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Native -American culture

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Native -American culture. ... the population estimate in 1491 was around 100 million people. ... In South America, Native Americans had a complex highway system for ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Native -American culture


1
Native -American culture
  • New revelations about America prior to European
    Settlement

2
  • What do you think of when you think about
    Native-Americans?
  • New research over the last half century has
    revealed many surprising aspects
  • After this lecture, is your view of
    Native-American society of a more complex nature?

3
  • Indian Population Dynamics
  • In the Americas, the population estimate in 1491
    was around 100 million people
  • More than Europe
  • Different Indian cultures inhabited cities
  • Tiwanaku (1000 A.D.) in South America had 115K
    people and 250K in surrounding areas
  • Paris would not hit that until 1500
  • Wari (700 A.D.) in South America was 70K
  • Cahokia (near modern day St. Louis) was 15K
  • Many of these Native-American cities consisted
    of
  • Botanical gardens
  • Buildings six stories high
  • Promenades
  • No sewage in the streets
  • Markets with goods from hundreds of miles away
  • European fishing colonies in the 1500s observed
    New England colonies as thickly settled

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7
  • Social Aspects
  • Indian families were close and loving, more so
    than European families
  • Europeans expected their kids to work around age
    7
  • Indians regarded pre-puberty as a time to play
  • Health
  • Europeans observed Indians as healthy specimens
    without pox scars

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9
  • Social Aspects
  • Indian families were close and loving, more so
    than European families
  • Europeans expected their kids to work around age
    7
  • Indians regarded pre-puberty as a time to play
  • Health
  • Europeans observed Indians as healthy specimens
    without pox scars
  • Ate an estimated 2,500 calories in New England
  • Indians observed Europeans as
  • Having little intelligence
  • Being physically weak
  • Being atrociously ugly
  • Just plain smelly
  • During the middle ages, one South American
    Indian society eradicated hunger
  • When Spanish came, they saw warehouses filled to
    the brim with supplies

10
  • Governmental Aspects
  • Native-Americans had a very similar democratic
    system comparable to how our Constitution was
    written
  • Some historians believed that our Constitution
    was at least partially inspired by different
    Native-American systems
  • One European noted, Their whole constitution
    breathes nothing but liberty.
  • Females were the head of clans and spoke
    directly to higher-ups for their people
  • System of checks and balances
  • Human Sacrifices
  • According to some Native-American societies,
    human sacrifice was necessary for religious
    purposes
  • Most of the time were criminals and POWs
  • Comparable to European executions
  • Public executions, Europeans paid entrance fees
  • Between 1530 and 1630, England executed 75K

11
  • Governmental Aspects
  • Native-American Warfare
  • Was not as brutal as European warfare, not as
    massive
  • Viewed massive warfare as wasteful
  • Attacked guerrilla style, got revenge, then
    stopped
  • Scalping
  • Some Indian societies did scalp their enemies
    after death in war
  • English often times put Irish soldiers heads on
    stakes

12
  • Environmental Interactions
  • It is often thought that Indians lived with the
    land, not creating detriment to the environment
  • Historians and archaeologists today disagree on
    many levels
  • Forest Burning
  • In North America, Indians deliberately set fires
    annually or bi-annually
  • First white settlers in Ohio found forests that
    resembled English parksthey could drive their
    carriages through the forests
  • Bison roamed from NY to GA because of cleared
    lands
  • Farming
  • Intensive farming-the Maya collapsed because
    they overshot the carrying capacity of their
    environment
  • They ended up starving themselves to death
  • Europeans would see 4 villages with 8-16 square
    miles of corn fields surrounding them

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14
  • Environmental Interactions
  • Waterways and Roadways
  • Indians would divert waterways for irrigation
    purposes
  • In South American, Native Americans had a
    complex highway system for trading

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17
  • Environmental Interactions
  • Waterways and Roadways
  • Indians would divert waterways for irrigation
    purposes
  • In South America, Native Americans had a complex
    highway system for trading
  • The Amazon Basin
  • Geographers and archaeologists believe that at
    least 12 of the Amazon Rainforest is man-made
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