Tula, the Toltec Capital

By the time the Spanish had conquered Mexico, the Toltec (also known Tolteca) were revered as mythical rulers of a golden age. They were regarded as the cultural heirs of the great city of Teotihuacán. In his book The Aztecs, archaeologist Brian Fagan writes of the mythical reputation the Toltec:  “They were expert herbalists, jewelers, the originators of calendars and year counts—righteous, wise people in every way, it was claimed. The oral histories depict the Tolteca as tall people who excelled in all the arts and sciences. Hunger and unhappiness were unknown. Tolteca farmers even grew colored cotton and huge ears of maize.”

Prudence Rice, writing in the Dictionary of Archaeology, notes:  “Much of what is known about the history of the Toltecs in Mesoamerica is filtered through later Aztec myths and histories, which they wrote and rewrote to glorify their own accomplishments, and many contradictions complicate the picture.”

While the various accounts of Toltec history are somewhat contradictory, Wigberto Jimenez Moreno pieced together a sequence that is accepted by most scholars. In the late eighth century C.E., the legendary ruler Mixcoatl (Cloud Serpent) had led his people through what is now northern Jalisco and southern Zacatecas to settle in the Valley of Mexico at Culhuacan. According to the stories, Mixcoatl was a Chichimeca (barbarian from the north) who married a noble woman at Culhuacan. After his death, Mixcoatl was deified as the patron of hunting.

While many scholars view Mixcoatl as a mythical or semi-mythical figure, Topilzin is generally felt to have been a real person who was born in the year 1 Reed (935 CE or 947 CE). He is often identified as Mixcoatl’s son and heir. One of the first things Topilzin did was to move the capital from Culhuacan to Tula. While Tula is sometimes translated to mean “place of the reeds,” its meaning implied “the city” (from the idea that people were crowded together as thick as reeds).

The accounts of Tula and the Toltec which were collected by the early Spanish chroniclers, such as Bernardino de Sahagún, seem almost mythical. Unlike the great ancient city of Teotihuacán, there were no immediately observable ruins of Tula. Was Tula myth or reality?  The answer came in 1941 when Wigberto Jimenez Moreno and Jorge Acosta identified the archaeological site of Tula in the state of Hidalgo about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Mexico City. Prior to being adopted by the Toltec as their capital, Tula had been a small farming community which had been first settled about 650 CE. As the Toltec capital, it became an urban center covering about 7 square miles (11 square kilometers) with a population of about 30-40,000 in the urban core and perhaps as many as 120,000 in the urban region.

The archaeological site of Tula is not as impressive as many other Mesoamerican sites. First, the city had been burned and sacked by an unknown group. Second, the Aztecs had looted the site for its sculptures, friezes, and other items which were then re-used in Tenochtitlan and other Aztec cities.

On a high promontory, the Toltec constructed a ceremonial precinct which was dominated on the north side by a pyramid (designated as Pyramid B by archaeologists) to Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent God, in his role as the God of the Morning Star.  Archaeologist Brian Fagan describes the pyramid this way:  “Its workmanship is crude compared with that of the pyramids of Teotihuacan. Great warrior figures with flat heads supported the roof of Quetzalcoatl’s temple. The shrine stood on a pyramid faced with panels of walking jaguars and eagles consuming human hearts.”

Pyramid B was built in six successive stages. It is a stepped pyramid platform with a colonnaded hall in front. Archaeologists Michael Coe and Rex Koontz, in their book Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs, write:  “An ancient visitor would have walked through the colonnade, climbed the stairway and passed through the entrance of the temple, flanked by two stone columns in the form of Feathered Serpents, with the rattles in the air and heads on the ground.”

The major construction of this civic/ceremonial center, known today as Tula Grande, is traditionally dated to 950-1150 CE, with most of the absolute dates at the clustering in the 900 to 1000 range.

Also included in the ceremonial complex are a coatepantli (“serpent wall”), two ballcourts for the ceremonial ballgame, and a Chacmool sculpture. The coatepantli is located to the north of the pyramid and serves to demark the edge of the ceremonial district. The friezes on the wall show a snake devouring a human except for the head.

Chacmool is a type of stone sculpture of a reclining human figure with a bowl or plate held on the stomach. These sculptures are found at the entrances to temples throughout Mesoamerica. The bowls or plates served as receptacles for human hearts.

Adjacent to Pyramid B is the Palacio Quemado (Burnt Palace). This feature has colonnaded halls with sunken courts in their centers which probably served as spaces for ceremonies and meetings.

In spite of the Aztec stories, archaeology has not uncovered any evidence showing that the Toltec actually controlled a large empire. They did, however, participate in the large trading networks that spread throughout Mesoamerica and into the American Southwest. They also appear to have controlled the obsidian mines which had once been controlled by Teotihuacán.

According to the Aztec stories, Topiltzin had been a priest-king dedicated to a peaceful Feathered Serpent cult. He opposed human sacrifice. On the other hand, there were those in Tula who worshipped Tezcatlipoca (Smoking Mirror), the giver and taker of life, the patron of the warriors. As a result of the struggle between the pacifistic Topiltzin and the warriors, Topiltzin and his followers fled the city about 987 CE. As a result, there developed many legends about the migrations of Topiltzin and his people.

The archaeological reality of the Toltec and their capital at Tula is somewhat different than that reported by the later Aztecs to the Spanish chroniclers. Brian Fagan reports:  “The Tula excavations reveal a battle-scarred, militaristic Toltec civilization, one in which oppression was a way of life and human sacrifice second nature, a far cry from the Golden Age of Aztec legend.”

With regard to the Toltec legacy, Prudence Rice writes:  “For the Aztecs, the Toltecs played a critical role as a great ancestral civilization. In order to legitimize their kinds and establish their own noble lineages, the Mexica—likewise of Chichimeca ancestry—contrived to marry into the descendents of Toltec nobility in the basin of Mexico.”

After 1100, prolonged droughts and attacks from new invaders from the north brought an end to the Tolteca.

The Michif Language

The French, unlike the English and the Spanish, saw Indians as trading partners. The French saw that their best opportunity for economic gain was to be found in the fur trade in which their Native American trading partners would retain their autonomy and provide them with furs. The French explorers quickly established trading relations with the Native nations.

The best way for the French traders to establish trading relations was for the traders to marry into the Indian societies, as traditional trade relied heavily upon kinship relations. Having married an Indian woman, the trader would have a kinship network which could be utilized for trade.

One of the consequences of marriage is often children. The offspring of the French-Indian marriages grew up in multilingual households with a French-speaking father and an Indian-language-speaking mother. These children also grew up with two cultures: one European and one Aboriginal. The two cultures blended and created a new group of people known in Canada as Métis.

Out of the Métis culture also came a new language: Michif (also spelled Mitchif).  Catherine Callaghan and Geoffrey Gamble, in a chapter in the Handbook of North American Indians, write:  “Mitchif arose around 1800 in the central Canadian provinces as the result of intermarriage between French fur traders and Cree-speaking women who were often the daughters of their Indian trading partners.”

Michif is sometimes described as a mixture of Cree and French.  While there are some who confuse Michif with pidgin trade languages, such as the Chinook trade language spoken along the Columbia River, it is not a pidgin (a language with a reduced vocabulary and grammar), but a true language. Linguist John McWhorter, in his book The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, writes:  “Michif is not a fallback strategy for people who could not really manage their ancestors’ languages, nor is it a jolly sort of pig Latin—it is a new language altogether.”

Michif utilizes French-origin noun phrases which retain lexical gender (something unusual in the Algonquian Indian languages) and adjective agreement. At the same time, Michif uses Cree-origin verbs with a polysynthetic structure. Polysynthetic structure simply means that instead of using a bunch of words to give additional nuance and meaning to a verb, this is done through a series of prefixes and suffixes. The result is some very long words: verbs can incorporate up to twenty morphemes (sounds which have specific meanings). Thus, Michif grammar tends to be Cree-based.

In general, most of the Michif nouns (an estimated 83-94%) are of French-origin, while most verbs (an estimated 88-99%) are Cree-origin. The language also uses Cree personal pronouns, question words, and demonstratives. In addition to French nouns, Michif uses French numerals, adjectives, and articles.

The study of language origins, particularly the study of creole languages, has strongly suggested that new languages tend to be formed by children. In the case of Michif, linguists generally feel that the children were fairly fluent in both French and Cree when they developed Michif. Until fairly recently, most Michif speakers were trilingual, speaking French, Cree, and Michif.

Linguists generally see a pidgin-creole continuum in which creoles evolve out of pidgins (second languages which often function as trade languages and are learned by adults). Michif, however, does not fit this model. Pidgins, such as they are learned by adults, have a reduced morphological complexity. Catherine Callaghan and Geoffrey Gamble write:  “Mitchif represents the opposite of a jargon or a pidgin-based creole, since the language underwent an increase rather than a reduction in morphological complexity during its formation.”

At the present time, Michif is classified as a moribund language, meaning that relatively few children are learning it. In the United States, there are probably fewer than 1,000 Michif speakers, most of whom are associated with the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. In Canada, where the Métis are legally and socially recognized as a distinct people, there are many more Michif speakers.

Camas

The area between the Cascade Mountains and the Rocky Mountains in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, and Western Montana is known as the Plateau Culture area. From north to south it runs from the Fraser River in the north to the Blue Mountains in the south. Much of the area is classified as semi-arid. Part of it is mountainous with pine forests in the higher elevations.

For the Indian people of the Plateau, camas (Camassia quamash) was an important food. Camas is a lily-like plant whose bulb can be fire-baked to make a sweet and nutritious staple. In some places in the Northwest, camas was so common that non-Indian travelers would mistake fields of the plant’s blue flowers for distant lakes. As a food source, camas is very high in protein: 5.4 ounces of protein per pound of roots. In comparison, steelhead trout (Salmo gairdneri) has 3.4 ounces of protein per pound.

Ethnographic Background:

There are a number of different stories about the origin of camas. According to one story, Moose, in order to feed his guests Coyote and Kingfisher, slapped his backside and out came Camas. He then put it in a kettle and gave it to his guests as food.

The proper time to gather camas is when the lower half of the flowers begin to fade. Indian people generally gathered camas in June, but this varied according to altitude and seasonal weather conditions. The camas was dug up by women using digging sticks made from elk antlers or fire-hardened sticks. A woman could dig up about a bushel of roots in a day from a site that was about half an acre in size. It was possible for a woman to gather enough camas in three or four days to feed her family for a year.

Among all of the food plants gathered by the Native peoples of the Plateau region, the camas bulbs required the most elaborate preparation. The sugar in the camas bulbs is indigestible until it is roasted and converted to fructose. By slow roasting the bulbs in an earth oven, camas becomes a useful food source.

The oven (a roasting pit dug into the ground) was preheated by building a fire in it and placing small rocks (about 5” in diameter) in with the wood. In addition to the small rocks, some pits had large flat stones on the bottom which were also heated by the fire. When the rocks were hot, they were covered with about 3 inches of wet vegetation such as slough grass, alder branches, willow, and/or skunk cabbage leaves. Then the camas bulbs were placed on top of the vegetation. Sometimes Douglas onions (Allium douglasii) were placed in with the camas. The camas was then covered with bark and earth and a fire was built on top of the oven. Cooking usually took between 12 and 70 hours, depending on the number of camas bulbs in the oven.

Although the men gathered the wood for the ovens, men were not allowed near the roasting pits for fear that the camas would not be roasted properly. In some of the tribes, the men were not supposed to even look in the direction of the camas ovens.

For the women, gathering and roasting the camas was a highly regarded skill. Writing about the Kalispel, Ruth Kirk and Richard Daugherty, in their book Archaeology in Washington, report:  “Young women seeking guardian spirits hoped to gain ability to find roots, dig them, or roast and prepare them for storage. Skill in roasting roots was more valued than skill in digging them.”

The camas which was intended for storage was then dried for about a week. Dried camas can be preserved for many years. Some American explorers report eating camas that had been prepared 36 years earlier.  The early Europeans in the area, such as Lewis and Clark, occasionally consumed camas after they were shown how to harvest it and prepare it. One Jesuit missionary fermented camas to make alcohol. Another Jesuit missionary observed that the consumption of camas by those unaccustomed to it is “followed by strong odors accompanied by loud sounds”.

In order to increase the camas yield, the camas areas, as well as other root gathering areas, were occasionally burned over.

 Archaeology:

Since camas was a staple crop, the people would visit the gathering areas each year, often re-using the pit ovens at the camas camps. For archaeologists, the presence of the pit ovens provides good evidence that the people were harvesting camas.

The earliest evidence of the use of camas dates to about 6000 BCE, a time when the Old Cordilleran culture was beginning to replace the Windust culture. According to archaeologist James Keyser in his book Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau:  “Old Cordillaran people hunted deer, antelope, mountain sheep, and birds; took salmon and fresh-water mollusks from the rivers; and collected and processed berries and tuberous plants such as camas.”

Ethnographic accounts tell of rich camas fields in the Calispell Valley near Usk, Washington and the present-day Kalispel Reservation. In the 1980s, archaeologists began documenting the earth ovens in the area. The site dates to about 4800 BCE. The earth ovens range from two feet to 11 feet in diameter. With regard to depth, they range from about 5 inches to more than 2 feet. The camas season appears to have lasted for about two months. Ruth Kirk and Richard Daugherty report:  “For the Kalispel people the pattern seems to have changed little in thousands of years. Recent ovens closely match the ancient ones.”

Archaeologists have, however, noted some changes in the use of camas. About 1500 BCE, camas became more intensely used in the Calispell Valley. At this same time, fishing also became more important.

A thousand years later, about 500 BCE, there is a major drought which damages the moist meadows. The use of camas decreased because of lack of availability. At this same time, there is an increase in the use of fire to increase food production at the higher elevations.

By 500 CE, the harvesting of camas in the Calispell Valley had once again intensified.

The Ozette Reservation

In 1855 the United States met with the Makah Nation in Washington to negotiate a treaty. At this time, the Makah were composed of five semiautonomous villages that shared language, kinship, and cultural traditions. As in other treaty councils, Governor Isaac Stevens told the Makah to select a single man to serve as their supreme chief. When they declined to do so, he simply appointed Tse-kow-wootl, from the village of Ozette, as supreme chief.

Under the terms of the treaty, dictated by Governor Isaac Stevens, the Makah reservation was to be centered at Neah Bay. Only one of the five main Makah villages was included within the new reservation. While the Makah had been successful fishing people for thousands of years, the United States wanted them to become farmers on land which was not suited for agriculture. All of the Makah land which was suitable for agriculture was outside of the new reservation.

With the formation of the Makah Reservation, the village of Ozette is six miles south of the reservation. While the United States government wanted all of the Makah to move to the Neah Bay area, the people of Ozette preferred to remain in their traditional village.

The United States Indian policy was based on the idea of civilizing Indian people through farming. Since the treaty excluded nearly all of the land which could be farmed, a Presidential Executive Order in 1873 expanded the Makah reservation to include some farmable land. However, the village of Ozette, which was still occupied by a number of Makah families, remained outside of the reservation. At this time there were about 200 families living in Ozette.

In the 1880s, the Indian agents on the Makah Reservation were encouraging the Makah families in Ozette to relocate to Neah Bay so that they could be near the schools for their children. With this, the population of Ozette began to decrease. By 1888 only 91 families remained in the village.

In 1893, the 719-acre Ozette Reservation was established by Presidential Executive Order. This action, however, would result in some confusion later on. While Ozette was one of the five traditional Makah villages, the creation of a distinct Ozette Reservation created for non-Indians the illusion that the Makah people on that reservation were somehow a distinct tribe (the Ozette).

The government continued to strongly encourage people to leave Ozette. The population dropped to 44 in 1901, to 35 by 1906, to 17 by 1914, and to only 8 by 1923. In 1911, Congress passed an act directing the Secretary of the Interior to allow members of the Ozette Tribe to receive allotments of land on the Quinault Reservation.

In 1937, only one person was officially living in the village. While the village was officially viewed by the U.S. government as “vacant” it continued to be an important Makah cultural and spiritual center. The people continued to visit the village regularly.

In 1952, with the passage of House Joint Resolution 698, the United States formally began the termination era in which the policy of the United States focused primarily on the termination of all federal responsibilities for Indian tribes and for the dissolution of Indian reservations.

In 1956, the Area Office of Indian Affairs notified the Makah that the Ozette Reservation was going to be terminated. Ozette was to be turned over to the National Park Service (it is adjacent to Olympic National Park), turned over to the General Services Administration, or declared open and unclaimed. The Makah Tribe was given 60 days to respond.

Noting that the Superintendent was opposed to Makah cultural expression and that he had discouraged people from returning to Ozette, and frustrated with the lack of help from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the tribe submitted a petition directly to the solicitor general in Washington, D.C. and made a personal plea to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Concluding that the Makah had no beneficial interest in Ozette, the Interior Deputy Solicitor recommended that Ozette be returned to public domain.

In 1970, PL-91-489 declared that the Ozette Reservation would be held in trust by the federal government for the Makah Tribe. At this time, Ozette was beginning to enter the national and international spotlight because it had become an important archaeological site.

The Marmes Rockshelter

Much of what we know about the people of the ancient world has come from archaeological findings in caves and rockshelters. A rockshelter, by the way, is wider than it is deep, while a cave is deeper than it is wide. Rockshelters and caves provided people with shelter, usually temporary, where they could camp while hunting game, gathering wild plants, fishing, or gathering materials for making tools.

More than 13,000 years ago, Indian people began using a rockshelter, 40 feet wide and 25 feet deep beneath a basalt ledge, in southeastern Washington which later became known as the Marmes Rockshelter Site. The site is located near the confluence of the Snake and Palouse Rivers. This was a time, just two millennia after the maximum advance of the glaciers, when the ice age glaciers were retreating into British Columbia. The climate at this time was cold. The ecosystem at this time was a mixed forest of pine and spruce, not the sagebrush prairie ecosystem found in the area today.

Cremation was a common way of dealing with dead bodies, and by 9700 BCE, the Marmes Rockshelter was being used for cremations. One corner was used repeatedly and had a hearth that was ten feet across. The cremations may have been spaced decades apart. With regard to the mortuary practices at Marmes Rockshelter, anthropologist James Chatters in his book Ancient Encounters: Kennewick Man and the First Americans writes:  “Marmes Rockshelter, it seems, had been an ancient crematorium.”

Prior to cremation, the bones of the dead were cleaned of their flesh. Within the hearth are the bones of at least six people: three adults (a young woman, a young man, and an adult of undetermined age and gender) and three children between the ages of 8 and 14. Ochre and large implements were used as offerings.

At this time—9700 BCE—the Indian people using the rockshelter were hunting rabbit, elk, deer, and antelope, as well as fishing. As with ancient Indians in other parts of North America, the people who were using the Marmes Rockshelter were using atlatls (a type of spear thrower) as a hunting weapon.

In a layer of the site dated to about 7,000 years ago, archaeologists found a fairly large quantity of Olivella shells which would have had to come from the Pacific coast some 200 miles away. The presence of the shells this far inland suggests that a trade network with the coastal tribes existed at this time. Most of the shells had holes drilled through so that they could be strung together as necklaces.

The archaeology at the Marmes Rockshelter site, ranked among the important North American archaeological sites by archaeologists, can be considered incomplete at best. Archaeologists—or rather archaeologist Richard Daugherty and a few of his students from Washington State University—began in 1952 to survey the area which would be flooded by the Lower Monumental Dam. It wasn’t until the 1960s, however, that any attention was paid to the Marmes Rockshelter. By 1968, it was apparent the Marmes Rockshelter was a significant site and the Army Corps of Engineers, the builders of the dam, funded a salvage archaeology effort. The Corps of Engineers also reluctantly agreed to postpone the closing of the dam’s gates for a year. Work on the site continued in 18-hour shifts through February 1969. Ruth Kirk and Richard Daugherty, in their book Archaeology in Washington, write:  “By February 1969 only about a quarter of the floodplain deposits had been excavated and work in the rockshelter was incomplete, but time ran out.”

With time running out, the archaeologists decided to sacrifice precision for speed and used bulldozers to get to the deeper layers, an action which probably destroyed some of the archaeological evidence.

With an emergency appropriation from President Lyndon Johnson, the Army Corps of Engineers attempted to build a cofferdam to hold the rising waters away from the archaeological site, but the dam failed. The rising waters inundated the rockshelter and 83 other known archaeological sites in the area.

The archaeologists, racing against the rising waters of the reservoir, attempted to protect the site as much as possible with plastic sheeting and dump truck loads of sand. Ruth Kirk and Richard Daugherty wrote:  “Someday the reservoir will silt in and archaeological excavation may resume. For the time being nothing more could be done. The site, with all its remaining evidence, lay drowned.”

Marmes Rockshelter today lies under 40 feet of water.

The Tututni Indians

The area along the Pacific Coast north of California and between the Cascade Mountains and the ocean, is the home to many Indian nations who traditionally based their economy on the use of sea coast and river ecological resources. This is an area which stretches from the Tlingit homelands in Alaska to the Tolowa homelands in northern California. Southwestern Oregon, a mountainous region with a straight coastline which is broken up with the mouths of many streams and rivers, is in the transition zone between the Northwest Coast cultures to the north and the California cultures to the south.

The languages spoken by the aboriginal inhabitants of the region belong to the larger Athabascan (also spelled Athabaskan, Athapascan and Athapaskan) language family. The Tututni language is most closely related to Upper Coquille and Chasta Costa. The linguistic evidence suggests that the coastal Athabascan-speakers—Umpqua, Tututni, Chetco, Tolowa—did not enter the area until about 700 to 1,000 years ago. The last fluent speaker of the Tututni language died in 1983.

The group which Europeans call Tututni takes its name from the large village of Tututin (“People of the Water Place”) which was located inland on the Rogue River. The northern edge of traditional Tututni county was the Sixes River and the southern edge was the Pistol River. Their territory went inland on the Rogue River for about 15 miles.

Subsistence:

The two favorite foods of the Tututni were the salmon and the acorn. Chinook salmon, which could weigh up to 100 pounds, would begin their annual spawning run up the Rogue River in late March or early April. To help guide the salmon back to the Rogue River, the Tututni would paddle down the river to the Pacific Ocean. Here they would meet villagers from other Athapaskan-speaking villages and would build large driftwood bonfires. They would dance and sing late into the night, calling the salmon home.

In harvesting the salmon, the Tututni would build fixed V-shaped weirs with alder frames and a net made of hazel or spruce roots. They would also use dipnets and spears. The salmon would be butchered and slow-smoked on alder racks over low fires in smokehouses.

As with other non-agricultural people, the Tututni followed an annual cycle of food resource collection. In June, the women would gather root plants such as camas and wild carrots. To prepare the camas for eating and for storage, it would be cooked in large earth ovens. Once cooked, the camas would be eaten warm or stored for later consumption.

During June, the women would also gather berries, primarily strawberries, raspberries (black caps), huckleberries, and salmonberries. The strawberries and raspberries would be dried for storage, while the salmonberries were usually eaten fresh.

In July, the men would fish for trout and lamprey.

In the fall, the people would harvest the acorns from the California black oak and the Oregon white oak trees. These would be shelled, dried, and stored in baskets. In using the acorns, the women would grind them with a mortar and pestle and then leach the tannic acid out of them. The fine meal would then be boiled.

Deer and elk were also hunted and hunting areas were burned over about every five years to encourage fresh growth which would draw in more game.

Like the Galice and Upper Coquille, the older Tututni men would burn an area and then plant tobacco in it.

Housing:

 As with other Indian nations along the Northwest Coast, the Tututni built plank winter houses. The houses were partially subterranean: they were dug down 3 to 4 feet. The sides were made by placing planks vertically and then larger planks were laid across to form the roof. The planks were made from western red cedar which had been split with wedges.

House size reflected the wealth and status of the family. A wealthy family might have a house with three inside fire hearths; the house itself could be 20 feet wide and 30 feet long. Smaller homes would be 10 feet wide and 15 feet long.

Each village would also have at least one sweathouse. The sweathouse, also made from cedar planks, would be excavated to a depth of about three feet. Entrance to the sweathouse was through a circular hole about three feet in diameter in one end of the structure. Within this structure there would be a central fire.

The men would sleep together in the sweathouse. In the morning, they would sweat and then swim in a nearby stream. Following this they would go to their own houses for breakfast.

Canoes:

 The Tututni made and used both river canoes and ocean-going canoes. It could take as long as a year to make an ocean-going canoe as the process involved selecting and cutting down a large red cedar tree, allowing it to dry, then hollowing it out and fixing seats within it. The ocean-going canoes could be up to 40 feet long and use 12 paddlers as well as a captain. They could haul tons of cargo and made trips as far north as British Columbia.

 Wealth:

 Unlike most of the Indian nations in North America, individual wealth was seen as important to the Tututni and the other Northwest Coast Indians. Individual wealth included canoes, fishing spots, dance regalia, currency, and wives. Wealth also carried responsibility as the wealthy were expected to provide food for the needy and to share their canoes and fishing spots. The wealthy sponsored dances and supplied the dancers with proper regalia.

Marriage:

 Among the Tututni, marriage was exogamous with regard to the village. Men would marry women from a different village and the women would then move to the men’s village. The groom’s family would make a payment to the bride’s family as a way of compensating them for the loss of a significant worker.

Divorce was fairly easy and the reasons for divorce included jealousy, meanness, and barrenness. After a divorce, the older children would generally stay with the father and the younger children would go with the mother.

 Religion:

 Salmon were important to the Tututni and therefore a First Salmon Ceremony would be held in which the first salmon caught would be cooked over an alder fire. Thanks would be given to the salmon for returning home and all people would receive a small piece of this salmon. Seeing themselves as a part of nature, it was important to show appreciation to the salmon so that it would come back again.

The Ten Night Dance was held in the home of the chief to forget the dead. Men and women would dance alternately, with the women wearing all of their wealth. The dances imitated animals such as deer, woodpecker, and buzzard.

Sixteenth Century European Laws About Indians

The European invasion of the Americas really began in the sixteenth century with several European nations competing to divide up the new lands among themselves. In justifying their ability to take lands from Indians, to rule Indians, to make slaves of Indians, and to kill Indians, the European formulated a number of laws.

In 1512, the Spanish King Ferdinand promulgated the Laws of Burgos which spelled out how Indians were to be treated. The laws regulated Indian work and conversion.

The following year, King Ferdinand of Spain told Native Americans that God had declared that the Pope rules all people, regardless of their law, sect, or belief. This included Christians, Moors, Jews, Gentiles, or any other sect. He asked that the Native Americans come forward of their own free will to convert to Catholicism or  “with the help of God we shall use force against you, declaring war upon you from all sides and with all possible means, and we shall bind you to the yoke of the Church and Their Highnesses; we shall enslave your persons, wives, and sons, sell you or dispose of you as the King sees fit; we shall seize your possessions and harm you as much as we can as disobedient and resisting vassals.”

Furthermore, the Natives who resisted were to be held guilty of all resulting deaths and injuries. In other words, the victims were to be blamed for their own deaths. Killing Indians who refused to convert to Christianity was seen as a part of a “just war.”

The idea of a “just war” was based upon the word of Saint Augustine. Under this concept, a just war was one that was waged to right an injustice or wrong by another nation. One of these wrongs, according to the Christian view, was not being Christian. Thus, if an Indian nation were to fail to let missionaries live and preach among them, then they were committing a “wrong” which would have to be set right through a “just war.”

In 1519, Catholic Bishop Juan de Quevedo declared that Indians were slaves by nature because some people were by nature inferior.

In 1525, Dominican official Tomas Ortiz reported that Indians eat human flesh, engage in sodomy, go naked, and have no respect for love, virginity, or the truth. He said:  “It may therefore affirm that God has never created a race more full of vice and composed without the least mixture of kindness or culture.”

In 1526, Spanish King Charles V issued orders concerning the fair treatment of Indians. He ordered that Indians be treated so that  “it may be accomplished with no offence to God, without death nor robbery of said Indians and without enslaving them, so that the desire to spread our faith among them be achieved without grieving our consciences.”  However, there was also a royal levy of one-half of all looted grave-goods.

In 1529, Pope Clement VI wrote to King Charles of Spain:  “We trust that, as long as you are on earth, you will compel and with all zeal cause the barbarian nations to come to the knowledge of God, the maker and founder of all things, not only by edicts of admonitions, but also by force and arms, if needful, in order that their souls may partake of the heavenly kingdom.”

In 1532, Spanish judge Francisco de Vitoria declared that non-Christians can own property and therefore Indians may have title to their land. He also wrote:  “The Spaniards have the right to go to the lands of the Indians, dwell there and carry on trade, so long as they do no harm, and they cannot be prevented by the Indians from doing so.”

In 1537, in a papal bull Sublimis Deus, Pope Paul III declared that Indians were not to be enslaved nor were they  “to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside of the faith of Jesus Christ.”  The Spanish King, however, disagreed with the bull and confiscated all copies of the bull before it could reach the Americas. He then prevailed upon the Pope to revoke the bull.

In 1573, the Spanish King issued “Laws Concerning Discoveries, Pacifications and Settlements Among the Indians” which was an extensive series of laws about exploration, settlement and the treatment of Indians. The new laws did not speak of “conquest,” but rather of the “pacification” of the Indians.

In 1578, Sir Humphrey Gilbert was granted a patent by England to discover and occupy North American lands not occupied by Spain. Under the legal fiction of the Discovery Doctrine, Christian nations could occupy any lands which were not under the rule of a Christian monarch. American Indians, of course, were not consulted and were not seen as having any legal rights.

In 1579, England formally declared that she would not acknowledge the 1493 papal demarcation which gave the Americas to Catholic Spain and Portugal. England, under the law of nations, saw itself free to have colonies in the Americas which were not already inhabited by Christians.

The English Queen Elizabeth I in 1580 claimed a right of discovery for North America based on the voyages of the Irish Saint Brendan in the sixth century and the mythical voyages of Prince Madoc of Wales in 1170.

Ozette

The Makah, whose traditional homeland is on the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington, are the western-most Indian nation in the lower forty-eight states of the United States. The name “Makah,” given to this tribe by the neighboring S’Klallam, refers to the generosity of their feasts. The Makah name for themselves means “People Who Live by the Rocks and Seagulls.” Linguistically and culturally, the Makah are related to the Native peoples on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

The Makah village of Ozette is located at the westernmost point of the Olympic Peninsula. The village was established about 50 CE at a prime location for intercepting migrating gray whales as well as fur seals and Steller sea lions. The Makah were a whaling people and the archaeological findings from Ozette show that 75% of the meat and oil came from whales. Northern fur seals were also important.

In 1700, an earthquake along the Pacific coast triggered a mudslide which covered Ozette. Five houses, one of which was unoccupied, were buried. Journalist Ruth Kirk and archaeologist Richard Daugherty, in their book Archaeology in Washington, write:  “The Ozette houses were large—60-70 feet long and about 35 feet wide, dimensions typical of Northwest Coast houses and like them built of plants split from cedar logs and lashed to a framework of upright cedar posts.”

The cedar planks used in the walls were up to 2 1/2 feet wide. The wall planks were smoothed with an adze and some were incised with whale, thunderbird, and wolf motifs. Each house was occupied by six to ten individual families and visiting relatives. James Swan spent time with the Makah in 1859 and remarks of their houses:  “They are very comfortable dwellings, and contain several families each. Every family has its separate fire, the smoke of which serves not only to dry the fish and blubber suspended over it, but causes an intense smarting to the eyes of the visitors who are unaccustomed to its acrid fumes.”

Ruth Kirk and Richard Daugherty describe the Ozette houses this way:  “Each family had its own living area, readily detectable because of separate cooking hearths. Raised platforms ringed the living space, serving as beds and for storage.”

In 1970, a storm and tidal erosion began to uncover the remains of Ozette. As hikers from the nearby Olympic National Park were walking away with valuable artifacts, The Makah Tribe decided that the site had be to scientifically excavated and tribal chairman Ed Claplanhoo called archaeologist Richard Daugherty at Washington State University and asked him to reopen the archaeological investigation at the site.  For the next 11 years, archaeologists from Washington State University working with the Makah recovered more than 55,000 artifacts. Many people feel that this was one of the most important archaeological digs in North America, not only because of the artifacts uncovered, but also because of the involvement of the Makah people in the process. Ruth Kirk and Richard Daugherty report:  “Makah students took part in the fieldwork and the preservation of artifacts; Makah elders visited the site and shared memories and information regarding various objects.”

With regard to the agreement between the Makah and the archaeologists, Patricia Erickson, in her book Voices of a Thousand People: The Makah Cultural & Research Center, reports:  “No artifacts would leave the physical jurisdiction of the tribe to be displayed, nor would any prehistoric loss of life associated with the Ozette mudslide be mentioned publicly, if any were discovered.”

The Makah site is what archaeologists call a “wet site” in which the mud which covered the village also served to protect organic material from decay by sealing out the air. As a result, the archaeologists were able to recover things like a piece of a dog-wool blanket and a braid of human hair.

Most prehistoric archaeological sites in North America are places which were abandoned by the Indian people who had lived there. As a result, archaeologists have to interpret daily life by the trash that people left behind. Ozette, however, is more like Pompeii in Italy in that the mudslide covered up a living village giving the archaeologists a glimpse of the daily lives of the people.

Once archaeologists have dug a site, the next task includes preserving the artifacts, interpreting what they mean, and then displaying them to the public. For most archaeological sites in the United States, this means transporting the artifacts to a distant museum or university where non-Indian people take over the tasks of interpreting meaning and displaying the artifacts to the public. In the nineteenth century the emphasis was on displaying artifacts, but this has changed: most museums over the past fifty years or so want to explain the artifacts to the public, to use them in telling a story. The story, however, is often a non-Indian view of the American Indian past. Patricia Erickson, in her book Voices of a Thousand People: The Makah Cultural & Research Center, writes:  “In the history of the United States, and of many European societies, the museum has been one of the places where particular versions of knowledge have been legitimated and others have been categorized as primitive folklore or myth.”

The Makah did not want their heritage sent to a distant facility: they wanted to retain it on their own reservation so that their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would be able to understand their own past and the teachings of the elders. In 1979 the tribe opened the Makah Cultural and Research Center to house the artifacts from the archaeological excavation at Ozette. The museum is more than a display of artifacts for tourists: it is intended to inform and educate the community about the ancestral Makah. It is about remembering ancestors, traditions, language, and values.

With regard to language, museum collections have been traditionally arranged and indexed with regard to material culture which would include categories such as containers, hunting gear, and so on. However, in the development of the Makah museum it was soon realized that these categories were English language cognitive categories. Thus the collection was organized on the basis of Makah cognitive categories instead of English categories. Patricia Erickson reports:  “Makah conceptual categories became used not only for organizing the collection but also for stimulating reflection on Makah worldviews codified in their language.”  Bilingual labels are used in the Museum’s displays.

Today, the Makah Cultural and Research Center is one of more than 100 tribal museums in the United States (there are also about 50 in Canada). About 20,000 non-Makah visitors per year get to see and experience the Makah heritage and the materials from Ozette.

 

Boulder Dam and the Navajo Reservation

In general the history of hydroelectric dams in the United States has involved the transfer of wealth from the nation’s poorest people, American Indians, to the nation’s wealthiest people, industrial capitalists. In the name of progress, industrialization, and manifest destiny American Indian nations have had their lands, water rights, fishing rights, and sacred sites taken from them. The case of Boulder Dam (later renamed Hoover Dam) on the Colorado River is different in that it did not directly impact the Navajo Reservation, but it indirectly led to the destruction of the traditional Navajo economy, and the creation of poverty and economic inequality among the Navajo.

In 1922, the seven Colorado River Basin states negotiated a compact which divided the water of the Colorado River water among themselves. Archaeologist Brian Fagan, in his book Elixer: A History of Water and Humankind, writes:  “The era of industrial water management was truly under way, for the benefit not of small farmers but of large agribusinesses.”

While the Indian tribes in the region had a legal right to this water, the tribes were not invited to the negotiations and any possible water rights which Indians might have were purposefully ignored. The negotiations were chaired by Herbert Hoover.  In 1928, Hoover, who was then Secretary of Commerce, secured from Congress the authorization for the Colorado River Project which included the construction of Boulder Dam (later renamed Hoover Dam). The dam was to protect and promote agribusiness ventures in California’s Imperial Valley and to provide water to Los Angeles.

A glance at the map suggests little connection between Boulder Dam and the Navajo, as the dam is located far to the west of the reservation. However, in 1929 the United States Geological Survey reported that the major contributors to Colorado River silt were located on the Navajo Reservation. The Navajo Reservation was therefore seen as a major threat to the Boulder Dam as silt from the reservation would pile up behind the dam and destroy its usefulness. American government officials at this time were firmly convinced that overgrazing caused gullying which resulted in silt. The solution in their minds was obvious: stop overgrazing by the Navajos on their reservation and save Boulder dam.

In the 1930s, the United States, in the midst of the Great Depression, elected a new President who then appointed John Collier as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Unlike most of his predecessors, Collier had worked on Indian reservations, understood Indian cultures, and felt that Indian people should have a say in their own destinies. He felt that forced assimilation was wrong and that previous Indian policies had resulted in the creation of Indian poverty. He told the Indians:  “We believe that your Indian heritage is just as practicable and good, and just as much needed by America as is the Anglo-Saxon heritage or the German heritage or the Scotch or Irish or Norwegian heritage.”

The situation with Boulder Dam and the Navajo would, however, provide Collier with his greatest challenge and his actions in dealing with this challenge would make a mockery of the many fine words he spoke about American Indians.

Part of the problem stemmed from an economic misunderstanding. Long before the European invasion of North America, the Navajo had been farmers and they acquired sheep, goats, and horses from the early Spanish settlements in New Mexico. By the twentieth century they had a basic subsistence economy in which their farming and livestock provided them with the basic necessities of life. Their primary participation in the larger cash economy was through traders where they could trade wool blankets and other items for cash or goods.

The American government, however, viewed agriculturalists, including the Navajo, as a part of a larger industrial agricultural system in which people raised products, such as sheep, which were then sold to provide them with the money with which they could buy basic food and supplies. From this viewpoint, only Navajo sheep had economic value and goats and horses were economically worthless as there was no market for them. What the Americans failed to understand was that the Navajo ate goats and horses and that these animals provided them with the food they need to survive to tough times.

In 1931, for example, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held hearings on the Navajo Reservation. The Senators used the hearings as a forum to lecture the Navajo on market economics. While agency personal testified that the Navajo had few surplus horses and the Navajo testified about the fact that goats are essential to their subsistence, Senator Burton K. Wheeler admonished the Navajo to get rid of their horses and goats.

There were also political misunderstandings. The Navajo had never had a tribal council: each of the many small bands and outfits were felt to be autonomous. Historically, the American government has always preferred dealing with dictatorships rather than democracies and has therefore established governments which it could easily manipulate. The Navajo Tribal Council was not a Navajo institution, but had been established by the American government to agree with all American actions and to give these actions, primarily the transfer of wealth and  resources from the Navajo tribe to American businesses, the superficial appearance of having been done with Navajo approval. Many of those appointed to the Council by the American government were highly acculturated Navajo who tended to be wealthy, bilingual, and Christian.

In 1933, John Collier, in his role as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, met with the Navajo Tribal Council to discuss stock reduction. He told the Navajo that overgrazing was resulting in erosion and that there would have to be a reduction in stock. He told the Council:  “This reservation, along with the other Indian reservations along the Colorado River, is supplying much more than half of all the silt which goes down the Colorado River, which will in the course of a comparatively few years render the Boulder Dam useless and thereby injure the population of all Southern California and a good deal of Arizona also.”

He proposed a reduction of 200,000 sheep and 200,000 goats. While there was some opposition to the stock reduction proposal, the Council did what it was told and voted 8-4 to endorse Collier’s proposal. Many Navajo, however, particularly the women, did not support the Council’s action. In Navajo culture, women owned their own sheep and felt that no one had the right to tell them what to do with their own property.

The impact of stock reduction was first felt in 1934: 148,000 goats and 50,000 sheep were sold. The prices set by the government were exceptionally low.  Not all of the goats could be delivered to the railhead, therefore some were slaughtered and the dried meat given back to the Navajo. Other goats were simply shot and left to rot; some were shot and partially cremated by soaking them with gasoline and lighting it. From a Navajo viewpoint this was an appalling waste of valuable resources. It is generally estimated that the reduction in the number of goats increased the cost of living on the reservation by about 20%.

Government officials failed to understand Navajo concepts of ownership. They simply assumed that the flocks were family owned, that is, they were owned by the male head of household. Since Navajo women owned large herds this meant that women soon found that their flocks were being credited to their husbands.

The non-Navajo conservationists advocated the reduction in goats because the animals had little market value. They did not understand that in a subsistence economy, such as that of the Navajo, goats are important as a dependable source of food: by drinking goat milk, eating goat cheese, and eating goat meat, the sheep could be bred or traded.

In 1936, Navajo women rebelled against federal government pressure to reduce the size of their sheep herds. At Kayenta, 250 Navajo gathered. While most of those present were men, Denehotso Hattie, a woman almost blind from trachoma, was the leader. She pointed her finger at the new Indian superintendent for the reservation and denounced the government plan for range management. The government had disparaged Navajo knowledge of the lands they had traditionally occupied and disregarded the women.

The United States government wanted to create the illusion that a Navajo democracy supported the herd reduction program. In 1937, seventy-odd selected Navajo headmen met and, at the prodding of the Agency Superintendent, voted themselves as the new Navajo Tribal Council. The strategy of federal government was to create a new governing body which would enact and enforce legislation to require the Navajo people to conform to grazing regulations. The new council had 70 members with each member representing a new voting district. In opposition to the Council, J.C. Morgan organized the Navajo Progressive League which vowed to form a representative council.

John Collier met with the hand-picked Council and told them they had two choices: they could approve the new regulations for stock reduction or they would be placed under the General Grazing Regulations for Indian Lands. In other words, stock reduction was going to take place in spite of any Navajo opposition.

The following year, at the request of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and without the consent of the Navajo, a set of bylaws were issued creating a new tribal council. The positions of chairman, vice-chairman, and 74 delegates were to be filled by popular vote. Jacob C. Morgan, who was opposed to Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier and to stock reduction, was elected chairman.

Rumors spread through the reservation that the federal government intended to round up all Navajo horses and shoot them, just as they had done with the goats. Many people hid their horses from government officials and refused to have them branded and counted. In some areas, federal marshals were called in to enforce compliance and suits were filed against some of the Navajo for non-compliance with horse reduction. Twelve cases involving 30 defendants were filed in the United States District Court as a way of proving to the Navajo that the federal government had the power to reduce their horse herds. Collier insisted that these actions were not a policy of coercion. In 1939, the United States District Court in Phoenix ruled in favor of the government and ordered U.S. marshals to seize the horses if they were not removed in 30 days. By the end of the year, one-fourth of the Navajo horses had been sold for $2 to $4 per head.

By the 1940s, it was clear to most Navajo that the federal government intended for them to starve and to give up their reservation. While the federal government had ordered many scientific studies of the reservation—its peoples, its ecology—the government ignored the findings of these studies. While John Collier had promised a New Deal for the Indians and an end to the old paternalism, with regard to the Navajo, the old paternalism—the government knows what is best for you—continued with more vigor than in previous administrations.

Looking back at the Navajo stock reduction program in 1949, at a time when he was no longer the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Collier noted that one of the options was:  “Go with the facts to the hundreds of local communities of the Navajo people. Educate these communities through slow, patient conference and demonstration. Vest the responsibility for launching and guiding these huge, necessary adjustments, in the local headmen, in the healer-singers, the diviners, and ultimately the heads of families.”

Collier notes that in rejecting this option they may have erred profoundly. It is interesting to note that Collier does not talk about listening to the Navajo, and particularly Navajo women, and asking for their opinions about what should be done to their land.

In the end, stock reduction did not restore the lands on the Navajo Reservation. By the 1950s, scientists recognized that gullying and siltation were not necessarily caused by over grazing and that stock reduction had little impact. Boulder Dam provided no economic benefits to the Navajo Reservation, but it destroyed a traditional economy and greatly increased poverty.

Early French Encounters With Indians

The 16th century marked the beginning of the European invasion of North America. The Spanish had already firmly established themselves in the Caribbean islands and were attempting to move north into Florida. The Portuguese had explored the coast of what would become Canada. European interests in the Americas were fueled by stories of great wealth and by new maps showing the region: Juan de la Cosa’s 1500 map commissioned by the Spanish King and Martin Waldseemuller’s 1507 map using the term “America” to designate the new territories.

In 1508, Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian working for the French, sailed as a navigator on a fishing vessel which explored the area of Newfoundland and the St. Lawrence River in Canada.

In 1523, King Francis I of France asked Verrazano to explore the American coast from Florida to Terranova (Newfoundland) with the goal of finding a possible sea route to the Pacific Ocean. His exploration of the American coast began in 1524. Making landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, the French ships then sailed northward to Maine making contact with Native American groups at several locations. In New York Bay, Verrazzano noted that the country was well inhabited.

The Verrazano party made contact with the Narragansett, Mahican, Wampanoag, Abnaki, Pokanoket, and Penobscot. Verrazano reported that he and his crew were treated well by the Natives they encountered. The Europeans and the Indians shared meals and the Indians often organized sporting games for their mutual entertainment.

In Narragansett Bay Indians came on board the ship. According to Verrazano:  “They exceed us in size, and they are of a very fair complexion, some incline more to a white and others to a tawny color; their faces are sharp, and their hair long and black, upon the adorning of which they bestow great pains; their eyes are black and sharp, their expressions mild and pleasant, greatly resembling the antique.”  In a letter to the King of France Verrazano wrote that the Narragansett  “are the most beautiful and have the most civil customs that we found on this voyage.”

Verrazano also observed that the Indians set their planting times according to their observations of the moon and the rising of the Pleiades. In other words, they understood some of the basics of astronomy.  While Verrazano did not speak any Indian languages, he concluded:  “We think they have neither religion nor laws.”

All European explorers, such as Verrazano, were guided by the Discovery Doctrine, a legal fiction which declared that Christian nations have a right, if not an obligation, to govern all non-Christian nations. If there were no evidence of Christianity, then most Europeans felt that the Indians did not have religion. Furthermore, if there was no controlling church-state hierarchy, then there were no laws.

As with other European explorers, Verrazano attempted to kidnap some natives to take back to Europe. At Cape Fear, North Carolina, he encountered an old woman, two infants, a child and a young woman. He later wrote:  “We took a child from the old woman to bring into France, and were about to take the young woman, who was very beautiful and of tall stature, but we could not for the great outcries that she made.”

In Maine, Verrazano found that the Indians were not friendly. It is likely that the Native people of this area had already had some unpleasant encounters with Europeans as the English from Bristol, the Portuguese, and the Basques had been fishing in this area for several years. Some of the fishing vessels had also been trading with the natives. In 1507, for example, Norman fishing vessels captured seven Beothuk in Newfoundland and brought them back to France and by 1519 European fishing boats were trading with the Micmac in Maine and the Maritime Provinces.

6,000 Years Ago

Six thousand years ago, American Indians had been living throughout North America for thousands of years. They followed a lifestyle based hunting, fishing, and gathering that was determined in part by the environment. In the coastal regions, for example, Indian people subsisted on a marine diet, while in other areas plant food were more important. In some areas, the people followed a seasonal nomadic round travelling to different areas to gather specific resources. In other areas, where resources were abundant, such as the coastal areas, there was relatively little nomadism.

At this time six thousand years ago there were probably several hundred distinct Indians groups with their own languages, religions, and cultural patterns. Archaeologists often refer to this time period as the Archaic. In an article in the Utah Historical Quarterly  Alan Schroedl writes: “The name Archaic is not meant to imply a backward or outmoded style of life; on the contrary, the Archaic lifeway was the most dynamic and flexible mode of adaptation that ever developed in the New World.”

During the Archaic, there was a great deal of regional specialization. However, the archaeological record for this time is a bit spotty with many geographic areas blank in terms of archaeological knowledge.

California and Oregon:

 In California, Indian people fashioned the Running Man geoglyph on the shore of Searles Lake. Geoglyphs are earthen images which were made by scraping away the stable dark desert pavement to reveal the lighter soil underneath (these are also called intaglios or engravings) or by placing boulders and/or large cobbles to form figures. The rock alignment which forms the figure is about 9 feet long.

In California, the culture which archaeologists call Martis expanded eastward across the Sierra Nevada where it became the cultural ancestor of the Washo Indians.

In California, Indian people were living near the present-day Hoopa Reservation. They were using wide-stemmed projectile points, scraping tools, and milling implements.

Indian people established a fowling and fishing station on Nightfire Island on Lower Klamath Lake in Oregon.

 Washington and Idaho:

In Washington, immigrants from the Great Basin moved into the Five Mile Rapids area bringing with them new kinds of projectile points and other objects.

In Idaho, Indian people began to live in the Island Park Reservoir area.

At an Indian graveyard near the Little Salmon River in Idaho, 22 people were buried.

The Southwest:

 The period which archaeologists call Black Rock began in Utah. According to archaeologists C. Melvin Aikens and David B. Madsen in an article in the Handbook of North American Indians:  “In conjunction with a dramatic increase in occupation sites during the early portion of this period, there was an apparent broadening of settlement patterns with a growing emphasis on the exploitation of upland zones.”

In Utah, Indian people were using Spotten Cave at the south end of Utah Valley. In an article in Utah Historical Quarterly, archaeologist Joel Janetski writes:  “Spotten Cave was likely used by Archaic peoples as a temporary stopover as they moved from the Goshen Valley bottoms to the uplands of Long Ridge or the Wasatch Front.”

In the Colorado River Plateau area of Utah and Arizona, Indian people were making representational petroglyphs which archaeologists refer to as the Glen Canyon Linear Style. The figures include shamanistic humans as well as animals and some abstract elements.

In Colorado, the period which archaeologists call the Castle Valley Phase began. This phase was characterized by a decrease in population as a result of people moving into Utah.

 The Northeast:

In Massachusetts, Indian people were using the Middleborough site as a ceremonial site. Among the artifacts which they left at the site were thousands of paint stones: soft rocks, primarily of hematite and graphite, that can be scratched or ground into powder and then mixed with fats to make paints. These paints were then applied to the skin and to clothing as decoration. In an article in American Archaeology Jennifer Weeks reports:  “Other ceremonial items included pebbles polished by wear, quartz crystals, and slabs of arkose, a type of local sandstone.”

While there were no burials at this site, burials in nearby Wapanucket have graves which are lined with the slabs of arkose.

In Maine, Indian people were using a weir to harvest fish from Sebasticook Lake.

Southeast:

 In the Southeast populations began to increase at about this time.

In Tennessee, Indian people created a pictograph deep in a cave where there is no light. The art depicts a human and a quadruped. In an article in American Archaeology, Melissa Montoya writes: “This pictograph is the oldest of hundreds of pieces of cave art and open-air rock art that make up a large scale composition in which prehistoric people altered their physical landscape in accordance with their spiritual beliefs.”

In Louisiana, Indian people constructed two mounds at Monte Sano Bayou. Mound A is a conical structure 6 meters high. It was built in a single construction episode. Both mounds were built to mark places where the cremation of select individuals had taken place.

Arctic and Alaska:

In the arctic region, Inuit prehistory began with the Arctic Small Tool Tradition. This was a technology which was characterized by hafted small chisel-like blades which were used for working wood, bone, and ivory. Steve Langdon, in his book The Native People of Alaska, writes:  “Because of its distribution, this tool tradition is considered characteristic of the earliest Eskimo population.”

In Alaska, the Ocean Bay Tradition began at the Larsen Bay site.

Illinois and Missouri:

In Illinois, the people who were living at Helton village the Koster site were harvesting fish in large numbers. They were smoking part of the fish harvest to preserve it for use in the winter months. Their village covered about six acres and had a population of 100 to 150 people. In addition to harvesting fish, the Helton village people also hunted mammals, such as deer, take waterfowl, and gathered plants and nuts. They wove grasses into mats and cloth and they tanned hides to make leather items.

In Missouri, Indian people built a village of 10 log homes. Each of the homes was about 15 by 17 feet in size. The population of the village was about 100. They were cooking food in an underground oven and they had underground storage pits for food.

 Yellowstone National Park:

In Wyoming, Indian people were using the Fishing Bridge Point site in present-day Yellowstone National Park. Archaeologist Douglas MacDonald, in his book Montana Before History: 11,000 Years of Hunter-Gatherers in the Rockies and Plains, writes:  “The presence of Early Archaic sites on the Yellowstone Plateau shows that Early Archaic hunter-gatherers moved into the uplands, at least during the warmer months, to hunt animals and collect the plethora of plant resources available around the shores of Yellowstone Lake.”

1614

During the 17th century, four European countries—France, England, Netherlands, and Spain–established permanent colonies in the Americas. As these colonies expanded, the conflicts with the Native Americans over land increased in frequency and intensity. While the American Indian nations had superior numbers, the Europeans had a technological advantage.

The Europeans were driven to conquer the “wilderness” of the Americas by the power of greed. They sought wealth in the form of gold and silver, fertile lands which could be used to grow crops which could then be exported to Europe, furs and hides for the European market, and finally slaves.

As contact with the Europeans intensified, so did the diseases which they brought with them. Along the Atlantic coast, disease killed up to 90% of the Indian inhabitants during this century.

Listed below are some of the events of 1614.

English:

In 1613, the English had kidnapped Pocahontas, the favorite daughter of Powhattan, a powerful Indian leader. They had hoped to hold her for ransom, but the Indians refused to pay a ransom. In 1614, as a condition of her release from her English captors, Pocahontas agreed to marry John Rolfe and became known as Rebecca Rolfe. At the marriage ceremony, Pocahontas was given away by her uncle Opechancanough.

At the time of her marriage, Pocahontas was about 18 and had been married to a warrior named Kocoum. She was fairly slender and could pass for a boy, a feature which would later allow her to have an audience with King James.

The English colonists in Virginia concluded a formal, written treaty with the Chickahominy in which the Indians agreed to send an annual tribute payment of corn to Jamestown. The treaty between the English and the Chickahominy appears to have been masterminded by Opechancanough. Opechancanough wanted the English to think that the Chickahominy were their allies while drawing the Chickahominy closer to membership in the Powhattan empire.

 In Massachusetts, the English returned with Capawake sachem Epinow, who was to act as their guide and interpreter. Epinow, however, escaped from the ship by jumping into the water and swimming toward some Indian canoes. The Indians in the canoes fired a volley of arrows at the ship to aid his escape.

In Massachusetts, English Captain Thomas Hunt captured 26 Wampanoag, including a young man known as Squanto. The Indians were taken to Spain and sold as slaves. However, Squanto escaped and found his way to England where he learned to speak English.

John Smith, the former commander at Jamestown, led two ships in search of gold and whales along the coast of Maine. After some fishing, trading, and skirmishes with the natives, the English captured 27 Wampanoag and Nauset to sell into slavery. While mapping the New England coast, Smith noted at least nine coastal towns between Cape Ann and Cape Code, each of which was ruled by a sachem. In addition, he reported that he had heard that there were more than 20 towns inland from the coast.

French:

The Compagnie de Canada won a monopoly on trade in the St. Lawrence for eleven years. The new company was to transport six families to begin a settlement in New France.

A formal trading alliance was formed between the French and the Huron Confederacy. As a result of this agreement, Huron society would undergo great changes.

Dutch:

The Dutch granted exclusive trading rights to the Hudson River area of New York to the New Netherlands Company which built a trading fort on Castle Island. The trader Jacob Elkens learned both the Mahican and Mohawk languages.

Disease:

A series of three epidemics began to sweep through the Indian villages in Massachusetts. At least ten Wampanoag villages were abandoned because there were no survivors. Wampanoag population decreased from 12,000 to 5,000.

Mohawk:

In New York, the Mohawk who were living at the Kilts site (NYSM 6297—this is the archaeological designation for the site) moved their town to the Wagner’s Hollow (NYSM 1202 and NYSM 1214) area on Caroga Creek.