Native Americans Many People, Many Tribes


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Native Americans


Many People, Many Tribes



Traditional Homes

  • Native American homes vary by region. They used the materials available in their area. The style of home often depended on their family structure and weather.



The word “Iroquois” means “People of the Longhouse.” The five tribes making up the Iroquois nation lived on the East coast in longhouses. Since several generations might live in one house, some of them were quite long. The Shawnee, who hunted in Kentucky, lived in longhouses as well.

  • The word “Iroquois” means “People of the Longhouse.” The five tribes making up the Iroquois nation lived on the East coast in longhouses. Since several generations might live in one house, some of them were quite long. The Shawnee, who hunted in Kentucky, lived in longhouses as well.



The Navajo people didn’t live in villages – they preferred to be far apart. They lived in hogans, made from poles and mud. Many Navajos living on the reservation today still live in these hogans.

  • The Navajo people didn’t live in villages – they preferred to be far apart. They lived in hogans, made from poles and mud. Many Navajos living on the reservation today still live in these hogans.



The Pueblos lived in cliff houses that were easy to defend – they could pull up the ladders used to gain access. Many of these mud brick houses still exist.

  • The Pueblos lived in cliff houses that were easy to defend – they could pull up the ladders used to gain access. Many of these mud brick houses still exist.







  • Some Native Americans in the western and southwestern United States lived in wickiups. These sometimes looked like tipis, but were made with many more poles.





In accordance with our ancestors, song is an integral part of the life of the People. Through songs, the People maintain their spiritual relationship with Creator, the mysterious power, or God, as he understands him. Songs have been carefully transmitted to and from one generation to another and are an important part of all tribal societies.

  • In accordance with our ancestors, song is an integral part of the life of the People. Through songs, the People maintain their spiritual relationship with Creator, the mysterious power, or God, as he understands him. Songs have been carefully transmitted to and from one generation to another and are an important part of all tribal societies.





Singing is considered the most important part of most Native American music. Singing can carry important tribal history and values, or contain the power to heal a sick person or bring good luck in hunting. http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/41/07879725/0787972541-1.pdf

  • Singing is considered the most important part of most Native American music. Singing can carry important tribal history and values, or contain the power to heal a sick person or bring good luck in hunting. http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/41/07879725/0787972541-1.pdf





The drum is recognized as a separate entity and represents a liaison with our Creator, containing thunder and lightening, and when struck calls the Creators attention and the spirits of our forefathers.

  • The drum is recognized as a separate entity and represents a liaison with our Creator, containing thunder and lightening, and when struck calls the Creators attention and the spirits of our forefathers.



Different tribes have different traditions about the drum and how to play it, but the basic construction is very similar in most tribes: a wooden frame or a carved and hollowed-out log, with finely tanned buckskin or elkskin stretched taut across the opening with sinew thongs.

  • Different tribes have different traditions about the drum and how to play it, but the basic construction is very similar in most tribes: a wooden frame or a carved and hollowed-out log, with finely tanned buckskin or elkskin stretched taut across the opening with sinew thongs.

  • Traditionally American Indian drums are large, two to three feet in diameter, and they are played communally by groups of men who stand around them in a circle.

  • http://www.native-languages.org/drums.htm



Native Americans believe that the drum is the heartbeat of the Earth Mother, the heartbeat of all Indian people, and a way of bringing things back into balance. Whether dancing, singing or listening, people around a drum are able to connect with the Spirit through its rhythmic pounding, and as a result, the drum beat is a focal point of ceremonies.

  • Native Americans believe that the drum is the heartbeat of the Earth Mother, the heartbeat of all Indian people, and a way of bringing things back into balance. Whether dancing, singing or listening, people around a drum are able to connect with the Spirit through its rhythmic pounding, and as a result, the drum beat is a focal point of ceremonies.



  • Rhythm instruments, when played along with the singing, serve to call forth spirits and bring spiritual power.

  • http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/41/07879725/0787972541-1.pdf








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