101_Americas until 1500s (Week 15) RECORDING

Category: Education

Presentation Description

The Americas until 1500


Presentation Transcript

The “Americas”:

The “Americas” Up to 1500


Arrival “New World” Theory of migration 50,000 – 9,000 BCE across land bridges from NE Asia (Kamchatka, Siberia) to NW America (Aleutian Islands, Alaska) Following game across “ice bridges” during late Ice Age Multiple different tribes settle in different areas Develop cultures based on location, geography “Wave” Theory of migration 50,000 BCE – 15,000 BCE across a multitude of paths Siberian land bridge Island hopping Asian Siberian Coastal hugging at the beginning, moving inward over time Some counter-migration (south to north)

Land Bridge & Island Theories:

Land Bridge & Island Theories

Plethora of Nations: North America:

Plethora of Nations: North America

Plethora of Nations: South America:

Plethora of Nations: South America

Things to Forget:

Things to Forget “Indian culture” or “Native culture” Native American tribes not homogenous Great variety among even close neighbors “Innocence” Native American tribes incredibly sophisticated Math, astronomy, medicine “Closer to the earth”/eco-friendly Some tribes were, but not all Cannibalism, human sacrifice, pollution, overhunting, overfarming, etc.

Northeast America:

Northeast America

Iroquois Confederacy:

Iroquois Confederacy Haudenosaunee (ho de noe sho nee) = “People of the Long Houses” Iroquois a French term Also known as the Five Nations, Six Nations Mohawks, Oneidas, Cayugas, Senecas, Onondagas, and the Tuscaroras in a loose association


Formed by legendary leaders Ayowentah (Hiawatha), Chief of the Sky Spirits (De-Ka-Nah-Wi-Da) 12 th , 14 th , or 15 th century Birth of De-Ka-Nah-Wi-Da “Messenger” visits mother Chosen of Spirits Unite the land in peace


Hiawatha Chief of the Seneca First follower of De- Ka -Nah-Wi-Da Mohawk first to convert to “way of peace” at Hiawatha’s urging Diplomatic discussion in place of war, convert Onondaga, Cayugas , Oneida

Political structure:

Political structure Constitution Chiefs had equal say in confederacy matters Chiefs had council w/ in tribe Debate over external, internal issues Full consensus required Wampum token of political agreements Not “money ” until Europeans arrive & use it as such



Culture and Society:

Culture and Society Women had slightly lower status than men Chief Mother (oldest mother of the chiefs) could “rebuke” recalcitrant chiefs publicly Could vote in tribal afffairs Women and warfare Prisoners taken for adoption, torture Women administered torture Fairly horrific Women and agriculture Mostly hunter-gatherer Agriculture comes later in Iroquois society

Class Questions:

Class Questions Consider the oral history of the Iroquois and its history… How valuable is the oral history of these people? What does it tell us about the confederacy itself? These tales were first recorded in the 17 th c. – who would have been the audience for these tales when recorded? How does this help us understand the Iroquois’ reality at the time? What similarities do we see between European and Iroquois histories and mythologies?


“Aztec” A Chichimec tribe from Northern Mexico Chichimec = “uncivilized” Mexica (meh-SHE-ca) Tenochca (te-NOK-ka) Vassals of stronger tribes Religious proclivities Wars Founding of Tenoctitlan

Aztec Culture:

Aztec Culture Warfare Divisions of warrior castes Jaguar, Eagle, Otontin, Cuahchiqueh (qwa-chee-kay) Capture of prisoners Status, Sacrifice, Piety Technology Metalworking advanced, except for tools Obsidian, Flint weapons

Founding the Empire: Itzacoatl:

Founding the Empire: Itzacoatl Military leader Establishes the “Aztec” Empire Relentless, constant warfare Savage reputation in battle Individual duels to determine war Disloyal Turned on protectors, allies

Wealth and Power:

Wealth and Power Devotion to Religion Human Sacrifice Building projects Temples Aquaducts Ordered society Roads Sewers Centralized Gov’t.

The Truth about Human Sacrifice:

The Truth about Human Sacrifice Aztec, other Mesoamerican cultures had a sense of religious obligation to sacrifice to the Gods Human sacrifice was the ultimate Some human sacrifices were volunteers, treated well before death Other sacrifices fit your station: Blood Feathers Clay, wood figures Spanish missionaries, conquistadors source of majority of tales of human sacrifice ‘tainted fruit’?


Incas Minor tribe until 15 th century Rise to prominence through conquest of neighbors Quickly established empire

Incan cities:

Incan cities Fortresses took advantage of high ground Farming of “Tiers” Extensive roads

Incan society:

Incan society Rigid Hierarchy Sapa, Generals Priests, Architects, Commanders Farmers, Artisans, Herders, Military Role of women Women advisors Wives of Generals, Commanders, etc. Gold, Gems Aesthetic beauty, no “monetary” value to Incas Bartering system

Art and Architecture:

Art and Architecture Precise Stonecutting built-in drainage, irrigation

Llamas, Alpacas:

Llamas, Alpacas Only native beasts of burden Crucial to Incan trade Not successfully exported

Incan Religion:

Incan Religion Worship of the sun Temples built at highest point Belief in afterlife Nobles, rich mummified with treasures

Incan Recap:

Incan Recap Assimilated through peace & arms other tribes Largest pre-Spanish conquest empire in the Americas Multiplicity of religious beliefs capped by worship of Inti (Incan sun god) Economy centrally planned Taxes paid in service (public works), crops, goods Government provided security (military, food, water, etc.) Afterlife determined by behavior on earth Do not lie, steal, or be idle = meadows of flowers, warmth of the sun Dishonorable people wandered “the cold earth” for eternity Sacrifice of children, maidens after (or to alleviate) major events


Homework! McKay Chap 11 Only 1 more week after this! Questions? Problems? Email ASAP

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