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I don't know much about native American history. So what

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I don't know much about native American history.

So what were they like before European colonization?

Was native society basically the blue alien cats from Avatar or would that be an exaggeration?
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Gross exaggeration, the whole 'noble savage' notion is long ded

It was a tribalist society
Things were organized around villages and clans
However there was the Iroquois Confederacy which was quite advanced in having a democratic confederation

To expand on being tribalists, you had warfare and (in certain societies) slavery

The problem with Native history is it's for the most part oral due to a lack of writing systems
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>>309832
>So what were they like before European colonization?
A collection of empires, confederacies, city-states, and stateless tribes and villages.

>Was native society basically the blue alien cats from Avatar
Fuck no. Americans shaped their environment, not "lived at one with it", like any other peoples. They purposefully caused the prairies to grow and altered the forests to be more habitable, same with the Amazon.

If you want a good place to start read 1491 by Charles Mann
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They danced the Cahokia Pokia.
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>>309854
>It was a tribalist society
Only if you ignore the whole Mississipian and Pueblo civilizations. There were other confederacies than the Haudenosaunee such as the Wabanaki too.
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>>309884
I would say "empires" is a bit of a stretch when referring to the Native American tribes. They were for the most part nomadic, and "city states" also sort of gives off the wrong vibe I think.

Some tribes were able to set up a system of co-dependence through trade and were able to remain stagnant. For clarity I'm talking about North American tribes such as Huron, Iroquois, etc.
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>>309905
The Maya, Olmec, Toltec, Aztec, and many many others in Mesoamerica are a part of North America. If you're only talking about modern USA, then there are still the Pueblo peoples and their cities, including the Hopi, and further to the east cities like Cahokia.
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>>309913
I know, I specified tribes such as Huron and Iroquois because of their location and completed difference in society to the mesoamericans.

Were these pueblo cities basically just a large collection of huts serving as a base of operations to hunt and gather?
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Keep in mind that what British, Dutch, and French settlers dealt with was essentially the post-apocalyptic remnants of the societies that existed before smallpox killed 95% of the people in the Americas.
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>>309832
>this desu senpai
I love how we're supposed to respect people defending their way of life but suddenly because I'm white I can't defend my own values and culture because some puritan fuckheads were assholes to black people and native Americans
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>>309933
Calm down tripfag, it's just a polite discussion about the history of native Americans. No white guilt here.
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>>309832

Tiny population dispersed over massive continent: 7 million in all the US & Canada.

In many areas they lived in abundance because they had such a low population. The pacific northwest especially had it good. Tons of game and fish.

Disease and war were more likely than starvation.

The indians built permanent lodges, whaling ships, weaving looms, fishhooks, bows, wooden armor, and sleds.
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>>309924
>Were these pueblo cities basically just a large collection of huts serving as a base of operations to hunt and gather?
They were more than just huts, they were organized societies with architecture
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>>309950
>Tiny population dispersed over massive continent: 7 million in all the US & Canada.
That was only AFTER multiple waves of disease and European wars.
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>>309951
I remember being taught about the Anasazi and Pueblo cultures when I was like 6.

The idea of commuting to and from my house on a hundred foot high ladder every day scares the shit out of me.
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>>309933
Stop posting that fucking picture.
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>>309951
Colour me intrigued. What were these cities made out of? Was the government system like a council, and for that matter elected? How intricate were they exactly?
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>>309971
They built with stone and adobe, mostly, but sometimes wood was incorporated. I'm not as familiar with them as I am with eastern tribes and civilizations, but there's a rundown of them here
http://www.britannica.com/topic/Ancestral-Pueblo-culture
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>>309971
To answer all your questions in order.

Adobe.

We have no clue because they didn't have writing and the civilization broke up from a severe drought a few hundred years before the Spanish landed.

They did have agriculture, specialized grain mills, and a bunch of fortress cities.
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>>309970
>>309945
>taking 4chan this seriously
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