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Native Americans

Native Americans

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Uneducated Pagans. The Spanish, English, Dutch, and French all professed their desire to teach Native Americans the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, spreading Christianity to the benighted peoples of the New World was a prime rationale for European colonization. However, propagating the faith always took place within a broader cultural context peculiar to the nationality of the colonists involved. Both the Spanish and the English thought in terms of transforming the Indians way of life, but only the Spanish pursued that goal rigorously and made it the foundation upon which much of Spanish American culture was based. Of course it was arguably much more the result of European and Indian sexual intermingling than the monumental educational efforts jointly undertaken by the Catholic Church and the Spanish Crown. Moreover, in the borderlands of Florida, Texas, and New Mexico, Spanish success at acculturating the Indians was limited at best. The British too aimed at civilizing as well as Christianizing the Indians, but compared to the Spanish, whose mighty missionary efforts were driven by the powerful Catholic Church, the British commitment to propagating their faith and culture among Native Americans was desultory. Also bringing together the resources of their Catholic Church and Crown, the French missionary adventure in North America was extensively pursued through the Saint Lawrence River valley, the Illinois country, and down the Mississippi River valley to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. Less intrusive and generally more accommodating than Spanish clerics, French priests nevertheless garnered thousands of converts and played a crucial role in forging a Franco-Indian alliance that dominated much of North America. The European missions to the Indians aside, the most fascinating educational story regarding the Indians concerned their adjustments to the European invasion of America that began with Columbuss arrival in 1492.

Florida. During their war against the Aztec empire in the 1520s, Spaniards developed attitudes toward the Indians that would shape their policy in the borderlands. Before the Aztecs could be taught the gospel, the Spanish conquerors believed, their old religion, which sanctioned human sacrifice and idolatry, had to be crushed. The Franciscan priests carried this conquest mentality into the borderlands, bound and determined not just to convert the natives but to civilize them. Because of its location near the Bahamas channel used by Spanish treasure ships, Florida was of strategic importance. After the French established a Huguenot settlement there in 1564, Spain struck back. The French fort was destroyed; Saint Augustine was established in 1565; and presidios and missions gradually multiplied through central and northern Florida. Numbering perhaps as many as five hundred thousand in 1500, the Indians in Floridathe Calusa, Tequesta, Tocobaga, Timuca, and Apalacheedeclined rapidly in response to disease, warfare, and enslavement. By 1650 Franciscan friars had disrupted traditional tribal life and established thirty-eight missions, to which were attached twenty-six thousand Indian converts. Intent upon advancing both Christianity and Spanish culture, the Franciscans tightly regulated mission life, teaching not only religious doctrine but handicrafts and farming skills. Several tribes such as the Guales and Westos never accepted Spanish domination and resisted fiercely the expansion of Franciscan missions. The Creek Indians and English settlers from the Carolinas raided the Florida missions, seizing the Indian converts and selling them into slavery in the Caribbean.

Eighteenth Century. By 1750 Florida was garrisoned by four hundred soldiers, but the Indian population may well have declined to no more than a few thousand, and the civilian population remained slight. Deerskins were the chief export, and Saint Augustine had to be continuously supplied from Cuba. Threatened by growing English populations in South Carolina and Georgia, Spanish officials in Florida granted freedom to runaway slaves from Carolina and Georgia, who joined with friendly Indians and Spanish troops in defending the province. In 1763, when Florida was surrendered to the English at the end of the French and Indian War, the Spanish government evacuated some thirty-one hundred settlers and Indians to Cuba and New Spain.

New Mexico. As in Florida, demographic catastrophe reduced the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico from eighty thousand in 1598 to seventeen thousand in 1679. Some twenty-four Pueblo towns survived the conquest, and they were divided into seven districts by the Franciscans, who were determined to root out the idolatrous religion they believed the Indians practiced. Everything about Pueblo life had religious significance, from irrigating the fields and working the corn crops to annual hunting trips. The gods were collectively known as the kachinas, and many voluntary associations, dedicated to one of the kachinas, were formed to pass along crucial knowledge about daily life and work which this or that particular god had supposedly passed along to the people once upon a time. Just as parents taught their young basic skills and kinship traditions, so did the associations initiate the young into the myriad of rules and regulations that governed the village. Taught to obey and conform, Pueblo Indians appeared to take the teaching of the Franciscans to heart, increasing numbers accepting Christianity and working at the missions, where they practiced their traditional arts and also those Spanish handicrafts introduced by the friars. Although the Franciscans confiscated ceremonial masks, prohibited the traditional rituals which took place in the kiva (underground religious chambers), and punished native religious leaders who dared to defy them openly, the Pueblo accepted Christian baptism but continued to keep their customs.

Revolt and Aftermath. The uncompromising stand of the Franciscans, coupled with several years of drought and rising persecution of native religious leaders, led to the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, during which the Spanish colonists were driven from the northern Rio Grande, including Sante Fe, and the old religious ways were fully revived. A dozen years later the Spanish began to reconquer the Pueblo, taking a frightful vengeance upon the Indians. However, the Franciscans who returned with the soldiers did not try to dominate the Pueblo as before the 1680 revolt. The Pueblo continued to become more Hispanized, incorporating more and more Catholic doctrine

into their lives, but it was increasingly upon their own terms. As for the friars, they concentrated increasingly upon the general population, catechizing and nurturing the faith among the settlers and their children as well as the Indians. By 1750 the settlers numbered about four thousand and the Indians about ten thousand. As Pueblos and settlers alike banded together to resist marauding Apache and Comanche, cultural and religious compromise became more acceptable for the Pueblo and their Hispanic neighbors alike.

Arizona and Texas. The work of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino and two other Jesuit priests among the Indians of northern Mexico and southern Arizona proved a salutary contrast to the Franciscan missionaries in New Mexico. Unlike the Franciscans, who generally thought that Indian culture was incorrigible and must be totally transformed, the Jesuits believed that they could engraft Christianity upon the religious views of the Indians. Ministering among the Pimas and their northern neighbors, the Papagos, the Jesuits were much more gentle and positive in their missionary approach than the Franciscans. Father Kino established some twenty enclaves of Christian Indians, introduced wheat and other European cereals, and brought cattle and other livestock into the region. Carefully catechizing and preparing the Indians for baptism, Father Kino also utilized other Christian Indians to spread the gospel. Altogether, despite their cautious approach to proselyting, Kino and his Jesuit cohorts baptized more than thirty thousand Indians between 1687 and 1711. However, following his death his missions among the peoples of the Pimeria Alta were neglected and failed. Fear of French expansion into Texas in 1714 shifted Spanish attention, both civil and ecclesiastical, toward the region northeast of Mexico which had been declared a frontier province in 1691. Between 1717 and 1724 the Franciscans established ten missions and the Viceroyalty of New Spain established four presidios in Texas, with San Antonio de Bejar as its capital. In the mission communities converts were not only instructed in Catholicism but also taught various trades that would enhance the self-sufficiency of the mission itself. Mission work among the nomadic and warlike Apache, Comanche, and various Indian bands known collectively as Norteños was challenging and dangerous. The Spanish settlements were vulnerable to marauding Indians and the French, both of whom came well armed. As late as 1742 there were only eighteen hundred Spaniards and thirteen hundred Native Americans in Texas.

Early French Missions. As Samuel de Champlain, the entrepreneur who founded Quebec in 1609, made trade agreements with the Indians of Canada, he obtained their approval to send missionaries among them. The Recollects and the Capuchins, both reform branches of the Franciscans, were the first French missionaries in Canada. However, the Franciscans thought in terms of root-and-branch reformation of the Indians, that is, transforming them into good Christian Frenchmen, something that was quite impossible to do as long as French colonists remained few in number in the province. In short, the Indians had to be civilized before they would become good candidates for Christianity. So the Recollect and Capuchins encouraged the Huron and Montagnais to give up nomadic habits and settle near European villages, become farmers, and send their children to Catholic schools. They educated some Indian boys themselves in Canada and sent others to France for schooling. However, they had little success. Between 1615 and 1627 the Recollects reportedly baptized only fifty-four Indians, forty-one of whom had stopped coming to church services.

French Jesuits. Clerics of the Society of Jesus were better equipped to preach and teach among the Indians of New France. In 1625 the Jesuit mission to the Huron began in earnest with the arrival of Fathers Charles Lalemand, Jean de Brebeuf, and Ennemond Masse. In 1639, thanks largely to the encouragement of the Jesuits, the Ursulines and the Soeurs Hospitalières of Dieppes founded a school for girls and a hospital in Quebec. The school was initially intended for Indian girls, but their parents were resistant. Rather than simply dismissing Indian culture as worthless paganism, the Jesuits learned to build upon certain traditional elements in Indian religion to bring them around to Christianity. So the Jesuits traveled and lived with the Indians and accepted much of Native American culture as legitimate. They generally found it did little good to complain about the lack of sexual inhibitions of young girls, easy divorce practices of adults, or ritualistic torture and cannibalism. Unlike the Franciscans, who were usually rotated around every five years, the French Jesuits would spend many yearsoften the remainder of their livesministering to the same Indians. Such methods won not only converts but respect for the blackrobes, whose gentle ways and strange dress had initially led the Indians to ridicule them. Altogether, 115 Jesuit fathers came to New France during the seventeenth century.

Later Mission Efforts. The Jesuits early on concentrated their efforts among the Hurons, who dominated the fur trade in Canada and who lived in a vast area bounded by Georgian Bay and lakes Huron, Erie, Ontario, and Simcoe. They learned their language, nursed them through illnesses, assisted them with farming, and began to gain a following among the thirty thousand Hurons by discrediting native religious leaders. However, between 1648 and 1650 the Iroquois from the Finger Lakes region of western New York invaded Huronia and either killed or dispersed all its people, including some Jesuit priests, who claimed twelve thousand Huron converts before the Iroquois massacres. After gathering together the remnants of the Huron people, the Jesuits continued their ministry among the Indians in the east and the west, often traveling with explorers and furtraders to tribes who had not heard the gospel. As with the Huron, the Jesuits learned the languages of other tribes; translated the Catholic catechism, creeds, and set prayers into the local Indian dialect; and exercised native catechumens orally in the doctrines of the faith. Indian languages, though wonderfully suited to the style of life of their speakers, were ill equipped to convey the often abstract meaning of European Christianity. Sin, for example, as an offense before God, was simply not in their vocabulary. Jesuits overcame this linguistic obstacle by living with the Indians, by learning many of the nuances of their oral cultures, by the use of ritual and singing, and by using familiar occurrences to convey Christian principles. Images, especially ornamental crucifixes, vessels, vestments, pictures in Bibles, and token figures of Mary and the baby Jesus given to the Indians, were important instruments of propagating the faith.

A JESUIT SPEAKS OUT

In 1647 Jesuit priest Paul Rogueneau, ministering I among the Hurons, expressed more tolerance and patience than many other clergymen attempting to educate the heathens:

One must be very careful before condemning a thousand things and customs, which greatly offend minds brought up and nourished in another world. It is easy to call irreligious what is merely stupidity, and to take for diabolical workings something that is nothing more than human; and then, one thinks he is obliged to forbid as impious certain things that are done in all innocence, or, at most, are silly but not criminal customs.... Ï have no hesitation in saying that we have been too severe in this point.

Source: W. J. Eecles, The Canadian Frontier, 15341760, revised edition (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1983), p. 48.

Mississippi Valley Missions. As the Jesuits moved west into the Illinois country and down the Mississippi River, they taught not only Catholic doctrine but also French and on occasion would send a bright Indian boy

back to Quebec or Montreal for study. A few of these young men continued to be transported to France to attend a grammar school or college. However, the results of such a French education were not encouraging, for when the educated young Indians returned, they found themselves creatures torn between two worlds, neither of which fully accepted them. Those who learned French and remained with their respective tribes, however, often became important cultural mediators. Jesuit missions were established among the Ojibwes at Keweenaw Bay on Lake Superior in 1660 and on the western shore of Lake Superior at La Pointe du Saint Esprit in 1665. Opposition of the warlike Lakota forced Father Jacques Marquette to abandon La Pointe and establish another mission on Michilimackinac Island in the straits between Lakes Michigan and Huron in 1671. Having explored the Mississippi River with Louis Jolliet in 1673, Father Marquette established a mission he called Immaculate Conception among the Illinois Indians at Kaskaskia in 1674, the year before his death. Other Catholic missions were established at Detroit, Vincennes, and Saint Louis, with Christian Indians always congregating nearby. However, despite the French colonization along the Gulf Coast in the eighteenth century, French missions among the Muskogean Indians of the area never flourished, in part because ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the region was disputed for decades by the bishop of Quebec, the Congregation de Propaganda Fide in Rome, and the Society for Foreign Missions.

New Netherland. Dutch traders and Iroquois chiefs early on formed a military and economic alliance that proved mutually beneficial. The Iroquois served as the middlemen in the fur trade between the Dutch and the western Indians, performing much the same role as their traditional enemies, the Huron, did for the French. The Provisional Articles for New Netherland, promulgated by the Dutch West India Company in 1624, expected the colonists to lead the Indians to Christ. By the example of godliness and outward discipline on the part of the Christians, wrote the commissioners of the company, the heathen may sooner be brought to a knowledge of the same. The first Dutch Reformed preacher in the colony, Jonas Michaelius, who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1628, found ministering to the Indians especially frustrating. Domine Michelius stated that they were entirely savage and wild, strangers to all decency, yea, uncivil and stupid as garden poles, proficient in all wickedness and godlessness; devilish men, who served the Devil. The only way to Christianize the Indians, Michelius believed, was to separate the young from their parents and teach them both the Dutch language and Christian principles before they learned the heathenish tricks and deviltries of their elders. But the domine doubted that such a plan could ever be implemented, given the reluctance of Indian parents to be separated from their offspring. In 1642 Domine Johannes Megapolensis became the minister for Rensselaerswyck, the patroonship located up the Hudson surrounding Fort Orange. Megapolensis learned the Mohawk tongue and wrote a small book about them, but he apparently had little success converting them to the Christian faith. In 1649 Megapolensis was called to New Amsterdam, where he was joined shortly by another preacher, Domine Samuel Drisius. In 1657, having worked for two years instructing their single Indian convert in the Christian doctrine, the two domines sadly reported that their once prized neophyte had become a drunk, sold his Bible, and turned into a regular beast, doing more harm than good among the Indians. Domine Gideon Schaets, who had replaced Megalpolensis at Rensselaerswyck in 1652, was asked to use all Christian zeal there to bring up both the Heathen and their children in the Christian religion, but his success was negligible.

Virginia. The English mission to the Indians in Virginia began promisingly enough as the Reverend Alexander Whitaker converted the Indian princess Pocahontas to Christianity. The latters visit to England, which ended tragically with her death, built public support for the establishment of an Indian college at Henrico, a project that collapsed with the massacre of settlers around Jamestown in 1622. The way of conquering them is much more easy than of civilizing them by fair means, reported officials of the Virginia Company after suppressing the Indian uprising, for they are a rude, barbarious, and naked people, scattered in small companies, which are helps to victory, but hindrance to civility: Besides that, a conquest may be of many and at once; but civility is in particular, and, slow, the effect of long time, and great industry. Despite such sentiments, the charter granted the College of William and Mary in 1693 called for the establishment of a school with one professor to teach Indian boys reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion. The latter provision qualified the college for funds from the legacy of Robert Boyle, and an Indian school was established.

Mayhew and Eliot. In New England, given their rigorous theology with its emphasis upon the conversion experience, biblical knowledge, and disciplined living, the Puritans found proselytizing the Indians especially challenging. Few were converted before the 1640s when Thomas Mayhew Jr. of Marthas Vineyard and John Eliot of Roxbury began their respective ministries to the local Indians in Massachusetts. By 1652 Mayhew had 283 Indian converts. Convinced that it was absolutely necessary to carry on civility with religion, John Eliot established the first town for his praying Indians in 1651. Over the next fourteen years thirteen towns of praying Indians were established, but only two of them had churches with covenants that fully met the approval of neighboring Puritan congregations. Eliot also established English schools in the towns of the praying Indians. Both Mayhew and Eliot were assisted by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, chartered by Parliament in 1649 and having collected almost £16,000 by 1660. Rechartered after the restoration of the Stuart monarchy as the Company for Propagation of the Gospell in New England and the Parts Adjacent in America, under the leadership of the scientist Robert Boyle, this organization underwrote the publication of several books in the Algonquian language, including Eliots Algonquian edition of the Bible. By the early 1670s approximately twenty-five hundred Christian Indians lived in New England, roughly 20 percent of the remaining Indians in the region. During King Philips War perhaps a third of the praying Indians joined in and attacked New Englanders. Although the assistance of the other two-thirds of the praying Indians was crucial in the death of King Philip and the defeat of his forces, wartime hostilities destroyed most of their towns and brought the praying Indians under considerable suspicion. Even before King Philips War, Eliot and other New England mission leaders had come to doubt the wisdom of relying upon native teachers and made plans for establishing English schools. Given what they perceived as the idle ways of the Indians, New Englanders generally had decided that Indians would have to be Anglicized before there was hope for them to be truly civilized and Christianized.

Missions in the South. In 1714, to curry favor with the Siouan-speaking tribes along Virginias vulnerable southwestern frontier, Gov. Alexander Spotswood of Virginia established Fort Christina, where reportedly as many as seventy-seven Indian children were also taught English and exercised in the Anglican catechism. After political feuding in 1717 led the Virginia Burgesses to refuse further funding of the frontier outpost, the teacher at Fort Christina, Charles Griffin, became master of the Indian school at the College of William and Mary. Over the years Indian attendance varied, from a reported high of twenty-four in one year to one in another. In fact, well into the 1730s William and Mary itself was not much of a college, hardly more than a grammar school for planters sons. In 1721 there were no Indian students, but money allotted by the Boyle fund for Indian education in Virginia kept accumulating, so President Blair took £500 from the Boyle fund in 1723 to build Brafferton Hall, the fine two-story structure designated to house the Indians. In 1732 Blair tapped the Boyle account again, this time for the purchase of books to upgrade William and Marys small library, where Indians as well as white students would presumably use them. However, relatively few Indians were housed in Brafferton until intercolonial warfare in the 1740s and 1750s brought young Cherokee and Shawnee hostages there to be taught reading, writing, and religion. Many of them died there, victims of the unfamiliar and deadly disease environment despite considerable effort to give them the best medical care. Others simply ran away. As Gov. Robert Dinwiddie wrote in 1756 of some Cherokee boys, they had no Inclination to Learning and could not be reconciled to their books. William Byrd II complained of the Indian schoolboys that once back with their people they immediately Relapt into Infidelity and Barbarism themselves. Indeed, Byrd believed, since they unhappily forget all the good they learn, and remember the III, they are apt to be more vicious and disorderly than the rest of their Countrymen. In the rest of the colonial South, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (S.P.G.) encouraged its missionaries to teach Gods Word to the Indians, and some surely did, though most stayed along the coastal settlements where relatively few Indians lived. In the late colonial period the Presbyterians in Virginia especially and the Moravians in North Carolina and Georgia also engaged in missions to the Indians, though their impact was probably even slighter than that of the S.P.G. in the South.

New England Missions. Few of Eliots Indian-language translations were published after 1700. There was little enthusiasm even for reprinting Eliots Indian Bible. It is a very sure, the best thing we can do for our Indians is to Anglicize them in all agreeable Instances, wrote Cotton Mather, and in that of Language, as well as others. The Indians could not retain their language, Mather insisted, without a Tincture of other Salvage Inclinations, which do but ill suit, either with the Honor, or with the design of Christianity. Although much diminished, the work that Eliot had begun continued

among the declining praying Indians as English-language instruction became the order of the day. During the seventeenth century, while Indian missions were flourishing in Massachusetts, they were largely nonexistent in Connecticut. At the behest of Cotton Mather, whose influence with the Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England was significant, the Connecticut General Assembly founded a school on the Mohegan reserve in 1726. Shortly thereafter another English school for Indians was funded by the Company at New London.

The Godly. However, Mather and Connecticut governor Joseph Talcott believed the best method of civilizing and Christianizing the Indians would be putting native children as apprentices in English and Godly Families. Their respective masters would be required to educate them. When the reluctance of the Indians to part with their children killed the apprenticeship scheme, those pushing the Connecticut missions next advocated boarding schools that separated Indian youth from their primitive, heathen habits. Not only Indian boys but Indian girls too were to be educated at boarding schools because male graduates needed civilized mates or else they would likely leave the faith and return to their native ways. Not only John Masons school at New London but also the Reverend Samuel Whitmans school at Farmington took Indian boarders. A few of their Indian students, like John Mettawan of Whitmans school, became teachers themselves. The Stockbridge mission in Massachusetts Housatonic River valley, under the leadership of the Reverend John Sergeant and Timothy Woodbridge, the Indian schoolmasters, made plans for an Indian boarding school which opened in 1749, shortly after Sergeants death. Jonathan Edwards, who succeeded Sergeant as missionary, had to do battle with relatives of Sergeants widow to take control of the boarding school, which in 1752 was directed by Gideon Hawley, whose students included several Mohawk children from New York. The school was burned under mysterious circumstances in early 1753, ending its educational mission to the Mohawk. That same year the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, a New Light Congregationalist, opened his Indian free school in Lebanon, Connecticut. Among his early students was Samson Occom, easily the most famous Indian preacher in colonial America, who established Presbyterian congregations among the Montauk Indians on Long Island. Wheelocks school was later endowed by Col. Joshua More and became known as Moors Charity School, where ten Indian students were studying in 1761. After the French and Indian War, Wheelright convinced Sir William Johnson, the British superintendent of Indian affairs, to send him several Mohawk boys, including Joseph Brant, later famed as an Indian leader during the American Revolution. With the money that Occom and others collected for him during a successful fund-raising trip to England, Wheelock, who was growing weary with his Indian school, turned his efforts toward the founding of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Middle Colonies. Following the conquest of New Netherland in 1664, the British governors of New York encouraged the Dutch Reformed clergy of Albany and its environs to cultivate the faith among the nearby Mohawk and other Iroquois nations, for diplomatic as well as religious reasons. The Iroquois had been crucial political and commercial allies of the Dutch against the French. In the 1680s Gov. Thomas Dogan, himself a Catholic, considered introducing English Jesuits among the Iroquois to counter the influence of French priests. However, the overthrow of James II in 1688 in the Glorious Revolution ended any thought about English Jesuits, though King Williams War made it all the more important to the English to cultivate the Iroquois. In the 1690s Gov. Benjamin Fletcher encouraged Domine Godfriedus Dellius, the Dutch Reformed minister at Albany, to preach to the Mohawk. Dellius baptized more than a hundred; admitted sixteen to communion; and translated the Ten Commandments, creeds, and psalms into the Mohawk language. After 1700 Domine Bernardus Freeman of Schenectady and Domine Johannes Lydius of Albany were likewise encouraged by New York governors to minister to the Indians. The Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (S.P.G.), founded in 1701, sent Thoroughgood Moore as its first missionary to the Iroquois in 1705. Moore left his post after one frustrating year. Tis from the behavior of the Christians here that they [the Indians] have had and still have their notions of Christianity, which God knows has been and generally is such that I cant but think has made the Indian hate Christianity. After Peter Schuyler brought four Mohawk chiefs to London in 1710, the S.P.G. responded to popular enthusiasm for the Indians and in 1712 sent missionary William Andrews to Fort Hunter, in the Mohawk Valley, where a handsomely outfitted chapel had been built for the Indians, thanks to Queen Anne. Andrews established a school for Indian youth, shortly reporting more than forty students, and made good progress for a couple of years in preaching and teaching to the Mohawk. But the school began to fail, and as the gifts Andrews brought began to run out, so did attendance at his church services. The failure of the Christian Indians to give up such heathen ways as torturing captives and getting drunk angered the young cleric. Heathen they are, wrote the exasperated Andrews as he left in 1718, and Heathen they shall be. In the other Middle Colonies there was little organized effort to Christianize the Indians before 1740, though the Quakers, who preferred to influence by example, did establish good relations early on with Indians in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and there is evidence that a few Indians, mostly orphans or indentured servants, received some schooling in the other Middle Colonies as well as New York.

Later Efforts. The religious revivalism known as the Great Awakening reinvigorated Indian missions and the educational efforts directed toward Indian youth which usually accompanied them. In the 1740s the Moravians, whose missionary work among the Indians in many ways resembled that of the French Jesuits, taught both the young and the old. Moravian missionaries were active in New York and Pennsylvania. Accused of being Catholics in disguise, the Moravians aroused quite a stir in New York, especially because of their work among the dispirited Shakomeko Indians in Dutchess County between 1740 and 1744. In Pennsylvania the Moravians established several Christian Indian towns along the western frontier and beyond into the Ohio Territory, several of which survived until the American Revolution. In 1741 the Presbytery of New York, acting on behalf of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (S.S.P.C.K.), appointed Azariah Horton, a recent Yale graduate, as minister to the four hundred or so remaining Indians on the southern shore of Long Island. The next year David Brainerd, another Yale alumnus, gained the sponsorship of the S.S.P.C.K. and began his ministry in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, working primarily among the Delaware Indians. Upon his death in 1747 his younger brother, John, became pastor to the Christian Delaware, whose primary reservation was named Brothertown in Burlington, New Jersey. The Anglican mission to the Indians in New York was picking up even before the Great Awakening. At Fort Hunter, after William Andrews left in 1718, various Anglican clerics from Albany had preached and exercised Indians young and old in the catechism. However, in 1735 another Yale graduate, Henry Barclay, whose father had earlier been Anglican minister to Albany, was named catechist to Fort Hunter. After eighteen months on the job he reported that he taught more than forty students to read and write their own language. Barclay continued to visit Fort Hunter after he became the Anglican missionary to Albany, where served from 1738 to 1746. Between 1736 and 1777 John Jacob Oel, a German minister with Anglican ordination, assisted significantly in the Mohawk mission. Taking charge of Indian affairs in New York in 1746, William Johnson worked hard to get both missionaries and schoolmasters for the Iroquois. Johnson and Henry Barclay secured the publication of a Mohawk Prayer Book in 1769, and despite his suspicions of New England Congregationalists, Johnson initially encouraged the work of Eleazar Wheelock among the Iroquois, including that of his protégé, Samuel Kirkland. The Reverend Kirkland began his ministry among the Oneidas near Brothertown, New York, in 1766, and due in no small measure to his missionary labors, the Oneidas generally sided with the Americans during the Revolution. Similarly, John Stuart, an Anglican priest, began his labors among the Mohawk Indians in 1770, and his ministry played a major role in keeping the other nations of the Iroquois Confederations generally loyal to Great Britain after the Americans declared their independence.

Sources

James Axtell, The Invasion Within: The Contest of Cultures in Colonial North America (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985);

Henry Warner Bowden, American Indians and Christian Missions: Studies in Cultural Conflict (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981);

John Calam, Parsons and Pedagogues: The S.P.G. Adventure in American Education (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971);

Henry F. Dobyns, Indians in the Colonial Spanish Borderlands, in Indian American History: An Introduction, edited by Frederick E. Hoxie (Arlington Heights, III.: Harlan Davidson, 1988), pp. 67-93;

W. J. Eccles, The Canadian Frontier, 15341760, revised edition (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1983);

Cornelius J. Jaenen, Friend and Foe: Aspects of French-Amerindian Cultural Contact in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976);

James McCallum, Eleazar Wheelock: Founder of Dartmouth College (New York: Arno, 1969);

Edgar Mclnnis, Canada: A Political and Social History (New York: Rinehart, 1947);

Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1962);

Margaret C. Szasz, Indian Education in the American Colonies, 1607-1763 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988).

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Native Americans

Native Americans

ORIGINS

CULTURE AREAS

INDIAN-EUROPEAN RELATIONS

LEGISLATION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Though referring properly to anyone born in America, the term Native Americans has referred to American indigenous peoples since the eighteenth century. Its use became popular in the 1970s as part of a movement to advance indigenous political and legal rights by emphasizing the aboriginal status of pre-Columbian peoples. The choice to use Native American rather than Indian, the term Christopher Columbus (14511506) gave and the other term commonly used in the United States, remains a matter of political debate in some indigenous communities. Aboriginal peoples of the Americas is more accurate, but unfamiliar. Further, it does not, strictly speaking, refer to Arctic peoples, sometimes known as Eskimo, Inuit, and other names pertaining to particular geographic groups, since the ancestors of these peoples arrived millennia after the ancestors of the people known as Indians. Indigenous has been criticized on the grounds that it means originating in, and all human beings originated in the Old World. Native American finds wide usage only in the United States, and for this reason this entry focuses on the United States. Moreover, Native American usually does not include aboriginal Alaskans, widely and officially known as Alaska Natives. Canadians usually use the term First Nations Peoples (French: première nations ), aboriginal peoples (French: autochtone ), Inuit, Native Canadians, natives, or Indians. In Latin America, the terms indigenous peoples (Spanish: pueblos indígenas ; Portuguese: povos indígenas ), Indians (Spanish: indios ; Portuguese: índios ), and sometimes aborigine (Spanish: aborigen ) are used. There, the term pre-Columbian peoples (Spanish: pueblos precolumbinos ; Portuguese: povos pré-colombianos ) refers to aboriginal people prior to 1492, not to anyone alive today. Most autonyms simply mean (the) people.

ORIGINS

Archaeological data suggest that the first people probably arrived in North America from Asia approximately 15,000 years ago, although this date remains controversial. Numerous physical features are common to American Indians and East Asians, and unknown or unusual among Europeans and Africans: a brachycephalic (relatively wide) skull; Mongoloid spot (a greenish-blue birthmark above the coccyx which disappears within a few years); shovel-shaped incisors; dark, coarse, straight hair; little body hair; dry earwax; and others.

Prehistory The ancestors of modern American Indians spread out over the Americas rapidly. About 11,200 to 10,900 years ago, hunters developed the beautiful fluted Clovis point and played an important role in the extinction of many animal species, including mammoths, mastodons, giant sloths, horses, and several species of camel. The Ice Age ended 11,600 years ago, and with it the Paleolithic life of large-game hunting. Neolithic peoples hunted smaller animals and gathered wild plant foods. One exception includes the Maritime Archaic peoples in the extreme Northeast, who subsisted on deep-sea fish. With the exception of the alpaca, vicuña, and llama in South America, the turkey in Central America, and the dog everywhere, pre-Columbians had no domesticated animals. Beans, squash, and most importantly maize for the energy it supplies were all domesticated in Central America before 7,000 years ago. Maize probably originated from selective breeding of a grass called teosinte. Maize first arrived in the southwestern United States around 3,500 to 3,000 years ago. Around 1,300 years ago, a new variety called northern flint or maiz de ocho appeared, and with its larger kernels and much shorter growing season it spread throughout eastern North America, occasionally as far north as southern Canada.

Cultures The cultures and societies of the original peoples of North America represent an astonishing range of diversity. While some lived in a city of tens of thousands (Cahokia, in present-day Illinois), others living in parts of the Great Basin and subarctic regions never met more than two hundred people their entire lives. People who adopted maize tended to become sedentary and developed food surpluses, concentrations of wealth and political power, and larger, denser populations. In North America, maize production frequently correlates with matrilineality and matrilocal residence, whereas primary dependence on hunting often correlates with patrilineality and patrilocal residence. When maize first arrived in an area, women probably cultivated it, since women already gathered plant foods while men hunted. As maize became more important in the diet over time, womens increasing contribution to the economy brought them greater political power and the most valuable types of property, in some cases including the societys political offices, often descended from mother to daughter. Even where men later ended up doing most or all of the farming, matrilineal social structure and inheritance often remained. An example of this latter case is the Hopi, arguably the most matrilineal people on earthso much so that what we think of as normal sex roles are sometimes reversed: men traditionally wove and women did most of the house construction. The Crow, once matrilineal farmers, later moved out onto the plains, where men provided most of the food through bison hunting. Crow men after a time began to argue for patrilineal social structure.

Some two hundred to five hundred different languages were spoken in North America, and there were at least sixty-two language families and isolates. While immense differences exist between the various languages of North America, they all share the characteristics of polysynthesis and agglutination, meaning that they can bring together subject, object, verb, tense, adjective, adverb, mood, and so on in one word. For example, the Micmac word ketulmieyap means I wanted to go home.

CULTURE AREAS

It has long been recognized that peoples in various parts of North America share more cultural similarities with peoples of the same geographic area than with peoples of other geographic areas. Although controversy persists in identifying exact culture area boundaries, one can say much about the general locations of these areas and the general characteristics of the peoples inhabiting each area.

California Most California peoples subsisted on fish and game, but especially on acorns, an abundant food that made them, like the peoples of the Northwest Coast, capable of sedentary life in permanent villages, and thus nearly unique among all hunting-and-gathering peoples. Here, great wealth meant concentrations of both wealth and power, and peoples such as the Yurok developed a sharply defined nobility. Yurok pegerks owned great wealth, especially money, heirlooms, and even prehistoric antiquities. They lived at named elevated locations, served as priests and judges, wore distinctive clothing, ate foreign foods, employed aides, gave gifts and feasts at ceremonies, spoke foreign languages, traveled extensively, and used ornate speech. Most societies have moieties, and some have ambilateral social structure in which each individual had the choice to join the fathers group or the mothers group; often individuals chose the group with the most resources. Some southern California people also raised maize, beans, and squash.

Great Basin This intermontane region of Nevada, Utah, and adjoining areas was home to some of the most mobile and dispersed populations of hunters and gatherers in the world. Due to the difficulty of survival, which affected all parts of life, bands were small, often the size of a nuclear family, with fluid membership, and kinship was largely bilateral with little or no emphasis on lineages, which would confer no benefits to such dispersed people. People hunted and collected seeds and roots. Because of the rigorous conditions and sexual division of labor, marriage was essential to survival; people married early, and they married people living at a distance to create kinship links over a wider area. In some places, the sororate and levirate were legally required and both polygyny and polyandry were practiced. Warfare was almost unknown, cooperation was so essential for survival. In places, giving birth to twins was considered unluckyin a few places, one of the pair was killed.

Northeast From Maine to Wisconsin and south to Virginia and Kentucky, people depended partially on maize, beans, and squash, which the Iroquois named the three sisters, but also upon hunting, gathering, and fishing. As swidden horticulturalists, people had to move their villages every decade or so as soil lost fertility, weeds encroached, and firewood and game became scarce. The Iroquoisian peoples are matrilineal; elsewhere social organization is patrilineal. Warfare for the purpose of revenge occurred frequently, and villages were often palisaded.

Northwest Coast The coastal region of Oregon to southern Alaska has some of the most distinctive cultures in the world. These people traditionally subsisted on the immensely abundant salmon, making them the wealthiest in North America and leading them to build permanent villages. Their cultures reflected this: fine arts and theater were developed, people (slaves) were considered a measure of wealth, and the rich gave lavish feasts known as potlatches, which because of the wealth acquired through trade with Europeans, grew to titanic proportions in the nineteenth century, involving the giving away and destruction of what would be millions of dollars in todays money. Warfare, including raiding for slaves, was common, and many villages were palisaded. Many groups had an elaborate system for ranking individuals, and for those in high positions, marriage to someone of equal rank was the only possibility. Both men and women were wealthy, owning various types of corporeal and incorporeal property, which was inherited both matrilineally and patrilineally.

Plains The Plains consists of two smaller areas, the high plains (short-grass prairie) to the west of the hundredth meridian where mobile people hunted, and the prairie-plains (tall-grass prairie) to the east where people lived as horticulturalists and hunters. Though many associate the High Plains culture with that of North American Indians generally, High Plains culture is unique in most respects in North America. What we have come to know as High Plains culture did not exist until recent times, because few people could manage to live on the high plains: the region is dry, inhospitable to agriculture without a steel plow, and the prolific denizen of the plains, the bison, was very difficult to find and kill reliably. But the European introduction of the horse allowed people to find and kill sufficient quantities of bison so that entire societies could live by hunting alone on the high plains, encouraging people from all surrounding culture areas to live there, developing within two hundred years what we know as Plains culture. Due to Euro-American hunger for land, this culture disappeared even more quickly. The High Plains Indian culture represents an almost unique case in human history of people leaving farming to become hunters. Because of the extreme mobility of high plains life in which individuals and families moved from one band to another, lineal groups were rare.

Plateau From southeastern British Columbia and eastern Washington and Oregon, east to Montana, were people who, like the peoples of the Northwest Coast, subsisted primarily on salmon. However, the fish sometimes did not migrate in large numbers so far inland, and thus the people of the plateau region had to depend upon other foods, particularly various roots such as the camas bulb. Therefore, semipermanent villages were usually located at prime fishing spots, but the populations of those villages tended to be fluid as resources determined. Some groups took to raiding Plains peoples after the horse came, and combined into confederacies to repel Plains raiders. Kinship structure is bilateral, sometimes with emphasis on the patriline, and the kindred was important.

Southeast In the Southeast, warm temperatures, abundant rainfall, fertile soil, and maize all combined to produce far more food than was necessary, and commonly large and fast-growing populations, concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few in stable classes, cities (often palisaded), priestly classes, large armies frequently built by conscription, fine arts, monumental earthworks, leaders holding the power of life and death over followers, celebration of the annual Green Corn Ceremony (emphasizing renewal), playing of the ball game (a lacrosse-like game with two sticks), and wars often due to rivalries between leaders. Many villages and cities were permanent, since maize fields were planted on floodplains that were refertilized each spring with silt. Probably because of the importance of maize, all the peoples here are matrilineal. This is the one part of North America for which arguments have been made for the existence of state societies. In many of these societies, male leaders held offices, but which because of the matrilineal social structure were passed through the female line.

Southwest The Southwest is a complex area because its range of environment supported a number of subsistence strategies. The area was dominated on the one hand by the Puebloan peoples, sedentary matrilineal maize farmers who live in permanent villages and who sometimes had to run for dozens of miles to tend distant maize fields. The other dominant peoples are the Apache and Navajo, two closely related matrilineal Athabaskan-speaking migratory peoples who hunted, gathered, raided, and farmed and whose ancestors arrived in the Southwest from the western subarctic in the 1400s. Numerous other populations include the patrilineal Piman and bilateral Yuman peoples.

Subarctic Stretching from Alaska to eastern Canada lies a territory too far north to grow any kind of crops in premodern times. In this cold and wet land, small groups of people had to depend almost entirely on the large game and fish that men acquired. Thus, a patrilinealizing influence pervaded this region, fully evident among the Algonquian speakers of the eastern half. In the western half, the traditionally matrilineal culture of the Athabaskans competes with this influence, to produce cultures that are nominally matrilineal or have bilateral kinship. Mostly migratory, most groups had summer gathering places. Here, people sought the hardest workers as spouses.

INDIAN-EUROPEAN RELATIONS

Major European colonial powers differed in their relationships with Native Americans. Britain and the United States sought a more formal legal relationship, and used treaties recognizing American Indian groups as politically independent entities, while maintaining social and cultural separation. The Spanish and French did not recognize Indians as separate legal entities, but rather intermarried with and assimilated them to a greater degree. Both the English and the Spanish sought control over conquered territories, whereas the French had more interest in establishing strategic trading venues than in controlling territories.

European invasion brought alcohol, increased warfare, and diseases (including typhoid, cholera, typhus, smallpox, measles, influenza, and malaria) to which aboriginals had little resistance, killing 10 to 80 percent of each population, and destroying entire societies. We shall never know about the cultures of many peoples or even the size of the population of the Americas before Columbus.

Initial aboriginal reactions to the European invasion varied greatly. The Iroquois, for example, had long dominated their political environment by warring with other Indian peoples, walking as far as Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nova Scotia to do so. The Iroquois for a time cooperated with the Dutch and later the English to control the fur trade in the Northeast, benefitting both parties at the expense of their neighbors, Indian and European.

Having endured military losses, alcohol, and disease, as well as the loss of land, freedom, and game, many native peoples became dispirited. When conditions change and people feel that their culture no longer serves them ideally in their new circumstances, it often happens that a leader with an idea for cultural revitalization appears. This occurred numerous times among native North Americans, and one of the most famous of these cultural revivals took place in the latter half of the nineteenth century in the West. A Paviotso man named Wovoka (c. 18561932) had a visiona direct connection with a supernatural being in which many American Indians place great faithtaking him to the other world, where he saw a great spirit, and there all the people who had died were young and happily engaging in traditional pursuits. The great spirits message was that he go back and tell his people that they must dance, be good, live in peace with white people, work, be honest, and give up war. If they obeyed him they would be reunited with those who had died and no one would grow old or die; from this resurrection of the dead came the name Ghost Dance. As time went on, many Indian people in much of the West accepted this message as a ray of hope. But as the Ghost Dance traveled orally, it began to change. A new message arose stating that white people would vanish, while the technological advancements they brought would remain.

Still later, the idea of the Ghost Dance shirt, allegedly providing invulnerability to the white mans bullets, was added. The altered message became popular among some of the Sioux of South Dakota in 1890. The Sioux had been militarily defeated, crowded into guarded camps, largely disarmed of their rifles (though not revolvers or clubs), experienced the assassination of their leader Sitting Bull (c. 18311890) by hostile Indian police, and suffered violations of every treaty that they had signed, most importantly the one guaranteeing them sufficient food (beef) to survive the winter. One irate adherent of the Ghost Dance, perhaps believing the message of invulnerability, fired on the U.S. cavalry, igniting a melee that killed the Sioux warriors present as well as a number of cavalrymen, and enraging the remaining cavalrymen, who themselves were still angry over the cavalrys obliteration at Little Bighorn in 1876, to the point that they then retaliated against any Sioux they could find, including women and children. This fight became known as the Sioux outbreak of 1890 and later as the Wounded Knee massacre. Following the demonstrated ineffectiveness of the Ghost Dance shirt, many Sioux became interested, temporarily at least, in Christianity.

Although rarely by design, European influences have sometimes benefited aboriginal peoples. Pacification, for example, ended indigenous warfare. The United States freed Hopi from the attacks of the Navajo, and the United States, by defeating the raiding Apache and purchasing their wheat and cotton crops, helped the Pimas (Akimel Oodham, river people) become wealthy farmers in the second half of the eighteenth century. Technological introductions eased many of lifes difficulties, and the imposition of the English language provided Indians with their first true lingua franca.

In 1969 Vine Deloria Jr. (19332005) published Custer Died for Your Sins, which argued that most of the types of information about Indians that interested scholars were unimportant. Deloria called upon scholars, particularly anthropologists, as well as missionaries, government workers, and others, to work toward the betterment of the living conditions of North American Indian people. His message was well heeded in academia, where two important effects can be noted. The first was a multiplication of programs of American Indian and Native American studies at North American universities, a development intended to increase the numbers of Native American college students. Another effect has been to discourage American Indian students from pursuing academic interests in anthropology, something that American Indian anthropologists have decried.

LEGISLATION

Although often framed in terms positive to Indian interests, most significant nineteenth-century U.S. legislation aimed to dispossess Indians of their lands for the benefit of non-Indians. For example, the 1830 Indian Removal Act promised southeastern Indians ownership of land in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), but those who did not accede to its terms were rounded up (some escaped) and forced to walk to Indian Territory, causing thousands of deaths. Even when aboriginal peoples agreed to cede lands, it was usually under intense pressure from non-Indians, often including both a military presence and payments to treaty signers. Moreover, the resulting reservation lands were often whittled away by official measures and encroachment. In addition, treaty provisions for food and medicine were often poorly enforced. As one-sided, deceptive, and coercive as the treaty process was, it at least recognized indigenous peoples as separate and capable of making their own decisions, and therefore gave them power to negotiate terms. The 1871 Indian Appropriation Act ended the power of Indians to make treaties, although it did give legal protection to those already made. In the same year, rules preventing Indians from leaving reservations ended.

In 1887 the U.S. Congress passed the General Allotment Act (also known as the Dawes Act), breaking up 118 reservations into individual parcels allotted to each family. The primary goal was to free up land for white settlers, since lands above and beyond those needed for each family allotment were considered surplus and were taken from the Indians and sold off. Native Americans lost 34,800,000 hectares, or 62 percent of reservation lands. The secondary goal was to assimilate Indians and acculturate them as farmers. Predictably, the first goal was met admirably, since in addition to the taking of lands, many Indians sold their lands or lost them due to their inability to pay the taxes on them. The second goal was rarely met. Indian poverty and misery both increased, due in part to the allotments effects on social unity and the loss of resources. Because the Dawes Act made no provision for later generations, many people had no land of their own.

The 1934 Indian Reorganization Act encouraged U.S. Indians to adopt a federally prescribed means of choosing leaders and forming governments to ensure democratic elections and governments where sometimes none had previously existed. This arrangement was accepted by approximately three-quarters of all U.S. Indian groups. Although representing an advance in democracy, it must be said that this measure also represented a change of the culture and a step back from independence. The question of what is best for a people is not clear-cut, and often this exact question divides communities. This legislation and other rules also created administrative units for American Indian governments based upon the concept of a tribe, a concept that despite popular opinion applies to few Amerindians. What people think of as a tribe is usually only a class of people speaking the same language. To call these tribes is comparable to thinking of all U.S. citizens, New Zealanders, South Africans, and so on as a single group because they all speak English. Traditional means of dealing with social frictions became useless in these new larger tribes. Nowadays, these groups possess more political power as a result of their greater size.

In 1953 and 1954 the U.S. Congress voted to terminate federal controls over many American Indians, prompting considerable outcry from Native Americans and others. As much as Native Americans dislike and distrust the federal government, they realize that they benefit from its oversight, financial assistance, and protections, and many groups split apart as a result of this program.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) grants Indians in the United States rights over some human remains of ancestors and religious and culturally central objects. This legislation has allowed Indian peoples to reacquire many of these objects from federally funded institutions such as museums, as well as to gain legal standing to do such things as challenge the treatment of Kennewick Man, an ancient skeleton found in 1996 near the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington.

From the 1970s onward, Congress chose to support tribal autonomy by encouraging and financing tribal courts. For many types of offenses, both the federal government and the tribal government have jurisdiction. Tribal courts decide many issues pertaining to disputes between Indians on the reservation, but cannot deal with the most serious crimes. These courts also have jurisdiction over disputes involving contracts between Indians and non-Indians on the reservation, which has led many non-Indian entrepreneurs to avoid doing business with Indians on reservations, and which therefore must be considered a reason for poor economic development there. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is accountable for the operation of these courts, has not always ensured that the courts operate according to the principles of procedure and justice upheld elsewhere in the United States.

The 1990s began to see U.S. courts interpret treaty rights liberally in favor of Indians. In Minnesota et al. v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians et al., 526 U.S. 172 (1999), the U.S. Supreme Court decided that even though the Mille Lacs Chippewa in their 1855 treaty with the United States relinquished all of their interests in Minnesota lands, this did not include their rights to hunt, fish, and gather.

Although American Indians are among the poorest people in the United States, conditions are improving. Unemployment, domestic crowding, and poverty rates are dropping, educational levels are rising, and incomes are increasing at three times the rate of the general U.S. population. And whereas more than half of the American Indian population in the United States lived in cities in the 1980s, by 2000 people were moving back to the reservations in large numbers. Even Shannon County, one of the countrys poorest, which lies in Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, saw its population rise by more than a fourth between 1990 and 2000. One of several reasons for this growth is the employment opportunities accompanying newfound wealth deriving from the more than four hundred Indian casinos in twenty-eight states. In 2005 these casinos earned profits of $20 billion. While some Native American communities have become very wealthy because of their casinos, many other American Indian groups, particularly the poorest rural ones, have lost money with their casinos, and many of these have closed. And despite the fact that Indians acquired the right to operate casinos because of their limited sovereignty, states can still prevent and regulate casinos within their borders. Utah, for this reason, has no Indian casinos. Those groups with profitable casinos have used the money to build houses, fund education, create employment, and buy influence; in 2004 Indians gave $8.6 million to political candidates.

Cultural retention remains important to many Indians. Partly for reasons of pride in themselves, their people, and their history, many Indians are careful to teach their children about their traditions, language, and values both at home and in some reservation schools, partly as a way to counter the influences of Euro-American culture in schools, off the reservations, and especially on television. Others wish to retain culture for political reasons, now that most aboriginal North Americans dress the same way other Americans do, live in the same kinds of houses, and so on. Some worry that non-Indian Americans will argue that Indians do not differ from other Americans, and therefore do not deserve special rights. But on this matter, like all matters pertaining to the future of Indian people in North America, there are as many opinions as there are Native American individuals. Some Indian parents, even ones whose first languages are indigenous, go out of their way to speak to their children in English, believing that success in English is paramount to economic success in the United States and that knowledge of an Indian language represents an impediment. Although culture loss is lamentable, the fact that aboriginal peoples are attempting in myriad ways to succeed in this changing modern world must be viewed positively.

SEE ALSO American Indian Movement; Burial Grounds, Native American; Cherokees; Indigenous Rights; Inuit; Iroquois; Navajos; Sitting Bull; Trail of Tears

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Deloria, Vine, Jr. 1969. Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. New York: Macmillan.

Fagan, Brian. 2005. Ancient North America: The Archaeology of a Continent. 4th ed. New York: Thames & Hudson.

Fenton, William N. 1998. The Great Law and the Longhouse: A Political History of the Iroquois Confederacy. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Krech, Shepard, III. 1999. The Ecological Indian: Myth and History. New York: Norton.

Kroeber, Alfred Louis. 1925. Handbook of the Indians of California. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Llewellyn, Karl N., and E. Adamson Hoebel. 1941. The Cheyenne Way: Conflict and Case Law in Primitive Jurisprudence. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Mooney, James. [1896] 1965. The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

OBrien, Sharon. 1989. American Indian Tribal Governments. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Spicer, Edward H. 1962. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 15331960. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Sturtevant, William C., et al., eds. 19782004. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Swanton, John Reed. 1911. Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Daniel P. Strouthes

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Natives, North American

North American Natives, peoples who occupied North America before the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th cent. They have long been known as Indians because of the belief prevalent at the time of Columbus that the Americas were the outer reaches of the Indies (i.e., the East Indies). Most scholars agree that Native Americans came into the Western Hemisphere from Asia via the Bering Strait or along the N Pacific coast in a series of migrations. From Alaska they spread east and south. The several waves of migration are said to account for the many native linguistic families (see Native American languages), while the common origin is used to explain the physical characteristics that Native Americans have in common (though with considerable variation)—Mongolic features, coarse, straight black hair, dark eyes, sparse body hair, and a skin color ranging from yellow-brown to reddish brown. Some scholars accept evidence of Native American existence in the Americas back more than 25,000 years, while many others believe that people arrived later than that, perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago. In pre-Columbian times (prior to 1492) the Native American population of the area N of Mexico is conservatively estimated to have been about 1.8 million, with some authorities believing the population to have been as large as 10 million or more. This population dropped dramatically within a few decades of the first contacts with Europeans, however, as many Native Americans died from smallpox, influenza, measles, and other diseases to which they had not previously been exposed. Native Americans were far more likely to die. From prehistoric times until recent historic times there were roughly six major cultural areas, excluding that of the Arctic (see Eskimo), i.e., Northwest Coast, Plains, Plateau, Eastern Woodlands, Northern, and Southwest. Information about particular groups can be found in separate articles and in separate biographies and subject articles (e.g., Pontiac's Rebellion; Dawes Act).

The Northwest Coast Area

The Northwest Coast area extended along the Pacific coast from S Alaska to N California. The main language families in this area were the Nadene in the north and the Wakashan (a subdivision of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock) and the Tsimshian (a subdivision of the Penutian linguistic stock) in the central area. Typical tribes were the Kwakiutl, the Haida, the Tsimshian, and the Nootka. Thickly wooded, with a temperate climate and heavy rainfall, the area had long supported a large Native American population. Salmon was the staple food, supplemented by sea mammals (seals and sea lions) and land mammals (deer, elk, and bears) as well as berries and other wild fruit. The Native Americans of this area used wood to build their houses and had cedar-planked canoes and carved dugouts. In their permanent winter villages some of the groups had totem poles (see totem), which were elaborately carved and covered with symbolic animal decoration. Their art work, for which they are famed, also included the making of ceremonial items, such as rattles and masks; weaving; and basketry. They had a highly stratified society with chiefs, nobles, commoners, and slaves. Public display and disposal of wealth were basic features of the society (see potlatch). They had woven robes, furs, and basket hats as well as wooden armor and helmets for battle. This distinctive culture, which included cannibalistic rituals, was not greatly affected by European influences until after the late 18th cent., when the white fur traders and hunters came to the area.

The Plains Area

The Plains area extended from just N of the Canadian border S to Texas and included the grasslands area between the Mississippi River and the foothills of the Rocky Mts. The main language families in this area were the Algonquian-Wakashan, the Aztec-Tanoan, and the Hokan-Siouan. In pre-Columbian times there were two distinct types of Native Americans there, sedentary and nomadic. The sedentary tribes, who had migrated from neighboring regions and had initally settled along the great river valleys, were farmers and lived in permanent villages of dome-shaped earth lodges surrounded by earthen walls. They raised corn, squash, and beans. The foot nomads, on the other hand, moved about with their goods on dog-drawn travois and eked out a precarious existence by hunting the vast herds of buffalo (bison)—usually by driving them into enclosures or rounding them up by setting grass fires. They supplemented their diet by exchanging meat and hides for the corn of the agricultural Native Americans.

The horse, first introduced by the Spanish of the Southwest, appeared in the Plains about the beginning of the 18th cent. and revolutionized the life of the Plains Indians. Many Native Americans left their villages and joined the nomads. Mounted and armed with bow and arrow, they ranged the grasslands hunting buffalo. The other Native Americans remained farmers (e.g., the Arikara, the Hidatsa, and the Mandan). Native Americans from surrounding areas came into the Plains (e.g., the Sioux from the Great Lakes, the Comanche and the Kiowa from the west and northwest, and the Navajo and the Apache from the southwest). A universal sign language developed among the perpetually wandering and often warring Native Americans. Living on horseback and in the portable tepee, they preserved food by pounding and drying lean meat and made their clothes from buffalo hides and deerskins. The system of coup was a characteristic feature of their society. Other features were rites of fasting in quest of a vision, warrior clans, bead and feather art work, and decorated hides. These Plains Indians were among the last to engage in a serious struggle with the white settlers in the United States.

The Plateau Area

The Plateau area extended from above the Canadian border through the plateau and mountain area of the Rocky Mts. to the Southwest and included much of California. Typical tribes were the Spokan, the Paiute, the Nez Percé, and the Shoshone. This was an area of great linguistic diversity. Because of the inhospitable environment the cultural development was generally low. The Native Americans in the Central Valley of California and on the California coast, notably the Pomo, were sedentary peoples who gathered edible plants, roots, and fruit and also hunted small game. Their acorn bread, made by pounding acorns into meal and then leaching it with hot water, was distinctive, and they cooked in baskets filled with water and heated by hot stones. Living in brush shelters or more substantial lean-tos, they had partly buried earth lodges for ceremonies and ritual sweat baths. Basketry, coiled and twined, was highly developed. To the north, between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mts., the social, political, and religious systems were simple, and art was nonexistent. The Native Americans there underwent (c.1730) a great cultural change when they obtained from the Plains Indians the horse, the tepee, a form of the sun dance, and deerskin clothes. They continued, however, to fish for salmon with nets and spears and to gather camas bulbs. They also gathered ants and other insects and hunted small game and, in later times, buffalo. Their permanent winter villages on waterways had semisubterranean lodges with conical roofs; a few Native Americans lived in bark-covered long houses.

The Eastern Woodlands Area

The Eastern Woodlands area covered the eastern part of the United States, roughly from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, and included the Great Lakes. The Natchez, the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek were typical inhabitants. The northeastern part of this area extended from Canada to Kentucky and Virginia. The people of the area (speaking languages of the Algonquian-Wakashan stock) were largely deer hunters and farmers; the women tended small plots of corn, squash, and beans. The birchbark canoe gained wide usage in this area. The general pattern of existence of these Algonquian peoples and their neighbors, who spoke languages belonging to the Iroquoian branch of the Hokan-Siouan stock (enemies who had probably invaded from the south), was quite complex. Their diet of deer meat was supplemented by other game (e.g., bear), fish (caught with hook, spear, and net), and shellfish. Cooking was done in vessels of wood and bark or simple black pottery. The dome-shaped wigwam and the longhouse of the Iroquois characterized their housing. The deerskin clothing, the painting of the face and (in the case of the men) body, and the scalp lock of the men (left when hair was shaved on both sides of the head), were typical. The myths of Manitou (often called Manibozho or Manabaus), the hero who remade the world from mud after a deluge, are also widely known.

The region from the Ohio River S to the Gulf of Mexico, with its forests and fertile soil, was the heart of the southeastern part of the Eastern Woodlands cultural area. There before c.500 the inhabitants were seminomads who hunted, fished, and gathered roots and seeds. Between 500 and 900 they adopted agriculture, tobacco smoking, pottery making, and burial mounds (see Mound Builders). By c.1300 the agricultural economy was well established, and artifacts found in the mounds show that trade was widespread. Long before the Europeans arrived, the peoples of the Natchez and Muskogean branches of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic family were farmers who used hoes with stone, bone, or shell blades. They hunted with bow and arrow and blowgun, caught fish by poisoning streams, and gathered berries, fruit, and shellfish. They had excellent pottery, sometimes decorated with abstract figures of animals or humans. Since warfare was frequent and intense, the villages were enclosed by wooden palisades reinforced with earth. Some of the large villages, usually ceremonial centers, dominated the smaller settlements of the surrounding countryside. There were temples for sun worship; rites were elaborate and featured an altar with perpetual fire, extinguished and rekindled each year in a "new fire" ceremony. The society was commonly divided into classes, with a chief, his children, nobles, and commoners making up the hierarchy. For a discussion of the earliest Woodland groups, see the separate article Eastern Woodlands culture.

The Northern Area

The Northern area covered most of Canada, also known as the Subarctic, in the belt of semiarctic land from the Rocky Mts. to Hudson Bay. The main languages in this area were those of the Algonquian-Wakashan and the Nadene stocks. Typical of the people there were the Chipewyan. Limiting environmental conditions prevented farming, but hunting, gathering, and activities such as trapping and fishing were carried on. Nomadic hunters moved with the season from forest to tundra, killing the caribou in semiannual drives. Other food was provided by small game, berries, and edible roots. Not only food but clothing and even some shelter (caribou-skin tents) came from the caribou, and with caribou leather thongs the Indians laced their snowshoes and made nets and bags. The snowshoe was one of the most important items of material culture. The shaman featured in the religion of many of these people.

The Southwest Area

The Southwest area generally extended over Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado and Utah. The Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock was the main language group of the area. Here a seminomadic people called the Basket Makers, who hunted with a spear thrower, or atlatl, acquired (c.1000 BC) the art of cultivating beans and squash, probably from their southern neighbors. They also learned to make unfired pottery. They wove baskets, sandals, and bags. By c.700 BC they had initiated intensive agriculture, made true pottery, and hunted with bow and arrow. They lived in pit dwellings, which were partly underground and were lined with slabs of stone—the so-called slab houses. A new people came into the area some two centuries later; these were the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians. They lived in large, terraced community houses set on ledges of cliffs or canyons for protection (see cliff dwellers) and developed a ceremonial chamber (the kiva) out of what had been the living room of the pit dwellings. This period of development ended c.1300, after a severe drought and the beginnings of the invasions from the north by the Athabascan-speaking Navajo and Apache. The known historic Pueblo cultures of such sedentary farming peoples as the Hopi and the Zuñi then came into being. They cultivated corn, beans, squash, cotton, and tobacco, killed rabbits with a wooden throwing stick, and traded cotton textiles and corn for buffalo meat from nomadic tribes. The men wove cotton textiles and cultivated the fields, while women made fine polychrome pottery. The mythology and religious ceremonies were complex.

Contemporary Life

In the 1890s the long struggle between the expanding white population and the indigenous peoples, which had begun soon after the coming of the Spanish in the 16th cent. and the British and French in the 17th cent., was brought to an end. Native American life in the United States in the 20th cent. has been marked to a large degree by poverty, inadequate health care, poor education, and unemployment. However, the situation is changing for some groups. New economic opportunities have arisen from an upswing in tourism and the development of natural resources and other businesses on many reservations. With the passage of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, many tribes began operating full-scale casinos, providing much-needed revenue and employment. An increasing interest among the general population in Native American arts and crafts, music, and customs has also brought new income to many individuals and groups.

The first tribal college opened on the Navajo reservation in 1968; by 1995 there were 29 such colleges. A number of Native American radio stations now broadcast in English and native languages. Although there have been Native American newspapers since the early 1800s, there has been an increase in all types of native periodicals since the 1970s, including academic journals, professional publications, and the first national weekly, Indian Country Today. Many of these publications are now produced in cities as more Native Americans move off reservations and into urban centers. Over the years many Native Americans have bitterly objected to the disturbing of the bones of their ancestors in archaeological digs carried out across the country. These concerns brought about the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990). Under its terms some 10,000 skeletons had been returned to their tribes by the end of the 20th cent., and efforts to repatriate and rebury other remains were ongoing. In 1990 the Native American population in the United States was some 1.9 million, an increase of almost 38% since 1980. Oklahoma, California, Arizona, and New Mexico have the most Native American inhabitants; most Eskimos and Aleuts live in Alaska.

Bibliography

The Bureau of American Ethnology, The American Indian Historical Society, The American Museum of Natural History, and the Heye Foundation have published many useful works on Native Americans. For some general works see A. L. Kroeber, Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North America (1939, repr. 1963); R. F. Spencer et al., The Native Americans (1965); C. Wissler, Indians of the United States (rev. ed. 1966); W. Haberland, The Art of North America (1968); A. Josephy, The Indian Heritage of America (1968); A. L. Marriott and C. K. Rachlin, American Indian Mythology (1968); A. Debo, A History of the Indians of the United States (1970); W. Moguin and C. Van Doren, ed., Great Documents in American Indian History (1973); W. H. Oswatt, This Land Was Theirs (2d ed. 1973); W. C. Sturtevant, ed., Handbook of North American Indians (20 vol., 1978–98); J. Axtell, The European and the Indian (1981); R. Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival (1987); F. M. Bordewich, Killing the White Man's Indian (1996); S. Malinowski et al., ed., The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (1998); A. Hirschfelder and M. K. de Montaño, The Native American Almanac (1999); S. Krech, The Ecological Indian (1999); J. Wilson, The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America (1999).

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Indians and Christians . Native Americans had religious beliefs and practices quite different from those of white Christians. Indians found themselves in a time of religious change as a result of contact with European Americans. In some cases Indians became Christians in European ways. Some, like the Mohegan Samsom Occom, who died in 1792, left their tribes to live and be educated among whites and then returned as missionaries to the Indians, having abandoned their original values and beliefs. Other Indians embraced Christianity in more limited ways, retaining at least some aspects of their native cultures, merging complementary elements of both together, just as many slaves combined African and European practices. Others resisted Christianity. This became increasingly evident in the early national period, as the United States developed a policy of moving Indians westward to make way for the expansion of the white population into the frontier. Efforts to convert the Indians to Christianity often went hand in hand with military actions and the signing of treaties which deprived Indians of land and independence. In the early national era, the Christian churches organized and expanded their missionary efforts to the Native Americans with the avowed purpose of destroying Indian religions; along the way, they were increasingly the agents of even greater destruction.

Handsome Lake . After the end of the Revolution, Indians, like white Americans, found themselves in a period of religious renewal. The revivalist enthusiasm that marked white Protestants at frontier camp meetings had a powerful effect on Native American cultures as well. As the nineteenth century opened, the Seneca Indians of western New York, part of the Iroquois Confederacy, had fallen far from their former political and military prowess. Many Senecas responded to their dislocation and social turmoil with destructive behaviors such as drinking, feuding, and suicide. Among these people was Ganiodaio, also known as Handsome Lake. In 1799 Handsome Lake began to experience a series of visions, which left him at times in a trancelike state similar to that experienced by converts at camp meetings. The visions made Handsome Lake into a preacher, and he began to travel among his people. He urged them to reform their lives and return to their old ways, much as Methodist circuit riders urged their listeners to repent and return to the traditional values of biblical times. A new religion developed from these teachings, called Gaiwiio, or the Longhouse Religion. It included many Senecan beliefs and rituals, including the important Thanksgiving Dance, Great Feather Dance, Personal Chants, and Bowl Game, all of which honored the traditional spirit gods and recounted ancient myths. The Bowl Game, for example, reenacted with dice made from peach pits a primal struggle between the Good Twin and the Evil Twin for control of the earth. The game lasted for several days in midwinter, with feasting and dancing at night. Handsome Lake encouraged these old practices, but his apocalyptic visions led him to all new interpretations. Influenced by the themes of the Christian gospels, he came to see the Bowl Game as not only a creation ritual but also as prefiguring a climactic war between good and evil at the end of the world, when the Senecas would be judged and sent to heaven or hell. These beliefs were new to the Senecas but were easily incorporated into their revived ritual life, which was open to such syncretism. As a practical matter Handsome Lake preached moral reform, encouraging his followers to give up drinking and abortions since they were not part of the old ways and only weakened the nation. Many Iroquois embraced this powerful message of revival, renewal, and survival. This is not surprising, given the ongoing concerns about the security of their territories. Handsome Lake failed as a political leader, and the Iroquoiss political situation deteriorated steadily, although his preaching of peaceful acceptance of some white ways eventually helped relax tensions. Nevertheless, his religious success was remarkable. By the time of his death in 1815 he had sparked a major revival of Iroquois culture, both moral and spiritual. Handsome Lakes religion of Gaiwiio survives today.

Tenskwatawa . Farther west of the Appalachians a similar phenomenon occurred among the Shawnee in the Ohio River valley, but there it was even more deeply colored by the politics of Indian removal. In 1794 Gen. Anthony Wayne defeated an Indian force drawn from several tribes, including the Shawnee, at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The resulting Treaty of Greenville was to have ended Indian resistance to white settlement of the region, which dated back to the French and Indian War (17541763). The British continued to rally the Indians against the white Americans, however, and fighting continued through the War of 1812. Indian resistance was based not only on Britains support, but was also grounded in the Shawnee religion. In 1805 a Shawnee named Tenskwatawa began to experience visions. Just as Handsome Lake was doing among the Iroquois, he preached moral reform and spiritual renewal through returning to old ways. He used his visions to create a religious message grounded in resistance to white expansion. The new religion revived old rituals and added some new ones, like the ceremony of confessing sins to Tenskwatawa, that were rooted in Christianity. Tenskwatawa traveled widely among the western tribes, and people from across the trans-Appalachian region joined him. Tenskwatawas brother was Tecumseh, the war leader of the Shawnee. As the American government continued to pressure all the western Indians for more land cessions, Tecumseh tried to forge a pan-Indian union to resist the United States, built on the pan-Indian religious feelings preached by Tenskwatawa. Tenskwatawas defeat at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811 dealt a serious setback to the revival of traditional ways, and the renewal movement gradually faded as American troops wore down the Indians. Tecumsehs alliance with the British marked the end of both the religious and military efforts, as England acknowledged American control over the Great Lakes area at the end of the conflict in 1815.

Missionaries and Acculturation . Removal was only one part of the American policy toward the Indian nations during the early national period. The other was acculturation, the effort to get Native Americans to take up European ways. Christian missions to the Indians were at the forefront of this effort. Beginning with the establishment of the American Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, American Protestants founded at least eleven organizations between 1787 and 1800 for the support of missions to the Indians. This was part of the same evangelical impulse shaping the camp meetings on the frontier, but the goals were not only religious. One missionary said his job was to instill those habits of sobriety, cleanliness, economy, and industry, so essential to civilized life. Beginning in 1803 Congress funded Presbyterian and Moravian missionaries to pursue this civilization program, first announced by George Washington. Partly due to the emphasis on morality in evangelical preaching, missionaries persisted in this effort long after the federal government largely abandoned the policy in the 1820s.

The Cherokee . In religious and social terms the mission to the Cherokee of Georgia and Tennessee was the most successful, but it was also a vivid sign of the limits of acculturation. The Cherokee had an elaborate culture before the Europeans arrival, which they gradually modified over the 1700s by taking up some white ways. They sided with the British during the Revolution, however, and paid the price afterward in the loss of control over their lands. Missionaries soon arrived, led by the intensely pietistic Moravians. The effort took a distinctive form under the Presbyterian Gideon Blackburn, who arrived in 1803 to pursue the goal of acculturation with a school combining religious instruction with lessons in reading and writing. The school was better at securing political and economic change than religious conversions. Christianity spread slowly. In 1811 a revival of the traditional Cherokee religion began as several people reported visions somewhat like those of Handsome Lake and Tenskwatawa. The problem of acculturation was a recurring theme in these visions. One featured Selu, the goddess of corn and mother of the nation. She urged the Cherokee to return to growing Indian corn and give up the hybrid varieties that the Cherokee got from white farmers and were growing with only limited success. Other visions spurred the revival of traditional rituals such as the purification ceremony, which involved bathing and communal dancing by men and women, accompanied by drums and rattles. Earthquakes at the end of

1811 prompted more visions and sent many to the conjurers for an interpretation. They also asked the Christian missionaries for answers, however, and the Cherokee revival never turned against whites to the extent of the Shawnee revival. The visionaries urged the Cherokee to set limits on assimilation but not to abandon the process entirely. Many Cherokee political leaders supported this compromise; some of them were Christian and some financially benefited from closer ties to whites. These men allied the Cherokee with the United States in its war with the Creek nation, which began in 1812 and brought an end to this phase of the religious revival. The Cherokee mission revived after the end of the War of 1812 and saw the tribe pursue a remarkable combination of Christianity and republicanism, including the development of a written language. But neither their Christianity nor their cultural success kept them from being removed forcibly to Oklahoma in the 1830s.

Sources

Robert F. Berkhofer Jr., Salvation and the Savage (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1965);

Henry Warner Bowden, American Indians and Christian Missions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981);

R. David Edmunds, The Shawnee Prophet (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983);

William G. McLoughlin, Cherokees and Missionaries, 17891839 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995);

Anthony F. C. Wallace, The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca (New York: Random House, 1969).

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A Moravian School. In the first decades of the new American republic, federal policy toward Indians sought to convert them into yeomen and eventually citizens through trading ties, intermarriage, and economic assistance. Thomas Jefferson as president in 1800 continued the policies of George Washingtons administration, urging property ownership, obedience to law, and assimilation. Yet he also promised Georgia in 1802 that if the state ceded its Western claims (the territory that became Alabama and Mississippi) to the national domain, Indians within its borders eventually would be removed. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 provided land across the Mississippi River for natives who wished to pursue their traditional ways. Although the federal government did not provide schools, its agents, such as Return J. Meigs among the Cherokees, encouraged admission of skilled whites into Indian lands to demonstrate development of resources and to promote trade. In a remarkable educational experiment characteristic of their faith, Moravian missionaries from Germany and eastern Europe entered the Cherokee nation in 1801, settling at Spring Place in northern Georgia. Although the missionaries came to preach, they were encouraged to begin a school by Upper Town chiefs, who favored acculturation and resisted removal and relinquishment of land. Chiefs who brought their children to the Moravian school expected them to learn English and become interpreters and intermediaries between old and new ways. By 1806 white farmers in the area also brought their children to the school; slaves would not be educated until they became converts, but African Americans attended the Moravian meeting. Pupils at the school learned to read the Bible, spell, and sing hymns. Required to work in the cornfields and peach orchards, they also learned to be farmers. In 1818 missionaries from the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (ABCFM) established another school in eastern Tennessee, and some of the original pupils of the Moravians traveled to Cornwall, Connecticut, to enroll

in the ABCFMs parent school. On their return to the Cherokee nation, where they were wealthy planters and slave owners, some of these children who began their education at the Moravian schoolJohn Rollin Ridge, Elias Boudinot, David and John Vann, and Elijah Hicksbecame leaders of the Cherokee renascence of the 1820s. In the following decade they worked with Northern missionaries and lawyers in the appeal to federal courts to save the lands and sovereignty of the Cherokee nation when President Andrew Jackson implemented the shift in federal policy toward Indian removal across the Mississippi River.

Missionaries in the Far West. Jacksons policy of Indian removal shifted the work of the ABCFM from Southern projects to the Trans-Mississippi West. In 1836 the newly married Marcus and Narcissa Whitman left their homes in western New York to travel as ABCFM missionaries to the Oregon country, territory far beyond the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase that still was claimed by Great Britain. Among the first white families to experience the Overland Trail, they journeyed with fur trappers and traders along the Platte River, across the Rocky Mountains at the South Pass, and down the Snake River and across the Blue Mountains to the Hudson Bay Companys Fort Walla Walla. Soon after, they established their mission there among the Cayuse Indians. Converted as a child in the evangelical revivals of western New York, Narcissa Whitman never doubted that her task was to bring Protestant Christianity and Anglo-American civilization to the Indians. The Cayuses and their neighbors the Nez Percés still were following an annual cycle of winter settlement and travel in

the other seasons to hunt, fish, and gather food. Although they welcomed the missionaries, they had little intention of living a settled life and relinquishing their cultural practices and beliefs. At the mission school she conducted in her kitchen, Narcissa Whitman instructed Cayuse children in English and the Nez Perces language, which she gradually learned. Her husband Marcus conducted services, tried to practice medicine, and struggled to persuade native men and boys to be farmers. Yet, in despair after the accidental drowning of her daughter, Narcissa was troubled by her lack of fitness for missionary life. When the Cayuses failed to accept the Protestant message, relations between the Indians and missionaries deteriorated. When prospective settlers from the United States entered the area in the mid 1840s, the Whitmans began to view their calling as the education of white children. In 1846, after the United States acquired the Oregon Territory through treaty with Great Britain and larger groups of emigrants entered the area, the Cayuses directed their resentment at the mission. Devastated by imported diseases, especially a lethal measles epidemic in 1847, Indians attacked the mission and killed the Whitmans and some of their associates. This disaster ended the work of the ABCFM in Oregon; Narcissa Whitman, who was greatly admired in the Eastern states, became a martyr.

Sources

Julie Roy Jeffrey, Converting the West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991);

William G. McLoughlin, Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University, 1986).

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Native Americans

Native Americans Indigenous peoples of the American continent.

North America

Native North Americans are believed to be descended from Asian peoples who crossed via the Bering Strait or the Aleutian Islands around 20,000 bc or earlier. They may be divided into eight distinct cultural and geographic groups: the Arctic area; the Northeastern-Mackenzie area; the Northwest Coast area; the Southwestern area; the Plains area; the California-Intermountain area; the Southwestern area; and the Mesoamerican area. See separate articles for individual tribes.

South America

Native South Americans derived from North American groups who migrated s. Three main culture groups inhabiting distinct geographic areas are recognized: (1) Native Americans of the Andean area developed the highest cultures of the continent. After ad 1300, the Quechua culture dominated almost the entire region. (2) Native Americans of the Amazon Basin are mainly isolated, primitive, agricultural communities of many localized tribes. (3) Native Americans of the pampas successfully resisted Inca and Spaniard alike. In the southernmost portion of the continent live the Tierra del Fuegans, who are now few in number.

http://www.indians.org

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Native Americans

NATIVE AMERICANS

NATIVE AMERICANS. "Native American" is the official term used by the U.S. government to refer to the original inhabitants of the lower 48 states. It was adopted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the 1960s after considerable "consciousness raising" on the part of Native activists to abandon the official use of the misnomer "Indian."

Although accepted by many tribal groups and people, many Native people reject the term because it is the "official" government designation and therefore immediately suspect. Also, the term still refers to "America," considered by many to be an inappropriate Eurocentric term. Finally, the term is confusing because it is also used to refer to people born in the United States—"native Americans."

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bellfy, Phil. Indians and Other Misnomers: A Cross-Referenced Dictionary of the People, Persons, and Places of Native North America. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Press, 2001.

PhilBellfy

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Plains Indians

PLAINS INDIANS


Plains Indians were those tribes that lived in the grassland region extending from the Mississippi River in the east, to the front range of the Rocky Mountains in the west, and from Canada in the north, to Mexico in the south. Algonquian, Aztec-Tanoan, and Iroquoian languages were spoken; eventually a mutually under-standable sign language developed among the various tribes. Before European incursion Plains tribes included the Blackfoot, Sioux (or Dakota), Cheyenne, Omaha, Pawnee, Arapaho, Apache, and Comanche.

From 8000 b.c. to 1500 b.c. these tribes were nomadic, moving as many as 100 times a year in pursuit of the buffalo (bison). This large animal provided meat for food, skins for clothing and housing, bones for tools, and manure for fuel. Plants and other animals, such as deer, elk, and rabbits, were also used. The tepee was the typical dwelling: the conical tent was made by stretching skins over a wood frame. Tepees were durable, easily moved, and could be assembled quickly. Tribes traveled mostly on foot; there were no beasts of burden (horses or mules) until the arrival of the Europeans.

After about 250 b.c. some Plains tribes turned to agriculture, settling in river valleys where they cultivated corn, beans, squash, and tobacco. The Omaha and Pawnee were among the tribes that became settled farmers, establishing walled villages of earth lodges. The sustenance of other tribes remained tied to buffalo hunting, which was aided by the development of the bow and arrow (allowing a hunter to remain hidden while he took aim on his prey). Hunting was also a group activity when the large animals were killed by herding them over cliffs. After a.d. 900, Plains Indians began trading with the Eastern Woodlands Indians to the east, particularly the Mississippian tribes. Plains tribes adopted some of their practices and ceremonies.

The arrival of Europeans in the continental interior introduced horses and guns to the Indians and these were readily adopted for use in hunting and warfare. The Plains Indians were warriors, who fought between clans and tribes, and against the white settlers who increasingly encroached on their territory.

By 1890 the buffalo herds of the Plains were virtually extinctthe result of over-hunting by both the Indians and the whites. Diminishing buffalo herds resulted in significant changes in the lifestyle of the Plains Indians. That same year saw the last major conflict between the U.S. Army and the Sioux (who had fiercely resisted white settlement of their lands); federal troops killed as many as 300 men, women, and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

See also: Buffalo (Extermination of the), Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Wyoming

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Native American

Na·tive A·mer·i·can • n. a member of any of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. • adj. of or relating to these peoples.

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American Indians

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Indians, American

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Native Americans

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American Indians

AMERICAN INDIANS

This entry includes two subentries:
Prehistoric Indians and Historical Overview
Contemporary Issues

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"American Indians." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. (June 30, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3403400027.html

"American Indians." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. 2003. Retrieved June 30, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3403400027.html

American Indians

American Indians Alternative name for Native Americans

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"American Indians." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Jun. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"American Indians." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (June 30, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O142-AmericanIndians.html

"American Indians." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Retrieved June 30, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O142-AmericanIndians.html

Indians, American

Indians, American See Native Americans

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"Indians, American." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (June 30, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O142-IndiansAmerican.html

"Indians, American." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Retrieved June 30, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O142-IndiansAmerican.html

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