Module 4 – The Early Inhabitants of Colorado<br />At the end of this lesson, students will UNDERSTAND that people have been making Colorado their home for thousands of years.<br />You will learn about the following terms: TAKE NOTES!!!<br />Bering Strait Land Bridge Theory, other migration theories, Clovis, and Folsom People, Archaic Hunters,wickiups, obsidian, pemmican, and atlatl <br />ESSENTIAL<br />QUESTION:<br />WHO WERE THESE<br />PEOPLE AND HOW DID THEY SURVIVE?<br />
There are several new and competing theories on how the ancestors of Native American tribes came to this continent. However, the most accepted and popular belief is known as theBering Strait Land Bridge Theory. On the next slide, watch the short video and take notes.<br />How did people get to this continent in the first place?<br />
Other Theories and Perspectives: The Solutrean Hypothesis<br />Over the last twenty years, scientists have refined DNA research which has opened up some very interesting questions that challenges the Land Bridge Theory. There has been new archaeological evidence that also suggests that Native Peoples may have arrived in the Western Hemisphere by means other than the “Land Bridge”. Again, watch this short video and take notes.<br />
A Native AmericanPerspective – from the Navajo<br />Almost all people have their own stories of where they came from. One thing to always remember, no one knows for sure exactly how we all came to be. There are only stories, hypothesis’ and theories. What we can know is that in all of these stories, are lessons and things that we can learn.<br />Watch this short clip on the Navajo and ask yourself, “are their any similarities to the first two ‘scientific clips’?”<br />Again, take notes on what you see.<br />
ColoradoThe Clovis People<br />The oldest evidence of man in Colorado dates back to the Clovis people, who inhabited the southwest region about 15,000 - 11,000 years ago. This group were early mammoth hunters, who used a spear with a four to five inch long projectile point with a flute running partway up the center of the point from the base. These points were time consuming and difficult to make, so the hunters probably tried to retrieve their points from the game they killed. To hunt, they would attempt to trap these large animals and spear them or even run the over a cliff. Most archaeologists believe that these people were very skillful hunters and used spears with atlatls, the predecessor of the bow and arrow.<br />Here is an atlatl demonstration. Of course, they are throwing at fake stationary targets. Imagine if these were 11 to 13 ft. high wooly mammoths or large prehistoric bison. I suspect that it would have made for a whole different experience.<br />
ColoradoThe Clovis People(continued)<br />In order to bring down a mammoth, sometimes the Clovis people would surround it with their spears ready to pierce the inch-thick skin, while another Clovis hunter snuck in with a knife and crippled the mammoth by cutting its leg tendons. Since it was so difficult to kill a mammoth, most of the time the Clovis people probably survived on plants and small game. Then 11,000 year ago, the ice started to thaw out, the Bering Strait Land Bridge broke up, and the mammoths, along with saber-toothed tiger, short-faced bear, and the early horse died out.The following website is one of the best that I have found that provides a tremendous amount of information on what we currently know about the Clovis People. I highly recommend that you take some time and explore this site.<br />
ColoradoThe Folsom People<br />Click picture for Folsom link<br /> The next group of early inhabitants were the Folsom People. Since the mammoth were gone, it was no longer necessary to have the long projectile point, so the Folsom hunters created a shorter projectile point with a longer groove in the center. The Folsom people hunted bison (a bigger variety than today's bison (buffalo)). Unlike the totally nomadic Clovis, archeological evidence showed that Folsom People might have had home camps, an area they would return to every year and spend considerable time at the same spot. The Folsom did not make permanent structures; instead, they would have built Wickiups (a structure that had some wooden poles, with either bison hide or brush used for protection. Similar to the more familiar tipi.) At one of the archeological Folsom excavation sites, tools made from obsidian were found. The closest obsidian stone quarry was in New Mexico and Yellowstone National Park, so either the Folsom people traveled great distances, or trade was already spreading throughout the tribes. <br />
ArchaicHunter-Gatherers<br />The Archaic hunter-gathererswere the next major group to occupy Colorado. This group followed the herds of deer, elk, bighorn sheep, antelope, and bison and moved around seasonally. The Archaic women had the awesome responsibility of making sure the tribes had enough food to survive the winter. Therefore, the women became very good at finding supplemental food supplies. They gathered Indian rice, grass, hackberry, chokecherry, wild buckwheat, prickly pear cactus, yampa roots, prairie turnips, and pinion nuts. The Archaic women did not have clay pots; they used stomachs of animals, hide bags, or tightly woven baskets covered with pitch to cook in. They would heat rocks in a fire, then drop the rocks into the "pot" to cook the stew. The women also made Pemmican, the Archaic version of a powerbar! Pemmican was dried meat and berries, pounded into a powder with animal fat poured over the mixture. It was then dried in the sun, and cut into strips. Pemmican lasted for months, was high in protein, and was very easy to eat and take when traveling. <br /> <br />
Archaic hunters also developed new methods to capture small game. They would make nets out of yucca fiber and human hair and stretch them across a game trail. Then a group of hunters would start going through the brush, chasing the small game into the net. Rabbits were the main source of small game; they supplemented the Archaic peoples' diet, as well as provided pelts for blankets and clothing. For hunting bigger game such as deer and elk, the hunters would sometimes dig a pit along a game trail route, and then cover the pit with brush. The big game would make its way down the path, and would find itself captured inside of a pit!<br /> The Archaic people basically lived on the Western slope of Colorado, only venturing onto the plains for hunting trips for bison. The Archaic people, and some of their traditions, will be an integral part of future Native American tribes, especially the Ute people.<br />ArchaicHunter-Gatherers(continued)<br />
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