To an outsider, Native American family life may seem simple. In reality, the societies within Native American tribes are incredibly rich and complex. Nor is family life the same from tribe to tribe. Some tribes are organized into clans; others trace their lineage according to matrilineal lines. This book discusses some of the familial arrangements of various tribes, including the reasons for such arrangements as well as the roles individuals played in their respective societies.
After Christopher Columbus and other European adventurers landed in the Americas during the 15th and 16th centuries, the lands they explored were often called the "New World." However, North, South, and Central America were new only to the people of Europe. Native Americans had lived on the land for millions of years.In some cases, the natives and Europeans were able to live in peace and even learned from each other. Most of the time, however, the European invaders brought with them disease and violence, which spelled the end of the Native Americans' way of life.
When Europeans arrived in the Americas during the 16th and 17th centuries, they found that some Native American tribes had created alliances, or confederacies. These agreements allowed the member tribes of the confederacy to control trade and keep the peace in their region. This book explains how these Native American confederacies were formed, discusses some famous examples like the Iroquois Confederacy, and explains how Native American groups continue to work together for the good of all tribes in the present day.
Contrary to popular belief, Native Americans did not always have horses to assist them in their daily lives. For thousands of years they carried items themselves or even used dogs. The arrival of the horse in the Americas during the 16th century dramatically changed the lifestyles of many Native American tribes. This was particularly true of the people living on the Great Plains. This book discusses the introduction of the horse to the Native Americans by the Spanish and explains the impact this had on various Native American tribes.
Prior to becoming a "melting pot" of many languages, the continents of North and South America were already home to a variety of Native American tribes, each with its own language. What's more, subsets of tribes often had their own dialects, sometimes making communication between two people nearly impossible, even if they lived near each other. This book discusses the major Native American languages used by tribes in various regions and how some of their words have been incorporated into the English language today.
Native Americans have an incredibly rich store of knowledge when it comes to using herbs and plants to heal illness, treat injuries, and cure disease. In fact, some of their traditions have found a place in the modern medicines we use today. This book discusses the nature-based approach Native Americans took towards healing. It also examines important figures, such as shamans and medicine men, and explains some of the remedies and rituals that were conducted.
The Native Americans fought with other tribes for a variety of reasons. Depending on the area in which they lived, a tribe could fight for territory, possessions, or simply as a matter of pride or to right a perceived wrong. This book discusses some of the best known Native American rivalries, the reasons behind them, and the impact the arrival of Europeans during the 16th through the 19th centuries had on these rivalries.