Americans depended mostly on fishing and hunting wild game for survival. They often travelled where they knew
vegetation flourished, knowing that this made hunting and fishing
abundant. Wherever they decide to
temporarily settle, they made the ground fertile by burning off unwanted crops,
and planting vegetables that they found valuable such as berries, and corn. They also planted crops that would attract other
wild game, as to provide more food for them.
They made sure to settle where they had a continual source of water
flowing, and made houses that overlooked streams. The Native Americans were
very ingenious and developed early irrigation systems that would bring water to
dry regions. Maize, or corn, was a
staple crop, and extended quickly and widely, becoming one of the major sources
of an agricultural revolution. It was
used not only as a part of the diet of ancient Native Americans, but the husk
of corn was also very valuable, because it could be used in arts and
crafts. The cob of the corn was also
commonly used as fuel to start fires.
With this new agricultural revolution,
Native Americans longer had to move from place to place. Many settled in permanent settlements, also referred
to as pueblos. These pueblos were multistoried
and were usually built of stone and adobe.
They had everything they needed to become self-sufficient in hunting,
gathering, and fishing. Small cities
began to spring up in little nomadic towns.
These small cities soon became large and attracted more and more people. This exponential growth in population gave
Native Americans more time to focus on other tasks, such as making pottery,
weaving baskets, and weapon making.
Because of such resources, Native Americans were able to thrive, and
become an excellent source of trade for many other villages.
Native American villages soon developed their own distinct culture and language,
so they could communicate with one another.
Each village had a chief and counsel members that foresaw all dealings
with other tribes. These chiefs and council
members were elected by the village members, and could therefore, dispose of
them if they felt as if they weren’t doing their duties as chiefs and council
members. Each village also had a religious,
or spiritual leader, called a powaw, and led the tribe in many rituals and
ceremonies. Some of these rituals and
ceremonies included death ceremonies, healing rituals, and pow-wows. Pow-wows were meetings that could include celebrations,
feasts, and festivals. Pow-wows usually
consisted of some sort of dance and song, to help illustrate the importance of
Native American culture.
It is easy to see how ancient Native
Americans way of life helped pave the way for modern America. Native Americans were the first group of
people to survive off of the land. They
hunted, fished, and planted one of the most valuable crops that we still eat
today, corn. Native Americans developed
early irrigation systems that are still used today to help provide water to dry
land. They settled in their own towns,
and by making resources such as baskets, pottery and weapons, were one of the
first sources of trade. Each village had
a chief leader and counsel members that were responsible for their own village,
much like the government system in use today.
Much of what we know today can be traced back to ancient Native American
culture, and the resourcefulness they used to help produce the first