Cross-Cultural Characteristics of Native American Matrons

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Contents

  1. Native American
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There are three basic versions, classified as Great Lakes, Iroquoian, and Southern. The object of the game is to land the ball on the opposing team's goal either a single post or net to score and to prevent the opposing team from scoring on your goal. The game involves as few as 20 or as many as players with no height or weight restrictions and no protective gear. A Jesuit priest [ who?

The disk would roll down the corridor, and players would throw wooden shafts at the moving disk. The object of the game was to strike the disk or prevent your opponents from hitting it. Traditional Native American music is almost entirely monophonic , but there are notable exceptions. Flutes and whistles made of wood, cane, or bone are also played, generally by individuals, but in former times also by large ensembles as noted by Spanish conquistador de Soto. The tuning of modern flutes is typically pentatonic. Some, such as John Trudell , have used music to comment on life in Native America, and others, such as R.

Carlos Nakai integrate traditional sounds with modern sounds in instrumental recordings, whereas the music by artist Charles Littleleaf is derived from ancestral heritage and nature. A variety of small and medium-sized recording companies offer an abundance of recent music by Native American performers young and old, ranging from pow-wow drum music to hard-driving rock-and-roll and rap.

The most widely practiced public musical form among Native Americans in the United States is that of the pow-wow. At pow-wows , such as the annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque , New Mexico , members of drum groups sit in a circle around a large drum. Drum groups play in unison while they sing in a native language and dancers in colorful regalia dance clockwise around the drum groups in the center. Familiar pow-wow songs include honor songs, intertribal songs, crow-hops, sneak-up songs, grass-dances, two-steps, welcome songs, going-home songs, and war songs.

Most indigenous communities in the United States also maintain traditional songs and ceremonies, some of which are shared and practiced exclusively within the community. The Iroquois , living around the Great Lakes and extending east and north, used strings or belts called wampum that served a dual function: The keepers of the articles were seen as tribal dignitaries. Pueblo peoples crafted impressive items associated with their religious ceremonies.

Kachina dancers wore elaborately painted and decorated masks as they ritually impersonated various ancestral spirits. Sculpture was not highly developed, but carved stone and wood fetishes were made for religious use. Superior weaving, embroidered decorations, and rich dyes characterized the textile arts.

Both turquoise and shell jewelry were created, as were high-quality pottery and formalized pictorial arts. Navajo spirituality focused on the maintenance of a harmonious relationship with the spirit world, often achieved by ceremonial acts, usually incorporating sandpainting. The colors—made from sand, charcoal, cornmeal, and pollen—depicted specific spirits.

These vivid, intricate, and colorful sand creations were erased at the end of the ceremony. The Eastern Woodland Indians used the hoe. Native American art comprises a major category in the world art collection.


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Native American contributions include pottery , paintings , jewelry , weavings , sculpture , basketry , and carvings. The integrity of certain Native American artworks is protected by an act of Congress that prohibits representation of art as Native American when it is not the product of an enrolled Native American artist.

Native Americans in the United States have developed several original systems of communication, both in Pre-Columbian times, and later as a response to European influences. For example, the Wiigwaasabak , birch bark scrolls on which the Ojibwa Anishinaabe people wrote complex geometrical patterns and shapes, can also be considered a form of writing. PISL is a trade language or international auxiliary language , formerly a trade pidgin , that was once the lingua franca across central Canada, central and western United States and northern Mexico, used among the various Plains Nations.

It was also used for story-telling, oratory, various ceremonies, and by deaf people for ordinary daily use. In the late s and early s, the Cherokee syllabary was invented by the silversmith Sequoyah to write the Cherokee language. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy as he could not previously read any script. In his system, each symbol represents a syllable rather than a single phoneme ; the 85 originally 86 [23] characters provide a suitable method to write Cherokee. Although some symbols resemble Latin , Greek , and Cyrillic letters, the relationship between symbols and sounds is different.


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The success of the Cherokee syllabary inspired James Evans , a missionary in what is now Manitoba , during the s to develop Cree syllabics. Evans had originally adapted the Latin script to Ojibwe see Evans system , but after learning of the Cherokee syllabary, he experimented with invented scripts based on his familiarity with shorthand and Devanagari. Cree syllabics are primarily a Canadian phenomenon, but are used occasionally in the United States by communities that straddle the border.

Farmers in the Eastern Woodlands tended fields of maize with hoes and digging sticks, while their neighbors in the Southeast grew tobacco as well as food crops. On the Plains, some tribes engaged in agriculture but also planned buffalo hunts in which herds were driven over bluffs. Dwellers of the Southwest deserts hunted small animals and gathered acorns to grind into flour with which they baked wafer-thin bread on top of heated stones.

Some groups on the region's mesas developed irrigation techniques, and filled storehouses with grain as protection against the area's frequent droughts. In the early years, as these native peoples encountered European explorers and settlers and engaged in trade, they exchanged food, crafts, and furs for blankets, iron and steel implements, horses, trinkets, firearms, and alcoholic beverages.


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  • The majority of Native American tribes did practice some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America, but none exploited slave labor on a large scale. In addition, Native Americans did not buy and sell captives in the pre-colonial era, although they sometimes exchanged enslaved individuals with other tribes in peace gestures or in exchange for their own members.

    The conditions of enslaved Native Americans varied among the tribes. In many cases, young enslaved captives were adopted into the tribes to replace warriors killed during warfare or by disease. Other tribes practiced debt slavery or imposed slavery on tribal members who had committed crimes; but, this status was only temporary as the enslaved worked off their obligations to the tribal society.

    Among some Pacific Northwest tribes, about a quarter of the population were slaves. When Europeans arrived as colonists in North America, Native Americans changed their practice of slavery dramatically. Native Americans began selling war captives to whites rather than integrating them into their own societies as they had done before. As the demand for labor in the West Indies grew with the cultivation of sugar cane , Europeans enslaved Native Americans for the Thirteen Colonies , and some were exported to the "sugar islands. Accurate records of the numbers enslaved do not exist.

    Scholars estimate tens of thousands of Native Americans may have been enslaved by the Europeans, being sold by Native Americans themselves. Slavery became a caste of people who were foreign to the English Native Americans, Africans and their descendants and non-Christians. The Virginia General Assembly defined some terms of slavery in All servants imported and brought into the Country All Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion If any slave resists his master The slave trade of Native Americans lasted only until around It gave rise to a series of devastating wars among the tribes, including the Yamasee War.

    The Indian Wars of the early 18th century, combined with the increasing importation of African slaves, effectively ended the Native American slave trade by Colonists found that Native American slaves could easily escape, as they knew the country. The wars cost the lives of numerous colonial slave traders and disrupted their early societies. The remaining Native American groups banded together to face the Europeans from a position of strength. Many surviving Native American peoples of the southeast strengthened their loose coalitions of language groups and joined confederacies such as the Choctaw , the Creek , and the Catawba for protection.

    Native American women were at risk for rape whether they were enslaved or not; during the early colonial years, settlers were disproportionately male. They turned to Native women for sexual relationships. Interracial relations between Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans is a complex issue that has been mostly neglected with "few in-depth studies on interracial relationships".

    One case is that of Gonzalo Guerrero , a European from Spain , who was shipwrecked along the Yucatan Peninsula , and fathered three Mestizo children with a Mayan noblewoman. European impact was immediate, widespread, and profound—more than any other race that had contact with Native Americans during the early years of colonization and nationhood. Europeans living among Native Americans were often called "white indians".

    Native American

    They "lived in native communities for years, learned native languages fluently, attended native councils, and often fought alongside their native companions. Early contact was often charged with tension and emotion, but also had moments of friendship, cooperation, and intimacy. Given the preponderance of men among the colonists in the early years, generally European men married American Indian women. There was fear on both sides, as the different peoples realized how different their societies were.

    They were suspicious of cultures which they did not understand. Blackbird, wrote in his History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, , that white settlers introduced some immoralities into Native American tribes. Many Indians suffered because the Europeans introduced alcohol and the whiskey trade resulted in alcoholism among the people, who were alcohol-intolerant.

    There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Some of the terminology used in reference to indigenous Americans is explained in Sidebar: An overview of all the indigenous peoples of the Americas is presented in American Indian ; discussions of various aspects of indigenous American cultures may also be found in the articles pre-Columbian civilizations ; Middle American Indian ; South American Indian ; Arctic: Native Americans form an ethnic group only in a very general sense.

    In the East, centuries of coexistence with whites has led to some degree of intermarriage and assimilation and to various patterns of stable adjustment. In the West the hasty expansion of….

    Comparative studies are an essential component of all scholarly analyses, whether the topic under study is human society, fine art, paleontology, or chemistry; the similarities and differences found in the entities under consideration help to organize and direct research programs and exegeses. The comparative study of cultures falls largely in the domain of anthropology , which often uses a typology known as the culture area approach to organize comparisons across cultures. The culture area approach was delineated at the turn of the 20th century and continued to frame discussions of peoples and cultures into the 21st century.

    A culture area is a geographic region where certain cultural traits have generally co-occurred; for instance, in North America between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Northwest Coast culture area was characterized by traits such as salmon fishing, woodworking, large villages or towns, and hierarchical social organization. The specific number of culture areas delineated for Native America has been somewhat variable because regions are sometimes subdivided or conjoined.

    The 10 culture areas discussed below are among the most commonly used—the Arctic, the Subarctic, the Northeast, the Southeast, the Plains, the Southwest, the Great Basin, California, the Northwest Coast, and the Plateau. Notably, some scholars prefer to combine the Northeast and Southeast into one Eastern Woodlands culture area or the Plateau and Great Basin into a single Intermontane culture area. Each section below considers the location, climate, environment , languages, tribes, and common cultural characteristics of the area before it was heavily colonized.

    Prehistoric and post-Columbian Native American cultures are discussed in subsequent sections of this article. A discussion of the indigenous peoples of the Americas as a whole is found in American Indian. This region lies near and above the Arctic Circle and includes the northernmost parts of present-day Alaska and Canada.

    The topography is relatively flat, and the climate is characterized by very cold temperatures for most of the year. The Arctic peoples of North America relied upon hunting and gathering. Winters were harsh, but the long hours of summer sunlight supported an explosion of vegetation that in turn drew large herds of caribou and other animals to the inland North.

    On the coasts, sea mammals and fish formed the bulk of the diet.

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    Small mobile bands were the predominant form of social organization; band membership was generally based on kinship and marriage see also Sidebar: The Difference Between a Tribe and a Band. Dome-shaped houses were common; they were sometimes made of snow and other times of timber covered with earth. Fur clothing, dog sleds, and vivid folklore, mythology, and storytelling traditions were also important aspects of Arctic cultures. The topography is relatively flat, the climate is cool, and the ecosystem is characterized by a swampy and coniferous boreal forest taiga ecosystem.

    Their traditional languages are in the Athabaskan and Algonquian families. Small kin-based bands were the predominant form of social organization, although seasonal gatherings of larger groups occurred at favoured fishing locales. Moose, caribou, beavers, waterfowl, and fish were taken, and plant foods such as berries, roots, and sap were gathered. In winter people generally resided in snug semisubterranean houses built to withstand extreme weather; summer allowed for more mobility and the use of tents or lean-tos.

    Snowshoes, toboggans, and fur clothing were other common forms of material culture. See also American Subarctic peoples. The topography is generally rolling, although the Appalachian Mountains include some relatively steep slopes. The climate is temperate, precipitation is moderate, and the predominant ecosystem is the deciduous forest. There is also extensive coastline and an abundance of rivers and lakes.

    The traditional languages of the Northeast are largely of the Iroquoian and Algonquian language families. Most Northeastern peoples engaged in agriculture, and for them the village of a few dozen to a few hundred persons was the most important social and economic unit in daily life. Groups that had access to reliably plentiful wild foods such as wild rice , salmon, or shellfish generally preferred to live in dispersed hamlets of extended families.

    Several villages or hamlets formed a tribe, and groups of tribes sometimes organized into powerful confederacies.

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    These alliances were often very complex political organizations and generally took their name from the most powerful member tribe, as with the Iroquois Confederacy. Cultivated corn maize , beans, squash, and weedy seed-bearing plants such as Chenopodium formed the economic base for farming groups.

    All northeastern peoples took animals including deer, elk, moose, waterfowl, turkeys, and fish. Houses were wickiups wigwams or longhouses ; both house types were constructed of a sapling framework that was covered with rush matting or sheets of bark. Other common aspects of culture included dugouts made of the trunks of whole trees, birchbark canoes, clothing made of pelts and deerskins, and a variety of medicine societies. See also Northeast Indian. This region reaches from the southern edge of the Northeast culture area to the Gulf of Mexico; from east to west it stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to somewhat west of the Mississippi valley.

    The climate is warm temperate in the north and grades to subtropical in the south. The topography includes coastal plains, rolling uplands known as the Piedmont , and a portion of the Appalachian Mountains; of these, the Piedmont was most densely populated. The predominant ecosystems were coastal scrub, wetlands, and deciduous forests. Perhaps the best-known indigenous peoples originally from this region are the Cherokee , Choctaw , Chickasaw , Creek , and Seminole , sometimes referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes.

    Traditionally, most tribes in the Southeast spoke Muskogean languages; there were also some Siouan language speakers and one Iroquoian-speaking group, the Cherokee. Most people were commoners and lived in hamlets located along waterways. Each hamlet was home to an extended family and typically included a few houses and auxiliary structures such as granaries and summer kitchens; these were surrounded by agricultural plots or fields. Towns often included large earthen mounds on which religious structures and the homes of the ruling classes or families were placed.

    Together, each town and its associated hamlets constituted an autonomous political entity. In times of need these could unite into confederacies, such as those of the Creek and Choctaw. People grew corn, beans, squash, tobacco, and other crops; they also gathered wild plant foods and shellfish, hunted deer and other animals, and fished.

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    House forms varied extensively across the region, including wickiups wigwams , earth-berm dwellings, and, in the 19th century, chickees thatched roofs with open walls. See also Southeast Indian.