Pre Columbian America Essay
There is no certain answers as to how pre columbian natives got to America. There are many theories based on hard evidence. The Paleo-Indians, archaeologists refer to as the first americans. At this point there was no official scripture in their society. Paleo Indians seemed to have paved the way for many other cultures to settle. All though in many cases these native settlers were very different from one another, they also had a plethora of similarities. Most of the tribes in the new world all believed in the same work ethic.
Woman would gather, care for their children, and maintain the household, while men hunted for food. When Paleo Indians, or other tribes would run into each other along the way, they followed the principle of reciprocity. This means they would have a mutual bestowing of gifts, favors, etc. Rather than the notion that one party accumulate profits or power at the expense of the other. These encounters enabled Paleo Indians to develop a broad cultural life that transcended their small bands (5). When hunting, American natives preferred to travel in groups capable of taking down big mammals.
Mammals such as Mammoths, Mastodons, and giant species of horses, camels, bison, caribou, and moose. All the settlers had to eventually deal with climate change over time, which could affect the food chain, and cultivation of the areas crops. around 4000 B. C. E. Natives began to evolve their Paleo ways. Once the glaciers began to melt and move northward, “Archaic peoples,” flourished in these newer areas. Most of the time these areas became rich with food, water, and natural resources. Around 2500-1500 B. C. E most natives moved on from their predecessors ways.
Most of these natives excelled in the cultivation of crops. They were capable of producing more food for one area, so it was easy to have more people in a smaller town. This surplus of crops made it easier for different communities of larger populations to band a bond of trade. Not only did these natives begin trading surplus resources, but they began to trade customs, religious beliefs, and ideas. Sometimes dozens of communities would come together and form larger towns. The Aztecs and Incas took it even further and formed two separate empires.
Natives all took agriculture very seriously. Domesticating crops, made it possible for communities to have healthier, and more sufficient food. Some tribes have chiefs in charge of a few, if not many communities. These leaders make many decisions for the community, this is called chiefdom’s. Prime examples of societies that run like that are indicas, mayans, and aztecs. The mayans developed a numerical system, with the concept of zero. They also developed a calendar, a system of phonetic, and hieroglyphic writing.
The Incas, another powerhouse society mastered the art of using the terrain of their community to help create irrigation systems to make it easier to water crops faster. The Incas had strong agriculture, and had much surplus to trade. Although not every society based their lives off of only agriculture. Some native societies, are non farming societies. What these societies do is fish for salmon and collect other wild food resource and stockpile to last the year. These non farming communities would fish in freshwater rivers, to the salt water sea.
Catching mammals of the sea, whales, shellfish, etc. Also spent much time hunting land mammals for fur, and food. Crops are not these societies number one concern. Also, Most natives hail from an extended family Native Americans believed in nature and all of its wonders. They believed that everything living is connected. When they killed their prey, they asked for pardon, and gave thanks. Native Americans never saw themselves as single peoples, the term indian did not come until the arrival of europeans in 1492 (22). These natives first inhabiting america lived very similar lives from one another.
Most natives hail from an extended family. The tribes took agriculture, hunting, and beliefs very seriously. They all seemed to adapt to environmental changes as time went on in their settlements. Of course when natives first got to America they all experienced different hardships, but overcame them in their own ways. As I read chapter one, by the end of it I realized that most of the tribes individually contributed their knowledge to overcome hardships in history. And they shared these contributions with one another to help each community grow.
For instance, Mayans created their numerical system, and Indicas with their irrigation systems, etc. These natives seemed to all have great work ethic, a will to live, and a will to express their beliefs. They all settled areas of untouched land, and created their own societies, and their own futures. American natives banded together to create opportunity, and sought after a better life for themselves. Pre- Columbian Native Americans were not the savages the Europeans described them to be. Native Americans were intelligent, hard working, and misunderstood people.
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