Presentation on theme: "Native Americans America’s First Settlers. Beringia The first people are believed to have crossed from Asia into North America anywhere from 10,000-30,000."— Presentation transcript:
Native Americans America’s First Settlers
Beringia The first people are believed to have crossed from Asia into North America anywhere from 10,000-30,000 years ago. They might have been following migrating herds of animals that were using a land bridge, which we call Beringia, that was exposed during the last ice age when snow accumulated at the poles, causing ocean levels to drop. In recent years, historians have studied the possibility of native people migrating to the Americas by way of canoes as well. The Wooly Mammoth could supply ancient hunters with all the resources they needed Vast herds of caribou still roam the arctic region.
AsiaNorth America Asian nomads follow herds of migrating animals. (10,000-30,000 years ago) Formed by long lasting accumulations of snow.
Transportation For thousands of years, Native Americans relied on dogs for transporting goods. They had domesticated the wolf around 1500 B.C. Natives developed the travois, an “A” shaped sled, to carry their belongings from place to place. They later adapted this to newly arrived horses in the 1500’s A.D. Interestingly, Native Americans never developed the wheel. The travois allowed animals to carry heavy loads without much of a burden.
Water Transportation Native Americans who lived near the water relied heavily on water transportation for both moving goods and hunting. The canoe was made from the trunks of large trees and were created using stone tools to chisel out a portion of the wood and then start a controlled fire to burn out the majority of the wood. Kayaks were used in the northwest by natives who lived along the sea and needed a waterproof, stable means to navigate the rough seas of the open ocean. Seal skins were used to make the kayak water proof. Dugout canoes, made from fallen trees, were common throughout the Americas.
Native American Technology The nomads that crossed into North America brought the spear with them. These early spears were made from simple stone chips or splintered mammoth bones. Sinew was used to hold the points in place. Stone tips were attached to wooden shafts using sinew, or animal tendons. Stone points were created by a process called knapping, which involves using other stones and animal bones to shape the point.
The Atlatl The atlatl was created to help natives throw their spears farther. The atlatl gave the Native Americans more leverage in throwing their spears, causing them to fly farther and penetrate their prey at longer distances. When you are taking on wooly mammoths and saber toothed tigers, you need all the help you can get!
Animal tendons, or sinew (shown above), was an important part of the bow and arrow.
The Buffalo The buffalo or bison was an extremely important part of the plains people’s lives. They used virtually every part of the buffalo from the hide for clothing, to the stomach for holding water. At one time, an estimated 60 million buffalo roamed the plains of the present day United States and Canada. A buffalo can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and live as long as 30 years.
The Hunt For thousands of years, Native Americans used buffalo jumps to kill the creatures. They would place some of the hunters on either side of a path (usually wearing wolf skins) which they would use to drive large numbers of animals over a steep cliff. It wasn’t until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500’s that the horse began to be used by Native Americans. It quickly became an important part of native people’s lives. Typical buffalo jump Native Americans did not hunt using horses until the 1500’s
Native American Tribes Adapting To Their Environments
People of the Far North The Inuit & Eskimo The people of the arctic region lived in very harsh conditions but were able to adapt to the environment that surrounded them. They hunted marine animals such as seals, walruses, and whales. They also hunted herd animals such as caribou and musk oxen. The dog sled is still used by natives today. View from the inside of an igloo.
The passage way was designed to prevent the cold wind from entering the living area. The sleeping area had to be elevated because this is where the warmest air was. Window Entrance & Storage Ventilation Hole Living Area
People of the Northwest The people of the northwest lived among dense forests and used the available trees in many aspects of their lives. They built their homes, called plank houses, from wood, created beautiful totem poles, and used trees to build canoes. They also relied on the annual running of the salmon to provide protein rich food which after being dried, would sustain them throughout the year. A Haida Clan House
Typical plank house of the Northwest
People of the Southwest With few trees available to native people for building homes, they used what their environment provided, mud and clay. They used this mud along with straw to make bricks for adobes or simply covered dome structures to make earthen lodges called hogans. The Pueblo people used mud bricks to build multi- story dwellings called adobes. A typical Navajo Hogan
People of Middle America The people of the Middle Americas included the Aztecs and Mayas of present day Mexico. They built huge temples which they used in sacrificial ceremonies. Their empires were based on conquering native people and forcing them to pay tribute in gold and lives! These Aztec temples were originally painted white and colorfully painted with bright colors. The ordinary Aztec and Mayan people lived in simple grass huts that were square shaped.
People of the Plains The people of the plains were primarily nomadic hunters who followed the great herds of buffalo from place to place. Because they were constantly moving, they relied on teepees made from buffalo hides. These tepees, were light weight and could be carried and put together quickly. The nomadic people of the plains used the tepee as their primary dwelling because it was easy to disassemble and carry from place to place. The brains of the buffalo were actually used during the tanning process to make the skin softer. The buffalo’s bladder made a perfect water proof container.
Some plains people built grass houses if they lived in an environment that allowed it.
Earth Lodges Many people in the northern plains used earth lodges to stay warm during the harsh winters. These homes were built by digging out a pit and constructing a wooden frame, which was then covered with earth or sod. The great insulation provided by the dirt kept the dwellings cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
People of the Mississippi The people of the Mississippi region were hunters and farmers. Some of these tribes built elaborate mounds in the shape of animals and pyramids, which they used for burial and ceremonial purposes. The farming of maize (corn) was a huge part of their society Their trade routes stretched from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Many people along the Mississippi created large mounds in the shapes of creatures, like this serpent mound in Ohio. This wigwam is constructed from tree bark.
People of the Southeast These people were successful hunters and farmers. They hunted alligators, turtles and deer. Their homes were called Chickees and were elevated to keep them dry in the wet environment. They relied on dugout canoes to hunt and trade along the many waterways. The Seminole people elevated their homes, called a Chikee because of the constant flooding and wet conditions of Florida. There were no walls to allow the breeze to cool the people inside. If you’re wondering what they used to keep the bugs away, they used shark oil to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Modern day recreation of a typical Chikee
The Cherokee Nation People of the Southeast The Cherokees are known as one of the so called Five Civilized Tribes. The Cherokee people are one of the few native people who had a well organized government that included a constitution which was established in After gold was discovered in the hills of Georgia, the newly formed United States seized the land from the Cherokee. Surprisingly the Cherokee took the U.S. all the way to the Supreme Court where they were victorious. Unfortunately, President Andrew Jackson commented that “The court has made it’s ruling, now let’s see them enforce it”. The resulting removal of the Cherokee, Creek and other native people west to Indian Country, or modern day Oklahoma (you guessed it, we took that land too!) became known as the Trail of Tears. Sequoyah invented the Cherokee alphabet. His name means “pig foot” in Cherokee. He probably got the name because he was crippled as a child. Cherokee homes were called wattle and daubs and were built by first interlocking tree saplings to form walls (wattle) and then covering them with plaster (daub).
The Cherokee Alphabet The idea for a written Cherokee language came to Sequoyah while he was playing with his daughter Ayoka.
People of the Northeast The people of the northeast were hunters and gatherers who built semi- permanent dwellings that they would use for part of the year. These homes, called longhouses, were built using wooden frames covered with grass or tree bark. There were entrances at either side and an opening at the top to allow smoke to escape. The villages were usually laid out in a circular pattern. Some longhouses were as big as 100 feet long and would be divided into ten foot compartments. Views of the outside and inside of a longhouse.
Some longhouses were so big that they had multiple levels inside
Typical American Indian village at the time of the European’s arrival. The perimeter was created by burying wooden logs into the ground about twice as high as a person.
The First Globalization’s Impact on Native Americans This painting depicts British general Lord Jeffrey Amherst giving smallpox infected blankets to Chief Pontiac’s forces during a ceasefire in the siege of Fort Pitt (modern day Pittsburgh) during the French & Indian War. This started an epidemic among the Indians breaking the siege. Europeans used the natives as a cheap labor force in a system which the Spanish called encomienda. This system granted a labor force of natives to any Spaniard willing to settle in the new world. Native Americans had no immunities to the many diseases that Europeans brought with them. Some of these included influenza, typhus, measles, malaria, diphtheria and whooping cough. It is estimated that as many as 20 million Native Americans were killed by these diseases.