The image of the Indians of North America is still very much determined by those mounted tribes of the Great Plains, which, like the Sioux in 1876 on the “Little Big Horn”, tried to defend themselves against the associations of the American army with a bow and arrow.
Before the arrival of the Europeans, the number of Indians in what is now Canada and the USA is estimated to be one to two million people. This Indian population was culturally very differentiated and very unevenly distributed across the continent. The highest density was found in the forest regions of the east. In addition to hunting and fishing, agriculture was the main source of livelihood there. The tribes, some of which belong to the Algonquian language family, such as the Delawars and Mohicans, were destroyed early on by the population of European descent.
South of the Great Lakes, the Iroquois formed a powerful and warlike confederation of tribes for a long time. In the southeast, in the area of the southern Appalachians, lived – also as arable farmers – the Creek, which belongs to the Muskogee language group, and the Cherokee, who are related to the Iroquois. They belonged to the core of the so-called five civilized tribes, which by the beginning of the 19th century had developed a high degree of political and cultural independence.
The way of life of the equestrian tribes of the Plains and Prairies developed in cultural contact with the Spaniards. The bison hunt formed their economic basis. The often warlike and mobile tribes such as the Sioux and Dakota in the north, the Cheyenne in the middle and the Apache and Comanche in the south belonged to very different language families. The Indians in the arid regions of the southwest were clearly distinguished from these groups. In addition to the large Navajo tribe, who developed in cultural contact with the Spaniards by taking over horses and sheep from hunters and gatherers to cattle breeders, there are the farming Pueblo Indians like the Hopi, who live in fixed villages. The Indian population in sparsely populated California lived primarily from collecting acorns. For more information about the continent of North America, please check cheeroutdoor.com.