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First Nations Histories
 

Tribes

| Abenaki | Acolapissa | Algonkin | Bayougoula | Beothuk |
| Catawba | Cherokee | Chickasaw | Chitimacha | Comanche |
| Delaware | Erie | Houma | Huron | Illinois | Iroquois |
| Kickapoo | Mahican | Mascouten | Massachusett | Mattabesic |
| Menominee | Metoac | Miami | Micmac | Mohegan | Montagnais |
| Narragansett | Nauset] Neutrals | Niantic] Nipissing |
| Nipmuc | Ojibwe | Ottawa | Pennacook | Pequot | Pocumtuc |
| Potawatomi | Sauk and Fox | Shawnee | Susquehannock |
| Tionontati | Tsalagi | Wampanoag | Wappinger | Wenro | | Winnebago |


Abenaki
Native Americans have occupied northern New England for at least 10,000 years. There is no proof these ancient residents were ancestors of the Abenaki, but there is no reason to think they were not.

Acolapissa
The mild climate of the lower Mississippi required little clothing. Acolapissa men limited themselves pretty much to a breechcloth, women a short skirt, and children ran nude until puberty. With so little clothing with which to adorn themselves, the Acolapissa were fond of decorating their entire bodies with tattoos. In cold weather a buffalo robe or feathered cloak was added for warmth. Algonkin
If for no other reason, the Algonkin would be famous because their name has been used for the largest native language group in North America. The downside is the confusion generated, and many people do not realize there actually was an Algonkin tribe, or that all Algonquins do not belong to the same tribe. Although Algonquin is a common language group, it has many many dialects, not all of which are mutually intelligible.

Bayougoula
Dogs were the only animal domesticated by Native Americans before the horse, but the Bayougoula in 1699 kept small flocks of turkeys. The tribes of the lower Mississippi were also unique in that tribal territories were well defined. Decorated with fish heads and bear bones, a large red post near the mouth of the Red River marked the boundary between the Bayougoula and the Houma just to the north. Translated into French, the location of this "Red Post" became known as Baton Rouge, the present-day capital of Louisiana.

Beothuk
One thing that is known about the Beothuk was their love of the color red. While the use of red ocre was common among Native Americans, no other tribe used it as extensively as the Beothuk. They literally covered everything - their bodies, faces, hair, clothing, personal possessions, and tools - with a red paint made from powdered ochre mixed with either fish oil or animal grease. It was also employed in burials. The reasons are unknown, but speculation has ranged from their religion (about which we know very little) to protection from insects. The practice was so excessive, even the Micmac referred to them as the Red Indians, and it is believed the term "redskin" used for Native Americans probably originated from early contacts between European fishermen and Beothuk.

Catawba
Catawba warriors had a fearsome reputation and an appearance to match: ponytail hairstyle with a distinctive war paint pattern of one eye in a black circle, the other in a white circle and remainder of the face painted black. Coupled with their flattened foreheads, some of their enemies must have died from sheer fright.

Chickasaw
Although generally the least known of the Five Civilized Tribes (Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole), no other tribe played a more significant role in Britain's victory over France for control of North America. Variously described as the Unconquered and Unconquerable or the Spartans of the lower Mississippi Valley, the Chickasaw were the most formidable warriors of the American Southeast, and anyone who messed with them came to regret it, if they survived! British traders from the Carolinas were quick to recognize their prowess in this regard and armed the Chickasaw to the teeth, after which, no combination of the French and their native allies was able to dislodge the Chickasaw from the stranglehold they imposed upon French commerce on the lower Mississippi. The Chickasaw could cut New France in two, which seriously crippled the French in any war with the British. From the high ground overlooking the Mississippi River at Memphis, the Chickasaw took on all comers, including tribes four to five times their size and never lost until they picked the wrong side in the American Civil War. Even then, the Chickasaw Nation was the last Confederate government to surrender to Union forces.

Chitimacha
To enhance their appearance, the Chitimacha flattened the foreheads of their male children. Most men wore their hair long, but there were occasional reports of some of their warriors having a scalplock. With the mild climate, male clothing was limited to a breechcloth which allowed a display of their extensive tattooing of the face, body, arms and legs. Women limited themselves to a short skirt. Their hair was also worn long but usually braided. Socially, the Chitimacha were divided into matrilineal (descent traced through the mother) totemic (named for an animal) clans. The most distinctive characteristic of Chitimacha society was their strict caste system of two ranked groups: nobles and commoners. The separation between them included the use of two distinct dialects with commoners required to address nobles in the proper language. The Chitimacha were unique among Native Americans with their practice of strict endogamy (a person can only marry someone from their own group). A noble man or woman who married a commoner forfeited their higher status.

Abenaki
Native Americans have occupied northern New England for at least 10,000 years. There is no proof these ancient residents were ancestors of the Abenaki, but there is no reason to think they were not.

Acolapissa
The mild climate of the lower Mississippi required little clothing. Acolapissa men limited themselves pretty much to a breechcloth, women a short skirt, and children ran nude until puberty. With so little clothing with which to adorn themselves, the Acolapissa were fond of decorating their entire bodies with tattoos. In cold weather a buffalo robe or feathered cloak was added for warmth.

Algonkin
If for no other reason, the Algonkin would be famous because their name has been used for the largest native language group in North America. The downside is the confusion generated, and many people do not realize there actually was an Algonkin tribe, or that all Algonquins do not belong to the same tribe. Although Algonquin is a common language group, it has many many dialects, not all of which are mutually intelligible.

Bayougoula
Dogs were the only animal domesticated by Native Americans before the horse, but the Bayougoula in 1699 kept small flocks of turkeys. The tribes of the lower Mississippi were also unique in that tribal territories were well defined. Decorated with fish heads and bear bones, a large red post near the mouth of the Red River marked the boundary between the Bayougoula and the Houma just to the north. Translated into French, the location of this "Red Post" became known as Baton Rouge, the present-day capital of Louisiana.

Beothuk
One thing that is known about the Beothuk was their love of the color red. While the use of red ocre was common among Native Americans, no other tribe used it as extensively as the Beothuk. They literally covered everything - their bodies, faces, hair, clothing, personal possessions, and tools - with a red paint made from powdered ochre mixed with either fish oil or animal grease. It was also employed in burials. The reasons are unknown, but speculation has ranged from their religion (about which we know very little) to protection from insects. The practice was so excessive, even the Micmac referred to them as the Red Indians, and it is believed the term "redskin" used for Native Americans probably originated from early contacts between European fishermen and Beothuk.

Catawba
Catawba warriors had a fearsome reputation and an appearance to match: ponytail hairstyle with a distinctive war paint pattern of one eye in a black circle, the other in a white circle and remainder of the face painted black. Coupled with their flattened foreheads, some of their enemies must have died from sheer fright.

Chickasaw
Although generally the least known of the Five Civilized Tribes (Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole), no other tribe played a more significant role in Britain's victory over France for control of North America. Variously described as the Unconquered and Unconquerable or the Spartans of the lower Mississippi Valley, the Chickasaw were the most formidable warriors of the American Southeast, and anyone who messed with them came to regret it, if they survived! British traders from the Carolinas were quick to recognize their prowess in this regard and armed the Chickasaw to the teeth, after which, no combination of the French and their native allies was able to dislodge the Chickasaw from the stranglehold they imposed upon French commerce on the lower Mississippi. The Chickasaw could cut New France in two, which seriously crippled the French in any war with the British. From the high ground overlooking the Mississippi River at Memphis, the Chickasaw took on all comers, including tribes four to five times their size and never lost until they picked the wrong side in the American Civil War. Even then, the Chickasaw Nation was the last Confederate government to surrender to Union forces.

Chitimacha
To enhance their appearance, the Chitimacha flattened the foreheads of their male children. Most men wore their hair long, but there were occasional reports of some of their warriors having a scalplock. With the mild climate, male clothing was limited to a breechcloth which allowed a display of their extensive tattooing of the face, body, arms and legs. Women limited themselves to a short skirt. Their hair was also worn long but usually braided. Socially, the Chitimacha were divided into matrilineal (descent traced through the mother) totemic (named for an animal) clans. The most distinctive characteristic of Chitimacha society was their strict caste system of two ranked groups: nobles and commoners. The separation between them included the use of two distinct dialects with commoners required to address nobles in the proper language. The Chitimacha were unique among Native Americans with their practice of strict endogamy (a person can only marry someone from their own group). A noble man or woman who married a commoner forfeited their higher status.

Comanche
Stealing horses was common among the plains tribes, but like everything else concerning the horse, Comanches did it on a grand scale. As the number of Spanish horses in New Mexico became inadequate, Comanche raids reached south into Texas and Mexico. By 1775 the Spanish governor of New Mexico was complaining that, despite constant re-supply from Mexico, Comanche raiders had stolen so many horses he did not have enough to pursue them.

The Comanche epitomized the mounted plains warrior. Until the 1750s, they often employed leather armor and large body shields to protect both horse and rider. This changed with increased use of firearms and quickly changed into the stereotypical light cavalry tactics associated with plains warfare. This development first forced the Spanish, and later Texans and Americans, to cope with a new style of mounted warfare. They did not do very well at first. European cavalry had evolved into heavy-armed dragoons designed to break massed-infantry formations. There was no way these soldiers could stay with mounted Comanches who usually left them eating dust ..if they could find them in the first place. The Texas Rangers were organized during the 1840s primarily to fight Comanches. A decade later, when the American army began to assume much of the Rangers' responsibility, it had much to learn.

Delaware
Finding the Moravians at Gnadenhuetten, Williamson placed them under arrest. In the democratic style of frontier militia, a vote was taken whether to take the prisoners back to Fort Pitt or kill them. The decision was to execute them. The Moravians were given the night to prepare. In the morning, two slaughter houses were selected, and 90 Christian Delaware - 29 men, 27 women, and 34 children - were taken inside in small groups and beaten to death with wooden mallets. Among the victims was old Abraham, a Mahican and the first Moravian convert in Pennsylvania. Afterwards, the troops burned Gnadenhuetten and the other Moravian missions. Then loaded down with plunder from their victims, they went home to their wives and children in Pennsylvania.