1 Louisiana’s Early People: Natives and Newcomers Section 1: Prehistoric CulturesSection 2: Historic Indian TribesSection 3: Early Historic Culture
2 Section 1: Prehistoric Cultures ESSENTIAL QUESTION:What have archaeologists learned about the Native American cultures of the Louisiana area?
3 Section 1: Prehistoric Cultures What words do I need to know?archaeologistmiddennomadatlatlmoundartifactsagriculturetemple mounds
4 Timeline Facts 10,000 B.C. – 1600 A.D. Paleo Indian Period 10,000 B.C. – 6000 B.C.Meso Indian Period7500 B.C. – 2000 B.C.Early Neo Indian Period2000 B.C. - A.D. 800Late Neo Period800 B.C. – A.D. 1600Historic Indian Cultures1600s
5 Prehistoric Cultures (Introduction) No written records of first peopleOnly hints and clues at places where they prepared food, made tools, built shelters, & conducted ceremonial sitesarchaeologists: scientists who study items of ancient peoplemiddens: garbage dumps of past civilizationsRadiocarbon dating: determines age of a site being studied (conclusions often up-dated)Four stages of Louisiana prehistorymovement, weapons & tools, food, & religious practices
6 Prehistoric Cultures (Introduction) Their findings explain, who left the items, why they were left and what happened at those locations.
7 Paleo Indians paleo: word for “ancient” Oldest known Indians in LouisianaTraveled in small groupsBelieved 1st people migrated to North America from Asia by way of an Alaska-Siberia land bridge (about 10,000 B.C.)Followed animals that provided food & clothingGradually spread over North & South American continents by traveling east & southWhen these nomads reached Louisiana, they found a good hunting area with a dependable source of food.
8 Meso Indians Smaller animals hunted – deer, rabbit, etc. New prehistoric period – the Meso IndiansNomadic lifestyle (stayed in one place longer)Natural environment gave wider range of foodsUse of a throwing stick with weights called the atlatl (an added improvement for hunting) and items such as fish hooks & needlesMore permanent housing builtMounds built near houses ( B.C.)Different kinds of artifacts left behindStones, jewelery, bone needles, rattles, shell ornaments.
9 Neo IndiansThe Poverty Point site, built by Neo Indians, is that culture’s largest earthworks
10 Early Neo IndiansLeft evidence of pottery making with designs around 1000 B.C.Seasonal villages builtDevelopment of bow & arrow (c.500 A.D.) made hunting deer easierSwitch in lifestyle from gathering to agricultureMore elaborate ornaments than earlier periods plus evidence of tradingArtifacts – bracelets, animal tooth pendants, figurines, pottery pipes, shells (often buried with dead) in mounds
11 Late Neo IndiansDuring this late period, the Indians built temples atop their mounds. These temple mounds were used for religious ceremonies.Period about 800 A.D. until Europeans arrived
12 Late Neo Indians Lived in one location year-round Planted harvest crops, i.e., maize (corn), beans, squash, & pumpkinsNoted for intercropping (planting in same plot)Built temples atop moundsOpen plaza (serving as ceremonial ground) built between two or more moundsClick here to return to Main Menu.
13 Section 3: Early Historic Culture ESSENTIAL QUESTION:What were the elements of Native American culture?
14 Section 3: Early Historic Culture What words do I need to know?piroguecalumet
15 The VillageCommunity life organized around a tribe or a clan, headed by a chief or chiefsKinship important, caste system usedMembership in clans determined through mother’s side of the familyChildren’s growth & behavior (under all of the adult’s care) – discipline mild
16 The Village Access to higher groups through marriage Children’s play – imitation of adult workLearned gender roles and the skills they would need as adultsGames – important part of village lifeWrestling, racing, & archery – part of competitive matches
17 Clothing Louisiana Indians Natchez women Choctaw women Simple clothing from available materials, based on climate & seasonBreechcloths worn by men (buckskin)Simple skirts worn by womenNatchez womenGarment of cloth made from mulberry barkChoctaw womenLong skirts of buffalo wool or mulberry barkWomen in other tribesSkirts made of woven palmetto leaves, Spanish moss, plant fibers, buckskin
18 Clothing Caddo Indians Children Footwear Special Occasions Buckskin or fur ponchos (women)Pierced noses for ornamentsChildrenSimple dress: often no clothes in summerFootwearMoccasins from skins of deer, bear, bisonSpecial OccasionsFeather cape (woven net covered with turkey, duck, or swan feathers)Body ornaments, tattooing (common to all groups)Pierced ears (popular)
19 Work Environment of suitable plants & animals Hunted, fished and collected wild plants.Teamwork of men to clear land, construct houses, built boatsTeamwork of women to weave baskets, make pottery, craft utensilsItems not needed traded for additional supplies
20 Work Environment of suitable plants & animals Hunted, fished and collected wild plants.Teamwork of men to clear land, construct houses, built boatsBurned cypress log and scraped out area to make a dugout. Boats were good for travel and the French named them pirogues.
21 Shelter Houses built from available materials, adapted to climate Rectangular log cabins & round summer house of woven grass (Caddo)Simple wood frame plastered with a clay-and-moss mixture, thatched with palmetto leaves (Choctaw)No window openings – small door to the east for good luckHouses quite large (in some tribes – housing several families)
22 FoodFood sources: acorns, hickory nuts, mayhaw, blackberries, many other plants, and some 250 kinds of rootsFarmers successfulCultivated local plants (sunflower, amaranth, tobacco)Traded with Mexican tribes (corn, beans, squash)Granaries built high off groundProtected corn supplyStored food for survival in hard times
23 Food Corn used as mainstay of meals Sagamite (dish with ground corn) Dried corn (“pinole” – Spanish) (“cold meal” – British)Eventually became southern dish of gritsGround into meal – baked into breadTamale-like dish using meat filling (Caddo, Choctaw)
24 Food Corn used as mainstay of meals Sagamite (dish with ground corn) Dried corn (“pinole” – Spanish) (“cold meal” – British)Eventually became southern dish of gritsGround into meal – baked into breadTamale-like dish using meat filling (Caddo, Choctaw)
25 ReligionBased on their concept of the world, preserving balance & harmonyEverything a part of a sacred wholeLight of the sun (a sacred power)Annual celebrations (corn & harvest festivals)Dance & musicSpecific meaning for bothImitated animals to tell a story / teach lessonInstruments used (drums, cane flutes)Some practices misunderstoodHuman sacrifice (cruel & evil to some Europeans)Acts bringing honor to family (to some Indians)
26 GovernmentA war chief (military leader) and a peace chief in charge of tribe (handled tribal matters)Chiefs inherited positions, others selectedSmoking peace pipe (calumet) – an agreement to avoid warVariety of reasons for going to warEmployed secrecy, surprising enemyDepended on hand-to-hand combat, using knives & war clubsSevere punishments for wrong doers
27 Contact with Europeans Indians’ way of life affected forever by interactions with British, French, &SpanishInterfered way of lifeRelocated many IndiansInvolved Indians in conflictsEnslaved IndiansInstrumental in change from hunting & agricultural society to one dependent on tradeClick here to return to Main Menu.