Chapter Two Indian Problems


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Chapter Two Indian Problems

  1. 1. CHAPTER 2 Indian History Before Colurnbus The ancestors of the American Indians had lived in the Americas for tens of thou- sands of years before Columbus and other Europeans arrived in the hemisphere, but only the barest outlines 0f their past are known, and much of it is in dispute. While some Indian tribes recorded important events with pictures-rock paintings, petrlglyphs, and drawings-they did not have a written language based on an alphabet. Nevertheless, all tribespeople had an interest in their past and recounted the important events of their history in stories that were handed down from gener- ation to generation. These oral accounts do not arnount to a complete verbal record of the pre-Columbian past, but they do clnvey 6 sense of Indian history before 1492. Indian oral history also confirms that there was nlt one unified Indian his- tory, but many individual tribal histories-a reflection of Indian social, linguistic, and cultural diversity that survives to the present day. To Indian oral accounts we may add the archaeological record. Archaeologists disagree over the date of the first human arrival in America, and some argue that people may have come here as early as fifty thousand years ago. Today, most archaeologists believe that the ancestlrs of today's Indians cdme t0 America from Asia by way of a land bridge that connected the continents from fifteen to thirty-five thousand years ago , when glaciers locked up enoug h of the world's water to lower the level of the sea. The first Indians hunted big game-wooly mammoths, giant bison, camels, and the like-that died out when the climate became drier and warmer about eight thottsand years ago. These new conditions obliged Indians to embrace a way of life based on wild plant foods and small game. More than two thousand years ago the Indians in the Southwest-some of them ancestlrs of today's Pueblo Indians- cultivated maize, beans, and squash. These people built impressive stlne and adobe towns that still exist. Likewise, Indians along the Mississippi River took up farming and butlt huge earthen mounds that continue to inspire wonder in the Midwest. Elsewhere, many Indians came t0 rely on agriculture , as well as wild plants, game, and ftsh. Along with these adaptations to local environmental conditions, there grew a rich cultural diversity. Hundreds of dffirent languages and tribes as well as sclres of cultures covered the human landscape of North America when Columbus sailed into view. Recent estimates of the pre-Columbian Indian population range from seven to eighteen million people north of Mexico, though some scholars continue to argue l8
  2. 2. 20 Mnjar Prablents in Anteri,nn Indinn Hist,:ty 2. Maidu Account of the Beginning of the World, n. d. All the earth was covered with water, and everything was dark in the beginning. There was no sun, no moon, no stars. Then one day a raft appeared, floating on the water. In it was Turtle. Down from the sky a rope of feathers came and dangled near the bow of the raft, and then a being, who shone like the sun, descended. He was Earth Initiate. When he reached the end of the rope he tied it to the bow of the raft, and stepped in. His face was covered, so that Turtle was not able to see it. In fact, no one has ever seen his face uncovered. Earth Initiate sat down and for a long time said nothing. "Where do you come fiom?" Turtle asked at last. "I come from above," Earth Initiate said. Then Turtle asked: "Brother, can you not make for me some good dry land, so that I may sometimes come up out of the water?" Earth Initiate did not answer at once, and Turtle asked, 'Are there going to be any people in the world?" After thinking fbr a while, Earth Initiate said, "Yes." "How long befbre you are going to make people?" Turtle asked. "I don't know," Earth Initiate answered. "You want to have some dry land: well, how am I going to get any earth to make it of?" "If you will tie a stone about my left arm I will dive for some," Turtle answered. So Earth Initiate did as Turtle asked. Reaching around he took the end ofa rope from somewhere and tied it to Turtle. "If the rope is not long enough I will jerk it once, and then you must haul me up; if it is long enough I will give two jerks and then you must pull me quickly, as I shall have all the earth that I can carry." Turtle was gone for six years, and when he came up he was covered with green slime, he had been down so long. He returned with only a very little earth under his nails. The rest had all washed away. Earth Initiate scraped the earth out from under Turtle's nails, and put it in the palm of his hand and rolled it about until it was round and about the size of a small pebble. This he laid on the stern of the raft, and went away and left it. Three times he returned to look at it, and the third tirne found that it had grown very large. The fourth time he looked at it it was as big as the world, the raft was on ground, and all around were mountains. When Turtle knew the raft was on ground, he said: "l cannot stay in the dark all the time. Can't you make a light so that I can see?" "Let's get out of the raft, and then we will see what we can do," Earth Initiate replied. As they got out Earth Initiate said: "Look that way, to the east! I am going to tell my sister to come up." "The Beginning of the World," in Edward W. Gifford and Gwendoline Hanis Block, ed,s., California IndianNighrs (1930; reprint, Lincoln, Nebr.: University ofNebraska Press, 1990), 85-88. Reprinted by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright O 1930 by the Arthur H. Clark Company. Renewal copyright @ 1958 by the Arthur H. Clark Company
  3. 3. Indian History Before Columbus 21 Then it began to grow light, and day began to break, and the sun came up. "Which way is the sun going to travel?" Turtle asked. "I will tell her to go this way, and go down there," Earth Initiate answered. After the sun went down it grew very dark. "I will tell my brother to come up," said Earth Initiate. Then the moon rose. "How do you like it?" Earth Initiate asked Turtle. "It is very good," Turtle answered. "Is that all you are going to do for us?" "No, I am going to do more yet." Then he called the stars each by name and they came out. Then he made a tree, which had twelve different kinds of acorns growing on it. . . . For two days they sat under this tree, and then both set off to see the world which Earth Initiate had made. Turtle was not able to keep up with Earth Initiate. All he could see of him was a ball of fire flashing about under the ground and the water. When they returned from going around the world Earth Initiate called the birds from the air, and made the trees, and then the animals. Some time afier this he said; "I am going to make people." So he took dark red earth and mixed it with water, and made two figures, one a man and one a woman. He lay down and placed the man on his right side and the woman on his left. Thus he lay all afternoon and night. Early in the morning the woman began to tickle him in the side. Earth Initiate kept very, very still and did not laugh. Soon after he got up, he put a piece of wood into the ground, and fire burst out. The two people Earth Initiate made were very white. Their eyes were pink, their hair was black, their teeth shone brightly, and they were very handsome. He named the man Kuksu, and the woman Morning Star Woman. . . . 3. A Skagit Belief About the Origins of the World, n. d. In the beginning, Raven and Mink and Coyote helped the Creator plan the world. They were in on all the arguments. They helped the Creator decide to have all the rivers flow only one way; they first thought that the water should flow up one side of the river and down on the other. They decided that there should be bends in the rivers, so that there would be eddies where the fish could stop and rest. They de- cided that beasts should be placed in the forests. Human beings would have to keep out of their way. Human beings will not live on this earth forever, agreed Raven and Mink, Coyote, and Old Creator. They will stay only for a short time. Then the body will go back to the earth and the spirit back to the spirit world. All living things, they said, wili be male and female-animals and plants, fish and birds. And everything will get its food from the earth, the soil. "The Beginning of the Skagit World," in EIla E. Clark, ed., Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1953), 138-141. Copyright @ 1953 The Regents of the Uni- versity of California; O renewed 1981 Ella E. Clark. Reprinted with permission.
  4. 4. 22 Major Problems in American Indian Histoty The Creator gave four names for the earth. He said that only a few people should know the names; those few should have special preparation for that knowledge, to receive that special spirit power. If many people should know the names, the world would change too soon and too suddenly. One of the names is for the sun, which rises in the east and brings warmth and light. Another is fbr the rivers, streams, and salt water. The third is for the soil; our bodies go back to it. The fourth is for the forest; the forest is older than human beings, and is for everyone on the earth. After the world had been created for a while, everyone learned the four names for the earth. Everyone and everything spoke the Skagit language. When the people began to talk to the trees, then the change came. The change was a flood. Water covered everything but two high mountains-Kobah and Takobah. Those two mountains-Mount Baker and Mount Rainier-did not go under. When the people saw the flood coming, they made a great big canoe. They loaded it with two of everything living on earth, with the male and female of every animal and plant. When the flood was over, the canoe landed on the prairie in the Skagit country. Five people were in the canoe. After the flood, when the land was dry again, they made their way back here. A child was born to the man and his wife who had been in the canoe. He became Doquebuth, the new Creator. He created after the flood, after the world changed. When he was old enough, Doquebuth was told to go to the lake-Lake Camp- bell it is called now-to swim and fast and get his spirit power. But the boy played around and did not obey orders. Coyote fed him, and the boy did not try to get his spirit power. So his family deserted him. When he came home, no one was there. His family had gone and had taken everything with them except what belonged to the boy. They left his dog behind and the hides of the chipmunks and squirrels the boy had shot when hunting. His grandmother left fire for him in a clamshell. From the skins which he had dried, the boy made a blanket. When he found that his family had deserted him, he realized that he had done wrong. So he began to swim and to fast. For many, many days he swam and fasted. No one can get spirit power unless he is clean and unless his stomach is empty. One day the boy dreamed that Old Creator came. "Take my blanket," said Old Creator. "It is the blanket of the whole earth. Wave it over the waters, and name the four names of the earth. Then there will be food for everyone." That is how the boy got his spirit power fiom Oid Creator. He waved the blan- ket over the water and over the forest. Then there was food for everyone. But there were no people yet. The boy swam some more and kept on fasting. Old Creator came to him again in a dream. "Gather together all the bones of the people who lived here before the flood. Gather the bones and pile them into a big pile. Then wave my blanket over them, and name the four names of the earth." The young man did as he was told in his dream, and people were created from the bones. But they could not talk. They moved about but were not quite completed. The young Creator swam some more. A third time Old Creator came to him in a dream. This time he told the young man that he should make brains for the new people. So he waved the blanket over the earth and named the four names of the earth. That is how brains were made-from the soil of the earth.
  5. 5. Indian History Before Columbus 23 Then the people could talk. They spoke many different languages. But where they should live the young Creator did not know. So he swam some more. In his dream, Old Creator told him to stop over the big isiand, from ocean to ocean, and blow the people back where they belonged. So Doquebuth blew the people back to the place where they had lived before the flood. Some he placed in the buffalo country, some by the salt water, some by fresh water, some in the forests. That is why the people in the different places speak different languages. The people created after the flood prophesied that a new language would be introduced into our country. It will be the only language spoken, when the next change comes. When we can understand animals, we will know that the change is halfway. When we can talk to the forest, we will know that the change has come. The flood was one change. Another is yet to come. The world will change again. When it will change, we do not know. 4. The Arikaras Describe Their Origins, n. d. A long time ago, the Arikara lived under the ground. There were fbur animals who looked with pity upon the people, and these animals agreed to take the people up on top of the earth. These animals were the long-nosed Mouse, the Mole, the Badger, and the Fox. The Fox was the messenger to the people to tell them of what the ani- mals were doing. The Mole was the first to dig. He ran back, for he was blinded by the brightness of the sun. The animals went out. The people came out of the earth, the Fox being in the lead. As the people were coming out there was an earthquake. The Arikara came out. The other people were again held fast by the earth. These people who came out from the ground then journeyed west. They came to a place where the earth shook, so that there was a chasm or a steep bank. The people waited and cried. The Badger stepped forward and began digging, so that it made a pathway for the people. . . . After all the people had passed the first obstacles they sat down and gave thanks and made offerings to the gods. Again they went upon their journey, and it stormed. In front of them was a river. They could not cross it, for it was very deep; but a Loon was sent by the gods. The Loon came to the people, and said: "Your mother is traveling in the heavens to help you. I was sent by the gods to open up this river, so you could cross and go on your journey." The Loon flew across the river, flew back, then dived and came out on the other side of the river. The river was opened; it banked up on eaoh side; the people crossed over and the waters came together again. Some people were left on the other side. Again they journeyed, and they came to a place where Mother-Corn stopped and said: "The big Black-Wind is angry, for we did not ask it to come with us, neither did we make it one of the gods to receive smoke. But," said Mother-Corn, "the Black-Meteoric-Star understands this storm; it will help us." Mother-Corn went on, and said: "Here we are. We must hurry for the big Black-Wind is coming, taking everything it meets. There is a cedar tree. Get under that cedar tree. Get under "The Origin of the Arikara," in George A. Dorsey, ed., Traditions of the Arikara (Washington, D.C., 1904).
  6. 6. 24 Major Problems in American Indian History that cedar tree," said Mother-Corn. "The Black-Meteoric-Star placed it there. The Star stands solid, for its right leg is cedar; its left leg is stone. It can not be blown away. Get under its branches." So the people crawled under its branches. The Black- Wind came and took many people, notwithstanding. The people came out, and they went on. They came to another difficulty-a steep mountain bank, and they stopped. The Bear came forth, and said, "I will go through this place first." So the Bear went to digging steps for the people. Steps were made on both sides and the people went across. After they had been gone for some time, a Dog came up, and said: "Why did you people leave me behind? I shall be the one that you shall kill, and my meat shall be offered to the gods. I shall also fix it so that all animals shall make great medicine-men of you. My father is the Sun. He has given me all this power. I will give my power to all animals, then I will stay with the people, so they will not for- get my promise to them." The people were thankful to the Dog. 5. The Iroquois Depict the World on the Turtle's Back, n. d. In the beginning there was no world, no land, no creatures of the kind that are around us now, and there were no men. But there was a great ocean which occupied space as far as anyone could see. Above the ocean was a great void of air. And in the air there lived the birds of the sea; in the ocean lived the fish and the creatures of the deep. Far above this unpeopled world, there was a Sky-World. Here lived gods who were like people-like Iroquois. In the Sky-World there was a man who had a wife, and the wife was expecting a child. The woman became hungry for all kinds of strange delicacies, as women do when they are with child. She kept her husband busy almost to distraction find- ing delicious things for her to eat. In the middle of the Sky-World there grew a Great Tree which was not like any of the trees that we know. It was tremendous; it had grown there forever. It had enor- mous roots that spread out from the floor of the Sky-World. And on its branches there were many different kinds of leaves and different kinds of fruits and flowers. The tree was not supposed to be marked or mutilated by any of the beings who dwelt in the Sky-World. It was a sacred tree that stood at the center of the uruverse. The woman decrded that she wanted some bark from one of the roots of the Great Tree-perhaps as a food or as a medicine, we don't know. She told her hus- band this. He didn't like the idea. He knew it was wrong. But she insisted, and he gave in. So he dug a hole among the roots of this great sky tree, and he bared some of its roots. But the floor of the Sky-World wasn't very thick, and he broke a hole through it. He was terrified, for he had never expected to find empty space under- neath the world. "The World on the Turtle's Back," in Hazel W. Hertzberg, The Great Tree and the Longhouse: The Cul- ture of the Iroquols. Copyright O by the American Anthropological Association.
  7. 7. Ittdian Hiyory tstlore t olumbus 25 But hrs wife was fllled with curiosity. He wouldn't get any of rhe roors for her, so she set out to do it herself. She bent over and she looked down, and she saw the ocean far below. She leaned down and stuck her head through the hole and looked all around. No one knows just what happened next. Some say she slipped. Some say that her husband, t-ed up with all the demands she had made on him, pushed her. So she fell through the hole. As she fell, she frantically grabbed at its edges, but her hands slipped. However, between her fingers there clung bits of things that were growing on the floor of the Sky-Worid and bits of the root tips of the Great Tree. And so she began to t'all toward the great ocean far below. The birds of the sea saw the woman falling, and they immediately consulted with each other as to what they could do to help her. Flying wingtip to wingtip they made a great feathery raft in the sky to support her, and thus they broke her fall. But of course it was not possible for them to carry the woman very long. Some of the other birds of the sky flew down to the surface of the ocean and called up the ocean creatures to see what they couid do to help. The great sea turtle came and agreed to receive her on his back. The birds placed her gently on the shell of the turtle, and now the turtle floated about on the huge ocean with the woman safely on his back. The beings up in the Sky-World paid no attention to this. They knew what was happening, but they chose to ignore it. When the woman recovered from her shock and terror, she looked around her. All that she could see were the birds and the sea creatures and the sky and the ocean. And the woman said to herself that she would die. But the creatures of the sea came to her and said that they would try to help her and asked her what they could do. She told them that if they could get some soil, she could plant the roots stuck between her fingers, and from them plants would grow. The sea animals said per- haps there was dirt at the bottom of the ocean, but no one had ever been down there so they could not be sure. If there was dirt at the bottom of the ocean, it was far, far below the surface in the cold deeps. But the animals said they would try to get some. One by one the div- ing birds and animals tried and failed. They went to the limits of their endurance, but they could not get to the bottom of the ocean. Finally, the muskrat said he would try. He dived and disappeared. All the creatures waited, holding their breath, but he did not return. After a long tirne, this little body f'loated up to the surf'ace of the ocean, a tiny crumb of earth clutched in his paw. He seemed to be dead. They pulled him up on the turtle's back and they sang and prayed over him and breathed air into his mouth, and finally. he stirred. Thus it was the rnuskrat, the Earth-Diver, who brought from the bottom of the ocean the soil from which the earth was to grow. The woman took the tiny clod of dirt and piaced it on the middle of the great sea turtle's back. Then the woman began to walk in a circle around it, moving in the direction that the sun goes. The earth began to grow. When the earlh was big enough, she planted the roots she had clutched between her fingers when she fell from the Sky-World. Thus the plants grew on the earth. To keep the earth growing, the woman walked as the sun goes, moving in the direction that the people still move in the dance rituals. She gathered roots and plants to eat and built herself a little hut. After a while, the woman's time came, and she was delivered of a daughter. The woman and her daughter kept walking in a circle around the earth, so that the earth and plants would continue to grow. They
  8. 8. 26 Major Problems in American lndinn History lived on the plants and roots they gathered. The girl grew up with her mother, cut off forever from the Sky-World above, knowing only the birds and the creatures of the sea, seeing no other beings like herself. One day, when the girl had grown to womanhood, a man appeared. No one knows for sure who this man was. He had something to do with the gods above. Perhaps he was the West Wind. As the girl looked at him, she was filled with terror, and amazement, and warmth, and she fainted dead away. As she lay on the ground, the man reached into his quiver, and he took out two arrows, one sharp and one blunt, and he laid them across the body of the girl, and quietly went away. When the girl awoke from her faint, she and her mother continued to walk around the earth. After a while, they knew that the girl was to bear a child. They did not know it, but the girl was to bear twins. Within the girl's body, the twins began to argue and quarrel with one another. There could be no peace between them. As the time approached for them to be born, the twins fought about their birth. The right-handed twin wanted to be born in the normal way, as all children are born. But the left-handed twin said no. He said he saw light in another direction, and said he would be born that way. The right-handed twin beseeched him not to, saying that he would kill their mother. But the left-handed twin was stubborn. He went in the direction where he saw light. But he could not be born through his mother's mouth or her nose. He was born through her left armpit, and killed her. And meanwhile, the right-handed twin was born in the normal way, as all children are born. The twins met in the world outside, and the right-handed twin accused his brother of murdering their mother. But the grandmother told them to stop their quarreling. They buried their mother. And from her grave grew the plants which the people still use. From her head grew the corn, the beans, and the squash-"our sup- porters, the three sisters." And from her heart grew the sacred tobacco, which the people still use in the ceremonies and by whose upward-floating smoke they send thanks. The women call her "our mother," and they dance and sing in the rituals so that the corn, the beans, and the squash may grow to feed the people' But the conflict of the twins did not end at the grave of their mother' And, strangely enough, the grandmother favored the left-handed twin. The right-handed twin was angry, and he grew more angry as he thought how his brother had killed their mother. The right-handed twin was the one who did everything just as he should. He said what he meant, and he meant what he said. He always told the truth, and he always tried to accomplish what seemed to be right and reasonable. The left-handed twin never said what he meant or meant what he said. He always lied, and he always did things backward. You could never tell what he was trying to do because he always made it look as if he were doing the oppo- site. He was the devious one. These two brothers, as they grew up, represented two ways of the world which are in all people. The Indians did not call these the right and the wrong. They called them the straight mind and the crooked mind, the upright man and the devious man, the right and the left. The twins had creative powers. They took clay and modeled it into animals, and they gave these animais life. And in this they contended with one another. The right- handed twin made the deer, and the left-handed twin made the mountain lion which
  9. 9. Indian History Before Columbus 27 kills the deer. But the right-handed twin knew there would always be more deer than mountain lions. And he made another animal. He made the ground squirrel. The left-handed twin saw that the mountain lion could not get to the ground squirrel, who digs a hole, so he made the weasel. And although the weasel can go into the ground squirrel's hole and kill him, there are lots of ground squirrels and not so many weasels. Next the right-handed twin decided he would make an animal that the weasel could not kill, so he made the porcupine. But the left-handed twin made the bear, who flips the porcupine over on his back and tears out his belly. And the right-handed twin made berries and fruits of other kinds for his crea- tures to live on. The left-handed twin made briars and poison ivy, and the poisonous plants like the baneberry and the dogberry, and the suicide root with which people kill themselves when they go out of their minds, And the left-handed twin made medicines, for good and for evil, for doctoring and for witchcraft. And finally, the right-handed twin made man. The people do not know just how much the left-handed twin had to do with making man. Man was made of clay, like pottery, and baked in the fire. The world the twins made was a balanced and orderly world, and this was good. The plant-eating animals created by the right-handed twin would eat up all the vegetation if their number was not kept down by the meat-eating animals which the left-handed twin created. But if these carnivorous animals ate too many other animals, then they would starve, for they would run out of meat. So the right- and the left-handed twins built balance into the world. As the twins became rren full grown, they still contested with one another. No one had won, and no one had lost. And they knew that the conflict was becoming sharper and sharper and one of them would have to vanquish the other. And so they came to the duel. They started with gambling. They took a wooden bowl, and in it they put wild plum pits. One side of the pits was burned black, and by tossing the pits in the bowl, and betting on how these would fall, they gambled against one another, as the people still do in the New Year's rites. All through the morning they gambled at this game, and all through the afternoon, and the sun went down. And when the sun went down, the game was done, and neither one had won. So they went on to battle one another at the lacrosse game. And they contested all day, and the sun went down, and the game was done. And neither had won. And now they battled with clubs, and they fought all day, and the sun went down, and the fight was done. But neither had won. And they went from one duel to another to see which one would succumb. Each one knew in his deepest mind that there was something, somewhere, that would vanquish the other. But what was it? Where to find it? Each knew somewhere in his mind what it was that was his own weak point. They talked about this as they contested in these duels, day after day, and somehow the deep mind of each entered into the other. And the deep mind of the right-handed twin lied to his brother, and the deep mind of the left-handed twin told the truth. On the last day of the duel, as they stood, they at last knew how the right- handed twin was to kill his brother. Each selected his weapon. The left-handed twin close a mere stick that would do him no good. But the right-handed twin picked out the deer antlel and with one touch he destroyed his brother. And the lefrhanded twin died, but he died and he didn't die. The right-handed twin picked up the body
  10. 10. 28 Major Problems in American Indian History and cast it off the edge of the earth. And some place below the world, the left- handed twin still lives and reigns. When the sun rises from the east and travels in a huge arc along the sky dome, which rests like a great upside-down cup on the saucer of the earth, the people are in the daylight realm of the right-handed twin. But when the sun slips down in the west at nightfall and the dome lifts to let it escape at the western rim, the people are again in the domain of the left-handed twin-the fearful realm of night. Having killed his brother, the righrhanded twin returned home to his grand- mother. And she met him in anger. She threw the food out of the cabin onto the ground, and said that he was a murderer, for he had killed his brother. He grew angry and told her she had always helped his brother, who had killed their mother. In his anger, he grabbed her by the throat and cut her head off. Her body he threw into the ocean, and her head, into the sky. There "Our Grandmother, the Moon," still keeps watch at night over the realm of her favorite grandson. The right-handed twin has many names. One of thern is Sapling. It means smooth, young, green and fresh and innocent, straightforward, straight-growing, soft and pliable, teachable and trainable. These are the old ways of describing him. But since he has gone away, he has other names. He is called "He Holds Up the Skies," "Master of Life," and "Great Creator." The left-handed twin also has many names. One of them is Flint. He is called the devious one, the one covered with boils, Old Warty. He is stubborn. He is thought of as being dark in color. These two beings rule the world and keep an eye on the affairs of men. The right-handed twin, the Master of Life, lives in the Sky-World. He is content with the world he helped to create and with his favorite creatures, the humans. The scent of sacred tobacco rising from the earth comes gloriously to his nostrils. In the world below lives the left-handed twin. He knows the world of men, and he finds contentment in it. He hears the sounds of warfare and torture. and he finds them good. In the daytime, the people have rituals which honor the right-handed twin. Through the daytime rituals they thank the Master of Life. In the nighttime, the people dance and sing fbr the left-handed twin. <>ESSAvS The essays below encapsulate what archaeologists have pieced together from the phys- ical remains of Indian communities that existed hundreds of years before Colurnbus arrived in the western hernisphere. Neal Salisbury of Smith College provides a conii- nental overview that shows broad trends in pre-European American history. These developments set the stage for the conquest that followed the Columbian discovery. They also demonstrate that like all human histories, Indian history was dynamic. Far from being isolated bands of hunters with no knowledge of other peoples, Indians communicated and traded over long distances. Salisbury pays special attention to the mound cultures that arose in the Mississippi Valley in pre-Columbian times. Some scholars have argued that the great Mississippian cities, like Cahokia, were influenced by Mexico, but other investigators dispute this interpretation of the archaeological record and argue that these spectacular developments grew out ofWoodlands Indian
  11. 11. Indian Histot)t Before Columbus 29 traditions that were nearer at hand. Stephen Plog's essay takes a closer look at the remarkable urban settlements in the Southwest, precursors of today's Pueblo Indians. The Anasazi, Hohokam, and other Southwesterners built formidable towns and irriga- tion works based on agricultural crops and techniques that Indians pioneered in central Mexico. They established elaborate religious rituals and developed an impressive artistic tradition that persists today. Whatever the origins and influences of these com- munities they are impressive reminders of the complexity of native cultures and extent of their attainments. What might Indian societies have looked like if Europeans had not ventured to America Dntll 1692? The Indians' Old World Native Americans and the Coming of Europeans NEAL SALISBURY Scholars in history, anthropology, archaeology, and other disciplines have turned increasingly over the past two decades to the study of native peoples during the colonial period of North American history. The new work in Indian history has altered the way we think about the beginning of American history and about the era of European coionization. Historians now recognize that Europeans arrived, not in a virgin land, but in one that was teeming with several million people. Beyond fill- ing in some ofthe vast blanks left by previous generations' overlooking oflndians, much of this scholarship makes clear that Indians are integral to the history of colonial North America. In short, surveys of recent textbooks and of scholarly titles suggest that Native Americans are well on their way to being "mainstreamed" by colonial historians. Substantive as this reorientation is, it remains limited. Beyond the problems inherent in representing Indian/non-Indian interactions during the colonial era lies the challenge of contextualizing the era itself. Despite opening chapters and lectures that survey the continent's native peoples and cultures, most historians continue to represent American history as having been set in motion by the arrival of European explorers and colonizers. They have yet to recognize the existence of a Norlh American-as opposed to English or European-background for colonial history, much less to consider the impiications of such a background for understanding the three centuries following Columbus's landfall. Yet a growing body of scholarship by archaeologists, linguists, and students of Native American expressive traditions recognizes 1492 not as a beginning but as a single moment in a long history utterly detached from that of Europe. These findings call into question historians' syn- chronic maps and verbal descriptions of precontact Indians-their cultures, their communities, their ethnic and political designations and affiliations, and their rela- tions with one another. Do these really describe enduring entities or do they repre- sent epiphenomena of arbitrary moments in time? If the latter should prove to be the case, how will readings oflndian history in the colonial period be affected? Neal Salisbury, "The Indians' Old World: Native Americans and the Coming of Elopeans," William and Mary Quarterly 53 (July 1996), 435-458.
  12. 12. l0 Major Problems in American Indian Hktory Far from being definitive, this article is intended as a stimulus to debate on these questions. It begins by drawing on recent work in archaeology, where most of the relevant scholarship has originated, to suggest one way of thinking about pre- Columbian North America in historical terms. The essay then looks at develop- ments in several areas of the continent during the centuries preceding the arrival of Europeans and in the early phases of the colonial period. The purpose is to show how certain patterns and processes originating before the beginnings of contact continued to shape the continent's history thereafter and how an understanding of the colonial period requires an understanding of its American background as weil as of its European context. In a formidable critique of European and Euro-American thinking about native North Americans, Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., demonstrates that the idea of "Indians" as a single, discrete people was an invention of Columbus and his European con- temporaries that has been perpetuated into our own time without foundation in his- torical, cultural, or ethnographic reality. On the contrary, Berkhofer asserts, The frrst residents of the Arnericas were by modern estinates divided into at least two thousand cultures and more societies, practiced a nultiplicity of customs and lifestyles, held an enormous variety of values and belief's, spoke numerous langua-{es mutually un- intelligible to the many speakers, and did not conceive of thenrselves as a single people- if they knew about each other at all. While there is literal truth in portions of Berkhofer's statement, his implication that Indians inhabited thousands of tiny, isolated communities in ignorance of one another flies in the face of a substantial body of archaeological and linguistic schol- arship on North America and of a wealth of relevant anthropological literature on nonstate polities, nonmarket economies, and noninstitutionalized religions. To be sure, indigenous North Americans exhibited a remarkable range of languages, economies, political systems, beliefs, and material cultures. But this range was less the result of their isolation from one another than of the widely varying natural and social environments with which Indians had interacted over millennia. What recent scholars of precolonial North America have found even more striking, given this diversity, is the extent to which native peoples' histories intersected one another. At the heart of these intersections was exchange. By exchange is meant not only the trading of material goods but also exchanges across community lines of mar- riage partners, resorlrces, labor, ideas, techniques, and religious practices. Longer- distance exchanges fiequently crossed culturai and linguistic boundaries as well and ranged from casual encounters to widespread alliances and networks that were eco- nomic, political, and religious. For both individuals and communities, exchanges sealed social and political relationships. Rather than accumulate material rvealth endlessly, those who acquired it gave it away, thereby earning prestige and placing obligations on others to reciprocate appropriately. And as we shall see, many goods were not given away to others in this world but were buried with individuals to accompany them to another. Archaeologists have found evidence of ongoing exchange relations among even the earliest known Paleo-Indian inhabitants of North America. Ten thousand years before Columbus, in the wake of the last Ice Age, bands of two or three dozen
  13. 13. Indian History BeJbre Coltmbus 31 persons regularly traveled hundreds of miles to hunt and trade with one another at favored campsites such as Lindenmeier in northern Colorado, dating to ca. 8800 B.c. At the Lindenmeier site, differences in the flaking and shaping of srone points distinguished regular occupants in two parts of the camp, and the obsidian each used came from about 350 miles north and south of Lindenmeier, respectively. Evidence from a wide range of settlement sites makes clear that, as the postglacial warming trend continued, so-called Archaic peoples in much of the continent devel- oped wider ranges of food sources, more sedentary settlement patterns, and larger populations. They also expanded their exchanges with one another and conducted them over greater distances. Highly valued materials such as Great Lakes copper, Rocky Mountain obsidian, and marine shells from the Gulf and Atlantic coasts have been found in substantial quantities at sites hundreds and even thousands of miles from their points of origin. In many cases, goods fashioned fiom these materials were buried with human beings, indicating both their religious significance and, by their uneven distribution, their role as markers of social or political rank. While the Archaic pattern of autonomous bands persisted in most of North America until the arrival of Europeans, the complexity of exchange relationships in some parts of the continent produced the earliest evidence of concentrated political power. This was especially so for peoples who, after the first century a.o., devel- oped food economies that permitted them to inhabit permanent, year-round villages. In California, for example, competition among communities for coveted acorn groves generated sharply defined political territories and elevated the role of chiefs who oversaw trade, diplomacy, and warfare for clusters of villages. Similar com- petition for prime tishing and trading locations strengthened the authority of certain village chiefs on the Northwest Coast. Exchange rather than competition for re- sources appears to have driven centralization in the Ohio and Illinois valleys. There the Hopewell peoples imported copper, mica, shell, and other raw materials over vast distances to their village centers, where specialists fashioned them into intri- cately crafted ornaments, tools, and other objects. T'hey deposited massive quanti- ties of these goods with the dead in large mounds and exported more to communities scattered throughout the Mississippi Valley. Hopewell burials differentiate between commoners and elites by the quantity and quality of grave goods accompanying each. In the Southwest, meanwhile, a culture known as Hohokam emerged in the Gila River and Salt River valleys among some of the first societies based primarily on agriculture. Hohokam peoples lived in permanent villages and maintained elabo- rate irrigation systems that enabled them to harvest two crops per year. By the tweltth century, agricultural production had spread over much of the Eastern Woodlands as well as to more of the Southwest. In both regions, even more complex societies were emerging to dominate widespread exchange networks. In the Mississippi Valley and the Southeast, the sudden primacy of maize horticulture is marked archaeologically in a variety of ways-food remains, pollen profiles, studies of human bone (showin g that maize accounted for 50 percent of people's diets), and in material culture by a proliferation of chert hoes, shell-tempered pottery for storing and cooking, and pits for storing surplus crops. These develop- ments were accompanied by the rise of what archaeologists term "Mississippian" societies, consisting of fortified political and ceremonial centers and outlying villages. The centers were built around open plazas featuring platform burial
  14. 14. 32 irlajor Prohlems in American Indian History mounds, temples, and elaborate residences for elite families. Evidence fiom burials makes clear the wide social gulf that separated commoners from elites. Whereas the fbrmer were buried in simple graves with a few personal possessions, the latter were interred in the temples or plazas along with many more, and more elaborate, goods such as copper ornaments, massive sheets of shell, and ceremonial weapons. Skele- tal evidence indicates that elites ate more meat, were talleq performed less stren- uous physical activity, and were less prone to illness and accident than commoners. Although most archaeologists' conclusions are intbrmed at least in part by models developed by political anthropologists, they also draw heavily from Spanish and French observations of some of the last Mississippian societies. These observations confirm that political leaders, or chiefs, from eiite families mobilized labor, col- lected tribute, redistributed agricultural surpluses, coordinated trade, diplomacy, and rnilitary activity, and were worshipped as deities. The largest, most complex Mississippian center was Cahokia, located not far from the conlluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, near modern East St. Louis, Illinois, in the rich floodplain known as American Bottoms. By the twelfth century, Cahokia probably numbered 20,000 peopie and contained over 120 mounds within a five-square-mile area. One key to Cahokia's rise was its com- bination of rich soil and nearby wooded uplands, enabling inhabitants to produce surplus crops while providing an abundance and diversity of wild food sources along with ample supplies of wood for fuel and construction. A second key was its location, affbrding access to the great river systems of the North American interior. Cahokia had the most elaborate social structure yet seen in North America. Laborers used stone and wooden spades to dig soil fiom "borrow pits" (at least nine- teen have been identified by archaeologists), which they carried in wooden buckets to mounds and palisades often more than half a mile away. The volume and con- centration ofcraft activity in shell, copper, clay, and other materials, both local and imported, suggests that specialized artisans provided the rnaterial foundation for Cahokia's exchange ties with other peoples. Although most Cahokians were buried in mass graves outside the palisades, their rulers were given speciai treatment. At a prominent location in Mound 72, the largest of Cahokia's platform mounds, a man had been buried atop a platform of shell beads. Accompanying him were several group burials: fifty young women, aged l8 to 23, four men, and three rnen and three women, all encased in uncommonly large amounts of exotic materials. As with the Natchez Indians observed by the French in Louisiana, Cahokians appear to have sacriticed individuals to accompany their leaders in the afterlife. Cahokia was sur- rounded by nine smailer mound centers and several dozen villages from which it obtained much of its food and through which it conducted its waterborne commerce with other Mississippian centers in the Midwest and Southeast (see Map 2.1). At the outset ofthe twelfth century, the center ofproduction and exchange in the Southwest was in the basin of the San Juan River at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, where Anasazi culture achieved its most elaborate expression. A twelve-mile stretch of the canyon and its rim held twelve large planned towns on the north side and 200 to 350 apparently unplanned villages on the south. The total population was probably about 15,000. The towns consisted of 200 or more contiguous, multistoried rooms, along with numerous kivas (underground ceremonial areas), constructed of veneered masonary walls and log beams imported from upland areas nearly fifty miles distant.
  15. 15. pelceles l'z del/tt 0gzl 'ec 'scueluv quoN uI sJeluoc uecuetuv aAIIBN €f, snqutryo) alolag fuolslH ualpul
  16. 16. 34 Major Problems in Ameriun lndian Hisllri The rooms surrounded a central plaza with a great kiva. Villages typically had ten to twenty rooms that were decidedly smaller than those in the towns. Nearly all of Chaco Canyon's turquoise, shell, and other ornaments and virtually everything im- ported from Mesoamerica are found in the towns rather than the villages. Whether the goods were considered communal property or were the possessions of elites is uncertain, but either way the towns clearly had primacy. Villagers buried their dead near their residences, whereas town burial grounds were apparently located at greater distances, although only a very few of what must have been thousands of town burials have been located by archaeologists. Finally, and of particular impor- tance in the arid environment of the region, the towns were located at the mouths of side canyons where they controlled the collection and distribution of water run-off. The canyon was the core of an extensive network of at least seventy towns or "outliers," as they are termed in the archaeological literature, and 5,300 villages located as far as sixty miles from the canyon. Facilitating the movement of people and goods through this network was a system of roads radiating outward from the canyon in perfectly straight lines, turning into stairways or footholds rather than circumventing cliffs and other obstacles. What archaeologists call the "Chaco phenomenon" was a multifaceted net- work. Within the canyon, the towns controlled the distribution of precious water. The abundance ofrooms reinforces the supposition that they stored agricultural sur- pluses for redistribution, not only within the canyon but to the outliers. The archi- tectural uniformity of towns throughout the system, the straight roads that linked them, and the proliferation of great kivas point to a complex of shared beliefs and rituals. Lithic remains indicate that the canyon imported most of the raw materials used for manufacturing utilitarian goods and ornamental objects fiom elsewhere in the Southwest. Particularly critical in this respect was turquoise, beads of which were traded to Mexico in return for copper bells and macaws and to the Gulf of Califomia for marine shells. The Chaco phenomenon thus entailed the mobilization of labor for public works projects and food production, the control and distribution of water, the distribution of prestige goods of both local and exotic origin, and the control of exchange and redistribution both rvithin and outside the network. In dis- tinct contrast to Cahokia and other Mississippian societies, no evidence exists for the primacy of any single canyon town or for the primacy of certain individuals as paramount leaders. Given the archaeological record, North American "prehistory" can hardly be characterized as a multiplicity of discrete microhistories. Fundamental to the social and economic patterns of even the earliest Paleo-lndian bands were exchanges that linked people across geographic, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. The eff'ects of these links are apparent in the spread ofraw materials and finished goods, ofbeliefs and ceremonies, and of techniques for food production and for manufacturing. By the twelfth century, some exchange networks had become highly formalized and centralized. Exchange constifutes an important key to conceptualizing American history before Columbus. Although it departs from our familiar image of North American Indians, the histori- cal pattern sketched so far is recognizable in the way it portrays societies "progress- ing" from small, egalitarian, autonomous communities to larger, more hierarchicai,
  17. 17. Indiott Hist,,l' Bc.liru clolunbr" )5 and centralized political aggregations with more compiex economies. That image is likewise subverted when we examine the three centuries immediately preceding the arrival of Europeans. In both American Bottoms and the San Juan River basin, where twelfth-century populations were most concentrated, agriculture most pro- ductive, exchange most varied and voluminous, and political systems most com- plex and extensive, there were scarcely any inhabitants by the end of the fifteenth century. What happened and why? Cahokia and other Mississippian societies in the Upper Midwest peaked during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Data from soil traces indicate that even then laborers were fortifying Cahokia's major earthworks against attack. At the same time, archaeologists surmise, Cahokia was headed toward an ecoiogical crisis: expanded settlement, accompanied by especially hot dry summers, exhausted the soil, depleted the supply of timber for building and fuel, and reduced the habitat of the game that supplemented their diet. By the end of the fourteenth century, Cahokia's inhabitants had dispersed over the surrounding countryside into small farming villages. Cahokia's abandonment reverberated among other Mississippian societies in the Midwest. Fortified centers on the Mississippi River tiom the Arkansas River northward and on the Ohio River appear to have been strengthened by influxes of people from nearby villages but then abandoned, and signs from burials indicate a period of chronic, deadly warfare in the Upper Midwest. One archaeologist ref'ers to the middle Mississippi Valley and environs during the fifteenth century as "the vacant quarter." A combination of ecological pressures and upheavals within the alliance that linked them appears to have doomed Cahokia and other midwestern Mississippian centers, leading the inhabitants to transform themselves into the vil- lage dwellers of the surrounding prairies and plains observed by French explorers three centuries later. The upheavals may even have extended beyond the range of direct Mississip- pian influence to affect Iroquois and Hurons and other Iroquoian speakers of the lower Great Lakes region. These people had been moving from dispersed, riverside settlements to fortified, bluff-top villages over the course of several centuries; the process appears to have intensified in the fourteenth century, when it also led to the formation of the Iroquois and Huron confederacies. The Hurons developed fruitful relations with hunter-gatherers to the north, with whom they exchanged agricul- tural produce for meat and skins, and Iroquois ties with outsiders appear to have diminished except for small-scale interactions with coastal peopies to the south and east. Across the Northeast, political life was characterized by violence and other manifestations of intense competition. Whether the upheavals in exchange ties occasioned by the collapse of Cahokia were directly linked to the fbrmation of the Iroquois and Huron confederacies, as Dena Dincauze and Robert Hasenstab have suggested for the Iroquois, or were simply part of a larger process generated by the advent of farming and consequent demographic and political changes, the repercussions were still evident when Europeans began to frequent the region dur- ing the sixteenth century. Violence and instability were also apparent across the Southeast. Unlike in the Midwest, where enormous power had been concentrated in a single center, south- eastern Mississippian societies were characterized by more frequently shifting
  18. 18. )o Major Problems in Amertcan Indian History allianCeS and riValrjes that prevented any one center from becoming as powerful as Cahokia was from the tenth to thirteenth centuries. A pattern of instability pre- vailed that archaeologist David Anderson terms "cycling," in which certain centers emerged for a century or two to dominate regional alliances consisting of several chiefdoms and their tributary communities and then declined. Whole communities periodically shifted their locations in response to ecological or political pressures. ihus, for example, the great mound center at Etowah, in northwestern Georgia, lost its preeminence after 1400 and by the time of Hernando de Soto's arrival in 1540 had become a tributary of the nearby upstart chiefdom of Coosa. From the mid-twelfth century through the fourteenth, the demographic map of the Southwest was also transformed as Chaco Canyon and other Anasazi and Hohokam centefs were abandoned. Although southwesterners had made a practice of shifting their settlements when facing shortages of water and arable land and other consequences of climatic or demographic change, they had never done so on Such a massive scale. Most archaeologists agree that the abandonments followed changes in the regional cycle of rainfall and drought, so that agricultural surpluses probably proved inadequate. They point to signs that the centralized systems lost their ability to mobilize labor, redistribute goods, and coordinate religious cere- monies and that such loss was followed by outmigration to surrounding and upland areas where people farmed less intensively while increasing their hunting and gathering. Trade between the Southwest and Mesoamerica was disrupted at the same time, though whether as a cause or an efl'ect of the abandonments is unclear. Most Anasazi peoples dispersed in small groups, joining others to form new communities in locations with sufficient rainfall. These communities are what we know today as the southwestern pueblos, extending from Hopi villages in Arizona to those on the Rio Grande. These dispersals and convergences of peoples reinforced an emerging complex of beliefs, art, and ceremonies relating to kachinas-spirits believed to have influence in both bringing rain and fostering cooperation among villagers. Given their effort to forge new communities under conditions of severe drought, it is not surprising that southwestern farmers placed great emphasis on kachinas. The eastward shift of much of the southwestern population also led to new patterns of trade in which recently arrived Athapaskan speakers (later known as Apaches and Navajos) brought bison meat and hides and other products from the southern Great Plains to semiannual trade fairs at Taos, Pecos, and Picuris pueblos in exchange for maize, cotton blankets, obsldian, turquoise, and ceramics aS well aS shells from the Gulf of California. By the time of Francisco V6squez de Coronado's entrada in 1540, new ties of exchange and interdependency bound eastern Pueblos, Athapaskans, and Caddoan speaker on the Plains. When Europeans reached North America, then, the continent's demographic and political map was in a state of profound flux. A major lactor was the collapse of the great centers at Cahokia and Chaco Canyon and elsewhere in the Midwest and Southwest. Although there were significant differences between these highly centralized societies, each ran up against the capacity ofthe land or other resources to sustain it. This is not to argue for a simple ecological determinism for, although environmental fluctuations played a role, the severe strains in each region resulted above all from a series of human choices that had brought about unprecedented con- centrations of people and power. Having repudiated those choices and dispersed,
  19. 19. Indiart Histon BeJore Columbus midwestern Mississippians and Anasazis formed new communities in which they retained kinship, ceremonial, and other traditions antedating these complex societies. At the same time, these new communities and neighboring ones sought to flourish in their new political and environmental settings by establishing, and in some cases endeavoring to control, new exchange networks. Such combinations ofcontinuity and change, persistence and adaptability, arose from concrete historical experiences rather than a timeless tradition. The remainder of this article indicates some of the ways that both the deeply rooted imperatives of reciprocity and exchange and the recent legacies of competition and upheaval in- formed Norlh American history as Europeans began to make their presence felt. Discussion of the transition from pre- to postcontact times must begin with the sixteenth century, when Indians and Europeans met and interacted in a variety of settings. When not slighting the era altogether, historians have viewed it as one of discovery or exploration, citing the achievements of notable Europeans in either anticipating or failing to anticipate the successful colonial enterprises ofthe seven- teenth century. Recently, however, a number of scholars have been integrating information from European accounts with the findings of archaeologists to pro- duce a much fuller picture of this critical period in North American history. The Southeast was the scene of the most formidable attempts at colonization during the sixteenth century, primarily by Spain. Yet in spite of several expedi- tions to the interior and the undertaking of an ambitious colonizing and mission- ary effort, extending from St. Augustine over much of the Florida peninsula and north to Chesapeake Bay, the Spanish retained no permanent settlements beyond St. Augustine itself at the end of the century. Nevertheless, their explorers and mis- sionaries opened the way for the spread of smallpox and other epidemic diseases over much of the area south of the Chesapeake and east of the Mississippi. The most concerted and fruitful efforts of the interdisciplinary scholarship entail the linking of southeastern societies that are known archaeologically with societies described in European documents. For example, Charles Hudson, David Hally, and others have demonstrated the connections between a group of archaeological sites in northern Georgia and the Tennessee valley and what sixteenth-century Spanish observers ref'erred to as Coosa and its subordinate provinces. A Mississippian archaeological site in northwestern Georgia known as Little Egypt consists of the remains of the town of Coosa; the town was the capital of the province ("chiefdom" to the archaeologists) of the same name, containing several nearby towns, and this province/chiefdom in turn dominated a network of at least five other chiefdoms in a "paramount chiefdom." These conclusions would not have been as definitive if based on either documentary or archaeological evidence alone. coosa, as previously noted, attained regional supremacy during the fifteenth century, a phase in the apparently typical process whereby paramount chiefdoms rose and fell in the Mississippian Southeast. But Coosa's decline was far more precipitate than others because Spanish diseases ravaged the province, forcing the survivors to abandon the town and move southward. By the end of the sixteenth cen- tury, several new provincial centers emerged in what are now Alabama and western Georgia, but without the mounds and paramount chiefs of their predecessors. As with earlier declines of paramount chiefdoms, a center had dectined and, out of the
  20. 20. 38 Major Problems in American Indian History resulting power vacuum, a new formation emerged. What differed in this case were the external source ofthe decline, its devastating effects, and the inability or unwill- ingness of the survivors to concentrate power and deference in the hands of para- mount chiefs. At the same time, the absence of Spanish or other European colonizers from the late sixteenth century to late seventeenth meant that the natives had a sustained period of time in which to recover and regroup. When English traders encountered the descendants of refugees from Coosa and its neighbors late in the seventeenth century, they labeled them "Creek." Patricia Galloway has established similar connections between Mississippian societies farther west and the Choctaws of the eighteenth century. She argues that the well-known site of Moundville in Alabama and a second site on the Pearl River in Mississippi were the centers of chiefdoms from which most Choctaws were descended. She argues that, unlike Coosa, these centers were probably declining in power before the onset of disease in the 1540s hastened the process. Like the Creeks, the Choctaws were a multilingual, multiethnic society in which individual villages were largely autonomous although precedents for greater coalescence were available ifconditions, such as the European presence, seemed to require it. As in the Southeast, Spanish colonizers in the sixteenth-century Southwest launched several ambitious military and missionary efforts, hoping to extend New Spain's domain northward and to discover additional soufces of wealth. The best- documented encounters of Spanish with Pueblos-most notably those of Coronado's expedition (1540-1542)---ended in violence and failure for the Spanish who, despite vows to proceed peacefuily, violated Pueblo norms of reciprocity by insisting on excessive tribute or outright submission. In addition, the Spanish had acquired no- toriety among the Pueblos as purveyors of epidemic diseases, religious missions, and slaving expeditions inflicted on Indians to the south, in what is now northern Mexico. The Spanish also afiected patterns of exchange throughout the Southwest. Indians resisting the spread of Spanish rule to northefn Mexico stole horses and other livestock, some of which they traded to neighbors. By the end of the six- teenth century, a few Indians on the periphery ofthe Southwest were riding horses, anticipating the combination of theft and exchange that would spread horses to native peoples throughout the region and, still later, the Piains and the Southeast. In the meantime, some Navajos and Apaches moved near the Rio Grande Valley, strengthening ties with certain pueblos that were reinforced when inhabitants of those pueblos sought refuge among them in the face or wake of Spanish entradas. Yet another variation on the theme of Indian-European contacts in the six- teenth century was played out in the Northeast, where Iroquoian-speaking viliagers on the Mississippian periphery and Archaic hunter-gatherers still further removed from developments in the interior met Europeans of several nationalities. At the outset of the century, Spanish and Portuguese explorers enslaved several dozen Micmacs and other Indians from the Nova Scotia-Gulf of St. Lawrence area. Three French expeditions to the St. Lawrence itself in the 1530s and 1540s followed the Spanish pattern by alienating most Indians encountered and ending in futility. Even as these hostile contacts were taking place, fishermen, whalers, and other Europeans who visited the area regularly had begun trading with natives. As early as the 1520s, Abenakis on the coast of Maine and Micmas were trading the furs of beavers and other animals for European goods of metal and glass. By the 1540s,
  21. 21. Indian History Before Columbus 39 specialized fur traders, mostly French, frequented the coast as far south as the Chesapeake; by the 1550s or soon thereafter, French traders rendezvoused regularly with Indians along the shores of upper New England, the Maritimes, and Quebec and at Tadoussac on the St. Lawrence. What induced Indians to go out of their way to trap beaver and trade the skins for glass beads, mirrors, copper kettles, and other goods? Throughout North Amer- ica since Paleo-Indian times, exchange in the Northeast was the means by which people maintained and extended their social, cultural, and spiritual horizons as well as acquired items considered supernaturally powerful. Members of some coastal Indian groups later recalled how the first Europeans they saw, with their facial hair and strange clothes and traveling in their strange boats, seemed like supernatural figures. Although soon disabused of such notions, these Indians and many more inland placed special value on the glass beads and other trinkets offered by the newcomers. Recent scholarship on Indians'motives in this earliest stage ofthe trade indicates that they regarded such objects as the equivalents ofthe qvartz, mica, shell, and other sacred substances that had formed the heart of long- distance exchange in North America for millennia and that they regarded as sources of physical and spiritual well-being, on earth and in the afterlife. Indians initially altered and wore many of the utilitarian goods they received, such as iron axe heads and cooper pots, rather than use them for their intended purposes. More- over, even though the new objects might pass through many hands, they more often than not ended up in graves, presumably for their possessors to use in the afterlife. Finally, the archaeological findings make clear that shell and native copper pre- dominated over the new objects in sixteenth-century exchange, indicating that Eu- ropean trade did not suddenly trigger a massive craving for the objects themselves. While northeastern Indians recognized Europeans as different from themselves, they interacted with them and their materials in ways that were consistent with their own customs and beliefs. By the late sixteenth century, the effects of European trade began to overlap with the effects of earlier upheavals in the northeastern interior. Sometime between Jacques Cartier's final departure in 1543 and Samuel de Champlain's arrival in 1603, the Iroquoian-speaking inhabitants of Hochelaga and Stadacona (modern Montreal and Quebec City) abandoned their communities. The communities were crushed militarily, and the survivors dispersed among both lroquois and Hurons. Whether the perpetrators of these dispersals were Iroquois or Huron is a point of controversy, but either way the St. Lawrence communities appear to have been casualties of the rivalry, at least a century old, between the two confederations as each sought to position itself vis-d-vis the French. The effect, if not the cause, of the dispersals was the Iroquois practice of attacking antagonists who denied them direct access to trade goods; this is consistent with Iroquois actions during the pre- ceding two centuries and the century that followed. The sudden availability of many more European goods, the absorption of many refugees from the St. Lawrence, and the heightening of tensions with the Iroquois help to explain the movement of most outlying Huron communities to what is now the Simcoe County area of Ontario during the 1580s. This geographic concentration strengthened their confederacy and gave it the form it had when allied with New France during the first half of the seventeenth century. Having formerly existed at
  22. 22. 40 Major Problems in American Indian History the outer margins of an arena of exchange centered in Cahokia' the Hurons and Iro- quois now faced a new source of goods and power to the east' The diverse native societies encountered by Europeans as they began to settle North America perrnanently iluring the seventeenth cenfury were not static isolates lying outside the ebb and flow of human history. Rather, they were products of a set ofhistorical forces, both local and wide-ranging, both deeply rooted and "o-pl"^ origin. Although their lives and worldviews were shaped by long-standing of reient traditions of reciprocity and spiritual power, the people in these communities were also accustomed-contrary to popular myths about inflexible Indians-to economlc and political flux and to absorbing new peoples (both allies and antagonists), ob- jects, and ideas, including those originating in Europe. Such combinations of tradi- tion and innovation continued to shape Indians'relations with Europeans' even as the latter's visits became permanent. The establishment of lasting European colonies, beginning with New Mexico in 1598, began a phase in the continent's history that eventually resulted in the displace- ment of Indians to the economic, political, and cultural margins of a new order. But during the interim natives and colonizers entered into numerous relationships in which they exchanged material goods and often supported one another diplomati- cally or militarily against common enemies. These relations combined native and European modes of exchange. While much of the scholarly literature emphasizes the subordination and dependence of Indians in these circumstances, Indians as much as Europeans dictated the form and content of their early exchanges and alliances. Much of the protocol and rirual surrounding such intercultural contacts was rooted in indigenous kinship obligations and gift exchanges, and Indian consumers exhib- ited decided preferences for European commodities that satisfied social, spiritual, and aesthetic values. Similarly, Indians' long-range motives and strategies in their alliances with Europeans were frequently rooted in older patterns of alliance and rivalry with regional neighbors. Such continuities can be glimpsed through a brief consideration of the early colonial-era histories of the Five Nations Iroquois in the Northeast, the Creeks in the Southeast, and the Rio Grande Pueblos in the Southwest. Post-Mississippian and sixteenth-century patterns of antagonism between the Iroquois and their neighbors to the nofih and west persisted, albeit under altered circumstances, during the seventeenth century when France established its colony on the St. Lawrence and aliied itself with Hurons and other Indians. France aimed to extract maximum profits from the fur trade, and it immediately tecogtized the Iro- quois as the major threat to that goal. In response, the Iroquois turned to the Dutch in New Netherland for guns and other trade goods while raiding New France's Indian allies for the thicker northern pelts that brought higher prices than those in their own country (which they exhausted by midcentury) and for captives to replace those from their own ranks who had died from epidemics or in wars. During the 1640s, the Iroquois replaced raids with full-scale military assaults (the so-called Beaver Wars) on lroquoian-speaking communities in the lower Great Lakes, absorbing most of the survivors as refugees or captives. All the while, the Iroquois elaborated a vision of their confederation, which had brought harmony within their own ranks, as bringing peace to all peoples of the region. For the remainder of the century, the Five Nations fought a grueling and costly series of wars against the
  23. 23. Indian History Before Columbus 4l French and their Indian allies in order to gain access to the pelts and French goods circulating in lands to the north and west. Meanwhile, the Iroquois were also adapting to the growing presence of English colonists along the Atlantic seaboard (see Map 2.2). After the English supplanted the Dutch in New York in 1664, Iroquois diplomats established relations with the proprietary governor, Sir Edmund Andros, in a treaty known as the Covenant Chain' The Covenant Chain was an elaboration of the Iroquois' earlier treaty arrangements with the Dutch, but, whereas the Iroquois had termed the Dutch relationship a chain of iron, they referred to the one with the English as a chain of silver. The shift in metaphors was appropriate, for what had been strictly an economic connection was now a political one in which the lroquois acquired power over other New York In- dians. After 1611 , the Covenant Chain was expanded to include sevelal English colonies, most notably Massachusetts and Maryland, along with those colonies' subject Indians. The upshot of these arangements was that the Iroquois cooperated with their colonial partnefs in subduing and removing subject Indians who impeded settler expansion. The Mohawks in particular played a vital role in the New England colonies' suppression of the Indian uprising known as King Philip's war and in moving the Susquehannocks away from the expanding frontier of settlement in the Chesapeake after Bacon's Rebellion. For the Iroquois, such a policy helped expand their "Tree of Peace" among Indians while providing them with buffers against settler encroachment around their homelands. The major drawback in the arrangement proved to be the weakness of English military assistance against the French. This inadequacy, and the consequent suffering experienced by the Iroquois during two decades of war after 1680, finally drove the Five Nations to make peace with the French and their Indian allies in the Grand Settlement of 1701. Together, the Grand Settlement and Covenant Chain provided the Iroquois with the peace and security, the access to trade goods, and the dominant role among northeastern Indians they had long sought. That these ar- rangements in the long run served to reinforce rather than deter English encroach- ment on Iroquois lands and autonomy should not obscure their pre-European roots and their importance in shaping colonial history in the Northeast. In the southeastern interior, Vernon Knight argues, descendants of refugees from Coosa and neighboring communities regrouped in clusters of Creek talwas (villages), each dominated by a large talwa and its "great chief." In the late seven- teenth century, theso latter-day chiefdom/provinces forged alliances with English traders, first from Virginia and then from Carolina, who sought to trade guns and other manufactured goods for deerskins and Indian siaves. In so doing, the Creeks ensured that they would be regarded by the English as clients rather than as com- modities. The deerskin trade proved to be a critical factor in South Carolina's early economic development, and the trade in Indian slaves significantly served England's imperial ambitions vis-d-vis Spain in Florida. After 1715, the several Creek alliances acted in concert as a confederacy-the Creek Nation-qn qs1fain occasions. As a result, they achieved a measure of success in playing off these powers and maintaining neutrality in their conflicts with one another. While much differentiates Creek political processes in the colonial period from those of the late Mississippian era, there are strong elements of continuity in the transformation of Mississippian chiefdoms into great Creek talwas.
  24. 24. ' gtgl 'w'€crJeruv qiloN uI sreluec uscueluY eAIleN prlseles a'a duIN [tolstg uotpul unuaulv ut swalqot1 n[aytr Z'
  25. 25. Indian Histoty Before Columbus 43 In the Southwest, the institution of Spanish colonial rule on the Rio Grande after 1598 further affected exchange relations between Pueblo Indians and nearby Apaches and Navajos. By imposing heavy demands for tribute in the form of corn, the Spanish prevented Pueblo peoples from trading surplus produce with their non- farming neighbors. In order to obtain the produce on which they had come to depend, Apaches and Navajos staged deadly raids on some pueblos, leaving the inhabitants dependent on the Spanish for protection. In retaliation, Spanish soldiers captured Apaches and Navajos whom they sold as slaves to their countrymen to the south. From the beginning, the trading pueblos of Pecos, Picuris, and Taos most resented Spanish control and strongly resisted the proselytizing of Franciscan missionaries. From the late 1660s, drought and disease, intensified Apache and Navajo raids, and the severity of Spanish rule led more and more Indians from all pueblos to question the advantages of Christianity and to renew their ties to their indigenous religious traditions. Spanish persecution of native religious leaders and their backsliding fol- lowers precipitated the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, in which the trading Pueblos played a leading role and which was actively supported by some Navajos and Apaches. When the Spanish reimposed their rule during the 1690s, they tolerated tra- ditional Indian religion rather than trying to extirpate it, and they participated in interregional trade fairs at Taos and other villages. The successful incorporation of Pueblo Indians as loyal subjects proved vital to New Mexico's survival as a colony and, more generally, to Spain's imperial presence in the Southwest during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As significant as is the divide separating pre- and post-Columbian North American history, it is not the stark gap suggested by the distinction between prehistory and history. For varying periods of time after their arrival in North America, Europeans adapted to the social and political environments they found, including the fluctuat- ing ties of reciprocity and interdependence as well as rivalry, that characterized those environments. They had little choice but to enter in and participate if they wished to sustain their presence. Eventually, one roLlte to success proved to be their ability to insert themselves as regional powers in new networks of exchange and alliance that arose to supplant those of the Mississippians, Anasazis, and others. To assert such continuities does not minimize the radical transformations en- tailed in Europeans' colonization ofthe continent and its indigenous peoples. Aris- ing in Cahokia's wake, new canters at Montreal, Fort Orange/Albany, Charleston, and elsewhere permanently altered the primary patterns of exchange in eastern North America. The riverine system that channeled exchange in the interior of the continent gave way to one in which growing quantities of goods arrived from, and were directed to, coastal peripheries and ultimately Europe. In the Southwest, the Spanish revived Anasazi links with Mesoamerica at some cost to newer ties be- tween the Rio Grande Pueblos and recently arrived, nonfarming Athapaskan speakers. More generally, European colonizers brought a complex of demographic and ecological advantages, most notably epidemic diseases and their own immu- nity to them, that utterly devastated Indian communities; ideologies and beliefs in their cultural and spiritual superiority to native peoples and their entitlement to natives' lands; and economic, political, and military systems organized for the en- grossment of Indian lands and the subordination or suppression of Indian peoples.
  26. 26. 44 Major Problems in American Indian Histo4t Europeans were anything but uniformly successful in realizing their goals, but the combination of demographic and ecological advantages and imperial intentions, along with the Anglo-Iroquois Covenant Chain, enabled land-hungry colonists fiom New England to the Chesapeake to break entirely free of ties of dependence on Indians before the end of the seventeenth century. Their successes proved to be only the beginning of a new phase of Indian-European relations. By the mid-eighteenth century, the rapid expansion of land-based settlement in the English colonies had sundered older ties of exchange and alliance linking natives and colonizers nearly everywhere east of the Appalachians, driving many Indians west and reducing those who remained to a scattering of politically powerless enclaves in which Indian identities were nurtured in isolation. Meanwhile, the colonizers threatened to ex- tend this new mode of Indian relations across the Appalachians. An old world, rooted in indigenous exchange, was giving way to one in which Native Americans had no certain place. Towns, Mounds, and I(achinas STEPHEN PLOG Abandonments at the end of the 13th century transformed the social landscape of the Southwest. The once vibrant cliff dwellings of the Kayenta and San Juan re- gions became vacant and mute. The more numerous surrounding settlements, both large and small, on mesa-tops and in other settings were also deserted. Not a single Mogollon or Anasazi inhabited vast areas once densely settled-including all of southern Utah and Colorado and much of northeastern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. Overall, the center of social gravity shifted decidedly to the south and east, with the Phoenix Basin continuing to be a key region and the Rio Grande Valley, the Zum region of west-central New Mexico, and the Casas Grandes area of north- ern Mexico evolving into important centers. The Hopi area, once on the southern edges of the Anasazi territory, became isolated in the northwestern corner of the Pueblo world. This redistribution of people was simply one aspect of a complex process of metamorphosis that affected almost all the Southwest during the late 13th and l4th centuries, Even in the southern and eastern areas where overall population grew, the number of inhabited villages actually dropped as the local people and any new- comers coalesced into large towns. Some of these towns were no larger than Cliff Palace or Sand Canyon Pueblo, but others approached a dimension that matched, and in many cases exceeded, the largest settlements of the preceding millennia. The greater number of people living in some locales meant more mouths to feed, more people to organize, more conflicts to resolve, or, fiom the point of view of aspiring leaders, more allies to recruit and more labor to exploit. Stephen Plog, "Towns, Mounds, and Kachinas," in Stephen Plog, Ancient Peoples of the Amefican Southx,est (London: Thames and Hudson, 1997),154-179. Reprinted by permission.
  27. 27. Indinn Hi:rory Before Columbt,, Community cycles: boom and bust in the Rio Grande Valley When we examine a smail region, such as the Rio Grande Valley, it becomes clear just how intermittent and episodic was the pattern of coalescence characteristic of the late 13th century and after. . . . Despite the presence of one of the few largp rivers in the Southwest that carries water throughout the year, the valley was thinly populated before about an 1000. Human numbers grew during the next two cen- turies, but Anasazi villages remained scattered in comparison with neighboring Anasazi and Mogollon areas. That pattern changed, however, in the late 12th and early 13th centuries as people moved into the area from the west and northwest anrl their numbers were augmented by indigenous population growth. The somewhat later pattern of development in the Rio Grande Valley is also shown by the late rise of pueblo architecture. By the end of the 13th century, pueblos with 10-50 rooms were unexceptional and a few had 100-200 rooms or more. Sometime during the 14th century, many areas of the Rio Grande Valley witnessed an even greater in. crease in population, but the exact timing of this growth varies throughout the Rio Grande region. Yet between these phases of expansion and coalescence there were puzzling episodes of abandonment. Take Pot Creek Pueblo, near Taos in northern New Mex- ico, eventually a 250-3O0-room settlement loosely arranged around a centralplaza with a large kiva fceremonial chamber]. Anasazi settlers built a few rooms in the 1260s, many more in the 1270s, scarcely any during the 1280s, and none at all in the 1290s. They then renewed their building activity in the 1300s, an effort that continued into the next decade at a tate suggesting that new groups moved into the pueblo. By the 1320s Pot Creek had been abandoned, Iess than 70 years after it had first been settled. Two similar cycles of expansion and decline characterized the occupation of Arroyo Hondo, an even larger pueblo located about 4.3 miles south of modern-da5r Santa Fe, along a tributary canyon of the Rio Grande. Anaiysis of the tree-ring dates shows that the initial settlers built at least a single roomblock by an 1315 and then over the next 15 years quickly erected one of the largest pueblos anywhere in the Southwest, ultimateiy 1,200 two-story rooms distributed among 24 roomblocks ar- ranged to define l3 plazas of roughly sirnilar size. This precipitous growth was fol- lowed by an even more rapid decline. By the mid- 1 330s the pueblo was almost, if not completely, deserted. A second cycle of growth and decline commenced during the 1370s and 1380s when a group of new residents initiated a second but much smaller pueblo of200 single-story rooms. They stayed until at least AD 1410, when a devas- tating fire destroyed much of the puebio, incinerating racks of stored corn cobs. These relatively short-lived occupations by large numbers of people, along with the rapid nature of both growth and decline and evidence that groups cooperated in the construction of several roomblocks, show how fluid the social landscape was in the 14th and early 15th centuries. People moved together, en masse, in a manner similar to some of the earlier population shifts in the middle of the l2th century. Groups who once formed communities of smaller, discrete villages, joined others to form new, larger pueblos for short periods of time. The somewhat different dates for the growth and decline of Pot creek Pueblo and Arroyo Hondo suggest that this social fluidity lasted for a century or more. Many groups must have traveled
  28. 28. 46 Major Problems in American lndlan History considerable distances. For example, over 125 miies separates the Mesa Verde of southwestern Colorado from the nearest areas in northeastern Arizona or north- western New Mexico where Anasazi settlement continued at the beginning of the 14th century. Such unprecedented journeys would not have been made without preparation, provisions, and prayer offerings. Farming, food, and famine? Why did people abandon sites like Arroyo Hondo, leaving behind the hundreds of rooms they had labored for years to construct? One reason is that inhabitants of these larger settlements faced greater difficulties in accumulating sufficient food. Despite the presence of a large, perennial river, agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley is not without its risks. Average annual rainfall is below the minimum required for maize at all but the highest elevations, and growing seasons at those upper elevations are shorter than the 120 days maize needs. To minimize the risk of crop failure, Anasazi settlers adopted a diverse range of agricultural practices. Irri- gated fields along the Rio Grande were complemented by fields in upland regions in which a variety of water and soil conservation methods---check dams, terraces, gridded fields with stone borders between individual plots, and stone walls to di- rect run-off to the plots-were employed to maximize soil moisture. Yet we know that these techniques were not always sufficient, as studies of the food remains and burials at Arroyo Hondo show. Even the best agricultural land around Arroyo Hondo was not very productive. Probably no mofe than 400-600 people could have been fed during the average year, and it would have been difficult to accumulate adequate reserves in good years to allow everyone to survive when harvests fell short in consecutive bad years. The re- covery by archaeologists of starvation foods such as cattails, cholla cactus, and grass seeds indicates that the residents ofArroyo Hondo did in fact face periods of hunger. These famines caused many residents to suffer from growth problems or afflictions such as iron deficiency (anemia), infections, and fractures. About 15 percent ofthe people had bowed long bones, a product of periodic or endemic malnutrition. Infant and child mortality was very high-26 percent died before reaching their first birth- day and 45 percent before the age of five. Average life expectancy for all inhabitants ofArroyo Hondo was only 16.6 years, the shortest period discovered for any group of prehistoric Southwestern people . Life expectancy was so low and infant mortality so high that it undoubtedly hindered the functioning of the community. The abrupt florescence and decline of large settlements such as Arroyo Hondo and Pot Creek Pueblo also typified many other areas of the northern Southwest dur- ing the 14th and early 15th centuries. In some cases, growth of towns was associated with a rise in the number of people, as in the Rio Grande Valley, but elsewhere pop- ulation often declined overall. In the Cibola region of west-central New Mexico the ancestors of the Zuni reached a peak population of c. 9,300 in 17 pueblo towns near the end of the 13th century. Yet only 6,500 peopie remained in 10-1 1 towns in the mid-l4th century, possibly fbllowed by an even more rapid drop to 900 people in the last half of the 14th century, and then a subsequent recovery. The growth of large towns was thus not necessarily a product of rising population levels.
  29. 29. lnJian History Belore Columbus 47 Nor were all large towns short-lived. The Hopi region of northeastern Arizona witnessed a striking rise in the size of individual settlements in the late 13th century as groups from surrounding areas moved into the region. Some of the larger towns such as Awatovi and Oraibi housed as many as 500 to 1,000 people and, more impor- tantly, some of them remained major settlements for several hundred years. Awatovi was a thriving community when the Spanish entered the Southwest in the 16th cen- tury and remained so until the first few years of the 18th century. The Hopi still in- habit Oraibi today, the longest continuously occupied settlement in the United States. Why did some communities endure while others collapsed? Although successes and failures at harvest time are part of the answerr conflict between settlements must have played its part as well. Warfare and defense Ethnographers have noted there is considerable evidence that conflict was once a much more important component of Pueblo life. For example, in oral traditions village defense is often given as the reason for admitting new groups to Hopi settlements: The Kokop people are said to have reached Oraibi after they had formerly lived in a home situated far to the northwest. At first Matcito refused to admit them to his pueblo, so they circled to the south of the mesa and made a temporary settlement there. From time to time their leaders beseeched Matcito to allow them to move into the village, offering to be his'hands'(warriors), but the chiefremained obdurate. In revenge, the head man of the Kokops secretly sent word to the Chimwava, huge men with gigantic feet, supposedly the worst enemies of the Hopi, inviting them to make a raid on Oraibi. Soon after, the people on the mesa were horrified to find a large host of the dreaded Chimwava marching upon their town. Matcito gathered his men, but realizing that his forces were inadequate, he remembered the Kokops' promises and sent word that the clan would be allowed to reside in Oraibi if it would help beat off the invaders. Archaeological evidence supports the case for conflict in prehispanic times. In the late 13th and early l4th centuries village plans were increasingly designed in terms ofdefense. Roomblocks were built at right angles to each other to form open areas or plaza inside the pueblo. Such plazas occur at Arroyo Hondo and Pot Creek Pueblo, as well as hundreds of other pueblos throughout the northern Southwest. Narrow passages restricted access to the plazas. Ground-floor rooms could be entered only using ladders placed in openings in the roof. An individual standing outside the pueblo was thus confronted with solid masonry walls several feet in height. Even if one gained entry to the plaza, the ladders required for further access could be quickly raised from above, providing an additional barrier. The Spanish found the plaza-oriented village plan an effective impediment during their battles with Pueblo groups. Coronado's exploration of the Southwest in 1540 almost ended during his attempt to storm the first pueblo he encountered, the town of Hawikuh in the Zuni area. The Hawikuhans initially resisted by retreat- ing to the rooftops of their houses: "The people who were on the top for defense were not hindered in the least from doing us whatever injury they were able. As for myself, they knocked me down to the ground twice with countless great stones
  30. 30. 48 Major Problems in American Indian llistoryt which they threw down from above, and I had not been protected by the very good headpiece which I wore, I think that the outcome would have been bad for me." In earlier times the towns would have been protecting themselves against other Anasazi and Mogollon groups, rather than European intruders. Several other pieces of evidence support the case for internecine strife. A f'ew of the large towns were in fact built in highly defensible locations. Best known of these is another pueblo of the Zuni region, Atsinna in El Morro National Monument, a pueblo with 750-1,000 rooms that sits atop Inscription Rock where Ofrate and other explorers recorded their presence by carving names and dates in the face of the cliff. Other settlements had wells dug in the central plaza rather than in unprotected territory outside. Skeletal remains show an increase in trauma and violent deaths during this period, including evidence of scalping. Some sites, such as Arroyo Hondo and Casas Grandes in northern Mexico, were severely burnt. And we also have signs that Anasazi and Mogollon settlements were clustered together for defense, with considerable gaps-of tens and sometimes hundreds of miles-left between each cluster. The Hopi, Little Colorado River, and Cibola regions are perhaps the clear- est examples of this type of distribution, but there were similar clusters, separated by smaller distances, in the Rio Grande area as well. Both village plans and intra- and inter-regional settlement distributions could thus be explained as efforts to increase protection from outsiders. Ancestors. clouds. and kachina ritual Plazas were not simply an architectural effort to restrict access to the pueblo. Some Anasazi and Mogollon people had always used plaza areas for a variety of domes- tic activities such as food preparation, but during this period we also see the tirst evidence that plazas became the setting for the public kachina dances that are so well known From historic times. . . . [K]achinas feature prominently in modern-day western Puebio (Hopi, Zuni, and Acoma) beliefs and ritual. Kachinas are ancestral spirits that act as messengers between the people and their gods. They also bring rain, themselves forming clouds summoned annually to the villages. Kachinas are present on earth only half of the year. approxirnately frorn winter solstice to summer solstice, after which they return to the underworld through the sipctpr,r in theSan Francisco Peaks, the entrance through which humans first emerged from the underworld. Individuals dressed in costumes that include a mask impersonate the kachinas during their time on earth. performing a variety of group dances. The Hopi believe that when the impersonator wears the kachina masks, he (and it is always a male) becomes empowered with the characteristics of the spirit being represented and should therefore be regarded as sacred. There are a variety of different types of kachinas and kachina societies among the Hopi, and all indi- viduals are initiated into one ofthese societies. Kachina ritual as it is conducted today requires large, public spaces for group dances, and plazas are the typical setting. Plazas, as we have seen, developed in the late l3th and early 14th centuries, and there are other changes at this time-parricu- larly in ceramic decorative styles and the introduction of kiva murals-suggesting that modern Pueblo rituals had their origin during this period.