Native Americans or the indigenous people of America comprise a great number of distinct ethnic groups, tribes, and states. However, despite their cultural diversity and the fact that cultural features peculiar to ethnic groups significantly vary from one tribe to another, here are several main features that are shared by indigenous people in their American Indian Culture (excluding Mexico), prior to European contact in 1492. These features include hunting and gathering societies, agriculture, small population centers with no great cities, many different languages, but no writing, and religion based upon nature. So, first of all it is important to note that Native Americans primarily were a hunter/gatherer subsistence culture. Native Americans gathered wood in the jungle, lived in traditional Indian villages in their palm-thatched huts. They prepared large amounts of dried fish and meat. Later the indigenous people had agriculture (beans, potatoes, and squash, to mention a few).
The indigenous people also gathered acorns and grinded them into flour in order to bake wafer-thin bread.
The vast majority of tribes grew tobacco for smoking purposes. What concerns weapons, Native Americans used stone weapons prior to European contact in 1492. Due to their style of life, Indigenous people lived in small population centers, – in a villages comprising of less than 100 persons. Their dwellings differed by style and included hogans, tepees, adobe and long houses, wigwams, brush-shelters, earth lodges, and lean-tos. There were no great cities, probably, except in Cahoika. Partially, living in small villages was stipulated by the fact that there was a tribal structure.
... terminate the governments relationship with Native Americans. Native peoples would become subject to the ... , the federal government has recognized indigenous peoples as independent political communities with separate ... a policy of restricting Native Americans to reservations, small areas of land reserved ... lands originally controlled by Native Americans.The treaties with tribes, which the government ...
Each Indian tribe had its own head-chief. Each tribe inhabited a specific territory, which had its own name. To a certain extent, such differentiation and subdivision was conductive to development of many languages and dialects (there were about 300 languages, but no writing).
Yet, it should be taken into consideration that although Native Americans had no writing, they often used drawings in the capacity of calendars and “guipu” – knotted strings in order to make a memory to recall the most important events. Next, a tribal structure, peculiar to Native Americans provided them with rights to invest and depose chiefs and sachems that were elected by the gentes. There was also a supreme authoritative body comprising of a council of chiefs.
As far as Native Americans lived in small villages with a tribal structure, were primarily a hunter/gatherer subsistence culture, and lived in the woods, no wonder that their religion was based upon nature. Their religion was animistic and Native Americans believed that the world was inhabited by souls, spirits, ghosts, and witches, etc. Similar to any animistic society, Native Americans worshiped many gods, such as the moon and the sun, serpent, eagle, and jaguar, to mention a few. Their religion incorporated the elements of different spiritual practices rich in spiritual rituals and ceremonies (such as feasts in honor of their gods, human and animal sacrifices, etc).
The vast majority of Native Americans followed shamanism. They believed there were two worlds, the material and spiritual world. Although Native Americans had no writing, they were skilled in making masks and drawings, and their art was rich in religious symbolism, as it reflected the need of Indigenous people to worship, to appeal, and to contact with the good and evil spirits.
In conclusion it may be said that there are some common features of American Indian Culture (excluding Mexico), prior to European contact in 1492, such as hunting and gathering societies, agriculture, small population centers with no great cities, many different languages, but no writing, and religion based upon nature..
... world language and its future in India Many people think that the teaching of English is playing havoc with our native regional languages ... . Even the protagonists of Hindi, our national language, are deadly opposed to it ... is an international language. Most of the research work in science and technology in the world is being done through ...