Social Studies Native Amercian Group - Essay Example

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This region borders flowing water such as from rivers around Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. Their lands were fertile and covered in woodlands, providing wood for the construction of houses. They had permanent villages and…
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Social Studies Native Amercian Group
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Native Americans Native Americans Native Americans who have survived through the many geographical and political changes that have hit their traditional lands include the Iroquoians and the Algonquians.
The Iroquoians lived in the southern part of Ontario. This region borders flowing water such as from rivers around Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. Their lands were fertile and covered in woodlands, providing wood for the construction of houses. They had permanent villages and used palisades around them to keep off wild animals coming from the forests and to also keep off the snow that hit their lands during winter. The Algonquians, on the other hand, lived in Eastern Ontario (Bowen, 2003). Their villages were temporary as this community greatly depended on hunting and gathering as a source of food. They therefore had to migrate to regions where food was in plenty and follow migrating animals too.
Climatic changes affected how communities lived and built houses in the past, and the main purpose of shelter was to get cover from harsh weather and wild animals. Winter created the need for Iroquoians to build longhouses, which were houses that had greater length than width, had no window and hosted around 30 – 60 people depending on their size. Each family had their section in the longhouse. They used wood from woodlands and elm bark to build these houses. The Algonquians also built longhouses during winter, although they also built the lighter wigwams during the warm seasons.
The Iroquoians main source of food was agricultural products. They grew and ate corn and vegetables, although they also hunted animals, for example deer, and also fished in the nearby lakes and rivers. Examples of water animals they went for are the eels. Contrary to them, the Algonquians were mostly hunters and gatherers, hunting mostly the white tailed deer during winter. In summer, when the lakes were no longer frozen, they would fish for food and also kill seals for meat. They left their inland settlements during spring and built others at ocean fronts, depending on sea food and also gathering some fruits and wild vegetables (Hirschfelder, 2000). The two tribes used bows and arrows to hunt animals, although the Algonquians also used techniques such as traps and snares on small animals. Meat was eaten communally, cooked by either men or women depending on the time and occasion.
Skins and fur were the main raw materials for making clothes among the Iroquoians, and these were sewn together using needles made from animal bones. Deerskin was a favorite and could be sewn into leggings and tunics. Shells and porcupine quills were dyed and used to decorate the clothes. They wove mats and baskets from tree barks and used clay for cooking utensils. Axe heads were made from stone. Weapons and hunting tools, for example spearheads and arrowheads, were made from splints. The Algonquians used wood, stone, bark and animal skin for their tools and clothing and could also sew fishing nets from tree fibers. They also made fishing hooks from animal bones and fishing boats from well woven tree barks and fibers.
Although both the Iroquoians and the Algonquians existed in native America from around the same time in history, they had different cultures influenced by the varying environments they lived in. They adapted over time according to the climate and nature of their geographical environment, developing skills and tactics that enabled them survive over the years.
Bowen, R. A. (2003). The Native Americans. Philadelphia: Mason Crest Publishers.
Hirschfelder, A. B. (2000). Native Americans. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Read More
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