Questions tagged [native-americans]

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

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Who were the 'Water People of North America' and what do we know about them?

I stumbled upon a website showing fascinating water structures in North America. Unfortunately it does not say much about the culture which built these and only speculates about the potential usages ...
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What were the sources of US government revenue from 1790 to 1846?

I am interested in the relative size of different sources of government revenue (federal as well as sub-federal) for the United States between 1790 and 1845, especially during peacetime. Not ...
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If Native Americans didn't own land, how could they plant corn? [closed]

Every child in America learns that Native Americans did not own land. Every child in America also learns that, when the Pilgrims arrived in America, the natives taught them how to plant corn. If the ...
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What systems of opression did colonial South America utilized to acculturate indigenous peoples, compared to the ones used in North America? [closed]

After reading and writing about boarding schools (and prisons) of acculturation here in North America, where Indigenous peoples were forced into Western ways, I am left wondering: Did these systems ...
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What does “Quivira” refer to? [closed]

I've found this term "Quivira", both here and in an old journal by some explorer published in the 1500s. What I'm confused about if is "Quivira" is a term that was applied to the ...
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What events led to the Aztecs and Mayans adopting cocoa beans as a currency?

I read how the Aztec Empire and the Mayans used cocoa beans as a currency but bartered before hand. I know records for these civilizations are rare, but do we have any record of certain historical ...
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Why is the term “Ancestral Puebloans” used and not simply “Puebloans”?

I have seen various history textbooks use the term "Ancestral Puebloans" in referring to the a group who lived in the American Southwest prior to circa 1500. Most books say hese people dispersed and ...
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What made California Indian baskets so good?

"California Indians were among the world's most sophisticated basket makers", according to Steven Hackel in Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis. Descriptions of the baskets emphasize the ...
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Why did the United States Army force Nez Perce to give up their own land?

I'm wondering why United States Army coerced the Nez Perce to give up their own land which had violated the 1855 Treaty of Walla Walla. What I wanted to know is the reason why this had happened, ...
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Where was the Ixcanha Maya community located during the Caste War of the Yucatán?

There is mention of a Mayan community of about a thousand people during the Caste War of the Yucatán who refused to break with the Catholic Church. I am trying to figure out where their community was ...
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Why have population maps indicated a stark divide in population density of the United States on either side ot the 100th Meridian? [closed]

Every time I look at a map of the United States coloured by something proportional to population density, I see a stark vertical line going from northeast North Dakota, through SD, NE, KS, OK, and ...
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What is the name of this song about taking Cherokee land?

I am teaching a lesson about the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears and I have seen many articles about these events quote this excerpt from a song that Georgian settlers sung: All I ask in this ...
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Is there any first-hand evidence of intentional spreading of disease among natives in the Pacific Northwest?

I was working as an interpreter at a city park, and was giving a guided tour of the coast. Because the north end of the city is where an old Native wintering village was, and the outline of it was ...
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Where are the Native American primary source documents?

I am currently looking into Crow Mythology and every website I've seen says essentially "The Native Americans thought of the crow as X". But "NATIVE AMERICANS" is too broad a category! Where are they ...
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Any truth to this story of Native American journeying to England?

In "A New Voyage to Carolina", John Lawson, British Surveyor-General of North Carolina, asserts that some natives once attempted to journey themselves all the way to England as an attempt to cut out ...
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Are there any hypotheses on how the Dorset people disappeared?

I read an article about how anthropologists have discovered artifacts from an ancient Arctic culture known as the Dorset that disappeared centuries ago and were the precursors to the Inuit in the ...
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What were the main centres of population in South America in 1500 AD?

I'm especially interested in the areas outside the Andes, but a general overview of known sites of urbanisation in the continent in that era would be great. Edit for clarification: Various articles ...
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Were there any Native American tribes that had more than a strategic alliance with the Confederates?

Background I have been trying to read more on Native American history in the United States. While it seems to be a lot more multidimensional that I initially thought, the general trend of "the ...
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When did Europeans realize Native Americans had weaker immunity to Old World diseases?

The question is fairly simple: when did Europeans come to a general knowledge that the Native Americans had weak immunity specifically to Old World diseases? I'm looking for the first person to ...
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Who was Chief Poking Fire?

Is there any information about who was Chief Poking Fire? He was the chief of Kahnawake reservation close to Montreal (Canada). On all the pictures he looks like a person with European descent. Is ...
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Is there a population density map of pre-Columbian South America?

I have found such maps for North America, e.g. this one: But never for the southern continent. The goal is a broad overview. How many Lokono were there, compared to the Mapuche (and the Cree for that ...
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What are the occurences of total war in the Native Americans?

In this article from Wikipedia, a war between the Pawnees on one side, and the Sioux and Cheyennes on the other side, is represented. It is claimed this war was a total war because the "non fighters" ...
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What is the brown doll on Nicolás de Ovando's desk?

Nicolás de Ovando (1460-1511) was Spanish governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) before the age of the viceroyalties. In this anonymous portrait from Wikipedia, work materials are artfully arranged ...
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What did indigenous North Americans trade amongst themselves before Europeans arrived?

Once the colonial era began around 1500 or 1600, Europeans and Native Americans started trading. As far as I'm aware, the principal trade was beaver pelts in exchange for iron axes. But I'm ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...