Native Americans in the United States. Native Americans.
Total population. American Indian and Alaska Native (2. Census Bureau). These peoples were composed of numerous distinct tribes, bands, and ethnic groups, and many of these groups survive intact today as partially sovereign nations. Background. Most Native American groups had historically preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, which has resulted in the first written sources on the conflict being authored by Europeans. Some of the Northeastern and Southwestern cultures in particular were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than the Europeans were familiar with. The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were extremely different.
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The differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, and social disruption. Even before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with European diseases spread throughout the Americas by the Spanish to which they had yet not acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations, although estimates of the pre- Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. During the 1. 9th century, the ideology of manifest destiny became integral to the American nationalist movement. Expansion of European- American populations to the west after the American Revolution resulted in increasing pressure on Native American lands, warfare between the groups, and rising tensions. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the government to relocate Native Americans from their homelands within established states to lands west of the Mississippi River, accommodating European- American expansion. This resulted in the ethnic cleansing of many tribes, with the brutal, forced marches coming to be known as The Trail of Tears.
As American expansion reached into the West, settler and miner migrants came into increasing conflict with the Great Basin, Great Plains, and other Western tribes. These were complex nomadic cultures based on (introduced) horse culture and seasonal bison hunting. They carried out resistance against United States incursion in the decades after the completion of the Civil War and the Transcontinental Railroad in a series of Indian Wars, which were frequent up until the 1. Over time, the United States forced a series of treaties and land cessions by the tribes and established reservations for them in many western states. In 1. 92. 4, Native Americans who were not already U. S. Cultural activism since the late 1. Native Americans have founded independent newspapers and online media, recently including First Nations Experience, the first Native American television channel.
The ways Native Americans refer to themselves vary by region and generation, with many older Native Americans self- identifying as . By comparison, the indigenous peoples of Canada are generally known as First Nations. History. The prevailing theory proposes that people migrated from Eurasia across Beringia, a land bridge that connected Siberia to present- day Alaska during the Ice Age, and then spread southward throughout the Americas and possibly going as far south as the Antarcticpeninsula. This migration may have begun as early as 3. While technically referring to the era before Christopher Columbus' voyages of 1. American indigenous cultures until they were conquered or significantly influenced by Europeans, even if this happened decades or even centuries after Columbus' initial landing.
Native development prior to European contact. The archaeological periods used are the classifications of archaeological periods and cultures established in Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips' 1. Method and Theory in American Archaeology. They divided the archaeological record in the Americas into five phases. Artifacts from this culture were first excavated in 1. Clovis, New Mexico.
The Clovis culture ranged over much of North America and also appeared in South America. The culture is identified by the distinctive Clovis point, a flaked flint spear- point with a notched flute, by which it was inserted into a shaft.
Dating of Clovis materials has been by association with animal bones and by the use of carbon dating methods. Recent reexaminations of Clovis materials using improved carbon- dating methods produced results of 1. B. P. According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have been living on this continent since their genesis, described by a wide range of traditional creation stories. Other tribes have stories that recount migrations across long tracts of land and a great river, believed to be the Mississippi River. Archeological and linguistic data has enabled scholars to discover some of the migrations within the Americas. The Folsom Tradition was characterized by use of Folsom points as projectile tips, and activities known from kill sites, where slaughter and butchering of bison took place.
Folsom tools were left behind between 9. BCE and 8. 00. 0 BCE. Linguists, anthropologists and archaeologists believe their ancestors comprised a separate migration into North America, later than the first Paleo- Indians. They migrated into Alaska and northern Canada, south along the Pacific Coast, into the interior of Canada, and south to the Great Plains and the American Southwest.
They were the earliest ancestors of the Athabascan- speaking peoples, including the present- day and historical Navajo and Apache. They constructed large multi- family dwellings in their villages, which were used seasonally. People did not live there year- round, but for the summer to hunt and fish, and to gather food supplies for the winter. They were part of the Southwestern Archaic Tradition centered in north- central New Mexico, the San Juan Basin, the Rio Grande Valley, southern Colorado, and southeastern Utah. Since the 1. 99. 0s, archeologists have explored and dated eleven Middle Archaic sites in present- day Louisiana and Florida at which early cultures built complexes with multiple earthworkmounds; they were societies of hunter- gatherers rather than the settled agriculturalists believed necessary according to the theory of Neolithic Revolution to sustain such large villages over long periods.
The prime example is Watson Brake in northern Louisiana, whose 1. BCE, making it the oldest, dated site in the Americas for such complex construction. It is nearly 2,0. Poverty Point site. Construction of the mounds went on for 5. BCE, probably due to changing environmental conditions.
The culture thrived from 2. BCE to 7. 00 BCE, during the Late Archaic period.
Artifacts show the people traded with other Native Americans located from Georgia to the Great Lakes region. This is one among numerous mound sites of complex indigenous cultures throughout the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. They were one of several succeeding cultures often referred to as mound builders.
The Woodland period of North Americanpre- Columbian cultures refers to the time period from roughly 1. BCE to 1,0. 00 CE in the eastern part of North America. The Hopewell tradition is the term for the common aspects of the Native American culture that flourished along rivers in the northeastern and midwestern United States from 2. BCE to 5. 00 CE. Their gift- giving feast, potlatch, is a highly complex event where people gather in order to commemorate special events. These events, such as, the raising of a Totem pole or the appointment or election of a new chief. The most famous artistic feature of the culture is the Totem pole, with carvings of animals and other characters to commemorate cultural beliefs, legends, and notable events. The Hopewell tradition was not a single culture or society, but a widely dispersed set of related populations, who were connected by a common network of trade routes.
At its greatest extent, the Hopewell exchange system ran from the Southeastern United States into the southeastern Canadian shores of Lake Ontario. Within this area, societies participated in a high degree of exchange; most activity was conducted along the waterways that served as their major transportation routes. The Hopewell exchange system traded materials from all over the United States. Major cultures. The Adena culture refers to what were probably a number of related Native American societies sharing a burial complex and ceremonial system. They raised corn, squash and beans.
The communities were located near good arable land, with dry farming common in the earlier years of this period. The Classical period of the culture saw the rise in architecture and ceramics. Buildings were grouped into walled compounds, as well as earthen platform mounds. Platform mounds were built along river as well as irrigation canal systems, suggesting these sites were administrative centers allocating water and coordinating canal labor. Polychrome pottery appeared, and inhumation burial replaced cremation. Trade included that of shells and other exotics.
Social and climatic factors led to a decline and abandonment of the area after 1. A. D. Ancestral Puebloan culture: The Ancestral Puebloan culture covered present- day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southern Utah, northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. They lived in a range of structures that included small family pit houses, larger clan type structures, grand pueblos, and cliff sited dwellings.
The Ancestral Puebloans possessed a complex network that stretched across the Colorado Plateau linking hundreds of communities and population centers.