Pre-Columbian Native Cultural Regions
Terms in this set (12)
Northeast Culture Area
This cultural area stretched from the Atlantic seaboard in the east to the area next to the Mississippi Valley and from the Great Lakes region in the north to the tidewater region in the south. Major tribes: Iroquis, Algonquin, Oneida. Strong tribal identities and lived in communal longhouses. Clothing was dependent upon seasonal climate. Tribes survived by hunting, agriculture, and fishing and utilized the forests of the region.
Southeast Culture Area
This cultural area stretched from the Atlantic seaboard in the east to the area next to the Mississippi Valley and from the tidewater region in the north to the Gulf of Mexico in the south. These tribes were farmers first and hunters, gatherers, and fishermen second. Major tribes: Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole (an offshoot of Creek)
Southwest Cultural Area
Lived in southern fringes of present-day Utah and Colorado southward through Arizona and New Mexico.The life-styles in it are agrarian and nomadic. They lived a style of pastoral-life and nomadic hunters, with some farmers among them. Heavily dependent upon irrigation farming, lived in adobe style dwellings or in cliff houses. Major tribes: Navajo, Pueblo, Hopi, Apache
Great Plains Cultural Area
Lived in the west from the Mississippi River Valley to the Rocky Mountains. it was predominantly treeless grasslands. Eventually adopted horses after introduction by Europeans and former village and farming tribes of the river valleys became nomadic hunters, especially of the buffalo. Major tribes: Sioux, Pawnee, Blackfoot, Crow, Cheyenne.
Great Basin Cultural Area
This culture lived in the large desert basin comprising practically all of Utah and Nevada as well as parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon & California. Primarily gatherers and hunters and were largely nomadic. Major tribes: Paiute, Ute, & Shoshoni.
Plateau Cultural Area
This area consisted of the Columbia river system in the plateau between the Rocky Mountains and the coastal region. These were river tribes dependent upon the rivers for travel, trade, and salmon. Villages were usually along the riverbanks. Major tribes: Nez Perce, Spokane, & Flathead.
California Cultural Area
Essentially the modern day state of California, this cultural area shared characteristics of both coastal and river areas nearby. Isolated by geographic features like the Sierra Nevada Mountains except to the north, this area shared many traits with the cultural area to the north. Fishing and agriculture flourished in this area. Major tribes: Shasta, Chumash, & Costano.
Northwest Coast Cultural Area
Extends from northern California to Alaska along the coastal region. These tribes relied heavily on fishing and lived in densely populated communities. Boats and dwellings were both made from timber from the vast forests of the region. Major tribes: Chinook, Tillamook.
Artic Cultural Area
This large area was lightly populated despite stretching from Siberia to Alaska and across northern Canada. Major tribes: Inuit and Aleut. Dependent upon fishing, seals, and use of dogs. Anything not eaten was used by tribes as resources were incredibly scarce. Extremes in weather forced extreme specialization in clothing and lodging (e.g. igloo).
Subarctic Cultural Area
This cultural area covered most of the territory of modern Canada and the interior of Alaska. These tribes shared many of the cultural elements of their more nomadic Northern neighbors as well as their more settled Southern neighbors and were well adapted to the taiga and tundra of their own region.
Mesoamerica Cultural Area
This cultural region corresponds roughly to modern day Mexico and South America. Some of the most organized and powerful of the pre-Columbian societies developed in this area. Major tribes: Aztec, Mayan, Incan. This region was where maize (corn) culture developed and spread into other areas. Powerful political and social structures (e.g. religion) dominated these cultures.
Circum-Caribbean Cultural Area
This region consisted largely of the islands in the Gulf of Mexico or off the coast of South America. These tribes were primarily fishermen and farmers using taro roots and palm trees. Clothing was often minimal as was lodging since weather was normally quite warm and temperate.
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