Native American Influence On Society

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Introduction (1/2 pg) Native Americans had been a recurring topic throughout my academic education. I have always been interested in learning more about their history and culture so I may better understand my own culture and heritage decent. According to Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) by the year 1793 most of the Native American population indigenous to southern Texas decline or intermarried Hispanic population. It is likely that my ancestors were Native Americans and I would like to learn more about their culture specifically their unique food dishes,storytelling and traditional customs. This paper will expand my knowledge on Natives Americans’ influence on American and the world and vice-versa.

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Weathersby Lacey summarizes the history, culture and contributions of Native Americans. He begins the article by discrediting Christopher Columbus for discovering the New World (America) in 1492 because Native Americans occupied the land from the far north and southern parts of America for more than 20,000 years (2003). It is a mystery on how Native Americans arrive to America but as a hunting and gathering society they often had to relocate from place to place depending on the seasons and the animals they hunted. It is believed that Native Americans migrated to America from Asia by the way of the Bering Strait (Weathersby Lacey, 2003). When they migrated to America they lived in tribes some of the Native Americans lived in huge cities (Mayans and Aztecs) and others in small communities (some Native Americans of eastern North American), and others travel from place to place (Native Americans who live in South America). This led them to speak many languages and develop many different ways of life (Weathersby Lacey, 2003). Although their culture is diverse, daily activities of Native Americans revolved on providing main necessities of life, such as food, clothing and shelter (Weathersby Lacey, …show more content…
For the purpose of the study an individual was considered an elder if they were recognized as such by the community or if they identified as one. The authors argue that asking Elders to share their stories regarding traditional dietary practices was appropriate methodology because they pass down language, values, and culture orally. The interview was composed of open ended questions which were based on literature review, researcher’s cultural perspective and experience with Native Americans. The questions revolved around traditional dietary components, harvesting, preparation, storage, and frequency of consumption. The elders were asked about the foods they considered traditional Native American diet. They identified prairie turnips, fruits, potatoes, squash, dried meats, corn, teas, and wild rice as traditional Native American food (Colby et. al, 2011-2012). All of the plants primarily grew and were harvested in summer and early fall and then dried so they may be used during the winter stored for usage over the winter. During the interview the researcher noticed five recurring themes. For the purpose of this paper I will only cover hunger, sharing, and gathering. The elders mention undergoing periods of starvation during times of shortage because they depended on the seasons for food. In times of food shortage it was

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