Long before the United States of America rose as a superpower from among the nations of the American continents, there lived a peaceful but brave group of people. For centuries, American Indians roamed the vast expanse of the Americas in search for a habitable domain while they commune with nature. The American Indians developed a culture uniquely their own but nevertheless had a great impact on other cultures of the world. What was then the culture of the American Indians?
The terminology “American Indians” generally refer to the indigenous peoples who lived or are living in the area that is now known as the United States of America. The other terms “Indian,” “Native American,” “indigenous American,” or “Native” are also acceptable. Majority though prefer to be called by their specific tribal name whenever possible. For instance, the Native North Americans of the Southwest desire to be called as the Apache Indians.
According to a US 2012 census, there were 5.2 million American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other people who belong to more than one race. In the same year, there were 566 federally recognized Indian tribes spread throughout 14 states with over 100,000 Native Americans residents. It is also noteworthy to know that there are over 4,000 American Indians in Hawaii based on the 2010 U.S. Census.
American Indians have accumulated a rich and storied culture as they endured struggles and triumphs throughout the centuries. When they first settled in the uncultivated American plains, American Indians developed their own songs, dances, and feasts until their tribes blossomed into a highly structured society. They brought their culture with them as they were forcibly driven out of their lands by foreign invaders.
We were influenced somehow by the ancient Indian cultures observed many centuries ago. Are you familiar with the teepee, totem pole, peace pipe, and moccasins? These are symbols that we may have taken for granted but they all originated from the Native Americans. American Indians were expert farmers and animals breeders (particularly horses). Although they revered animals as spirits, American Indians hunted animals for food. Animal skins and hides were transformed into clothing and drums.
American Indians, who were known as brave warriors, believed in the supernatural and the deity. Believing that the rain and sun as gods, American Indians performed rain dances begging the gods to let rain fall and nourish their crops. They also believed that the spirit of an animal was assigned to each person. When the person dies, his or her spirit is absorbed into the animal. American Indians celebrated life with many rituals, such as marriage or a boy’s initiation to adulthood.
After decades of struggle, American Indians were finally given their due respect and place in American civilization as they held steadfast and preserved their unique culture. Today, American Indians live as normal US citizens. Some may be working as doctors in bayne jones Army Community Hospital, or in stores like Flowers Victoria BC, or as programmers who block unwanted programs that hack facebook.