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Questions tagged [native-americans]

The native peoples of North America, sometimes referred to as American Indians or First Nations.

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In epic migrations, why keep going?

Over time human cultures tend to naturally migrate, influenced by various push and pull factors. According to the gravity model of migration and specifically the concept of distance decay, very few of ...
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6answers
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Has there ever been a major migration from the New World to the Old World? If not, why?

Considerable research has been done on the ancient migration of humans from Northeast Asia to the Americas. Between that and Columbus, there were a few smaller migration events from elsewhere in the ...
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51 views

American Indian amulet, possibly from the Andaste/Conestoga

Am reading Lindholm, Nya Sveriges Historia (History of New Sweden) and there is a description (p. 67) of two objects in a Swedish museum, a war club and a "wolf skin war bonnet". On the web pages of ...
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1answer
215 views

Do we have any authentic Native American flute music from the 18th century or earlier?

Just wondering if any actual music from Native Americans was recorded (written record, transcribed to some kind of sheet music) by Europeans, in the 18th century or earlier. I'm especially interested ...
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1answer
230 views

Was there any genuine debate in the pre-1860 United States regarding Native American sovereignty?

The United States treated Native American tribes as sovereign states. Relations with various tribes were governed by a series of (often broken) treaties. At the same time, however, general ...
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1answer
474 views

What is the position of modern scholarship as regarding the claims of professor Samuel Rafinesque in his book about the indigenous Americans [closed]

Here is an excerpt of a 19th century book by Professor Rafinesque: PROFESSOR CONSTANTINE SAMUEL RAFINESQUE (THE PRIMITIVE BLACK NATIONS OF AMERICA 1832) "The Native American Negroes or black ...
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7answers
4k views

What describes the average pre-colonial NA Native American lifestyle (across several tribes)?

Late last night I found myself in a remarkable argument with my partner - she, growing up in Idaho, had been taught that Native Americans, regardless of tribe, generally lived short, brutish, savage ...
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1answer
306 views

Were Arctic communities aware how different daylight cycles were elsewhere?

At extreme latitudes, what we would think of as the typical day/night cycle becomes very different. The sun remains continuously visible for one day during the summer solstice at the polar circle, ...
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2answers
688 views

Did any Native Americans make tomahawks from metal?

I'm curious about the evolution of the tomahawk among (North American) Native American peoples like the Algonquin. I assume early versions of the tomahawk had the head made from stone (please correct ...
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1answer
661 views

Was there a European response to the trail of tears?

This question is pretty straightforward. While looking into Victorian British beliefs about Americans and American history I began to wonder about European attitudes toward American Indians; and more ...
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1answer
219 views

Did other American empires also fall to the Europeans?

Since forever, people have subjugated each other to demand labor or resources. A monarchic or centralized power that subjugates several other peoples is an empire. Half a dozen European empires ...
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1answer
358 views

Do indigenous Latin Americans share any common “recent” ancestors with the Chinese?

I'm trying to understand this genetic map World map of Y-DNA Haplogroups and reading this article Settlement of the Americas. The article says North America and South America were settled by people ...
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Why did native americans originally migrate to the Americas?

Native Americans migrated to America around 13000 or 15000 years ago just around the last ice age. I read that during the first wave of migration, they used the Beringia strait to travel across from ...
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3answers
892 views

Is there a genetic link between North America and Vikings?

Is there any evidence of Viking genetics in the North East American Indian population? There is a blue eye trait in some East Coast tribes, especially the Iroquoian tribe of the Cherokee.
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0answers
99 views

Why were the Europeans technologically advanced compared to the Native Americans? [duplicate]

First off, if this question has been asked elsewhere, I apologize. A search turned up nothing but this, which does not have the answer I seek. I'm curious as to why when Europeans started coming ...
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0answers
170 views

Why have so few paleo-Indian skeletons been found?

I recently read Charles C. Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Second Edition, and was intrigued by the footnote on page 174: [Aleš] Hrdlička's complaint about the lack of ...
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1answer
715 views

What were the founding fathers' views on Native Americans? [closed]

What were the founding fathers' views on Native Americans? Did the founding fathers have a lack of respect for the natives, or were they accounted for positively in the enacting of the constitution? ...
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1answer
163 views

Were smoke signals used in conflict between European-American and Native Americans?

Native Americans are known for using smoke signals to communicate messages over long distances. Were they able to use these to send (encoded) messages to coordinate battle against European-Americans? ...
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0answers
242 views

When did the Sateré-Mawé people start using Bullet Ants in their initiation rites?

I just read the very short wiki article on the Satere-Mawe people from South America. They have an initiation rite where a bunch of Bullet Ants sting someone for 10 minutes, and not only that, but to ...
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1answer
197 views

What were the dominant Native American cultures in Eastern Canada and New England in the late 900s?

It's an oddly specific question, I know. Just to lay my cards on the table I'm writing a piece of short fiction about a small band of vikings that penetrates deeper into the American interior than any ...
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2answers
148 views

What was a “Teuctli” in Mesoamerican history

What was a "Teuctli" in Mesoamerican history? I do not know how to spell it. I know that was some kind of leader.
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0answers
112 views

Macuahuitl treatises (Aztec obsidian-edged weapons techniques)

Are there any surviving treatises of how the macuahuitl (or its other Mesoamerican equivalents) was used in battle? Are there different fighting styles both with and without a shield? And if there is ...
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1answer
327 views

Were there any pro-Native American groups during the Indian Wars?

I've recently been reading about the Indians Wars in the mid-1800s, especially as they focused towards the Great Plains. I know that a lot of people supported the army and their westward ventures, but ...
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0answers
161 views

Has any society normally accepted a marriage where someone married unwittingly? [closed]

I recently saw in a movie, "Jeremiah Johnson" (the one from 1972, with Robert Redford), in which Johnson marries a woman unintentionally by sipping from a bowl that she offered. The tribe considered ...
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2answers
5k views

Pre-columbus, what tools did Native Americans use to shave their heads and faces?

I have read that before Columbus, the Native Americans only had stone axes to cut down trees. The Europeans traded them metal axes in exchange for beaver furs. The metal axes cut down trees much ...
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1answer
197 views

Did Europeans ever trade Eye Aids (telescopes, spyglass, etc) to the Native Americans (1608 - 1850)?

Did Europeans ever trade telescopes to the Native Americans? Did they ever attempt to do so? Edit: changing this to any kind of eye aids. Telescopes, spyglass, binoculars, monocles, magnifying ...
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1answer
213 views

Around 1750, How many Native Americans (if any) spent the winter in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan?

This is the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan: I've been reading about it's history during the colonial era. Apparently the Native Americans mined copper from this area because there were great copper ...
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1answer
2k views

What were the indigenous populations of California before American settlement began to peak?

When studying Native American history, California's indigenous peoples are always noted as being far more diverse than the rest of the nation. While the number of distinct languages is generally given,...
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1answer
641 views

Canadian inter-tribal wars [closed]

My research on Canadian Indian conflicts in the 19th century suggests that conflict between tribes was more severe than with the Europeans (expect for the second Metis rebellion). In particular, the ...
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2answers
831 views

What form of cookware did Inuits use in the old days?

I have read that Inuits used some lamps carved from soapstone for heating (driftwood was too precious to be burned). They got some oil for the lamp from blubber. They used a particular species of moss ...
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1answer
266 views

Did the Tlingits benefit from resisting the Russians more than other Alaskan tribes?

The Russian-American Company had ongoing problems with the Tlingit (Kolosh) people living near its colonial headquarters. In other words, the Tlingits resisted incursion more effectively than other ...
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2answers
783 views

Did starvation or malnutrition occur in indigenous American societies?

Colonizers of the Americas often paid natives for work in food, and justified the certainty in doing so as an improvement over the supposedly hazardous, unpredictable lifestyle those natives ...
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1answer
622 views

How were native laborers on California ranchos treated?

The ranchos established during the Mexican period of California history relied on the labor of native Americans. Unlike the Mission properties, ranchos did not attempt to prevent workers from escaping ...
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5answers
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Why were Navajo code talkers used during WW2?

In history class, we are covering WW2. On the topic of code-talking, Native American language usage was mentioned, but nothing was said about cryptography. An online search did not come up with any ...
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1answer
188 views

How did the mortality of the Native Americans happen? [closed]

Why did Native Americans have higher mortality than Europeans? 1% of Europeans have a ccr5 mutation but that doesn't seem like a good reason.
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2answers
380 views

Why were bows referred to as “Indian Artillery”?

So, I recently asked a question about dueling with bows. The top answer for that included an account in The Scottish Journal which described bows and arrows as "Indian Artillery", which is a ...
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3answers
7k views

Did Native-Americans Have Horses? [closed]

So I was reading my history text, and it states that horses were likely hunted to extinction in North America. However, many movies and books display Native-Americans as in-tune-with-nature horse-...
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2answers
710 views

Did any Native Americans adopt a script from Europe (before being assimilated)?

As far as I know, no Native Americans developed their own written language. (Correct me if I'm wrong. There may have been some numeral systems, but that's all I'm aware of.) So now I'm wondering if ...
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0answers
218 views

History of the American Southwest [closed]

I'm planning a road trip through the Southwest U.S., stopping at a lot of national parks and historical sites (click for details): I'd like to listen to audio books while driving, about the history ...
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2answers
2k views

Why were North American Native Americans Underdeveloped

During the Pre-Columbian period of the New World the Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, and many more civilizations roamed the land of south North America and all of South America. They were far more advanced and ...
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2answers
1k views

Smallpox blankets before Germ Theory

How did Americans know that Native Americans would be infected with smallpox, from smallpox infected blankets, hundreds of years before germ theory?
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1answer
578 views

The Mystery of the Native American Cities [closed]

When we hear the term "Native American", cities don't usually come at the top of our minds. Nevertheless, we have found Native American cities that collapsed before the 15th century. Cahokia Tikal ...
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0answers
53 views

Pow Wow's in North America -

Were there great pow wows that brought together Aztec-Yaqui -Tarahumara with those of the northern tribes like the Zuni -Hopi -Navajo ?
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5answers
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How densely populated were the Americas prior to European colonization?

I had a conversation with an individual recently about how unusual it was that there were so few individuals who appeared to be Native American in North America today. (I say appear since no doubt ...
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1answer
868 views

Native American Technology [closed]

I want to know about Native American history. I am young, so I have not learned a awful lot about them. I want to know what kind of things they used for technology, and for what. So my question is: ...
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2answers
817 views

Did Cahokia have any communication with Mexica or Mayan civilization?

It's roughly 2,000 kilometers from St. Louis to modern Mexico city, as the crow flies; a little farther to the Yucatan. The Mississippi river and the Gulf of Mexico provide reasonably direct water ...
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5answers
4k views

Why didn't Native Americans have big sailing ships?

Many European and East Asian powers had very large sailing ships: clippers, junks and the like. Polynesians had sailing capacity, although theirs ships weren't as large. Why didn't Native Americans ...
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0answers
115 views

What, if anything, did Native Americans know about the rest of the world? [duplicate]

Did the indigenous tribes of North America know anything at all about civilization outside the continent before the fifteenth century? If so, how much did they know, and what international relations ...
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3answers
2k views

European colonization of India: contrast with America?

The European colonization of Americas was a bloody conquest leading to significant destruction of the native population (and their cultures). Aside from the fact that a lot of natives inadvertently ...
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1answer
399 views

How did Native Americans defend militarily? [closed]

I've seen Native Americans as great warriors who charged armies and raided settlements but I haven't heard much about their defensive capabilities. When they were attacked, did they have set up any ...