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When Columbus discovered America, there were lots of native Americans. He called them “Indians”, because he thought, that he had discovered India.
The natives had come to America over the Bering Street at 12000 BC.
But the stories of the Indian peoples don’t tell about the immigration, the Indian people think, America is the land, they’ve always lived.
Now, there were not only two or three Indian tribes, there were many more, and each was different.
For example the Inuit: They knew a lot about the ice and the cold of days and nights.
And there were the Indians, which lived in the steppe. They didn’t go whaling, like the Inuit. They hunted other animals, for example buffalos.
And others got food from their fields.
Indians had traditions, which were very interesting, for example some Indian tribes had hats, which had lots of feathers sticked on. They put lots of different things on their heads. When they fought a war, they had different hats than when they had a festival. And they wore masks, which looked very dangerous, others looked more funny.
The medicine of the Indian people was very different from the medicine we know.
They hadn’t doctors, but medicine-men. In big ceremonies, they tried to contact the ghosts. The wanted them to heal the ill Indian. But they also used drugs like coffein or medicine against the pain.
This medicine is used today in another form as aspirin. But against the illnesses, which came from Europe, they couldn’t do anything.
In the 17 century the five tribes “Mohawk”, “Onondaga”, “Seneca”, “Oneida” and “Cayuga” became one state: the Iroks. They called themselves the longhousepeople, because they had houses, which were 7 metres broad and 45 metres long.
They were the strongest force of Northamerica in their time. Still in the middle of the 18 century in the colonial wars of England and France, they made a balance between the two forces.
Away from the northern forests, where the Iroks lived, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Inuit. The Inuit lived in the arctic tundra, which has winter temperatures of -46°C. At this example you can see, how good the humans can live in every part of the world. The subtropic neighbours of the Inuit called them “Eskimos”. “Inuit” means in their language nothing than “humans”. They hunt whales and make the warmest winter clothes. They go by dog sleds.
In California lived Indians, too. It was a nice land, because the nature had enough to live and the climate was good, if you didn’t look at the deserts in the southeast. 50 tribes lived a life without any wars, because the tribes, which liked wars and which lived in the east, couldn’t come over the high mountains and through the long and hot deserts. But when the Spains came in 1769, they couldn’t live as nice as they lived till then, and the time, when everyone wanted the gold of California, finished this lifestyle.
Wars and fights were normal for the Indians living in the steppe. But it wasn’t often, that they did a big war. Usually, they only stole horses or took revenge for the death of someone in their tribe. But they always did it for their honor.
In the middle of the 19 century the Dakota were the rulers of the steppe.
The Dakota consisted of 7 tribes. They were also called “Sioux” and they fought hard against the whites and they defeated the US-Army at the Little Bighorn River.
The kids of the Dakota were lovely bred but since the start of their life, their parents taught them, what a steppe Indian had to know: The girls had to help their mother with the hard work of the women, and the boys had to learn shooting with bow and arrow.
When the peoples of Europe came to colonize America, they fought hard against the Indians, and in the end, they don’t exist any more in a private party. They’ve been hunted all over the continent.
Some few tribes like the Inuit are left, but it’s the minority!