Read e-book online Family life in Native America PDF

By James M. Volo

This quantity offers perception into the relations lifetime of local americans of the northeast quadrant of the North American continent and people residing within the adjoining coastal and piedmont areas. those local american citizens have been one of the such a lot frequent to Euro-colonials for greater than centuries. From the tribes of the northeast woodlands got here "great hunters, fishermen, farmers and warring parties, in addition to the main strong and complex Indian country north of Mexico [the Iroquois Confederacy].

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The Structure of Woodland Society 23 Recent historians and modern Native Americans recognize several loosely confederated groupings of Indians that existed in the Northeast region in the 17th century other than the Iroquois. These were based on the political or defensive alliances they formed during the nascent contact period or during the Great Dispersal (1649–1653). They included the Wabanaki (or Northeastern) Confederacy, the New England Confederacies (separated by three dialects: Pequot, Wampanoag, and Narragansett), the Delaware Confederacy, the Illinois Confederacy, the Ojibwa (or Three Fires) Confederacy, and a loose confederacy of Iroquoian-speakers generally formed around the Huron survivors of the dispersal.

The Structure of Woodland Society 27 Many early observers tried to write down the Indian languages phonetically using the contemporary English, French, Dutch, or Spanish manuscript renderings for vowels, consonants, and combinations thereof that they thought they heard. This led to a multitude of wildly different spellings and pronunciations for the same words. One of the fundamental obstacles to making a usable written record of a native language was that the pronunciations of many European languages themselves were not yet standardized, and many colonials and explorers spoke with regional dialects that were themselves subtle and complex and lacked simple discrimination or reproduction in written form.

Documents from the period refer to both villages and bands promiscuously, and the true nature of any tribal organization among the Algonquians in the early contact period remains uncertain. Such small bands existed among the Chippewa and the Cree sub-groups of the Ojibwa of the western Lakes region that they exhibited little in the way of overall leadership or tribal organization. Their cousins, the Ottawa, seem to have had more settled villages and a better organization than other Ojibwa peoples.

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