While most of know about the most famous of the Native American tribes, there are literally hundreds that existed over time. Some were less well known or populated, but there were many that lived on the land of North America. Generally, the tribes were identified by their location. For example, the Inuit or Eskimo tribes were known as the Arctic and Sub arctic tribes because of their geographical homes.
An entire group of tribes was dedicated to California alone, along with the plains, Northwest coast, and the Southeast portion of what is now known as the United States. Many comprehensive lists can be found showing all of the tribes’ names and locations. There also many organizations who have dedicated themselves to the preservation of tribal research and archive important documents, artifacts, and photographs. Many museums all over the country have dedicated themselves to the ongoing preservation of Indian tribal culture and heritage.
Today, there are still dedicated reservations located throughout the United States that have been declared federally protected land. This land is owned by specific Native American Tribes, and cannot be taken or infringed upon by anyone. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was created to protect and serve those indigenous to the United States. There are many designated reservations located across the country where various tribes reside. But modern times and pressure has taken its toll on the life of the Native American. Suicide rates are highest among Indian teens than any other group, and many young people within the tribes are starting to drift away from their culture, and lean towards drugs and alcohol abuse. This pattern seems inevitable because of the pressures of modern society and the desire to fit in. It’s important for Native American tribes to continue to foster an attitude of reverence towards their culture and respect of history in order to be sure future generations will be a part of it.
Ever heard of the Mission Indians? They dwelled in southern California and have an interesting history.
The Cherokees call themselves Ani-Yunwiya, the "Principal People." They were indeed one of the principal Native American tribes of the southeastern United States until they were forced westward by the arrival of the Europeans. Cherokees were one of the Native American Tribes whose ancestral lands covered an area that included parts of Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Their language and migration legends suggest that the tribe originated to the north of their traditional homeland. An elaborate social, political, and ceremonial structure was reflected in the Cherokee culture. The town was their basic political unit and it consisted of all the people who used a single ceremonial center.
Native American tribes were to be found in several areas, but the first sign of the Cherokees was in Texas in 1807. A small band, probably an offshoot of the Arkansas settlements, established a village on the Red River. During that summer, a delegation of Cherokees, Pascagoulas, Chickasaws, and Shawnees sought permission from Spanish officials in Nacogdoches, the easternmost town in Texas, to settle members of their tribes in that province. The request was approved by Spanish authorities, which intended to use the immigrant Indians as a buffer against American expansion.
The native American wolf are social animals, so if you were privileged enough to see one of them you will probably see more. In fact, the native American wolf love to run in packs of from anywhere between two of them, to over a dozen. The native American wolf has even been known to cross breed with coyotes.
It is common for a family of the native American wolf to remain together throughout life.
By displaying superior strength, a male native American wolf can earn the position of pack leader.
The native American wolf has a strong heritage with the common dog, and can make their home in a variety of settings, including mountainous ranges or forests.
Carnivorous, the native American wolf has shown themselves to be a threat to livestock and even humans. The native American wolf can weigh more than a hundred pounds, so it is easy to see how they could be dangerous to humans.
The native American wolf tend to mate for life, and show quite a bit of affection toward each other. Typically, the native American wolf will have just one litter of pups a year.
After birth, the mother wolf cares for the pups the first few weeks.
Many years before Christopher Columbus actually stumbled upon the Americas there actually were people living in North America. The native American people, also called American Indians, had been living on the continent of North American for many years and by the time the Americas were discovered it is estimated that there were over 10 million native Americans already living on the continent. These people had been living on this continent far longer than most people actually imagine, with actual documentation going back to around 150000BC, when the Sandia Indians were first documented on the continent. More than likely the Indians were here long before the actual documentation.
Just like music plays an important role in Native American culture, art has a very special place as well. The use of art has been used as a form of expression in the Native American way of life for hundreds, even thousands of years. Most art was created as a symbol, such as a bear, walrus, eagle, or people. The materials to make this artwork varied from rocks, feathers, cloth, clay, and fabric.
The first evidence showing indigenous people to inhabit North America indicates that they migrated there from Siberia over 11,000 years ago. More than likely, they crossed the Bering Land Bridge, which was in existence during the Ice Age. After that time period, several large waves of migration took place, including many groups of people from Asia and South America.
The Native American Indians are an important part of the culture of the United States. While their people have lived on this land for thousands of years, today their numbers are dwindling. Once, the Native Americans lived on this continent with little discourse and disruption. They were well fed, content, and established. In fact, the men and women usually were placed in typical roles.
This post was modified from its original form on 28 Aug, 2:10
Long ago when the world was young, an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision.
In his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider.
Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred language that only the spiritual leaders of the Lakota could understand.
As he spoke Iktomi, the spider, took the elder's willow hoop which had feathers, horse hair, beads and offerings on it and began to spin a web.
He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life ... and how we begin our lives as infants and we move on to childhood, and then to adulthood. Finally, we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle.
"But," Iktomi said as he continued to spin his web, "in each time of life there are many forces -- some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But if you listen to the bad forces, they will hurt you and steer you in the wrong direction."
He continued, "There are many forces and different directions that can help or interfere with the harmony of nature, and also with the great spirit and-all of his wonderful teachings."
All the while the spider spoke, he continued to weave his web starting from the outside and working toward the center.
When Iktomi finished speaking, he gave the Lakota elder the web and said..."See, the web is a perfect circle but there is a hole in the center of the circle."
He said, "Use the web to help yourself and your people to reach your goals and make good use of your people's ideas, dreams and visions.
"If you believe in the great spirit, the web will catch your good ideas -- and the bad ones will go through the hole."
The Lakota elder passed on his vision to his people and now the Sioux Indians use the dream catcher as the web of their life.
It is hung above their beds or in their home to sift their dreams and visions.
The good in their dream is captured in the web of life and carried with them...but the evil in their dream escapes through the hole in the center of the web and is no longer a part of them.
They believe that the dream catcher holds the destiny of their future.
The teepee, totem pole, peace pipe, and moccasins are just a few examples, but each of these symbols were actually integral pieces of a larger picture that wove together the tapestry of Native American life. Everything from native plants and animals to housing to the weather became a part of the culture in Indian life. The animals were revered as spirits, and although they were hunted and killed, their skins and hides were used as clothing and drums, their meat was never wasted, and their spirits lived on in the mind of the tribes. Plants were cultivated and harvested, and used for various things such as dyes for blankets. The rain and sun were considered to be Gods, giving a sign to the Indians as the seasons changed.
Totem poles were a very integral part of Native American culture. The Indians believed that each person was assigned the spirit of a particular animal, and that their spirit was absorbed into this animal in death. The totem pole was a large, tall wooden carving of various animals, each representing a family member of a loved one who had passed away. Many people see dream catchers hanging from peoples’ car rearview mirrors, but few know their significance. The dream catcher is based on a legend told by the Lakota tribe. It symbolizes holding onto good things in life, while the holes in the catcher are there to filter out bad thoughts and feelings. Smoke signals are another interesting aspect of Native American culture. They were used to communicate to others over a long distance and are yet another symbol of the proud heritage of the Native American.
The Native Americans are well revered for being resourceful people, and when it comes to Native American food, there is no difference. They were well versed at using the ingredients that were readily available to them and for making many different foods with them. Corn and various corn products are abundant in Native American food recipes and they have lent many of their earliest delicacies to the American culture as a whole.
Corn is such a big staple in Native American culture that not only do they frequently cook with corn as we know it, but they also use what’s known as Harinilla, or Blue Corn Meal. Harnilla can be ground into flour and used for baking tortillas and other starches. Native American food also consists of the resourceful use of meat. Besides deer, the Native Americans frequently ate rabbits, Prairie dog, Beaver, Lamb, Buffalo, Mutton, and Pork. Using wild grains and vegetables was also commonplace in the Native American diet and along with squash; sage, wild onions, cabbage, pumpkins, and cactus played a vital role in Native American food.
Along with the staples and animal sources, herbs also played a vital role in early Native American food. Many of the earliest forms of medicine were derived from these food sources as well. The Native Americans were masters at making poultices, teas, and herbal remedies. They used herbs and plants such as Peppermint, Spearmint, Clover, Sage, and Rosehips to make teas and other foods. Today’s society and culture owes much of what it has learned about food and the natural American resources to the early Native Americans.
Native American words flow like a gentle stream, and sing like the loveliest breeze through autumn leaves. In other words, native American words are sheer poetry filled with inner beauty.
The white man, who so stringently wanted to rid the land of a nation they felt were little more than heathens didn’t hesitate to borrow abundantly from their language, their native American words. All you need do to find the proof of that fact is to recall some of the names of states, mountains, and cities, and you will find native American words.
Names like Alaska, Illinois, and Ohio are native American words that resonate with native American meaning.
Or perhaps you are an animal lover and would like to know how the animal kingdom fits in with native American words. Well, the next time you are taking a leisurely stroll through the woods, and you hear a rustling in the grass be sure to appreciate how the native American words chipmunk and opossum flow off your tongue.
Just be sure to make it home for an afternoon nap in your hammock, another one of native Americans words.
Or has all this thinking about native American words made you hungry? Perhaps a refreshing salad garnished with avocado, one of the native American words used frequently in kitchens will hit the spot. And for dessert you might put one of the other native American words to good use when you enjoy a nice dish of tapioca pudding.
And when the weather turns cold you will appreciate four other native American words when you layer up with a poncho under your parka, so you can go tobogganing after the blizzard stops dumping snow.
Not all native Americans spoke the same native American words. Native American words differ just as if you traveled from California to the hills of West Virginia, you know you will hear the English language in use, but accents, words and dialects will differ, sometimes dramatically. Although Cherokee was one tribe, depending on where you happened to be in the country you would hear three different dialects of native American words.
In fact, the native American word “Cherokee” can be found spelled fifty different ways in native American words, and all of them are proper.
At times, some of the native Americans had different native American words that were only used by women, others by men. Some native American words were used only in ceremonies.
Many of the native American words have sadly been lost with time. Linguists are currently seeing to it that remaining native American words are preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Richly thought out native American words entertained many men, women and children during pow wows and other events, as a storyteller spun his myths and legends.
Early western movies portrayed native Americans as having little more to say than ugg as their native American words. When you consider the beauty and meaning behind native American words that were spoken by millions of people, it becomes clear that nothing could be further from the truth.
When many of us picture Native Americans, we see a stately chief, standing tall wearing a large feathered headdress. The headdress is a very important part of Native American culture. Typically made of beautiful bird feathers, it is more symbolic than anything else. The Sioux were thought to be one of the first Native American tribes to use these head pieces. Not everyone among the tribe could wear one, however. The Native American headdress was reserved for the most powerful and influential among the tribe.
Perhaps there is meaning then as to why we usually picture the chief wearing one. It is a little known fact that Native American headdresses were not made completely in one sitting. In fact, each time the chief, warrior, or other important tribe member committed a brave act, a feather was added. Therefore, the more feathers in the headdress, he braver and sometimes much more ominous the wearer was. In certain tribes, the brave act itself was not enough. The warrior would have to provide himself by fasting for several days and meditating the entire time to show his steadfastness. This fact alone makes the significance of the Native American headdress very important.
It is also a very surprising and little known fact that women did not participate in making the Native American headdress. Only the men would help to make them, and this was often made by the chief or warrior’s closest friends and allies. Of all the feathers, the Golden Eagle feather was the most coveted and the most significant. If someone had one of these in their headdress, they received a great deal of reverence and respect from other members of the tribe.
The Native American headdress can be many colors at once, or can consist of several feathers of one singular color. This often depends on what birds were indigenous to the area in which the tribe lived. For example, those living in the desert may only have feathers of one or two particular species of bird, while those living in the forests would have several colors. The strap that held the Native American headdress stationary on the head was usually made of leather or deer sinew. Sometimes cloth would be used to improvise, but typically leather was the material of choice.
The back of the headdress was usually tied together, allowing the headdress to be adjusted fairly easily. Today, we see the Native American headdress as symbol of strength and bravery. It is often worn during the Halloween season as a costume accessory, but the seriousness of this item is often overlooked. Wearing a Native American headdress was a real honor, and those who got the opportunity to wear one were revered and respected.
This same tradition should also be kept sacred and honored today. In most modern Native American tribes, the headdress is mostly used for weddings and ceremonial purposes, and not as much as for battles. When one sees a Native American headdress in pictures, they can now see how brave and important that particular person was to his entire tribe.
Wolves to the Native American stand for Guardianship, Ritual, Loyalty, and Spirit. The Wolf is one of the spirits for the element of fire, the other is the Thunderbird. The wolf is also a cross spirit for the element of Earth. He is the Guardian of the underworld, and his representation is used in many of the ritual dances. There is a wolf dance named for him as well. The dancers that portray the wolf in these dances are always a warrior or higher in status. Medicine men use the wolf dance to conjur up the spirit of the wolf to assure healing, and protection. There are many more things that can be said about the stately wolf, one of the grandest of nature's creatures.
The Law of the Jungle
(From The Jungle Book)
by Rudyard Kipling
Now this is the Law of the Jungle --
as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper,
but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk
the Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,
and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip;
drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting,
and forget not the day is for sleep.
The Jackal may follow the Tiger,
but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the Wolf is a Hunter --
go forth and get food of thine own.
Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle --
the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear.
And trouble not Hathi the Silent,
and mock not the Boar in his lair.
When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle,
and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken --
it may be fair words shall prevail.
When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack,
ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel,
and the Pack be diminished by war.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge,
and where he has made him his home,
Not even the Head Wolf may enter,
not even the Council may come.
The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge,
but where he has digged it too plain,
The Council shall send him a message,
and so he shall change it again.
If ye kill before midnight, be silent,
and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop,
and your brothers go empty away.
Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates,
and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing,
and seven times never kill Man!
If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker,
devour not all in thy pride;
Pack-Right is the right of the meanest;
so leave him the head and the hide.
The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack.
Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair,
or he dies.
The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf.
He may do what he will;
But, till he has given permission,
the Pack may not eat of that Kill.
Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling.
From all of his Pack he may claim
Full-gorge when the killer has eaten;
and none may refuse him the same.
Lair-Right is the right of the Mother.
From all of her year she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter,
and none may deny her the same.
Cave-Right is the right of the Father --
to hunt by himself for his own:
He is freed of all calls to the Pack;
he is judged by the Council alone.
Because of his age and his cunning,
because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the Law leaveth open,
the word of your Head Wolf is Law.
Now these are the Laws of the Jungle,
and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the Law
and the haunch and the hump is -- Obey!
Truth will out!
A few more hours, a few more winters, and none of the
children of the great tribes that once lived on this earth, or that roamed in small bands in the woods, will be left to mourn the graves of a people once as powerful and hopeful as yours.
The Whites, too shall pass - perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your own bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket? Gone. where is the eagle? Gone.
And what is it to say farewell to the swift and the hunt, to the end of living and the beginning of survival? We might understand if we knew what it was the white man dreams, what he describes to his children on the long winter nights, what visions he burns into their minds, so they will wish for tomorrow. But we are savages, the white man's dreams are hidden from us.
Suqwamish and Duwamish
This post was modified from its original form on 28 Aug, 2:31
The gray wolf (Canis lupus) also called the timber wolf, is the largest of about 41 wild species within the dog family, Canidae, of the order Carnivora. They range in size from 26" to 38" shoulder height, 39" to 80" in length (tip of nose to end of tail), and vary in weight from 57 to 130 pounds. Their coats may vary in color from grey to brown, from white to jet black.
They usually hunt at night and feed primarily on large hoofed mammals such as deer, caribou, elk, and moose, but sometimes eat berries, birds, beaver, fish, and insects. Animals that they kill are usually young, old, or otherwise weaker members of their populations because they are easiest to capture. Most pursuits of prey range in length from 110 yds. to 3.1 miles. Healthy wolves rarely, if ever, attack humans. Their range once covered most of North America. However, today only a few upper states and Canada have a wolf population large enough to maintain itself.
Pack of WolvesThe gray wolf mates for life and lives in packs which can vary in size from 2 to over 15, but are usually from 4 to 7 wolves. The leader of the pack is normally the strongest male, who often determines when and where the pack will hunt, as well as other activities of the pack. Wolfpacks are formed primarily of family members and relatives. They may travel more often, and greater distances than any other terrestrial animal. Their territories may cover from 100 to 260 sq. mi, depending on the abundance of food and water. Territories may also overlap, although wolfpacks very seldom confront one another. Some wolves leave their packs to become lone wolves. Loners may start their own packs if a mate and a vacant area can be found.
Breeding season can vary from January in low latitudes to April in high latitudes. A wolfpack will alternate between a stationary phase from spring through summer and a nomadic phase in autumn and winter. The stationary phase involves caring for pups at a den or homesite. Mother Wolf w/PupDuring summer, most movements are toward or away from the pups, and adults often travel and hunt alone. By autumn, pups are capable of traveling extensively with the adults, so until the next whelping season the pack usually roams as a unit throughout its territory in search of prey. Though often only the highest ranking male and female in a pack will breed, all members of the pack are involved in raising the young. Mortality factors affecting wolves include persecution by humans, killing by other wolves, diseases, parasites, starvation, and injuries by prey. Most wolves probably live less than 10 years in the wild.