8 untold facts about Native Americans
Long before Christopher Columbus, the Americas were already inhabited by different tribes. Those indigenous American groups had a flourishing culture and amazing traditions. Though most of the information was lost, there are still a lot of curious facts about Native Americans. If you want to learn them, read the article!
#1 They don’t want to be called Native Americans
While “Native Americans” is often used in the USA as a politically correct term, it is not accepted by many actual natives. In Canada, they have used terms such as “first nations” while it is less offensive because it does not refer to them as “Americans”. It has still not been completely accepted by the native people. It’s hard to find a word that will please everybody because there are hundreds of different tribes and they have different opinions.
#2 They have never been primitive
Another common misconception is that Native Americans were primitive people. Some people view their society as similar to that of a third-world country. However, the Native Americans had a very advanced society with medicine, trading, farming, and many other things that were common in European culture. They just did things differently, and it is important to understand that “different” does not mean “primitive”.
#3 Not all Native Americans lived in teepees
Even before so many of the natives were killed, a good many of them did not live in teepees at all. There were many different forms of dwellings used by different tribes in different regions. Teepees were mainly used by natives who needed to travel regularly because they were easy to break down and take with them.
#4 Native Americans’ medicine
Due to popular culture, many people think of Native American medicine as primitive. However, when the Europeans first came to America, their medicine wasn’t any more advanced than that of the natives, just different. Also, many of the herbal remedies used by the Native American people have been found with recent studies to be very effective.
#5 Their appearance and its meaning
For many Native American tribes, long hair symbolizes pure and spiritual thoughts, traditions and connection to each other. The cutting of hair was often seen as an act of humiliation.
#6 Words that came from Native Americans
Many words in the English language come from Algonquian. The Algonquian were the first tribe met by English explorers and common words like pecan, raccoon, and chipmunk come from their language.
#7 Tolerance of Native Americans
Native American tribes were quite liberal. Many tribes acknowledged the existence of a third gender, two-spirited individuals who were believed to embody both male and female traits. Although they were often male and married other males, they weren’t seen as being homosexual.
#8 Warrior Native American women fought alongside men
Many Native American women were sharpshooters and able horse riders. Men and women had jobs and duties decided by gender, but women were also often on the front lines alongside their men. Buffalo Calf Road Woman was the most famous of them.
Have you heard these facts before? What do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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