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The Eastern Woodlands is a cultural area that referred to the indigenous people of North America. The Eastern Woodlands region extended from the eastern coast of the present-day United States and Canada. It stretched from the Atlantic to the eastern Great Plains, and from the Great Lakes to the gulf of Mexico. The area boasted numerous lakes and rivers as well as great forests.
MAJOR INDIGENOUS GROUPS
- The indigenous peoples were divided into two constituent groups: the Northeastern Woodlands and the Southeastern Woodlands.
- The Northeastern Woodlands stretched along the coastal areas of the Atlantic Ocean, in the west by the Mississippi River valley, and in the south until the North Carolina coast, northwest of the Ohio River and southwest to its junction with the Mississippi River.
- The Northeastern Woodlands were comprised of different language families: Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Siouan. The major speakers of Algonquian languages includes the Abenaki, Penobscot, Pennacook, Pequot, Mohegan, Massachuset, Nauset, Wampanoag, Narragansett, Niantic, Passamaquoddy, Malecite, Mi’kmaq, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Mohican , Wappinger, Montauk, Delaware, Powhatan, Ojibwa, Menominee, Illinois, Kickapoo, Miami, Shawnee, and Sauk.
- The Iroquoian-speaking people included the Cayuga, Seneca, Huron, Tionontati, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Neutral, Wenrohronon, Erie, Susquehannock, Laurentian Iroquois, and the Tuscarora.
- The Siouan-speaking group included the Ho-Chunk people.
- The most powerful political organization in the Northeastern Woodlands was the Iroquois Confederacy. This was a coalition of tribes comprised of Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.
- The objective of the confederacy was to establish peace among the tribes. Notably, it established a standardized rate for blood money.
- The Southeastern Woodlands extended from the Southeastern United States to the northeastern border of Mexico. The indigenous peoples in the regions comprised of the Iroquoian, Caddoan, Muskogean, and Siouan language families.
- The Siouan-speaking peoples comprised of the Biloxis, Catawbas , Ofos , and Tutelos.
- Muskogean-speaking peoples constituted the Creek, Seminole, Alabama, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Apalachee, Mikasuki, Hitchiti, and Koasati. It also included the Atakapas, Chitimachas, Tunicas, and Natchez.
- A typical society was divided into classes: chief (civil war and war chief) and his family, the nobles, and the commoners.
- Typically, there was also a division of labor between men and women. Men made equipment and warfare and went hunting, while women cultivated plants such as corn, squash, pumpkin, and beans. Plants varied depending on the location of the tribes. Fish, corn, berries, and meat were also dried for winter. Black pottery and wood was used for cooking. Hunting and gathering was also primarily practiced.
- The tribes practiced a sedentary way of living.
- A village typically contained longhouses made of elm or cedar bark. Each longhouses sheltered related families.
- Residence was matrilocal, and succession was followed through the female line (matrilineage).
- Deerskin was used as clothing. Face and body painting or tattooing, as well as shaven side hair for men, were typical.
- Animism, wherein they perceived that all things are alive, was typically practiced. In some areas of the south sun worship temples were erected. Some areas had shamen who engaged in rituals that encouraged a good season and good harvest.
- The typical physical characteristics of Eastern Woodland Indians were prominent cheekbones, dark brown eyes, and straight black hair. Complexion varied from very light to yellowish color, to almost black.
Indigenous People of the Eastern Woodlands Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Indigenous People of the Eastern Woodlands Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about the Eastern Woodlands which is a cultural area that referred to the indigenous people of North America. The Eastern Woodlands region extended from the eastern coast of the present-day United States and Canada. It stretched from the Atlantic to the eastern Great Plains, and from the Great Lakes to the gulf of Mexico. The area boasted numerous lakes and rivers as well as great forests.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands Facts
- Locating the Eastern Woodlands
- Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands Word Search
- Fact or Bluff
- Describe Me!
- Our Culture
- Our Contributions
- The Coming of the Colonizers
- Indigenous People Today
- Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands Acrostic
- What Did I Learn?
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