Some of its peoples, especially the Inuit in the northern part of the region, were nomads, following seals, polar bears and other game as they migrated across the tundra. In the southern part of the region, the Aleut were a bit more settled, living in small fishing villages along the shore.
The Inuit and Aleut had a great deal in common. Many lived in dome-shaped houses made of sod or timber or, in the North, ice blocks.
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They used seal and otter skins to make warm, weatherproof clothing, aerodynamic dogsleds and long, open fishing boats kayaks in Inuit; baidarkas in Aleut. By the time the United States purchased Alaska in , decades of oppression and exposure to European diseases had taken their toll: The native population had dropped to just 2,; the descendants of these survivors still make their home in the area today.
The Subarctic culture area, mostly composed of swampy, piney forests taiga and waterlogged tundra, stretched across much of inland Alaska and Canada. In the Subarctic, travel was difficult—toboggans, snowshoes and lightweight canoes were the primary means of transportation—and population was sparse.
Native Tribes and Languages of the Arctic
In general, the peoples of the Subarctic did not form large permanent settlements; instead, small family groups stuck together as they traipsed after herds of caribou. They lived in small, easy-to-move tents and lean-tos, and when it grew too cold to hunt they hunkered into underground dugouts. Its inhabitants were members of two main groups: Iroquoian speakers these included the Cayuga, Oneida, Erie, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora , most of whom lived along inland rivers and lakes in fortified, politically stable villages, and the more numerous Algonquian speakers these included the Pequot, Fox, Shawnee, Wampanoag, Delaware and Menominee who lived in small farming and fishing villages along the ocean.
There, they grew crops like corn, beans and vegetables. Life in the Northeast culture area was already fraught with conflict—the Iroquoian groups tended to be rather aggressive and warlike, and bands and villages outside of their allied confederacies were never safe from their raids—and it grew more complicated when European colonizers arrived.
Meanwhile, as white settlement pressed westward, it eventually displaced both sets of indigenous people from their lands. The Southeast culture area, north of the Gulf of Mexico and south of the Northeast, was a humid, fertile agricultural region.
Many of its natives were expert farmers—they grew staple crops like maize, beans, squash, tobacco and sunflower—who organized their lives around small ceremonial and market villages known as hamlets. Perhaps the most familiar of the Southeastern indigenous peoples are the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole, sometimes called the Five Civilized Tribes, some of whom spoke a variant of the Muskogean language.
By the time the U. In , the federal Indian Removal Act compelled the relocation of what remained of the Five Civilized Tribes so that white settlers could have their land. The Cherokee called this frequently deadly trek the Trail of Tears. The Plains culture area comprises the vast prairie region between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, from present-day Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Before the arrival of European traders and explorers, its inhabitants—speakers of Siouan, Algonquian, Caddoan, Uto-Aztecan and Athabaskan languages—were relatively settled hunters and farmers.
After European contact, and especially after Spanish colonists brought horses to the region in the 18th century, the peoples of the Great Plains became much more nomadic. Groups like the Crow, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Comanche and Arapaho used horses to pursue great herds of buffalo across the prairie.
The most common dwelling for these hunters was the cone-shaped teepee, a bison-skin tent that could be folded up and carried anywhere. Plains Indians are also known for their elaborately feathered war bonnets. As white traders and settlers moved west across the Plains region, they brought many damaging things with them: commercial goods, like knives and kettles, which native people came to depend on; guns; and disease.
With settlers encroaching on their lands and no way to make money, the Plains natives were forced onto government reservations. The peoples of the Southwest culture area, a huge desert region in present-day Arizona and New Mexico along with parts of Colorado , Utah , Texas and Mexico developed two distinct ways of life. Sedentary farmers such as the Hopi, the Zuni, the Yaqui and the Yuma grew crops like corn, beans and squash.
Many lived in permanent settlements, known as pueblos, built of stone and adobe. These pueblos featured great multistory dwellings that resembled apartment houses. At their centers, many of these villages also had large ceremonial pit houses, or kivas. Other Southwestern peoples, such as the Navajo and the Apache, were more nomadic. They survived by hunting, gathering and raiding their more established neighbors for their crops. Because these groups were always on the move, their homes were much less permanent than the pueblos. For instance, the Navajo fashioned their iconic eastward-facing round houses, known as hogans, out of materials like mud and bark.
Spanish colonists and missionaries had enslaved many of the Pueblo Indians, for example, working them to death on vast Spanish ranches known as encomiendas. The Great Basin culture area, an expansive bowl formed by the Rocky Mountains to the east, the Sierra Nevadas to the west, the Columbia Plateau to the north, and the Colorado Plateau to the south, was a barren wasteland of deserts, salt flats and brackish lakes.
Its people, most of whom spoke Shoshonean or Uto-Aztecan dialects the Bannock, Paiute and Ute, for example , foraged for roots, seeds and nuts and hunted snakes, lizards and small mammals.
Because they were always on the move, they lived in compact, easy-to-build wikiups made of willow poles or saplings, leaves and brush. Their settlements and social groups were impermanent, and communal leadership what little there was was informal. After European contact, some Great Basin groups got horses and formed equestrian hunting and raiding bands that were similar to the ones we associate with the Great Plains natives. Before European contact, the temperate, hospitable California culture area had more people—an estimated , in the midth century—than any other.
It was also more diverse: Its estimated different tribes and groups spoke more spoke more than dialects. Despite this great diversity, many native Californians lived very similar lives. They did not practice much agriculture. Instead, they organized themselves into small, family-based bands of hunter-gatherers known as tribelets.
Inter-tribelet relationships, based on well-established systems of trade and common rights, were generally peaceful. Eastern Branch Inuktitut languages : The Eastern Branch languages have three different names for the language. Inuktitut in Canada Inupiaq in Alaska Kalaallisut in Greenland There are three different names, but it is considered to be the same language. There are also many dialects from this language branch spoken in the three countries. Western Branch Yupik languages : Yupik is divided into three distinct languages. The Inuktitut and Yupik languages are both quite hard to learn and speak, because they are very complex languages.
Map Source - The Canadian Encyclopedia. Labrador Inuit.
Arctic Inuit, Native American cold adaptations may originate from extinct hominids -- ScienceDaily
Labrador Inuit man. Ungava woman and child. Boy from Baffin Island. The name "Igloolik" means "there is an igloo here" in Inuktitut. Igloolik family. They were named Caribou since they almost completely rely on Caribou for food, shelter and clothing. The Caribou have their name because of their dependence on the animal. Netsilik family camp.
Their name comes from the fact that they use the copper deposits in their region extensively.