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.
Native Americans loved to play games. From the United States to Mexico to Canada, tribes everywhere played games as part of their rituals, to cure diseases, to make crops grow, or sometimes, just for the pure fun of the sport. This book discusses the types of games played by various tribes in specific regions. It also explains how these games were played, and the significance-religious and social-of each contest.
The tools and weapons used by Native American tribes were not just functional. Often, these tools and weapons were created during a special ceremony or ritual, so there was a spiritual significance to them as well. Shamans or medicine men would bless such items in the hope that they would serve their owners well. This book discusses the primary tools and weapons made by tribes in specific regions as well as how these tools and weapons were created and used.
The clothing worn by the members of different Native American tribes reflected their environments. Clothing, jewelry, and other decorative items were made from material found in the area around them-from sealskins and shells to buckskin and porcupine quills. This book discusses common clothing items of various Native American tribes as well as the cultural or religions significance of these items
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.
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.
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.