NATIVE AMERICANS

Don’t call them Indians; call them Native Americans, instead. Their origins are mysterious and shrouded in their legends, but they were already there, occupying the endless grasslands, when Erik the Red or the Pilgrims discovered them.

According to some studies, Native Americans would be part of a group that migrated, through the Bering Strait, from Asia to the plains of North America, although probably these lands were subjected to flows of different origins and in different eras. A dense network of tribes inhabited the North America. Each tribe had its own civilization, a rich culture, mostly oral, lifestyles and traditions that regulated coexistence. Their life was neither easy nor romantic, as it was characterized by a daily and tight encounter with nature, generous and cruel at the same time.

The communities that inhabited North America were mostly composed of warriors and nomads, although some groups chose a more sedentary, agricultural or pastoral lifestyle. Their homes, which reflected these life choices, ranged from the famous tents, to shelters covered with soil, caves, and unmovable sheds, sometimes made in wood. Each tribe developed its own lifestyle, but shared cultural ties with other tribes, often pushing this sharing to the formation of important tribal confederations, such as the Iroquois, the Seneca, the Cayuga, the Oneida, the Mohawk, the Onondaga, the Seminole, the Creek, the Cherokee, and the Mohicans. Each tribal confederation was not about social benefit, but it was rather a real choice of considerable political significance, on which rested a sophisticated system of political representation and, sometimes, even a diplomatic system.

Used to the ferocity of nature, people who inhabited the plains were characterized by a strong spirit of war, warrior traditions, a calling for hunting, and nomadism related to buffaloes. Many tribes, who lived in the northwest, adopted completely different lifestyles, often linking their culture to the ocean and water, and building solid canoes that could serve both to fishing and the war. Other tribes, who lived in the southwest, were characterized by their dedication to pastoralism, to fishing and gathering edible plants, and by their low tendency to war. Others, who lived further south, such as the Navajo, the Hopi, and the Apache, were characterized by their intense mobility.

Therefore, the famous 500 nations of North America were a rich melting pot of cultures and languages, customs and traditions, but in some way, they found a common approach to things of everyday life and to the relationship between man and nature. A huge richness from every point of view, but that was unable to deal with the white man who would eventually wipe them out and declare himself as "the discoverer of America", transforming, in the history, in the comics or in films, the epic of the West in a struggle between good and unselfish cowboys against wild and fierce Indians.

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Pawnee Warrior

The image that has been handed down to us about the Pawnee Nation is the one of a tribe of "Bad Indians"...

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Blackfoot Indian

The Blackfeet were a confederacy of Algonquian-speaking tribes: the Siksika ...

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Iroquois Warrior

According to tradition, c. 1570, five tribes, who inhabited the territory around the lake Ontario...

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Indian Scout

During the conflict against the hostile Natives’ tribes, which began in 1865 and continued in the following years...

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Noble Sioux Warrior

The word Sioux, which means “less than a snake”, was first used by the Algonquians in a derogatory...

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Indian with Eagle

In the Native Americans’ religion there are a lot of symbolic, mythological, spiritual, and bellicose significances...