Native american musicians have resisted the narrow

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Unformatted text preview: Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 SIDE TRIP 4A: “NATIVE AMERICANS” OR “INDIANS?” In the United States, there are several ethnic and racial groups that struggle with finding appropriate names by which to identify themselves. The European explorer Christopher Columbus called the Arawaks that he met on the Caribbean islands Indios, because he thought he had landed in the East Indias – the European name for the subcontinent of India. This Spanish word Indio became Indians in English. “Indians” thus became the name to refer to all peoples of the Americas, sometimes expanded to American Indian or Amerindian to distinguish them from the people of India. In the 1960s, with the increased ethnic consciousness promoted during the Civil Rights movement, “Native American” replaced the older, colonial- imposed “Indian” to emphasize that Indians had been the original inhabitants of what was now called America. “Native Americans” is now the generally accepted and preferred term, yet some people feel that it is artificial and contrived. Others stress that although these first Americans were here when Europeans arrived, they had not originated here. Like later immigrants, they had migrated here from Asia and hence were not strictly “native” or “indigenous.” Today, some individuals prefer Indian or American Indian, others prefer Native American, while others prefer “First Nations” or even simply “Native.” After considerable debate and reflection, starting in Census 2000 the ethnic/racial category became “American Indian and Alaskan Native.” Many Indians refer to themselves as Indians or by their tribal name, such as “Blackfoot” or “Hopi.” Educated and sensitive people, however, should be aware that there are even problems with tribal names. For example, the common names of very large, well- known tribal nations such as the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Mohawk were not names they called themselves, but were names probably originally told to Europeans by tribes hostile to these peoples. The “Sioux,” which were the largest single Indian tribe, called themselves “Dakota” (meaning “the allies”) or “Lakota” (meaning “many in one”). The name “Sioux” is apparently the ending of the word Nadowessioux, an Algonquian word for “snakes,” meaning enemies. Similarly, Cheyenne comes from Sha- hiyena, meaning “people of strange speech,” while the Cheyennes called themselves Dzi- tsistas, meaning “our people.” Mohawk comes from the Algonquian Mohawaúuck, meaning “man- eaters,” while the Mohawks called themselves Kaniengebaga, “people of the place of the flint.” SIDE TRIP 4B: NATIVE AMERICAN DIVERSITY In an effort to study the diverse native population more efficiently, scholars have organized the thousands of different tribal groups into “culture areas,” with one generally accepted model dividing the United States into the following nine: Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest, California, Great Basin, Southwest, Great Plains, Northeast, and South. Each culture area began as a geographical region with characteristic climate, land and water forms, plants and animals. Humans who lived in the region developed their unique way of life as they adapted to these characteristics. 8 Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 In the arid Southwest region, for example, ancestors of the present day Pueblo Indians learned to build extensive irrigation systems to bring water to their cultivation of maize, beans, and squash. Because there were not trees to supply wood, they lived in towns of terraced stone or adobe blocks. In contrast, tribes living in the lush Northeast region, where there was the abundance of a single wild plant...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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