Skip to comments.Calgary professor says Native tribes roaming prairies 1,700 years earlier than accepted
Posted on 08/15/2006 7:59:41 PM PDT by Marius3188
A desperate struggle for survival and not the white man and his horse likely forced First Nations people on the Canadian Plains to band together in complex communities at least 1,700 years before what is currently accepted.
And the way they came together to ward off threats from southern bands from the Dakotas and Minnesota may have resembled a very early form of democracy.
University of Calgary archaeologist Dr. Dale Walde has proposed the controversial theory in the prestigious World Archaeology journal, following more than five years of research in the field in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
If accepted, it will rewrite history that has thus far accepted the wide-held belief that Plains Aboriginals lived in small bands of between 30 and 40 people until the arrival of Europeans and the domesticated horse in the 1600s.
The idea that people on the Northern Plains were living at lower levels of social organization, at a subsistence level, is becoming less and less popular, said Walde.
There has been a tendency by some to regard them as simple hunter-gatherers with every basic levels of organisation, living hand-to-mouth in small bands, but that really isnt accurate.
Dr. Walde suggests that pressure from horticultural-based bands from the midwestern United States prompted First Nations living on the Canadian Plains to organize themselves into larger groups in order to better hunt the massive buffalo herds that roamed the prairies.
Could you add me to the GGG?
When DeSoto visited Angel Mounds and Terre Haute, (circa 1541) the folks there informed him that no one permanently lived out on the Great Planes to the far NW because there were entirely too many animals there to make that possible.
On the other hand, if Indians were actually living in large groups in Manitoba, it might have had something to do with the need to build large palisades to keep out the buffalo and the wolves and mountain lions that preyed on them.
That wouldn't be news.
if only it made some kind of sense.... what did they do before they roamed?? crawled?
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Then there were the Diggers in the Nevada desert.
With only dogs as draft animals, whatever tribes lived out on the high plains following the buffalo herd could not have accumulated many possessions. They would have much the same standard of living as Sheepeaters and Diggers, although they ate better.
I seem to recall the Blackfeet as the original northern plains buffalo hunters. Everybody else came out in historical times. Or do I misremember?
Myth of the Hunter-GathererOn September 19, 1997, the New York Times announced the discovery of a group of earthen mounds in northeastern Louisiana. The site, known as Watson Brake, includes 11 mounds 26 feet high linked by low ridges into an oval 916 feet long. What is remarkable about this massive complex is that it was built around 3400 B.C., more than 3,000 years before the development of farming communities in eastern North America, by hunter-gatherers, at least partly mobile, who visited the site each spring and summer to fish, hunt, and collect freshwater mussels... The discovery of complex hunter-gatherers, a kind of society and economy now virtually extinct, is one of the major archaeological advances of the last two decades. As a discovery it is not widely appreciated, but it shows us that the range of human social and economic organization was much greater in the past than we had once thought.
by Kenneth M. Ames
That's the first thing I noticed too. Welcome to the GGG group.
There were the tule-eaters too.