A land bridge between Siberia and what is now Alaska provided passage during the last Ice Age (about 12,000 years ago) for the first immigrants into the New World. They consisted of hungry men and women, bringing their families on a hunt for game they needed to survive.
As families multiplied, or as the Bible states, "one begat another", the descendants spread out over the two continents...from Alaska to the tip of South America. They encountered many animals and sites they'd never seen before, but not once did they run across another human being who preceded them.
Imagine surviving in sub-zero temperatures on the frozen tundra but then ending up along rugged coastlines, fertile river valleys, grassy plains or arid deserts. The Indians and Eskimos were thought to be the last group to cross the land bridge and had to invent new weapons for survival, and develop new techniques for hunting, farming, and gathering natural medicines provided by the earth. Just stop a minute and think of all the things you'd need to survive in a place unfamiliar to you and yours. Could you tote water from a distance....in what? Could you make clothes and tools...from?
We tend to think of the tribes as one people, but for example the Tlingits are as different from the Sioux as Greeks are from the Danes (provided from research book to be named). As the immigrants spread over the North American continent, more than 200 languages and dialects developed. Imagine a Spaniard trying to converse with someone from Russia.
Different cultures, social and political structures...equally diverse. Sound familiar????? We all come from descendants of other races and cultures. Be kind to the person standing next to you...they could be a distant relative.
Note from Ginger: This too, was researched and paraphrased from America's Fascinating Indian Heritage by Readers Digest.