Native American Culture (Essay Sample)

Native American Culture

Native Americans, also known as Indigenous Americans, American Indians, and Indians, are the aboriginal people of the United States. Over five hundred identified tribes within the U. S. nearly half of which are related with Indian reservations. The word is eliminating Native Hawaiians and some Alaska locals. The forefathers of today’s Native Americans came into what is currently the United States at minimum fifteen thousand years ago, probably much longer through Beringia from Asia. A huge variety of individuals, cultures, and societies subsequently emerged. The European colonization of the local Americas, which began in 1492 greatly, affected the Native Americans and their population reduced precipitously due to slavery, warfare, and diseases (Lamb, 2017). Many Native American individuals were forced to removals, one sided treaties, and warfare after the founding of the United States. Still in the 21st Century, they still continue to suffer from government policies which are discriminating them. Many lives of the Native Americans have changed since 1960s due to movements such as the Native American Self Resolution. In modern America, over five million Native Americans live in the United States even though many present time issues are still faced by Native Americans. Accordingly, this paper seeks to describe the Native American culture, its history and its influence to the world.

Before the arrival of Europeans and Christopher Columbus the Native Americans lived in the United States. The Native Americans are sometimes referred as American Indians because when Columbus arrived in America, he thought that he had arrived to the nation of India and he referred to the locals as Indians and the name remained for some period. The history of the aboriginal Americans in the United States started in the early times thousands of years ago with the colony of the Americas by the Paleo Indians. Archaeologists and Anthropologists have studied, and identified a wide class of cultures which lived during these times (Morgan, 2017). The coming contact with the Europeans had an intense influence on their history. According to the settlement of the Americas, movements of people from Eurasia to the America took place through Beringia, a land connection which joined the two continents across which is currently the Bering Strait. The composition and number of migrations is still being argued. About 60-25 000 years ago, descending sea levels related with a thorough time of Quaternary glaciation established the Bering land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska. The prior this migration could have occurred is twelve thousand years ago; the untimely remains unknown. As traced by genetic data and linguistic, three crucial migrations took place; the untimely Paleoamericans soon expanded all through the Americas, expanding into many hundreds of culturally discrete tribes and nations. The North American attitude was the same as today by 8000 BCE. The Americas must have populated in three bids, established on language dissimilarities.

The American Indians were grouped into nations or tribe on the region one lived in and one’s culture like language, customs, and religion. The smaller tribes were sometimes part of a bigger nation or tribe. The aboriginal Americans can be grouped as belonging to a group of large cultural sphere. The Native Americans are described by Untimely European bookman as having a community which is dominated gentes or clans before the tribes were established. Differentiation and subdivision occurred between different groups. Many languages developed in the North America with each tribe speaking independently a dialect. Some attributes and functions of tribes include the possession of the clans, the right to deposing these chiefs and sachems. In art and society, belts or strings known as Wampum were used by the Iroquois who lived around the Great lakes and extended north and east. The strings served two purposes: the beaded and knot patterns mnemonically recorded tribal legends and stories, and even more served as a means of exchange and a component of measure. The guardians of the artifacts were observed as tribal notables (Washburn 2017). In agriculture, untimely crop the aboriginal Americans produced was squash. Other untimely plants included sump weed, goosefoot, tobacco, sunflower, pumpkins, and cotton. Agriculture started around four thousand years ago in the southwest when merchants brought cultigens from Mexico. Due to differing weather, some creativity was required for agriculture to be prosperous. The weather in the southwest varies from moist, cool mountains areas, to sandy, dry soil in the desert. Some transformation of the period by bringing water through irrigation into the dry areas and the choice of seed based on the characteristics of the growing crops that bared them.

In religion, traditional aboriginal Americans practices are still practiced by large bands and tribes, and older theological systems of beliefs are still embraced by many of the customary individual. Attachment to another belief may be accompanied by these spiritualities, or can portray an individual’s central doctrinal identity. Customary practices of some tribes comprised the using of religious herbs likes sweetgrass, sage, or grass (Kunitz, 2016). Many simple tribes possess sweat lodge practices, though the precise details of the ceremony differed among tribes. Prayer, singing, and fasting in the early languages of one’s people, and sometimes striking are also regular. In gender roles, the tribes of Native Americans differentiated gender roles. Both genders had capacity in making decisions within one’s tribe. Many tribes like the Haudenosaunee had matrilineal structures, in which hereditary leadership and property were managed by and passed through motherly lines. The children were contemplated to belong to the side of the mother and acquired rank within it. In sports, the leisure time of the Native Americans ushered to team sports and competitive people. Lacrosse was a ball sport in Native America, baggataway or stickball was frequently used to resolve disagreement, rather than starting war, as a polite was of settling potential disputes. In music and art, music frequently comprises of drumming or playing bangs or other percussion tools. Whistles and flutes were made of wood, bone, or cane was also played mostly by people. Aboriginal Americans art includes a major classification in the world of art gathering. These arts gathering comprises of painting, jewellery, basketry, weavings, sculpture, and carvings.

In conclusion, Native Americans, also known as Indigenous Americans, American Indians, and Indians, are the aboriginal people of the United States. The forefathers of today’s Native Americans came into what is currently the United States at minimum fifteen thousand years ago, probably much longer through Beringia from Asia and because of this a huge variety of individuals, cultures, and societies subsequently emerged. The people were grouped into nations or tribe on the region one lived in and one’s culture like language, customs, and religion. The culture of the Native Americans varies in many areas such as religion, music and art, sports, and gender roles.

References

  • Lamb A. (2017). Slavery, Native Americans, The New Deal, and More. Teacher Librarian, 45(1), p42
  • Morgan J. (2017). Anthropologists in Unexpected Places: Tracing Anthropological theory, Practise, and Policy in Indians at work. American Anthropologists, 119(3), p435.
  • Kunitz S. (2016). Historical Influences on Contemporary Tobacco Use by Northern Plains and Southwestern American Indians. American Journal of Public Health, 106(2), p246.
  •  Washburn K. (2017). WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS: THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY. Harvard Law Review, 130(6), p200
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