We’ve been busy comparing three cultures from around the globe. With the help of Ross Mannell we explored the Aboriginal cultures in Australia, the Maori cultures in New Zealand and the Native Americans in the USA. We made pictures of what we thought life would look like for the different groups.
What do they all have in common? What are the differences?
- They all valued the land and took care of it.
- They respect and honor nature and animals.
- They are spiritual and have stories told from one generation to the next.
- They only used what they needed . They were hunters, gathers and some tribes practiced agriculture and fishing.
- They often celebrated with dances and song.
- Their homes were made from twigs, grasses, sticks and things from nature.
- They were the first people in their country.
- Each group/tribe/clan lived in different places so they had different tools, weapons, clothes, homes and foods depending on what area of the country they were from.
- Unlike Native Americans, no formal treaties existed with Aboriginal people. It’s only in modern times the status of Aboriginal people as the first Australians has been recognized through land rites and respect of their culture. They told stories on bark, cave walls and rocks with their drawings. Men could play the didgeridoo and women could not. They hunted with spears and boomerangs. Each clan had a name. Animals were done with dot art. Turtles, kangaroos, dingos, emus were painted on the cave walls and used on boomerangs.
- The Maori belong to the Polynesian group. They believed they were the caretakers of the land for the next generation. They shared dreamtime stories that told about creation and how things came to be. They celebrate with dances and songs. They wear tattoos on their faces and bodies. There are many different clans.
Some facts about the Cherokee one Native American/American Indian tribe… in North Carolina.
- The Cherokee Indians are believed to have broken away from the Iroquois.
- The Cherokee Nation once stretched from the Ohio River to South Carolina
- They raised crops of corn, beans and melon (known as the 3 sisters) & tobacco. The corn provided stalks up which the beans could grow; the beans added nourishing nitrogen to the soil; the squash spread out and prevented weeds from taking over . (We saw this in the BrainPop Jr. video about Native Americans helping the Pilgrims with our Thanksgiving study.)
- The Cherokee hunted deer, bear and gathered plants for food and trade.
- I-85 (runs through Charlotte near Monroe NC) use to be an old Indian route used for trade
- The Cherokee language has an innovative writing system that was invented by the Cherokee scholar Sequoyah. Sequoyah’s writing system is a syllabary. That means one character represents each syllable. (Another language that uses a syllabary today is Japanese.)
- Like their distant cousins the Iroquois, the Cherokee Indians had an even division of power between men and women. Cherokee men were in charge of hunting, war, and diplomacy. Cherokee women were in charge of farming, property, and family. Men made political decisions for the tribe, and women made social decisions for the clans. Chiefs were men, and landowners were women. Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine. Now women can be chiefs. Men can be farmers.
- Cherokee houses were made of river cane and plaster, with thatched roofs.
- There are many traditional Cherokee legends and fairy tales. Story-telling is very important to the Cherokee Indian culture. ( The Maori culture has their dreamtime stories about creation and how things came to be).
- Creeks, Chicksaws, and Shawnees were other tribes that were sometimes enemies and sometimes friends.
- Each Cherokee tribe has its own government, laws, police, and services, just like a small country. However, Cherokee Indians are also US citizens and must obey American law.
- During the 1800’s, the US government created an “Indian Territory” in Oklahoma and sent all the eastern Native American tribes to live there. This was called the Trail of Tears and many Cherokee died on the journey there. Some tribes willingly agreed to this plan. Other tribes didn’t want to go, and the American army forced them. The Cherokee tribe was one of the largest eastern tribes, and they didn’t want to leave their homeland. Some Cherokee are still located in North Carolina along with Oklahoma. The ones in North Carolina live on a reservation. They still hold ceremonies make baskets and art work and have a large tourist industry with visitors each year to the mountains of North Carolina.
- Traditional Cherokee art included pipe craving , river cane baskets, gourd art, and pottery. After moving to Oklahoma, the Cherokees couldn’t get the materials they used to use for traditional crafts, so they concentrated on other crafts like beadwork and blankets.
- Cherokee (Tsalagi) language is spoken.
What do you think environmentally friendly farming – sustainable farming
Is it new or an old concept from the past? Do you think these groups practiced this before it became popular with today’s society?
Do you think the landforms determined how these different groups lived and what they believed?
What is your opinion about our responsibility to the land, plants and animals found on it?