Native American

Native American

Hardcover(1 AMER ED)

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The compelling story of Native Americans, retold through magnificent archive photographs and an absorbing narrative.

The history of Native Americans, their conflicts and struggles, their spiritual life and adaptations to contemporary America, is presented through photography and written text. Incorporating a vast collection of archival photographs with deeply researched text, the traditions, history, and current lives of the American Indians are presented in Dorling Kindersley's unique style. The photographs are interwoven with chronological details, eyewitness accounts, and side-bar references to provide in-depth understanding of events. Wars of resistance and conquest are described, and maps are presented to show the forced marches of tribes.

Arlene Hirschfelder is the author and editor of numerous books on the Native American, including the award-winning, American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children. She was a consultant for the US National Museum of the American Indian and for Turner Broadcasting Company's acclaimed series, The Native Americans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780789451620
Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date: 04/28/2000
Edition description: 1 AMER ED
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 8.82(w) x 11.22(h) x 0.72(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Ancestral Times to 1850s


Encounters between North American Native peoples and Europeans began peaceably, but soon deteriorated as the newcomers sought to conquer the disease-weakened Native populations.

Ancestral Native Life

For at least 30,000 YEARS, long before the first arrivals of Europeans in 1500, ancient Native peoples had populated the North American landscape with a diversity of thriving societies. These first Americans regarded nature as the source of all existence and excelled at exploiting natural resources and adapting to the climates and terrains in which they lived. Many Natives today dispute scientific theories that their ancestors originally migrated across the Bering Sea land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

Some scientists believe that the human history of North America began when small bands of Paleo-Indian hunters made their way across the Bering Sea land bridge from Siberia to Alaska. Eventually these people and their descendants spread throughout North and South America, and they, the scientists say, are the ancestors of all subsequent generations of Native peoples. The best known of the early arrivals are estimated to have occurred between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago, but some archaeologists extend this period back to 100,000 years.

    Many Native peoples, however, argue that their ancestors originated in the Americas, and they question the scientists' theories,citing the lack of archaeological evidence, the difficulty of the journey, and the fact that the theory does not fit with tribes' oral accounts of their origins, which have been passed on through the generations. These creation stories describe spirits ascending from the underground or the sea into the world today, and tell of spiritual beings descending from the sky. In such accounts, the spirits often create people after arriving in the present-day world.

Developing Native Cultures

By AD 1000, Native peoples had established complex societies across North America. Dense populations on the Northwest coast exploited the abundance of sea mammals and fish in the Pacific Ocean and in the tributaries of the Columbia River. A warm climate promoted the growth of vast forests of giant evergreen trees, which the Natives used to build houses and to construct giant totem poles.

    In the deserts of the Southwest, the Natives built apartment-like dwellings and practiced agriculture so successfully that, even in such arid surroundings, they could support sizable populations. In the Arctic, inhabitants adapted remarkably well to the harsh environment, becoming highly skilled hunters and fishermen and relying on sea and land mammals to provide dependable food sources. The forests of the Northeast were a natural resource for Native peoples — wood for houses, boats, tools, and fuel, as well as bark for clothing, roofing, and bedding. These forests also housed game — a source of meat for food, hides for clothing, and bones for tools.

    The famous Plains Indian culture evolved in the treeless grassland region only after the arrival of whites. Different kinds of animals, such as buffalo, antelope, deer, elk, and rabbits, lived on the grasslands and provided meat for food as well as hides, bones, and horns for shelter, clothing, and tools.

Natural Spirituality

Religion was the center of existence for these ancient peoples, who constructed their ceremonies and rituals around solstices and equinoxes. They worshiped at natural sacred sites, where they communed with their ancestors and with plants, animals, and spirits. Their daily lives were built around praying to spiritual powers and giving thanks for crop harvests and success in hunting.

The Pueblo Peoples

Around AD 800, the Pueblo Indians, began to from their distinctive cultures, living in multilevel, apartment-style adobe villages. As well as being gifted potters, they mastered irrigation, allowing them to farm in the arid environment. They also plated crops at the mouths of large washes to capture the runoff from heavy rainfall.

League of the Iroquois

Some time before the mid-fifteenth century, five nations in present-day New York State and Ontario — Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca (later jointed by the Tuscarora) — united to form the Iroquois Confederacy. Known as Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse), the nations form an east-to-west geographic line, just as families were arranged in a longhouse.

The Blackfeet

One of the most powerful and numerous Indian tribes, the Blackfeet controlled a huge area from the North Saskatchewan River in what is now Alberta, Canada, to the upper Missouri River in present-day Montana. They adapted to a mobile life on the open grasslands, hunting buffalo, their main food source, on foot with stone and bone arrows and lances.

The Haida

The Northwest coast provided an abundant food supply for the Haida, who lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands, off present-day British Columbia. There, they hunted sea mammals, such as seals, and fished for cod. In an area well supplied with timber, they built large houses of cedar planks; the door openings faced the sea and one or more totem poles were erected in front of each house.

The Inuits

The Inuits, formerly known in Canada as Eskimos (see p.15), have lived in Alaska, the Northwest Territories, the provinces of Newfoundland and Quebec, Siberia, and Greenland. In this mostly icebound region, some Inuits hunted walruses, seals, and whales for food, clothing, weapons, tools, and oil for lighting and cooking. Inland, others hunted caribou for meat and materials.

Table of Contents

A Conflict of Cultures: Ancestral Times to 1850s16
Ancestral Native Life18
The Spirit World22
Native Voice: Black Elk26
European Penetration28
First European Contacts30
Indian Removals34
Native Voice: Tecumseh36
Nature's Harvest38
Indian Homelands Disrupted42
Opening up the West46
Arrival of the Missionaries48
A Traditional Indian Childhood54
Dispossession and Loss: 1780s to 1860s56
Time for Talking58
Native Voice: Harold Cardinal60
Indians in the Civil War62
The Santee Dakota Revolt64
Native Voice: Little Crow68
Massacre at Sand Creek70
The Navajo Long Walk74
Native Voice: Manuelito76
War Against Native Peoples: 1860s to 1890s78
Southern Plains Conflict80
The Staff of Life86
War for the Northern Plains88
Battles for the West92
Battle of the Little Bighorn94
Wild West Myths98
Canada Past and Present100
The Riel Rebellions102
Native Voice: Louis Riel104
Wars for the West108
Native Voice: Sarah Winnemucca112
The Nez Perce War114
Apaches Hold Out116
Native Voice: Eskiminzin120
Carving up Reservations122
Native Voice: Carl Sweezy126
Boarding Schools128
The End of Armed Resistance132
Native Voice: American Horse136
Resurgence and Renewal: 1900 to Present Day138
Life on the Reservations140
Native Voice: Pretty-Shield146
Struggle for a New Deal148
On Military Service152
Termination and Relocation156
Trading an Image158
The March of Red Power162
Native Voice: Adam Fortunate Eagle166
The Fight Continues170
Homelands in the US Today172
Contemporary Indian Life174
Native Voice: Wilma Mankiller180
Revitalized Cultures182
Native Voice: Ella Deloria184
Bibliography and Useful Addresses186
Acknowledgments and Credits192

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