The American Indians
NORTHERN AMERICAN INDIANS..............................................5,18
THE CALIFORNIA-INTERMOUNTAIN AREA
THE PLATEAU REGION
NORTHWEST PACIFIC COAST
FIRST EUROPEAN CONTACT WITH INDIANS…………….21,23
INDIAN SOCIAL STATUS NOW……………………………….23,25
"Indians or Native Americans ,how they are also called, are the first people who came to the land of American continent. Many cenuries they lived and created culture and one whole new civilization without any help or contact with other civilizations fromother continents.They were alone, and whole future was in front of them...
When the white people came to America, believing mistakenly that they came to India, knowing that they found a new continent or how they will call it New World. When the migrations started the whole history of American Indians changed.The white people came there and everything was destroyd.A lot of people were killed in cruel battles, between the white ones and the red ones(Indians).
The history and culture of the American Indians werenever the same..."
First people who came to the New World were Indians,and they came there about
20 000 years ago.It was the time of low watter level when the Berings canal was drained and it were created a natural passage.The Indians came from Siberia to Alaska trough that canal and spreaded all over American land.
Because Indians were nomadic they moved from place to place for many years , looking for better life conditions,they succeeded to populate the whole American continent,and because of that kind of life (nomadic) they were usually hunters and collectors, but later they also started growing plants and domesticate wild animals ,for example dogs.
When Indians finally settled they were divided into Northern American Indians, Mesoamerican Indians and Southern American Indians.Northern indians and Mesoamerican Indians were very different which was obvious because the Indians in the north made their first steps to civilization about 700 years BC,and it was the tribe of Aden who settled the forest in today State Ohio.They lived in big hamlets, where they have built cult barrows and all thing were made usually from copper. Mesoamerican Indians took their first steps to civilization much sooner,somewhere in 4000 BC.Thir situation was the same like the Northern Indiansin 700 BC.In the year 2600BC, were made grand big towns with beautiful houses and amaying temples where they took their sacrifices. Later there were cultures line Olomec civilization in Mexico ,and in 300BC also in Mexico were made first pyramids of civilization Maya.So , about American Indians we can say that they were unique and independent nation who created their own culture and history by themselves , with help of beautiful nature and good life conditions.There are some assumptions that at the time of first European contact , North and South America was inhabited by more than 90 milion people. About 10 milion in the Southwest , 30 milion in Mexico , 11 milion in Central America , 30 milionin the South American Andean region , 9 milion in the rest part of South America , 445.00 in the Carribbean islands , but those are just assumptions. Precise numbers are impossible to ascertain , because when colonists started coming and settling down , the Native American populations had been drastically reduced by war , starvation , forced labour and epidemic of diseases introduced through contact with Europeans.
Physical characteristics of the Native American are most similar to Asian population. Native Americans tend to have light brown or red skin , brown eyes , and dark straight hair. For example : Populations of the Great Plains of North America tend to be tall and heavy in build , while on the other hand many in the South American Andes tend to be short and broad chested.
NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS
History of population of the North America:
Human ocupation of North America began during the Pleistocene Epoch People of Mongolian race are thought to have migrated to the continent from Asia over land bridge across what is now a Bering Strait. These earliest inhabitants were stone Age people , who lived by hunting and gathering , later they were supplanted by other migrants with more advanced tools. These people was believed to be the earliest ancestors of the Native North Americans who developed complex cultures and inhabited the continent.
Major culture areas of North America because of the differences between the tribes it is easier to group all those societies in to culture areas.
This culture area is first of all a geographical region , it has characteristic climate , land forms and fauna and flora. The America may be divided into many culture areas and these divisions may be determined in different ways. There are nine areas used for North America , one for Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America) , and four for South America. The culture areas of North America are the Southwest , the Eastern Woodlands , the Southeast , the Plains , the California-Intermountain region , the Plateau , the Subarctic , the Northwest Pacific coast and the Arctic.
Culture areas of North America:
The Southwestern culture area includes Arizona , New Mexico , southern Colorado , and nothern Mexico (the states of Sonora and Chihuahna). All this can be subdivided into three sectors :
Northern sector - here are Colorado , northern Arizona , northern New Mexico , with good-natured vallyes and pine forests.
Southern - southern Arizona , southern New Mexico , also part of Mexico, the nature here is covered with cactus and it is desert.
Western - Arizona-California (bonder area) , a smaller area with desert , cut by the valley of the lower Colorado River.
The firstknown inhabitants of the Southwest hunted mammoths , but when the Ice Age came and when it ended (about 8000BC) , mammoths became extinct , what made people to turn to hunting bisons (buffalo – Indian word for bison) , also they started gathering wild plants for food. After Ice Age the climate gradually became warmer and drier , and their way of life started changing. Except buffalos they started hunting deer , and birds and also they gathered fruits and nuts for food. The seeds of wild plants were also collected , because they wanted to try to make flour from them , in which they succeeded. They started making their own flour.
About 3000 BC , the Southwesterners learned to grow maize (Indian word for corn). Maize was domesticated in Mexico and it was minor food for centuries. Mexicans who migrated into southern Arizona brought with them their customs and traditions. Their economy was based on cultivating maize,beans , and squash. These people were named HOHOKAM.They lived in houses made from earth (the bricks of walls were made from earth) , around public plazas. This took place about 300 BC. HOHOKAMS were and are the ancestors of present day PIMA and PAPAGO , who preserve much of their way of life.
Something about Pima- It is North Native American tribe of the Southwest culture area , living in the Salt and Gila (river , rising in the mountains of southern New Mexico and flowing westward across Arizona). Gila flows also trough mountain canyons.Here in this tribe is noticeable , that they watered fields by diging the irrigation canals with wooden tools. Also their homes were single-family living in domed little wooden houses , made also of mud and brush. Hohokams lived in southern Arizona and they traded with people of northern sectors also of the Southwestern culture area what helped to people of the northern sectors to create their own tradition , and by AD 700 they were called ANASAZI tradition. They like Hohokams grew maize , beans and squash and also lived in towns in adobe houses , divided into blocks because those towns were big and they nedeed to name every part of town , those towns were also protected with walls all around the town. During the summer time whole families lived in their little houses in fields.
Somewhere after 1275 came the worst period for Anasazi tradition , also many Anasazi farms and towns were left empty because of the incoming period of extremly dry weather. There was not enough rain for growing , which made them leave the northern sector. However , farms which were along the river Rio Grande , grew and watered their plants. Anasazi were also called PUEBLOS (Spanish gave them that name which in Spanish means "village") , because when they came (Spanishman) they changed Anasazi name to Pueblo.
I didn't mention which villages exist in this cultural area. The eastern villages , located along the river Rio Grande were Isleta , Jemez , Nambe , Picuris , San Ildefonso , San Juan , Santa Clara and Taos. In this area (these villages) was spoken the Tanoan language. Most interesting villages are Isleta : this is one of the three largest settlements of Pueblo people (after Luñi and Laguna). It was populated with about 2000 settlers.
Taos : was the first village visited by Spanish in 1540 and until 1615 they were already settled there , wanted to rule.
Somewhere in 1680 Pueblos revolted and for some time the Spanish were driven out but thez returned in 1696. This included all sectors of Southwestern culture area. It was the colonisation of the New World. Also there were the other villages like Cochiti , Santa Ana , Santo Domingo , Santa Felipe and Zia. Here were spoken Keresan languages. Western villages where also were spoken Keresan languages are Acoma Pueblo and Laguna. In Acoma Pueblo village the major product was pottery.
Pottery was very wide-spread in America because the Pots were used for everything.
These villages along with Zuñi and hopi are western.
Zuñi : because the Zuñi pueblos were living in big societies they had a language of their own. They were similar to Hopi pueblos by their weaving, basketry , pottery and for tirquoise jewelery.
Hopi : also called Maqui. Hopi pueblos were farmers , basketers also they weaved blankets , and were potters and carvers. Their houses were made by women. Hoses were built of roughly cut stone and finished in plaster. The interior walls were often ornamented with simple geometric bands or were whitewashed with gyspum. Floors were sometimes flaged (covered with bricks).Doorways were usually built in T-shapes because thei were the only sources of light. Tradition of the Hopi people was that they could't marry anyone from their own tribe. The Hopi religion is similar to other Pueblo people , but it includes also the worship of the forces of nature and it has many ceremonies which are intended to influence supernatural powers. Private rites are held in underground ceremonial chambers – Kivas ( this chambers were usually with a hole formal meetings or ceremonies ). Dances and public services were performed in public places (streets , plazas). For Hopi people , the most important religious ceremonie includes the Kachina fertility (the spirit believed by Hopi people to be the ancestor of human beings)Kachina was represented , either a carved wooden doll or a costumed performer in a ceremonial dance. They had ceremonies for everything and there was also one ceremonie which were performed every two years near August 20th , and it was Snake dance actually a rain dance. This dance includes the skilled handling of live snakes and it is performed in public after eight days of secret ceremonies. It is a petition to the nature gods to bring rain. The Hopi believed that snakes are their brothers , the children of their ancestors the Snake Maid and the Snake Hero , who were changed into snake and that they therefore have special powers of intercession.
There were also other tribes like Apache and Navajo (Navaho) , who were mostly hunters.
Navajo : are closely related to the Apache , and originally emigrated from some areas to the north and settled in the Southwest somewhere in 16th century. By the 17th century the Navajo had domesticated with economy based mostly on hunting and herding. The Navajo people were divided into more than 50 clans.These people also like Hopi , had to marry someone outside their clan.They lived in traditional hogans. Conical houses of logs covered with earth , with smoke hole at the top , and with short , covered passage.
Navajo religion includes the worship of the wind and watercourses. The ceremonies are performed by masked and painted man who are representing those gods.
Apache : Apache people are the group of six culturally related tribes speaking Athapaskan languages (Athapaskan is a group of languages spoken in northwestern Canada and parts of Alaska, , Oregon and California. It also includes Navajos). These six cultural related tribes are : the Kiowa Apache , the Lipan , the Icarilla , the Mescalero , the Chiricahua and the Western Apache. The Apache were a nomadic people , and they were primarily hunters of buffalo , but they also practiced limited farming. They were also warriors. In their traditional culture , women gathered food , wood and water, while man were hunting. Houses were also made by women , and it was traditional wickiups – houses made usually of wood and also by covering and framework of arched poles with mats of bark , grass , or branches. Marriage wasn't very important because they lived in polygamic relationships and usually the line of genealogical relationship was followed by the female side of a family. To the Apache religion was fundamental part of life. Ga′ns were the protective mountain spirits who were represented in religious rites.
In the western sector of the Southwest lived the inhabitants who spoke Iuman languages. It was the HAVASUPAI tribe , and the MOJAVE tribe.Havasupai is little tribe and it has now about 550 people. In the autumn and winter months they moved from the plateau in Cataract Canion (a branch of the Grand Canion) to the Canion under the plateau. Because they lived at the bottom of canion , isolated and almost selfsupporting , they have preserved their traditions to a greater degree than any other Southwestern tribe. Major product were basketry.
The Eastern Woodlands region includes the northeastern Unated States and southeastern Canada. Meny distinct cultures developed in this area and date as far back as 7000 BC. These people had benefite from good climat and rich natural resources. They depend on hunting deer , gathering nuts and wild cereal crops. Cultivation of plants which are going to be used for food was learned from Mexicans. Plants like sunflower , amarauth , marshelder and spinach were also farmed. Also they gathered shellfish and fishing was increased. Off the coast of Maine fishing included also catching swordfishes. Copper was mined in the Great Lakes area , and fom that copper every kind of ornaments were made.
From stone were made little sculptures.
People of this area are:
Hopewell people about 200 BC organised into wide trading networks and started building large mound–covered tombs for their leaders and for religious ceremonies and rituals. They grew maize , but also were used types of food like gathered fruits and nuts and other. They declined somewhere about 400 AD.
Mississippian culture developed about 750 in the Midwest. They bult their towns on great mounds. They also made earth platforms , so they could built their houses. Mounds were usually used for building the grest plazas, where usually stood beautiful temples with tombs under it. These tembles were used for ceremonies. For example : across the Mississippi River from present – day St. Louis , Missoury , the Mississippians built the city Cahokia.This city stood on a mound 30 m high and about 110 m long , and anot 49 m wide. This mound in that part or area was the largest mound. The people who lived there, and some of them still are Iroquois , the Delaware , the Micmac , the Naraganset , the Shawnee , the Potawatomy and otheres. There were meny other tribes with their way of life as similar to these tribes.
Iroquois are iroquoian language speaking people. They live in Eastern woodlands culture area. The original confederacy consisted of five tribes, which were known as the Five Nations. Those were the Mohawk , Onandaga ,Cayuga , Oneida and Seneca tribe. Their economy was based mostly on agriculture. They grew maize , beans , pumpkins , also tabacco , which was new in growing plants. Later they grew fruit trees like apples and peaches. But there was not just agriculture, fine pottery were also made, like splinted baskets and wampum ( small polished beads made from shalls, used for ceremonies or as money) was used in exchange.Towns where they lived had several communal houses which had tribal and significance. These elections were usually unanonimous.
Delaware people are Algonquian speaking people. The Delaware called themselves Lenni Lenape which in Indian means "original people". European named them Delaware because they lived along the Delaware River and its tributaries. Into Delaware confederacy are included the tribes Munsee , Unalachtigo and Unami. Characteristics of the Delaware tribe are tolerance and tranquility , because even when Europeans came they stayed calm. People from this region remain in their own little comunities and they stayed faithful to their traditional way of lif
The area of the Southeast culture has a subtropical climate and the pine forests were spreaded all over the countryside.This area extends from Atlantic coast west to central Texas.
The history of population was similar to that of Eastern Woodlands , but it was settled little later. People of the Southeast are Cherokee , the Chocotaw , the Chickasaw , the Creek , and the Seminole. The Nachez also lived in that area but their culture was destroyed by Europeans in the 18th century. The tribes I mention are not all tribes who lived in that area but they are the most civilized five tribes of the Southeast area.
The Plains of North America are the grasslands from central Canada , south to Mexico and from the Midwest westward to the Rocky Mountains. Major source of food in this area were bisons , all until they were exterminated in 1880. People were mostly nomadic bands that moved as the herds moved , but agricultural towns were also built.
These people have become well known as the stereotyped Indians. They lived in Tepee (the conical tent built around several long branches or wooden poles that meet and cross at the top), in ceremonies they used the ceremonial pipe , costumes , and they danced. Indians from this area were different in their way of life from the other Indian tribes. Characteristics of these tribes were usually used for films or cartoons , and because of that everyone thinks of Indians that they were savage and not civilized people.
Among early Plains peoples were the Black foot , who were bison hunters , and the Mandan and Hidatsa , who were Missouri River agriculturalists. When Europeans came , many tribes from the Eastern Woodlands moved to the Plains area.
The California-Intermountain area
In the mountain region and in valleys of Utah , Nevada and California , were pine forests and grasslands. Their archaic way of life (hunting deer , and mountain sheep , fishing and harvesting pine nuts and wild grains) developed by 8000 BC and stayed the same until the year 1850 AD. Their way of living was simple. Villages were simple with thatched houses. The technology of getting and storing food was sophisticated. Basketry was also developed , and the resource of trade was shell money.
Best-known people of the Intermountain Great Basin area are the Paiute and Shoshone. Tribes of California region are the Klamath , the Modoc , and the Yurok. The Pomo , the Maidn , Miwok , Patwin and the Wintun are from central region.
The Plateau Region
Here into this region are included Idaho , eastern Oregon and Washington , western Montana and part of Canada. There are mountains covered with evergreen forests and separated by grassy valleys.
People from this area had similar way of life like the tribes from other areas.The only difference was that they dried quantities of salmon and camas for winter eating. They also traded with people from other areas. Traders were usually the Wishram and Wasco people who kept a market town where travelers from the Pacific Coast and the Plains could meet , trade , and buy dried food.
Plateau peoples include the Nez Perce , Walla Walla, Yahoma , and Umatilla in the Sahaptian language family , the Flathead , Spokane , and Okanagon in the Salishan language family and the Cayuse and Kootenai , or Kootenay in Canada.
The Subarctic includes the major part of Canada it is stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west , to the mountains bordering the Pacific Ocean..
Agriculture is not possible in the Subarcti because summers are very short , and because of that , people from this area lived by hunting moose and caribou (reindeer) and by fishing. People here were nomadic , and lived mostly in tents. For moving camps they used canoes and sledges (pulled by animals). Because they didn't have enough food their population remained small. People in this area spoke Algonquian languages , and tribes were (and still are) the Cree , Ojibwa (or Chipewa) , Montagnais and Naskapi. In the west part of the Subarctic area live people who speak Athapaskan languages , and these tribes are the Chipewyan , Beaver , Kutchin , Ingalik, Kaska and Tanana. Many of these people now live in villages , but there are still those who are hunters , fishermen or live by trapping.
Northwest Pacific Coast
This area lies on the west coast of North America , from southern Alaska to northern California and forms the Northwest Pacific Coast culture area. This land is lying between the sea and the hills. People here were hunters but also agriculture was developed. They grew potatoes. In villages people lived in wooden houses. Tribes were managed by chiefs. Trade was very important and it was extended toward northern Asia, where they get the iron for knives. This area is also known for its wooden carvings. Northwest Pacific culture developed after 3000 BC. Tribes from Northwest Pacific coast are the Tlingit , Haida , Kwakiutl , Nootka , and others.
The Arctic includes northern Canada and Alaska ( but just the coasts). Population there was small because food resources were limited. People lived by hunting and fishing. They usually lived in Igloos covered with skins.
Inuits and Yupiks were tribes who lived there and Eskimos are also considered to be tribe who lived there.
About 1400 BC, in Mesoamerica had developed impressive civilizations. Civilization was divided into several tribes like Olomec tribe which got so huge that it was one whole new civilization,also there were Teotihuacan who were also as huge as Olomec. Olomec civilization. They established one of the first major civilizations. They lived along the central coast of the Gulf of Mexico, west of the Jucatan Peninsula in the swampy jungle river basins of the present-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco. Olomec culture developed between about 1500 and 6oo BC, their oldest known center San Lorenzo was destroyed around 9oo BC and was replaced by La Venta. La Venta had developed into great urban city. The center of a compleks of temples and plazas was a mounded earthen pyramid about 30 m high. Architecture and sculpture was developed to a great level. Some of their sculptures also can be seen today. Olomec writing and numerical system was the precursor of other Mesoamerican forms of writing.
Teotihuacan civilization is considered that they have begun around 200 BC and flowerished until about AD 650. Pyramid of the Dun – one and the other monuments are unique because they are thr largest structures ever built by Native Americans. These monuments are the Pyramid of the Moon and the Avenue of the Dead. Teotihuacan people had close contact with people of Maya culture from Jucatan and Guatemala. Teotihuacan civilization had left important influence on future generation and people such as the Aztecs.
When Teotihuancans fell and when Maya cities were abandoned around 650 AD a new power – the Toltec begun. A whole empire was built but it had culapsed in 1168… Later there were established new empires and kingdoms: The Tenochtitlan, Mixtec, Taraseon.
Aztec empire had great importance in Mesoamerica. This culture was also great as Olomec and Teotihuacan civilizations. Aztec empire, a state that ruled most of what is now Mexico from about 1427 until 1521, when Spanians tooc control of that place by force, and Tenochtitlan (their capital), was possibly the larges city in the world at the time of the Spanish conquest.
South America is divided into four cultural areas. First is Northen South America and the Caribbean , and this culture area includes jungle lowlands and grassy savannah plains.
Here the Chibicha kingdoms of Colombia were famous for their fine gold ornaments and around the Caribbean lived smaller groups such as the Miskito of Nicaragua , the Kuna of Panama , and the Arawak and Carib people of the Caribbean islands. The Caribalso lived along the coast of Venezuela. These people lived a simple life.
The second culture area is Central and Southern Andes. The Main of the Andes Mountains that stretches down the western half of South America , together with narrow coastal valleys between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean , were the home of the great civilizations of Native Americans in South America.The most popular civilization in this area were the Incas.The Inca empire , great kingdom created by the Quetchua people in the 15th century. They built wealthy and complex civilization that ruled more than 9 million people. The Incas conquered a number of neighbouring peoples as they expanded their area of influence outward from their home in the Chazco valley of highland Peru. Its territory included parts of present-day Ecuador, Bolivia , northern Chile and northwest Argentina. Machu Pichu covers about 13sq km. of terraces built around a central plaza and lined by numerous stairways. Houses were bult by stone and had just one room. This city was one of the greatest cities in Incas Empire. There were also bult agreat temples and ceremonial places , where they performed their rituals. The supreme god was the creator god but also the sun god. The Incas also believed that certain objects and places were sacred , and these objects were called huacas.Every family had a huaca. Huaca could be an object found in nature such as hill , spring , stream or rock , or a small amulet or charm..
Third culture area is The Tropical Forest. Here didin't exist large towns or wholw civilizations. People lived mostly by hunting and fishing. Smaller groups or tribes of the tropical forest are the Makiritare , the Janomamo , the Mundurucu , the Tupinamba , the Shipibo and the others..
Fourth culture area of the South America is the Mostsouthern South America. People from this area cultivated allkind of plants and crops , they domesticated llamas , cattle , sheep , pigs and chickens. Horses were used for herding and for warfare. Later people from this region suffered greatly from deseases brought by Europeans.
FIRST CONACT WITH EUROPEANS
Europeans first stepped ashore in what they considered “New World” in 15th century in 1492 when Christopher Columbus had discovered New Continent instead of finding the way to India. This was the reason why Europeans called Native Americans “the Indians” because they believed that they had arrived to India.
Native Americans seemed to regard their light skinned visitors , because they (the Indians ) were amazed with European dresses , beards , winged ships , weapons , mirrors , earings , copper and brass kattles and other gadgets. Native Americans likewise were surprised at European intolerance for native religious beliefs , marital arrangements , eating habits and other customs.
Very soon , real interest of Europeans was obvious. One of the conqueror Hernan Cortes said “We came here to serve God , and also to get rich .” The Spanish coquistadors wanted the land and labour of the Indians. The priests wanted to change their souls. This were the programs of Spanish conquistadors. Both programs were destructive to many people of America. The Spanish conqustadors robbed them of their freedom and , in many cases their lives ; the priests were deprived of their culture. When Spanish conquistadors came to Mexico and South America , Aztec and Inca empires were on the high level of development. They ruined Tenochtitlan and in 40 years they enslaved Indians from Central and South America.
In 1492 the Caribbean , Central America , and Andean South Americ were among the most densely populated regions of the hemisphere. The reason to a large extent has an invisible conqueror : Europeans brought deseases such as smallpox , pulmonary , ailments and gastrointestinal disorder , all of which had been unknown in America during the pre-Columbian periods. The destruction was especially visible in Latin America where great masses of people were congregated in citys such as Tenochtitlan and Cuzco. Those Native Americans who did survive were often assigned to a planter or mine ovner , to whom they owe all their services. This system known as encomienda was infact slavery. This too broke the spirit and health of the people making them all the more vulnerable to the deseases brought by Europeans. Death from microbial infection was not as extensive in the Canadian forests , where most of the people lived as hunter-gatherers. On the Lake Onterio village farmers suffered serious depopulation in waves of epidemic that may have been triggered by Jesuit priests , who had established in the area. People of Canada suffered fewer dislocations than did the people of Latin and English America. The reason is in the nature of fur-trade which militated again settlement. The idea was to maintain the wilderness so the fur-bearing animals would continue flourish. French settlement in Canada was restricted to a thin line of land along the banks of the St. Lourenc and Ottawa rivers.
This demographic plan continues to be felt in present-day where numerous Indian groups may be found living in a more or less traditional manner.
In contrast English-Native American relations in the 17th and 18th centuries were marked by series of wars won by the English. The English insist that the Native Americans live in strictly limited tracts of land near areas of English settlement or more out beyond the frontier.
One of the problems confronting the young U.S.was what to do with Native American peoples. In Article 1 , Section 8 of the Constitution of America we can read next lines “ The congress shall have Power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states and with the Indian tribes.
In the last years of the 18th century many of these new Americans were migrating in search of land into the Ohio valley , Kentucky and Tennessee areas where various Native American nations were still strong. These migrants squatted on Native American land and the result was war. The battles culminated in 1794 in the Battle of Fallen Timbers in northwestern Ohio , won by the forces of American General Anthony Wayne. The next year was established a definite boundary between “Indian Territory” and white settlement. But because even with these establishments the white man wasn’t satisfied. The next Indian Removal Act was passed in May 1830. Eastern Indians were forced to move west of the Mississippi. These brutal forced marches sometimes in winter remained in minds of those who survived. Soon the removal concept further defined into the concept of reservations. The Washington officials decided that these peoples were to be rounded up by the U.S. Army and the restricted to these reservations by force. That was the point of the Plains Indian wars during the last half of 19th century , ending with the slaughter of Sioux men and women and children , as well as the soldiers of the U.S. 7th Calvary at Wounded Knee , South Dakota , on December 29th 1890.
By 1890 Americans had migrated all the way to Pacific Ocean. It had become clear that a new policy had to be adopted toward Native Americans. The plan to rescue Indians from extinction was called the Daves Act , started in 1887. The Indians reached their lowest population numbers shortly after the turn of the 20th century. In June 1924 the U.S Congres granted these original Americans United States citizenship.
THE INDIANS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY
The Native American population in the U.S. has increased steadily in the 20th century ; by 1990 the number of Native Americans was almost 2 million or 0,8 % of total U.S. population. About one-third of these people live on reservations ; about half live in urban areas often near the reservations.
There are 278 reservations in 35 states. The largest reservation is the Navajo - mostly in Arizona with nearly 6,4 million hectares and over 140,000 people .
During these years it had been hoped that Native Americans could be coaxed to abandon their traditional tribal ways and to assimilate into the society of the U.S. Great emphasis was placed on the need to civilize and to teach Christianity to Indians. Young Indians were sent to distant government schools , often tousands of miles from their home reservations. With the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act , Indian tribes were encouraged to organize governments under the terms of the Indian Reorganization Act. Everything was very slow because United States were entering World War II , but after the war a new policy was formulated - that of terminating federal trust responsibility to Native American tribes. Arguing was about that , that Native Americans should be treated exactly as all other citizens.
In many reservations tribal languages and religious ceremonies are recognized with a renewed vigour.Traditional arts aqnd crafts , such as Pueblo pottery and Navajo clothing , continue to be practiced , and some contemporary.There are still a lot of words which are used in English but are Indian words , for example U.S. names of states are almost all in Indian (Alabama- means “Here we shall rest” or Mississippi- comes from word which means “river” or “fish” ). Native American artist such as R.C. Gorman..Some have successfully adapted European stile , but some will never adopt different ways of life..Native American writer N.Scott Momaday is the famous writer of novels and poetry about the Indians and Indian way of life.
The history of Native Americans is very interesting story , because they are very special people closely related to nature , which they respected with all their heart. White people who touhgt that the Indians were savage , trough the history of America proved that in fact they did not understand their culture - religion.
There were great people among Indian chief tribes. Some of them said about their people :
Chief Sitting Bull
“We did not think of the great open plains the beautiful rolling hills and the winding streams with tangled growth as “wild”. Only to the white man was nature “wilderness” and only to him was the land “infested” with “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was beautiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.
Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustice upon us and the families we loved , was it “wild” for us. When the very animals of the forest begun fleeing from approach , then it was that for us the “wild west” began.”
Poetry is usually dedicated to nature , and great powers of nature , or to their gods , or to life. The poems are mostly philosophical , especially those who speaks about beings.
Yonder in the north there is singing on the lake.Cloud maidens dance on the shore. There we take our being. Yonder in the north cloud beings rise. They ascend onto cloud blossoms. There we take our being. Yonder in the north rain stands over the land..Yonder in the north stands forth at twilight the arc of a rainbow. There we have our being.
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