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

31
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7answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
296 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
469 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
509 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
252 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
843 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
472 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.
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Why were the Europeans so 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
100 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
459 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? ...
0
votes
1answer
149 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? ...
2
votes
0answers
209 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
134 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.
0
votes
0answers
92 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
155 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
190 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 ...
18
votes
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,...
-2
votes
1answer
462 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
458 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
564 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
535 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 ...
68
votes
5answers
15k views

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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
172 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.
11
votes
2answers
365 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
6k 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-...
6
votes
2answers
506 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
150 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
849 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?
1
vote
1answer
515 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
51 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 ?
16
votes
5answers
5k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
591 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: ...
5
votes
2answers
637 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
105 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
367 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why weren't North American Indians considered to be property yet to be acquired (slaves)?

When White men came to mainland North America, there were an indigenous population already here. I will refer to that population as North American Indians. Africans were brought to the Americas (...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

When is it okay to use the word “Indian” when meaning “Native American?” [closed]

It has always been a personal pet peeve of mine when Native Americans are referred to as "Indians." It has nothing to do with respect for Native Americans or political correctness; it is entirely ...
9
votes
1answer
274 views

Who were the Deer Touchers?

About 20 years ago I read an article in a periodical (can't remember which periodical) about a tribe of natives (I believe they were North American) who had a tradition of touching live deer. They ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Did native Mexicans prefer Spanish rulers to the Aztecs?

In his letter to Charles V, Hernan Cortes states that "it was only necessary to threaten to return them [the natives] to their native masters in order to make them serve the Spaniards very willingly." ...
93
votes
6answers
32k views

Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?

Why did Native Americans die of European diseases while Europeans didn't have serious diseases from the New World? I read that most Native American victims of colonization in the new world died of ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

Historical drivers behind demographics of Indigenous populations in American countries [duplicate]

Today I run into this picture (shown below) that shows what seems to be a stark difference in the percentage of indigenous populations in Spanish speaking countries vs other countries in the Americas (...