The American Indians summary and notes



The American Indians summary and notes


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The American Indians summary and notes


The American Indians


The history of Utah’s people started a long time ago. We know the story of the early people is one of adaption and migration.


In prehistoric times, the climate was different than it is now. Ice covered the northern part of the world. The weather warmed up. This change was hard on plants and animals.


Adaption- the native people found ways how to make more efficient weapons to kill the smaller, faster animals that replaced huge slower prehistoric animals. The people adopted their clothing and shelters as well.


Archaeologist- a scientist who studies early people.


Artifacts- are tools, weapons, baskets, clay pots made by human hand from the past. Utah’s earliest people left artifacts, parts of dwellings, and rock art.


Prehistoric American Indians- Archaeologists use the term prehistoric to refer to people who lived before they had a written language.


Danger Cave- is one of the oldest sites in North America for the discovery of human artifacts. Jesse Jenning found leather scrapes basket fragments, bones, knives, weapons, and millstones. The age of the oldest material was over 11,000 years.


Hogup Cave- many archaeologists’ recognize Hogup cave as the states’ most important prehistoric sites. We learned a lot about how this culture lived. For example their culture harvested pickle weed a wild herb used in preserving food. Great discovery. In 1970, Hogup cave was destroyed by vandals.


The Paleo- Indians: Nomadic Hunter-Gatherers- Historians call these earliest people of North America Paleo-Indians. Paleo means every ancient. The Indians followed large mammals and other pre-historic animals and killed them for food. During this time people lived in the four-corner region.


The Archaic people- were desert gatherers. Archaic people were called “desert gatherers” because they spent more of their days searching for food. The Desert Gatherers knew what could be found in certain places at certain times of the year.


In early spring and early summer, they lived around lakes and marshes. They hunted buffalo, deer, antelope, rabbits, and birds. They collected duck eggs and fished for trout.


In the late summer they moved to mountain valleys and gathered acorns, pine nuts, and berries. They also hunted animals there and dried meat for winter.


Wiki-up- was their common shelter. It was a brush shelter made of branches and limbs, and sometimes they covered it with earth.

The main weapon was an atlatl- it was a spear-thrower. This made the spear fly further and faster than throwing by hand.


Later groups- The Anasazi and Freemont Indians-


Anasazi- means “ancient ones”. They lived in the corner regions of present day Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona came together. Known as the “Four-Corners.”

The people grew corn, squash and beans. They gathered seeds, berries, pine nuts, and sego lily bulbs. Growing their own food made them sedentary.


They made baskets, bags out of skins of animals. They made cradles to carry babies.


Four Periods of the Anasazi-         

  1. Basket maker Period- 1-500 AD
  2. Modified Basket Maker Period- 500-700 AD
  3. Developmental Pueblo Period- 700-1050 AD
  4. The Great Pueblo Period 1050-1300 AD


Theories to what happened to the Anasazi and the Freemont people-

  1. Enemies from the North invaded them
  2. Severe drought
  3. War among each other


The Freemont-learned and borrowed ideas from the Anasazi and traded with them. The Freemont people were full time farmers. They too grew corn, squash, and beans. They made coiled gray baskets from plant fibers.


Migration- scientists believe that both the Anasazi and the Freemont cultures disappeared in 1300 AD. Maybe change in climate or drought.


Historic American Indians- historic Indians have a written language about them. Not that they could write, because they couldn’t. Catholic priests, fur trappers, governor explorers and pioneers wrote stories about them.


There were the Utes, Goshute, Paiutes, Shoshone, and Navajo Indians. The Utes, the largest group in Utah, they were the first to use the horse to hunt buffalo, antelope, deer, and other large animals.


The Shoshones also had the horse and hunted and gathered much like the Utes. They lived in the mountains and valleys of northern Utah and Idaho.


Paiutes and Goshutes lived in large family groups in wicki-ups in the hot months. In the winter the people often lived in mountain caves, which they could build a fire in to cook and stay warm.

Utah people were very spiritual people. An important part of spirituality was and is, a respect and reverence for nature.


Native American philosophy of nature was the great creator, created the land for all man to use, and no one owns it.


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