Monday, May 7, 2012

Indian Heritage





Ciara Gold is normally slated to appear today, but I'm going to step in for her as she's a busy lady, and preparing for a trip to Italy.  I don't mind at all, because I'm a big fan of America's Indian heritage and love to blog about it.  Since I love writing western historical, readers shouldn't be surprised to see an Indian hero pop up now and then in one of my novels .  I'm fascinated by the lore and legends of the various tribes.  Today, I'm going to share with you perhaps some facts you might not know or have forgotten since H.S. History.  *smile*

Tribes were generally sorted into one of three categories, based on where and how they lived:
1.  Hunting and gathering
2.  Agriculture
3.  Fishing



According to my main research book, America's Fascinating Indian Heritage, during the turn of the sixteenth century, most of the tribes living in the east, midwest, and part of the southwest settled there and became, primarily, farmers who raised a wide variety of crops.

Along the northwest coast and the coastal areas of the southeast, Indians lived mainly in settled villages and depended upon food from the rivers, streams and oceans. Of course they're methods depended upon their tribal affiliations, netting, spearing, canoes.  You get the idea.

The majority of North American Indians were considered hunter/gatherers who were nomadic in nature and charted their travels to coincide with the movement of game or the harvesting pattern of crops planted by Mother Nature.

As weather patterns changed, different areas of North America became more settled, and "area" dominated the manner in which the tribes were classified.  For example, the Plains Indians were broken into Language groups as they migrated from places where droughts and other life-altering events made living impossible:


Siouan
Kowan
Caddoan
Algonquian
Shoshean
Athabascan

The tribes falling within these categories were primarily:  Sioux, Cheyennes, Kiowas, Blackfeet, Sarcee, Cree, Gros Venture, Assinboin, Hidatsa, Mandan, Arikara, Ponca, Iowa
Omaha, Quapaw, Caddo, Comanche, Oto, Kansa, Arapaho and Pawnee.

With the introduction of the horse in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, more of the tribes switched from the sedentary agricultural lifestyle to a nomadic one centered around the buffalo.  My favorite tribe, The Sioux (specifically the Dakota tribe) became one, and I've continued to be fascinated by how much this animal contributed to their survival.


So as not to overload your brain, I'm going to stop now with a promise to continue with more of the interesting history of our Native American Indians at another time.  Thanks to Ciara, for letting me fill in for her today, and thanks for visiting.  If you enjoyed my post, I'd love to know it.   Sending you "Cowboy Kisses."

23 comments:

Maggie said...

Fascinating and very informative, Ginger. Looking forward to...the rest of the story!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Ginger, Wishing you and Ciara both the best. Italy? Shall we stow away in her luggage? I've only been once and would love another trip. In the meantime, I loved your post on Native Americans. I'll be waiting for the portion on Cherokees.

Devon Matthews said...

Thanks for the history. Sounds like the early NA's were the first migrant farm workers. I'm borrowing the kissing cowboy graphic. ;)

Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks, Maggie, I can't wait to tell it. :)

Ginger Simpson said...

I know...Italy. I've never been abroad...oh, I AM a broad, I am broad, and I think if I tried to stow away it would require a steamer trunk, but then I have claustrophobia. Guess, I'll just have to live vicariously through the pictures and stories she'll share. In the meantime, I'll be researching the Cherokee for more historical fodder. :)

Ginger Simpson said...

Hi Devon,
Thanks for stopping by, and I borrowed the graphic, so why not. :) Aren't the Native Americans an interesting lot? Love reading about them, and writing about them, too.

Lyn Horner said...

I may have to grab the graphic too. It's a honey.

I'll be waiting for more on Cherokees, too. I am either part Cherokee or part Choctaw, depending on whose family story I believe. Also, the hero of my next book is called "Choctaw Jack". I got the idea for his name from reading about a real life cowboy named Cherokee Bill.

Ginger Simpson said...

Just in case anyone is interested, a very good author friend of mine, Jannine Corti Petska is selling the bulk of her research books and she tells me she has quite an assortment. If anyone is interested, please contact her directly at italy9@cox dot net

Paty Jager said...

Ginger, good info. Though you know I'm partial to the Northwest Indian cultures. I'll be interested to see what you have to say about them.

Lorrie said...

Interesting post, Ginger, as I like learning about the different tribes and their ways.
Next time I write a western, I'm going to use you for my research. lol.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Loved this blog. It was so interesting and informative. There is so much to learn about the first Americans.

Ellen O’Connell said...

I'm looking forward to future posts on this subject too. My own last book had an Apache hero, and the research was so fascinating, I can see how people spend their lives pursuing it. I'm sure a study of any one of the tribes would have the same effect, although I wonder how much is lost forever because no one really did study much of the native culture until after it was already being destroyed on reservations.

Gail Roughton said...

I love American History. "They made us many promises but they never kept but one. They promised to take our land and they took it." Family legend has the Roughtons being part Cherokee. I havec no idea how true it is. Cherokee blood is pretty common in the south. However true or not true the Roughton Cherokee blood is, my son-in-law's great grandmother was 100 percent Cherokee, lived and died on the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina. And it's obvious in my son-in-law's profile. I hope the Indian spirit (which I don't believe is confined to those of native blood, but is more an understanding of the spirit)is a gift my grandson will carry.

Margaret Tanner said...

Great post Ginger,
I found it very interesting. Your American Indians lived a similar lifestyle to the Australian aborigine. They were also nomads who lived off the land.

Regards

Margaret

Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks, Paty. I have a whole chapter to read on Northwest Indian culture. I'll see what I can find for you. :) Not that you need any help, of course.

Ginger Simpson said...

You know I'm always here to ya, kiddo.

Ginger Simpson said...

Sarah,
Glad you are appreciating the blend of minds that come up with some pretty interesting posts. I love my group.

Ginger Simpson said...

I'm in love with the plains Indians. We lived in Show Low, Arizona for a time where there is an Apache reservation and casino. It's amazing after how I read about the cross breeding between that tribe and the Chinese, the ancestry is very apparent in their facial features.

Ginger Simpson said...

I always try to exemplify the pride and honor of the Indians because we did lie, cheat and steal land from them that they were promised in our worthless treaties. It breaks my heart to read what they went through...the trail of tears, the lack of food from dishonest Indian agents. The list just goes on and on. Even today, they continue to suffer from the white-man's evil brew, having the highest number of alcoholics per capita. The reservations no longer show the pride they once held for Mother Earth.

Ginger Simpson said...

I think that's why I enjoy your Aussie Outback stories so much. They are so closely related to our western historicals here in the U.S. Glad you enjoyed my post, my friend.

Peggy Henderson said...

I love learning about Indian culture. The plains Indians have always fascinated me. In my own books, I chose to feature a rather obscure, sort of forgotten by history sub-tribe of Shoshone.

Ginger Simpson said...

Since I love your stories, I can only imagine this will be a favorite, too. I think we all have some Indian blood in our veins. My grandmother was part Cherokee...came from Oklahoma, although on my father's side, all ancestry leads to Russian Jews. When asked, I simply say I'm an Okie Jew. :)

Ging

Jacquie Rogers said...

What I find so fascinating about the Native American peoples is the diversity of cultures. Family structure, customs, language, daily life--non of these things are universal. Thanks for such a nice overview, Ginger. I'll be looking forward to your other posts.