Native Cultures Revisited

Essay by riggie40University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2009

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Let us travel back in time when the air was clean, animals were plentiful, forests flourished with timber, and the water was pure. All of that sounds like a great place to be, perhaps even live and raise a family, but was the grass greener? During our trip we will view the lives of some of the first people who occupied what is now the United States: The Great Plains Indians and the Eastern Woodlands Indians. We will peer into their cultures, the nourishment that gave them strength, their social organization, who or what they worshiped, and how they adapted to sustain life.

Our adventure begins on the Great Plains of the Midwest where we will find the Great Plains Indians. Stretching from the northern to southern borders through the center of the Americas was a vast area of open land in which the Plains Indians called their home. Some being nomadic they lived most of their lives moving with the migration of large buffalo.

These natives depended heavily on the buffalo for food, as well as much of their other basic necessities, such as housing, clothing, shoes, utensils for sewing, eating, materials for manufacturing weapons, and the making of spiritual headdresses. Along with the buffalo they hunted the natives also enjoyed various berries, fruits, vegetables, and roots in their diet. (Carlson, Paul H. 1998).

Wood from trees such as the Osage orange made up their primary weapon, the bow;(Carlson, Paul H. 1998) living in a strong warrior society they enjoyed the luxury of strong fast horses which they believed were given them by the spirits, to be utilized for transportation of homes, people, and hunting as well as in battle. Becoming a warrior was a great honor and came only after years of training followed by various tests and...