Native American History Essay

5205 words - 21 pages

Name: Josphat Minja
29 September 2014
INTRODUCTION
Culture is that aspect or part of our existence or life that makes us different to the majority of the world but similar to certain people. It is a way of life common to a particular group of people who share a collection of attitudes, beliefs and patterns of behavior that enable them to live together in harmony but at the same time setting them apart from other people. One such culture is that of the Native Americans. Native Americans have diverse and rich cultures that are based on a deep spiritual relationship with the land they live in and the natural resources. They have a history that is rich in strife, struggle and triumph. In fact, ...view middle of the document...

The sun and the rain were considered as Gods giving a sign to the indigenous tribes that the seasons had changed (Axtell 15).
Totem poles were a very essential part of the Native American culture. They also believed that each individual was assigned a particular animal’s spirit and that when they died, their spirit was absorbed into the animal you were associated with. The totem pole was a tall wooden carving of several animals. Each animal represented a family member who had passed away. In the modern world, many people usually see dream catchers on rearview mirrors of many cars without knowing their meaning. The dream catchers are based on a legend of the Lakota tribe which symbolizes holding onto good and important things in life. The holes in the catchers are meant to filter out bad feelings and thoughts. There are also other interesting aspect of the Native American culture such as the smoke signals. They communicated to the other members of a tribe over a long distance (Wells, Spencer & Mark 138).
The Native American lifestyle is generally divided into two categories. One of the categories is the Sedentary farmers that include the Yaqui, the Zuni, the Yuma and the Hopi. The sedentary farmers grew crops such as beans, squash and corn. They lived in permanent settlements that were referred to as pueblos. The pueblos were built from adobe and stone making them resemble modern-day apartments. Many of the sedentary farmers villages had kivas, large ceremonial pit houses, at their centers. On the other hand, the second category which was nomadic included the Southwestern tribes like the Apache and the Navajo. The tribe were primarily hunters and gatherers and lived by raiding their more prosperous neighbors as well as through gathering. Since they were constantly moving, their settlements were less developed and less permanent than those of the pueblos (Wells, Spencer & Mark 140).
NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES
THE YAQUI
The Yaqui are a Native American tribe who inhabit the Rio Yaqui valley in the Mexican state of Sonora as well as the Southwestern United States. The Yaqui also live in other places such as Tucson in Arizona and California. They speak a Cahitan language which is a collection of about 10 languages that are mutually-intelligible and formerly spoken in states such as Sinaloa and Sonora. Most of these Cahitan languages are now extinct. The Mayo and the Yaqui are the only tribes that currently speak their languages with about fifteen thousand Yaqui speakers living in Mexico and another thousand living in the United States. The Yaqui are also referred to as the Yoeme or Hiaki. These names are derived from the Yaqui words for people and home. Yoemem is the Yaqui word for person and Haikim is the Yaqui name for their homeland. In ancient times, the Yaqui were subsistence farmers who cultivated corn, beans and squash like many other indigenous people in the region. They were also involved in making cotton products. Those living in the...

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