Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
468
[CULTURE
INDIANS, NORTH AMERICAN
1665 had a son and two daughters by a Huron woman in Canada.

In 1817 Captain John S. Pierce, U.S.A., brother of President Franklin Pierce, married the fair Josette la Framboise, who had at least a quarter Indian (Ottawa) blood. In the latter part of the 18th century a young Irish gentleman married Neengai, daughter of the Michigan Ojibwa chief Waubojeeg, and of the daughters born to them one married a Canadian Frenchman of reputation in the early development of the province of Ontario, another the Rev. Mr McMurray, afterwards Episcopal archdeacon of Niagara, and a third Henry R. Schoolcraft, the ethnologist.

Several Indians, some full-blood, others with more or less white blood in their veins, have rendered signal service to ethnological science. These deserve special mention: Francis la Flesche, an Omaha, a graduate of the National Law School at Washington, D.C., holding a position in the Office of Indian Affairs; Dr William Jones, a Sac and Fox, in the service of the Field Museum, Chicago, a graduate of Harvard and of Columbia (Ph.D.); and J. N. B. Hewitt, a Tuscarora, ethnologist in the Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, D.C. In some regions considerable intermixture between negroes and Indians (Science, New York, vol. xvii., 1891, pp. 85-90) has occurred, e.g. among the Mashpee and Gay Head Indians of Massachusetts, the remnants of the Pequots in Connecticut, the Shinnecocks, &c., of Long Island, also the Montauks; the Pamunkeys, Mattaponies and some other small Virginian and Carolinian tribes. In earlier times some admixture of negro blood took place among the Seminoles, although now the remnants of that people still in Florida are much averse to miscegenation. Of the tribes of the Muskogian stock who kept large numbers of negro slaves the Creeks are said to have about one-third of their number of mixed Indian-negro blood. Sporadic intermixture of this sort is reported from the Shawnee, the Minnesota Chippewa, the Canadian Tuscarora, the Caddo, &c., in the case of the last the admixture may be considerable. It is also thought probable that many of the negroes of the whole lower Atlantic coast and Gulf region may have strains of Indian blood. The mythology and folk-lore of the negroes of this region may have borrowed not a little from the Indian, for as Mooney notes (19th Rep. Bur. Amer. Ethnol., 1900, pp. 232-234), “in all the southern colonies Indian slaves were bought and sold and kept in servitude and worked in the fields side by side with negroes up to the time of the Revolution.” When Dr John R. Swanton visited the Haida recently the richest man among the Skidegate tribe was a negro. Some of the Plains tribes and some Indians of the far west, however, have taken a dislike to the negro. The leader in the “Boston Massacre” of March 5, 1770, was Crispus Attucks, of Framingham, Mass., the son of a negro father and a Natick Indian mother. The physical anthropology of the white-Indian half-blood has been studied by Dr Franz Boas (Pop.

Sci. Monthly, New York, 1894).

The culture, arts and industries of the American aborigines exhibit marked correspondence to and dependence upon environment, Culture, arts, industries, &c. varying with the natural conditions of land and water, wealth or poverty of the soil, abundance or scarcity of plant and animal life subsidiary to human existence, &c. Professor O. T. Mason (Handb. of Amer. Inds. N. of Mexico, 1907, pt. i. pp. 427-430; also Rep. Smiths. Inst., 1895, and Pop. Sci. Monthly, 1902) recognizes north of Mexico twelve “ethnic environments,” in each of which there is “an ensemble of qualities that impressed themselves on their inhabitants and differentiated them.”

These twelve “ethnic environments” are:—

(1) Arctic (Eskimo); (2) Yukon-Mackenzie (practically Athabaskan); (3) Great Lakes and St Lawrence (Algonkian-Iroquoian); (4) Atlantic Slope (Algonkian, Iroquoian, Siouan, &c.); (5) Gulf Coast, embracing region from Georgia to Texas (Muskogian and a number of smaller stocks); (6) Mississippi Valley (largely Algonkian and “mound-builders”); (7) Plains, including the country from the neighbourhood of the Rio Grande to beyond the Saskatchewan on the north, and from the Rocky Mountains to the fertile lands west of the Mississippi (Algonkian, Siouan, Shoshonian, Kiowan, Caddoan); (8) North Pacific Coast, from Mount St Elias to the mouth of the Columbia river (Koluschan, Haidan, Tsimshian, Wakashan, Salishan); (9) Columbia-Fraser region (Salishan, Sahaptian, Chinookan, &c.); (10) Interior Basin between Rocky Mountains and Sierras (Shoshonian); (11) California-Oregon (“the Caucasus of North America,” occupied by more than twenty-five linguistic stocks); (12) Pueblos region, basin of Rio Grande, Pecos, San Juan and Colorado (Pueblos-Keresan, Tanoan, Zuñian, &c.; on the outskirts predatory Shoshonian, Athabaskan tribes; to the south-west, Yuman, &c.).

In the Arctic environment the Eskimo have conquered a severe

and thankless climate by the invention and perfection of the snow-house, the dog-sled, the oil-lamp (creating and sustaining social life and making extensive migrations possible), the harpoon and the kayak or skin-boat (the acme of adaptation of individual skill to environmental demands). In the region of the Mackenzie especially the older and simpler culture of the Athabaskan stock has been much influenced by the European “civilization” of the Hudson's Bay Company, &c., and elsewhere also by contact with Indian tribes of other stocks, for the Athabaskans everywhere have shown themselves very receptive and ready to adopt foreign elements of culture. The culture-type of the North Pacific coast, besides being unique in some respects, stands in certain relations to the culture of the Palaeo-Asiatic tribes of north-eastern Asia who belong properly with the American race. The culture of the Great Plains, which has been studied by Drs Wissler (Congr. intern. d. Amér., Quebec, 1906, vol. ii. pp. 39-52) and Kroeber (ibid. pp. 53-63), is marked by the presence of a decided uniformity in spite of the existence within this area of several physical types and a number of distinct linguistic stocks. Here the tipi and the camp-circle figure largely in material culture; innumerable ceremonies and religious practices (e.g. the “sun-dance”) occur and many societies and ceremonial organizations exist. The buffalo and later the horse have profoundly influenced the culture of this area, in which Athabaskan (Sarcee), Kitunahan, Algonkian, Siouan, Shoshonian, Kiowan tribes have shared. In some respects the Plains culture is quite recent and the result of “giving and taking” among the various peoples concerned. Some of them merely abandoned an earlier more sedentary life to hunt the buffalo on the great prairies.

The culture of the Mississippi valley region (including the Ohio, &c.) is noteworthy in pre-Columbian and immediately post-Columbian times for the development of “mound-building,” with apparently sedentary life to a large extent. In this Algonkian, Iroquoian and Siouan tribes have participated. In the region of the Great Lakes and on the Atlantic slope occurred the greatest development of the Algonkian and Iroquoian stocks, particularly in social and political activities, expressed both generally, as in the leagues and alliances (especially the famous “Iroquois League”), and individually in the appearance of great men like Hiawatha, Tecumseh, &c. The Gulf region is remarkable for the development in the southern United States of the Muskogian stock (Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, &c.), to which belonged the “civilized tribes” now part of the state of Oklahoma. In this area also, toward the west, are to be met religious ideas and institutions (e.g. among the Natchez) suggestive of an early participation in or connexion with the beginnings of a culture common to the Pueblos tribes and perhaps also to the ancestors of the civilized peoples of ancient Mexico. In some other respects the culture of this area is noteworthy. In the east also there are evidences of the influence of Arawakan culture from the West Indies. The Pueblos region has been the scene of the development of sedentary “village” life on the largest scale known in North America north of Mexico, and of arts, industries and religious ideas (rain-cult especially) corresponding, as Professor J. W. Fewkes (Rep. Smiths. Inst., 1895, pp. 683-700) has shown, most remarkably to their environment. The arid interior basin is the characteristic area of the great Shoshonian stock, here seen at its lowest level, but advancing with the Piman and other Sonoran and Nahuatlan tribes till in ancient Mexico it attained the civilization of the Aztecs. The California-Oregon area is remarkable for the multiplicity of its linguistic stocks and also for the development of many local culture-types. Within the limits of California alone Dr Kroeber (Univ. of Calif. Publ. Amer. Arch. and Ethnol. vol. ii., 1904, pp. 81-103) distinguishes at least four types of native culture.

On account of climatic conditions, in part at least, the development of agriculture in North America has not reached with many Indian tribes a high state of development, although its diffusion is much greater than is generally believed. In the south-eastern part of the United States beans, squashes, pumpkins and some other gourds and melons, potatoes, Indian corn, tobacco, a variety of the sunflower, &c., were cultivated, the growing of beans, squashes and pumpkins extending as far north as Massachusetts and the Iroquois country, in which latter also tobacco was cultivated, as the tribal name (“Tobacco Nation”) of the Tionontati indicates. The cultivation of Indian corn extended from Florida to beyond 50° N. and from the Atlantic to far beyond the Mississippi, and, to judge from the varieties found in existence, must have been known to the Indians for a very long period. In the arid region of Arizona and New Mexico a special development of agriculture occurred, made possible by the extensive use of irrigation in pre-Columbian and in more recent times. Here Indian corn, melons, beans, cotton, &c., were cultivated before the arrival of the Spaniards. For religious purposes the Zuñi appear to have selectively produced a great variety of colours in the ears of corn. Where women had much to do with agricultural operations they greatly influenced society and religious and mythological ideas. Hunting and fishing, as might be expected in an extensive and varied environment like the North American continent, exhibit a great range from simple individual hand-capture to combined efforts with traps and nets, such as the communal nets of the Eskimo, the buffalo and deer “drives” of

the Plains and other Indians, with which were often associated