June 2007 Newsletter from
"This Day in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2010)

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Start of Phil Konstantin's June 2007 Newsletter - Part 1
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Greetings,

I know I am late with this month's newsletter. There is a reason. I have
been asked to write a couple of chapters in the upcoming book: "Native
Americans For Dummies." This has come as a last minute request. I am
slogging away to get the chapters to them in just two weeks.

So, here is what I have done, so far. If you have any corrections,
please let me know. Since this is going into someone else's book, please
do not distribute this on the net.

I'll have more of my regular material in a week, or so...

Stay safe,

Phil

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Chapter 2

The emigration of native peoples from Asia to North America. The latest
findings, and the unanswered questions.
===============================================================
Quote: There is not anywhere upon the globe a large tract of country
which we have discovered destitute of inhabitants, or whose first
population can be fixed with any degree of historical certainty. And
yet, as the most philosophical minds can seldom refrain from
investigating the infancy of great nations, our curiosity consumes
itself in toilsome and disappointed efforts.   - Edward Gibbon
===============================================================

H1 Theories As To How North America Became Populated

The commonly accepted scientific theory on how American Indians came to
be in the Americas is that they came from Asia. How they got here
exactly, is subject to some debate. In fact, some people believe they
came by another route, or even originated here. We will look at each of
these theories. Some of the artifacts found in North America contradict
different theories. Thus, there is some controversy on the subject.

     H2 Crossing a (Land) Bridge to Somewhere: Beringia
The standard scientific theory on how North America was populated is
that groups from Asia migrated into Alaska. The waters in the Bering
Straight are relatively shallow. During some of these occasional ice
ages, sea levels dropped as much as 200 feet around the world. This
lowering of the level of the ocean exposed this section of land between
the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea of the north Pacific.
This land bridge is often called Beringia. It stretched from the eastern
point of modern day Siberia to western Alaska. Experts believe this area
could have covered as much as 1,000 miles from north to south.

When did Beringia appear and when did people start moving across it from
Asia? This is just one of the many controversies surrounding the origins
of the native people of the Americas. Many experts agree that during
several of the short ice ages during the last 100,000 years, land was
exposed in Beringia. Some scientists believe people could have started
moving into North America from Asia as far back as 75,000 years ago.

Research in Mitochondrial DNA has suggested that people were in North
America at least 25,000 years ago. This research is based on DNA
mutations found in people of American Indians ancestry. The current
theory is that mutations occur in DNA at a fairly regular interval. By
looking at the differences between two different groups, you can tell
when they split off from each other. The 25,000 year figure is derived
by comparing certain American Indian groups and other groups which
remained in Asia.

The general consensus is that the major exodus along this route took
place between 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. There is evidence to show
there were several waves of migration into North America.
Why is there such a discrepancy in the dates of this migration? Very few
ancient artifacts made by humans have been found in this area. The
constant advance and retreat of the glaciers of the polar ice cap have
scraped much of the land clean. Many of these areas are still under ice
or sedimentation. Without artifacts which can be dated, it is difficult
for scientists to accurately determine when people first appeared here.

Another commonly accepted part of the land bridge theory is that during
the ice ages northern Alaska and Canada were covered by glaciers which
were many hundreds of feet thick. This was also believed to be the case
along the coastal areas or the northeastern Pacific. However, there was
a wide central area which might have been clear of ice. This area ran
along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains into the Great Plains.
Soil core samples of some sections of this part of North America have
shown there were areas which were free of ice during these short ice
ages. This would have left a wide path open for migrating groups to
follow in a general southeasterly direction.

Why would people leave Asia and travel through unknown areas into North
America? The most commonly held belief is that these people were nomadic
in nature. They would often follow the large herds of migrating animals.
These animals were their main source of food. Humans often made their
clothing, shelter, and the simple tools they had, from these animals.
With fresh pastures opening up because of the creation of the land
bridge, some herds migrated to the east. As the herds moved east, the
human nomads followed them. It is also possible that some animals which
originated in North American might have moved west into Asia. Some
groups might have moved east to find their source. Some anthropologists
think part of the reason for the migration might have also been due to
conflicts with other groups in Asia. Some tribes might have traveled
east to look for lands of their own, or were pushed that way by more
powerful groups. Some scientists look to the Dyuktai and Khakass
Cultures of Siberia and the Ainu people of Japan as groups who made up
some of the earliest explorers into North America by way of Beringia.

Remember: The first noted documentation of the Beringia theory of the
peopling of North America was by José de Acosta. De Acosta was a Jesuit
who lived from 1540 to 1600. He wrote a great deal about the
agriculture, culture and geography of the Americas.


      H2 Arriving by Water?
Another theory about the arrival of people in North America from Asia is
that they took a water route. These explorations have been suggested to
have taken place between 15,000 and 10,500 years ago. There is evidence
that many of the people who lived along the northwestern shores of the
Pacific had boats. Some scientists believe these groups could have
followed the shoreline across the northern Pacific until they found
areas which were not covered in ice. There is some evidence of isolated
areas along the Pacific coast of both North and South America which
suggests that very small groups might have been able to survive a long,
coastal sea voyage. Some ancient genetics artifacts found along the
Pacific coast can be linked back to Asian origins. These artifacts are
exceptionally rare, though. This theory is not as widely held as the
overland migration theory. Many scientists feel that too much of the
Alaska and British Columbia coastline was completely covered by
glaciers. Any groups traveling along this route would not have been able
to find any anchorages. There would have been no place to go ashore in
order to repair boats or get needed supplies. With much of the coastal
shelf now under the ocean, it has been hard for researchers to find
artifacts to support this theory.

            H2 Other Theories
People traveling along the Bering land mass is not the only theory on
how people first came to North America. There are several other
possibilities which have been proposed.

                  H3 The Chinese
Some scientists have suggested that Chinese sailors might have helped to
first populate the coastal areas of North America. Chinese junks were
able to endure long, ocean voyages. Whether their eastward travels were
intentional, or as the result of encountering storms at sea, it is not
beyond the realm of possibility for Chinese to land in North America,
and thrive. Some scholars are made the same proposal for Japanese
sailors, as well.
Here are several theories about Chinese visits to the Americas:
• Several scientists have also found many artistic similarities between
the ancient Chinese and cultures in Central America.
• Proposals have been made of a Chinese treasure fleet which might have
visited Mexico in the 1420s.
• Some ancient Olmec graphics are similar to ancient Chinese texts
• Fifth century Chinese explorer Hui-Shen described his travels to the
land of Fu-Sang. One of the plants there is very much like the corn
(maize) which only grows in Central America.

                  H3 The Celts
The same condition which led to the creation of the Bering land bridge
could have created an area which might have allowed land travel from
Europe to North America. This theory about the peopling of North America
involves use of what is called the Greenland land bridge. There is
little evidence to support these claims, but some material does exist.
Most often, these groups have been cited as Celts, Irish or even Romans.
They slowly moved toward the west along these newly exposed land masses.
They would also use their seafaring abilities to cross any open
stretches of water. This theory is less well accepted that the Bering
land bridge. The small amounts of evidence which have been presented to
support the evidence has been somewhat incomplete. While there have been
oral histories of such travels from Europe to North America, there is
little evidence of trips by the Celts or Irish to support them as some
of the original inhabitants of North America.
According to one legend, Prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd left Wales around
1170 after a dispute over land. His small fleet of ships sailed to
America and explored the lower Mississippi River. There are several
stories of certain American Indian languages which have words which are
similar to Welsh. Most scientists discount these stories, though.

Another such story has Celli Dei monks of Ireland sailing across the
Atlantic in leather clad boats. Even if true, there would not have been
enough of them to start any sizeable populations.
There is another theory about Europeans traveling to North America which
has been gaining some supporters. This involves a group called the
Solutreans. The Solutreans had established themselves in areas of Spain
and France. They had some distinctive methods of fashioning arrowheads
and lance points. The only other place were similar points can be found
are in eastern parts of the United States. The time range on these
discoveries is about 16,000 years ago. The scientists who put forward
this theory have also discovered some genetic similarities between
certain American Indian groups and those of certain modern day
Europeans. These similarities are not found among Asian groups.
Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl mounted several expeditions to show
that the Americas could have easily been reached by seafaring groups
from Africa. Heyerdahl sailed from Morocco to North America. While
Heyerdahl never seriously suggested North America was populated by
Africans, his exploits added some weight to a few other theories.
A variety of archaeological discoveries in both Central and South
America have shown certain physical similarities to peoples of Africa.
The great Toltec heads of Mexico have many features which appear to be
African in nature. The “Painted Mural in Las Higueras” from Mexico
features many dark skinned captives which Mexican researchers have
postulated were Africans. (Note below)

There are also the old theories of explorations of the world by ancient
mariners such as the Phoenicians. These theories can also be found in
“new age” stories that ancient explorers were people from Atlantis.
While scholars acknowledge the possibility of Phoenicians reaching North
America, Atlantis remains the substance of myth in academic circles.

So, many scientists have found reasons to believe people from Africa,
Asia and Europe settled in North America. Many of these theories propose
that the peoples of the Americas all found their origins in other
continents.

Finally, there is the indigenous theory of the origins of the people of
North America. Some American Indian groups do have oral histories of
there being very long travels before they finally came to the lands they
occupied at the time of the onset of the organized European explorations
of the 15th and 16th centuries. However, many more indigenous groups
have creation stories which say they originated in North America. Many
tribal traditionalists say they were created here, and they stayed here.
The Nez Perce tribe point to the “Heart Of The Monster” in Kamiah, Idaho
as their place of origin. (Note below) Similar stories are told by many
other tribes.


TIP: According to a 1995 United States Census Bureau survey, 49% of
indigenous people preferred being called American Indian, 37% preferred
Native American, 3.6% preferred "some other term," and 5% had no
preference. The common phrase used in Canada is First Nations or First
People.


H1 The Three Immigration Waves

As mentioned in the beginning of this section, most scientists believe
there were several waves of immigrants moving into North America over
the Bering Land Bridge. One of these studies is known as the
Greenberg-Zegura-Turner Theory. The Greenberg Theory says there were
three major waves of immigrants into North America. These different
migrations can easily be divided into three groups: Clovis, Na-Dene and
Inuit-Aluet. The dates associated with each of these groups vary
considerably from scholar to scholar. Dr. Gerald Shields at the
Institute of Arctic Biology has proposed a theory which says the major
migration into the center of North America may have taken place as much
as 15,000 years ago. The two significant differences between these
groups are the dates when they first moved into North America, and their
basic language.

      H2 Clovis – Folsom - Plano
According to the most widely held theory, the first significant group to
migrate into North America crossed Beringia sometime around 15,000 to
20,000 years ago. As they traveled along the ice-free corridor east of
the Rocky Mountains, they eventually spread across the Great Plains.
Most of these groups moved to areas south of modern day Canada.
Continuing cold weather made these areas too harsh to merit long term
habitation. Many scientists believe these original groups are the basis
for most tribal groups south of Canada. By the end of the last ice age,
around 12,000 years ago, they came into the eastern parts of North
American. At the same time, they traveled south through Central America
into South America.

Cultural linguists believe that most of the languages of North and South
America, south of Alaska and Canada, developed from this initial group
of immigrants

Around 11,000 years ago, these groups began to share some common
characteristics. They tended to be nomadic hunters. Preferring larger
animals, they developed specialized hunting techniques and tools. One of
their most distinctive inventions was the spear head they devised. It
was usually made from flint, and had a long narrow point. One of the
first of these points was discovered in the 1930s in Clovis, New Mexico.
This group would be named for this town: the Clovis Culture.
(see attached clovis point image – clovis.gif)

Around 10,000 years ago, the largest land animals of North America
became extinct. This would include such animals as the mammoth,
mastodons and the saber-toothed cats. Many scientists speculate that the
Clovis groups were the reason for the depopulated of these North America
animals. As these larger animals disappeared, cultures and methods began
to change. Recent studies by scientists Donald Grayson and David Meltzer
suggest that Clovis people did not instigate the extinction of
approximately 35 major groups of mammals. Their theory is that Clovis
people just happened to live at the same time as a natural extinction
occurred.

To deal with these changes, new techniques and methods led to the
development of a new cultural group. This newest group was called the
Folsom Culture. They were at their peak from about 10,500 to 8,500 years
ago. They added some refinements to the original Clovis point. The
Folsom culture developed the atlatl. This stick would be used to help
them throw their spears faster and farther.

===============================================================
Remember: The word “atlatl” comes from the Aztec language of Nahuatl. It
can be translated as spear thrower or hand thrower. Atlatls were used by
many ancient cultures throughout the world
They also became adept at herding animals into marshes or cul-de-sacs.
After the Folsom culture came the Plano Culture. One of their more
common hunting techniques was the animal jump. Some of the hunters would
drive a herd of large animals toward a cliff. Other hunters would wait
at the bottom of the cliff to butcher the animals after they jumped to
their deaths. The Folsom people are best known for their hunting of a
now extinct form of American bison called the Bison antiquus. Whether
the Folsom people hunted the Bison antiquus into extinction is a matter
of debate among scientists. The Folsom people flourished until around
8,000 years ago.

===============================================================

Tip: The Bison antiquus (ancient bison) was often as tall a six feet at
the shoulders. They could easily weigh as much as 2,000 pounds.
===============================================================

The Plano people were a further development of the Folsom people. Their
period of existence is usually estimated to be from 6,000 to 8,000 years
ago. With the eventual extinction of the Bison antiquus, the Plano
people turned their attention to the smaller modern American bison
(commonly called the American Buffalo) and other small game.
Some of their ancient sites showed dwellings which were circular in
shape. This has led some scientists to believe they employed skins over
poles for shelters. The Plano people also refined the spear points which
had been used by the Clovis and Folsom people.

===============================================================
TIP: Collectively, the Clovis, Folsom and Plano people are often called
Paleoindians.
===============================================================

        H2 Na-Dene
As with most of the early history of North America, exact dates are hard
to come by, The second major migration into North America, according to
The Greenberg Theory, can be estimates to have happened around 9,000 to
10,000 years ago. This group, on whole, has remained in Alaska and
Canada. They are distinguished by their common language base: Na-Dene.
The major language groups are composed of the Athabaskan, Haida and the
Tlinglit. One theory says the Na-Dene were stranded in Beringia for some
time by encroaching glaciers. When the ice finally retreated, the
Na-Dene groups moved out of Beringia into Canada, and parts of Alaska.
The Navajos (or Diné, as they call themselves) and the Apache, of the
southwestern United States, are also part of this group.

            H2 The Inuits and Aleuts
The Greenberg Theory’s third migration into North America included the
Inuits and the Aleuts. This immigration is believed to have occurred
about 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. Most of this group has remained in
Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland. This migration is also called the
Eskimo-Aleut migration. No other major migrations have taken place since
this last group crossed from Asia into North America.
Some scientists believe the Na-Dene may have immigrated out of Beringia
after the Inuits. As with all of these theories, precise dates are hard
to establish.

===============================================================
TIP?: Even older ancient sites have been discovered in the Americas. If
the estimated dates of these sites have been accurately determined, they
could have people in the Americas at least 1,000 years earlier than
previously thought. Dating ancient sites is a very tricky business.
Scientists often disagree about the exact dates. Some of these possibly
older sites are:
• Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Pennsylvania   
• Monte Verde in Chile   
• Boqueirão da Pedra Furada in Brazil
=============================================================

H1 The Stages of the Earliest Americans

Archaeologists and anthropologists have divided the development of the
original inhabitants of North America into several different stages.
While there are generalized time frames involved in these different
periods, some things happened in different times in different areas.
Different climates and terrains lead to different lifestyles. An area
thick with trees would allow for wooden shelters. Deserts or plains
would require another type of shelter design.
The major developmental periods of the earliest Americans are:
• Paleoindian
• Archaic
• Woodlands
• Pueblo

       H2 The Paleoindian Period
The Paleoindian period generally covers the time period of 6,000 to
15,000 years ago. This period includes the spread of humans across the
Americas. The people are represented by the Clovis, Folsom and Plano
groups discussed before.

               H3 Finding Kennewick Man
In 1996 a skull, and some 300 other bones, were discovered in the
shallow waters of the Columbia River, near Kennewick, Washington.
Forensic testing revealed that the bones were over 9,000 years old.
Scientists were surprised to discover the bones did not appear to be
those of a Paleoindian they would have expected to have found in this
area. The structure of the skull was different enough from other
skeletons of the same age, that some scientists would begin to reexamine
their theories about the nature of the evolutionary process in North
America. Local tribes were convinced that the skeleton was one of their
ancestors, and should be reburied in accordance with their customs. The
Umatilla tribe stated they had been in this area since the beginning of
time. The controversy over the ownership and proper handling of the
bones has continued for many years.

==============================================================
Remember: On July 28, 1996, Will Thomas, 21, and Dave Deacy, 19, of West
Richland, Washington were wading in the Columbia River while watching a
boat race. Will stubbed his toe on what he thought was a big rock. He
was surprise to discover that it was not a rock, but a skull. Eventually
the skull, and some other bones, was turned over to the local Kennewick
police. They were sent to a state forensic lab for testing. The rest is
history.
===============================================================


         H2 The Archaic Period
The Archaic period is usually dated from about 2,000 to 8,000 years ago,
depending on the area. One of the distinctions of the Archaic period is
a change in the climate of North America. As the ice age came to an end,
temperatures began to rise. This led to the creation of some the desert
areas of North America. Glaciers began to retreat, ocean levels began to
rise, and the depressions of the Great Lakes began to fill.

The inhabitants of North America were also starting to change their ways
of life. The types of animals they hunted began to expand. As more of
the larger animals were killed off, the people of this period began to
make use of smaller and smaller animals, and more plants. Some groups
changed from hunters to foragers.

A wider variety of tools were being developed. Grinding of rocks in
order to form tools was now more often used than the older method of
chipping off pieces. Previously, tools were most often made from flint
or obsidian. These stones could easily be chipped to the desired shape.
However, they were not very plentiful. The ability to grind other types
of stones dramatically increased the supply of raw material. Notches
were now chiseled into stone points so they could more easily be
attached to shafts. These “arrowheads” would become more prevalent.
Other tools, such as nets, were also developed and refined.

More cultural developments were also beginning to take place. The
domestication of plants and dogs began to spread. Basket making
techniques are created. The build up of trade in tools and food begins.

            H2 The Post-Archaic Period
The Post-Archaic period ranges from present day to 3,000 years ago,
depending on the location. There were considerable differences between
those areas which were the east coast, the great plains, the deserts,
and the west coastal regions. The distinctive changes of this period
were:
• pottery is invented
• increasing use of agriculture
• development of textiles and leather goods
• tools made from bone
• improvements of stone tools
• improvements in the construction of shelter
• invention of the bow and arrow

    H East Coast Areas
In what would become the United States, several cultural groups would
develop. Having significant amounts of wooded areas, groups were able to
utilize trees for a variety of purposes. The Hopewell and Adena cultures
left significant amount of artifacts. Both groups were noted for their
construction of mounds. Copper began to be used for tools and jewelry.
Florida also developed many different cultural groups.

     H Great Plains
Village life would become the central focus of much of the Great Plains
along many of the year-round rivers. While some groups would still be
nomadic hunter-gatherers, many others would settle down. Mound builders
would also exist in these areas. Cahokia, near modern day St. Louis,
would be one of the largest communities in North America until it was
abandoned in the 1400s. Hunting would remain a major activity for Great
Plains groups

     H West Coast Areas
The west coast would offer a variety of climates and habitats. Some
groups developed significant fishing operations. The Pacific Northwest
had a significant population. The desert areas of California and the
Great Basin saw smaller population levels.

===============================================================
Remember: The main form of agriculture of this period was the
cultivation of corn, beans and squash. They are often called the “three
sisters.”
===============================================================

            H2 The Pueblo Periods
The Pueblo peoples of the American Southwest had their own unique
development. According to their own histories (similar to the Hopi and
Zuni), they are the descendant of the “ancient ones.” The “ancient ones”
are often referred to as the Anasazi or “Basket Makers” by many
scientists. The earliest groups lived in caves or simple mud and pole
structures. They harvested wild grasses and eventually cultivated corn,
beans and squashes. They also domesticated the turkey. As they matured,
these cultures would develop pottery. Around 750 C.E. they began
building above ground adobe structures for living quarters. They also
maintained underground structures called kivas which were often used for
religious or ceremonial purposes. Their initial settlements appeared
around 2,000 years ago in the northern part of the American Southwest.
As the climate changed, they tended to move toward the south. Weaving
was also a significant part of their culture.

                  H3 Classic Pueblo
The Classic Pueblo period dates from approximately 1050 to 1300 C.E.
This period is also known as the “Pueblo III” period. It is during this
time that many of the large, multi-storied, villages were built. These
could be freestanding structures, or built into hollow areas in cliff.
The largest structures had hundreds of rooms. There appear to have been
fewer outlying villages, as much of the population moved into the larger
communities. Corn was a primary food source. Pottery and weaving
continued to be refined. Some of the more well-known structures of this
period are:
• Mesa Verde in Colorado
• Chaco Canyon in New Mexico
• Aztec in New Mexico
• Casa Grande in Arizona
• Canyon de Chelly in Arizona
(Note: see pictures list at the bottom of this page)

This era saw most of the communities located in southern parts of
modern-day Colorado and Utah, and the northern sections of Arizona and
New Mexico. The end of this chronological period is dated to the
abandonment of these large communities. A drought covering over 20 years
struck the American southwest in 1276. Many scientists believe this was
one of the major reasons why most of the major structures were abandoned
by the end of this period. Some scientists have suggested that the
appearance in the area of more aggressive groups, such as the Navajo and
Apache tribes, also led to the exodus of the ancient Pueblo people.

===============================================================
Remember: The two oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the
United States are in this area. Oraibi, on the Hopi Reservation in
Arizona, and Acoma (Sky City) in Nex Mexico, date back to around 1150.
San Augustine, Florida is the oldest European-founded continuously
inhabited city in the United States.

===============================================================

              H3 Regressive Pueblo
The Regressive Pueblo period dates from approximately 1300 to 1700 C.E.
This period is also known as the “Pueblo IV” period. With the
abandonment of the large communities of the Classic era, the population
moved to the east and to the south. While there were some large
communities, the architecture was not as refined as that of the Classic
era.

Cotton was used for textiles, and corn continued to be a major source of
food. Pottery tended to have bolder designs during this era.
In 1598, Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate Salazar began a major
expedition into the lands north of the Rio Grande. Oñate claimed most of
New Mexico for Spain. He then established a capital city in Santa Fe.

===============================================================
Remember: The first Spanish expedition into Pueblo areas was that of
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1540. When he did not find the fabled
“Seven Cities of Gold,” he left the area.
===============================================================

Spanish efforts to dominate the daily life of the Pueblos, including
religious conversions, led to considerable resistance by the Pueblos. In
1680, a Tewa Pueblo Indians named Popé led a revolution against the
Spanish. Starting in the Taos pueblo, the revolt was successful. The
Pueblos managed to rid much of New Mexico of Spanish forces. The end of
the Regressive Pueblo era is marked by the return of significant Spanish
forces into the area around 1694.

                  H3 Modern Pueblo
The Modern Pueblo period dates from approximately 1700 to the present.
This period is also known as the “Pueblo V” period. This period is
marked by continuing control of the territory by Spanish, Mexican and
American authorities. During this time, the number of thriving Pueblo
communities was significantly reduced.

Many of the domesticated animals (cattle, goats, horses, and sheep)
introduced by the Spanish were adopted by the Pueblos. While cotton was
still used for textiles, wool from their sheep and goats soon became
predominate fiber.

Among all of the tribal groups of the United States, the Pueblos have
been one of the most successful at maintaining their cultural integrity.
Often isolated in small communities, they have retained much of their
unique characteristics.

Often suspicious of outside influences, the Pueblos have been relatively
successful in establishing sovereignty over their local governments.

============================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================


Notes:

Toltec Heads:
http://americanindian.net/mexico29.html

Painted Mural:
http://americanindian.net/mexico32.html

Heart of the Monster
http://americanindian.net/2003a.html

mtDNA research:
Diversity and Age of the Four Major mtDNA Haplogroups, and Their
Implications for the Peopling of the New World by Sandro L. Bonatto and
Francisco M. Salzano

Kivas, Ancient ruins & Pictographs (Rock Art):
http://americanindian.net/utah2006g.html
http://americanindian.net/utah2006h.html
http://americanindian.net/utah2006i.html



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Chapter 5: Settling Down: Tribal Settlements after the Great Migrations
(18 pages)

As function follows form, so did natural resources dictate migration
patterns for Native Americans.

H1 The Major Culture Areas

As the earliest groups of American Indians spread across the North
American continent they encountered many different kinds of geography.
Each area had its own unique combination of land, weather, native plants
and animals. Eventually, these groups began to settle. When they lived
off the land, they had to adapt to that land. After spending a long
enough period of time in one area, these ways of life became societies.

Scientists always like to put things in categories. One of the ways
which the early inhabitants of North America were categorized was by
“Culture Areas.” While the numbers vary a bit, there are eight major
Culture Areas in North America.
The major culture areas are:
• Arctic and the Subarctic
• Eastern Woodlands
• Southeast
• Plains
• Southwest
• Plateau and Great Basin
• Pacific Northwest
• California

            H2: What’s a Culture Area?
While different tribal groups had different ways of life, they often
shared certain activities which other tribes living in similar areas.
For example, the shelter required for a normally hot climate would be
quite different from an area where it snowed most of the time.
Anthropologists and sociologists noted many of the common life styles
among tribes which lived in a certain regions. This led them to try to
group together those tribes who shared the same basic environments.
These areas became known as Culture Areas.

As with many such efforts, many scientists established different
boundaries for each Culture Area. Some Culture Areas were bounded by
major obstacles to travel such as mountain ranges, lakes or deserts.
Other Culture areas were set up to match similar weather patterns, or
similar languages. Initially, the number of major Culture Areas ranged
from as few as five, to as many as twenty. Cultural scientists seem to
have settled on from five to nine major areas. Similar geographical
regions have become the major deciding factor for setting up the
boundaries of these areas.

==============================================================
Remember: A “Culture Area” is a geographic region where similar ways of
life were shared by different tribal groups.
==============================================================

Over time, these societies would also adapt to changing circumstances.
Lets take a look at each of these major Culture Areas.

      H1 The Arctic & the Subarctic
The Arctic and Subarctic Culture Areas are usually grouped together.
While there are some differences between them, they are more similar
than most of the other areas.

On a map, the Arctic Culture Area covers the western coast of Alaska,
across the Arctic Ocean, including the Yukon, the Northwest Territories,
and Nunavut to the northeastern part of Labrador in Canada. Included in
this area are the arctic islands of Canada and the northern half of
Hudson’s Bay.

Among the common factors of tribes living in the Arctic Culture Area is
their adaptation to year-round cold weather. The northern tundra has a
very short growing season for the limited number of plants which grow
there. There are almost no trees here. Many of the dwellings were made
from skins, sod, stone or snow (igloo)

===============================================================
Definition: Igloo: A structure built from blocks of snow. The walls are
usually built in a circular fashion. Each new layer of blocks is of a
smaller diameter. This eventually forms a domed roof. Later, a door is
cut into the wall.
===============================================================

Wildlife is somewhat limited, as well. As you can imagine, this limits
the ways a person could live. Many of the early settlers lived by
fishing and hunting the few animals which grazed here in the summer
months. This was one of the last areas of North America to be settled
for obvious reasons.

Socially, in the Arctic the nuclear family was quite common. Extended
families were usually in contact with each other. In the eastern
Subarctic, families were centered on the father. In the western
Subarctic, the Athabascan groups were often matrilineal.

===============================================================
Definitions:
Tundra: A cold, treeless, rolling plain with a short growing season.
Often the earth just s few feet under the surface remains frozen
year-round.
Patrilineal: A family which is based around the father and his family.
Matrilineal: A family which is based around the mother and her family.
===============================================================

The Subarctic Culture Area included the inland part of eastern Alaska,
and most of southern half of Canada. The Subarctic was the area where
tree were able grow year-round. There was more abundant plant and animal
life, too. Like the Arctic Culture Area, this area is extremely cold for
much of the year.

In the Arctic, religion was oriented around myths, spirits and the
practice of shaman. Both humans and animals were considered to have
souls in most groups. Many Subarctic groups believed in witchcraft.
The inhabitants of the Arctic Culture Area are not normally called
American Indians. While this is usually the case with people living in
the Subarctic Culture areas, and further south.

The most common language in the western part of the Subarctic Culture
Area is   Athabascan. Algonquian is the basis for most of the groups in
the east. The people of the Arctic Culture Area all speak languages
which are “Paleo-Siberian” based.

            H2 Hunting caribou
Parts of the Subarctic Culture Area are the summer home of large herds
of migrating animals. Elk (wapiti) and Caribou herds could travel
through the area in the thousands. Fur from large game was used for
clothing and shelter. The early settlers in the area would occasionally
build low stone walls in valleys along the migration routes. These walls
would help to channel the caribou into a smaller area where they could
be more easily hunted.

===============================================================
Remember: While Eskimo is a common word to describe the various people
of the Arctic and Subarctic Culture Areas, it is not a word used by any
one group to describe themselves. Eskimo is an Algonquian word which
translates as “raw meat eater.”
===============================================================

A Listing of Some Arctic Tribes:
• Aleut
• Inuit (Eskimo)
• Yupik

A Listing of Some Subarctic Tribes:
• Bear Lake
• Beaver
• Carrier
• Chipewyan
• Cree
• Dogrib
• Han
• Hare
• Kaska
• Koyukon
• Kutchin
• Malecite
• Micmac
• Montagnais
• Naskapi
• Ojibwa
• Sekani
• Slave
• Tanaina
• Tanana
• Tutchone
• Yellowknife


      H1 The Eastern Woodlands
The Eastern Woodlands Culture Area includes the United States along the
southern part of the Great Lakes, the Mississippi and Ohio River Valley,
and the lands along the eastern Atlantic from Virginia to southern
Labrador.

The area had a moderate climate with cold winters and warm summers.
There were large forests covering much of the region. There are many
different types of trees in this area.. Lakes and rivers were abundant.
Rain was frequent enough for a wide variety of vegetation to prosper.

The early settlers were hunter gatherers. The Adena and Hopewell
societies were the earliest historic Eastern Woodland inhabitants. The
latter groups in the area quickly learned to group certain crops. They
also hunted and fished. Baskets and pottery were a common craft.
Many tribes have a specific leader. Tribal groups in these areas often
had conflicts with their neighbors over hunting grounds. Warrior
societies developed with many groups. Bows, arrows and clubs were common
fighting and hunting tools. Some disputes could often be solved without
killings, but many areas appeared to be in a state of constant conflict.
“Counting coup” was an occasional practice.

Housing was often a series of poles covered by bark shelving. These
types of housing were often seen as wigwams and long houses. These types
of building were used as long term housing as they could not easily be
moved. They were fairly durable and stable.

===============================================================
Definitions:
Wigwam: A round, domed structure. It usually have wooden pole supports
and bark or plank walls and roofing. It is similar to the wickiups.
Long House: A long, rectangular structure. It was usually long, and
narrow. It had poles for support. The roof was curved or peaked. The
siding and roof covering was often from bark.
===============================================================

Many of these societies were communal in nature. The goods of the tribe
were shared by the members of the tribe. Women often saw to the planting
and manufacture of skins into clothing. Nuts, seeds and shellfish were a
staple part of the diet. Corn and squash were common crops. Baskets and
pottery were common.

Families around the Great Lakes were often patrilineal. Mom was often
the clan boss in groups in the northeast.

Religious practices could include shaman, spirits, and medicine
societies.

There are four major language groups in this Culture Area. These include
Macro-Algonquian, Algonquian, Iroquoian and Macro-Siouan.
A Listing of Some Eastern Woodlands Tribes:
• Abenaki
• Algonquin
• Cayuga
• Chickahominy
• Chippewa (Ojibwa)
• Conestoga
• Delaware (Lenni Lenape)
• Erie
• Fox
• Huron (Wyandot)
• Illinois
• Iroquois
• Kickapoo
• Mahican
• Massachusetts
• Menominee
• Miami
• Micmac
• Mohawk
• Mohegan
• Mohican
• Montauk
• Nanticoke
• Narragansett
• Neutral
• Niantic
• Oneida
• Onondaga
• Ottawa
• Passamaquoddy
• Pennacook
• Penobscot
• Penacola
• Pequot
• Podunk
• Potawatomi
• Sauk
• Schaghticoke
• Seneca
• Shawnee
• Susquehanna
• Tuscarora
• Wampanoag
• Wappinger
• Wea
• Winnebago (Ho-Chunk)

      H1 The Southeast
The Southeastern Culture Area includes the United States south and east
of the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys to the Atlantic south of
Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico. Many scientists often place Florida in
its own Culture Area.

The area had a moderate climate with cool winters and hot summers.
Forests covered much of the area. Pine was the most common type of tree.
There were numerous fresh-water lakes and rivers. A very wide variety of
vegetation was able to be grown due to the temperate climate and the
abundant rainfall. There were also coastal lowlands, and extensive
marshes.

            H2 Hunters and gatherers
The early settlers were hunter gatherers, but they switched quickly to
stationary farming. Some of the early settlers were mound builders.
These societies seemed to be highly class conscious. A royal or priestly
caste was found in such ancient groups as the Natchez. Many of the
villages were situated along the river valleys.
Many tribes had a king-like leader. In some groups there was a leader
for peace, and another one for war. Warrior societies developed within
many of these groups, too. Bows, arrows and clubs were common fighting
and hunting tools.

            H2 Master farmers (with some hunting thrown in)
As with many of the other North American early societies, many were
communal in nature. Men were responsible for the hunting, women for
planting. Corn, beans and squash were common crops. The climate is
Florida was temperate enough that crops could be grown much of the year.
Many of these groups had highly developed agriculture with a wide
variety of plants being harvested for food, construction and
handicrafts.

There was a fair amount of small game, especially deer and turkeys.
Hunters would often cover large areas in order to find enough game.
Fishing was very common along the coastal areas.

Some of these societies, such as the Cherokee, were matriarchal. The
home and the children belonged to the women. Clan societies were also
quite common in many of these tribes, a characteristic which continues
to this day. A man would become part of his wife’s family. Often, a male
child was mentored by his mother’s brother, rather than by his father.
Basket and pottery making was often done by the women and children.

Housing varied somewhat depending on how far south you were. The more
northerly areas often had a large community hall. Individual houses were
often round using a waddle and daub construction. In the marshy coastal
areas, and in Florida, many of the houses were on raised platforms. In
the warmer area, the houses would have a roof, but no walls. This would
allow for better ventilation and cooler temperatures during the very hot
summer months.

===============================================================
Definition: Waddle and daub: A form of construction. A loosely woven
frame is made first from sticks and/or reeds. This frame is them covered
with a combination of clay, mud and sand. Once the mixture dries, it is
very durable.
===============================================================

The languages of the Culture Area are based on these language groups:
Algonquian, Iroquoian, Muskogean, and Siouan.
A List of Some Southeast Tribes:
• Alabama
• Atakapa
• Biloxi
• Catawba
• Cherokee
• Chickasaw
• Chitimacha
• Choctaw
• Creek
• Koasati
• Hitchiti
• Houma
• Meherrin
• Mikasuki
• Natchez
• Nottaway
• Ofo
• Pascagoula
• Powhatan
• Saponi
• Seminole
• Timucua
• Tunica
• Tutelo
• Yuchi

      H1 The Plains
The Plains Culture Area includes much of the United States between the
Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. From runs from southern
Canada to the Mexico border.

The area had a variety of climate areas ranging from very cold winters
to hot summers. It is covered by a variety of grasses. The few wooded
areas are along the river valleys. Rainfall is light to moderate. The
elevation ranges from about 300 feet to 5,500 feet. There are three
major river systems: Arkansas, Missouri and Red Rivers.

There were few early settlers in this area. Most of the population which
traveled through here was hunter gatherers. Some farming took place
along the river valleys, with corn, beans and squash being the natural
choice. Baskets and pottery were produced by most groups. The great
herds of American Bison (buffalo) allowed go adequate hunting to take
place. When the domesticated horse arrived on the Plains in the late
1600s, a few more tribes moved into the area. In fact, this is the rare
Culture Area where the population actually was greater after the initial
contact with Europeans. From around 1650 to 1880, the Plains horse
culture led to the spread of several American Indian tribes. It is these
tribes which are most known to the general public. Through books, films
and television, the exploits of such tribes as the Cheyenne, Comanche
and the Sioux entered the American consciousness.

Many tribes had a group of leaders. Tribal groups in these areas often
had conflicts with their neighbors over hunting grounds. Warrior
societies were highly developed with many groups. Bows, arrows; lances
and clubs were common fighting and hunting tools. Some disputes could
often be solved without killings, but many areas appeared to be in a
state of constant conflict. “Counting coup” was a common practice.

===============================================================
Definition: Counting Coup: Counting coup was a way to prove a person’s
bravery. An individual would find a way to approach an enemy warrior.
They would touch the enemy with their hand or a stick, and then run
away. You could call it an adult version of tag, but the other person
might strike you back.
===============================================================

Housing came is two basic types. It was often a series of long thin
poles covered by animal skins. This tipi (teepee) allowed for quick set
up and removal. They were well ventilated. They were only partially
effective against hard rain or very cold temperatures. Some of the
non-horse tribes of this area had sod houses. These types of building
were used as long term housing as they could not easily be moved. They
were fairly durable and stable.

Religious practices included shamans, spirits, sweat lodge ceremonies,
Sun dances and vision quests.

There are three major language groups in this Culture Area. These
include Algonquian, Siouan and Uto-Aztecan.
A List of Some Plains Tribes:
• Arapaho
• Arikara
• Assiniboine
• Atsina (Gros Ventre)
• Blackfeet
• Blood
• Brule
• Caddo
• Cheyenne
• Comanche
• Crow
• Dakota
• Hidatsa
• Iowa
• Kansa
• Kichai
• Kiowa
• Mandan
• Missouri
• Omaha
• Osage
• Oto
• Pawnee
• Piegan
• Ponca
• Quapaw
• Sarsi
• Siksika
• Sioux
• Stoney
• Tejas
• Teton
• Tonkawa
• Wichita
• Yankton


      H1 The Southwest
The Southwest Culture Area includes Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah
and Colorado.

The area has cold winters and hot summers. There are some forested
areas, mainly in the mountain areas. There are only two major rivers
here, the Rio Grande and the Colorado River. This is a desert area, so
rainfall is light in most areas.

The early settlers were hunters. The Clovis and Folsom societies were
the earliest historic Southwest Culture inhabitants. Later, various
societies lived here, including the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon. Each
of these groups became quite good at growing corn, beans and squash.
Later Pueblo/Hopi groups would develop dry land farming methods which
were well suited to the low rainfalls here. After contact with
Europeans, raising cattle, horses and sheep became quite common. The
Navajo are particularly known for raising sheep. Baskets and pottery are
a highly developed craft.

Seed gathering is an important activity for many of these groups.
Special pottery was even developed to hold the seeds.

Many tribes have a specific leader. Bows, arrows were common fighting
and hunting tools. Intertribal conflicts seemed to develop in certain
areas, especially among the Apache, River Yuma, and the Pima. They are
nuclear, matriarchal and patriarchal families and clans in this area.
Pueblo societies because very distinct among themselves. Each Pueblo has
certain differences practices, events or customs from each other.
Housing came in a wide variety of forms. The adobe house was very
common. They are very durable and can handle extremely hot weather quite
well. Other types of structures included wickiups, hogans, tipis and
subterranean houses.

===============================================================
Definitions: Adobe: A structure built from a special type of dried, mud
brick. The brick is made from clay, sand and straw. These types of
structures are often found in desert areas.
Wickiup: A round, domed structure. It usually has flexible wooden poles
which are either completely arched or gathered together at the top. It
is usually covered in thatch. It is similar to the wigwam.
Hogan: A special structure among the Navajo. There are a variety of
designs depending on its purpose. Modern hogans are often round or
multi-sided and only have one room inside. Many hogans are only used for
ceremonial purposes. Traditionally, the door faces east.
Katsina: A Katsina (kachinas) is a stylized religious icon which is used
for certain Hopi and Pueblo religious ceremonies. They often represent a
figure from ancient mythology.
===============================================================

Religious activities include katsinas (kachinas), shamans, spirits,
ghosts, witchcraft, many rituals. Dreams have a special power for many
groups.

There are six major language groups in this Culture Area. These include
Athabascan, Hokan, Kiowa-Tanoan, Penutian, Uto-Aztecan and Zuni.

A List of Some Southwest Tribes:
• Acoma
• Apache
• Cochiti
• Cocopah
• Hano
• Havasupai
• Hopi
• Hualapai (Walapai)
• Isleta
• Jemez
• Laguna
• Maricopa
• Mojave
• Nambe
• Navajo
• Pecos
• Picuris
• Pima (Akimel O'odham)
• San Ildefonso
• San Juan
• San Felipe
• Sandia
• Santa Ana
• Santa Clara
• Santo Domingo
• Taos
• Tesuque
• Tohono O'odham (Papago)
• Yavapai
• Yuma (Quechan)
• Zia
• Zuni

===============================================================
Remember: As the story goes, a missionary once asked a local Indian if
he knew the name for a certain tribe. His answer (in his language) was
“Pima.” In his language Pima roughly translates as “I don’t know.” The
Pima are now known as the Akimel O'odham (river people).

The Papagos (which means “bean eaters”) changed their names to Tohono
O'odham (“desert people”).

Many other tribal groups have changed their names to accurately reflect
what they call themselves.
===============================================================



      H1 The Great Basin & Plateau
The Great Basin and Plateau Culture Areas are often lumped together. The
Great Basin Culture Area includes Nevada, and parts of California,
Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. The Plateau Culture Area
includes parts of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Plateau
Culture Area is centered around the higher elevations of the Columbia
River watershed and is between the Cascades and Rocky Mountains.
The area has very cold winters and hot summers. There are some forested
areas, mainly in the mountain areas. There are three major rivers here,
the Columbia, Fraser (in British Columbia) and the Snake. There are some
very large forests in the Plateau area. Some of the tallest trees in the
world grow here. The trees grow so tall because of the plentiful
rainfall. Conversely, the Great Basin has some of the lowest rainfalls
on the continent.   

The early settlers were hunters, gatherers and anglers. The area was
sparsely populated and many groups were nomadic. The camas root grows
wild in many areas here. Fish are often found in many of the rivers and
streams. Small game was often hunted. Baskets were highly developed
craft. There was little pottery.

Many tribes had a group of leaders. Bows, arrows, spears (digging
sticks) and nets were common fighting, hunting and fishing tools.
Politics were usually grounded in the local village. Generally speaking,
intertribal conflicts were fairly rare.

Housing came in a couple of forms. The wickiup, earth lodge, sweathouse
and pit house were commonly used in the winter. They are very durable
and can handle cold weather quite well. Summer quarters were often
simple lean-tos.

===============================================================
Definitions:
Camas root: The flowering plant grows wild in the intermountain region
of the United States. The baked root is very similar to the sweet
potato.
Vision quest: A vision quest is a ritual which aids in getting spiritual
guidance for personal growth. It was often practiced by males after the
age of puberty.
===============================================================

Religious activities include myths, spirit helpers, ghosts, witchcraft,
and vision quests. Dreams have a special power for many groups.

There are six major language groups in these Culture Areas. These
include Cayuse, Hokan, Klamath-Modoc, Sahaptin, Salish and Uto-Aztecan,
A List of Some Great Basin Tribes:
• Bannock
• Goshiute
• Lemhi
• Mono
• Paiute
• Panamint
• Shoshoni
• Ute
• Washo

A List of Some Plateau Tribes:
• Cayuse
• Chelan
• Coeur d’Alene
• Columbia
• Colville
• Flathead (Salish)
• Kalispel
• Klamath
• Klikitat
• Kutenai
• Lake
• Lillooet
• Modoc
• Nespelem
• Nez Perce
• Nicola
• Okanagan
• Palus
• Sanpoil
• Shuswap
• Spokan
• Tenino
• Thompson
• Umatilla
• Wallawalla
• Wishram
• Yakama

      H1 The Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest Culture Area includes the coastal areas for about
150 inland from Oregon to southern Alaska.

The area has cold winters and warm summers. There area is mostly
forested. With rainfall averaging over 100 inches a year, the area is
often considered a temperate rainforest. There are many islands, rivers
and lakes in the region. Much of the area is mountainous.
The early settlers were gatherers, anglers and hunters. With an
abundance of seafood and wild agricultural products available, extensive
farming was not needed. Hunting was also practiced here. Fishing was
highly developed. From salmon on the rivers to long trips on the ocean,
fishing (including whales) was a major operation. Basketry and wooden
box manufacturing were developed. Trade was highly developed with
capitalism being a common practice.

Many villages have a specific leader, but there was little recognition
of tribal nations. Kinship and the local village were the most important
factor. Bows, arrows, knives, harpoons were common fighting and hunting
tools. Some intertribal conflicts seemed to develop in certain areas.
They are nuclear, matriarchal and patriarchal families and clans (Haida:
Raven and Eagle) in this area. Family status within the community was
often very important. Incest was one of the strictest social taboos. A
family wishing to raise or establish their social status would often
participate in a giving of gifts called a potlatch. In several
matriarchal tribes, such as the Haida and Tlingit, girl children were
preferred over boys.

Housing was primarily large wooden houses. They were often long and
wide, with peaked roofs. The sides and roofs were made from wooden
planks, often cedar. They are very durable and withstood the rain quite
well. Totem poles are often found in many villages in this area.   

===============================================================
Definitions:
Potlatch: In the Chinook language, “Potlatch” roughly translates as “to
give.” A Potlatch is one of many community ceremonies, often held in a
large hall. The events can be religious, civic, a wedding, performances,
or a formal exchanging of gifts for social status.
Totem: A totem is commonly a being which watches over a group of people.

Totem pole: A totem pole is not always related to a totem. It is a large
carving, usually made of wood. It features a group of figures, one on
top of another. The meaning was often the recounting of a family
history. It could also be religious, symbolic, or for any of a few other
reasons.
===============================================================

Religious activities include shamans, spirits, myths, totems, and vision
quests.

There are three major language groups in this Culture Area. These
include Chinookan, Na-Dene, and Penutian. There is some considerable
diversity in the number of languages within these three major groups.
A List of Some Pacific Northwest Tribes:
• Alsea
• Bella Bella
• Bella Coola
• Chehalis
• Chetco
• Chilliwack
• Chinook
• Clackamas
• Comox
• Coos
• Cowlitz
• Gitskan
• Haida
• Heiltsuk
• Kathlemet
• Klallam (S’kallam)
• Klatsop
• Kwakiutl
• Lummi
• Makah
• Nooksack
• Nootka
• Pentlatch
• Puget (Lushootseed)
• Puyallup
• Quileute
• Quinalt
• Salish
• Sooke
• Squamish
• Tillamook
• Tlingit
• Tolowa
• Tsimshain
• Twana
• Umpqua
• Wishram
• Wasco

      H1 California
The California Culture Area includes all but the east edge of the state
of California.

The climate in the Culture Area varies widely from north to south. In
the North, winters can be very cold, and the summers warm. The summer
area has a moderate climate with cold winters and hot summers. There
were large forests covering much of the region. There are also desert
areas. There are several mountain ranges, wide valleys, rolling hills
and long beaches. There are a wide variety of trees and natural
vegetation in this area.. Lakes and rivers were abundant. Rain ranges
from heavy in the north to sparse in the south. Some areas had sunshine
almost every day of the year. Other areas were constantly overcast from
coastal clouds to Tule fog.

The early settlers were hunters, gatherers and anglers. This is one of
the few southern culture areas where corn, beans and squash were not
major crops for early farmers. Hunting ranges from small to large game.
Fishing includes small catches to ocean-going boats. Baskets and pottery
were common in many areas.

Some tribes had a “headman,” other had clan or family leaders.
Intertribal fighting was not that common in this area. Many conflicts
could be settled by a payment arranged by dispute negotiators (The first
lawyers!) Bows, arrows, nets, traps and harpoon were common fighting,
hunting and fishing tools.

Housing varied with the terrain and weather. The Pomo utilized wooden
tipi-like buildings in the winter. Others used grass huts, subterranean
structures, sweathouses, and plank houses.

===============================================================
Definition: Tule fog: Tule fog is a thick fog which forms in the long
central valley of California. It usually happens after the fall and
winter rains. It is named for the Tule plants which grow in central
California. American Indian tribes have long used it to make mats, boats
and even houses.
===============================================================

There were a wide variety of societies in California. There were single
tribal leaders, council groups, clans, and family group make the
decisions. Women often saw to the planting and manufacture of skins into
clothing. Men often did the hunting and fishing. Seeds, acorns,
grasshoppers and yucca were part of the diet for many California tribes.
Fish and all kinds of wild game were caught. Baskets and pottery were
common in different areas..

Religious practices were extremely varied (Nothing has changed in
California!) They include: birth, puberty, and death rituals; Kuksu
dances; myths; ghosts; shamans; spirits; and the use of hallucinogenic
drugs (I told you nothing has changed in California!).

There are five major language groups in this Culture Area. These include
Algonquian, Athabascan, Hokan, Penutian, and Uto-Aztecan.
A List of Some California Tribes:
• Achomawi
• Atsugewi
• Cahuilla
• Chumash
• Costoan
• Cupeno
• Diegueno
• Esselen
• Fernandeno
• Gabrielino
• Hupa
• Kamia
• Karok
• Kato
• Luiseno
• Maidu
• Miwok
• Numa
• Patwin
• Pomo
• Oolone
• Salinan
• Serrano
• Shasta
• Tolowa
• Tubatulabal
• Wailaki
• Wappo
• Wintun
• Wiyot
• Yahi
• Yana
• Yokut
• Yuki
• Yurok


      H1 Present-Day Subsistence Practices
Many of the practices mentioned above are no longer followed by
modern-day tribes. However, some groups take a certain pride in
maintaining connections with their traditional practices.

Some tribal groups operate many commercial enterprises and industries.
These can range from simple operations as smoke shops and gas stations,
to massive casinos or aerospace assembly plants. Developing and
maintaining a strong economic base is a primary goal for many tribal
governments. They see themselves as modern people living in a modern
world. Jobs bring in a much improved standard of living. Unemployment on
some reservations is often at a higher rate than in the surrounding
communities.

That being said, many tribes equate their identity with some of their
old traditions and practices. While it is hard to follow the “old ways”
and still live in today’s world, many groups make an effort to do just
that. In order to make a living in many isolated areas, individuals must
still hunt, farm and fish. From the Abenaki to the Zuni, many tribal
people still see this as the proper way to live.
Some groups have updated their tools, but their lives remain much the
same as they were in the past. In many Inuit communities, snow mobiles
have replaced dog sleds, but hunting remains the main source of food.

===============================================================
Remember: While there are many similarities among the various tribes of
North America, there are also many differences. Hundreds of different
languages are spoken; rules of kinship and religious practices vary. It
is a common misunderstanding to assume there is only one “American
Indian” way to do something.
===============================================================


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Chapter 6: The Five Civilized Tribes & Other Major Tribes of the Past
(18 pages)

The largest and most influential tribal nations and the differences
between them.

There are over 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States.
There are many more tribes who have not received federal recognition.
The population of each of these tribes ranges from just a few dozen to
hundreds of thousands. In this chapter, we will give you a more detailed
look at some of these groups.

Among all of the tribes along the southeastern part of the United
States, five tribes made a marked impression upon the English colonists.
In the minds of many of the English, these five tribes were far above
other tribes in their intelligence, work ethic and character. The tribes
also made some effort to acquire some of the culture of the Europeans.
These tribes were the Choctaw, the Cherokee, the Chickasaw, the Creek
(Muscogee) and the Seminole. Collectively, they were known as the Five
Civilized Tribes.

      H1 Choctaw: The Code Talkers
The Choctaw people, one of the largest tribal nations in the United
States, originally lived mainly in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Their language is Choctaw, which is one of the Muskogean languages. One
of their creation stories says they rose up out of the ground in Nanih
Waiya, Mississippi, along with their relatives the Chickasaw. Another
story says they traveled from the far west until the leading medicine
man’s guiding stick stood up straight in Nanih Waiya. This meant they
had reached the right place. In either case, they have been tied to this
part of the country ever since. Estimates of their peak population go as
high as 100,000.

The official seal of the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma can tell you a lot
about the Choctaw. The seal has an unstrung bow, three arrows and a
smoking pipe-hatchet. While generally peaceful, the Choctaw could
quickly string their bows and defend themselves. Their pipe-hatchet
could be used during thoughtful discussions around a council fire, or as
a weapon. The Choctaw were mostly known to be defensive fighters. The
Choctaw were also known to be good speakers and fast runners.
Ancient practices had them as mound builders. Others feel they just used
the mounds they found in their homeland. Some stories had them
practicing head flattening. It is believed this might be the origin of
the name Choctaw. They were known to place their dead on a scaffold. The
exposed bones would latter be placed in the ground. The Choctaw would
use both clubs (called the ‘rabbit stick’) and blowguns to hunt small
game such as rabbits. The Choctaw enjoyed games, with stickball being
one of their favorites.

Around the time of European contact, the Choctaw had two major clans.
The Choctaw were matrilineal in nature. This meant the family was
organized along the woman’s bloodline. Woman often played major roles in
many parts of Choctaw society prior to their prolonged exposure to
European influences, especially the French.

They have had both good and bad relationships with their closely related
tribe the Chickasaw. These conflicts were often brought about by the
various European traders setting one against the other in order to get
an advantage over both tribes.

Politically, the Choctaw were divided into three major districts. Each
of their districts had a leader. This leader often went by the title of
‘mingo.’ The three mingos would come together in general council to
discuss matters of importance to the entire tribe. These councils were
usually open to anyone who wanted to attend, or to speak.

The first confirmed contact between the Choctaw and Europeans was with
De Soto’s expedition in 1540. Word of De Soto’s brutality against other
tribes and his desire for riches reached the Choctaw in advance of his
soldiers. De Soto’s men clashed with the Choctaw near Mobile, Alabama.
The reason for the battle is in dispute. Some say the Spanish were led
into an ambush after taking Chief Tuscaloosa (Tuskaloosa, Tascalusa,
etc.) hostage. Others say the fighting started after the Spaniards beat
a Choctaw who was forced into being one of their porters. The well armed
and armored Spaniards won the battle, but they suffered significant
losses.

The Choctaw continued to have contact with Spanish, French, English and
American explorers and settlers in their homelands from around 1700
until the early 1800s. From 1876 to 1830, the Choctaw signed a series of
treaties which slowly whittled away at the lands they claimed. They
would eventually give up over 32,000,000 acres of land.
The Choctaw population at this time was estimated to be around 19,000
people. The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed in September 1830.
It required them to give up their remaining lands east of the
Mississippi. The majority of the tribe moved to Indian Territory
(Oklahoma). Those who went to Indian Territory became the Choctaw Nation
of Oklahoma.

A provision of the treaty allowed for a small group to remain in
Mississippi. This group eventually became known as the Mississippi Band
of Choctaw Indians. They numbered about 3,000.

Of the tribes which would be removed from their old homelands to Indian
Territory, the Choctaws were among the first to go. The first major
group to leave numbered 4,000 and they set forth in 1831.
In 1847, the Choctaws heard about the potato famine in Ireland. Despite
going through hard times themselves, a group of Choctaws collected money
and sent it to help feed the starving Irish.

While you may have heard of the Navajo codetalkers of World War II, did
you know that several Choctaws served the same function in World War I?
A small number of Choctaws served in the Army’s 36th Division. They
participated in the Argonne-Meuse campaign as messengers or handling
radio communications. They translated military orders or scouting
reports into Choctaw. The Germans were never able to decipher any
messages they managed to capture. Many Choctaw repeated these efforts in
World War II, along with other American Indians from the Chippewa,
Comanche, Cree, Crow, Hopi, Menominee, Mississauga, Oneida, Sac and Fox,
and Sioux nations, as well.

      H1 Cherokees & the Trail of Tears
The Cherokee, one of the largest tribal nations in the United States,
originally lived in an area of over 81,000,000 acres covering Tennessee,
Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, and
Virginia. Their language is Cherokee, which is distantly related to the
Iroquois languages. The word ‘Cherokee’ is not native to the Cherokee
language. Its origin is not known. It is often thought to be a Choctaw
word meaning ‘cave people.’ The Cherokee used two main names to describe
themselves are Ani-yun-wiya (principle people) or Keetoowah (the name of
one of their original towns). ‘Cherokee’ in their language was
pronounced as ‘Tsa-la-gi.” English settlers called them Cherokee for so
long that the name stuck. There are now two Cherokee dialects, eastern
and western.

One of the Cherokee creation stories says that water beetle dove to the
bottom of the worldwide sea and found some mud. From this he formed an
island. The great bird flew down to see the island. The flapping of his
wings helped to dry the mud. As the bird tired, his wings would touch
the land. This caused mountains and valleys. The first man and woman
then came and stepped onto the land. Another creation story says the
Cherokee entered the world from a cave in the southeastern United
States. This story may be a reflection of Choctaw and Chickasaw stories,
though. The Cherokee have several stories which say they migrated to
their southeastern homelands. One story says they migrated to the south
from the great waters of the north. They battled with other tribes until
they came to the end of the mountains. Here they stayed. Another story
says they lived in a land until a great shaking made them leave. They
crossed a great body of water in a boat. Once on land they traveled
through the land. They crossed three great rivers, and finally stopped
in the mountains.

The official seal of the Cherokee Nation can tell you a lot about the
Cherokee. The seal has a seven-pointed star. The points represent each
of the seven clans and seven of the characters of the Cherokee language
as designed by Sequoyah. The wreath is made of oak leaves. This is the
wood which was burned in the tribe’s sacred fire.

H2 Clans
Cherokee society is matrilineal. The family is centered around the
woman’s bloodline. A person can only marry someone from a different
clan. Children take on the clan of their mother. A boy’s mentor is his
mother’s brother (uncle), rather than his father.

Cherokee society has seven clans: Long Hair, Blue, Wolf, Wild Potato,
Deer, Bird, and Paint. Clan members are considered brother and sisters.

The Long Hair clan (also called Twister or Wind) usually produced Peace
Chiefs. Orphans and prisoners-of-war were made members of this clan.
They were at the eastern side of ceremonies.

The Blue Clan (also called Bear, Panther or Wildcat) often produced
healers for children. They were to the left of the Long Hair clan at
ceremonies.

The Wolf Clan often produced War Chiefs or protectors. It has often been
the largest clan. They are usually to the left of the Blue Clan at
ceremonies.

The Wild Potato Clan (also called Blind Savannah) were the gatherers or
farmers. The Wild Potato is usually to the left of the Wolf arbor.

Deer Clan members were usually the best hunters and runners. The Deer
Clan is often to the left of the Wild Potato at ceremonies.

The Bird Clan (also called Raven, Turtle Dove and Eagle) often produced
people who could deliver messages between heaven and earth. They were
also responsible for the birds. At ceremonies, they were usually is to
the left of the Deer Clan.

Medicine People usually came from the Paint Clan. They were usually to
the left at the Bird Clan at ceremonies.
=========

The Cherokee used bows and arrows, spears, blowguns, stone weapons,
tomahawks and battle hammers for hunting and warfare. The Cherokee could
be fierce warriors. They often fought with the Creeks. They also engaged
in a practice called ‘blood feud.’ Simply stated, assaults against a
member of one clan by another clan could be revenged against any member
of the instigating clan.

They enjoyed games like stickball and marbles. In winter a game was
played in icy areas. It involved sliding a long stick across the ice for
distance and accuracy.

Cherokees looked to medicine men and women to help them with illnesses.
The knowledge of which plants or materials to use to practice medicine
was passed along from one person to another. Medicine people were not
allowed to ‘advertise’ their services. Patients came to them by word of
mouth. Traditional Cherokees still seek them out today. In the mid
1700s, the Cherokee Nation lost over half of its 20,000 population to
smallpox epidemics. This led to some disenchantment with medicine
people.

In pre-removal times, there were several different ceremonies observed
by the Cherokee. These included the Stomp Dance, the Green Corn Ceremony
and the Mature Green Corn Ceremony, the Spring Festival, and the New
Year or Great New Moon Festival in October.

The number seven played a major role in Cherokee society. There were the
seven clans. Unlike many other North American tribes, Cherokees
recognized seven cardinal directions, instead of the traditional four.
There were the standard north, south, east and west. There was also up,
down and within or center. There were seven levels of purity, with the
seventh level being the hardest to achieve.

Rivers were sacred to the Cherokee. Rivers were considered to be the
‘Long Man.’ The Cherokee also believed in spirits or ghosts, little
people (similar in some ways to leprechauns)

Along with many of the other Five Civilized Tribes, the Cherokee’s first
encounter with Europeans was with De Soto in 1540. De Soto did not spend
much time in Cherokee country, though. During the late 1600s, the
Cherokee came into regular contact with Europeans, especially the
British. Contact with the European world led to many advances and
tragedies.

===============================================================
Remember: In the 1730s, the Cherokee signed a treaty with England. They
agreed that King George was their sovereign. The King acknowledged them
as a nation. In fact, the Cherokees were recognized by England as a
nation before the United States became a nation.
===============================================================

They also were involved in several wars in the 1700s, including the
French and Indian War, and the Revolutionary War. Despite problems with
English settlers, the Cherokees allied with England in both of these
wars. When the United States won the Revolutionary War, the Cherokees
faced a gloomy future. The United States wanted land for its citizens.
The Cherokee had one of the biggest pieces of land of any tribes in the
area.

The Cherokees signed their first treaty ceding some land in 1721. This
was with South Carolina. Over the next 110 years, they would lose all of
their lands east of the Mississippi River. Some of these treaties were
signed under duress. When Andrew Jackson was elected President, he saw
American Indians in the southeast as a true impediment to the United
States. He wanted all of the southeastern Indians to move west of the
Mississippi, and especially to Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
The Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830. This law all but demanded
that the remaining tribes (especially the Five Civilized Tribes) in the
southeastern U.S. move west of the Mississippi.

The Cherokee fought these efforts. Their own laws eventually made it a
capital crime for any Cherokee to sell, or give away, any Cherokee
lands. The final blow to the Cherokee’s desire to remain in what was
left of their original homeland was the discovery of gold in their
Georgia territory. Georgia passed a series of laws to deprive the
Cherokees of all their rights, even those granted under federal treaties
and laws. The Cherokees took some of the matters to court. Two went as
far as the United States Supreme Court. In both cases, the court ruled
in the Cherokee’s favor. However, President Jackson refused to enforce
the ruling.

Several Cherokee leaders had been educated New England colleges.
Cherokees Elias Boudinot and John Ridge went to Connecticut for their
schooling. They became familiar with the American mind, and its people.
They traveled across the country speaking to anyone who would listen.
They explained how they Cherokee had adopted many of the European ways
of life, as they had been asked. The Cherokees had a formal government.
They had their own written language. A greater percentage of Cherokees
were literate than Americans. Some Americans had sympathy for the
Cherokees, other did not.

===============================================================
Remember: In 1821, a member of the Cherokee Nation named Sequoyah
invented a written alphabet for the Cherokee language. This is the only
time in the history of the world that an illiterate individual would
create an alphabet for their own language. It is actually a syllabary.
Each of the 86 characters represents a syllable in the Cherokee
language. The system was so simple that the vast majority of the
Cherokees were able to become literate with just a few weeks of study.
===============================================================

Eventually, Boudinot and Ridge realized that the Cherokees would have to
move. So, they decided to try to get the best deal they could before
there were no options left. Boudinot and Ridge were the nucleus of what
was called the Treaty Party. Contrary to the wishes of the elected Chief
John Ross, a few hundred members of the Treaty Party initiated a treaty
with the United States at New Echota, Georgia in 1836.

The New Echota Treaty gave up all of the Cherokees land east of the
Mississippi, and required their removal to Indian Territory. When the
treaty was announced, the Cherokee people were furious. Not a single
member of the tribe’s elected council had signed the treaty. Over 16,000
of the 18,000 members of the tribe signed a petition stating that the
treaty was a sham and did not represent the true wishes of the nation.
Despite the obvious illegalities involved, the U.S. Senate ratified the
treaty by a one vote margin.

A deadline for moving to Indian Territory was established as a part of
the New Echota Treaty. Most of the Treaty Party members moved
immediately. Believing that the U.S. government would not enforce such
an obvious fraud, and that some accommodation could be worked out, most
Cherokees stayed where they were. Unfortunately for the Cherokees, the
government wanted the land and did enforce the treaty. When the deadline
arrived, the Cherokees were forcibly taken from their homes. (Many of
these homes were superior to those of the white settlers.)

The trip from the Cherokee lands to Indian Territory was approximately
1,000 miles. Between 15,000 and 17,000 Cherokees made the trip. Often,
they had little more than the clothes on their backs. Much of the trip
was made overland. A drought had lowered the levels of many of the
rivers in the area. This delayed some of the trip into the winter
months. As many as 4,000 Cherokees died during the trip due to sickness,
fatigue or exposure. Many of the dead were the young and the old. Many
more would die in the next few years since they had been ill prepared to
move to a new land. This forced marched was called the trail where they
cried, or as it is better known, “The Trail of Tears.” Both Elias
Boudinot and John Ridge would eventually be killed for their part in the
New Echota Treaty.

The Cherokees would survive, and eventually become successful in their
new lands. One of the first institutes of higher learning west of the
Mississippi Rivers was created by the Cherokee Nation.

The Civil War also wreaked havoc among the Cherokee. The tribe was
divided on whom they should back, if either side. Some Cherokees fought
for the North, others for the South. As many as 25% of the male Cherokee
population would be killed in the conflict. The last Confederate general
to surrender was a Cherokee named Stand Waite.
Today, the Cherokee Nation is the largest Indian tribe in the United
States. There are more than 200,000 tribal members. In the 2000 census,
almost 750,000 people claimed to have some Cherokee ancestry.

There are three federally recognized Cherokee Nations:
* The Cherokee Nation, 200,000+ members in Oklahoma
* The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, 10,000+ members in
Oklahoma
* The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, 13,400 members in North
Carolina


H1 Chickasaw. They were called warriors.

The Chickasaw people are perhaps the least known of the Five Civilized
Tribes. They lived primarily in northern Mississippi and Alabama, and in
western Kentucky and Tennessee. They appeared to be related to the
Choctaw. The Chickasaw language is another version of the Muskogean
language.

There may have been as many as 15,000 Chickasaws at the time of the
European contacts. Like the Choctaw, they are believed to have migrated
into their homelands from the west at God’s request. Also like the
Choctaw, one of their migration stories tells of a two brothers named
Chata and Chicsa. They each lead a different clan. Each clan had a
medicine man with a direction stick. Each night they would put it into
the ground. Come morning, they would go in whatever direction it
pointed. They traveled until the stick remained upright. After passing
crossing the Mississippi River, the two brothers decided to let Chata go
first. Two weeks later, Chicsa led his people forward. The tracks from
Chata’s clan had disappeared in a snow by then. So Chicsa’s clan went on
alone until the direction stick stayed up. This happened near
Huntsville, Alabama. So, they stayed.

The official seal of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma can tell you a lot
about them. Known for their great courage and ability as warriors, the
seal features an ancient warrior. The two arrows represent the two parts
of Chickasaw culture. One group lived surrounding to towns as security.
The other division lived within the towns. A unique sign of an honored
warrior was the wearing of swan feathers.

One of the cultural practices of the Chickasaw was their reverence for
fire. They kept a sacred fire burning. Fire was such a special part of
their life that it was considered evil to put out even a kitchen fire
with water.

In a pattern shared with other southeastern tribes, the Chickasaw had an
interesting form of execution. If someone was condemned to die, they
were given up to a year tie up their affairs and obligation. During that
time, they were free to come and go. No later than at the end of the
year, they had to go to the execution site. Normally a friend would be
the one to put them to death. It is a point of Chickasaw pride that of
the few people who received this punishment, all of them completed their
duty within the allotted year.

Chickasaw towns would often stretch along both sides of a river valley
for many miles. This helped to not overwork a small area. A family would
often have both a summer and winter house, and a “woman’s time” hut. The
crop growing was usually communal. As with most tribes of the southeast,
the Chickasaw raised the ‘three sisters:’ corn, beans and squash. They
had other crops, as well.

The Chickasaw also encountered De Soto in 1540. After his battles with
the Choctaws, and noting the ferocious nature of the Chickasaw, De Soto
did not openly confront the Chickasaw. He lived near them over the
winter. Come spring, De Soto made too many demands of the Chickasaws and
a battle ensued. The conquistadors soon left the area.
It was 1673 before the Chickasaws saw another European. This was Father
Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet. They were exploring the Mississippi
River, coming from the north. Knowing of the might of the Chickasaw,
Marquette and Joliet did not linger in their territory for long.

Like feuding family members, the Chickasaw and the Choctaw were often
fighting. The Chickasaw often raided other tribes to get slaves. They
soon became allied with British traders from the Carolinas. This led
them into many skirmishes with the French over the next 100 years.
The Chickasaw’s political situation was similar to the Choctaw. They had
a council and several leaders called minkos. The High Minko was their
official leader, but his position was more for advice, than for orders.
Their first land cession was in 1801. This provided land to build a road
through their area. The road would become the famed Natchez Trace. This
trickle led to a torrent in the new thirty years.
Despite helping Andrew Jackson defeat the ‘Red Stick’ Creeks in 1813,
Jackson soon got them to sign a treaty ceding a large part of their
lands. When Mississippi became a state in 1817, there was even more
pressure for the Chickasaw’s land. In 1818, they were only able to keep
their lands in Mississippi by giving up their claims to land in Kentucky
and Tennessee.

After the Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830, the Chickasaws days in
Mississippi were numbered. When they did sell their lands in 1832, they
only got money. Many of the other southeastern tribes were given land in
Indian Territory and a cash payment. It was 1837 before the Chickasaw
could find suitable land to purchase. Thus they entered their own Trail
of Tears.

With the onset of the Civil War, the Chickasaws decided to join the
Confederacy. This would be their first loss in a war. In fact, their
government was the last one to surrender to federal authority in the
Civil War. Any tribe that sided with the Confederacy automatically
voided any treaties they had with the federal government. After the war,
they lost more of their lands, and their prized slaves.
With the passage of the Dawes Act, and other legislation, the Chickasaw
Nation lost all of their communal lands by 1901. Tribal members were
given individuals allotments of land, and the tribal government was
disbanded. The tribe reorganized in 1963. They remain one of the largest
tribes in the United States.

In the 1700s, a group of about 50 Chickasaws moved into South Carolina
at the state’s request. The community still exists in Hemingway. It is
called the “Chaloklowas Chickasaw Indian People.” They are a state
recognized tribe.


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That's it for now. There will be more before the
end of the month.

Have a great month.

Phil Konstantin
http://americanindian.net


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End of Phil Konstantin's June 2007 Newsletter - Part 1
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Anything below this line is not part of my newsletter
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Chapter 6: The Five Civilized Tribes & Other Major Tribes of the Past
(18 pages)
The largest and most influential tribal nations and the differences
between them.
There are over 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States.
There are many more tribes who have not received federal recognition.
The population of each of these tribes ranges from just a few dozen to
hundreds of thousands. In this chapter, we will give you a more detailed
look at some of these groups.
Among all of the tribes along the southeastern part of the United
States, five tribes made a marked impression upon the English colonists.
In the minds of many of the English, these five tribes were far above
other tribes in their intelligence, work ethic and character. The tribes
also made some effort to acquire some of the culture of the Europeans.
These tribes were the Choctaw, the Cherokee, the Chickasaw, the Creek
(Muscogee) and the Seminole. Collectively, they were known as the Five
Civilized Tribes.

      H1 Choctaw: The Code Talkers
The Choctaw people, one of the largest tribal nations in the United
States, originally lived mainly in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Their language is Choctaw, which is one of the Muskogean languages. One
of their creation stories says they rose up out of the ground in Nanih
Waiya, Mississippi, along with their relatives the Chickasaw. Another
story says they traveled from the far west until the leading medicine
man’s guiding stick stood up straight in Nanih Waiya. This meant they
had reached the right place. In either case, they have been tied to this
part of the country ever since. Estimates of their peak population go as
high as 100,000.
The official seal of the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma can tell you a lot
about the Choctaw. The seal has an unstrung bow, three arrows and a
smoking pipe-hatchet. While generally peaceful, the Choctaw could
quickly string their bows and defend themselves. Their pipe-hatchet
could be used during thoughtful discussions around a council fire, or as
a weapon. The Choctaw were mostly known to be defensive fighters. The
Choctaw were also known to be good speakers and fast runners.
Ancient practices had them as mound builders. Others feel they just used
the mounds they found in their homeland. Some stories had them
practicing head flattening. It is believed this might be the origin of
the name Choctaw. They were known to place their dead on a scaffold. The
exposed bones would latter be placed in the ground. The Choctaw would
use both clubs (called the ‘rabbit stick’) and blowguns to hunt small
game such as rabbits. The Choctaw enjoyed games, with stickball being
one of their favorites.
Around the time of European contact, the Choctaw had two major clans.
The Choctaw were matrilineal in nature. This meant the family was
organized along the woman’s bloodline. Woman often played major roles in
many parts of Choctaw society prior to their prolonged exposure to
European influences, especially the French.
They have had both good and bad relationships with their closely related
tribe the Chickasaw. These conflicts were often brought about by the
various European traders setting one against the other in order to get
an advantage over both tribes.
Politically, the Choctaw were divided into three major districts. Each
of their districts had a leader. This leader often went by the title of
‘mingo.’ The three mingos would come together in general council to
discuss matters of importance to the entire tribe. These councils were
usually open to anyone who wanted to attend, or to speak.
The first confirmed contact between the Choctaw and Europeans was with
De Soto’s expedition in 1540. Word of De Soto’s brutality against other
tribes and his desire for riches reached the Choctaw in advance of his
soldiers. De Soto’s men clashed with the Choctaw near Mobile, Alabama.
The reason for the battle is in dispute. Some say the Spanish were led
into an ambush after taking Chief Tuscaloosa (Tuskaloosa, Tascalusa,
etc.) hostage. Others say the fighting started after the Spaniards beat
a Choctaw who was forced into being one of their porters. The well armed
and armored Spaniards won the battle, but they suffered significant
losses.
The Choctaw continued to have contact with Spanish, French, English and
American explorers and settlers in their homelands from around 1700
until the early 1800s. From 1876 to 1830, the Choctaw signed a series of
treaties which slowly whittled away at the lands they claimed. They
would eventually give up over 32,000,000 acres of land.
The Choctaw population at this time was estimated to be around 19,000
people. The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed in September 1830.
It required them to give up their remaining lands east of the
Mississippi. The majority of the tribe moved to Indian Territory
(Oklahoma). Those who went to Indian Territory became the Choctaw Nation
of Oklahoma.
A provision of the treaty allowed for a small group to remain in
Mississippi. This group eventually became known as the Mississippi Band
of Choctaw Indians. They numbered about 3,000.
Of the tribes which would be removed from their old homelands to Indian
Territory, the Choctaws were among the first to go. The first major
group to leave numbered 4,000 and they set forth in 1831.
In 1847, the Choctaws heard about the potato famine in Ireland. Despite
going through hard times themselves, a group of Choctaws collected money
and sent it to help feed the starving Irish.
While you may have heard of the Navajo codetalkers of World War II, did
you know that several Choctaws served the same function in World War I?
A small number of Choctaws served in the Army’s 36th Division. They
participated in the Argonne-Meuse campaign as messengers or handling
radio communications. They translated military orders or scouting
reports into Choctaw. The Germans were never able to decipher any
messages they managed to capture. Many Choctaw repeated these efforts in
World War II, along with other American Indians from the Chippewa,
Comanche, Cree, Crow, Hopi, Menominee, Mississauga, Oneida, Sac and Fox,
and Sioux nations, as well.

      H1 Cherokees & the Trail of Tears
The Cherokee, one of the largest tribal nations in the United States,
originally lived in an area of over 81,000,000 acres covering Tennessee,
Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, and
Virginia. Their language is Cherokee, which is distantly related to the
Iroquois languages. The word ‘Cherokee’ is not native to the Cherokee
language. Its origin is not known. It is often thought to be a Choctaw
word meaning ‘cave people.’ The Cherokee used two main names to describe
themselves are Ani-yun-wiya (principle people) or Keetoowah (the name of
one of their original towns). ‘Cherokee’ in their language was
pronounced as ‘Tsa-la-gi.” English settlers called them Cherokee for so
long that the name stuck. There are now two Cherokee dialects, eastern
and western.
One of the Cherokee creation stories says that water beetle dove to the
bottom of the worldwide sea and found some mud. From this he formed an
island. The great bird flew down to see the island. The flapping of his
wings helped to dry the mud. As the bird tired, his wings would touch
the land. This caused mountains and valleys. The first man and woman
then came and stepped onto the land. Another creation story says the
Cherokee entered the world from a cave in the southeastern United
States. This story may be a reflection of Choctaw and Chickasaw stories,
though. The Cherokee have several stories which say they migrated to
their southeastern homelands. One story says they migrated to the south
from the great waters of the north. They battled with other tribes until
they came to the end of the mountains. Here they stayed. Another story
says they lived in a land until a great shaking made them leave. They
crossed a great body of water in a boat. Once on land they traveled
through the land. They crossed three great rivers, and finally stopped
in the mountains.
The official seal of the Cherokee Nation can tell you a lot about the
Cherokee. The seal has a seven-pointed star. The points represent each
of the seven clans and seven of the characters of the Cherokee language
as designed by Sequoyah. The wreath is made of oak leaves. This is the
wood which was burned in the tribe’s sacred fire.
H2 Clans
Cherokee society is matrilineal. The family is centered around the
woman’s bloodline. A person can only marry someone from a different
clan. Children take on the clan of their mother. A boy’s mentor is his
mother’s brother (uncle), rather than his father.
Cherokee society has seven clans: Long Hair, Blue, Wolf, Wild Potato,
Deer, Bird, and Paint. Clan members are considered brother and sisters.
The Long Hair clan (also called Twister or Wind) usually produced Peace
Chiefs. Orphans and prisoners-of-war were made members of this clan.
They were at the eastern side of ceremonies.
The Blue Clan (also called Bear, Panther or Wildcat) often produced
healers for children. They were to the left of the Long Hair clan at
ceremonies.
The Wolf Clan often produced War Chiefs or protectors. It has often been
the largest clan. They are usually to the left of the Blue Clan at
ceremonies.
The Wild Potato Clan (also called Blind Savannah) were the gatherers or
farmers. The Wild Potato is usually to the left of the Wolf arbor.
Deer Clan members were usually the best hunters and runners. The Deer
Clan is often to the left of the Wild Potato at ceremonies.
The Bird Clan (also called Raven, Turtle Dove and Eagle) often produced
people who could deliver messages between heaven and earth. They were
also responsible for the birds. At ceremonies, they were usually is to
the left of the Deer Clan.
Medicine People usually came from the Paint Clan. They were usually to
the left at the Bird Clan at ceremonies.
=========
The Cherokee used bows and arrows, spears, blowguns, stone weapons,
tomahawks and battle hammers for hunting and warfare. The Cherokee could
be fierce warriors. They often fought with the Creeks. They also engaged
in a practice called ‘blood feud.’ Simply stated, assaults against a
member of one clan by another clan could be revenged against any member
of the instigating clan.
They enjoyed games like stickball and marbles. In winter a game was
played in icy areas. It involved sliding a long stick across the ice for
distance and accuracy.
Cherokees looked to medicine men and women to help them with illnesses.
The knowledge of which plants or materials to use to practice medicine
was passed along from one person to another. Medicine people were not
allowed to ‘advertise’ their services. Patients came to them by word of
mouth. Traditional Cherokees still seek them out today. In the mid
1700s, the Cherokee Nation lost over half of its 20,000 population to
smallpox epidemics. This led to some disenchantment with medicine
people.
In pre-removal times, there were several different ceremonies observed
by the Cherokee. These included the Stomp Dance, the Green Corn Ceremony
and the Mature Green Corn Ceremony, the Spring Festival, and the New
Year or Great New Moon Festival in October.
The number seven played a major role in Cherokee society. There were the
seven clans. Unlike many other North American tribes, Cherokees
recognized seven cardinal directions, instead of the traditional four.
There were the standard north, south, east and west. There was also up,
down and within or center. There were seven levels of purity, with the
seventh level being the hardest to achieve.
Rivers were sacred to the Cherokee. Rivers were considered to be the
‘Long Man.’ The Cherokee also believed in spirits or ghosts, little
people (similar in some ways to leprechauns)
Along with many of the other Five Civilized Tribes, the Cherokee’s first
encounter with Europeans was with De Soto in 1540. De Soto did not spend
much time in Cherokee country, though. During the late 1600s, the
Cherokee came into regular contact with Europeans, especially the
British. Contact with the European world led to many advances and
tragedies.
===============================================================
Remember: In the 1730s, the Cherokee signed a treaty with England. They
agreed that King George was their sovereign. The King acknowledged them
as a nation. In fact, the Cherokees were recognized by England as a
nation before the United States became a nation.
===============================================================
They also were involved in several wars in the 1700s, including the
French and Indian War, and the Revolutionary War. Despite problems with
English settlers, the Cherokees allied with England in both of these
wars. When the United States won the Revolutionary War, the Cherokees
faced a gloomy future. The United States wanted land for its citizens.
The Cherokee had one of the biggest pieces of land of any tribes in the
area.
The Cherokees signed their first treaty ceding some land in 1721. This
was with South Carolina. Over the next 110 years, they would lose all of
their lands east of the Mississippi River. Some of these treaties were
signed under duress. When Andrew Jackson was elected President, he saw
American Indians in the southeast as a true impediment to the United
States. He wanted all of the southeastern Indians to move west of the
Mississippi, and especially to Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
The Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830. This law all but demanded
that the remaining tribes (especially the Five Civilized Tribes) in the
southeastern U.S. move west of the Mississippi.
The Cherokee fought these efforts. Their own laws eventually made it a
capital crime for any Cherokee to sell, or give away, any Cherokee
lands. The final blow to the Cherokee’s desire to remain in what was
left of their original homeland was the discovery of gold in their
Georgia territory. Georgia passed a series of laws to deprive the
Cherokees of all their rights, even those granted under federal treaties
and laws. The Cherokees took some of the matters to court. Two went as
far as the United States Supreme Court. In both cases, the court ruled
in the Cherokee’s favor. However, President Jackson refused to enforce
the ruling.
Several Cherokee leaders had been educated New England colleges.
Cherokees Elias Boudinot and John Ridge went to Connecticut for their
schooling. They became familiar with the American mind, and its people.
They traveled across the country speaking to anyone who would listen.
They explained how they Cherokee had adopted many of the European ways
of life, as they had been asked. The Cherokees had a formal government.
They had their own written language. A greater percentage of Cherokees
were literate than Americans. Some Americans had sympathy for the
Cherokees, other did not.
===============================================================
Remember: In 1821, a member of the Cherokee Nation named Sequoyah
invented a written alphabet for the Cherokee language. This is the only
time in the history of the world that an illiterate individual would
create an alphabet for their own language. It is actually a syllabary.
Each of the 86 characters represents a syllable in the Cherokee
language. The system was so simple that the vast majority of the
Cherokees were able to become literate with just a few weeks of study.
===============================================================

Eventually, Boudinot and Ridge realized that the Cherokees would have to
move. So, they decided to try to get the best deal they could before
there were no options left. Boudinot and Ridge were the nucleus of what
was called the Treaty Party. Contrary to the wishes of the elected Chief
John Ross, a few hundred members of the Treaty Party initiated a treaty
with the United States at New Echota, Georgia in 1836.
The New Echota Treaty gave up all of the Cherokees land east of the
Mississippi, and required their removal to Indian Territory. When the
treaty was announced, the Cherokee people were furious. Not a single
member of the tribe’s elected council had signed the treaty. Over 16,000
of the 18,000 members of the tribe signed a petition stating that the
treaty was a sham and did not represent the true wishes of the nation.
Despite the obvious illegalities involved, the U.S. Senate ratified the
treaty by a one vote margin.
A deadline for moving to Indian Territory was established as a part of
the New Echota Treaty. Most of the Treaty Party members moved
immediately. Believing that the U.S. government would not enforce such
an obvious fraud, and that some accommodation could be worked out, most
Cherokees stayed where they were. Unfortunately for the Cherokees, the
government wanted the land and did enforce the treaty. When the deadline
arrived, the Cherokees were forcibly taken from their homes. (Many of
these homes were superior to those of the white settlers.)
The trip from the Cherokee lands to Indian Territory was approximately
1,000 miles. Between 15,000 and 17,000 Cherokees made the trip. Often,
they had little more than the clothes on their backs. Much of the trip
was made overland. A drought had lowered the levels of many of the
rivers in the area. This delayed some of the trip into the winter
months. As many as 4,000 Cherokees died during the trip due to sickness,
fatigue or exposure. Many of the dead were the young and the old. Many
more would die in the next few years since they had been ill prepared to
move to a new land. This forced marched was called the trail where they
cried, or as it is better known, “The Trail of Tears.” Both Elias
Boudinot and John Ridge would eventually be killed for their part in the
New Echota Treaty.
The Cherokees would survive, and eventually become successful in their
new lands. One of the first institutes of higher learning west of the
Mississippi Rivers was created by the Cherokee Nation.
The Civil War also wreaked havoc among the Cherokee. The tribe was
divided on whom they should back, if either side. Some Cherokees fought
for the North, others for the South. As many as 25% of the male Cherokee
population would be killed in the conflict. The last Confederate general
to surrender was a Cherokee named Stand Waite.
Today, the Cherokee Nation is the largest Indian tribe in the United
States. There are more than 200,000 tribal members. In the 2000 census,
almost 750,000 people claimed to have some Cherokee ancestry. There are
three federally recognized Cherokee Nations:
* The Cherokee Nation, 200,000+ members in Oklahoma
* The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, 10,000+ members in
Oklahoma
* The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, 13,400 members in North
Carolina

H1 Chickasaw. They were called warriors.
The Chickasaw people are perhaps the least known of the Five Civilized
Tribes. They lived primarily in northern Mississippi and Alabama, and in
western Kentucky and Tennessee. They appeared to be related to the
Choctaw. The Chickasaw language is another version of the Muskogean
language.
There may have been as many as 15,000 Chickasaws at the time of the
European contacts. Like the Choctaw, they are believed to have migrated
into their homelands from the west at God’s request. Also like the
Choctaw, one of their migration stories tells of a two brothers named
Chata and Chicsa. They each lead a different clan. Each clan had a
medicine man with a direction stick. Each night they would put it into
the ground. Come morning, they would go in whatever direction it
pointed. They traveled until the stick remained upright. After passing
crossing the Mississippi River, the two brothers decided to let Chata go
first. Two weeks later, Chicsa led his people forward. The tracks from
Chata’s clan had disappeared in a snow by then. So Chicsa’s clan went on
alone until the direction stick stayed up. This happened near
Huntsville, Alabama. So, they stayed.
The official seal of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma can tell you a lot
about them. Known for their great courage and ability as warriors, the
seal features an ancient warrior. The two arrows represent the two parts
of Chickasaw culture. One group lived surrounding to towns as security.
The other division lived within the towns. A unique sign of an honored
warrior was the wearing of swan feathers.
One of the cultural practices of the Chickasaw was their reverence for
fire. They kept a sacred fire burning. Fire was such a special part of
their life that it was considered evil to put out even a kitchen fire
with water.
In a pattern shared with other southeastern tribes, the Chickasaw had an
interesting form of execution. If someone was condemned to die, they
were given up to a year tie up their affairs and obligation. During that
time, they were free to come and go. No later than at the end of the
year, they had to go to the execution site. Normally a friend would be
the one to put them to death. It is a point of Chickasaw pride that of
the few people who received this punishment, all of them completed their
duty within the allotted year.
Chickasaw towns would often stretch along both sides of a river valley
for many miles. This helped to not overwork a small area. A family would
often have both a summer and winter house, and a “woman’s time” hut. The
crop growing was usually communal. As with most tribes of the southeast,
the Chickasaw raised the ‘three sisters:’ corn, beans and squash. They
had other crops, as well.
The Chickasaw also encountered De Soto in 1540. After his battles with
the Choctaws, and noting the ferocious nature of the Chickasaw, De Soto
did not openly confront the Chickasaw. He lived near them over the
winter. Come spring, De Soto made too many demands of the Chickasaws and
a battle ensued. The conquistadors soon left the area.
It was 1673 before the Chickasaws saw another European. This was Father
Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet. They were exploring the Mississippi
River, coming from the north. Knowing of the might of the Chickasaw,
Marquette and Joliet did not linger in their territory for long.
Like feuding family members, the Chickasaw and the Choctaw were often
fighting. The Chickasaw often raided other tribes to get slaves. They
soon became allied with British traders from the Carolinas. This led
them into many skirmishes with the French over the next 100 years.
The Chickasaw’s political situation was similar to the Choctaw. They had
a council and several leaders called minkos. The High Minko was their
official leader, but his position was more for advice, than for orders.
Their first land cession was in 1801. This provided land to build a road
through their area. The road would become the famed Natchez Trace. This
trickle led to a torrent in the new thirty years.
Despite helping Andrew Jackson defeat the ‘Red Stick’ Creeks in 1813,
Jackson soon got them to sign a treaty ceding a large part of their
lands. When Mississippi became a state in 1817, there was even more
pressure for the Chickasaw’s land. In 1818, they were only able to keep
their lands in Mississippi by giving up their claims to land in Kentucky
and Tennessee.
After the Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830, the Chickasaws days in
Mississippi were numbered. When they did sell their lands in 1832, they
only got money. Many of the other southeastern tribes were given land in
Indian Territory and a cash payment. It was 1837 before the Chickasaw
could find suitable land to purchase. Thus they entered their own Trail
of Tears.
With the onset of the Civil War, the Chickasaws decided to join the
Confederacy. This would be their first loss in a war. In fact, their
government was the last one to surrender to federal authority in the
Civil War. Any tribe that sided with the Confederacy automatically
voided any treaties they had with the federal government. After the war,
they lost more of their lands, and their prized slaves.
With the passage of the Dawes Act, and other legislation, the Chickasaw
Nation lost all of their communal lands by 1901. Tribal members were
given individuals allotments of land, and the tribal government was
disbanded. The tribe reorganized in 1963. They remain one of the largest
tribes in the United States.
In the 1700s, a group of about 50 Chickasaws moved into South Carolina
at the state’s request. The community still exists in Hemingway. It is
called the “Chaloklowas Chickasaw Indian People.” They are a state
recognized tribe. 

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Four of the five books I have worked on. I either wrote, co-wrote, or contributed to each of these beeks

This is the cover to my first book. 
Click here to got more info, or to order a copy. Click on the cover to order a copy or to get more info.
This Day in North American Indian History
This Day in North American Indian History is a one-of-a-kind, vastly entertaining and informative book covering over 5000 years of North American Indian history, culture, and lore. Wide-ranging, it covers over 4,000 important events involving the native peoples of North America in a unique day-by-day format.

The thousands of entries in This Day in North American Indian History weave a compelling and comprehensive mosaic of North American Indian history spanning more than five millennia-every entry an exciting opening into the fascinating but little- known history of American Indians.

Over 100 photographs and illustrations - This book has 480 pages, weighs 2.2 pounds and is 8" by 9.5" in size. The Dates, Names and "Moons" section of these pages are based on the book.

This is the cover to my 4th book. 
Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info.
This is the cover to my 4th book. Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info."


Native American History For Dummies

I wrote six of the twenty-four chapters in this book. I am credited with being the technical editor. Book Description:
Native American History For Dummies introduces readers to the thousand-year-plus history of the first inhabitants of North America and explains their influence on the European settlement of the continent. Covering the history and customs of the scores of tribes that once populated the land, this friendly guide features vivid studies of the lives of such icons as Pocahontas, Sitting Bull, and Sacagawea; discusses warfare and famous battles, offering new perspectives from both battle lines; and includes new archaeological and forensic evidence, as well as oral histories that show events from the perspective of these indigenous peoples. The authors worked in concert with Native American authorities, institutions, and historical experts to provide a wide range of insight and information.
This is the cover to my 3rd book. 
Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info.
This is the cover to my 3rd book. Click here to got more info, or to order a copy or to get more info
Treaties With American Indians I wrote an article and several appendix items for this book.
Clips from a review on Amazon.com: *Starred Review* In the 93 years from 1778 until 1871, there were more than 400 treaties negotiated by Indian agents and government officials. Editor Fixico and more than 150 contributors have crafted a three volume comprehensive tool that will soon become essential for anyone interested in the topic. A resource section with lists of ?Alternate Tribal Names and Spellings,? ?Tribal Name Meanings,? (<---- I wrote this part) Treaties by Tribe,? and ?Common Treaty Names? and a bibliography and comprehensive index are repeated in each volume. This impressive set has a place in any academic library that supports a Native American studies or American history curriculum. It is the most comprehensive source of information on Canadian-Indian treaties and U.S.-Indian treaties. Also available as an e-book.

"The Wacky World of Laws"
It was just released in May 2009.
The Wacky World of Laws. Click on the cover to order a copy or to get more info.

The Wacky World of Laws is a compilation of U.S. and International Laws that are out of the ordinary. With the U.S. churning out 500,000 new laws every year and 2 million regulations annually, this book is the ideal go-to book fro everyone who wants a good laugh at the expense of our legal system. Law so often can be boring! Now with The Wacky World of Laws, you can be the hit of any water cooler conversation, and amaze your friends with precious legal nuggets.

I wrote most of this book. It is my fifth book.


(copyright, © Phil Konstantin, 2010)






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