NCERT Textbook - Displacing Indigenous Peoples Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

History Class 11

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Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Displacing Indigenous Peoples Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


  213
Displacing Indigenous
Peoples
THIS chapter recounts some aspects of the histories of the
native peoples of America and Australia. Theme 8 described
the history of the Spanish and Portuguese colonisation of
South America. From the eighteenth century, more areas
of South America, Central America, North America, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand came to be settled by
immigrants from Europe. This led to many of the native
peoples being pushed out into other areas. The European
settlements were called ‘colonies’. When the European
inhabitants of the colonies became independent of the
European ‘mother-country’, these colonies became ‘states’
or countries.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people from
Asian countries also migrated to some of these countries.
Today, these Europeans and Asians form the majority in
these countries, and the number of the native inhabitants
are very small. They are hardly seen in the towns, and
people have forgotten that they once occupied much of the
country, and that the names of many rivers, towns, etc.
are derived from ‘native’ names (e.g. Ohio, Mississippi and
Seattle in the USA, Saskatchewan in Canada, Wollongong
and Parramatta in Australia).
Till the middle of the twentieth century, American and
Australian history textbooks used to describe how
Europeans ‘discovered’ the Americas and Australia. They
hardly mentioned the native peoples except to suggest that
they were hostile to Europeans. These peoples were,
however, studied by anthropologists in America from the
1840s. Much later, from the 1960s, the native peoples were
encouraged to write their own histories or to dictate them
(this is called oral history).
 Today, it is possible to read historical works and fiction
written by the native peoples, and visitors to museums in
these countries will see galleries of ‘native art’ and special
museums which show the aboriginal way of life. The new
National Museum of the American Indian in the USA has
been curated by American Indians themselves.
THEME
10
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


  213
Displacing Indigenous
Peoples
THIS chapter recounts some aspects of the histories of the
native peoples of America and Australia. Theme 8 described
the history of the Spanish and Portuguese colonisation of
South America. From the eighteenth century, more areas
of South America, Central America, North America, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand came to be settled by
immigrants from Europe. This led to many of the native
peoples being pushed out into other areas. The European
settlements were called ‘colonies’. When the European
inhabitants of the colonies became independent of the
European ‘mother-country’, these colonies became ‘states’
or countries.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people from
Asian countries also migrated to some of these countries.
Today, these Europeans and Asians form the majority in
these countries, and the number of the native inhabitants
are very small. They are hardly seen in the towns, and
people have forgotten that they once occupied much of the
country, and that the names of many rivers, towns, etc.
are derived from ‘native’ names (e.g. Ohio, Mississippi and
Seattle in the USA, Saskatchewan in Canada, Wollongong
and Parramatta in Australia).
Till the middle of the twentieth century, American and
Australian history textbooks used to describe how
Europeans ‘discovered’ the Americas and Australia. They
hardly mentioned the native peoples except to suggest that
they were hostile to Europeans. These peoples were,
however, studied by anthropologists in America from the
1840s. Much later, from the 1960s, the native peoples were
encouraged to write their own histories or to dictate them
(this is called oral history).
 Today, it is possible to read historical works and fiction
written by the native peoples, and visitors to museums in
these countries will see galleries of ‘native art’ and special
museums which show the aboriginal way of life. The new
National Museum of the American Indian in the USA has
been curated by American Indians themselves.
THEME
10
© NCERT
not to be republished
214  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
European Imperialism
The American empires of Spain and Portugal (see Theme 8) did not
expand after the seventeenth century. From that time other countries
– France, Holland and England – began to extend their trading
activities and to establish colonies – in America, Africa and Asia;
Ireland also was virtually a colony of England, as the landowners
there were mostly English settlers.
From the eighteenth century, it became obvious that while it was
the prospect of profit which drove people to establish colonies, there
were significant variations in the nature of the control established.
In South Asia, trading companies like the East India Company
made themselves into political powers, defeated local rulers and
annexed their territories. They retained the older well-developed
administrative system and collected taxes from landowners. Later
they built railways to make trade easier, excavated mines and
established big plantations.
In Africa, Europeans traded on the coast, except in South Africa,
and only in the late nineteenth century did they venture into the
interior. After this, some of the European countries reached an
agreement to divide up Africa as colonies for themselves.
The word ‘settler’ is used for the Dutch in South Africa, the British
in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, and the Europeans in America.
The official language in these colonies was English (except in Canada,
where French is also an official language).
Names given by Europeans to Countries of the ‘New World’
‘AMERICA’ First used after the publication of the travels of
Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512)
‘CANADA’ from kanata (= ‘village’ in the language of the
Huron-Iroquois, as heard by the explorer Jacques
Cartier in 1535)
‘AUSTRALIA’ Sixteenth-century name for land in the Great
Southern Ocean (austral is Latin for ‘south’)
‘NEW ZEALAND’ Name given by Tasman of Holland, who was the
first to sight these islands in 1642 (zee is Dutch
for ‘sea’)
The Geographical Dictionary (pp 805-22) lists over a hundred place-
names in the Americas and Australia which begin with ‘New’.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


  213
Displacing Indigenous
Peoples
THIS chapter recounts some aspects of the histories of the
native peoples of America and Australia. Theme 8 described
the history of the Spanish and Portuguese colonisation of
South America. From the eighteenth century, more areas
of South America, Central America, North America, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand came to be settled by
immigrants from Europe. This led to many of the native
peoples being pushed out into other areas. The European
settlements were called ‘colonies’. When the European
inhabitants of the colonies became independent of the
European ‘mother-country’, these colonies became ‘states’
or countries.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people from
Asian countries also migrated to some of these countries.
Today, these Europeans and Asians form the majority in
these countries, and the number of the native inhabitants
are very small. They are hardly seen in the towns, and
people have forgotten that they once occupied much of the
country, and that the names of many rivers, towns, etc.
are derived from ‘native’ names (e.g. Ohio, Mississippi and
Seattle in the USA, Saskatchewan in Canada, Wollongong
and Parramatta in Australia).
Till the middle of the twentieth century, American and
Australian history textbooks used to describe how
Europeans ‘discovered’ the Americas and Australia. They
hardly mentioned the native peoples except to suggest that
they were hostile to Europeans. These peoples were,
however, studied by anthropologists in America from the
1840s. Much later, from the 1960s, the native peoples were
encouraged to write their own histories or to dictate them
(this is called oral history).
 Today, it is possible to read historical works and fiction
written by the native peoples, and visitors to museums in
these countries will see galleries of ‘native art’ and special
museums which show the aboriginal way of life. The new
National Museum of the American Indian in the USA has
been curated by American Indians themselves.
THEME
10
© NCERT
not to be republished
214  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
European Imperialism
The American empires of Spain and Portugal (see Theme 8) did not
expand after the seventeenth century. From that time other countries
– France, Holland and England – began to extend their trading
activities and to establish colonies – in America, Africa and Asia;
Ireland also was virtually a colony of England, as the landowners
there were mostly English settlers.
From the eighteenth century, it became obvious that while it was
the prospect of profit which drove people to establish colonies, there
were significant variations in the nature of the control established.
In South Asia, trading companies like the East India Company
made themselves into political powers, defeated local rulers and
annexed their territories. They retained the older well-developed
administrative system and collected taxes from landowners. Later
they built railways to make trade easier, excavated mines and
established big plantations.
In Africa, Europeans traded on the coast, except in South Africa,
and only in the late nineteenth century did they venture into the
interior. After this, some of the European countries reached an
agreement to divide up Africa as colonies for themselves.
The word ‘settler’ is used for the Dutch in South Africa, the British
in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, and the Europeans in America.
The official language in these colonies was English (except in Canada,
where French is also an official language).
Names given by Europeans to Countries of the ‘New World’
‘AMERICA’ First used after the publication of the travels of
Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512)
‘CANADA’ from kanata (= ‘village’ in the language of the
Huron-Iroquois, as heard by the explorer Jacques
Cartier in 1535)
‘AUSTRALIA’ Sixteenth-century name for land in the Great
Southern Ocean (austral is Latin for ‘south’)
‘NEW ZEALAND’ Name given by Tasman of Holland, who was the
first to sight these islands in 1642 (zee is Dutch
for ‘sea’)
The Geographical Dictionary (pp 805-22) lists over a hundred place-
names in the Americas and Australia which begin with ‘New’.
© NCERT
not to be republished
  215
NORTH AMERICA
The continent of North America extends from the Arctic Circle to the
Tropic of Cancer, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. West of the
chain of the Rocky Mountains is the desert of Arizona and Nevada, still
further west the Sierra Nevada mountains, to the east the Great Plains,
the Great Lakes, the valleys of the Mississippi and the Ohio and the
Appalachian Mountains. To the south is Mexico. Forty per cent of
Canada is covered with forests. Oil, gas and mineral resources are
found in many areas, which explains the many big industries in the
USA and Canada. Today, wheat, corn and fruit are grown extensively
and fishing is a major industry in Canada.
Mining, industry and extensive agriculture have been developed only
in the last 200 years by immigrants from Europe, Africa and China. But
there were people who had been living in North America for thousands of
years before the Europeans learnt of its existence.
The Native Peoples
The earliest inhabitants of North America came from Asia over 30,000
years ago on a land-bridge across the Bering Straits, and during the
last Ice Age 10,000 years ago they moved further south. The oldest
artefact found in America – an arrow-point – is 11,000 years old. The
population started to increase about 5,000 years ago when the climate
became more stable.
‘At sunset on the day before America [that is, before the Europeans
reached there and gave the continent this name], diversity lay at
every hand. People spoke in more than a hundred tongues. They
lived by every possible combination of hunting, fishing, gathering,
gardening, and farming open to them. The quality of soils and the
effort required to open and tend them determined some of their
choices of how to live. Cultural and social biases determined others.
Surpluses of fish or grain or garden plants or meats helped create
powerful, tiered societies here but not there. Some cultures had
endured for millennia…’ – William Macleish, The Day before America.
These peoples lived in bands, in villages along river valleys. They ate
fish and meat, and cultivated vegetables and maize. They often went
on long journeys in search of meat, chiefly that of bison, the wild
buffalo that roamed the grasslands (this became easier from the
seventeenth century, when the natives started to ride horses, which
they bought from Spanish settlers). But they only killed as many
animals as they needed for food.
‘Native’ means a
person born in the
place he/she lives in.
Till the early
twentieth century,
the term was used by
Europeans to
describe the
inhabitants of
countries they had
colonised.
DISPLACING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


  213
Displacing Indigenous
Peoples
THIS chapter recounts some aspects of the histories of the
native peoples of America and Australia. Theme 8 described
the history of the Spanish and Portuguese colonisation of
South America. From the eighteenth century, more areas
of South America, Central America, North America, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand came to be settled by
immigrants from Europe. This led to many of the native
peoples being pushed out into other areas. The European
settlements were called ‘colonies’. When the European
inhabitants of the colonies became independent of the
European ‘mother-country’, these colonies became ‘states’
or countries.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people from
Asian countries also migrated to some of these countries.
Today, these Europeans and Asians form the majority in
these countries, and the number of the native inhabitants
are very small. They are hardly seen in the towns, and
people have forgotten that they once occupied much of the
country, and that the names of many rivers, towns, etc.
are derived from ‘native’ names (e.g. Ohio, Mississippi and
Seattle in the USA, Saskatchewan in Canada, Wollongong
and Parramatta in Australia).
Till the middle of the twentieth century, American and
Australian history textbooks used to describe how
Europeans ‘discovered’ the Americas and Australia. They
hardly mentioned the native peoples except to suggest that
they were hostile to Europeans. These peoples were,
however, studied by anthropologists in America from the
1840s. Much later, from the 1960s, the native peoples were
encouraged to write their own histories or to dictate them
(this is called oral history).
 Today, it is possible to read historical works and fiction
written by the native peoples, and visitors to museums in
these countries will see galleries of ‘native art’ and special
museums which show the aboriginal way of life. The new
National Museum of the American Indian in the USA has
been curated by American Indians themselves.
THEME
10
© NCERT
not to be republished
214  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
European Imperialism
The American empires of Spain and Portugal (see Theme 8) did not
expand after the seventeenth century. From that time other countries
– France, Holland and England – began to extend their trading
activities and to establish colonies – in America, Africa and Asia;
Ireland also was virtually a colony of England, as the landowners
there were mostly English settlers.
From the eighteenth century, it became obvious that while it was
the prospect of profit which drove people to establish colonies, there
were significant variations in the nature of the control established.
In South Asia, trading companies like the East India Company
made themselves into political powers, defeated local rulers and
annexed their territories. They retained the older well-developed
administrative system and collected taxes from landowners. Later
they built railways to make trade easier, excavated mines and
established big plantations.
In Africa, Europeans traded on the coast, except in South Africa,
and only in the late nineteenth century did they venture into the
interior. After this, some of the European countries reached an
agreement to divide up Africa as colonies for themselves.
The word ‘settler’ is used for the Dutch in South Africa, the British
in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, and the Europeans in America.
The official language in these colonies was English (except in Canada,
where French is also an official language).
Names given by Europeans to Countries of the ‘New World’
‘AMERICA’ First used after the publication of the travels of
Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512)
‘CANADA’ from kanata (= ‘village’ in the language of the
Huron-Iroquois, as heard by the explorer Jacques
Cartier in 1535)
‘AUSTRALIA’ Sixteenth-century name for land in the Great
Southern Ocean (austral is Latin for ‘south’)
‘NEW ZEALAND’ Name given by Tasman of Holland, who was the
first to sight these islands in 1642 (zee is Dutch
for ‘sea’)
The Geographical Dictionary (pp 805-22) lists over a hundred place-
names in the Americas and Australia which begin with ‘New’.
© NCERT
not to be republished
  215
NORTH AMERICA
The continent of North America extends from the Arctic Circle to the
Tropic of Cancer, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. West of the
chain of the Rocky Mountains is the desert of Arizona and Nevada, still
further west the Sierra Nevada mountains, to the east the Great Plains,
the Great Lakes, the valleys of the Mississippi and the Ohio and the
Appalachian Mountains. To the south is Mexico. Forty per cent of
Canada is covered with forests. Oil, gas and mineral resources are
found in many areas, which explains the many big industries in the
USA and Canada. Today, wheat, corn and fruit are grown extensively
and fishing is a major industry in Canada.
Mining, industry and extensive agriculture have been developed only
in the last 200 years by immigrants from Europe, Africa and China. But
there were people who had been living in North America for thousands of
years before the Europeans learnt of its existence.
The Native Peoples
The earliest inhabitants of North America came from Asia over 30,000
years ago on a land-bridge across the Bering Straits, and during the
last Ice Age 10,000 years ago they moved further south. The oldest
artefact found in America – an arrow-point – is 11,000 years old. The
population started to increase about 5,000 years ago when the climate
became more stable.
‘At sunset on the day before America [that is, before the Europeans
reached there and gave the continent this name], diversity lay at
every hand. People spoke in more than a hundred tongues. They
lived by every possible combination of hunting, fishing, gathering,
gardening, and farming open to them. The quality of soils and the
effort required to open and tend them determined some of their
choices of how to live. Cultural and social biases determined others.
Surpluses of fish or grain or garden plants or meats helped create
powerful, tiered societies here but not there. Some cultures had
endured for millennia…’ – William Macleish, The Day before America.
These peoples lived in bands, in villages along river valleys. They ate
fish and meat, and cultivated vegetables and maize. They often went
on long journeys in search of meat, chiefly that of bison, the wild
buffalo that roamed the grasslands (this became easier from the
seventeenth century, when the natives started to ride horses, which
they bought from Spanish settlers). But they only killed as many
animals as they needed for food.
‘Native’ means a
person born in the
place he/she lives in.
Till the early
twentieth century,
the term was used by
Europeans to
describe the
inhabitants of
countries they had
colonised.
DISPLACING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
© NCERT
not to be republished
216  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
They did not attempt extensive agriculture and since they did not
produce a surplus, they did not develop kingdoms and empires as in
Central and South America. There were some instances of quarrels
between tribes over territory, but by and large control of land was not
an issue. They were content with the food
and shelter they got from the land
without feeling any need to ‘own’ it. An
important feature of their tradition was
that of making formal alliances and
friendships, and exchanging gifts. Goods were obtained not by buying
them, but as gifts.
Numerous languages were spoken in North America, though these
were not written down. They believed that time moved in cycles, and
each tribe had accounts about their origins and their earlier history
which were passed on from one generation to the next. They were
skilled craftspeople and wove beautiful textiles. They could read the
land – they could understand the climates and different landscapes in
the way literate people read written texts.
Encounters with Europeans
Wampum belts, made
of coloured shells
sewn together, were
exchanged by native
tribes after a treaty
was agreed to.
A woman of the Winnebago tribe of Wisconsin.
In the 1860s, people of this tribe were moved to
Nebraska
Names of native
tribes are often
given to things
unconnected with
them: Dakota (an
aeroplane),
Cherokee (a jeep),
Pontiac (a car),
Mohawk (a haircut)!
Different terms are used in English for the native peoples of
the ‘New World’
aborigine – native people of Australia (in Latin, ab
= from, origine = the beginning)
Aboriginal – adjective, often misused as a noun
American Indian/Amerind/Amerindian – native
peoples of North and South America and the
Caribbean
First Nations peoples – the organised native
groups recognised by the Canadian
government (the Indians Act of 1876 used the
term ‘bands’ but from the 1980s the word
‘nations’ is used)
indigenous people – people belonging naturally
to a place
native American – the indigenous people of the
Americas (this is the term now commonly used)
‘Red Indian’ – the brown-complexioned people
whose land Columbus mistook for India
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


  213
Displacing Indigenous
Peoples
THIS chapter recounts some aspects of the histories of the
native peoples of America and Australia. Theme 8 described
the history of the Spanish and Portuguese colonisation of
South America. From the eighteenth century, more areas
of South America, Central America, North America, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand came to be settled by
immigrants from Europe. This led to many of the native
peoples being pushed out into other areas. The European
settlements were called ‘colonies’. When the European
inhabitants of the colonies became independent of the
European ‘mother-country’, these colonies became ‘states’
or countries.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people from
Asian countries also migrated to some of these countries.
Today, these Europeans and Asians form the majority in
these countries, and the number of the native inhabitants
are very small. They are hardly seen in the towns, and
people have forgotten that they once occupied much of the
country, and that the names of many rivers, towns, etc.
are derived from ‘native’ names (e.g. Ohio, Mississippi and
Seattle in the USA, Saskatchewan in Canada, Wollongong
and Parramatta in Australia).
Till the middle of the twentieth century, American and
Australian history textbooks used to describe how
Europeans ‘discovered’ the Americas and Australia. They
hardly mentioned the native peoples except to suggest that
they were hostile to Europeans. These peoples were,
however, studied by anthropologists in America from the
1840s. Much later, from the 1960s, the native peoples were
encouraged to write their own histories or to dictate them
(this is called oral history).
 Today, it is possible to read historical works and fiction
written by the native peoples, and visitors to museums in
these countries will see galleries of ‘native art’ and special
museums which show the aboriginal way of life. The new
National Museum of the American Indian in the USA has
been curated by American Indians themselves.
THEME
10
© NCERT
not to be republished
214  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
European Imperialism
The American empires of Spain and Portugal (see Theme 8) did not
expand after the seventeenth century. From that time other countries
– France, Holland and England – began to extend their trading
activities and to establish colonies – in America, Africa and Asia;
Ireland also was virtually a colony of England, as the landowners
there were mostly English settlers.
From the eighteenth century, it became obvious that while it was
the prospect of profit which drove people to establish colonies, there
were significant variations in the nature of the control established.
In South Asia, trading companies like the East India Company
made themselves into political powers, defeated local rulers and
annexed their territories. They retained the older well-developed
administrative system and collected taxes from landowners. Later
they built railways to make trade easier, excavated mines and
established big plantations.
In Africa, Europeans traded on the coast, except in South Africa,
and only in the late nineteenth century did they venture into the
interior. After this, some of the European countries reached an
agreement to divide up Africa as colonies for themselves.
The word ‘settler’ is used for the Dutch in South Africa, the British
in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, and the Europeans in America.
The official language in these colonies was English (except in Canada,
where French is also an official language).
Names given by Europeans to Countries of the ‘New World’
‘AMERICA’ First used after the publication of the travels of
Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512)
‘CANADA’ from kanata (= ‘village’ in the language of the
Huron-Iroquois, as heard by the explorer Jacques
Cartier in 1535)
‘AUSTRALIA’ Sixteenth-century name for land in the Great
Southern Ocean (austral is Latin for ‘south’)
‘NEW ZEALAND’ Name given by Tasman of Holland, who was the
first to sight these islands in 1642 (zee is Dutch
for ‘sea’)
The Geographical Dictionary (pp 805-22) lists over a hundred place-
names in the Americas and Australia which begin with ‘New’.
© NCERT
not to be republished
  215
NORTH AMERICA
The continent of North America extends from the Arctic Circle to the
Tropic of Cancer, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. West of the
chain of the Rocky Mountains is the desert of Arizona and Nevada, still
further west the Sierra Nevada mountains, to the east the Great Plains,
the Great Lakes, the valleys of the Mississippi and the Ohio and the
Appalachian Mountains. To the south is Mexico. Forty per cent of
Canada is covered with forests. Oil, gas and mineral resources are
found in many areas, which explains the many big industries in the
USA and Canada. Today, wheat, corn and fruit are grown extensively
and fishing is a major industry in Canada.
Mining, industry and extensive agriculture have been developed only
in the last 200 years by immigrants from Europe, Africa and China. But
there were people who had been living in North America for thousands of
years before the Europeans learnt of its existence.
The Native Peoples
The earliest inhabitants of North America came from Asia over 30,000
years ago on a land-bridge across the Bering Straits, and during the
last Ice Age 10,000 years ago they moved further south. The oldest
artefact found in America – an arrow-point – is 11,000 years old. The
population started to increase about 5,000 years ago when the climate
became more stable.
‘At sunset on the day before America [that is, before the Europeans
reached there and gave the continent this name], diversity lay at
every hand. People spoke in more than a hundred tongues. They
lived by every possible combination of hunting, fishing, gathering,
gardening, and farming open to them. The quality of soils and the
effort required to open and tend them determined some of their
choices of how to live. Cultural and social biases determined others.
Surpluses of fish or grain or garden plants or meats helped create
powerful, tiered societies here but not there. Some cultures had
endured for millennia…’ – William Macleish, The Day before America.
These peoples lived in bands, in villages along river valleys. They ate
fish and meat, and cultivated vegetables and maize. They often went
on long journeys in search of meat, chiefly that of bison, the wild
buffalo that roamed the grasslands (this became easier from the
seventeenth century, when the natives started to ride horses, which
they bought from Spanish settlers). But they only killed as many
animals as they needed for food.
‘Native’ means a
person born in the
place he/she lives in.
Till the early
twentieth century,
the term was used by
Europeans to
describe the
inhabitants of
countries they had
colonised.
DISPLACING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
© NCERT
not to be republished
216  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
They did not attempt extensive agriculture and since they did not
produce a surplus, they did not develop kingdoms and empires as in
Central and South America. There were some instances of quarrels
between tribes over territory, but by and large control of land was not
an issue. They were content with the food
and shelter they got from the land
without feeling any need to ‘own’ it. An
important feature of their tradition was
that of making formal alliances and
friendships, and exchanging gifts. Goods were obtained not by buying
them, but as gifts.
Numerous languages were spoken in North America, though these
were not written down. They believed that time moved in cycles, and
each tribe had accounts about their origins and their earlier history
which were passed on from one generation to the next. They were
skilled craftspeople and wove beautiful textiles. They could read the
land – they could understand the climates and different landscapes in
the way literate people read written texts.
Encounters with Europeans
Wampum belts, made
of coloured shells
sewn together, were
exchanged by native
tribes after a treaty
was agreed to.
A woman of the Winnebago tribe of Wisconsin.
In the 1860s, people of this tribe were moved to
Nebraska
Names of native
tribes are often
given to things
unconnected with
them: Dakota (an
aeroplane),
Cherokee (a jeep),
Pontiac (a car),
Mohawk (a haircut)!
Different terms are used in English for the native peoples of
the ‘New World’
aborigine – native people of Australia (in Latin, ab
= from, origine = the beginning)
Aboriginal – adjective, often misused as a noun
American Indian/Amerind/Amerindian – native
peoples of North and South America and the
Caribbean
First Nations peoples – the organised native
groups recognised by the Canadian
government (the Indians Act of 1876 used the
term ‘bands’ but from the 1980s the word
‘nations’ is used)
indigenous people – people belonging naturally
to a place
native American – the indigenous people of the
Americas (this is the term now commonly used)
‘Red Indian’ – the brown-complexioned people
whose land Columbus mistook for India
© NCERT
not to be republished
  217
*The Hopis are a
native tribe who
now live near
California.
It was indicated on the stone tablets that the Hopis* had that the
first brothers and sisters that would come back to them would come
as turtles across the land. They would be human beings, but they
would come as turtles. So when the time came close the Hopis were
at a special village to welcome the turtles that would come across
the land and they got up in the morning and looked out at the
sunrise. They looked out across the desert and they saw the Spanish
Conquistadores coming, covered in armour, like turtles across the
land. So this was them. So they went out to the Spanish man and
they extended their hand hoping for the handshake but into the
hand the Spanish man dropped a trinket. And so word spread
throughout North America that there was going to be a hard time,
that maybe some of the brothers and sisters had forgotten the
sacredness of all things and all the human beings were going to
suffer for this on the earth.
– From a talk by Lee Brown, 1986
In the seventeenth century, the European traders who reached the
north coast of North America after a difficult two-month voyage were
relieved to find the native peoples friendly and welcoming. Unlike the
Spanish in South America, who were overcome by the abundance of
gold in the country, these adventurers came to trade in fish and furs, in
which they got the willing help of the natives who were expert at hunting.
Further south, along the Mississippi river, the French found that
the natives held regular gatherings to exchange handicrafts unique to
a tribe or food items not available in other regions. In exchange for
local products the Europeans gave the natives blankets, iron vessels
(which they used sometimes in place of their clay pots), guns, which
was a useful supplement for bows and arrows to kill animals, and
alcohol. This last item was something the natives had not known earlier,
and they became addicted to it, which suited the Europeans, because
it enabled them to dictate terms of trade. (The Europeans acquired
from the natives an addiction to tobacco.)
Quebec American colonies
1497 John Cabot reaches 1507 Amerigo de Vespucci’s Travels
Newfoundland published
1534 Jacques Cartier travels
down the St Lawrence river
and meets native peoples
1608 French found the colony 1607 British found the colony of
of Quebec Virginia
1620 British found Plymouth
(in Massachusetts)
DISPLACING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
© NCERT
not to be republished
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