The Online Library of Knowledge

LET'S EXPLORE American history

Where did the Native Americans live?

A brave (warrior) from the Nez Percé peopleA brave (warrior) from the Nez Percé peopleThe Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Amerindians, or First Nations in Canada, were descendants of the first Americans. These were the people who first crossed into Alaska from Siberia in Asia by foot from around 26,000 years ago onwards. They later spread southwards across the continent. By the time Europeans arrived in the Americas at the beginning of the 16th century, there were already millions of Native American people living there.



A Shoshone campA Shoshone camp

Tribes

Over the centuries, Native American people branched out to form a patchwork of nations and tribes. Each tribe had its own language, religious beliefs and customs. The people made the best of the various environments they chose to live in: forests, grassy plains, arid scrubland or lush river valleys. Many tribes lived by hunting animals such as buffalo and deer, or by gathering berries, roots and other wild plants. Others were farmers, growing maize, squash, beans and other crops.

"Totem" comes from a Native American word "doodem" meaning “family group”. A totem pole is a sculpture carved out of tall trees by native peoples of northwestern North America. The world’s tallest totem pole is 53 m (173 ft) tall and was carved in Alert Bay, Canada, in the 1960s.

© 2019 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile