The term American Indians can be simply described as the indigenous persons of the area which is currently referred to as the United States. This means the individuals were living here for many thousands of years, long before it was finally conquered and occupied. Over the previous several hundred years, the American Indians have hunted, formed tribes, and prospered on this magnificent land.
They were some peaceful individuals who enjoyed creativity, prayer, and family. The respect and appreciation for nature was of the greatest importance. American Indians regarded nature as a great gift from the Gods that should be respected and treated appropriately at all times. Even though many American Indians claim to have enjoyed their territory for a very a long time, some would argue that they migrated here in ancient times by way of the Land Bridge (Bering Strait). Most of the people believe that many came from Siberia.
Though the American Indians had survived in isolation for much of their lives, when the Europeans arrived and discovered America, many things became worse. Indians were abruptly forced off of their land, and they had to relocate. Wars eventually erupted, and blood was shed. Although some Indians finally sided with the whites, several others refused to give up to their punitive ways.
Below are some fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about American Indians:
1. In 1890, the final main battle between United States soldiers and Native American Indians happened. It was referred to as the Battle of Wounded Knee and happened close to the Wounded Knee Creek in the South Dakota. Nearly 300 Sioux Indians were killed.
2. American Indians have appeared on several United States coins including the popular Buffalo nickel (Indian Head nickel) imprinted from 1913-1938 and more lately the Sacagawea dollar that boasts well-known Indian women who acted as a guide on the Clark and Lewis Expedition.
3. The groups of Native American Tribes spoke dissimilar languages! It is approximated that there were several languages spoken in about 600 diverse dialects.
4. The distinct Native American groups led various lifestyles that differed based on the weather conditions and local landscape at the site of each group
5. Native American experts classified the Native American Indians by site into to 10 major groups.
6. Horses had been extremely hunted to extinction by the first settlers of the Americas many before the Europeans arrived. The reintroduction of horses by the Europeans had a remarkable influence on the American Indians. They used the horse for warfare, hunting, and travel.
7. The kayak is an American Indian inventor, first used by locals in the Artic, who built seal and whale skin-covered vessels to travel and hunt across the frigid sea.
8. Ten primary Native American groups are Northwest Native Americans, Great Plains Indians, Northeast Woodland Indians, Southeast Native Americans, Southwest Indians, Great Basin Indians, Arctic and Sub-Arctic Indians, Plateau Indians, and the Native Americans of California.
9. The Diets of the Native American Indian differed based on what was available in the area. It was popular for the diet to include caribou, bison, rabbit, deer, fish, plants, nuts, honey, and berries.
10. European settlers who came to America brought some diseases to which the Native Americans lacked resistance. Unfortunately, these diseases killed many thousands of Indians and resulted in a large population reduction.