Over 500 Native American tribes are living across the U.S. Although they some things in common, there are significant cultural differences between them, such as customs, clothing, and the language they share.
If you want to understand the Native American culture, then in this article, we aren’t going to focus on a specific tribe, but on many aspects that are part of Native American culture. This a broad field of research, considering that their culture and language are slowly dying out. But, we have prepared some fun facts about Native American culture that might interest you.
The lifestyle of American Indian Tribes can be divided into two groups, sedentary farmers and nomadic. Sedentary farmers, like Hopi, stayed in one place and grew food to feed their families and survive. They build houses that had a permanent structure. On the other hand, tribes like the Navajo were nomadic, and they were frequently moving from one territory to another, as they hunted.
- They could quickly reassemble their house and transport it to another place.
- In most tribes, men were the warriors, but women also participated. For instance, one famous woman warrior, Tashenamani, led an attack in the famous 1876 Battle of Greasy Grass, where Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was killed.
- In the majority of cases, men were responsible for hunting and feeding the rest of the tribe. They would go on a hunt that could last for a couple of days until they find the rich source of food.
- On the other hand, while men were in charge of hunting, women were responsible for growing and harvesting the crops. In specific regions and tribes, men would also assist women in preparation of the soil.
- Native American women had an essential role in most tribes, they farmed, cooked, made shelters, tools weapons and sometimes participate in battles and hunting.
- It is important to mention that majority of Native Americans farmed. The most planed crop was maize, but they also used beans and squash.
- Native American tribes practiced sports as well, and they developed ball sports which served to resolve fights. Native American Stickball, which is similar to modern lacrosse, in one of the oldest team sports in North America.
When preparing for battle, many Native Americans painted their faces. They used various symbols which they believed will bring them protection and extraordinary power in a fight. For example, if they pained a zig-zag line on their forehead, it symbolized lightning, and it was believed to provide warrior speed and strength.