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      Traditionally, the very beginning of the  United  States  history  is
considered from the time of European exploration  and  settlement,  starting
in the 16th century, to the present. But people had been living  in  America
for over 30,000 years before the first European colonists arrived.
      When Columbus landed on the island of San  Salvador  in  1492  he  was
welcomed by a brown-skinned people whose physical appearance  confirmed  him
in his opinion that he had at last reached India, and  whom,  therefore,  he
called Indios,  Indians,  a  name  which,  however  mistaken  in  its  first
application continued to hold its  own,  and  has  long  since  won  general
acceptance, except in strictly scientific  writing,  where  the  more  exact
term American is commonly used. As exploration was extended north and  south
it was found that the same race was spread over the  whole  continent,  from
the Arctic shores to Cape  Horn,  everywhere  alike  in  the  main  physical
characteristics, with the exception of  the  Eskimo  in  the  extreme  North
(whose features suggest the Mongolian).

                             GENERAL BACKGROUND

                            Origin and Antiquity

      Various origins have been assigned to the Indian  race.  The  more  or
less beleivable explanation is following. At the  height  of  the  Ice  Age,
between 34,000 and 30,000 B.C., much of the world's water was  contained  in
vast continental ice sheets. As a result, the Bering  Sea  was  hundreds  of
meters below its current level,  and  a  land  bridge,  known  as  Beringia,
emerged between Asia and North America. At its peak, Beringia is thought  to
have been some 1,500 kilometers wide. A moist and treeless  tundra,  it  was
covered with grasses and plant  life,  attracting  the  large  animals  that
early humans hunted for their survival. The  first  people  to  reach  North
America almost certainly did so without knowing they had crossed into a  new
continent. They would have been following game, as their ancestors  had  for
thousands of years, along the  Siberian  coast  and  then  across  the  land

                                  Race Type

      The most marked physical characteristics of the Indian race  type  are
brown skin, dark brown eyes, prominent cheek  bones,  straight  black  hair,
and scantiness of beard. The color is not red,  as  is  popularly  supposed,
but varies from very light in some tribes, as the Cheyenne, to almost  black
in others, as the Caddo and Tarimari. In a few  tribes,  as  the  Flatheads,
the skin has a distinct yellowish cast. The hair is brown in childhood,  but
always black in the adult until it turns grey with age. Baldness  is  almost
unknown. The eye is not held so open as in the Caucasian  and  seems  better
adapted to distance than to close work. The nose  is  usually  straight  and
well shaped, and in some tribes strongly aquiline. Their hands and feet  are
comparatively small. Height and weight vary as among Europeans, the  Pueblos
averaging but little more than five feet, while  the  Cheyenne  and  Arapaho
are exceptionally tall, and the Tehuelche of  Patagonia  almost  massive  in
build. As a rule, the desert Indians, as the Apache, are spare and  muscular
in build, while those of the timbered  regions  are  heavier,  although  not
proportionately stronger. The beard is always  scanty,  but  increases  with
the admixture of  white  blood.  The  mistaken  idea  that  the  Indian  has
naturally no beard is due to the fact that in most tribes it is plucked  out
as fast as it grows, the eyebrows being treated in the same  way.  There  is
no tribe of "white Indians", but albinos with blond  skin,  weak  pink  eyes
and almost white hair are occasionally found, especially among the  Pueblos.

                            Major Cultural Areas

      From prehistoric times until recent historic times there were  roughly
six major cultural areas, excluding that of the Arctic (see  Eskimo),  i.e.,
Northwest  Coast,  Plains,  Plateau,  Eastern   Woodlands,   Northern,   and

   The Northwest Coast Area

      The Northwest Coast area extended along the Pacific coast  from  South
Alaska to North California. The main language families  in  this  area  were
the Nadene in the north and the Wakashan (a subdivision of  the  Algonquian-
Wakashan linguistic stock) and the Tsimshian (a subdivision of the  Penutian
linguistic stock) in the central area. Typical  tribes  were  the  Kwakiutl,
the Haida, the Tsimshian, and the Nootka. Thickly wooded, with  a  temperate
climate and heavy rainfall, the area  had  long  supported  a  large  Native
American population.  Salmon  was  the  staple  food,  supplemented  by  sea
mammals (seals and sea lions) and land mammals (deer,  elk,  and  bears)  as
well as berries and other wild fruit. The  Native  Americans  of  this  area
used wood to build their houses and  had  cedar-planked  canoes  and  carved
dugouts. In their permanent winter villages some of  the  groups  had  totem
poles, which were  elaborately  carved  and  covered  with  symbolic  animal
decoration. Their art work, for which they  are  famed,  also  included  the
making of  ceremonial  items,  such  as  rattles  and  masks;  weaving;  and
basketry.  They  had  a  highly  stratified  society  with  chiefs,  nobles,
commoners, and slaves. Public display and  disposal  of  wealth  were  basic
features of the society. They had woven robes,  furs,  and  basket  hats  as
well as wooden armor and  helmets  for  battle.  This  distinctive  culture,
which included cannibalistic rituals, was not greatly affected  by  European
influences until after the late 18th cent., when the white fur  traders  and
hunters came to the area.
      TRIBES:  Abenaki,  Algonkin,  Beothuk,  Delaware,  Erie,  Fox,  Huron,
      Illinois,  Iroquois,  Kickapoo,   Mahican,   Mascouten,   Massachuset,
      Mattabesic, Menominee, Metoac,  Miami,  Micmac,  Mohegan,  Montagnais,
      Narragansett, Nauset, Neutrals, Niantic,  Nipissing,  Nipmuc,  Ojibwe,
      Ottawa,  Pennacook,  Pequot,  Pocumtuck,  Potawatomi,  Sauk,  Shawnee,
      Susquehannock, Tionontati, Wampanoag, Wappinger, Wenro, Winnebago.

   The Plains Area

      The Plains area extended from just North of the Canadian border, South
to Texas and included the grasslands area between the Mississippi River  and
the foothills of the Rocky Mts. The main  language  families  in  this  area
were the Algonquian-Wakashan, the Aztec-Tanoan,  and  the  Hokan-Siouan.  In
pre-Columbian times there  were  two  distinct  types  of  Native  Americans
there: sedentary and nomadic. The sedentary tribes, who  had  migrated  from
neighbor ing  regions  and  had  initally  settled  along  the  great  river
valleys, were farmers and lived in permanent villages of  dome-shaped  earth
lodges surrounded by earthen walls. They raised  corn,  squash,  and  beans.
The foot  nomads, on the other hand, moved about with their  goods  on  dog-
drawn travois and eked out a precarious existence by hunting the vast  herds
of buffalo (bison) - usually by driving them  into  enclosures  or  rounding
them up by setting grass fires. They supplemented their diet  by  exchanging
meat and hides for the corn of the agricultural Native Americans.
      The horse, first introduced by the Spanish of the Southwest,  appeared
in the Plains about the beginning of the 18th cent. and  revolutionized  the
life of the Plains Indians. Many Native Americans left  their  villages  and
joined the nomads. Mounted and armed with bow and  arrow,  they  ranged  the
grasslands hunting buffalo. The  other  Native  Americans  remained  farmers
(e.g., the Arikara, the Hidatsa, and  the  Mandan).  Native  Americans  from
surrounding areas came into the Plains  (e.g.,  the  Sioux  from  the  Great
Lakes, the Comanche and the Kiowa from  the  west  and  northwest,  and  the
Navajo and the  Apache  from  the  southwest).  A  universal  sign  language
developed  among  the  perpetually  wandering  and  often   warring   Native
Americans. Living on horseback and in the  portable  tepee,  they  preserved
food by pounding and drying lean meat and made their  clothes  from  buffalo
hides and deerskins. The system of coup  was  a  characteristic  feature  of
their society. Other features were rites of fasting in quest  of  a  vision,
warrior clans, bead and feather art work, and decorated hides. These  Plains
Indians were among the last to engage in a serious struggle with  the  white
settlers in the United States.
      TRIBES:  Arapaho,  Arikara,  Assiniboine,  Bidai,  Blackfoot,   Caddo,
      Cheyenne, Comanche, Cree, Crow, Dakota (Sioux), Gros Ventre,  Hidatsa,
      Iowa, Kansa, Kiowa,  Kiowa-Apache,  Kitsai,  Lakota  (Sioux),  Mandan,
      Metis, Missouri, Nakota (Sioux), Omaha, Osage,  Otoe,  Pawnee,  Ponca,
      Sarsi, Sutai, Tonkawa, Wichita.

   The Plateau Area

      The Plateau area extended from above the Canadian border  through  the
plateau and mountain area of the Rocky Mts. to the  Southwest  and  included
much of California. Typical tribes were the  Spokan,  the  Paiute,  the  Nez
Perce, and the Shoshone. This was an area  of  great  linguistic  diversity.
Because  of  the  inhospitable  environment  the  cultural  development  was
generally low. The Native Americans in the Central Valley of California  and
on the California coast,  notably  the  Pomo,  were  sedentary  peoples  who
gathered edible plants, roots, and fruit and also hunted small  game.  Their
acorn bread, made by pounding acorns into meal and  then  leaching  it  with
hot water, was distinctive, and they cooked in  baskets  filled  with  water
and heated by hot stones. Living in brush shelters or more substantial lean-
tos, they had partly buried earth lodges for  ceremonies  and  ritual  sweat
baths. Basketry, coiled and twined, was  highly  developed.  To  the  north,
between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mts.,  the  social,  political,  and
religious  systems  were  simple,  and  art  was  nonexistent.  The   Native
Americans there underwent (since 1730) a great  cultural  change  when  they
obtained from the Plains Indians the horse, the tepee, a  form  of  the  sun
dance, and deerskin clothes. They continued, however,  to  fish  for  salmon
with nets and spears and to gather camas bulbs. They also gathered ants  and
other insects and hunted small game and,  in  later  times,  buffalo.  Their
permanent winter villages on  waterways  had  semisubterranean  lodges  with
conical roofs; a few Native Americans lived in bark-covered long houses.
        TRIBES:  Carrier,  Cayuse,  Coeur  D'Alene,  Colville,   Dock-Spus,
      Eneeshur, Flathead, Kalispel, Kawachkin, Kittitas, Klamath, Klickitat,
      Kosith, Kutenai, Lakes, Lillooet, Methow, Modac, Nez Perce,  Okanogan,
      Palouse,  Sanpoil,  Shushwap,  Sinkiuse,  Spokane,  Tenino,  Thompson,
      Tyigh, Umatilla,  Wallawalla,  Wasco,  Wauyukma,  Wenatchee,  Wishram,
      Wyampum, Yakima. Californian: Achomawi, Atsugewi, Cahuilla, Chimariko,
      Chumash, Costanoan, Esselen, Hupa,  Karuk,  Kawaiisu,  Maidu,  Mission
      Indians,  Miwok,  Mono,  Patwin,  Pomo,   Serrano,   Shasta,   Tolowa,
      Tubatulabal,  Wailaki,  Wintu,  Wiyot,  Yaha,  Yokuts,   Yuki,   Yuman

   The Eastern Woodlands Area

      The Eastern Woodlands area covered the  eastern  part  of  the  United
States, roughly from the  Atlantic  Ocean  to  the  Mississippi  River,  and
included the Great Lakes. The Natchez, the Choctaw, the  Cherokee,  and  the
Creek were typical inhabitants. The northeastern part of this area  extended
from Canada to Kentucky and Virginia.  The  people  of  the  area  (speaking
languages of the Algonquian-Wakashan stock) were largely  deer  hunters  and
farmers; the women tended small  plots  of  corn,  squash,  and  beans.  The
birchbark canoe gained wide usage in  this  area.  The  general  pattern  of
existence of  these  Algonquian  peoples  and  their  neighbors,  who  spoke
languages belonging to  the  Iroquoian  branch  of  the  Hokan-Siouan  stock
(enemies who had probably invaded from the south), was quite complex.  Their
diet of deer meat was supplemented by other game (e.g., bear), fish  (caught
with hook, spear, and net), and shellfish. Cooking was done  in  vessels  of
wood and bark or simple  black  pottery.  The  dome-shaped  wigwam  and  the
longhouse  of  the  Iroquois  characterized  their  housing.  The   deerskin
clothing, the painting of the face and (in the case of the  men)  body,  and
the scalp lock of the men (left when hair was shaved on both  sides  of  the
head), were typical.  The  myths  of  Manitou  (often  called  Manibozho  or
Manabaus), the hero who remade the world from mud after a deluge,  are  also
widely known.
      The region from the Ohio River South to the Gulf of Mexico,  with  its
forests and fertile soil, was the heart of  the  southeastern  part  of  the
Eastern Woodlands cultural area. There before  c.500  the  inhabitants  were
seminomads who hunted, fished, and gathered roots  and  seeds.  Between  500
and 900 they adopted  agriculture,  tobacco  smoking,  pottery  making,  and
burial mounds. By c.1300 the agricultural economy was well established,  and
artifacts found in the mounds show that trade was  widespread.  Long  before
the Europeans arrived, the peoples of the Natchez and Muskogean branches  of
the Hokan-Siouan linguistic family were farmers who used  hoes  with  stone,
bone, or shell blades. They hunted with bow and arrow  and  blowgun,  caught
fish by poisoning streams, and gathered berries, fruit, and shellfish.  They
had excellent pottery, sometimes decorated with abstract figures of  animals
or humans. Since  warfare  was  frequent  and  intense,  the  villages  were
enclosed by wooden palisades  reinforced  with  earth.  Some  of  the  large
villages, usually ceremonial centers, dominated the smaller  settlements  of
the surrounding countryside. There were temples for sun worship; rites  were
elaborate and featured  an  altar  with  perpetual  fire,  extinguished  and
rekindled each year in a new  fire  ceremony.  The  society  was  commonly
divided into classes, with a chief,  his  children,  nobles,  and  commoners
making up the hierarchy. For a discussion of the earliest  Woodland  groups,
see the separate article Eastern Woodlands culture.
      TRIBES: Acolapissa, Asis,  Alibamu,  Apalachee,  Atakapa,  Bayougoula,
      Biloxi, Calusa, Catawba, Chakchiuma, Cherokee,  Chesapeake  Algonquin,
      Chickasaw, Chitamacha, Choctaw,  Coushatta,  Creek,  Cusabo,  Gaucata,
      Guale, Hitchiti, Houma, Jeags, Karankawa, Lumbee, Miccosukee,  Mobile,
      Napochi,  Nappissa,  Natchez,   Ofo,   Powhatan,   Quapaw,   Seminole,
      Southeastern Siouan, Tekesta, Tidewater  Algonquin,  Timucua,  Tunica,
      Tuscarora,  Yamasee,  Yuchi.  Bannock,   Paiute   (Northern),   Paiute
      (Southern), Sheepeater, Shoshone (Northern), Shoshone (Western),  Ute,

   The Northern Area

      The Northern area covered most of Canada, also known as the Subarctic,
in the belt of semiarctic land from the Rocky Mts. to Hudson Bay.  The  main
languages in this area were those of the Algonquian-Wakashan and the  Nadene
stocks.  Typical  of  the  people  there  were   the   Chipewyan.   Limiting
environmental conditions prevented  farming,  but  hunting,  gathering,  and
activities such as trapping and fishing were  carried  on.  Nomadic  hunters
moved with the  season  from  forest  to  tundra,  killing  the  caribou  in
semiannual drives. Other food was  provided  by  small  game,  berries,  and
edible roots. Not only food but clothing and  even  some  shelter  (caribou-
skin tents) came from the caribou,  and  with  caribou  leather  thongs  the
Indians laced their snowshoes and made nets and bags. The snowshoe  was  one
of the most important items of material culture. The shaman featured in  the
religion of many of these people.
      TRIBES:   Calapuya,    Cathlamet,    Chehalis,    Chemakum,    Chetco,
      Chilluckkittequaw, Chinook,  Clackamas,  Clatskani,  Clatsop,  Cowich,
      Cowlitz, Haida, Hoh, Klallam, Kwalhioqua, Lushootseed, Makah,  Molala,
      Multomah, Oynut, Ozette,  Queets,  Quileute,  Quinault,  Rogue  River,
      Siletz, Taidhapam, Tillamook, Tutuni, Yakonan.

   The Southwest Area

      The Southwest area generally extended over Arizona,  New  Mexico,  and
parts of Colorado and Utah.  The  Uto-Aztecan  branch  of  the  Aztec-Tanoan
linguistic  stock  was  the  main  language  group  of  the  area.  Here   a
seminomadic people called  the  Basket  Makers,  who  hunted  with  a  spear
thrower, or atlatl, acquired (c.1000 B.C.) the art of cultivating beans  and
squash, probably from their southern neighbors. They also  learned  to  make
unfired pottery. They wove baskets, sandals, and bags. By  c.700  B.C.  they
had initiated intensive agriculture, made true pottery, and hunted with  bow
and arrow. They lived in pit dwellings, which were  partly  underground  and
were lined with slabs of stone - the so-called slab  houses.  A  new  people
came into the area some two centuries later; these  were  the  ancestors  of
the Pueblo Indians. They lived in large, terraced community  houses  set  on
ledges of cliffs or  canyons  for  protection  and  developed  a  ceremonial
chamber (the kiva) out  of  what  had  been  the  living  room  of  the  pit
dwellings. This period of development ended c.1300, after a  severe  drought
and the beginnings of the  invasions  from  the  north  by  the  Athabascan-
speaking Navajo and Apache. The  known  historic  Pueblo  cultures  of  such
sedentary farming peoples as the Hopi and the Zuni  then  came  into  being.
They cultivated corn, beans, squash, cotton,  and  tobacco,  killed  rabbits
with a wooden throwing stick,  and  traded  cotton  textiles  and  corn  for
buffalo  meat  from  nomadic  tribes.  The  men  wove  cotton  textiles  and
cultivated the  fields,  while  women  made  fine  polychrome  pottery.  The
mythology and religious ceremonies were complex.
      TRIBES: Apache (Eastern), Apache  (Western),  Chemehuevi,  Coahuiltec,
      Hopi, Jano, Manso, Maricopa, Mohave, Navaho, Pai, Papago, Pima, Pueblo
      (breaking into: Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Picuris,
      Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San  Ildefonso,  San  Juan,  Santa  Ana,
      Santa Clara, Santo  Domingo,  Taos,  Tesuque,  Zia),  Yaqui,  Yavapai,
      Yuman, Zuni.  Am strongly thinking about

                          LIFESTYLE and TRADITIONS

                             Social Organization

   Among most of the tribes east of  the  Mississippi,  among  the  Pueblos,
Navahos, and others of the South-West, and among the Tlingit  and  Haida  of
the north-west coast, society was based upon the clan  system,  under  which
the tribe was divided into a number of large family groups, the  members  of
which were considered as closely related and prohibited from  intermarrying.
The children usually followed the clan of the mother. The  clans  themselves
were sometimes grouped into larger bodies of related kindred, to  which  the
name of phratries has been applied. The clans were usually, but not  always,
named from animals, and each clan paid special  reverence  to  its  tutelary
animal. Thus the Cherokee had seven clans,  Wolf,  Deer,  Bird,  Paint,  and
three others with names not readily translated. A Wolf man could  not  marry
a Wolf woman, but might marry a Deer woman, or  one  of  any  of  the  other
clans, and his children were of the Deer clan or other clan accordingly.  In
some tribes the name of the individual indicated the clan, as  "Round  Foot"
in the wolf clan and "Crawler" in the  Turtle  clan.  Certain  functions  of
war, peace, or ceremonial were usually  hereditary  in  special  clans,  and
revenge for injuries with the tribe devolved upon the clan relatives of  the
person injured. The tribal council was made up of the hereditary or  elected
chiefs, and any alien taken into the tribe had to  be  specifically  adopted
into a family and clan. The clan system was by no  means  universal  but  is
now known to have been limited to particular regions and seems to have  been
originally an artificial  contrivance  to  protect  land  and  other  tribal
descent. It was absent almost everywhere west of the Missouri, excepting  in
the South-West, and appears to  have  been  unknown  throughout  the  geater
portion of British America, the interior of Alaska, and probably  among  the
Eskimos. Among the plains tribes, the  unit  was  the  band,  whose  members
camped together under their own chief, in an appointed place in  the  tribal
camp circle, and were  subject  to  no  marriage  prohibition,  but  usually
married among themselves.
   With a few notable exceptions, there  was  very  little  idea  of  tribal
solidarity or supreme authority, and where a chief  appears  in  history  as
tribal dictator, as in the case of Powhatan in Virginia, it was usually  due
to his own strong personality. The real authority was with  the  council  as
interpreters of ancient tribal customs. Even such well-known tribes  as  the
Creeks and  Cherokee  were  really  only  aggregations  of  closely  cognate
villages, each acting independently or in cooperation  with  the  others  as
suited its immediate convenience. Even  in  the  smaller  and  more  compact
tribes there was seldom any provision for coercing the individual to  secure
common action, but those of the same clan or band  usually  acted  together.
In this lack of solidarity is the secret of Indian military weakness. In  no
Indian war in the history of the United States  has  a  single  large  tribe
ever united in solid resistance, while on the other hand other  tribes  have
always been found to join against the hostiles. Among the Natchez,  Tinucua,
and some other southern tribes,  there  is  more  indication  of  a  central
authority, resting probably with a dominant clan.
      The Iroquois of New York had progressed beyond any other native people
north of Mexico in  the  elaboration  of  a  state  and  empire.  Through  a
carefully planned system of  confederations,  originating  about  1570,  the
five allied tribes had secured internal peace and unity, by which  they  had
been able to acquire dominant control over most of the  tribes  from  Hudson
Bay to Carolina, and if  not  prematurely  checked  by  the  advent  of  the
whites, might in time have founded a northern empire to rival  that  of  the
      Land was usually held in common, except among the  Pueblos,  where  it
was apportioned among the clans, and in some tribes in northern  California,
where individual right is said to have existed.  Timber  and  other  natural
products were free, and hospitality was carried to such  a  degree  that  no
man kept what  his  neighbour  wanted.  While  this  prevented  extremes  of
poverty, on the other hand it paralyzed  individual  industry  and  economy,
and was an effectual barrier to progress. The accumulation of  property  was
further discouraged by the fact that in most  tribes  it  was  customary  to
destroy all the belongings of the owner at his death. The word  for  "brave"
and "generous" was frequently the  same,  and  along  the  north-west  coast
there existed the curious custom known as potlatch, under which a man  saved
for half a lifetime in order to acquire the rank of chief by finally  giving
away his entire hoard at a grand public feast.
      Enslavement of  captives  was  more  or  less  common  throughout  the
country,  especially  in  the  southern  states,  where  the  captives  were
sometimes crippled to prevent their escape. Along the north-west  coast  and
as far south as California, not only the captives  but  their  children  and
later descendants were slaves and might be  abused  or  slaughtered  at  the
will of the master,  being  frequently  burned  alive  with  their  deceased
owner, or butchered to provide a ceremonial cannibal feast. In the  Southern
slave states, before the Civil War, the  Indians  were  frequent  owners  of
negro slaves.
      Men and women, and sometimes even the older children,  were  organized
into societies for military, religious, working, and social  purposes,  many
of these being secret, especially those concerned with medicine and  women's
work. In some tribes there was also a custom by which two young  men  became
"brothers" through a public exchange of names.
      The erroneous opinion that the Indian man was an idler, and  that  the
Indian woman was a drudge and slave, is founded upon a misconception of  the
native system of division of labour, under which it was the  man's  business
to defend the home and to provide food by hunting and fishing, assuming  all
the risks and hardships of  battle  and  the  wilderness,  while  the  woman
attended to the domestic duties including the bringing of  wood  and  water,
and, with the nomad tribes, the setting  up  of  the  tipis.  The  children,
however, required little care after they were able to  run  about,  and  the
housekeeping was of the simplest,  and,  as  the  women  usually  worked  in
groups, with songs and gossip, while the children  played  about,  the  work
had much of pleasure mixed with it. In all that chiefly concerned the  home,
the woman was the mistress, and in many tribes the women's council gave  the
final decision upon important matters  of  public  policy.  Among  the  more
agricultural tribes, as  the  Pueblos,  men  and  women  worked  the  fields
together. In the far north, on the other hand, the harsh  environment  seems
to have brought all the savagery of the man's nature, and the woman  was  in
fact a slave, subject to every whim of cruelty, excepting among the  Kutchin
of the Upper Yukon, noted for their kind treatment of their women.  Polygamy
existed in nearly all tribes excepting the Pueblos.


   In and north of the United States there  were  some  twenty  well-defined
types of native dwellings, varying from the mere brush shelter to the  five-
storied pueblo.
      In the Northwest, Native American cultures lived in a shelter known as
the plank house. The plank house varied in shape  and  design  according  to
the tribe who was building it. It varied from a  simple  shed-like  building
to a partly underground shelter like the Mogollon shelter. The  plank  house
was made primarily from wood pieces found along the wooded  areas  near  the
sea or water body. Each house  was  built  by  placing  the  wood  on  poles
imbedded in the ground. Eventually the roof was placed on top in  a  upside-
down V shape. These houses were considered very durable to the  environment,
especially dampness and rain. The villages of the Northwest revolved  around
the environment which enveloped them.  Large  structures  of  enormous  logs
notched and fitted together became the  primary  housing  for  most  of  the
peoples of this region. Each of these houses had a central living  area  and
distinct, private sections for sleeping areas for the  many  families  which
lived there. Other wo oden structures were used for ceremonial  purposes  as
well as for birthing mothers and burial sites.
   In the eastern United States and adjacent parts of Canada the  prevailing
type was that commonly known under the Algonkian name of wigwam. The  wigwam
was a round shelter used by many different Native American cultures  in  the
east and the southeast. It is considered one of the best shelters  made.  It
was as safe and warm as the best houses of early colonists. The  wigwam  has
a curved surface which can hold up against the worst weather in any region.
   The Native Americans of the Plains lived in one of the  most  well  known
shelters, the tepee ( also Tipi or Teepee). The tipi  (the  Sioux  name  for
house) or conical tent-dwelling of the upper lake and plains region  was  of
poles set lightly in the ground, bound together near the  top,  and  covered
with bark or mats in the lake country, and with  dressed  buffalo  skins  on
the plains. These skins were often painted in  bright  colors  to  show  the
personalities of the people dwelling there. It was easily portable, and  two
women could set it up  or  take  in  down  within  an  hour.  On  ceremonial
occasions the tipi camp was arranged in a great circle, with the  ceremonial
"medicine lodge" in the centre.
   The Native Americans of the Southwest such as the Anasazi and the Pueblo,
lived in pueblos constructed by stacking large adobe blocks,  sun-dried  and
made from clay and water, usually  measuring  8  by  16  inches  (20  by  40
centimetres) and 4 to 6 in. (10 to 15  cm)  thick.  These  blocks  form  the
walls of the building, up to five stories tall,  and  were  built  around  a
central courtyard. Usually each floor is set back from the floor  below,  so
that the  whole  building  resembles  a  zigzag  pyramid.  The  method  also
provides terraces on those levels made from  the  roof  tops  of  the  level
below. These unique and amazing apartment-like structures were  often  built
along cliff faces; the most  famous,  the  "cliff  palace"  of  Mesa  Verde,
Colorado, had over 200 rooms. Another site, the Pueblo  Bonito  ruins  along
New Mexico's Chaco River, once contained more than 800  rooms.  Each  pueblo
had at least two, and often more kivas, or ceremonial rooms.
   The semi-sedentary Pawnee Mandan, and other  tribes  along  the  Missouri
built solid  circular  structures  of  logs,  covered  with  earth,  capable
sometimes of housing a dozen families.
   The Wichita and other tribes of the Texas  border  built  large  circular
houses of grass thatch laid over a framework of poles.
   The living shelters of the Northeast Native  Americans  are  called  Long
Houses. The long house was favored more in the winter  months  than  in  the
summer ones. The long house was a  one  story  apartment  house,  with  many
people of the tribe sharing the warmth and space. In an average long  house,
there  would  be  three  or  four  fireplaces,  usually  lined  with   small
fieldstones. With this many fireplaces, smoke would fill up  the  house,  so
the house would be built with smoke holes in  the  roof.  The  typical  long
house was estimated to be about 50 feet long.
   The Navaho hogan, was a smaller counterpart of the Pawnee "earth  lodge".
The communal pueblo structure of  the  Rio  Grande  region  consisted  of  a
numbersometimes hundreds - of  square-built  rooms  of  various  sizes,  of
stone or adobe laid  in  clay  mortar,  with  flat  roof,  court-yards,  and
intricate passage ways, suggestive of oriental things.
   The Piute wikiup of Nevada was only one degree above the brush shelter of
the Apache. California, with its long stretch from north to south,  and  its
extremes from warm plain  to  snowclad  sierra,  had  a  variety  of  types,
including the semi-subterranean.
   Along the whole north-west coast, from the Columbia to the Eskimo border,
the prevailing type  was  the  rectangular  board  structure,  painted  with
symbolic designs, and with the great totem pole  carved  with  the  heraldic
crests of the owner, towering above the doorway.
   Not even pueblo architecture had evolved a chimney.

                          Food and its Procurement

   In the timbered regions of  the  eastern  and  southern  states  and  the
adjacent portions of Canada, along  the  Missouri  and  among  the  Pueblos,
Pima, and other tribes of the south-west,  the  chief  dependence  was  upon
agriculture, the principal crops being corn, beans, and squashes, besides  a
native  tobacco.  The  New  England  tribes  understood  the  principal   of
manuring, while those of the arid  south-west  built  canals  and  practiced
irrigation. Along the whole ocean-coast, in  the  lake  region  and  on  the
Columbia, fishing was an important  source  of  subsistence.  On  the  south
Atlantic seaboard elaborate weirs were in use, but elsewhere  the  hook  and
line, the seine or the harpoon, were more common.  Clams  and  oysters  were
consumed  in  such  quantities  along  the  Atlantic  coast  that  in   some
favourable gathering-places empty shells were piled  into  mounds  ten  feet
high. From central California northward along  the  whole  west  coast,  the
salmon was the principle, and on  the  Columbia,  almost  the  entire,  food
dependence.  The  northwest-coast  tribes,  as  well  as  the  Eskimo,  were
fearless whalers. Everywhere the wild game,  of  course,  was  an  important
factor in the food supply, particularly the deer in the  timber  region  and
the buffalo on the plains. The nomad tribes of the plains,  in  fact,  lived
by the buffalo, which, in one way or  another,  furnished  them  with  food,
clothing, shelter, household equipment, and fuel.
   In this connection there were many curious  tribal  and  personal  taboos
founded upon clan traditions, dreams, or other religious reasons.  Thus  the
Navajo and the Apache, so far from eating the meat of a  bear,  refuse  even
to touch the skin of one, believing the bear to be of human kinship.  For  a
somewhat similar reason  some tribes of the plains and the  arid  South-West
avoid a fish, while considering the dog a delicacy.
   Besides the cultivated staples, nuts, roots, and wild fruits were in  use
wherever procurable. The Indians of the Sierras lived  largely  upon  acorns
and pions. Those of Oregon and the Columbia region  gathered  large  stores
of camass and other roots, in addition to  other  species  of  berries.  The
Apache and other south-western tribes gathered the cactus fruit and  toasted
the root of the maguey. The tribes of the upper lake region made  great  use
of wild rice, while those of the Ohio Valley made sugar from the sap of  the
maple, and those of the southern states extracted a nourishing oil from  the
hickory nut. Pemmican  and  hominy  are  Indian  names  as  well  as  Indian
inventions, and maple sugar is also an aboriginal discovery. Salt  was  used
by many tribes, especially on the plains and in the South-West, but  in  the
Gulf states lye was used instead. Cannibalism simply for the  sake  of  food
could hardly be  said  to  exist,  but,  as  a  war  ceremony  or  sacrifice
following a savage triumph, the custom was  very  general,  particularly  on
the Texas coast and among the Iroquoian and Algonquian tribes of  the  east.
The Tonkawa of Texas were know to all their neighbours as the  "Man-Eaters".
Apparently the only native intoxicant  was  tiswin,  a  sort  of  mild  beer
fermented from corn by the Apache and neighbouring tribes.

                            Domesticated Animals

The dog was practically the only domesticated animal before  the  advent  of
the whites and was found in nearly all tribes, being  used  as  a  beast  of
burden by day and as a constant sentinel by night, while  with  some  tribes
the flesh was also a favourite dish. He was  seldom,  if  ever,  trained  to
hunting. There were no wild horses, cows, pigs, or chickens. Therefore,  the
Indians knew nothing about these animals. In Massachusetts,  they  began  to
domesticate the turkey. Eagles and other birds were  occasionally  kept  for
their feathers, and the children sometimes had other pets than puppies.  The
horse, believed to have been introduced by the  Spaniards,  speedily  became
as important a factor in the life  of  the  plains  tribes  as  the  buffalo
itself. In the same way  the  sheep  and  goats,  introduced  by  the  early
Franciscans,  have  become  the  chief  source  of  wealth  to  the  Navajo,
numbering now half a million  animals  from  which  they  derive  an  annual
income of over a million dollars.

                             Industries and Arts

   In  the  fabrication  of  domestic   instruments,   weapons,   ornaments,
ceremonial objects, boats, seines, and traps, in house-building and  in  the
making of pottery and baskets, the Indian showed considerable  ingenuity  in
design and infinite patience of execution. In the division  of  labour,  the
making of weapons, hunting and fishing requirements, boats, pipes, and  most
ceremonial objects fell to the men, while the domestic arts of  pottery  and
basket-making, weaving and dressing of skins,  the  fashioning  of  clothing
and the preparation and preservation of  food  commonly  devolved  upon  the
   Among the sedentary  or  semi-sedentary  tribes  house-building  belonged
usually to the men, although the women sometimes  assisted.  On  the  plains
the entire making and keeping of the tipi were appointed to  the  women.  In
many tribes the man cut, sewed, and decorated his own buckskin suit, and  in
some of the Pueblo villages the men were the basket-weavers.
   While the house, in certain  tribes,  evinced  considerable  architecture
skill, its prime purpo se was always utilitarian, and there was usually  but
little attempt at decorative  effect,  excepting  the  Haida,  Tlingit,  and
others of the north-west coast, where the great  carved  and  painted  totem
poles, sometimes sixty feet in height, set up in front  of  every  dwelling,
were a striking feature  of  the  village  picture.  The  same  tribes  were
notable for their great sea-going canoes, hollowed out from a  single  cedar
trunk, elaborately  carved  and  painted,  and  sometimes  large  enough  to
accommodate forty men. The skin boat or kaiak of the Eskimo was a marvel  of
lightness and buoyancy, being practically unsinkable. The  birch-bark  canoe
of the eastern tribes was especially well-adapted to its purposes of  inland
navigation. In the southern states we find the smaller "dug-out" log  canoe.
On the plains the boat was virtually  unknown,  except  for  the  tub-shaped
skin boat of the Mandan and associated tribes of the upper Missouri.
   The Eskimo were noted for their artistic carvings  of  bones  and  walrus
ivory; the Pueblo for their turquoise-inlaid work and  their  wood  carving,
especially mythologic figurines,  and  the  Atlantic  and  California  coast
tribes for their work in shell. The wampum, or  shell  beads,  made  chiefly
from the shells of various clams found along the Atlantic coast have  become
historic, having been extensively used not  only  for  dress  ornamentation,
but also on treaty belts, as tribal tribute, and  as  a  standard  of  value
answering the purpose of money. The ordinary stone hammer or club, found  in
nearly every tribe, represented much patient labour, while the  whole  skill
of the artist was frequently expended upon the stone-carved pipe. The  black
stone pipes of the Cherokee were famous in the southern states, and the  red
stone pipe of catlinite from  a  single  quarry  in  Minnesota  was  reputed
sacred and was smoked at the ratification of all solemn  tribal  engagements
throughout the plains and the lake-region. Knives, lance-blades, and  arrow-
heads were also usually of stone, preferably flint or  obsidian.  Along  the
Gulf Coast, keen-edged knives fashioned from split canes were in  use.  Corn
mortars and bowls were usually of wood in the timber region and of stone  in
the arid country. Hide-scrapers were of bone, and spoons of  wood  or  horn.
Metal-work was limited chiefly  to  the  fashioning  of  gorgets  and  other
ornaments  hammered  out  from  native  copper,  found   in   the   southern
Alleghenies, about Lake Superior, and about Copper River in Alaska. The  art
of smelting was apparently  unknown.  Under  Franciscan  and  later  Mexican
teaching the Navahos have developed a silver-working art which  compares  in
importance with their celebrated basket-weaving,  the  material  used  being
silver coins melted down in stone molds  of  their  own  carving.  Mica  was
mined in the Carolina mountains by  the  local  tribes  and  fashioned  into
gorgets and mirrors, which found their way by trade as far  as  the  western
prairies, All of these arts belonged to the men.
   Basket-weaving in wood splits, cane, rushes, yucca-  or  bark-fibre,  and
various grasses was practiced by the same tribes  which  made  pottery,  and
excepting in a few tribes, was likewise  a  women's  work.  The  basket  was
stained in various designs with vegetable dyes. The Cherokee made a  double-
walled basket. Those of the Choctaw, Pueblo  tribes,  Jicarillo,  and  Piute
were noted for beauty of design  and  execution,  but  the  Pomo  and  other
tribes of California excelled in all closeness and delicacy of  weaving  and
richness of decoration, many of their grass baskets  being  water-tight  and
almost  hidden  under  an  inter-weaving  of  bright-coloured  plumage,  and
further decorated around the top with pendants of  shining  mother-of-pearl.
The weaving of grass or rush mats  for  covering  beds  or  wigwams  may  be
considered as a variant of  the  basket-weaving  process,  as  likewise  the
delicate porcupine quill appliqu work of the  northern  plains  and  upper-
Mississippi tribes.

   Silver jewelry is probably the best known form  of Native  American  art.
It is not an ancient  art.  Southwest  Native  Americans  began  working  in
silver around 1850. Jewelry was the way many Native Americans  showed  their
wealth. Coins were used for silver in the early days. Navajo silverwork  can
be made many  ways. One way is to carve a stone with a knife  and  pour  the
silver into the shape. This is called sandcasting. Another  way  is  to  cut
the shape out of silver and use a stamp to make a design. Stamps  were  made
from any bit of scrap iron, including spikes, old chisels and broken  files.

   Turquoise is used in jewelry. This didn't start happening  until  1880's.
Turquoise is found in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.The color  of
turquoise is from a pale  chalky blue -almost white- to a very deep green.
   The making of pottery belonged to the women and was practiced  in  nearly
all tribes, excepting those in the plains and interior basin, and  the  cold
north. The Eastern pottery is usually decorated with stamped patterns.  That
of the Pueblo and other south-western tribes was  smooth  and  painted  over
with symbolic designs. A few specimens of glazed ware  have  been  found  in
the same region, but it is doubtful if the process is of native origin.  The
Catawba and some other tribes produced a beautiful  black  ware  by  burning
the vessel under cover, so that the smoke permeated the pores of  the  clay.
The simple hand process by coiling was universally used.
   The useful art of skin-dressing also belonged exclusively to  the  women,
excepting along the Arctic coasts, where furs,  instead  of  denuded  skins,
were worn by the Eskimo, while the entrails of the larger sea  animals  were
also utilized for waterproof garments. The skins in most  general  use  were
those of the buffalo, elk,  and  deer,  which  were  prepared  by  scraping,
stretching, and anointing with various softening or  preservative  mixtures,
of which the liver or brains of the animal were commonly a part. The  timber
tribes generally smoked the skins,  a  process  unknown  on  the  plains.  A
limited use was made of bird skins with the feathers intact.
   The weaving art proper was also almost exclusively in the  hands  of  the
women. In the east, aside  from  basket-  and  mat-making  it  was  confined
almost entirely to the twisting of ropes or bowstrings, and  the  making  of
belts, the skin fabric taking the place of the textile.  In  the  South-West
the Pueblo tribes wove native cotton upon looms of their  own  device,  and,
since the introduction of  sheep  by  the  Franciscan  missionaries  in  the
sixteenth century, the Navaho, enlarging upon  their  Pueblo  teaching  have
developed a weaving art which has made the Navaho blanket famous  throughout
the country, the stripping, spinning, weaving, and dyeing of  the  wool  all
being their own. The  Piute  of  Nevada  and  others  of  that  region  wore
blankets woven  from  strips  of  rabbit-fur.  Some  early  writers  mention
feather-woven cloaks among the gulf tribes, but  it  is  possible  that  the
feathers were simply overlaid upon the skin garment.
   It is notable that the Indian worker, man  or  woman,  used  no  pattern,
carrying  the  design  in  the  head.   Certain   designs,   however,   were
standardized and hereditary in particular tribes and societies.
   According to Navajo beliefs, the Universe is a balanced place. Illness
and other disasters happen if the balance is upset. It is believed only
Humans can upset this balance, not animals or plants! To make the person
healthly  again a ceremony is performed. The sandpaintings, called ikaah,
used in these ceremonies are made between sunrise and sunset of the same

                            Games and Amusements

   Naturally careless of the future, the Indian gave himself up to  pleasure
when not under immediate necessity or danger, and his leisure time  at  home
was filled with  a  constant  round  of  feasting,  dancing,  story-telling,
athletic contests, and gambling games.
   The principal athletic game everywhere east of the Missouri, as  well  as
with some tribes of the Pacific coast,  was  the  ballplay  adopted  by  the
French of Canada under the name lacrosse and in Louisiana as  racquette.  In
this game the ball was caught, not with the hand, but with  a  netted  ball-
stick somewhat resembling a tennis racket.
   A special dance and secret  ceremonial  preceded  the  contest.  Next  in
tribal favour in the eastern region was the game known to the early  traders
under the corrupted Creek name of chunkee, in  which  one  player  rolled  a
stone wheel along the ground, while his competitor slid  after  it  a  stick
curved at one end like an umbrella handle with  the  design  of  having  the
spent wheel fall within the curve at the  end  of  its  course.  This  game,
which necessitated much hard running, was sometimes kept  up  for  hours.  A
somewhat similar game played with a netted wheel and a  straight  stick  was
found upon the plains, the object  being  to  dart  the  stick  through  the
certain netted holes in  the  wheel,  known  as  the  buffalo,  bull,  calf,
etc.(remember to catch the bulls eye).
   Foot races were very popular with certain tribes, as the Pueblo,  Apache.
Wichita and Crows, being frequently a part of  great  ceremonial  functions.
On  the  plains  horse-racing  furnished  exciting  amusement.  There   were
numerous gambling games, somewhat of the  dice  order,  played  with  marked
sticks, plum stones, carved bones, etc., these being in special favour  with
the women. Target shooting with bow and arrow, and  various  forms  of  dart
shooting were also popular.
   Among distinctly women's games were  football  and  shinny,  the  former,
however, being merely the bouncing of  the  ball  from  the  toes  with  the
purpose of keeping in the air as long as possible. Hand games,  in  which  a
number of players arranged themselves in two opposing lines and  alternately
endeavoured to guess the whereabouts of a small object shifted rapidly  from
hand to hand, were a favourite tipi pastime with both sexes  in  the  winter
evenings, to the accompaniment of songs fitted to the rapid movement of  the
   Story-telling and songs, usually to the accompaniment of  the  rattle  or
small hand-drum, filled in the evening. The Indian was essentially  musical,
his instruments being the drum,  rattle,  flute,  or  flageolet,  eagle-bone
whistle and other  more  crude  devices.  Each  had  its  special  religious
significance and ceremonial purposes,  particularly  the  rattle,  of  which
there were many varieties. Besides the athletic and  gambling  games,  there
were games of diversion played only on rare occasions  of  tribal  necessity
with sacred paraphernalia in keeping of sacred  guardians.  The  Indian  was
fond also of singing and had songs for every occasion  love, war,  hunting,
gaming, medicine, satire, children's songs, and lullabies.
   The children played with tops, whips, dolls, and other toys, or  imitated
their elders in shooting, riding, and "playing house".


   As war is the normal condition of savagery,  so  to  the  Indian  warlike
glory was the goal of his ambition,  the  theme  of  his  oratory,  and  the
purpose of his most elaborate ceremonial. His weapons were the  knife,  bow,
club,  lance,  and  tomahawk,  or  stone  axe,  which  last  was  very  soon
superseded by the light steel hatchet supplied  by  the  trader.  To  these,
certain tribes added defensive armour, as the  body-armour  of  rawhides  or
wooden rods in use along the northwest coast and some  other  sections,  and
the shield more particularly used by the equestrian tribes  of  the  plains.
As a rule, the lance and shield were more common in the  open  country,  and
the tomahawk in the woods. The bow was usually of some  tough  and  flexible
wood with twisted sinew cord, but was sometimes of bone or horn backed  with
sinew rapping. It is extremely doubtful if poisoned arrows were found  north
of Mexico, notwithstanding many assertions to the contrary.
   Where the clan system prevailed the general conduct of  war  matters  was
often in the keeping of special clans, and  in  some  tribes,  such  as  the
Creeks, war and peace  negotiations  and  ceremonials  belonged  to  certain
towns designated as "red" or "white". With the Iroquois  and  probably  with
other tribes, the final decision on war or peace rested with  a  council  of
the married women. On the plains the warriors of the tribes  were  organized
into military societies of differing degrees  of  rank,  from  the  boys  in
training to the old  men  who  had  passed  their  active  period.  Military
service was entirely voluntary with the individual who,  among  the  eastern
tribes, signified his acceptance in some public manner, as by  striking  the
red-painted war-post, or, on the plains, by smoking the pipe sent  round  by
the organizers of  the  expeditions.  Contrary  to  European  practice,  the
command usually rested with several leaders of  equal  rank,  who  were  not
necessarily recognized as chiefs on other occasions. The departure  and  the
return were made according  to  the  fixed  ceremonial  forms,  with  solemn
chants of defiance, victory, or grief at defeat. In some tribes  there  were
small societies of chosen warriors pledged never to turn  or  flee  from  an
enemy except by express permission of their  fellows,  but  in  general  the
Indian warrior chose not to take  large  risks,  although  brave  enough  in
desperate circumstance.
   To the savage every member of a hostile tribe was equally an  enemy,  and
he gloried as much in the death of an infant  as  in  that  of  the  warrior
father.  Victory  meant  indiscriminate  massacre,   with   most   revolting
mutilation of the dead,  followed  in  the  early  period  in  nearly  every
portion of the East and South by a cannibal feast. The  custom  of  scalping
the dead, so general in later Indian wars, has been shown  by  Frederici  to
have been confined originally to a limited area  east  of  the  Mississippi,
gradually superseding the earlier  custom  of  beheading.  In  many  western
tribes, the warrior's prowess was measured not by the number  of  his  scalp
trophies, but by the number of his coups (French term), or strokes upon  the
enemy, for which there was a regular scale according to  kind,  the  highest
honour being accorded not to one one who  secured  the  scalp,  but  to  the
warrior who struck the first blow upon the enemy, even though with  no  more
than a willow rod. The scalp dance was performed, not by the  warriors,  but
by the women, who thus rejoiced over  the  success  of  their  husbands  and
brothers. There was no distinctive "war dance".
   Captives among the eastern tribes were either  condemned  to  death  with
every horrible form of torture or ceremonially adopted into the  tribe,  the
decision usually resting with the women. If adopted, he  at  once  became  a
member of a family, usually as representative of a deceased member,  and  at
once acquired full tribal rights. In the  Huron  wars  whole  towns  of  the
defeated nation voluntarily submitted and were  adopted  into  the  Iroquois
tribes. On the plains torture was not common.  Adults  were  seldom  spared,
but children were frequently spared and either regularly adopted or  brought
up in a mild sort of slavery. Along the north-west coast, and as  far  south
as California slavery prevailed in its harshest form and was the usual  fate
of the captive.


   One of the remarkable facts in American ethnology is the great  diversity
of languages. Nearly two hundred major languages,  besides  minor  dialects,
were spoken north of Mexico, classified  in  fifty-one  distinct  linguistic
stocks, as given  below,  of  which  nearly  one-half  were  represented  in
California. Those marked with an asterisk are extinct, while several  others
are now reduced to less than  a  dozen  individuals  keeping  the  language:
Algonquian, Athapascan (Dn), Attacapan,  *Beothukan,  Caddoan,  Chimakuan,
*Chimarikan, Chimmesyan, Chinookan, Chitimachan,  *Chumashan,  *Coahuiltecan
(Pakaw), Copehan (Wintun), Costanoan,  Eskimauan,  *Esselenian,  Iroquoian,
Kalapooian, *Karankawan, Keresan, Kiowan,  Kitunahan,  Kaluschan  (Tlingit),
Kulanapan  (Pomo),  *Kusan,   Mariposan   (Yokuts),   Moquelumnan   (Miwok),
Muskogean,  Pujunan  (Maidu),   Quoratean   (Karok),   *Salinan,   Salishan,
Shahaptian, Shoshonean, Siouan, Skittagetan  (Haida),  Takilman,  *Timucuan,
*Tonikan,  Tonkawan,  Uchean,  *Waiilatpuan  (Cayuse),  Wakashan   (Nootka),
Washoan, Weitspekan (Yurok),  Wishoskan,  Yakonan,  *Yanan  (Nosi),  Yukian,
Yuman, Zuian.
   The number of languages and well-marked dialects may  well  have  reached
one thousand, constituting some 150 separate linguistic stocks,  each  stock
as distinct from all the others as the Aryan  languages  are  distinct  from
the Turanian or the Bantu. Of these stocks, approximately  seventy  were  in
the northern, and eighty in the southern continent. They were all in  nearly
the same primitive stage of development, characterized by  minute  exactness
of description with almost entire absence of broad classification. Thus  the
Cherokee, living in a country abounding in wild  fruits,  had  no  word  for
grape, but had instead a distinct descriptive term for  each  of  the  three
varieties with which he was acquainted.  In  the  same  way,  he  could  not
simply say "I  am  here",  but  must  qualify  the  condition  as  standing,
sitting, etc.
   The earliest attempt at a classification of the Indian languages  of  the
United States and British America was made by Albert Gallatin in  1836.  The
beginning of systematic investigation dates from the  establishment  of  the
Bureau of American Ethnology under  Major  J.W.  Powell  in  1879.  For  the
languages of Mexico and Central America, the basis  is  the  "Geografa"  of
Orozco y Berra, of 1864, supplemented by the later work of Brinton,  in  his
"American Race" (1891), and corrected and brought up to the  latest  results
in the linguistic map by Thomas  and  Swanton  now  in  preparation  by  the
Bureau of Ethnology. For South America, we have  the  "Catlogo"  of  Hervas
(1784), which covers also  the  whole  field  of  languages  throughout  the
world; Brinton's work just noted, containing the summary of all known up  to
that time, and Chamberlain's comprehensive summary, published in 1907.
   To facilitate intertribal communication, we frequently find the languages
of the more important tribes utilized by smaller tribes throughout the  same
region, as Comanche in the southern plains and Navajo (Apache) in the South-
West. From the same necessity have developed certain notable trade  jargons,
based upon some dominant language, with  incorporations  from  many  others,
including European, all smoothed down and assimilated to a common  standard.
Chief among these  were  the  "Mobilian"  of  the  Gulf  states  based  upon
Choctaw; the "Chinook jargon" of the Columbia and  adjacent  territories  of
the Pacific coast, a remarkable conglomerate based upon the extinct  Chinook
language; and the lingoa geral of Brazil and the Paran region,  based  upon
Tup-Guaran. To these must be  added  the  noted  "sign  language"  of  the
plains,  a  gesture  code,  which  answered  every   purpose   of   ordinary
intertribal intercourse from Canada to the Rio Grande.

                           Religion and Mythology

   The Indian was an animist, to whom every animal,  plant,  and  object  in
nature contained a spirit to be propitiated or feared. Some of  these,  such
as  the  sun,  the  buffalo,  and  the  peyote  plant,  the  eagle  and  the
rattlesnake, were more powerful or more frequently helpful than others,  but
there was no overruling "Great Spirit" as so frequently represented.
   Certain numbers, particularly four and seven, were held  sacred.  Colours
were symbolic and had abiding  place,  and  sometimes  sex.  Thus  with  the
Cherokee the red spirits of power and victory live in the Sun Land,  or  the
East, while the black spirits of death dwell in the  Twilight  Land  of  the
West. Certain  tribes  had  palladiums  around  which  centered  their  most
elaborate ritual. Each man had also  his  secret  personal  "medicine".  The
priest was likewise the doctor,  and  medicine  and  religious  ritual  were
closely interwoven. Secret societies were in every  tribe,  claiming  powers
of prophecy, hypnotism, and clairvoyance. Dreams were in great  repute,  and
implicitly trusted and obeyed,  while  witches,  fairies,  and  supernatural
monsters were as common as in medieval Europe. Human sacrifices,  either  of
infants or adults, were found among the Timucua of Florida, the  Natchez  of
Mississippi, the Pawnee of the plains, and some  tribes  of  California  and
the north-west coast, the  sacrifice  in  the  last-mentioned  region  being
frequently followed by a cannibal feast. From time to time,  as  among  more
civilized nations, prophets arose to purify the old religion or to preach  a
new ritual. Each tribe had its genesis, tradition, and mythical  hero,  with
a whole body of mythologic belief  and  folklore,  and  one  or  more  great
tribal ceremonials. Among the latter  may  be  noted  the  Green-Corn  Dance
thanksgiving festival of the eastern and southern tribes, the  Sun-Dance  of
the plains, the celebrated snake dance of the Hopi  and the Salmon Dance  of
the Columbia tribes.
   The method of disposing of the dead varied according to the tribe and the
environment, inhumation being probably the most widespread. The  Hurons  and
the Iroquois allowed the bodies to decay upon  scaffolds,  after  which  the
bones were gathered up and  deposited  with  much  ceremony  in  the  common
tribal sepulchre. The Nanticoke and  Choctaw  scraped  the  flesh  from  the
bones, which were then wrapped in a bundle, and kept in  a  box  within  the
dwelling. Tree, scaffold, and cave burial were common on the plains  and  in
the mountains, while cremation was the rule in the arid  regions  father  to
the west and south-west. Northward from the Columbia the body was  deposited
in a canoe raised upon posts, while cave burial reappeared among  the  Aleut
of Alaska, and earth burial among the Eskimo. The dread  of  mentioning  the
name of the dead  was  as  universal  as  destroying  the  property  of  the
deceased, even to the killing of his horse  or  dog,  while  the  custom  of
placing food near the grave for the spirit during the journey to  the  other
world was almost as common, Laceration of  the  body,  cutting  off  of  the
hair, general neglect of the person, and  ceremonial  wailing,  morning  and
evening, sometimes for weeks, were also parts of their funeral customs.
      Beyond the directly inherited traditional Native American religions, a
wide body of modified sects abounds.The  Native  American  Church  claims  a
membership of 250,000, which would constitute  the  largest  of  the  Native
America religious organizations. Though the church  traces  the  sacramental
use ofthe peyote cactus back ten thousand years, the Native American  hurch
was only founded in 1918. Well into the reservation era,  this  organization
was achieved with the help of a Smithsonian  Institute  anthropologist.  The
church incorporates generic Native American religious  rites,  Christianity,
and the use of the peyote plant. The modern peyote ritual  is  comprised  of
four parts: praying, singing, eating peyote, and quietly contemplating.
      The Native American Church, or Peyote Church illustrates  a  trend  of
modifying and manipulating traditional  Native  American  spirituality.  The
Native American Church incorporates Christianity, as  well  as  moving  away
from tribal specific religion. Christianity has routinely penetrated  Native
American spirituality in the last century. And in the last few decades,  New
Age spirituality has continued the trend.


        All of the American Native cultures had in common a deep  spiritual
   relationship with the land and the life forms it supported. According  to
   First Nations spiritual beliefs, human beings are participants in a world
   of interrelated spiritual forms. First Nations maintain great respect for
   all living things. With the arrival of European newcomers, this  delicate
   balance of life forms was disrupted. In  the  18th  and  19th  centuries,
   contact with Europeans began to change traditional ways of life forever.

                   Native americans     and the newcomers

      The formulation of public policy toward the Indians was of concern  to
the major European colonizing powers.


      The Spanish tried assiduously  to  Christianize  the  natives  and  to
remake their living patterns. Orders were  issued  to  congregate  scattered
Indian villages in orderly, well-placed centers,  assuring  the  Indians  at
the same time that by moving to such  centers  they  would  not  lose  their
outlying lands. This was the first attempt to  create  Indian  reservations.
The promise failed to protect Indian land, according to the Franciscan  monk
and historian of Mexico, Juan  Torquemada,  who  reported  about  1599  that
there was hardly "a palm of land" that the Spaniards  had  not  taken.  Many
Indians who did not join the congregations for  fear  of  losing  what  they
owned fled to mountain places and lost their lands anyway.
      The Russians never seriously undertook colonization in the New  World.
When Peter I the Great sent Vitus Jonassen  Bering  into  the  northern  sea
that bears his name, interest was  in  scientific  discovery,  not  overseas
territory. Later, when the  problem  of  protecting  and  perhaps  expanding
Russian occupation was placed before Catherine II the  Great,  she  declared
(1769): It is for traders to traffic  where  they  please.  I  will  furnish
neither men, nor ships, nor money, and I  renounce  forever  all  lands  and
possessions in the East Indies and in America.
      The Swedish and Dutch attempts at  colonization  were  so  brief  that
neither left a strong imprint on New World practices. The Dutch  government,
however, was probably the first (1645) of the European powers to enter  into
a  formal  treaty  with  an  Indian  tribe,  the  Mohawk.   Thus   began   a
relationship, inherited by the British, that contributed to  the  ascendancy
of the English over the French in North America.
      France handicapped its colonial venture by  transporting  to  the  New
World a modified feudal system of land  tenure  that  discouraged  permanent
settlement. Throughout the period of  French  occupation,  emphasis  was  on
trade rather than on land  acquisition  and  development,  and  thus  French
administrators, in dealing with the various tribes, tried primarily only  to
establish trade relations with them. The French  instituted  the  custom  of
inviting the headmen of all tribes with which they carried on trade to  come
once a year to Montreal, where the governor of Canada gave out presents  and
talked of friendship. The governor of  Louisiana  met  southern  Indians  at
      The English, reluctantly, found themselves competing on the same basis
with annual gifts. Still later, United States peace  commissioners  were  to
offer permanent annuities in exchange for  tribal  concessions  of  land  or
other interests. In contrast to  the  French,  the  English  were  primarily
interested in land and  permanent  settlements;  beginning  quite  early  in
their occupation, they felt an obligation to bargain with  the  Indians  and
to  conclude  formal  agreements  with  compensation  to   presumed   Indian
landowners. The Plymouth settlers, coming without  royal  sanction,  thought
it incumbent upon them to make terms with the Massachuset Indians.  Cecilius
Calvert (the 2nd Baron Baltimore) and William Penn, while  possessing  royal
grants in Maryland and Pennsylvania respectively,  nevertheless  took  pains
to purchase occupancy rights from the Indians. It  became  the  practice  of
most  of  the  colonies  to   prohibit   indiscriminate   and   unauthorized
appropriation of Indian land.  The  usual  requirement  was  that  purchases
could be consummated only by agreement with the tribal headman, followed  by
approval of the governor or other official of the colony. At an  early  date
also, specific areas were set aside for exclusive Indian  use.  Virginia  in
1656 and commissioners for the  United  Colonies  of  New  England  in  1658
agreed to the creation of such  reserved  areas.  Plymouth  Colony  in  1685
designated  for  individual  Indians  separate  tracts  that  could  not  be
alienated without their consent.
      In  spite  of  these  official  efforts  to  protect   Indian   lands,
unauthorized entry and use caused constant  friction  through  the  colonial
period. Rivalry with the French, who lost no opportunity  to  point  out  to
the Indians how their lands were being encroached upon by the  English;  the
activity of land  speculators,  who  succeeded  in  obtaining  large  grants
beyond the settled frontiers; and, finally, the  startling  success  of  the
Ottawa chief Pontiac in capturing English strongholds in the  old  Northwest
(the Great Lakes region)  as  a  protest  against  this  westward  movement,
together prompted King  George  III's  ministers  to  issue  a  proclamation
(1763) that formalized the concept of Indian land titles for the first  time
in the history of European colonization  in  the  New  World.  The  document
prohibited issuance of patents to any lands claimed by a  tribe  unless  the
Indian title  had  first  been  extinguished  by  purchase  or  treaty.  The
proclamation reserved  for  the  use  of  the  tribes  "all  the  Lands  and
Territories lying to the Westward of the sources of the  Rivers  which  fall
into the Sea from the West and Northwest. Land  west  of  the  Appalachians
might not be purchased or entered upon by  private  persons,  but  purchases
might be made in the name of the king or one of the colonies  at  a  council
meeting of the Indians.
      This policy continued up to the termination of British  rule  and  was
adopted by the United States. The Appalachian  barrier  was  soon  passed  -
thousands of settlers crossed the mountains during the  American  Revolution
- but both the  Articles  of  Confederation  and  the  federal  Constitution
reserved either to the president or to Congress  sole  authority  in  Indian
affairs, including authority to extinguish  Indian  title  by  treaty.  When
French dominion in Canada capitulated in 1760, the  English  announced  that
"the Savages or Indian Allies  of  his  most  Christian  Majesty,  shall  be
maintained in the lands they inhabit,  if  they  choose  to  remain  there."
Thereafter, the proclamation of 1763 applied in Canada and was  embodied  in
the practices of the dominion government. (The British North America Act  of
1867, which created modern Canada, provided that the  parliament  of  Canada
should have exclusive legislative authority with respect  to  "Indians,  and
lands reserved for the Indians." Thus, both North  American  countries  made
control over Indian matters a national concern.)

   United States policy: the late 18th and 19th centuries

      The first  full  declaration  of  U.S.  policy  was  embodied  in  the
   Northwest Ordinance  (1787):  The  utmost  good  faith  shall  always  be
   observed toward the Indians, their lands  and  property  shall  never  be
   taken from them without their consent; and in their property, rights, and
   liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed,  unless  in  just  and
   lawful wars authorized by congress;  but  laws  founded  in  justice  and
   humanity shall from time to time be made,  for  preventing  wrongs  being
   done to them, and for preserving  peace  and  friendship  with  them.This
   doctrine was embodied in the act of August 7, 1789, as one of  the  first
   declarations of  the  U.S.  Congress  under  the  Constitution.The  final
   shaping of the legal and political rights of the Indian tribes  is  found
   in the opinions of Chief Justice John Marshall, notably  in  decision  in
   the case of Worcester v. Georgia: The  Indian  nations  had  always  been
   considered as distinct,  independent,  political  communities,  retaining
   their original natural rights, as the undisputed possessors of the  land,
   from time immemorial. . . . The settled doctrine of the  law  of  nations
   is, that a weaker power does not surrender its independence -  its  right
   to self-government - by associating  with  a  stronger,  and  taking  its
   protection. A weak state, in order to provide for its safety,  may  place
   itself under the protection  of  one  more  powerful,  without  stripping
   itself of the right of government, and ceasing to be  a  state.The  first
   major departure from the policy of respecting Indian rights came with the
   Indian Removal Act of 1830. For the first time the United States resorted
   to coercion, particularly in the  cases  of  the  Cherokee  and  Seminole
   tribes, as a means of securing compliance. The Removal  Act  was  not  in
   itself coercive, since it authorized the president only to negotiate with
   tribes east of the Mississippi on a basis of payment for their lands;  it
   called for improvements in the east and a  grant  of  land  west  of  the
   river, to which perpetual title would be attached. In  carrying  out  the
   law, however, resistance was met  with  military  force.  In  the  decade
   following, almost the entire population of perhaps  100,000  Indians  was
   moved westward. The episode moved Alexis  de  Tocqueville  to  remark  in
   1831: The Europeans continued to surround [the Indians]  on  every  side,
   and to confine them within narrower limits . . .  and  the  Indians  have
   been ruined by a competition which they had not the means of  sustaining.
   They were isolated in their own country, and their race only  constituted
   a little colony of troublesome strangers in the midst of a  numerous  and
   dominant people.

      The territory west of the Mississippi,  it  turned  out,  was  not  so
   remote as had been supposed. The discovery of gold in  California  (1848)
   started a new sequence of treaties, designed to extinguish  Indian  title
   to lands lying in the path of the overland routes  to  the  Pacific.  The
   sudden surge of thousands of wagon trains through the last of the  Indian
   country and the consequent slaughtering of prairie and mountain game that
   provided subsistence for the Indians brought on the most  serious  Indian
   wars the country had experienced. For three  decades,  beginning  in  the
   1850s, raids and sporadic pitched fighting took place  up  and  down  the
   western Plains, highlighted by such incidents as the Custer  massacre  by
   Sioux and Cheyenne Indians (1876), the Nez Perce chief  Joseph's  running
   battle in 1877 against superior U.S.  army  forces,  and  the  Chiricahua
   Geronimo's long duel with authorities in the Southwest, resulting in  his
   capture and imprisonment in 1886. Toward the close of  that  period,  the
   Ghost Dance religion, arising out of the dream  revelations  of  a  young
   Paiute Indian, Wovoka, promised the Indians a return to the old life  and
   reunion with their departed kinsmen. The songs  and  ceremonies  born  of
   this revelation swept across the northern Plains. The movement came to an
   abrupt end December 29,  1890,  at  Wounded  Knee  Creek,  South  Dakota.
   Believing that the Ghost Dance was disturbing an uneasy peace, government
   agents moved to arrest ringleaders. Sitting Bull was killed (December 15)
   while being taken into custody, and two weeks later units of the U.S. 7th
   Cavalry at Wounded Knee massacred more than 200 men, women, and  children
   who had already agreed to return to their homes. A further major shift of
   policy had occurred  in  1871  after  congressional  discussions  lasting
   several years. U.S. presidents,  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the
   Senate, had continued to make treaties with the Indian tribes and  commit
   the United States  to  the  payment  of  sums  of  money.  The  House  of
   Representatives protested, since a number of congressmen had come to  the
   view that treaties with Indian tribes were an absurdity (a  view  earlier
   held by Andrew Jackson). The Senate yielded, and  the  act  of  March  3,
   1871, declared that "hereafter  no  Indian  nation  or  tribe"  would  be
   recognized "as an independent power  with  whom  the  United  States  may
   contract by treaty." Indian affairs were brought  under  the  legislative
   control of the  Congress  to  an  extent  that  had  not  been  attempted
   previously. Tribal authority with respect to criminal offenses  committed
   by members within the tribe was reduced to the  extent  that  murder  and
   other major crimes were placed under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  federal
   courts. The most radical undertaking of the new  legislative  policy  was
   the Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887. By that time the  Indian  tribes
   had been moved out of the mainstreams of  traffic  and  were  settled  on
   lands that they had chosen out of the larger areas that they had formerly
   occupied. Their choice in  most  cases  had  been  confirmed  by  treaty,
   agreement, act of Congress, or executive  order  of  the  president.  The
   tribes  that  lived  by  hunting  over  wide  areas   found   reservation
   confinement a threat to their existence. Generally, they had insisted  on
   annuity payments or rations, or both, and the  U.S.  peace  commissioners
   had been willing to offer such a  price  in  return  for  important  land
   cessions. In time the view came to be held that reservation life fostered
   indolence and perpetuated customs and attitudes that  held  Indians  back
   from assimilation. The strategy offered by proponents of this theory  was
   the Allotment Act authorizing the president to  divide  the  reservations
   into individual parcels and to give every Indian, whether he wanted it or
   not, a particular piece of the tribally owned land. In order not to  make
   the transition too abrupt, the land would be held in trust for  a  period
   of 25 years, after which ownership would  devolve  upon  the  individual.
   With it would go all the rights and duties  of  citizenship.  Reservation
   land remaining after all living members of the tribes had  been  provided
   with allotments was declared surplus, and the president was authorized to
   open it for entry by non-Indian homesteaders, the Indians being paid  the
   homestead price. A total of 118 reservations was allotted in this manner,
   but the result was not what had been anticipated. Through the  alienation
   of surplus lands (making  no  allowance  for  children  yet  unborn)  and
   through patenting of individual holdings,  the  Indians  lost  86,000,000
   acres (34,800,000 hectares), or 62 percent, of  a  total  of  138,000,000
   acres in Indian ownership prior to 1887. A generation of landless Indians
   resulted, with no vocational training to relieve them of dependence  upon
   land. The strategy also failed in that ownership of land did  not  effect
   an automatic acculturation  in  those  Indians  who  received  individual
   parcels. Through scattering of individuals and families, moreover, social
   cohesiveness tended to break down. The result was a weakening  of  native
   institutions and cultural practices with nothing offered in substitution.
   What was intended as transition proved to be a blind  alley.  The  Indian
   population had been dwindling through  the  decades  after  the  mid-19th
   century. The California Indians alone, it  was  estimated,  dropped  from
   100,000 in 1853 to not more than 30,000  in  1864  and  19,000  in  1906.
   Cholera in the central Plains in 1849 struck the Pawnee. As late as 1870-
   71 an epidemic of smallpox brought disaster to the Blackfeet, Assiniboin,
   and Cree. These events gave currency to the concept of the Indian as "the
   vanishing American." The decision of 1871 to  discontinue  treaty  making
   and the passage of the Allotment Act of 1887 were  both  founded  in  the
   belief that the Indians would not survive, and  hence  it  did  not  much
   matter whether their views were  sought  in  advance  of  legislation  or
   whether lands were  provided  for  coming  generations.  When  it  became
   obvious after about 1920 that the Indians,  whose  numbers  had  remained
   static for several years, were surely increasing, the United  States  was
   without a policy for advancing the interests of a living people.

   20th-century reforms of U.S. policy

      A survey in 1926 brought into clear focus the failings of the previous
40 years. The investigators found most  Indians  "extremely  poor,"  in  bad
health, without education, and lacking adjustment to  the  dominant  culture
around them. Under the impetus of these findings  and  other  pressures  for
reform, Congress adopted  the  Indian  Reorganization  Act  of  1934,  which
contemplated an orderly  decrease  of  federal  control  and  a  concomitant
increase of Indian self-government and  responsibility.  The  essentials  of
the new law were as follows: (1) allotment of tribal  lands  was  prohibited
in the future, but tribes might assign use rights to  individuals;  (2)  so-
called surplus lands not pre-empted by homesteaders  might  be  returned  to
the tribes; (3) tribes might adopt written  constitutions  and  charters  of
incorporation embodying their continuing inherent powers to manage  internal
affairs; and (4) funds were authorized for the establishment of a  revolving
credit program, for land purchases,  for  educational  assistance,  and  for
aiding the tribes in forming  organizations.  Moreover,  the  act  could  be
rejected on any reservation by referendum.
      The response to the 1934 act was indicative of the Indians' ability to
rise above adversity. About 160 tribes, bands, and Alaska  villages  adopted
written constitutions, some of which  combined  traditional  practices  with
modern parliamentary methods.  The  revolving  credit  fund  helped  Indians
build up their herds and improve their  economic  position  in  other  ways.
Borrowers from the fund were tribal corporations, credit  associations,  and
cooperatives that loaned to individual Indians and to group  enterprises  on
a multimillion-dollar scale.  Educational  and  health  services  were  also
improved through federal aid.
      Originally, the United  States  exercised  no  guardianship  over  the
person of the Indian; after 1871, when internal tribal  matters  became  the
subject of national  legislation,  the  number  and  variety  of  regulatory
measures  multiplied  rapidly.  In   the   same   year   that   the   Indian
Reorganization Act was passed, Congress significantly repealed  12  statutes
that had made it  possible  to  hold  Indians  virtual  prisoners  on  their
reservations. Indians were then able to come and go as freely as  all  other
persons. The Snyder Act of 1924, extending citizenship to all  Indians  born
in the United States,  opened  the  door  to  full  participation.  But  few
Indians took advantage of the law, and because of their lack of  interest  a
number of states  excluded  Indians  from  the  franchise.  Organization  of
tribal governments following the  Reorganization  Act,  however,  seemed  to
awaken an interest in civic  affairs  beyond  tribal  boundaries,  and  when
Indians asked for the franchise, they  were  generally  able  to  secure  it
eventually, though not until 1948 in Arizona and New Mexico,  after  lengthy
court action.
      The federal courts consistently upheld the treaties made  with  Indian
tribes and also held that property may not be taken  from  Indians,  whether
or not a treaty exists, "except in fair trade." The  latter  contention  was
offered by the Hualapai Indians against the Santa Fe  Railway.  The  company
was required by the courts in 1944 to  relinquish  about  500,000  acres  it
thought had been granted to it by the  U.S.  The  lands  had  been  occupied
since prehistory by the Indians, without benefit of treaty recognition,  and
the Supreme Court held that,  if  the  occupancy  could  be  proved,  as  it
subsequently was, the Indians were entitled to have  their  lands  restored.
In 1950 the Ute Indians were awarded a judgment against  the  United  States
of $31,750,000 for lands taken  without  adequate  compensation.  A  special
Indian Claims Commission, created by act of Congress  on  August  13,  1946,
received many petitions for  land  claims  against  the  United  States  and
awarded, for example, about $14,789,000 to the Cherokee nation,  $10,242,000
to the Crow tribe, $3,650,000 to the Snake-Paiute of Oregon,  $3,000,000  to
the Nez Perce, and $12,300,000 to the Seminole. The period  from  the  early
1950s to the 1970s was one of increasing federal attempts to  establish  new
policies regarding the Indians, and it was also a period  in  which  Indians
themselves became increasingly vocal in their quest for an equal measure  of
human rights and the correction of past wrongs. The  first  major  shift  in
policy came in 1954, when the Department of the Interior  began  terminating
federal control over those Indians and  reservations  deemed  able  to  look
after their own affairs. From 1954 to 1960, support to 61 tribes  and  other
Indian groups was ended by the  withdrawal  of  federal  services  or  trust
supervision.  The   results,   however,   were   unhappy.   Some   extremely
impoverished Indian groups lost many acres of land to  private  exploitation
of their land and water resources. Indians in certain states became  subject
exclusively to state  laws  that  were  less  liberal  or  sympathetic  than
federal laws. Finally the protests of Indians, anthropologists,  and  others
became so insistent that the program was decelerated  in  1960.  In  1961  a
trained anthropologist was sworn in as commissioner of Indian  Affairs,  the
first anthropologist ever  to  hold  that  position.  Federal  aid  expanded
greatly, and in  the  ensuing  decade  Indians  were  brought  into  various
federal  programs  for  equal  economic  opportunity.  Indian   unemployment
remained severe, however.
      American Indians came more and more into public attention in the  late
20th century as they sought (along  with  other  minorities)  to  achieve  a
better life. Following the example set by black  civil-rights  activists  of
the 1960s,  Indian  groups  drew  attention  to  their  cause  through  mass
demonstrations and protests. Perhaps the most publicized  of  these  actions
were the 19-month seizure (1970-71) of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco  Bay
(California) by members of the militant American Indian Movement  (AIM)  and
the February 1973 occupation of a settlement at the Oglala Sioux Pine  Ridge
(South Dakota) reservation; the latter incident was the second  conflict  to
occur at Wounded Knee. Representing an attempt to gain  a  more  traditional
political power base was the establishment in 1971 of  the  National  Tribal
Chairman's Association, which eventually  grew  to  include  more  than  100
      Indian leaders also  expanded  their  sphere  of  influence  into  the
courts;  fishing,  mineral,  forest,  casino  gambling,  and  other   rights
involving tribal lands became the subject  of  litigation  by  the  Puyallup
(Washington state), the Northern Cheyenne (Montana), and the  Penobscot  and
the Passamaquoddy  (Maine),  among  others.  Although  control  of  economic
resources was the focus of most such cases, some  groups  sought  to  regain
sovereignty over ancient tribal lands of primarily ceremonial and  religious

                   facts  about  American  Indians  today

           Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior

                              Who is an Indian?

   No single federal or tribal criterion establishes a person's identity  as
an Indian. Tribal membership is determined by  the  enrollment  criteria  of
the tribe from which Indian blood may be derived, and this varies with  each
tribe. Generally, if linkage to an identified tribal member is far  removed,
one would not qualify for membership.
   To be eligible for Bureau of Indian Affairs services, an Indian must  (1)
be a member of a tribe recognized by the federal government, (2) be of  one-
half or more Indian blood of tribes indigenous to the United States; or  (3)
must, for some purposes, be  of  one-fourth  or  more  Indian  ancestry.  By
legislative and administrative decision, the Aleuts, Eskimos and Indians  of
Alaska are eligible for  BIA  services.  Most  of  the  BIA's  services  and
programs,  however,  are  limited  to  Indians  living  on  or  near  Indian
   The Bureau of the Census counts anyone an Indian who declares himself  or
herself to be an Indian. In  1990  the  Census  figures  showed  there  were
1,959,234 American Indians and Alaska Natives living in  the  United  States
(1,878,285 American Indians, 57,152 Eskimos, and 23,797 Aleuts). This  is  a
37.9 percent increase  over  the  1980  recorded  total  of  1,420,000.  The
increase  is  attributed  to  improved  census   taking   and   more   self-
identification during the 1990 count.

         Why are Indians sometimes referred to as Native Americans?

   The term, Native American, came into usage in the 1960s to  denote  the
groups served by the Bureau of Indian Affairs: American Indians  and  Alaska
Natives (Indians, Eskimos  and  Aleuts  of  Alaska).  Later  the  term  also
included Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in  some  federal  programs.
It, therefore, came into disfavor among some Indian  groups.  The  preferred
term  is  American  Indian.  The  Eskimos  and  Aleuts  in  Alaska  are  two
culturally distinct groups and are sensitive about being included under  the
Indian designation. They prefer Alaska Native.

     How does one trace Indian ancestry and become a member of a tribe?

   The first step in tracing Indian ancestry is basic genealogical  research
if one does not already have specific family information and documents  that
identify tribal ties. Some information to obtain  is:  names  of  ancestors;
dates of birth; marriages and death; places where they lived;  brothers  and
sisters, if any; and, most importantly, tribal  affiliations.  Among  family
documents to check are Bibles, wills, and other such papers. The  next  step
is to determine whether one's ancestors are on an official  tribal  roll  or
census by contacting the tribe.

                    What is a federally recognized tribe?

   There are more than 550 federally recognized tribes in the United States,
including 223 village groups in Alaska. Federally recognized  means  these
tribes  and  groups  have  a  special,  legal  relationship  with  the  U.S.
government. This relationship is referred to as  a  government-to-government
   A number of Indian tribes and groups in the U.S. do not have a  federally
recognized status, although some are state-recognized. This means they  have
no relations with the BIA or the programs it operates. A special program  of
the BIA, however,  works  with  those  groups  seeking  federal  recognition
status. Of the 150 petitions for federal recognition  received  by  the  BIA
since 1978, 12 have received acknowledgment through  the  BIA  process,  two
groups had their status clarified by the Department of the Interior  through
other means, and seven were restored or recognized by Congress.


      In the U.S. there are only two kinds of reserved lands that are  well-
known: military and Indian. An Indian reservation is  land  reserved  for  a
tribe when it  relinquished  its  other  land  areas  to  the  U.S.  through
treaties.  More  recently,  Congressional  acts,   Executive   Orders,   and
administrative acts have created reservations. Today some reservations  have
non-Indian residents and land owners.
      There are approximately 275 Indian land areas in the U.S. administered
as Indian  reservations  (reservations,  pueblos,  rancherias,  communities,
etc.). The largest is the Navajo Reservation of some  16  million  acres  of
land in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Many of the smaller reservations  are
less than 1,000 acres with  the  smallest  less  than  100  acres.  On  each
reservation, the local governing authority is the tribal government.
      Approximately 56.2 million acres of land are  held  in  trust  by  the
United States for various Indian tribes and individuals.  Much  of  this  is
reservation land; however, not  all  reservation  land  is  trust  land.  On
behalf of the United  States,  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  serves  as
trustee for such lands with many routine trustee responsibilities  delegated
to BIA officials.
      The states in which reservations are located have limited powers  over
them, and only as provided by federal law. On some reservations, however,  a
high percentage of the land is owned and occupied by non-Indians.  Some  140
reservations have entirely tribally owned land.


      Indians pay the same  taxes  as  other  citizens  with  the  following
exceptions: federal income taxes are not levied on income from  trust  lands
held for them by the United States; state  income  taxes  are  not  paid  on
income earned on an Indian reservation; state sales taxes are  not  paid  by
Indians on transactions made on an Indian reservation;  and  local  property
taxes are not paid on reservation or trust land.


      As U.S. citizens, Indians are generally subject to federal, state, and
local laws. On Indian reservations, however, only federal  and  tribal  laws
apply to members of the tribe unless the  Congress  provides  otherwise.  In
federal law, the Assimilative  Crimes  Act  makes  any  violation  of  state
criminal law a federal offense on reservations.  Most  tribes  now  maintain
tribal court systems and facilities to detain tribal  members  convicted  of
certain offenses within the boundaries of the reservation.

                           Language and Population

                          American Indian Languages

  Spoken at Home by American Indian Persons 5 Years and Over in Households:

|Languages                                      |Number of  |
|                                               |households |
|All American Indian languages                  |281,990    |
|Algonquian languages                           |12,887     |
|Athapascan Eyak languages                      |157,694    |
|Caddoan languages                              |354        |
|Central and South American Indian languages    |431        |
|Haida                                          |110        |
|Hokan languages                                |2,430      |
|Iroquoian languages                            |12,046     |
|Keres                                          |8,346      |
|Muskogean languages                            |13,772     |
|Penutian languages                             |8,190      |
|Siouan languages                               |19,693     |
|Tanoan languages                               |8,255      |
|Tlingit                                        |1,088      |
|Tonkawa                                        |3          |
|Uto-Aztecan languages                          |23,493     |
|Wakashan and Salish languages                  |1,105      |
|Yuchi                                          |65         |
|Unspecified American Indian languages          |12,038     |

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. The American Indian languages  shown  above  are
the major languages.

      Many American places have been named after  Indian  words.   In  fact,
about half of the states got their names from Indian words. Here are some:

|Alabama    |may come from Choctaw meaning thicket-clearers |
|           |or vegetation-gatherers.                       |
|Alaska     |corruption of Aleut word meaning great land or |
|           |that which the sea breaks against.             |
|Arizona    |from the Indian Arizonac, meaning little      |
|           |spring or young spring.                       |
|Arkansas   |from the Quapaw Indians                          |
|Chicago,   |Algonquian for "garlic field."                   |
|Ill        |                                                 |
|Chesapeake |Algonquian name of a village                     |
|(bay)      |                                                 |
|Connecticut|from an Indian word (Quinnehtukqut) meaning      |
|           |beside the long tidal river.                   |
|Dakota     |from the Sioux tribe, meaning allies.          |
|Illinois   |Algonquin for tribe of superior men.           |
|Indiana    |meaning land of Indians.                       |
|Iowa       |probably from an Indian word meaning this is the|
|           |place or the Beautiful Land.                  |
|Kansas     |from a Sioux word meaning people of the south   |
|           |wind.                                           |
|Kentucky   |from an Iroquoian word Ken-tah-ten meaning     |
|           |land of tomorrow.                              |
|Massachuset|from Massachusett tribe of Native Americans,     |
|ts         |meaning at or about the great hill.            |
|Michigan   |from Indian word Michigana meaning great or   |
|           |large lake.                                     |
|Minnesota  |from a Dakota Indian word meaning sky-tinted    |
|           |water.                                          |
|Mississippi|from an Indian word meaning Father of Waters.  |
|Malibu     |believed to come from the Chumash Indians.       |
|Manhattan  |Algonquian, believed to mean "isolated thing in  |
|           |water."                                          |
|Milwaukee  |Algonquian, believed to mean "a good spot or     |
|           |place."                                          |
|Missouri   |named after the Missouri Indian tribe. Missouri|
|           |means town of the large canoes.                |
|Narraganset|named after the Indian tribe                     |
|t          |                                                 |
|Nebraska   |from an Oto Indian word meaning flat water.    |
|Niagara    |named after an Iroquoian town, "Ongiaahra."      |
|Ohio       |from an Iroquoian word meaning great river.    |
|Oklahoma   |from two Choctaw Indian words meaning red       |
|           |people.                                         |
|Pensacola  |Choctaw for "hair" and "people."                 |
|(Florida)  |                                                 |
|Roanoke    |Algonquian for "shell money" (Indian tribes often|
|(Virginia) |used shells that were made into beads called     |
|           |wampum, as money).                               |
|Saratoga   |believed to be Mohawk for "springs (of water)    |
|(New York) |from the hillside."                              |
|Sunapee    |Pennacook for "rocky pond."                      |
|(lake in   |                                                 |
|New        |                                                 |
|Hampshire) |                                                 |
|Tahoe (the |is Washo for "big water."                        |
|lake in    |                                                 |
|California/|                                                 |
|Nevada)    |                                                 |
|Tennessee  |of Cherokee origin; the exact meaning is unknown.|
|Texas      |from an Indian word meaning friends.           |
|Utah       |is from the Ute tribe, meaning people of the    |
|           |mountains.                                      |
|Wisconsin  |French corruption of an Indian word whose meaning|
|           |is disputed.                                     |
|Wyoming    |from the Delaware Indian word, meaning mountains|
|           |and valleys alternating; the same as the Wyoming|
|           |Valley in Pennsylvania.                          |

                         American Indian Loan Words

      From their earliest  contact  with  traders  and  explorers,  American
Indians borrowed foreign words, often  to  describe  things  not  previously
encountered. The language exchange  went  both  ways.  Today,  thousands  of
place names across North America have Indian origins -  as  do  hundreds  of
everyday English words.
      Many of these "loan words" are nouns  from  the  Algonquian  languages
that were once widespread  along  the  Atlantic  coast.  English  colonists,
encountering unfamiliar plants and animalsamong them  moose,  opossum,  and
skunkborrowed Indian terms to name them. Pronunciations generally  changed,
and sometimes the  newcomers  shortened  words  they  found  difficult;  for
instance, "pocohiquara" became "hickory."
      Some U.S. English Words with Indian Origins:

           anorak           from the Greenlandic Inuit "annoraq"
           bayou            from the Choctaw "bayuk"
           chipmunk    from the Ojibwa "ajidamoon," red squirrel
           hickory          from the Virginia Algonquian "pocohiquara"
           hominy           from the Virginia Algonquian "uskatahomen"
           igloo            from the Canadian Inuit "iglu," house
           kayak            from the Alaskan Yupik "qayaq"
           moccasin    from the Virginia Algonquian
           moose            from the Eastern Abenaki "mos"
           papoose          from the Narragansett "papoos," child
           pecan            from the Illinois "pakani"
           powwow      from the Narragansett "powwaw," shaman
           quahog           from the Narragansett "poquauhock"
           squash           from the Narragansett "askutasquash"
           succotash   from the Narragansett "msickquatash," boiled corn
           tepee            from the Sioux "tipi," dwelling
           toboggan    from the Micmac "topaghan"
           tomahawk    from the Virginia Algonquian "tamahaac"
           totem            from the Ojibwa "nindoodem," my totem
           wampum      from the Massachusett "wampumpeag"
           wigwam      from the Eastern Abenaki "wik'wom" Natives.


   While the Indian population was never dense, the idea that the Indian has
held his own, or even actually increased in  number,  is  a  serious  error,
founded on the fact that most official  estimates  begin  with  the  federal
period, when the native race was already wasted by  nearly  three  centuries
of white contact and in many regions entirely extinct. An additional  source
of error is that the law recognizes anyone of even  remote  Indian  ancestry
as entitled to Indian rights, including in this category, especially in  the
former "Five Civilized Nations" of Indian Territory (now Oklahoma),  several
thousand individuals whose claims have always  been  stoutly  repudiated  by
the native tribal courts. Moreover, the original Indian  was  a  full-blood,
while his present-day representative has often so  little  aboriginal  blood
as to practically a white man or  a  negro.  Many  broken  tribes  of  today
contain not a single full-blood, and some few not even one  of  half  Indian
blood. The Cherokee Nation, officially reported to number 36,000 persons  of
pure or mixed Cherokee blood contains probably not 4000 of even fairly  pure
blood, the rest being all degrees  of  admixture  even  down  to  one-sixty-
fourth or less of Indian  blood,  besides  some  7000  claimants  officially
recognized,  but  repudiated   by   the   former   Indian   Government.   In
Massachusetts an official census of 1860 reported  a  "Yartmouth  tribe"  of
105 persons, all descended from a single Indian woman with a  negro  husband
residing there in 1797. It is obvious that the term Indian  cannot  properly
be applied to such diluted mixtures.
   The entire aboriginal population  of  Florida,  of  the  mission  period,
numbering perhaps 30,000, is long since  extinct  without  descendants,  the
Seminole being a later emigrations from the Creeks. The aborigines of  South
Carolina, counting in 1700 some fifteen tribes of  which  the  Catawba,  the
largest tribe, numbered some six thousand souls, are  represented  today  by
about a hundred mixed blood Catawba, together with some scattered  mongrels,
whose original ancestry is a matter of doubt.
   The same holds good upon the plains, The celebrated Pawnee tribe of  some
10,000 souls in 1838 is now reduced to 650; the Kansas of  1500  within  the
same period have now 200 souls, and the aborigines of  Texas,  numbering  in
1700  perhaps  some  40,000  souls  in  many  small  tribes  with   distinct
languages, is extinct except for some 900 Caddo, Wichita, and  Tonkawa.  The
last-named, estimated at 1,000 in 1805, numbered 700 in 1849, 300  in  1861,
108 in 1882, and 48 in 1908, including several  aliens.  In  California  the
aboriginal population has decreased within the same period  from  perhaps  a
quarter of a million to perhaps 15,000, and nearly the  same  proportion  of
decrease holds good along the whole Pacific  coast  into  Alaska.  Not  only
have tribes dwindled,  but  whole  linguistic  stocks  have  become  extinct
within the historic period. The only  apparent  exceptions  to  the  general
rule of decay are the Iroquois, Sioux, and Navaho, the  first  two  of  whom
have kept up their number by wholesale  adoptions,  while  the  Navaho  have
been preserved by their isolation. The causes of decrease may be  summarized
as: (1) introduced diseases and dissipation, particularly  smallpox,  sexual
disease, and whiskey; (2)  wars,  also  hardship  and  general  enfeeblement
consequent upon  frequent  removals  and  enforced  change  from  accustomed
habitat. The present Indian population  north  of  Mexico  is  approximately
400,000, or whom approximately 265,000 are within the United States  proper.

                           other  native Americans

   The Eskimo (Inuit and Yupiit) and  Aleuts  are  people  of  the  treeless
shores and tundra-covered coastal hinterlands of northernmost North  America
and Greenland and the eastern tip  of  the  Chukchi  Peninsula  of  Siberia.
Custom alone designates them Eskimo and Aleuts rather than American  Indians
like  all  other  native  Americans,  from  whom  they   are   distinguished
principally by their language.

    The Eskimo are an Asian people who are distinguishable from the American
Indians by their more Asian features, by the  relative  smallness  of  their
hands and feet, and by a few less obvious traits.
   Eskimo culture was totally  adapted  to  an  extremely  cold,  snow-  and
icebound environment in  which  vegetable  foods  were  almost  nonexistent,
trees were  scarce,  and  caribou,  seal,  walrus,  and  whale  meat,  whale
blubber, and fish were the major food sources. The Eskimo used  harpoons  to
kill seals, which they hunted either on the ice or from  skin-covered,  one-
person canoes known as kayaks. Whales were hunted using larger boats  called
umiaks. In the summer most Eskimo families hunted  caribou  and  other  land
animals with the help of bows and arrows. Dogsleds were the basic  means  of
transport on land. Eskimo clothing was  fashioned  of  caribou  furs,  which
provided protection against  the  extreme  cold.  Most  Eskimo  wintered  in
either snow-block houses called igloos or semisubterranean houses  of  stone
or sod over wooden or whalebone frameworks. In summer many Eskimo  lived  in
animal-skin tents. Their b asic social and economic  unit  was  the  nuclear
family, and their religion was animistic.
   Eskimo life changed greatly  in  the  20th  century  owing  to  increased
contacts with societies to the south. Snowmobiles  have  generally  replaced
dogs for land transport, and rifl es  have  replaced  harpoons  for  hunting
purposes.  Outboard  motors,  store-bought  clothing,  and  numerous   other
manufactured  items  have  entered  the  culture,  and  money,  unknown   in
traditional Eskimo  economy,  has  become  a  necessity.  Many  Eskimo  have
abandoned their nomadic hunting pursuits to move  into  northern  towns  and
cities or to work in mines and oil fields. Others, particularly  in  Canada,
have formed cooperatives to market  their  handicrafts,  fish  catches,  and
ventures in tourism.
   Aleut - a native of the Aleutian  Islands  and  western  portion  of  the
Alaska Peninsula of northwest North America.  Aleuts  speak  three  mutually
intelligible dialects and are closely related to  the  Eskimo  in  language,
race, and culture. The earliest people, the  Paleo-Aleuts,  arrived  in  the
Aleutian Islands from the Alaskan mainland about 2000 BC. The Aleuts  hunted
seals, sea otters, whales, sea lions, sometimes walrus, and, in some  areas,
caribou and bears. Fish, birds, and mollusks were also  taken.  One-man  and
two-man skin boats known as bidarkas,  or  kayaks,  and  large,  open,  skin
boats (Eskimo umiaks) were used.  Aleut  women  wove  fine  grass  basketry;
stone, bone, and  ivory  were  also  worked.  Ancient  Aleut  villages  were
situated on the seashore near fresh water, with a  good  landing  for  boats
and  in  a  position  safe  from  surprise  attack  from  other  Aleuts   or
neighbouring tribes. Villages were usually composed of related  families.  A
chief might govern several villages or an island, but  there  was  no  chief
over all Aleuts or even over several islands.


      A long time ago North America was very different from the  way  it  is
today.  There  were  no  highways,  cars,   or   cities.   There   were   no
schools, malls, or restaurants. But even long, long ago,  there  were  still
communities. People made their own   homes,  food,  and  clothing  from  the
plants and animals they found around them.
      Americans today owe a great deal to the First Americans. Over half  of
the states and many of the cities, rivers  and  streets  still  have  Native
Americans names. Nearly 550 Indian words are part of everyday English.  Many
foods, such as potatoes, corn, peanuts, turkey, tomatoes, cocoa, beans  were
borrowed by later settlers from  the  Native  Americans.  It  was  from  the
Indians that other Americans learned how to use rubber.
      In fact without the help of the  Native  Americans  many  other  early
settlers might never have survived.
In conclusion I would like to cite the words of George W. Bush, todays
President of the U.S., which he said in National American Indian Heritage
Month proclamation, dated November 19, 2001:
      As the early inhabitants of this great land, the  native  peoples  of
      North America played a unique role in  the  shaping  of  our  Nation's
      history and culture. During this month when we celebrate Thanksgiving,
      we especially  celebrate  their  heritage  and  the  contributions  of
      American Indian and  Alaska  Native  peoples  to  this  Nation.  [  ]
      American Indian  and  Alaska  Native  cultures  have  made  remarkable
      contributions  to  our  national  identity.  Their  unique  spiritual,
      artistic, and literary  contributions,  together  with  their  vibrant
      customs and celebrations, enliven and enrich our land.
           As we move into the 21st century, American  Indians  and  Alaska
      Natives will play a vital role in maintaining  our  Nation's  strength
      and prosperity.  Almost  half  of  America's  Native  American  tribal
      leaders have served in the United States Armed  Forces,  following  in
      the footsteps of their forebears who distinguished  themselves  during
      the World Wars and the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam,  and  the  Persian
      Gulf. []
           During National American Indian Heritage Month, I  call  on  all
      Americans to learn more about the history and heritage of  the  Native
      peoples of this great land. Such actions reaffirm our appreciation and
      respect for their traditions and way of life and can help to  preserve
      an important part of our culture for generations yet to come. 

           main sourses

1. Encyclopaedia Britannica, electronic edition, 1999
2. Gilbert Legay, Atlas of Indians of Northern America, Barrons Educ, 1995
3. Keith C. Wilbur, The New England Indians, The Globe Pequot Press, 1978
4. Bryn OCalladhan, An Illustrated Hystory of the USA, Longman, 1990
5. V.M. Pavlotsky, American studies, Karo, St.- Pt., 2000
6. http://www.first-americans.spb.ru/n4/win/current.htm  Russian Pages of
   American Indian Almanac
7. http://www.nativetech.org - Native American technologies and art
8. http://etext.virginia.edu/subjects/Native-American.html  electronic
   texts by and about American Indians
9. http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/start.htm  very useful encyclopaedia
10. http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/k12/naha/maps/nausa.html  tribe finder
11. http://www.infoplease.com  statistics and useful data