30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs

The Native American tribes Are made up of numerous bands and distinct ethnic groups, many of which survive as sovereign and intact nations.

Thousands of years before Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Guanahani, Native American nomadic ancestors discovered America traversing the land bridge between Asia and Alaska more than 12,000 years ago.

In fact, it is estimated that some 50 million Indians already inhabited the American continent when Europeans arrived and approximately 10 million inhabited the territory that is now known as the United States of America.

Here we leave you information about the American Indian tribes, their customs, lifestyle, their famous warriors and chiefs.

Native American Tribes of California

General characteristics

Native Americans have lived in California for 19,000 years, and it is possible that they inhabited those lands long before. These early inhabitants crossed a land bridge across the Bering Strait from Asia to Alaska to the south, now called California.

The oldest human skeleton discovered in California (and possibly North America) is about 13,000 years old. The skeleton, named"the man from Arlington Springs", was discovered on the island of Santa Rosa.

Due to an excellent food supply and a temperate climate, the indigenous population flourished in California and it is estimated that before the arrival of Europeans, 300,000 Indians lived there.

Indian tribes located in California were isolated tribes from other regions and even from the same tribes within California. This isolation was due to forms of relief such as high ridges and long deserts.

California generally has a mild climate and therefore the Indians who lived there used very little clothing. In some colder areas they used skins in the winter. Epidemics such as malaria devastated California's indigenous population. Its population fell from about 200,000 in 1800 to about 15,000 in 1900.

1- Yana Tribe

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs Ishi, the last Indian Yana

Yana, means"People"in their Hokan language. In the early nineteenth century, the Yana lived in the Upper Sacramento River Valley and the adjacent eastern foothills. The elevation of its territory oscillated between the 300 and the 10.000 feet.

The Aboriginal population Yana probably had fewer than 2,000 individuals. The last savage Indian in America of the Yana tribe was Ishi, who wandered out of his ancestral territory near Oroville, California back in 1911.

The Yana tribe carried out rituals to attract good luck to the hunters or to celebrate that the boys and girls entered into adulthood, but little else is known of their customs.

2- Yuki Tribe

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 1 Cultivators of the Yuki tribe

They settled in northwest California and their language was the Yukian. In 1770 it is estimated that they had a population of 2,000 Indians and by 1910 there were only 100. The Yuki were the largest tribe of four tribes united by the Yukian language family, a language only spoken by them.

Yuki's culture was different from the rest of the Northwest tribes and also different from the culture of the larger groups to the south and east, who regarded the Yuki as rugged mountain people. The Yuki territory was located in the Mountains of the Cordillera de la Costa, a rugged land.

It included the area along the upper Eel River above North Fork, except for the part of the South Eel River occupied by Huchnom. They fed mainly on deer, acorns and salmon, which they hunted with lances, nets and with the hands.

The Yuki considered that the ceremonies were important and had many special customs that had to do with the young people that reached the adult age. In January and May the Acorn Sing was celebrated, a very joyful ceremony that was done to please Taikomol, the creator of the world Yuki, so that there would be a good harvest of acorn.

On special occasions, Yuki men and women danced together, wearing special layers of feathers and dancing skirts. Before each battle, the Yuki went to a war-ball and celebrated the victory with another dance.

3- The Paiute

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 2 Female Paiute

They settled on the central border of Northeastern and Eastern California (East Modoc, Lassen and Mono counties). Their language was of the family Uto-Azteca. Its population, according to the censuses of 1770 and 1910, could not be registered.

Its territory was on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, placing the Paiute tribe between the desert cultures and the Great Basin of the Nevada area. Only a small percentage of the total number of Paiutes lived in what is now California.

The pine nuts were the primordial food of the Paiutes, their settlements depending on the supply of this seed. The seeds of Indian rice, wild rye and chia were also important sources of food for the Paiutes.

The Paiutes, who lived near Mono Lake and in the Owens Valley, had friendly contact with other indigenous groups in California, traveled through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and negotiated with Indians of the Yokuts, Miwok, and Tubatulabal tribes.

The Paiutes exchanged pine nuts for the acorns growing on the western side of the mountains. The chains of the pearls originally from the people who lived along the coast, were used as money.

They celebrated the harvest together, all dancing in a circle, where singers and dancers wore special suits for the occasion. The dances were held outdoors.

Many groups of Paiutes settled in Owens Valley met each year for the lamentation ceremony or"weeping ceremony"to remember all those who had died during the last year.

4- The Miwok

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 3 Miwok House

They settled in central California (Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Madera and San Joaquin Counties and Sacramento Southern Counties). His tongue was of the Penutian family.

Its approximate population, according to the census of 1770, was of 9,000 and, according to the census of 1910, of 670 people.

The Miwok, lived mainly along the foothills of the mountains. The Miwok of the Sierra depended on the deer as their main source of meat. For the Miwok of the plains, elk and antelope were the easiest foods to get. They also fed on smaller animals such as rabbits, beavers, squirrels, but never coyotes, skunks, owls, snakes or frogs.

The Miwok of the plains also fed on the salmon and sturgeon of the waters of the Sacramento Delta. The fish and meat were cooked over an open fire or roasted in the ashes of the fire.

They also had stone-heated earth kilns that were used for baking and food steam. Most of the Miwok ceremonies were related to religious practices. For these celebrations, they wore special tunics and feather headdresses.

Many other dances and celebrations were done only for fun and entertainment. Some Miwok dances included clowns called Wo'ochi who represented coyotes. The Miwok also celebrated the ceremony of Uzumati or grizzly bear, where the main dancer pretended to be a bear.

5- The Hupa

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 4 Hunter Hupa

They settled in Northwest California (Humboldt County). His language was from the Athapaskan language family. Its estimated population was of 1,000 in the census of 1770 and of 500 in the census of 1910.

The Hupa were close to the Chilula tribe and the Whilkut tribe, their neighbors to the west. These three groups differed in dialect from other Athapaskan tribes of California.

Their main foods were the acorns and the salmon and also they ate other fish like the trout and the sturgeon. The Hupa maintained commercial relations with the Yurok who lived along the coast near the mouth of the river Klamath. From the Yurok Indians they obtained canoes, salt (made of dried algae) and saltwater fish.

The Hupa had two main ceremonies to celebrate the new year and the harvest. The most elaborate ceremonies of the Hupa were the White Deer Dance and the Dance of the Jump. Each of these dances lasted 10 days.

In the white deer skin dance, the dancers held white deer skins as they danced. Before each dance, there was a long recital of sacred words that told the origins of the ceremony.

Tribes of the Northwest Coast

Native Americans on the northwest coast lived in clans and had a native population of about 250,000. These American Indians lived along the Pacific coast.

The region they inhabited stretched from southern Alaska to northern California to the coast of British Columbia and Washington State. This area also includes some notable islands such as Queen Charlotte Islands and Vancouver Island.

6- The Chinooks

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 5 Chinook Couple

The Chinook Indians were several groups of native tribes of the northwest coast of America, which spoke the Chinookan. These Native Americans traditionally lived along the Columbia River in what is now Oregon and Washington State.

They were great fishermen and merchants, they fed on the produce of the river and the ocean, and built their plank houses, and built canoes of the red cedars.

Many items of his clothing were also made from the bark of cedar trees. The Chinooks used tattoos to decorate their skins and their heads according to the customs of their town and this physical aspect caused them the nickname of Flatheads or flat heads.

The Chinooks were a friendly, harmless and naturally curious people. The Chinooks erected totems, which were carved with animals that symbolized their guardian spirits.

7- The Nootka

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 6 Female Nuu-chah-nulth

The Nootka, also known as Nuu-chah-nulth, were North American Indians living along the coastal coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, and the Washington State Peninsular. Together with the Kwakiutl, they formed the Wakashan linguistic family.

The basic Nootka diet included salmon, nuts, roots, ferns, lupins and berries. In the summer months, they move to open beaches and engage in sea fishing. To them, fish oil served them three purposes: It means abundance, it acted as a valuable commodity, and they ate them with every piece of food before it was consumed.

Whaling was also a common form of hunting in the early summer months. The potlatch was the grand ceremony of this tribe and focused primarily on two aspects: validation of tribal individuals through inheritance and distribution of gifts.

Each individual who was to receive a gift in the potlatch had to sit in an order arranged according to social status and hereditary right. The Nootka had very little interest in the heavenly bodies.

There was absolutely no worship of"god"within the Nootka tribe, however, they had beliefs and rituals to ensure good luck as well as rituals to heal the sick.

8- The Makah

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 7 Young makah

The Makah were a Native American tribe that resided in the far northwest of Washington state, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Together with the Nuu-chah-nulth tribes of Vancouver Island, Canada, the Makah form the Nootkan subgroup of native cultures of the Northwest Coast.

The first recorded European contact was in 1790 with the Spanish ship Princess Royal. The 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay established the reserve preserving hunting and fishing rights in the"usual and customary"areas of this tribe.

The Aboriginal population of perhaps about 2,000, fell to 654 in 1861, largely through epidemics such as smallpox. Whales and whaling characterize this tribe and many rituals around the whales were practiced by the Makah.

The Makah Indians believed in various mythological figures of the natural world. Hohoeapbess, translated as the"two men who did things,"are said to be the brothers of the sun and moon who transformed people, animals, and landscapes from a different condition from one previously existing.

9- The Haida

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 8 Haida Totem

The Haidas were a seafaring people, excellent fishermen and hunters who were in the archipelago of Haida Gwaii in the north of British Columbia. The Haida tribe lived on the products of the Pacific Ocean and built their houses of planks and their canoes of cedar wood.

The Haida were one of the northwest tribes that erected totems, symbolizing their guardian spirits who guarded their families, the clan or the tribe. The mythical thunderbird is usually found at the top of the totems.

Legend has it that this powerful bird captured a whale with its claws in exchange for a position of prestige among the totems. The people of the tribe spoke the Haida language, called"Xaayda Kil".

10- The Tlingit

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 9 Tlingit woman with her children

The Tlingit Indians are Native American Indians off the coast of Southern Alaska in the United States and British Columbia and the Yukon in Canada. The name Tlingit is derived from the word that these Indians use for"the people".

In Canada there are two Tlingit tribes (called"First Nation"). Both tribes have their own reserve. The Tlingit Indians living in Alaska live in indigenous peoples, not in reserves. The Tlingit Indians used canoes made of hollow logs made of spruce and cedar.

They traveled all along the northwest coast, climbing rivers and also sailing in the lakes to fish, hunt and trade. They also used canoes for war. Some of its canoes used for the war measure up to 18 meters in length. Traditionally, Tlingit women were responsible for caring for children, cooking and gathering plants to eat.

The traditional role of men was hunting and fishing. The men were also the warriors. The chief of the tribes was always man, but men and women could be clan leaders.

The Tlingit people traded with many other American tribes on the Northwest Coast. Their blankets or"Chilkat"were very quoted in the other tribes. The first contacts of this tribe with the Europeans were in 1741 with the Russian explorers.

Between 1836 and 1840, about half of the Tlingit were killed by diseases introduced by Europeans, including smallpox and influenza. The Tlingit were very spiritual and believed that their shamans had magical powers to heal diseases, to guess the future and to control the time.

Tribes of the American Southwest

  • Languages: Siouan, Algonquian, Caddoan, Uto-Aztecan and Athabaskan.
  • Geography: Dry and rocky land with cacti. Hot and arid climate. Few rains.
  • Animals: desert animals such as reptiles and snakes.
  • Livestock: Sheep and goats.
  • Natural Resources: Maize, beans, squash, sunflower seeds.
  • Culture and lifestyle adopted: They were farmers and some nomadic hunters like the Navajo.
  • Types of homes, homes, or shelters: Farmers lived in adobe homes. Hunters lived in Hogans or wickiups.

11- The Hopi

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 10 Hopis members serving sentence in Alcatraz

The Hopi tribe was a peace-loving tribe that has kept its culture intact due largely to living in isolated areas of northeastern Arizona.

The names of the most famous chiefs of the Hopi included Chief Dan and Chief Tuba. The Hopi tribe is famous for its beliefs that encompassed the Kachina dolls and the Hopi Prophecy.

The Hopi were peasants and farmers. Their villages were located on the high plateaus of northern Arizona. The name Hopi means"peaceful"or"people of peace"in their Uto-Aztec language.

The religion and beliefs of the Hopi tribe are based on Animism which embraces the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects, animals, plants, trees, rivers, mountains, rocks, etc., have souls.

The Hopi tribe is strongly associated with the Kachina dolls. The Kachinas represent powerful spirits of deities, animals or natural elements that can use their magical powers for the welfare of the tribe, bringing rain, healing, fertility and protection.

12- The Navajo

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 11 Navajo woman with her baby

The Navajo tribe, also known as Diné, was a semi-nomadic people who lived in the desert regions of the southwest in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

The Navajo tribe fiercely resisted the invasion of their territories. The most famous chiefs of the Navajo tribe included the chief Barboncito and the chief Manuelito. The men were in charge of hunting and protecting the camp and the women were in charge of looking after the house and the land.

The Navajo men had sheep and goats, and the women made yarns and weaved wool on cloth. The Navajo tribe spoke Na-Dené, a language also known as Diné bizaad.

The religion and beliefs of the Navajo tribe were based on Animism which embraced the spiritual idea that the Universe and all natural objects, animals, plants, trees, rivers, mountains, rocks, etc., have souls or spirits.

The Navajos believed that the Yei Spirit mediated between humans and the Great Spirit and believed that it controlled rain, snow, wind and sun, as well as night and day.

13- The Apache

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 12 Apache Fortress

The Apache tribe was a fierce, strong, warlike tribe roaming the arid desert lands of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The Apache tribe bravely resisted the invasion of the Spaniards, the Mexicans, and finally the invasion of the Americans.

The most famous chiefs of war of the Apache tribe included Cochise, Geronimo and Victorio. They had their own language called Apache. The rabbit was a basic part of their diet, along with corn, sheep and goats, which often traded with the native agricultural Indians living in the southwest.

Other foods in his diet were beans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin. The Apache brewed a beer made from corn called tiswin. The religion and beliefs of the Apache tribe were based on Animism.

The monster Gila was important to them and their symbol meant preservation and survival. The Apache tribe believed their breath could kill a man.

14- The Acoma

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 13 Members of the Acoma tribe

The Acoma or"white rock people,"is one of the many tribes of the southwest village. Its town is in the center of western New Mexico. They lived in multifamily adobe homes.

The village of the Acoma has lived for over 800 years at the top of a 350 foot steep table, which was carved on a huge plateau thousands of years ago by the river water.

Its positioning provided natural defenses against the enemies who tried to steal the corn, and this arid land is home to a large number of small plants and animals and burrows that were the food source of the Acoma.

Each year, the Acoma held festivals with dances in honor of rain and corn, in gratitude for the blessings of the gods.

Non-Indian individuals are not allowed in their sacred spaces. The Acoma culture exists today despite the fact that half of the population was eliminated in 1599 by a Spanish explorer who did so to avenge the death of a brother who had been killed in the area.

The Acoma did not exercise resistance, and although there was some conversion to Christianity and missionary work, they continued to work hard to produce crops and handicrafts that were later sold in Europe and Mexico for large sums of money going to the coffers of the Spanish conquistadors.

15- The Laguna people

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 14 Partner of Pueblo Laguna

The name of this tribe originates by a large pond that was near the town. Pueblo Laguna is made up of six major tribes in central New Mexico, 42 miles west of Albuquerque. Its population was about 330 people who lived in the village in 1700.

In 1990, 3,600 lagoons lived in the reserve. His people spoke a Keresan dialect. In their culture, religion and life are inseparable. The sun is seen as the representative of the Creator.

The sacred mountains in each direction, plus the sun above and the earth below, define and balance the world of Laguna Village. Many religious ceremonies revolve around the climate and are dedicated to ensuring rainfall.

To this end, the Indians of the Laguna Village evoke the power of katsinas, sacred beings who live in the mountains and other holy places.

16- The Maricopa

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 15 Male maricopa

The Maricopa are an American Indian group whose two hundred members live with members of the Pima tribe near the Gila River Indigenous Reserve and the Salt River Indigenous Reserve in Arizona.

By the end of 1700, the Maricopa tribe was about three thousand members and were located along the Gila River in south-central Arizona .

The Maricopa tribal government consists of a popularly elected tribal council with 17 members governed by a constitution adopted and approved under the Reorganization Act of India of 1934.

The Maricopa language is classified in the Yuman group of the Hokan language family. Tribal income came mainly from agricultural and commercial leases and tribe agricultural operations. They grew corn, beans, pumpkins and cotton, collected beans, nuts and berries, fished and hunted rabbits in communal units.

The clans were patrilineal, the exogamy of the clan was practiced and polygyny was allowed, particularly of the sororous type. The tribe was headed by a chief who lived in the village and whose position was sometimes inherited through the male line.

According to custom, the dead were cremated and a horse was killed to allow the deceased to ride west, to the land of the dead.

17- The Mojave

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 16 Portrait of Mojave woman

The Mojave tribe was composed of fierce native hunters, fishermen and farmers. They communicated in the Yuman language. The Mojave tribe was distinguished by the tattoos that adorned their bodies.

The names of the most famous chiefs of the Mojave tribe included Chief Iretaba and Chief Hobelia. The tattoos of the Mojave tribe were made with the ink of a blue cactus. These tattoos were performed at puberty as an important rite of passage to adulthood.

Both the women and men of the tribe wore tattoos on their bodies and were thought to bring good fortune.

There were also protective tattoos made by the Mojave warriors as they prepared to enter battle, believing that in addition to protecting them from death, they infused fear into their enemies.

18- The Pima

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 17 Pima Girls

The Pima tribe were peaceful farmers living in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. The Pima tribe were descendants of the old North American Indians called Hohokam.

The names of the most famous leaders of the Pima tribe included the chief Ursuth, the chief Antonio and the chief Antonito. The Pima tribe spoke in the Uto-Aztec language and called themselves"Pueblo del Río".

They fed on rabbits, ducks, and river fish and planted corn, pumpkins, and sunflower seeds. The beliefs of this tribe were based on Animism, being its main god"Earthmaker"(The creator of the Earth). In addition, among the other spirits who reverenced, the most notable deity was known as the"Big Brother".

19- Los San Ildefonso

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 18 Batteries in the town of San Ildefonso

San Ildefonso was the name of the Spanish mission established in 1617. The indigenous name of this tribe was also Powhoge, which means"where the water runs."

They settled about 22 kilometers northwest of Santa Fe. In 1990, about 350 Indians still lived in the village, of a population believed to be 1,500 Indians.

The tribe of San Ildefonso spoke a dialect of Tewa, the language Kiowa-Tanoana. The ceremonies of the tribe of San Ildefonso revolved around the climate and made dances to attract the rain. They evoked the power of katsinas, sacred beings that of the mountains and other holy places.

20- Tribe of Santa Clara de Asís

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 19 Village of Santa Clara

The name in Tewa for the town of Santa Clara de Asís is Capo. This tribe was located in the town of Santa Clara, on the banks of the Rio Grande, about 25 kilometers north of Santa Fe.

Its population was about 650 Indians in 1780 and perhaps several thousand in 1500. In 1990, 1,245 Indians lived in Santa Clara as yet. The Native Americans of Santa Clara spoke a dialect of Tewa.

They believed in the Sun as the representative of the Creator God and their rites were always associated with the weather, their dances were to call the rain.

The governments of the indigenous peoples of Santa Clara came from two traditions: the cacique, as head or head of the People, and the captains of war.

In Santa Clara, the caciques of summer and winter"governed"by consensus among the leaders of the town, having the last word in all the affairs.

Tribes of the American Plains of Mississippi

Native Americans living in the present state of Mississippi carried a Stone Age lifestyle: they had only stone tools and rudimentary weapons, they had never seen a horse, and they had no knowledge of the wheel.

21- The Sioux

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 20 Engraving depicting a Sioux funeral

The Sioux tribe was a tribe of natives who fiercely resisted the invasion of the whites. The names of the most famous leaders who took the Sioux tribe to battle were: Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Gall, Crazy Horse, Rain in the Face and Kicking Bear (Kicking bear).

Famous conflicts included the Sioux Wars (1854 - 1890), the Red Cloud War (1865-1868), the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 and the shaking of the ghost dance in 1890.

The Sioux tribe was famous for its culture of hunting and war. They communicated in the Siouan language. Their main weapons were bows and arrows, axes, large stones and knives.

The religion and beliefs of the Sioux tribe were based on animism. In the mythology of Lakota Sioux, Chapa is the beaver spirit and symbolizes domesticity, work and preparation. The Sioux believed in Manitou, the Great Spirit.

22- The Comanche

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 21 Different portraits of Comanche personalities

The Comanche tribe was a tribe of very friendly natives located in the southern areas of the Great Plains. They were known to be excellent horsemen. They fiercely fought against the enemy tribes and resisted the white invasion of their lands in the great plains.

The names of the most glorious Comanche chiefs included Chief El Deaf, Chief Buffalo Hump, Quanah Parker, and Chief White Eagle.

They communicated in the Uto-Aztec language. They fed on the flesh of all the animals that were available on their land: buffalo, deer, elk, bears, and wild turkeys. These high-protein foods were accompanied by roots and wild vegetables like spinach, prawn turnips and potatoes and flavored their meals with wild herbs.

They also ate berries and wild fruits. When the animals for food were scarce, the tribe ate buffalo dry meat, called pemmican. Their beliefs were animists, they believed in Manitou, the Great Spirit.

23- The Arapahoes

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 22 Pretty Nose, arapahoe warrior

The Arapaho tribe was a people that had secret warrior societies. The Arapahoes bravely resisted the white invasion of the Great Plains along with their Cheyenne and Sioux allies. The names of the most accredited chiefs of the tribe were the Left Hand Chief, Little Raven and Chief Sharp Nose.

Like the Comanches, they fed on the flesh of all the animals that were available on their lands: buffalo, deer, elk, bears and wild turkeys. They also ate berries and wild fruits and when the animals were scarce, the tribe ate dried buffalo meat, called pemmican.

Their beliefs were animists like the tribes of that area of ​​Mississippi, believed in Manitou, the Great Spirit.

24- The black feet

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 23 Men of the Black-footed tribe

The Blackfoot tribe, also known as Siksika, was a cruel and warlike indigenous nation that was involved in many inter-tribal conflicts in North Dakota and South Dakota.

The tribe of black feet gallantly resisted the white invasion of their lands on the Great Plains. The names of the most well-known Blackfoot chiefs or black foes included the morning owl chief, the red crow chief, the yellow horse chief, the red feather chief, and the current chief rabbit.

The black footed tribe were nomadic hunter-gatherers who lived in tepees and hunted deer buffalo, elk and mountain sheep. The only plant cultivated by the Black Pie tribe was tobacco.

The men were in charge of food hunting and camp protection and the women were in charge of the house. The broad range of the tribe stretched from the Missouri River north to Saskatchewan and west to the Rockies.

They spoke in the Algonquian language. They believed in Manitou, the Great Spirit. And the name of the Indians of the black foot tribe called their supreme being"Apistotoke".

The tribes of the northern forests

The northern forest region is a region with a wide variety of trees and plants and a diversity of lakes, rivers and streams. The climate is based on four seasons, with very marked winters.

25- The Iroquois

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 24 Iroquois Women

The Iroquois Indians are the Native Americans who lived in the northeastern United States. In the area also of eastern forests encompassing the state of New York and the immediate surrounding areas.

The Iroquois originally were called Kanonsionni, meaning"people of the Longhouse"(the name of the shelter in which they lived), but today they call themselves Haudenosaunee.

Originally five tribes formed this group, but in 1722 a sixth tribe was united to the Iroquois nation and they were known like the Six Nations.

They were hunters and gatherers, farmers and fishermen, but the staples of their diet came from agriculture. The Iroquois are well known for their masks which they used strictly for religious purposes. The masks were considered sacred and could be seen by someone who was not a member of this tribe.

26- The Algonquin

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 25 Dance-ritual algonquin

The Algonquian villages were an extensive network of tribes, joined mainly by the speaking language family: the Algonquian. The Algonquians were patriarchal, meaning that the tribe was a society ruled and led by men.

Hunting territory passed from father to son. Bosses inherited their titles from their parents. Although it was a tribe with different bosses, the final decision was born of a consensus of opinions. Algonquins believed that all living things deserved respect.

They firmly believed in respecting the cycle of life, whether observing seasonal changes or establishing new hunting grounds to allow the old soil to regenerate.

Dreams and visions were of great importance to them, so their culture had shamans (men who could"see"things that others could not).

27- The Chippewa or Ojibwa tribe

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 26 Ojibwa Family

The Chippewa tribe is also known as Ojibwa, in Canada. The Chippewa tribe originally occupied a vast stretch of land around Lake Huron and Lake Superior and to the south in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. They were hunters, fishermen and farmers.

Their inhuman and bellicose reputation and their enormous number made the Chippewa one of the most feared tribes. The Chippewa tribe spoke a related dialect of the Algonquin language. "Chippewa"means"the original man"in his language.

The Chippewa men were expert fishermen and boatbuilders. The Chippewa who had lived around the Great Lakes built canoes for hunting expeditions and trade and to transport their warriors.

To the Chippewa or Ojibwas, the supernatural world had a multitude of spiritual beings and forces. Some of these beings were the Sun, the Moon, the Four Winds, Thunder and Lightning, which were benign Gods. For them, dreams and visions received great importance and the power gained through dreams could be used to manipulate natural and supernatural environments and were used for good or bad purposes.

Tribes of the forests of the South

The Indians of the Southeast were considered members of the Indians of the forest. 4000 years ago, there were many indigenous tribes in these forests, the majority being farmers, hunters and gatherers. Each had a structured government and spoke different languages ​​and dialects.

These tribes of natives were great artists and were considered very intelligent. They created very colorful artistic manifestations using natural dyes. They were great storytellers and were well informed about healing herbs and natural medicines. His knowledge was transmitted orally from one generation to the next.

28- The Cherokee

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 27 Cherokee Representatives

The Cherokee were a large and powerful tribe that originally moved from the Great Lakes region to the southern Appalachian mountains and lived in a massive area now distributed between the western states of North Carolina and South Carolina, Alabama , Mississippi, and West Florida.

The Cherokee people were hunters and farmers who grew corn, beans, and pumpkins. The Cherokee tribe spoke its own dialect of the Iroquois language family.

The Cherokee were famous for their masks, which were carved with exaggerated features and depicted non-Indian people as well as animals.

Traditional Cherokee had a special regard for owls and pumas as they believed that these two animals were the only ones that could remain awake during the seven nights of creation while the others had fallen asleep.

In their daily lives, the Cherokee included spiritual beings. Although these beings were different from people and animals, they were not considered"supernatural", but were for them part of the natural, real world. Most of the Cherokee at some point in their lives claimed to have had personal experiences with these spiritual beings

29- The Seminoles

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 28 Seminary Family

The Seminola people descended from the former mound builders located in the Mississippi River Valley. They settled in Alabama and Georgia but made their way further south into Florida territory.

Outstanding leaders and leaders of the Seminoles included Osceola and Billy Bowlegs. The Seminole tribe spoke several dialects of the Muskogean language family. They refer to themselves as"Red People".

The seminoles fed on wild turkeys, rabbits, deer (deer), fish, turtles and alligators. Their basic staples were corn, squash and beans which accompanied with wild rice, mushrooms and plants. With the passage of time, the seminoles began to breed cattle and pigs that they acquired from the European conquerors.

It was a mestizo town made up of Indians fleeing the whites and black slaves who also fled the whites. They were animists and had shamans who healed with medicinal herbs and predicted the future.

30- The chickasaw

30 Tribes of American Indians and their Customs 29 Chickasaw warrior

The Chickasaw tribe of northeastern Mississippi was known for its brave, warlike and independent disposition. They were considered as the most formidable warriors of the southeast and are known as the"unconquered".

The Chickasaw were farmers, fishermen, and hunter-gatherers who took long trips throughout the Mississippi Valley region. The Chickasaw tribe spoke several dialects related to the Muskogean language.

They fed on beans, corn and squash. The Chickasaw men were hunters of deer, bears, wild turkeys, and got fish on long hikes through the Mississippi Valley region.

Some even traveled to the plains to hunt buffaloes. Her diet was also supplemented with a variety of nuts, fruits and herbs. The Chickasaw Indians believed that they, as well as other neighboring tribes, emerged from the earth through the"Productive Mountain."

They also believed that the sun was the ultimate spiritual power because it created and sustained life. They also believed in minor spirits of clouds, sky, witches and evil spirits.


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