Questions tagged [native-americans]

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

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When did the Ciboney arrive on Cuba and displace the Guanahatabey?

Finding the answer to this question the conventional way is stumping my Google fu, as many sources describe Guanahatabey and Ciboney as synonymous. I am referring to the hunter-gatherer Guanahatabey, ...
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When did Mesoamericans stop using their native weapons?

Indigenous warriors of today's Mexico used atlatl spear-throwers and obsidian-bladed hand weapons such as tepoztopilli and macuahuitl. According to Bernal Díaz del Castillo, these arms were formidable ...
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Did pre-Columbian Americans know the spherical shape of the Earth?

The Maya are known for their astronomy and mathematics, most notably their famous calculation of the length of a year. I was surprised to learn that they supported a flat Earth model, though to be ...
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280 views

Why did Europeans call Native Americans Indians in the 18th Century AD, After they had found out they were in the wrong continent?

Why did European people continue to call Native Americans as Indians even after they found out they were not Indians? Question was inspired by Louis Ck's stand up bit. Based on what I know: ...
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331 views

What major Native American tribes were around Santa Fe during the late 1850s?

This question is rather basic and self-explanatory, yet I can't find answers to it when I look it up. I would appreciate if someone could give me at least 2-3 tribes which were around the Santa Fe ...
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Are there any histories of indigenous Americans who were brought to Europe?

I have read brief accounts of indigenous Americans who were brought to Europe in the wake of Columbus's arrival, including a family of Inuit who were brought to meet Elizabeth I but died shortly after ...
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How far did climate affect civilisation development in the Americas?

The shapes and orientations of Eurasia and Africa result in the former having larger regions of similar climate. This video discusses the hypothesis that: regions of similar climate can more readily ...
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Did Woodland period Native Americans seek/value gold prior to European Colonization?

Did Native Americans actively or passively seek out and/or value gold prior to the arrival of Europeans? Presumably they were not actively mining for gold. But did they seek it out (perhaps in river ...
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Why is the name “Tecumseh” used for US Navy ships?

It is common practice to name warships after historical heroes of a nation. The US Navy had four vessel named USS Tecumseh Two of them were tugboats, but the other two were a then-cutting-edge ...
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1answer
214 views

Early concepts of property rights and market exchange among native North Americans?

I just saw a documentary about the colonial time in North America and how the Lenape people sold the Delaware valley to Europeans. In this program a current Lenape "chieftain" claimed that the Lenape ...
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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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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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Were Iroquois mourning rituals unique?

A section of the Wikipedia article discussing the culture of the Iroquois states the following: ...Since it was believed that the death of a family member also weakened the spiritual strength of ...
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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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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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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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622 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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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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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
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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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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
237 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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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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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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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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232 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
954 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
191 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
260 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
243 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
174 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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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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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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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
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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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235 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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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
815 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
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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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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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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
876 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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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
205 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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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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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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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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263 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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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 ...