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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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American Indian Culture .

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American Indian Culture .

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

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

By the historic period. ed. The earliest unequivocal evidence of the dietary use of acorns comes from the Lamoka culture of New York. 8 in Handbook of North American Indians.e. Northeastern Indians were using acorns only sparingly as food.: Smithsonian Institution. however..Acorns / 1 Acorns Tribes affected: Tribes in California and the prehistoric Northeast Significance: Acorns provided a starchy food staple for various Indian groups. and 5-10 percent fat. This abundant and easily collected nut became the dietary mainstay for various Indian groups. Acorns. the nuts of oak trees. probably around 3500 b. making them a nutritious foodstuff providing about 168 calories per ounce. the more preferable the acorns. Robert F.C.5 1. the lower the number. 1978. 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. Sturtevant. “Desirability rating” scale created by Martin A.5 1.0 2. Vol.0 2. Archaeological sites in Massachusetts dating from a millennium later also have produced clear evidence of the eating of large quantities of acorns. California. Washington. . Baumhoff (1963). 3-4 percent protein. edited by William C. Note: Acorns were of great importance to California Indians even in areas in which not many were available. particularly in the Northeast and California.9 2.0 1. D.2 Source: Heizer. average 40-50 percent carbohydrates.c..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but such efforts rarely succeeded.000) than for other Americans (6.16 / Alcoholism hol intoxication may also have been considered akin to being influenced or possessed by a supernatural being. is fetal alcohol syn- . one which has been recognized relatively recently. the United States government prohibited the sale of alcohol to Native Americans. Statistics at the time of the commission’s report emphasized the prevalence of the problem: Seventyone percent of all arrests on reservations involved alcohol. Many tribal leaders tried to ban alcohol from their villages. and bootlegging became one way of becoming very rich on the frontier.1 per 100. Impact on the Indian Population. Smugglers made huge profits. It found that almost one-half of Indian adults had some sort of chemical dependency. A number of post-contact religious movements. another was the PanIndian movement led by Tenskwatawa. and the death rate from drunk driving on reservations was three times the rate for the general population. among American Indians included abstinence from liquor as a central tenet: One was the Longhouse religion established by Handsome Lake. Another alcohol-related health problem. when Congress permitted its sale if local tribal governments voted to allow it.000). but enforcing the law proved impossible. or revitalization movements. established by Congress in 1975 to survey major reservation problems. Many tribal political and religious leaders soon recognized the danger that alcohol posed to traditional culture. Death from cirrhosis of the liver. was more than four times greater for Indians (27. The suicide rate among Native Americans— which drinking undoubtedly influences—was more than double the national rate. concluded that alcohol abuse was the most severe health care problem faced by Native Americans.3 per 100. In the Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts of 1834. Alcohol remained illegal on Indian reservations until 1953. Easier access to alcoholic beverages led to a steady increase in cases of alcoholism among Native Americans. with alcohol being the chemical most often abused. almost always caused by alcoholism. A report issued by the American Indian Policy Review Commission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The California Culture Area Tolowa Karok Shasta Yurok Hupa Wiyot Wintun Mattole Sinkyone Wailaki Yuki Achumawi Atsugewi Yana Yahi Maidu Pomo Patwin Wappo Coast Miwok Miwok Costanoan Monache Esselen Yokuts Salinan Tubatulabal Chumash Fernandeño Chemehuevi Serrano Gabrielino Luiseño Juaneño Cupeño Diegueño Quechan Kamia Cahuilla .

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon was the largest pueblo in the Southwest. Chaco Canyon. 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. being without . adding visual interest to the walls. They apparently made the move for reasons of defense. with eight hundred rooms rising in tiers from a single frontal story to five stories at the back. their influence had spread from the upper Rio Grande Valley to Texas and Nevada and to central and southern Arizona. Flat roofs were constructed with beams laid across with poles and brush and covered with several inches of clay and mud. The Anasazi at Mesa Verde built large stone pueblos on the mesa tops but abandoned them a hundred years later in favor of the cliff dwellings—stone buildings erected in irregularly shaped caves in the cliff faces.Architecture: Southwest / 63 Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. with heavy beams set into the walls to support the floors above ground level. and Kayenta continued to be major centers of Anasazi culture. Mesa Verde. because the caves were much less desirable places to live. Varying the shapes of the blocks created linear patterns. housing more than one thousand people and covering almost four acres.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

whereupon they took him hostage. Hernán Cortés acquired important indigenous allies by playing upon their hatred of the Aztecs. Spanish weapons and horses were superior to Aztec missiles and obsidian-edged swords. More the meditative priest than the frenzied warrior. in bloody rituals. 1520. In 1487. because commoners gained little material benefit from the conquests. Driven from Tenochtitlán in a bloody rout in June. To enhance his power. and the invaders captured the last tlatoani. Fatalism pervaded Aztec life: One’s destiny was determined at birth. Moctezuma II allowed the Spaniards to enter Tenochtitlán. the Aztecs killed at least twenty thousand captives to appease Huitzilopochtli at the dedication of the enlarged Great Temple. Cuauhtémoc. The Mexica continued to worship other Mesoamerican deities. Not only priests but also all people provided blood through ritual self-laceration.000 inhabitants. Without human blood. creating the ultimate marriage of Aztec militarism and religion. He died while in their hands in 1520. Tenochtitlán had grown to 150. the sun might not rise and preserve humanity. By the mid-1400’s. but they raised the cult of Huitzilopochtli to an imperial obsession. with perhaps 1. Wars brought captives to sacrifice. Social tensions were increasing. Their siege destroyed most of the city. the Mexica staged mock battles (“flowery wars”) with rival cities so that both sides could take captives to sacrifice. Tlaloc. such as Quetzalcóatl. and Tezcatlilpoca. When Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II became tlatoani in 1502.5 million living around Lake Texcoco. Aztec power was at its peak. . The warlike Cuitlahuac replaced him as tlatoani but perished from smallpox a few months later. as he tried to escape. wondering if the strangers were Quetzalcóatl returning. the Spaniards and their allies returned in 1521. as had long been prophesied. he vacillated. Moctezuma II claimed to be the incarnation of Huitzilopochtli. It mattered little whether one nourished the gods through self-sacrifice or as the captive victim. Moctezuma II proved surprisingly ill-suited to deal with the crisis provoked by the Spaniards’ arrival in 1519.Aztec Empire / 113 could be forestalled only by nourishing the gods with human blood. Aztec militarism and religion became increasingly intertwined.

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

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

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

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

G. 2000.118 / Baskets and Basketry Sources for Further Study Yeager. coiling involves wrapping fibers into coils and stitching them together. Baskets and Basketry Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Basketry was one of the most important utilitarian crafts throughout native North America. Arrowheads and Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Amateur Archaeologist. Twining and plaiting are related early techniques. Lances and Spears. Early Native American people made baskets for thousands of years before ceramics were developed. Basketmaking is one of the most characteristic crafts of Native American groups. To do coiling. and it is a craft that is considered a woman’s activity by most groups. Basketry techniques were used primarily to make containers. In contrast. Among the historic tribes. a basketmaker gathers a group of fibers. the basketry of the West is more widely known than that of the eastern tribes. and in some areas it was also an important art form. See also: Atlatl. while plaiting is a simple process of passing a warp and weft alternately over and under each other. Boulder.: Pruett. 2d ed. What is known of basketry today comes primarily from the last two hundred years. Twining is a process similar to weaving in which warp and weft strands are interwoven in various patterns. Some early pottery seems to have been shaped around baskets and then fired. probably grass stems. Colo. and many of the eastern traditions had been lost or significantly acculturated by the late 1700’s. C. while coiling is a later development. but they were also used for making other objects. She then wraps the coil in on itself to form a spiral which is . ranging from hair brushes to clothes and canoe-like boats. and wraps them with another long grass stem or yucca fiber. Techniques.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture. 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. and Sabine Lang. and Spirituality. as depicted in thousands of stories and films. from roofing material to the covering of canoes. were stretched tight and bound together with cordage made from the inner bark of the basswood tree. Sexuality. Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity. The canoes were made by first fashioning a framework of cedar. over this framework. Birchbark canoes were highly maneuverable. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 1986.130 / Birchbark Sources for Further Study Jacobs. though it took some skill to navigate them. . Gender Relations and Roles. See also: Ethnophilosophy and Worldview. sheets of birchbark. They were so ideal for use in northern waters that they were adopted by the French fur traders for use throughout Canada. Pitch from evergreens was used to caulk the seams to make the canoe watertight. 1997. is one of the most common images people throughout the world have of American Indians. Sue Ellen. Williams. Societies: Non-kin-based. Because they were so light in weight. Walter. Wesley Thomas. Indeed. birchbark canoes were widely used both for personal travel and for transporting goods. stripped from the trees in sevenfoot-long sheets. comprising the keel and the ribs. The image of figures gliding silently along a river in a birchbark canoe. a single person could carry one over a portage. in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. Boston: Beacon Press.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.000 18.000 8.000. Thornton. equestrian buffalo hunters.000.000.000 12. 1895 395. They assembled as a tribe only during the summer.000 4. Mandan. Blackfeet Confederacy.Buffalo / 153 lands have suggested that the historic bison population in the Great Plains was not more than thirty million. and Pawnee—maintained their gardens in the river valleys of the Plains while adapting from pedestrian to equestrian buffalo hunting.000 2. 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. 1987). Assiniboine.000.000 1. Kiowa. Others—among them the Arikara.000 10.000.000 1.000 16. Comanche.000. a number of tribes—among them the Arapaho.000.000.091 800 . 1986). Hidatsa.000 15.000.000. and Sioux—became almost exclusively nomadic. Following the diffusion of horses into the Great Plains in the first half of the eighteenth century.000. We Shall Live Again: The 1870 and 1890 Ghost Dance Movements as Demographic Revitalization (New York: Cambridge University Press.000 20. when the Buffalo Depletion from 1850-1895 20.000 0 1850 1855 1860 1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 Note: In the twentieth century the buffalo population began to rebound from its 1895 low of about 800.000.000.000 14. Source: Data are from Thornton.000.000 20. Russell.000. in 1983 it was estimated at 50. Cheyenne.000 6. Russell. Atsina. Apache of Oklahoma (Kiowa-Apache). The nomadic tribes adapted their social organization to the habits of the bison.000 14.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or attached to horse packs. children were allowed to discover their world freely. For most Indian children. stuck upright in the ground. Strong extended-family ties brought loving guidance and stability into the child’s life. These rigid carriers could be fastened to the mother’s back. Therefore. babies represented a potential danger to the tribe: Crying children might reveal the tribe’s position to enemies. Once out of the cradleboard.Children / 169 Paiute children playing “wolf and deer” during the late 1800’s in Northern Arizona. and in . (National Archives) Early Years. Infants were often nursed up to the age of four. Although welcomed and cherished. Children flourished in a world surrounded by love and gentle care. the first year of life was spent strapped to a cradleboard. children frequently remained naked until four or five years of age. helping to create a strong bond between mother and child. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.” Within decades of European contact. decreases in their fertility performance. Of all the factors that affected post-contact Native American societies. as distinct Native American nations were driven to extinction or forced to amalgamate with other Native American nations. Between 1500 and 1820. One Native American scholar called it the “American Indian Holocaust. the U. French. combined with warfare. Seminole.355.300 Native Americans were thus removed. Other re- . In the southeastern region. measles.9 percent. and Muskogee lost between 15 and 50 percent of their population during the forced relocation.900—a decline of 71. and. Old World diseases. government acquired 115. forced migration and relocation. and the introduction of alcohol. For their relocation efforts. cholera. Furthermore. Native American populations periodically experienced mortality increases. forced migration. and the overall destruction of indigenous lifeways resulted in the demographic collapse of native North America.218 / Demography mendous population declines. for example. Europeans brought smallpox. the Choctaw. and other infections that were foreign to Native American people.S. as well as a deterioration of their societal health status. Between 1828 and 1838. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199. approximately 81. the accelerated death rates from the introduction of European diseases remain prominent. the remaining Native Americans in the East were forcibly removed to west of the Mississippi River under President Andrew Jackson’s administration. Chickasaw. Paralleling this demographic collapse. The colonization of the Spanish.767 acres of Indian lands and resources. In 1830. genocide. the ethnic diversity of indigenous societies residing east of the Mississippi River declined between 25 and 79 percent. English set in motion significant population changes. It has been estimated that ninety-three epidemics of Old World pathogens affected Native Americans since the sixteenth century. Cherokee. later. Native American populations declined.400.

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

By the time Native Americans were relegated to reservations or rural communities in 1880. government either negotiated a series of treaties or carried out military expeditions. disease. Native Americans began to experience a tremendous growth rate. Poor sanitation. .S. the European population increased to 50. The combined impact of war. In 1920. and intermittent measles and influenza outbreaks. the Native American population between 1900 and 1920 remained rather static. Most Native Americans continued to live on reservations or rural areas. The continued demographic collapse of many Indian nations occurred under the guise of the nation’s rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. cultural oppression lessened. only 6. as well as a rise in infant mortality. To meet these economic and political demands. In three decades.253 Native Americans in the continental United States. and social programs began to affect Native American demography positively. there were 306. and overcrowding resulted in the appearance of tuberculosis.S. the U. these acute infections were replaced with chronic diseases on reservations. The 1890 U.2 percent of Native Americans resided in urban areas.543 Native Americans surviving in the coterminous United States. As these afflictions reached epidemic proportions. In an attempt to subdue the remaining indigenous populations and force them onto reservations. This prompted the federal government to alienate Native Americans from their remaining lands.783. The indigenous population of the United States reached its nadir in 1890. After 1930.155. Native American populations grew because fertility increased. isolated from society.220 / Demography flux of European immigrants. Census recorded 248. western lands and resources were needed. health and sanitation conditions improved. With the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act (1934). infant survivorship improved. and the continued destruction of their lifeways resulted in further population decline. poor nutrition. Although most infectious diseases experienced during the pre-reservation era began to diminish. however. and the death rate fell. trachoma. from 1850 to 1880. The result was a young age-sex structure.

the Native American population suffers from social problems in which demography plays an important role. Finally. Attracted by service in the armed forces and urban job prospects. The 1980 U. Native American health improved dramatically.S. The Native American population of the United States is young and growing: 1. especially infant and child health care. The outflow of Native American immigrants to urban centers initiated a demographic trend that continues to the present. many Native Americans migrated to major cities. First. 75 percent in the same age group reported a high school diploma. In 1960. By 1970. In 1990.3 million (July 1.273 people who identified themselves as Native American. the census recorded that more Native Americans resided in urban than in rural areas. the Native American population has grown tremendously. 2002) were under eighteen years of age.500 people of Native American descent. an increase of 5 percent over the previous decade. for the first time since indigenous people have been recorded by the U.Demography / 221 The advent of World War II witnessed a migratory shift away from reservations and rural communities.1 percent increase. more Americans are identifying themselves as having Native American ancestry. Census witnessed a 71. A scant 125. after the transfer of the Indian Health Service from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1955. adding significantly to the population.000 reported an advanced degree.4 million of the total selfidentified population of 4. In the mid1950’s. Only 14 percent age twenty-five or over reported having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. The out-migration of Native Americans was stimulated further by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.000 age sixty-five or over. for example. the federal government instituted a relocation program. there were 827.636 Native Americans. The program assisted Native Americans through job training and support services in being placed in urban centers. Native American fertility increased and mortality decreased. The reasons for this growth are complex and multifactorial.S. there were 551. Second. Native . Demographic Trends. with less than 300. The Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. As a result. Census Bureau. Since the 1950’s. had 87.

2002.S. Apache. Nonetheless. approximately three-quarters (3. only a few tribes have enjoyed a limited benefit from gaming: 22 tribal casinos account for 56 percent of the nearly $12.000 members. Muscogee (Creek).4 percent. Deaths by accidents.222 / Demography American health status lags behind that of the United States’ general population. followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico (both with 11 percent). Eskimo and Yupik. tuberculosis. The increase in this population over the preceding two-year period (from July 1. 2000) was 2.000.S.000—and indeed. the U. Alaskan tribes with more than 5. Chippewa. followed by the Athabascan. and Lumbee—all claiming more than 50. remains high.3 million in the United States alone. Population Since 2000. Choctaw. article in Indian Country Today. poverty continues to plague many Native American families and remains well above the national average. violence. followed by Navajo. 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. Native American people reside in every state in the union.000 members. 2002. As of July 1. constituting 1. as reported in a December. While some members of these tribes are enjoying employment in gaming and tourism industries and a significant improvement in socioeconomic status. the majority of the American Indian population overall is concentrated in the West. population. Alaska claims the highest percentage of native people (19 percent).5 percent of the total U.7 billion in total Indian gaming revenues. Blackfeet.000 members were the Tlingit (the largest). The number of American Indians living on reservations or other trust lands was more than 538. in both rural and urban areas. Of these. was 4. 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. with nearly . diabetes. Unemployment. suicide. and numerous other conditions exceed national averages. with the greatest concentration in California at 683. with Cherokee easily the largest at nearly 700.1 million) claimed membership in a specific tribe.

Schoolcraft population estimate (1851-1857).607 diversity.732 Native Americans have 1910 291. the lowest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. Native Ameri1810 — 2 471. Asterisk (*) indicates a population estiters. most four hundred years. Beginning in 1880. Secretary of war estimate (1929).014 undergone a number of sig1920 270. Figures from 1850 to 1990 are U.995 nificant population changes.721* age of the country’s cultural 1880 306.764* population but continue to 1860 339. Cenas the table “Native Amerisus figures (1850-1880 figures are estimates). these small groups of 1970 827. Over 1950 377.543* 1890 273. The phenomenal growth rate among Native Americans exceeds the growth Native American Population for African Americans and 1800-1990 Americans of European deYear Population scent but not the increase in 1 the Latino or Asian popula600. the Native Amertions.421* represent a higher percent1870 313. 4.000 and some societies constructed large. 1890-1990” Americans was affected by changing definiindicates.380 Initially. their ancestors col1940 366. mate. .400 their population increased.000* 1840 percent of the United States 1850 400. 1990 1.Demography / 223 one-third of these residing on Navajo lands. devastating demographic 2. collapse that lasted for al3.S. The percentage of the American Indian population residing in urban areas was 66 percent. Today. After European contact. 1980 1. 1900 266.420.417* 1820 cans and Alaska Natives 3 312.000* 1800 tions. including shifting blood-quantum criican population suffered a teria and interpretations of the term “Indian.” 1. Morse population estimate (1822).273 hunter-gatherers flourished. enumeration of Native can Population.427 onized a continent. urban cenNotes: Dash (—) indicates unavailable information. 1930 362.636 time.273 1960 551.959. Office of Indian Affairs estimate (1943).930* 1830 compose approximately 1 4 383.

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

The “new” pathogens therefore not only created a high degree of physiological stress but also engendered cultural stress. 270. Biological and archaeological evidence documents the fact that pre-contact Native American populations suffered from a number of afflictions. The dramatic population decline of indigenous people continued until the early twentieth century. launched a series of lethal epidemics that infected various Native American people. pre-contact native North America was not a disease-free paradise. The Spanish intrusion first into the Caribbean and then into the Southwest and Southeast.995 Native Americans remained after the epidemiological onslaught of European colonization. introduced by European explorers and settlers. . Malnutrition. Increased mortality among Native Americans as a result of introduced European diseases such as smallpox is not attributable to a lack of sufficient immunological response to infections in general but to the fact that Native Americans had no prior exposure to these pathogens. anemia. a prominent factor in that decline was Old World infectious diseases. Native American societies experienced rapid population declines. and a variety of tuberculoid. although the reasons for the demographic collapse of native North America are complex. Although European infectious diseases devastated many Native American societies. the estimated aboriginal population of native North America began to decline. trepanematoid. circa 1520. Epidemic episodes often resulted in a breakdown in the social system. and other degenerative.2 million to 18 million Native Americans who inhabited North America at the time of the arrival of Europeans. By 1920. They were the survivors of perhaps 1.Disease and Intergroup Contact / 225 Disease and Intergroup Contact Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Within decades after contact with Europeans. After the arrival of Europeans. The epidemiological conquest of native North America accelerated after the early seventeenth century with English and French colonization along the Atlantic seaboard. elevating mortality levels.

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

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

reduced Native Americans to approximately 600. native populations were decimated through genocidal warfare and diseases. epidemics continued to pave the way for further colonization. A patient with tuberculosis surrounded by netting in 1915. By the eighteenth century.400. the European population grew to more than 5 million. Although Europeans were not the demographic majority. Europeans and African Americans in the region increased their population to 1. European expansion during the three first centuries of colonization produced a demographic collapse of Native American populations.630.228 / Disease and Intergroup Contact Eighteenth Century. By 1790. for example. the population was reduced to approximately 55. Throughout the Atlantic coastal region and into the interior westward.4 percent. combined with periodic genocidal warfare and the destruction of indigenous lifeways.000. By contrast. (National Archives) .100 or 31.900—a decline of 71.000 people. By contrast. Introduced European infectious diseases. the estimated Native American population in 1685 was 199.9 percent. In sum. the European population had reached an estimated 223. In the southeastern region of North America.

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

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

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

woven by Spider Woman. According to one popular version of their significance. Harvey Markowitz Sources for Further Study Baxter. Peoples. Native American Indian Jewelry and Adornment from Prehistory to Present. One occasionally sees dream catchers being worn as pendants in early reservation period photographs of Indian men dressed in their best clothing. dream catchers were suspended above the sleeping areas of infants in order that the good dreams contained in the night air would pass through their holes and fall onto the children while the bad dreams would become stuck in the webbing and be destroyed in the dawn’s light. Variations of this interpretation sometimes include the idea that the lattice represents the web of life. transforming and transvaluing it to coincide with this movement’s own assumptions concerning the nature and operation of spiritual power. . This development was the result of the rise of New Age spirituality. Kachinas. rings and other forms of jewelry. See also: Feathers and Featherwork. 2000. Dubin. the production of dream catchers became a Pan-Indian phenomenon. Abrams. Paula A. and Terms. This appropriation also engendered the fabrication of dream catcher earrings. which appropriated the tradition. New York: Harry N. In the late twentieth century. Phoenix: OBYX Press. Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry: A Guide to History. Lois. 1999.232 / Dream Catchers filled with a web of sinew (with a hole at its center) on which feathers and sometimes stones were hung.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1819. Greek. In 1819. arithmetic. From the first treaty in 1778 until 1871. This Connecticut school concerned itself with the academic training of Indian youngsters and included reading. which allowed $15.246 / Education: Post-contact Another example of colonial religious schools was Moor’s Charity School. The school operated until 1769 and enrolled as many as 150 Indian youth. offered religious. The first manual labor school. for that reason. which lasted until 1873. founded in 1755 by Eleazar Wheelock. The Act of March 3. was organized in 1837 by Colonel Richard Johnson in Scott County. By 1840. the Choctaw Academy. The first specific appropriation by Congress for Indian education was the Act of March 30.” The money went mostly to missionary groups. 1802. and others that came later. the U. A common method of providing educational assistance during this period was by treaty stipulation. writing. Six hours were spent daily in the classroom and six at work on farm and shop detail. Congress established a civilization fund. which believed that it was a waste of effort to provide only academic training. of which 120 had educational provisions. Manual labor schools had their beginnings during the period when the tribes were being moved out of the East and Northeast.000 per year “to promote civilization among the aborigines. and equipment for educational purposes. which established this fund. and practical instruction. 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. government was operating six manual labor .S. Kentucky. academic. English. They also drew support from the government. the United States entered into almost four hundred treaties. Usually these were located in Indian country or at a site convenient to several tribes and. were agreeable to the Indians. This school. when treaty making with the Indians ended. to provide financial support to religious groups and other interested individuals who were willing to live among and teach Indians. and Latin in its curriculum. material. The terms usually called for teachers. a Congregationalist minister.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wisdom is always a gift. and the sanctity of the circle. dance. though perhaps reality in metaphor. even sought. from too much direct inquiry: All that they are to know will be revealed to them. Although there are many different belief systems and rituals among the groups. though. Recurrent Themes. immigrant culture. Spending a period of time in a sweatlodge is often part of the preparation. The extent to which these closely tied phenomena shape the daily lives and activities of indigenous peoples has been unrecognized or disregarded by the dominant.” Their existence is recognized and appreciated as part of the bond that ties people to life. these experiences are spontaneous.Ethnophilosophy and Worldview / 271 however. constant attention to these themes is an integral experience of daily life. There are rituals to prepare seekers for a vision experience. Although shamans and members of secret religious societies might have more insight than the average tribe member into the ultimate and unknowable. In many Native American cultures. and many rituals. 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. In some cultures. 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 use of hallucinogens facilitates the vision experience. It is wisdom. There are always sacred and unknowable “great mysteries. Sometimes. music. . Fasting and solitude are also common practices. brotherhood with particular plants or animals. Reverent. These motifs appear repeatedly in art and decoration. is much less clear-cut in North American native cultures. These are the acceptance of visions and dreams as legitimate realities. the necessity for maintaining balance in all aspects of life. dreams and visions are welcomed. as sources of wisdom. even they are barred. Whatever information is gained is considered reality. As cultures and individuals. by reverence for its infinite sanctity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romanticized non-native assumptions are examined. Wall. A broadranging anthology. Oreg. eds. Religion. Sweatlodges and Sweatbaths. Christopher. Visions and Vision Quests. and customs of the Beaver Indians in British Columbia. Trail to Heaven: Knowledge and Narrative in a Northern Native Community. and Peter Knudtson. Short quotes from numerous Native Americans. The introduction includes academic discussion of sources and functions of myths in general and of their value to Native Americans specifically. Not an academic work but informative and insightful. Suzuki. 1992. Ridington. Scholarly but readable. Several epigraphs by scientists from many disciplines. Views of indigenous peoples from around the world. David. Native American Wisdom. Steve. and Harvey Arden. Robin. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. discussing ways that philosophical concepts are expressed in daily life. Religious Specialists. Sacred Narratives. . Calif. Oral Literatures. Long quotations from interviews with several American Indians. San Rafael. See also: Children. past and present. Wisdom of the Elders: Honoring Sacred Native Visions of Nature. Wisdomkeepers: Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders. and Louise Mengelkoch. 1988. Some photographs and a long reference list. Vecsey. Mother Earth. Anthropological study of the philosophy. New York: Bantam Books. social life. Hillsboro. Moving text and photographs. Kent. including North America. 1991.278 / Ethnophilosophy and Worldview Nerburn. 1988. theologians. Well documented. 1990.: New World Library.: Beyond Words. Imagine Ourselves Richly: Mythic Narratives of North American Indians. and social scientists. New York: Crossroad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conkey’s Engendering Archaeology.” Typical of androcentric (male-oriented) writing is Claude Lévi-Strauss’s statement: “The entire village left the next day in about 30 canoes. Even those accounts of Native Americans which incorporate gender commonly only include male roles. it is a tale of interactions among sexless cultures rather than among gendered individuals. typically pot- . Generally. leaving us alone with the women and children in the abandoned houses” (remarked upon in Alison Wylie’s “Gender Theory and the Archaeological Record. which involve both men and women.” in Cheryl Claassen’s Exploring Gender Through Archaeology. Gender is typically regarded as a cultural or social construction. Gero and Margaret W. Engendering Native Americans. prehistories demonstrate cultural differences through archaeological studies of material culture. Subordinated groups whose discourse differs from the dominant mode may not be heard. 1992) explains: “Dominant groups dominate discourse. 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. for as Alice Kehoe (“The Muted Class. Indian societies were marked by variation in the types of gender categories present and in their manifestation over time. The implication is that women and children are unimportant and do not contribute to village society.” in Joan M. in contrast to the biologically defined sexual division between male and female. Accounts of American Indian prehistory manifest similar problems. 1991). Such male-centered research creates obvious problems for an adequate understanding of human interactions and behavior. that is.308 / Gender Relations and Roles Gender Relations and Roles Tribes affected: Pantribal Significance: Gender roles are culturally defined entities that serve to structure social organization. Much of our understanding of North American Indians and their history and prehistory is “degendered”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harold E. 1957. Massey..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. .

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

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

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

White residents. An archaeological study of early Eskimos. Marc Goldstein Sources for Further Study Bandi. Moreover. or death. They live in log cabins in tiny villages. and the Northwest Territories. Hans-George. on the other hand. . are more likely to have preserved the old rituals. or even visitors. who have been little affected by white culture. College: University of Alaska Press. American Indians in cities and towns. that income from tourism has sometimes also played a part in the maintenance or reestablishment of certain ceremonies or customs. however. In addition to the wide variety of traditional lifeways of American Indians. marriage. usually with no more than eighty or ninety residents. One is in the ancient language (complete with dances and songs) and is usually barred to whites. which continue to provide differences among tribes.) There are still some Indians. diagrams. Reservation Indians. three categories may be delineated: those who live in urban areas or large towns. discussing their culture from arrival upon the American continent. two ceremonies will be held. mostly in very remote areas. Eskimo Prehistory. Typically. and those who live in very remote areas (as in the Subarctic). the Yukon. at a major event such as a birth. English is the working language. are rare apart from a few government officials and schoolteachers. 1979.386 / Kinship and Social Organization with European-derived culture. and maps. the other is a Christian ceremony similar to one that might be held in any city or town in North America. those who live on reservations. Broadly speaking. because there has been considerable intermarriage. Probably the most widespread group still holding to ancient customs in many ways are the Athapaskans of Alaska. including illustrations. it is not always obvious that an individual is of Indian descent. and reservation villages often still have chiefs and shamans. (It might be noted. the structures of contemporary Indian societies are strongly affected by where Indians live today. although still facing certain biases and prejudices. have generally acculturated to the dominant white culture. but the native languages are used for traditional ceremonies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The failure of the Mexican government to fulfill its pledges led to a January.S.000 39.047. and a former governor of Chiapas was kidnapped.000 77. Government Printing Office.000 41. Washington.000 41.608.068. Part 1. Historical Statistics of the United States.000 5. In Mexico. Maya Indians in 1992 peacefully marched 1.000 38.000 863.000 55.000 4. Bureau of the Census.000 — 17.159.S.698. 1890-1970 Indian-Owned Year 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1949 1960 1970 Trust Allotted — 6.S. Means of Land Acquisition.602. uprising in Chiapas in which Indians battled with government troops.737. Department of Commerce.097.000 31.000 55.574.000 kilometers across Mexico to protest the loss of traditional lands as well as to publicize other grievances.618.000 35. govern- .000 12. the Canadian government insisted that Indians give up all traditional land claims as part of any agreement on land use and self-government.000 GovernmentOwned — — — — — 1.408.534. rounded off to thousands. Dash (—) indicates unavailable data.400 / Land Claims Effect of Allotment on Land Ownership. in return. In other cases as well.079.502. 1994.000 32.000 56.000 32. the Mexican government pledged to resolve local land disputes in the state of Chiapas and to finance hundreds of small community development projects. 16.000 37.: U.000 10.314. 1975. Between passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 and this 1934 legislation.661.000 Note: Figures represent acres. Source: U. nearly one hundred persons were reported to have been killed.C.000 58.000 84.146.642.000 Total 104. Colonial Times to 1970.786. be too steep a price to pay for land that they effectively possessed anyway. D.000 Tribal 104. under Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction.000 72.000 36. the U.314.235.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Handsome Lake himself was told not to drink anymore. Indeed. alcoholism. As the Code reads in Arthur C. and the visions of Handsome Lake him- . gambling. 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. it is a series of admonitions and bits of advice on preserving personal piety and family life and rejecting alcohol. Handsome Lake had many such visions after this initial one. wife beating. 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. such as stinginess. a “Code” of teachings was gathered and became a part of Seneca oral tradition. emphasizing the importance of the message. as advice from the Great Spirit. saw little conflict in active membership in both movements. and condemn witchcraft generally. Many Senecas then. and other threats to social existence. as now. such as those found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. The Code is worded in a concerned and compassionate tone. the religion of Handsome Lake was to become a significant response to and survival mechanism for the Seneca people. 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. Most of the information about the early development of the Handsome Lake religion. gambling. Among the more significant of the visions of Handsome Lake are his reports of punishments in hell for specific sins. witchcraft. Furthermore. Each of these sins was associated with a particularly graphic punishment in hell. pronounce a death sentence on a witch. The Code sounds very similar to apocalyptic biblical visions. and over sixteen years of activity. and quarrelsome family relations. By 1861.416 / Longhouse Religion Lake heard them condemn alcoholism. sexual promiscuity. Parker’s 1913 edition (based on oral tradition as it existed in 1910).

Arthur C..” 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. regular occasions are set aside for recounting the Code of Handsome Lake. In 1798. come from two main sources. the Quakers sponsored the work of Henry Simmons. according to the Code of Handsome Lake. held at first in Cornplanter’s home. The journals have been edited and published by Anthony F. The modern practice of the Longhouse religion is largely a private affair. 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. Jr. respondents generally reply with answers similar to the following: “I do not have the right to exploit this tradition. In response to modern questions. Parker. Wallace. and Halliday Jackson. since it is not mine to give—I am only a follower. 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. not open to non-Indian investigation. which must be read before noon. 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. 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 . this may take from three to five days. sponsored a project involving Edward Cornplanter and a Seneca Baptist Christian. working with a descendant of Cornplanter.Longhouse Religion / 417 self.” From written accounts. it involves strong encouragement to maintain a pure lifestyle according to the teachings of Handsome Lake and emphasizes such important matters as alcoholism and family unity. C. and we should give thanks for what is received. The journals of these Quaker workers represent eyewitness accounts. Furthermore. Joel Swayne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a rate very near that for the “U. nearly 30. alcoholism and related problems. and the development of local organizations to maintain the new systems. all races” category.. solid waste disposal. diabetes. 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. 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. educational programs on such topics as smoke detector use and drowning protection are widespread.7. influenza/pneumonia.Medicine and Modes of Curing: Post-contact / 443 per 1. homicide. In some cases the homes lacked both of these initiatives. and the deterrence of drunk driving. Also important is the provision by the Indian Health Service of modern sanitary facilities for many Indian homes. suicide. Among efforts directed toward accident reduction is an injury prevention program that includes motor vehicle aspects such as child passenger protection. This assistance has included water and sewage facilities. and tuberculosis still exceed those in the “all races” population. The Indian Health Service has attempted to diminish the extent of these health problems in a variety of ways. Yet much more help is needed in these ventures. having had a large number of contacts per year with patients. Furthermore.000 homes were provided with modernized sanitary facilities by the service. This aspect of Indian Health Service activity is viewed as possessing a very high potential for success. Contemporary deaths from accident. the promotion of seat belt use. A particularly intriguing aspect of modern medical treatment is the combination of conventional Western treatment with the activities of the traditional tribal shaman.180 Indian homes still needed either a safe water supply or an acceptable sewage disposal system. Between 1960 and 1991. In 2001. almost 200.000 live births to 8.S. This combination of treatments may be found in many In- . an article on the Indian Health Service’s Sanitation Facilities Initiative reported that after ten years of funding. Shamanic and Modern Health Care.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modern Changes. American Indians have developed very little in the way of instrumental music. dancing in Europe became strictly a social event. apart from percussion accompaniment to singing. A virtually universal aspect of American Indian song is its relationship to dance. and most dancers did not sing at the same time. There are dance/song cycles in many areas. Like virtually all aspects of American Indian society. There was probably religious dancing at some time in ancient Europe. especially among the Navajos and a number of Plains tribes. dance still retains its religious aspect and is often accompanied by songs. but in . 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. often highly ritualized body movements specific to a particular song. With rare exceptions. hundreds of songs with their related dance steps must be sung in a specific sequence to fulfill a religious obligation. Both the dance steps and the songs can be extremely complex and are often performed in elaborate sequences.Music and Song / 491 wahs” of 1950’s rock and roll songs. Its use in American Indian songs. Indian songs have been somewhat altered by contact with white culture. as it seems to be a nearly universal aspect of cultures around the world. Many centuries ago. In some cases. A comparison can be made to European culture’s development of instrumental music unaccompanied by singing. Song and Dance. however. other cultures have often used this device. This is another great difference between the European and American Indian cultures. however. 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. may have a somewhat deeper meaning. One major reason for this is the close ties both singing and dancing have to religious rituals. The traditions are still very much in evidence. Among American Indians.

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. It is difficult to assess fully the influence of white culture on Indian music.492 / Music and Song many cases they have lost their original significance. At important tribal ceremonies. (Unicorn Stock Photos) . 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. most of these forms have not survived in the archaeological record. usually human but occasionally representing animals or mythological deities. diverting it for waste runoff and public hygiene and creating decorative and sacred ponds and streams of fresh water within the platform complexes. Platforms were engineered and constructed to control water flow throughout the structure. particularly volcanic basalt and jade. Elaborate drainage systems. Most information regarding Olmec culture that does not come from their architecture is drawn from their remaining artworks. such as paintings and textiles. and the remaining carved stone images convey a great deal of information about Olmec beliefs. channeled water throughout the platforms. or metal tools. It is also significant that the Olmec created their buildings and monuments without the wheel. were transported as much as sixty miles from volcanic mountain ranges such as the Tuxtla mountains. What has survived in great abundance is Olmec stone sculpture. sacred green jade was imported from areas of western Mexico or eastern Guatemala and Belize. composed of sections of carved stone.508 / Olmec Civilization sequential layers of sand and earth piled one on top of the other to construct the platforms. none of which was used by any Mesoamerican peoples. The Olmec were extremely adept at working very hard types of stone. probably originally intended to be displayed in the open . The scale and complexity of the earthen platforms. At least ten large-scale Olmec sites have been identified in the Olmec heartland. some more than ten feet tall and weighing several tons. suggest that several thousand people may have used or occupied the sites at one time. The basalt boulders were carved into a variety of shapes. Large basalt boulders. along with the evidence of extensive farming and agriculture. The complexity suggests that the process of construction was as important as the final structure. Although the Olmec probably created a wide variety of art forms. domesticated animals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" while the following section—the he did line—"tells what was done to it. an orator was able to construct long chains of events. and alliteration.” This was ironic. Kenneth S. assonance. See also: Kinship and Social Organization.522 / Oratory to Harrison as “brother. Wampum. Another technique which Bahr describes is the “there was/he did” technique. which can help make speeches more easily understood and remembered." Using this technique. By repeatedly calling his potential enemy “brother. metaphor. 2000. . William M. This device operates as a form of parallel co