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More on the First People . How were the first people organized?. Anthropologists like to group Native peoples by language groups The Wichitas belonged to the Caddoan language family

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how were the first people organized
How were the first people organized?
  • Anthropologists like to group Native peoples by language groups
    • The Wichitas belonged to the Caddoan language family
    • The Arikas in N. Dakota, Pawnees in Nebraska, and the Caddos in Texas and Louisiana also fall into this language category
      • Their cultures also share similarities
    • The Wichitas were one of the tribes making up the tribal confederation
      • Tribes which share a common language, traditions and way of life
  • As hunters and farmers they were not often short of food
  • They raised corn, gourds, beans, squash and tobacco
    • They usually ground the corn into cornmeal for bread
  • They hunted and killed buffalo for meat, robes, hides and tallow
    • What in the world is tallow?
  • Men did most of the hunting and lived in tepees
    • During winter, the village would go on an annual bison hunt
skilled traders
Skilled Traders
  • They would trade for meat and skins from neighboring tribes who wanted their ground corn, tobacco, and dried squash mats (made by cutting it into strips and drying and weaving it)
  • They often served as the go-between for the French and tribes in the Southern Plains
semi sedentary
  • They lived in a village near their fields through the spring and summer
  • After the fall harvest, they tribe went west for their annual buffalo hunt
  • They repeated this cycle yearly
social structure of the wichita
Social Structure of the Wichita
  • They traced their family relationships through the mother, making them a matrilineal society
  • Property belonged to the oldest married woman in the household
  • They also lived with an extended family
  • When boys needed advice they went to their mother’s brother for it—not Dad!
what s in a clan
What’s in a clan?
  • Members of a clan were blood relatives on the mother’s side, or sometimes the father’s
    • Members of the same clan could not marry
    • Clans took their names after animals or natural phenomenon (ex: lightning or thunder)
  • If you had no clan ties, you could marry whomever you wanted so long as they weren’t in your extended family
political power in hands of men
Political Power in hands of men
  • The village chief and subchief was a man and was chosen for his generosity, bravery and kindness
  • He also had a council of advisers made up of warriors
  • The council made rules for the villagers
religious beliefs
Religious Beliefs
  • Gods gave the first corn to women for growing and processing it and gave men the bow and arrow and wisdom in order to hunt
  • The Corn Dance was the most important ceremony and took place when the corn ripened (usually late summer)
    • The people used this time for self improvement and purification (much like the season of Lent and Passover) as well as for the community
    • They cleaned themselves and the village as well as fasted
    • It ended with a new fire being lit to signify a new beginning
wichitas get new neighbors
Wichitas get new neighbors
  • For 500 years, the Wichitas had western Okla. to themselves, the Plains Apaches came into the area after being pushed out of their home
  • The Lipans (a subgroup of the Apache) followed buffalo into western Okla. to the resentment of the Wichita
    • The two groups fought for centuries
    • the Lipan Apaches eventually moved to southern Texas
  • The Ka-ta-kas (friends with the Kiowa) also hunted buffalo and have stayed in the area into the present (as the Apache Tribe of Okla)
  • They left their home west of the Rockies (in the Great Basin) to the Shoshone and moved southeast to the edge of the Great Plains
  • They also hunted buffalo—made easier when the Spanish gave them horses
  • They often attacked and

controlled local tribes—by 1725,

the controlled the Southern Plains

an alliance forms
An Alliance Forms
  • The Comanche needed guns (and bullets) to be successful in subduing the local tribes—which the Wichita had because of their trade with the French
  • The Wichita and Comanche became allies
    • the Wichita supplied the Comanche with food and guns and the Comanche gave the Wichita buffalo hides, horses, and any captured peoples (these people could be sold to the French as slaves)

they were farmers and planted squash and corn

  • they lived in permanent wood-frame longhouses
  • the Osage also acquired horses from the Spanish and were able to use them in order to hunt buffalo
    • horses were also a status symbol and the Osage would steal them from neighboring tribes
    • these raids caused conflict and created an Osage need for guns (which they got from the French)
bloody long war
Bloody, Long War
  • The Osage would exchange horses, furs, and Indian slaves with the French for these guns
    • They would raid the Wichita for these items and people
  • This caused a century-long war
    • migration of Osage to Oklahoma (up to ½ the population of the tribe!)
  • They did not rule the area long but most tribe members still live in Oklahoma today (in, you guessed it: Osage County)