). particularly those on isolated reservations.S. Native American women have been found to have babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome at a rate greater than ten times that of the rest of the U. One study of a reservation in North Dakota found that most residents faced almost daily pressure from friends and family members to drink. Congress enacted the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. average.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 1487. Not only priests but also all people provided blood through ritual self-laceration. Driven from Tenochtitlán in a bloody rout in June. Cuauhtémoc. as he tried to escape. By the mid-1400’s. such as Quetzalcóatl. Social tensions were increasing. and the invaders captured the last tlatoani. Tenochtitlán had grown to 150. but they raised the cult of Huitzilopochtli to an imperial obsession. Their siege destroyed most of the city. Hernán Cortés acquired important indigenous allies by playing upon their hatred of the Aztecs. Moctezuma II claimed to be the incarnation of Huitzilopochtli. Moctezuma II allowed the Spaniards to enter Tenochtitlán. It mattered little whether one nourished the gods through self-sacrifice or as the captive victim. Wars brought captives to sacrifice. in bloody rituals. Aztec power was at its peak. the sun might not rise and preserve humanity. as had long been prophesied. he vacillated. Fatalism pervaded Aztec life: One’s destiny was determined at birth. the Mexica staged mock battles (“flowery wars”) with rival cities so that both sides could take captives to sacrifice.Aztec Empire / 113 could be forestalled only by nourishing the gods with human blood. . and Tezcatlilpoca. 1520.5 million living around Lake Texcoco. When Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II became tlatoani in 1502. Moctezuma II proved surprisingly ill-suited to deal with the crisis provoked by the Spaniards’ arrival in 1519. the Spaniards and their allies returned in 1521. wondering if the strangers were Quetzalcóatl returning. creating the ultimate marriage of Aztec militarism and religion. Tlaloc. because commoners gained little material benefit from the conquests.000 inhabitants. The warlike Cuitlahuac replaced him as tlatoani but perished from smallpox a few months later. the Aztecs killed at least twenty thousand captives to appease Huitzilopochtli at the dedication of the enlarged Great Temple. He died while in their hands in 1520. Without human blood. whereupon they took him hostage. Spanish weapons and horses were superior to Aztec missiles and obsidian-edged swords. To enhance his power. The Mexica continued to worship other Mesoamerican deities. with perhaps 1. More the meditative priest than the frenzied warrior. Aztec militarism and religion became increasingly intertwined.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

disconnection from education. paths. zig-zag. See also: Chilkat Blankets. birds. Boarding and Residential Schools Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Boarding schools for Indian youth were established by Europeans in the early days of contact. Diane C. 2002.138 / Boarding and Residential Schools arrow. In 2003. They became known as “Indian blankets” long ago because American Indians made them a distinct part of their lives and cultures. Friedman. Chasing Rainbows: Collecting American Indian Trade and Camp Blankets. clouds. stars. Boston: Bullfinch Press. with James H. Weaving. both as collectibles and as usable blankets. Lane. Some designs were believed to express stories and myths and were made for Indians by using Indian symbols and colors. Van Noord Sources for Further Study Coulter. Barry. Many of the earliest treaties negotiated between Indian tribes and European nations during the colonial era con- . Early Period. ed. Trade blankets continue to be highly valued by Indians and non-Indians. and for some people psychological problems. Dress and Adornment. 2002. Trade. Collins and Gary Diamond. The object of the Indian boarding schools was to separate Indian children from their parents in order to impart Euro-American values and culture. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press. and the four cardinal directions. Canada closed all such facilities in 1988. and these institutions resulted in negative consequences for Indian families. and banding that formed geometric patterns symbolizing mountains. Indian boarding continued to operate in the United States. Navajo Saddle Blankets: Textiles to Ride in the American West.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hardwood. and arrows. Arrows. . the left arrow is wooden with an iron point. and other materials as well as stone. Arrow points were of many types and were made of bone. the right is a cane arrow tipped with stone. Points and fletching were attached with lashings of sinew and sometimes with pitch or glue.Bows. In the north and west. animal skin quiver. a common quiver type was a fur bag that sheltered Southern Paiute (Great Basin) hardwood bow. 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. antler.

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

Bragskins / 151 Bragskins Tribes affected: Plains tribes Significance: Bragskins are a particular type of pictograph or “picture writing” kept by Plains Indian warriors and painted onto elk hides. and sometimes men’s shirts. each man was the center of his . headdress. or they would depict the image painted on their shield. pictographic accounts utilized certain conventions. The primary intent of a bragskin was to develop and preserve a personal narrative of accomplishments. they were conscious historic records which were seen by the people on a daily basis. Men swore that the events depicted on their bragskins were absolutely true and correct as presented. tipi covers and liners. their importance lay in communicating facts to their people. men represented themselves on their bragskins by drawing the lance. According to tradition. In this way. or some other feature to represent their warrior society. 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. So that they could be read easily by all members of their tribe. Bragskins were more than mere decoration and artistic skill was a minor consideration. Typically bragskins were made up of a series of pictures which gave the full action of a single event in illustrative style. The drawings usually consisted of only a few strokes—characters and objects were represented by drawing the single striking feature or characteristic of a person or object. They were also a constant pictorial reminder of the collective ideals of bravery and fortitude which underscored Plains Indian life. and he would bring great dishonor on his family and relations. these autobiographical accounts preserved the record of the life of the people. Truthfulness and accuracy were insisted upon or a man would be exposed in public as a liar. Usually. They were known as bragskins because a man preserved and recorded his individual exploits and attainments on the battlefield. particularly deeds connected with warfare. Taken as a whole. which was highly individualized. buffalo robes.

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

000. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. Russell. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic.000.000 1. Comanche.000 20.000 20. 1895 395. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho. 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. Cheyenne. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache).000 4.000 18. Hidatsa. Assiniboine.000.000 6. Others—among them the Arikara.000 1. in 1983 it was estimated at 50.000 2. equestrian buffalo hunters.000. Thornton. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1986).000.000 10. The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison. Russell. Mandan.000. Source: Data are from Thornton.000 16.000.000. Kiowa. 1987).000. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.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 800.000 12.000 800 .000 14. Blackfeet Confederacy. Atsina.000 15.

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

They had buffalo tails tied around their knees and danced until they fell to the ground from exhaustion. S. The Mandan. A special society. Here he was taught the dance. a hunting people of the northern Great Plains. the dance originated when a white buffalo took a shaman to the home of the “buffalo people” in the sky. The dancers carried buffalo hide shields and long lances. Curtis/American Museum of Natural History) . As part of the dance cere- A Buffalo Dance performed at Hano.Buffalo Dance / 155 Buffalo Dance Tribe affected: Mandan Significance: The Buffalo Dance and ceremony were meant to ensure an adequate supply of buffalo for the hunt. (E. and he brought it back to his people. According to Mandan tradition. the Bull Dancers. performed the Buffalo Dance before the yearly hunt to ensure success. Then they were dragged away by other members of the tribe and symbolically skinned and butchered. wore buffalo head masks with eye and nose holes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In three decades.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. isolated from society. the European population increased to 50.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas. from 1850 to 1880. and the death rate fell. The result was a young age-sex structure.155. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions.S. In 1920. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. trachoma. The 1890 U. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. the U. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands. To meet these economic and political demands. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. cultural oppression lessened. Poor sanitation. however. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. . poor nutrition. disease. there were 306.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States.783. western lands and resources were needed. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. After 1930.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. health and sanitation conditions improved. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate.S. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. The combined impact of war. as well as a rise in infant mortality. only 6. infant survivorship improved. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. Census recorded 248.

for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U. especially infant and child health care. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities. Demographic Trends.500 people of Native American descent. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. Native American health improved dramatically. As a result. for example. The 1980 U. Second. with less than 300. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. had 87. Finally. Census witnessed a 71. In 1990. the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. there were 827. Native . First. In the mid1950’s.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4.1 percent increase. many Native Americans migrated to major cities.S. By 1970.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. Census Bureau. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. 2002) were under eighteen years of age. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial. adding significantly to the population. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. the federal government instituted a relocation program. the Native American population has grown tremendously. In 1960. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. there were 551. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present.3 million (July 1.000 age sixty-five or over. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree.000 reported an advanced degree. A scant 125. Since the 1950’s.636 Native Americans.S.

and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. Nonetheless. Deaths by accidents. the U. Choctaw. remains high. Population Since 2000. Apache. suicide.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). followed by Navajo. population.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues.S.000 members. Of these. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). although the number of Native American-owned businesses increased by 64 percent between 1982 and 1987 and the introduction of Indian gaming in 1988 made inroads into the socioeconomic problems of poverty. 2000) was 2. As of July 1. was 4. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West.4 percent. 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. as reported in a December. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12. Eskimo and Yupik. 2002. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent). Unemployment. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. followed by the Athabascan. diabetes. constituting 1.000. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538.000—and indeed. 2002. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe. approximately three-quarters (3.000 members. Native American people reside in every state in the union. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. violence. in both rural and urban areas. Blackfeet. Chippewa.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population.S. Muscogee (Creek).3 million in the United States alone.5 percent of the total U. article in Indian Country Today. tuberculosis. with nearly . with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700.

273 1960 551. Today.000* 1800 tions. mate. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. these small groups of 1970 827. After European contact.959.995 nificant population changes.000 and some societies constructed large.380 Initially.421* represent a higher percent1870 313. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943).543* 1890 273. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent.S. 1930 362.764* population but continue to 1860 339. collapse that lasted for al3.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates). 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 popula600.273 hunter-gatherers flourished. 4.732 Native Americans have 1910 291.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands.607 diversity.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates.427 onized a continent.636 time.014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. Beginning in 1880. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471.930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383. most four hundred years. 1990 1. enumeration of Native can Population. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U. 1900 266. Secretary of war estimate (1929).417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.” 1.400 their population increased. Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857). 1980 1. their ancestors col1940 366. Morse population estimate (1822). . urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information.420. devastating demographic 2. Over 1950 377. the Native Amertions.

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

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

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

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

By contrast. the population was reduced to approximately 55.100 or 31. By contrast.4 percent. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations.630.9 percent. Introduced European infectious diseases.900—a decline of 71. In the southeastern region of North America.000 people. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. By 1790. By the eighteenth century. reduced Native Americans to approximately 600.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. (National Archives) . the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward. the European population grew to more than 5 million.000. the European population had reached an estimated 223. for example. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways. In sum. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1.400. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Biscuits . (Library of Congress) Washoe. for example. for example. prepared most of their food by simmering ground seeds and tubers. The Wampanoag. often mixed with greens. berries. Other foods were wrapped in leaves and roasted in the coals. or whatever was available. based on cornmeal with various additions. ate primarily stews and gruels. Sedentary tribes usually made pottery.

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

While many Native American cultures practiced forms of gambling as a form of sport (such as the Iroquois peachstone game). but it has brought controversy culminating in firefights and death to others. (National Archives) . commercial gambling became a major source of income on Indian reservations across the United States. but some tribe members protest its presence on reservations.298 / Gambling Gambling Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Gambling facilities have brought needed income to some native peoples. During the late twentieth century. 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. The arrival of gaming has brought dividends to some native peoples.

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

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

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

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

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

throwing spears. Football games were played across the continent. stilts. in contrast to the more individualistic sports of pre-contact Europeans. Different tribes had various forms of foot races. sleds. kick-stick. and participation was more important than winning. Unlike the spectator sports of today. and football. ice hockey. Inca runners ran thousands of miles. Fielders would try to catch the ball and then throw it at the batter. stamina. These games tested the strength.304 / Games and Contests Athletic games involved wrestling. soccer. and their history and rules were often bound up in the traditional beliefs of the tribes. and kickball races. In 1980. Various forms of kickball were played. who would try to dodge out of the way. produce rain. In pre-Columbian America. who did an extensive study of Indian games. and they developed canoes. and fertilize crops Races and Ball Games. in- . kayaks. Various forms of races were held to develop the endurance of runners. Pre-Columbian Native Americans played forms of field hockey. Plains tribes played a form of dodge ball in which the batter tossed and batted a rawhide ball. including shuttle relay races. kicking sticks or balls. there was more total participation. Games also had a religious aspect. while communication within and among tribes took place using swift couriers. they were played to drive away sickness. hunters literally ran down deer and other game. even though betting on outcomes was universally common. snowshoes. uniting their empire. Inuits also did a blanket toss. swings. and courage required for survival in the Americas. running. According to Stewart Culin. and rubber balls. the Pueblo Indians celebrated the tercentennial of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 by reenacting the part played by the runners who spread the word of the rebellion. and many other activities. even by Inuits (Eskimos). Pueblo Indians would get up at dawn and run to their cornfields located miles away. spreading a blanket like a trampoline and throwing participants as high as fifteen or twenty feet in the air. Many Native American games involved teams playing against each other. toboggans. shooting arrows.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

when the traders who came into the Southwest began to sell the dolls to collectors. “Action dolls”—those carved in more active positions—have also been developed to appeal to the collector. fur. The dolls. LouAnn Faris Culley . and feathers to replace features earlier represented by carving and painting. 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. although there are no examples dating earlier than about 1850.378 / Kachinas Members of the Hopi tribe making kachina figures during the mid-1930’s. the doll must be accurate and detailed. especially the mask features. (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. although referring to religious spirits. Therefore. costume. are not religious objects themselves and are not worshiped as idols. nor are there any references to them in the literature of the period. The commercialization of the kachina doll began sometime in the 1880’s. This resulted in a greater naturalism in the modeling of the figures as well as the addition of pieces of cloth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the United States. While the Canadian government has asserted the rights of Indians and Inuits to self-government on native lands since 1989. In return. For example. but of thirty-nine Chippewa who elected this procedure. in 1986. in 1983. especially those areas rich in oil.000 square miles to the Inuit. Indians have instead been awarded restitution or access to former treaty lands for hunting. Many Inuit found that to . the Inuit were required to renounce their claims to all ancestral lands. 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. the Canadian government created a new 770. 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.Land Claims / 399 Modern Issues. Similar land claim conflicts have occurred in Canada and Mexico. in 1991. or fishing. the actual implementation of those rights has been controversial. Similarly. Many American Indians see land claims as basic to their efforts to improve their economic status and to gain an increased sense of self-worth and autonomy. violent confrontations. an additional six million dollars was granted the tribe for economic development of the reservation. For example. however. trapping. a federal court in Minnesota awarded each individual of the White Earth Chippewa (Ojibwa) compensation for land lost to the General Allotment Act based on the value of the land at the time it was lost plus 5 percent compound interest. and legal actions against governments or individuals in courts—to gain access to land taken from them. gas. and minerals. in some cases. to return land leased or owned by non-Indians. American Indians have used a variety of means—including peaceful demonstrations. The courts have been reluctant. 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. none prevailed.000-square-mile Arctic territory called Nunavut and assigned 136. however.

097.000 5. rounded off to thousands. the U.000 77. Means of Land Acquisition.314.146.097.661.226.786.005.602.000 72.000 32.407.737.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.235. D. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway.618. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops. 1975.S.000 41. Source: U.000 72.000 37.608.C.408.159. Colonial Times to 1970.000 Note: Figures represent acres.534.000 12.000 84.502.865.000 38. Bureau of the Census.000 39. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.000 Tribal 104.000 Total 104.000 35. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped.000 10.574. govern- .000 — 17. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6. in return.000 58.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.068. Washington. 1994. Historical Statistics of the United States. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.000 4.S. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects. The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January. In Mexico.642.000 36.000 32.000 56.314.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership.: U. In other cases as well. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.047.698.000 863. Part 1. Department of Commerce.000 55.000 31.000 under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed. Government Printing Office.000 16.000 55.S. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. Wallace. Manibozho was a messenger from Gitche Manitou . David. the use of peyote (as in the Native American Church). A Friend Among the Senecas: The Quaker Mission to Cornplanter’s People. See also: Longhouse. Pennsylvania History 19. _______. Visions and Vision Quests. 1973. Nana. Swatzler. Pa. Religion.” Part 2.: Stackpole Books. and Henry C. Daniel L. Non-Indian students interested in the Longhouse religion should exercise great care in investigating this tradition with Seneca members. the Shaker Church. _______. Tales of Manibozho are told throughout the Great Lakes region. Smith-Christopher Sources for Further Study Handsome Lake. C. Knopf. The Code of Handsome Lake. Bulletin 163. and messenger from the Great Spirit—was also a trickster who was sometimes outdone by his own tricks. New York: New York State Museum. Mechanicsburg. New York: Alfred A. Parker. 1798-1800. 2 (1952): 117-147. Simmons. no. Wenebojo. and the Great Hare. ed. where he is also known as Nanabozho. Pennsylvania History 19. Death and Rebirth of the Seneca. ed. and other expressions of religious faith. such as the Longhouse religion.” Part 1. prophet. no. 2000. “Halliday Jackson’s Journal to the Seneca Indians. Manibozho Tribe affected: Ojibwa Significance: Manibozho—legendary wise man. 1913. Edited by Arthur C. 3 (1952): 325-349.418 / Manibozho southern Canada. Anthony F. keeping in mind the sad history of exploitation that is very much in the minds of most Native American practitioners of native religious traditions. and into Oklahoma on Seneca reservations there. 1798-1800.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State. Salvation and the Savage. Church. Higham. Few Indians had converted to Christianity. Grant. Though missionaries generally attempted to destroy Indian cultures and societies in their efforts to help Indians. Berkhofer. L. Devens. Robert Pierce. Moon of Wintertime: Missionaries and the Indians of Canada in Encounter Since 1543. L. they made some positive contributions. . and continued to act as agents and intermediaries for the government. First. Carol. C. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Finally. St. education created bicultural natives who understood their own culture and white culture. which saw their attempts at fostering assimilation as failures. Higham Sources for Further Study Beaver. education and acculturation provided Indian groups with a common language—English. the residential school system provided a common experience for native leaders and gave them the opportunity to meet people from different tribal groups. C.Missions and Missionaries / 467 At this point. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2000. This development helped many tribal groups in their legal battles against white governments. missionaries remained part of Indian policy through the 1950’s. Positive Contributions. 1630-1900. John Webster. Wretched and Redeemable: Protestant Missionaries to the Indians in Canada and the United States. Albuquerque: University of Mexico Press. However. missionaries had fallen out of favor with the government. 1820-1900. Countering Colonization: Native American Women and Great Lakes Missions. 1965. Louis: Concordia. 1992. By the end of the nineteenth century. Robert. 1984. Jr. missionary and government policy coalesced into one united front against Indian culture. They ran schools. Second. most had developed a resentment of missionaries and saw them as agents of cultural genocide. 1966. and the American Indians. Noble. wrote reports. Toronto: University of Toronto 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. Robert. Education: Post-contact. A sin- . with a center in Nunih Waya in presentday Mississippi. with centers in Cahokia (Illinois) and in Moundville. however. now Alabama. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. there were dramatic developments taking place in the area.e. 1983. Fort Ancient in present-day Ohio. a period of some forty generations. Disease and Intergroup Contact. the Middle Mississippian area. See also: Boarding Schools. Not just a time of change in the style of artifacts.468 / Mississippian Culture Kelley. between 800 and 1100. The Mississippian Culture Complex included six major areas: Oneota. the Caddoan Mississippian. now in Oklahoma. the Mississippian period saw a new way of life with new kinds of technology and a new relationship to the surroundings. Plaquemine Mississippian. The immediate source of this cultural pattern is not clear. 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. Praying Indians. Children.. and the South Appalachian Mississippian culture centered around Etowah in present-day Georgia. Chief among the developments of the period was a turning away from the traditional cultivation of native plant crops. Religion. Mississippian Culture Significance: A maize-based economy that dominated the Eastern Woodlands and built its largest city. with a ceremonial center at Spiro. American Protestantism and United States Indian Policy. Cahokia. around the Great Lakes. This period is the last prehistoric period in the Eastern Woodlands culture pattern.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example. some burial sites contained numerous and sumptuous grave goods.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. Anthropologists and archaeologists who have worked on interpreting Mogollon artifacts have speculated that Mogollon society showed some signs of class or status differences. 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. shell beads. For example. and a wide variety of effigy designs are most likely of Mexican origin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael W. the. These mounds were constructed by a number of different Native Ameri- . It is thought that when people cease to use such means to express their respect and gratitude for her blessings all life will be destroyed and human life on this planet will come to an end. Human beings are seen as the spiritual guardians and stewards of the natural world. Sacred. Those who honor Mother Earth live in accordance with traditions that sustain life. Spiritualism is seen as the highest form of political consciousness. Mounds and Mound Builders Tribes affected: Northeast and Southeast tribes (prehistoric and historic) Significance: Various groups of American Indians built earthen mounds at different time periods in different locations. Sacred Narratives. The spiritual traditions which have their roots in the natural world see all things as part of the sacred web of life. 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. with concentrations in the Midwest along the Ohio and Mississippi River drainages. 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. 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. which served different cultural functions. They are the children of Mother Earth and must treat her in ways that show respect and honor.484 / Mounds and Mound Builders man life. Simpson See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. Religion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political Organization and Leadership. Wampum. thus forming a logical and descriptive narrative.522 / Oratory to Harrison as “brother. they would declare war. William M. and they remain in use by Native American orators today." while the following section—the he did line—"tells what was done to it. Oral Literatures. See also: Kinship and Social Organization.