What were some cultural patterns of Native Americans prior to European colonization?


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Rosie Normanton answered
The Native Americans who lived prior to the colonization by the Europeans were a diverse group who lived in a variety of ways. Some were farmers who experimented with a variety of indigenous North American plants. Some created pottery and were adept at using fire to stay warm in the winter and as a tool. Most of these Natives tended to live in one place all year round. There were other tribes of Native Americans that lived a very different lifestyle and they lived in the American Great Plains.

  • The talents of our ancestors

Many Native American tribes who lived in the Great Plains area were skilled hunters and they tended to roam about after the large herds of buffalo from which they got their food as well as items for clothing and shelter. Very little or none of the animal was wasted and these tribes could pack up their mobile tee-pees and move after the herds of buffalo very quickly. Some of the tribes who lived this nomadic lifestyle were Sioux, Blackfeet and Commanche.

  • How was leadership performed?

Leadership in most Native American tribes was given to a senior Chief who made all important decisions. Women assisting in making clothes from the hides and other parts of buffalo, helping to gather water, and had very little say in the way the tribe was run. Children were raised very strictly and were expected to do their part to help in chores from a very early age.

Most tribes made instruments of some kind from natural sources such as drums, and tribal dances were very common across all Native American tribes. Changes came about when Europeans arrived on the continent. Since they brought horses with them, and some escaped to live in the wild, the tribes that lived in the plains area soon learned to ride and became skilled hunters on horseback.

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