Native American Martial Arts Culture

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Native American Martial Arts Culture

I see many young people joining martial arts training classes now. In my opinion, mixed martial arts is a fantastic way to keep you fit, strong, and disciplined.  Martial art is not just about fighting. You can learn a whole lot of new skills. The wrestling, boxing and other forms are beneficial in developing skills. I use my grappling dummy to increase my resistance training benefits. Athletes too have woken up to the diverse benefits of these martial arts fitness training sessions, as they want to get more out of their weight training and other fitness workouts.

Native American martial arts

Martial arts are also infused in the Native American culture. The fighting style is both a physical as well as spiritual experience by the Native Americans. They consider the killing of an enemy warrior more of a ritual than as predatory. The martial arts training in Indians differ based on the tribes and people. There are nearly 17 regional styles of fighting in Native American history. The Alaskan and Arctic warriors used dog sledge, bows, and spears decorated with ivory and feathers as their main weapons. The armor used was of very high quality and artistically designed. Helmets were made of grimacing faces of men or animals and protected the face, while gaps were present for enabling vision. The helmets were also used as symbol for indicating family status. War clubs, spears and bows were used in the arctic regions.

West coast warriors used a type of body hardening fighting that enabled them to take on several strong blows and this is used as a planting ritual. Shields, slings and bows are the main weapons used by these people. The eastern or Cherokee Indians used the Tomahawk or hatchet as the main weapon. Other weapons used include shield, bows, gunstock club and war club.

The Indians on the plains used several fighting techniques of which the ‘ritual dog soldier’ type of martial arts is a famous one. The main weapons used were the Sioux Teton Lances, which are said to be able to pierce several persons standing in a single row.

Okichitaw

The traditional fighting techniques have been fused with other forms of martial arts that are popular like Judo, taekwondo etc. George J. Lepine a Canadian martial artist has created one such form of fighting called as Okichitaw. This is a type of martial arts style, which is created as a hybrid of taekwondo, judo and the traditional fighting methods of Cree or Native Americans.  This type of marital arts uses the gunstock war club, lance, knife and tomahawk.

Martial art does not involve just punching and kicking. There are other advanced techniques like the grappling method, which increases the effectiveness of the training and helps in controlling or defeating the opponents. These submission techniques are being increasingly used by martial art students to enhance training process. When learnt under a proper instructor, these methods give a great many benefits to the learner.

Understanding American Indians

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Historically, the term “Indian” usually refers to the indigenous people. Originally, they prefer the term Desi pertaining to diasporic subculture of South Asians.To avoid confusion, the United States Census Bureau categorized Indian Americans as Asian Americans or Asian Indians. Moreover, Americans of Indian clans were more or less 2.81 million alone and around 3.18 million in combination with one or more races.

Emerging in the US

According to some research, the first Indian came to the American continent from Asia over 20,000 years ago wherein very cold in the northern part of our world, which covered with ice. On July 2, 1946, US President signed the Luce-Celler Act of 1946, which was proposing by Republican Clare Boothe Luce. Through this act, 100 Filipinos and 100 Indians provided to immigrate into the United States per year.  The act allowed Filipino Americans and Indian Americans to naturalize and become United States citizens. As of 2012, an estimated 5.2 million people were classifying as American Indian and Alaska Native. These two racial groups comprise of 2 percent of the total U.S. population.

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Spiritual Peace and Strength in Native American Indian Jewelery

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Spiritual Peace and Strength in Native American Indian Jewelery

Many older martial artists have a good luck charm, a small item that assists in providing them with the inner peace and strength they need to achieve perfection. Many don’t believe that an object has the ability to do such a thing and thus it is written off as a superstition. Perhaps I was one of these people, many, many years ago. I’d been doing martial arts ever since I was young, but had only started to take it seriously as I grew older. The younger me was all about the fight, the power kicks, the knowing that the average Joe had nothing on me. However, with age, I learned to look a little deeper and as my love for martial arts grew, and life got a bit more complicated, I started to look inward and developed a craving for spiritual peace.

On my journey to self acceptance and spiritual peace, I met a martial arts master who had more words of wisdom than I thought existed. He enabled me to look at the deeper side of things and keyed me in on some of the ways he was able to stay strong and achieve spiritual peace. One of the things he mentioned that really struck me was Native American Indian jewelery. I experienced a sort of flashback to the days my grandmother would show me her jewelery collection and speak proudly about all the properties of each piece and I’d pretend to be impressed. As a boy, jewelery was, by no means, something that I was particularly interested in. But that day seeing the piece dangling from this renowned martial arts master’s neck, I knew there had to be some truth in it. He spoke of the spiritual peace that it helped him to obtain in such a captivating way, that it stuck with me for weeks after our encounter.

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How Indians Used Plants and Herbs to Cure Diseases and Gain Strength.

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How Indians Used Plants and Herbs to Cure Diseases and Gain Strength.

Herbal remedies were more popular in the past, however, they never really seemed to die out. Before all the pharmacies and prescription drugs popped up, there was a need for cure or comfort due to an ailment and when it came to the Native American Indians, they sure had an abundance of ways to use herbs.

Some of the herbs they used include:

Elecampane

This herbs was used as a remedy for lung infections that resulted in the production of excess mucus. One way in which it was used was by boiling water and adding a teaspoon of the elecampane herb to the water once it had boiled. The person with the illness would then drink this ‘tea’ up to three times a day. Even today, elecampane is used taken by many when suffering from bronchitis.

Acacia arabica

Given to those suffering from diabetes, Acacia arabica extracts promote insulin production in the body.

Aloe vera

This was a very popular plant amongst Native American Indians and in today’s society has held a strong reputation. You can find it in skin care  products as well as in juices and some even grow aloe vera in their homes.

Aloe vera was mostly used to aid in the healing of wounds. Earlier uses, however, included cleansing internal organs, promoting the health of the reproductive system as well as consuming to improve liver health.

Aloe vera can also very easily be grown in ones home with the use of a growing light as its light source. As a succulent, aloe vera, like many others in its group can withstand a wide variety of different conditions. If you are looking for grow lights yourself I recommend you visit http://plantozoid.com/ for LED grow lights reviews and handy tips on indoor growing.

Caesalpinia bonducella

A common plant in the India’s coastal regions, it is popular amongst herbalists for the controlling of blood sugar levels. It’s also been used to treat malarial fever as well as colitis and dysentery. One of the amazing things about Caesalpinia bonducella is that so much of the plant was and is useful and each has a different medicinal property. When fried, the Caesalpinia bonducella leaves are a great remedy for constipation. While the seeds of the Caesalpinia bonducella stimulate the uterus and ease lower abdominal pain.

Proof in the plant

In the earlier days, Native American Indians were very fond of their herbal remedies. Many people today, are rather hesitant when it comes to believing that without our modern instruments, Native American Indians weren’t truly able to determine the properties of specific herbs. However, proof lies in the fact that many of these herbs are popular even in today’s society and extensive research has concluded that the properties the Native American Indians claimed are the properties the herbs possess.

With the side effects of modern medicine, it isn’t uncommon for people in today’s society to turn to traditional Native American Indian remedies, whether it involves the boiling, ingesting or bathing in a certain herb. Because in many countries, it is hard to get access to a lot of these herbs, people have resorted to growing them in their homes, aiding their growth with a growing light, especially in the colder months.

Lessons You Can Learn From Nature

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Lessons You Can Learn From Nature

The Indians did not have a traditional education system like we do today. We often put too much stock in what we can learn from books, and not enough in what we can learn from the world around us. Some modern Native Americans talk about the world like it is the “world’s biggest book,” and I believe that is a perfect view to take. The world is full of knowledge, and it is much more challenging to learn from. But the lessons that you take away will stick with you longer than any math textbook will.

Flow Like a River

Rivers don’t stress about where they are headed next. They don’t worry about what they can’t see in front of them. The current will go wherever it does, and nothing about that will change. That may seem scary to some people, but in reality it should be calming and reassuring. There are so many things in life that we can’t control… There is no point in stressing and worrying about them. All that does is cause MORE stress, because you are worrying about worry itself. Instead, think like the river does; just go where life takes you and relax.

Be Like a Salmon

On the other hand, sometimes you need to fight. If you see where you need to go, don’t be afraid to swim upstream. Salmon swim UP waterfalls because they know where they need to go. If you’re unsure about the future, just relax and stay calm… But if you’re sure and you know what you want, swim upstream and fight as hard as you can to get where you need to go!

The Stars Tell a Story

There are so many entertainment options out there, it’s impossible to pick one. It’s getting harder and harder to exist without some sort of distraction. But the stars have been in the sky for more years than anyone can count, and they tell a story of their own. Every culture, from the Greeks to the Indians, has seen constellations that represent ideals of their culture. Gods, monsters, and heroes all live in the heavens above us. Get a telescope from https://likehubble.com/, set it up in a dark place outside of town, and enjoy the night sky instead of watching TV tonight. Winter is the perfect time for this, as we are further away from the sun and the stars seem brighter.

Be a Humble Student

Too many people dismiss the outdoors today, and feel like there is nothing they can learn. But really, those are the people that need it the most. Don’t be arrogant. You have a lot to learn, and nature is happy to teach you what you want to know. Just make sure you are humble, willing to learn, and always seeking out new knowledge. The American Indians did this as part of their culture… Let’s make it part of ours once again.

Trials of Manhood for Indians

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Trials of Manhood for Indians

Most ancient cultures in the world have a rite of passage for boys; when they reach a certain age and strength, they would be given a quest or a task to do. When they finished this task, they were officially considered men by the people of their tribe. Sadly, in most Western cultures we have all but abandoned the notion of a “rite of passage.” We’ve replaced manhood with an extended boyhood, and never expect people to grow up and improve themselves. I’ve compiled some observations from my study of the Native American people, and I want to share some ideas I’ve had about how we can learn about rites of passage to adulthood!

The Quest

The main part of the journey to adulthood in Indian culture was The Quest. The quest that Indian boys undertook was simple, yet difficult to complete. The boy who wanted to be considered a man had to go on a 1-2 week journey by himself, building his own shelter and hunting his own food. During this time he would commune with the spirits and find his life purpose. Was he a hunter? Was he a warrior? Or was a musician or shaman, one who would guide the tribe spiritually? Maybe he would be a sportsman, one who played sports like ones you could find at patiosport.com… Or perhaps his purpose and goal was to be a chief or an elder in the tribe, making the day-to-day choices that kept the tribe alive. The spirits would tell him what his purpose was, and how he would accomplish his visions.

His New Name

Indian children were given a name as children, one that was given to their parents by the spirits. One of the reasons for this quest was to transition the child out of childhood and into adulthood, and to do this the boy needed a man’s name. No one got to choose their own name however… It was given them by the spirits on the quest. Often, you would make a name for yourself by your actions… Much like I’ve made a name for myself around my hometown for being great at indoor basketball… Thanks Patio Sport! Although you could not choose your name, your name might be influenced by the actions you performed, such as bravery in the hunt or in a fight.

The Return

After the quest was over, the new man would return to his tribe. A ceremony was held after he arrived, celebrating his transition into manhood and honoring his accomplishment in finishing the quest. The ceremony would also recognize the man’s new name, and discard his old childhood name. He would be added to the tribe as a contributing member, and the elders would consult among themselves and the spirits about his new role in the tribe, and what his primary job would be. It’s a real shame that we no longer perform such rites… They gave everyone a place in the tribe, and in the world around them.

5 Ways American Indians Kept Their Lustrous Hair

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5 Ways American Indians Kept Their Lustrous Hair

When looking at old pictures of Native Americans, one can surely notice their lustrous locks.

Having great hair is perhaps one of the most admirable characteristics of Native Americans, both men and women. But have you ever wondered how they do it? Why does it seem that only very few older people have gray hair?

Well, unlike other indigenous tribes Native Indian culture places much value on their hair – their crowning glory. They considered hair as integral part of their identity and often embodied how they lived their life. Just as they give respect to nature, American Indians put much attention on their hair. They took pride in the different hair styles that often represented a certain aspect of their life. To some tribes, hair was not only a source of pride but also had spiritual importance.

Unlike nowadays where hair products and gadgets are ubiquitous, our ancestors didn’t have any of these basic necessities. Don’t ever expect to see a shampoo or soap dispenser in their bathroom; or anything close to the kitchen soap dispensers like this one reviewed here at Sinkhq.com.

What was hair care like during their time?

They made use of indigenous items like roots, herbs, oils, infusions, and teas. Here are some natural hair practices of American Indians.

  1. Aloe vera

Abundant in their surroundings, aloe vera was used since ancient times by our Native ancestors. It provided protection for the hair from the blistering sun and the elements. Regular use of aloe vera helped keep the hair silky and soft. But they didn’t only use it as natural shampoo; they also ate aloe as toxic cleaners and immune boosters.

  1. Rosemary

Although rosemary is known for its uses in the kitchen, American Indians have a unique use for it. They infused the herb in oil and applied it into their hair and scalp. The inherent properties of rosemary helped stimulate blood circulation thereby allowing hair follicles to function and breathe normally. This results in a delayed graying of hair among Native Americans.

  1. Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is a common herb among Native Indian tribes. Aside from its nutritional values, it also has very good medicinal benefits. They dried the fruit Saw Palmetto, grind it, and concocted into teas, ointments and tinctures which can applied to the scalp and hair. It strengthened the hair and helped prevent scaly scalp. Furthermore, Saw Palmetto was also used to prevent baldness. It can be used as topical application or taken orally for beautiful indigenous hair.

  1. Stinging Nettle

Long before modern science has discovered the medicinal properties of Stinging Nettle, Native Americans have been using it to prevent hair loss. This grass is abundant in the wild and is widely available to the Native Americans. They’ve used this herb as hair moisturizer as well as a tea for drinking. Stinging Nettle contains high levels of vitamins B, C, and K as well as iron and amino acids – all of this can help grow healthy and strong hair.

  1. Washing & Protective Styling

Native Americans didn’t mess with their hair by washing it everyday thereby allowing uninterrupted hair growth. They also practiced braiding which is actually a form of protective styling. Although they would normally decorate or dress their hair on different occasions, they would only usually do a French braid or one big braid. This way, they protected their hair.

 

Lessons We Can Learn from the Native Americans

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Lessons We Can Learn from the Native Americans

If you don’t like history, you’re throwing away a huge chance to learn about the things other people went through without having to go through that trouble yourself. Why would you miss out on a chance to learn from the past, if it meant that your future would be better? There are so many lessons that we can learn from the Native Americans that apply so well to modern day. I’ve studied a lot of the philosophy that the Indians had, and I want to share with you guys some of the lessons I learned. Here are some truths that you can apply to your own life!

Waste Not, Want Not

Maybe the Indians didn’t invent that saying, but they certainly practiced it. Whenever the Native American people killed an animal, they used every part of its body. It was considered disrespectful to the spirit of the animal to throw anything away, so everything was used. The meat was eaten, the bones could be used as tools, the brain was perfect for tanning leather, and the skin was used for tents or clothes. Even the sinew from the muscles that couldn’t be eaten was used for a sort of twine, to tie clothes together or to sew tents. Most modern cultures are far too wasteful, and we could take a lesson from the Indians here. Reuse water bottles, keep plastic containers, use less water for dishes… There are all sorts of ways to show respect to nature and keep things in balance.

Be One with the World

Our modern culture conquer nature; the Indians wanted to live side-by-side with it. It’s much better to try and be one with nature, rather than trying to control it. We tend to see so many animals as pests, but often they were here long before us and will be there after we’re gone. That being said, I am very glad that we have bug traps like the ones from http://insectmurderer.com, because some animals truly are pests! However, often we should just observe the nature around us and be at peace with it as much as possible.

Believe in the Spirits

I don’t know what your personal beliefs are, and I don’t want to contradict them. I do think it’s valuable to see the world as the Indians saw it; that there was a bit of God or “The Great Spirit” in everything. You could see it in the deer, or the trees, or the rivers. This is why they didn’t waste anything of what they killed, because it disrespected the gifts of the Great Spirit to throw anything away. I believe it is valuable to have that attitude towards nature, because it makes you respect it. You won’t disrespect something that has a personality and feelings of its own, would you? Nature is more of a living being than we often think. Maybe that’s why we have environmental problems; we have no respect for the spirit of nature.

Native American Indian Cultural Vacation Spots

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Native American Indian Cultural Vacation Spots

Some vacations are all about relaxing somewhere nice; you don’t need to learn anything, and you don’t need to do anything. However, sometimes it’s nice to take a vacation where you learn something new. I’ve taken a few vacations in the US where I just wanted to learn about Indian culture all over the country.

The US is a gigantic country. There is a joke that it’s the only place where you can move 3000 miles away and still be in the same country. Because of the massive size of the country, many Indian tribes did not have anything to do with each other, so their cultures never influenced each other. The Indians of the American Southwest are quite different than the Indians of the Northeast. But here are a few of my favorite Native American Cultural Vacation Spots.

New Mexico

New Mexico has one of the most interesting populations of Navajo people in the US. The city of Santa Fe is a wonderful glimpse into the culture that dominated the area hundreds of years ago. The turquoise jewelry is the hallmark of this tribe, and the beautiful designs and paintings that cover the rocks draw the eyes as well.

In addition, if you’re in New Mexico you might want to take a trip up north to Southern Colorado. There, you will find the Pueblo city of Mesa Verde. This tribe built clay houses right into the sides of the mountains, hundreds and hundreds of feet in the air. These “mesas” or “tables” hold large villages that were home to hundreds of people. They were mostly safe from invasion, and were protected by layers of ladders that traced the area. If you’re a thrill seeker, you’ll love the Pueblo dwellings.

Virginia

The first contact that the British colonies had with Native Americans was around the area that is now known as Virginia. These were the Powhatan Indians. Pocahontas is the most famous member of this tribe. Near Williamsburg, VA you will find an abundance of cultural history, both of the US and of the Native Americans. Jamestown features dig sites that constantly unearth pottery, and evidence of trade between the Englishman and the Indians. These tribes were largely matriarchal, and had views we would consider differently today in many cases. For example, they viewed menstruation positively, as a sign of new life and replacement of the old. This view is held today by Top Ladies Secret and other sites as well. We can learn a lot from their views!

Other Cultural Spots

You can find amazing cultural heritage in other places in the US as well, such as Alaska, Tennessee, and Kansas. Native Americans left their mark on the United States in the big way; most of the states are named after the tribes that once lived there. Anywhere you travel in the US, you will find cultural landmarks that point all the way back to the days of the Native Americans. Don’t just pass these by; take some time to learn about them!

Exploring Three Most Common Native American Weapons of War

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Exploring Three Most Common Native American Weapons of War

Warfare was a normal part of the lives of Native Americans. In fact, tribal wars were not uncommon and each tribe has their own unique customs, traditions and beliefs. It’s also not surprising that American Indian weapons are among the most common artifacts we can find today.

So, what were the weapons used by Native Indians? Here are three most common American Indian weapons.

  1. Bows and arrows

When you talk about American Indian weapons, the first thing that comes to mind are bows and arrows. And that’s for good reason, since these are easily available in their surroundings. These weapons are also not only used for wars, they are also useful in hunting. Native Americans are particularly good in using bows and arrows. Some of the earliest arrowheads date back to almost 13,000 years which were primarily used for hunting.

The regular bows are usually made of wood but some composite bows used layers of sinew and animal horn. These composite bows are more powerful and are able to shoot long distance and had more impact. Some tribes preferred short bows, particularly tribes who herded horses, while the other used long bows. The bowstrings are made of yucca and other plant fibers. The arrows were made of wood with flint or other hard stones as arrowheads. Other tribes used bone or copper as arrowheads. Arrows without arrowhead (only sharpened tip) were used mainly for hunting. One distinct feature of arrows from Inuit and other polar tribes is that they didn’t have feather fletching. Most American Indian arrows are fletched with feathers for more accuracy.

  1. Knives

You can’t compare the Native American knives with the modern survival knives reviewed here at AskLancelot.com. Native Indians used stone, such as flint, obsidian, and flint, as main material for their knives. They sharpened the edges of these stones. It’s amazing because they didn’t have any knife sharpener like these: http://asklancelot.com/best-knife-sharpeners/. They used hard, stone materials for sharpening knives. Tribes in the Northwest Coast are particularly adept metalworkers. They were able to produce copper, steel and iron knives that were stronger, harder and sharper. Meanwhile, the Inuit and other Eskimo had uniquely shaped knives (known as ulu) made from ivory, copper and bone for their knives.

To the Native Americans, knives were a weapon of last resort. However, they had many uses such as making crafts, prepare food, build igloos, and slaughter animals.

  1. Spears

Dating back to the ancient times, spears were very much common just like bows and arrows. Spears served like missiles that are launched using specialized equipment called atlatls (throwing board or spear-throwers). They are a powerful weapon that had better range compared to the arrows. Native Americans used spears and atlatls against the conquistadors and early European conquerors. According to the accounts of the Europeans, spears propelled from the atlatl were capable of penetrating chain mail armor thus slowing their military campaign.

The spears were made from lightweight wood with sharpened bone or stone as spearheads. Most spears were fletched with feathers just like arrows. However, North American tribes, such as Plains Indian tribes, used melee spear also referred as a lance. With the taming of horses and introduction to warfare, these war lances became ever more useful weapons particularly for mounted warriors. Meanwhile, the Inuit and Northwest tribes used harpoons for hunting large animals such as elephants, walruses and even whales. These weapons (harpoons) are not like the regular spears because they were heavier and are attached to cords made of sealskin. This allowed the hunters to reel the game in.

Aside from these three traditional weapons, different Native American tribes are adept at using other tools such as war clubs, axes and tomahawks, swords, coup sticks, and bolas. Their arsenal of weapons for hunting is also used for wars which gives them a fairly large collection to choose from.

Did Native Americans Ever Played Games?

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Did Native Americans Ever Played Games?

The answer is yes.

I’ve been hearing this same question for quite a long time now from both kids and adults interested about the Native American’s way of life. And many are still surprised when they learn that our ancestors actually know how to play games.

Traditional games were part of their ancient traditions and culture. But unlike modern sporting events, ancient games played by Native Americans had many purposes.

They strengthened the body and spirit through exercise as well as brought the community together. They helped instill values such as endurance, fairness and patience, as well as skills that they need in life.

Games were essential to our ancestors, such that, they were participated not only by children but also by adults and youth. Every member of the tribe is actually involved in sports, either as spectator or as an athlete. And it proved to be practical as it helped sharpen their survival skills and reinforce group cooperation. Traditional sports also maintained the warriors’ combat skills and readiness. They helped keep the tribe healthy and fit, and thrive in their harsh environment.

3 Native American games we still see today

As you can see, games were not only a past-time of our ancestors. They are an integral part of their everyday lives. But while Native Americans had a lot of physical and chance games, there are virtually no traditional games that are still being played today. However, there are three modern sporting events that have a close semblance or have originated from traditional Native American games.

  1. Stickball

What we now know as lacrosse actually originated from a Native game, stickball. The forerunner of lacrosse has a very basic rule which is to move the ball down the field using only their sticks. A score is made when you are able to hit the opposing team’s goal posts with the ball. They used a hoop with an inner web-like mesh to catch the ball made of indigenous material. The players also made their own sticks. There were no lacrosse racquets, which now look more like the badminton rackets reviewed at https://peakstriker.com/.

Unlike modern lacrosse, stickball can have up to hundreds of players to a team and with the playing field spanning for miles. Aside from being a physical event, it was also a spiritual event and is thought to heal the sick. Different ceremonials rituals come along with the game – and some of which still remain evident with modern lacrosse.

  1. Chunkey (Hoop and Pole)

Different Native American tribes played unique versions of hoop and pole. In this traditional game, the teams roll along the ground a hoop with inner web-like mesh. The players (usually boys) will then attempt to pierce it using an arrow shot from a bow or a spear. The teams then take turns shooting the hoop. This hoop looks more like a tennis racquet. You can view one here at Peak Striker.com to visualize it.

Every time an arrow or bow hits the hoop, the team gets another chance to shoot. The game ends when one team runs out of spear or bow. This Native game helped sharpen their hunting skills.

The mechanics of Hoop and Pole is still being played today, such as in archery, darts and similar sporting events, as well as, in some children’s games.

  1. Pasuckuakohowog

This Native American game has been played as early as the 17th century and translates to “they gather to play ball with the foot.” It is akin to soccer or football. The Algonquin and Powhatan tribes were among its early players. Their playing field measured about half mile wide and had two goals that were one mile apart. For the ball, they used tightly wound animal hides or leather. Similar with modern soccer, the basic rule was to get the ball to the other team’s goal without using hands and primarily the feet. But unlike modern soccer that is less physical, Pasuckuakohowog is played in a violent and aggressive manner.

This ancient version of soccer was not a very nice sport with some players often retiring with serious injuries or broken bones. It can have up to a thousand players in one game. It can get chaotic and more likely symbolize warfare. However, it was culturally significant as it kept the warriors in shape and ready. There was also a celebratory feast after each game.

From stickball to Pasuckuakohowog, sporting events have played a vital part in the Native American culture!

What’s The Next Culinary Trend To Watch Out For? Read This

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What’s The Next Culinary Trend To Watch Out For? Read This

Americans love cheeseburger, tacos, hotdogs, French fries, and anything grilled or smoked like ribs, steak and meat. Every American home surely has a grill or smoker such as those reviewed here at https://smokeysteakranch.com/. These are classic American foods that everyone loves.

But aside from feasting on our own homegrown menu, a lot of us crave for international cuisines that originate from other parts of the globe. Look around and you’ll surely find lots of Japanese, Korean and other Asian restaurants. You won’t also run out of Italian and other European restos. And there are also others who love food establishments offering a taste of South America.

But there’s one sad reality, only very few patronize our very own Native American dishes. In fact, restaurants that specialize in American Indian menu are a rarity.

While the Native American cooking has all the makings of a culinary trend, it seems limited by people’s unfamiliarity to this menu and its rich history. So, in this post we’ll see how the menu of the first inhabitants of the New World looked like.

What was the staple food of the Native American tribes?

Maize or Indian corn is considered the most important food crop of the Native Americans. There were farming tribes that cultivated this corn. Other crops that were common in their menu included squash, beans, wild rice, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet tomatoes, papayas, avocados, and peanuts.

But aside from these crops, Native American diet was very meat-heavy. The feasted on games like deer, rabbit, buffalo, elk, and caribou as well as ducks, turkeys, geese and other birds; fish like salmon and even whales. Almost any animal that can be hunted can be included into the menu.

What was Native American menu like?

Native American menu was simple. They had not much spices on their food and often feasted on fresh bounty. Meat was usually grilled on stones or roasted on fire. Fish was either smoked or baked. They didn’t have the luxury of modern gas smokers like those at Smokey Steak Ranch, so they used whatever was available. They also enjoyed stews and soups that comprised of their harvest. Corn was eaten in several ways, such as tortillas, popcorn, corn-on-the-cob, and hominy. Later on, they learned how to make corn bread.

For dessert, the Native Americans ate maple candy, fresh fruits, and fruit puddings. They also learned how to make hot chocolate beverage and some tribes developed chicha, which is an alcoholic beverage based on corn.

What changed in the Native American menu through the years?

When the Europeans came, new animals, spices and plant varieties were introduced into the Native America diet. Wheat, cows, sheep and banana were added into their menu. New crops were also introduced to the traditional crops, giving way to new dishes. Cooking techniques were also introduced.

The widespread hunting and deforestation of the new settlers forced some tribes to change their traditional lifestyles and that included their eating regimen. There were also tribes that moved to reservations far from where they originated and detached from their traditional agriculture. This has resulted in a major change in the way Native American tribes ate.

Modernization has also caught up with the tribal life which soon resulted in the gradual change in many traditional Native American food preparation and recipes. Today, there are only very few Native American menus and dishes that we come to know. Many have been lost through the years and the time is ripe for it to be given the center-stage.

There have been attempts to rediscover and reinvent the Native American cuisine but for it to flourish, we need to embrace and patronize it!

Native American Clothing: What Native Americans Wore?

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Native American Clothing: What Native Americans Wore?

Long before the Western Europeans set foot in the vast North America, Native Americans already have their clothing styles that were influenced by utility more than fashion and artistry. Almost every tribe had its own unique style of dress, and usually tribe members could be distinguished by simply looking at their traditional clothing, ornamentation, and headdresses. The clothing style would eventually change with the arrival and influence of Western Europeans.

Native Americans made use of indigenous materials that were available to their tribes. Many tribes used animal hides for their clothing, which they used when hunting. Other tribes like the Iroquois and Cherokee used deerskin. While the Inuit from Alaska used caribou or seal skin, and the Plains Indians wore buffalo skin. Other tribes such as the Apache and Navajo made clothing from weaving thread and plants. They also learned how to weave tunics and blankets. Of course, you don’t expect these woven threads to be as crease-free as the clothes we now have. Obviously, they used crude materials for ‘ironing’ their clothes as there were no steam irons at that time (here’s a link to steaming iron reviews).

Breechcloths, which were a rectangular piece of cloth or hide tucked over a belt, were common clothing worn by men in many Native American tribes. The cloth flaps fell down in front and behind to cover their genitals. During cold climates, men wear leather leggings. In some tribes, men wore fur trousers or short kilt instead the usual breechcloths. Not all Native American tribes used shirts. For instance, Plains Indian warrior had special buckskin war shirts that were decorated with intricate beadwork and quillwork as well as ermine hair and tail.

As with men, Native American women wore clothing for utility and not for fashion. Native Indian women also wore skirts and leggings, but the design, length and material varied depending on the tribe. Women’s shirt was optional for many tribes and used them more like coats. In other tribes, American Indian dresses were one-piece clothing that was worn overhead.

For the footwear, nearly all tribes used mukluk (a heavy boot) or a moccasin (a sturdy leather shoe). The designs and styles of the footwear varied depending on the tribe. There were also additional clothes that were used on certain occasions or climates. For instance, many tribes wore cloaks during cold climates, while some northern tribes used fur parkas. The tribes differ greatly in terms of formal clothing and headgear, which were different in every tribe. Usually, headgear complimented the hairstyles of the natives.

A dramatic evolution in the clothes of Native Americans was seen after colonization. While the colonizers did not bring technologically advanced equipment, such as a flat iron or even a one of Rowenta steam irons, the colonizer’s culture and fashion sense has greatly influenced the Native American’s clothing style. Native Indians started to adapt some European design styles into their own designs. Aside from this, there was also mingling among the different Indian tribes. As they were forcibly evicted from their lands, the natives were also forced to live close to each other resulting in the merging of tribal dress styles. Post-colonial native dresses were reflective of the colonizer’s clothing style. Fashion became the main driver of new clothing styles. Soon, the Native Indian clothes such as headdresses, breechcloths, leggings and dance shawls became decorative, often worn only during religious ceremonies and powwows. Native American Indians used regalia for traditional clothes there were worn only on special, ceremonial occasions.

How Native American Indians Used to Smoke Meat To Prepare A Nice And Juicy Meal

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How Native American Indians Used to Smoke Meat To Prepare A Nice And Juicy Meal

How foods were prepared in the past is something that is very intriguing to today’s society. The reason for this is that it’s often hard to imagine how we have grown into such a technologically advanced culture, one where not having a stove is uncommon, and grills are often made to look fancy rather than to be as practical as they could and should be. As a result, it’s nice, every once in a while to look back at the ways in which the Native American Indians prepared their meals and perhaps even try out some of these tricks as a reflection of how things once were and of course, to get a taste of the great flavours that they had during their times.

There are many different ways that Native American Indians used to prepare their meats. These include roasting them over a hot, open fire, grilling them on hot stones, as well as smoking them.

When it comes to smoking meat, this is something that leaves the meat with a decadent texture and of course, an incredibly rich flavour.

How Smoking the Meat Was Done

tasty smoked meatTypically, when smoking meat, the Native American Indians would cut the meat into strips and place it on a rack where it would be hung and then later smoked. This would not only give the meat a great flavour, but it was a great way of preserving the meat. Once the meat had been smoked, it wasn’t uncommon for it to stay good for quite some time and thus this was a tactic that was employed when storage of the meat was necessary. Unlike many meats that develop a dry texture when hung, the smoke enabled the meat to remain juicy rather than becoming too dry.

The fires that were used to smoke the meat were not generally large. Upon the coal, wood was laid in order to keep the fire going and produce light fumes that would both preserve and add flavour to the meats. This wasn’t typically a job for the elders. Instead, the younger Native American Indians were the ones assigned to watching the smoke, ensuring that it stays at just the right amount throughout the process and feeding more wood when necessary. In contrast, nowadays people simply get a good smoker and smoke their meat with a click of a button.

What is also interesting to note about the Native American Indian culture in relation to cooking, is that back then, wasting any part of the animal they were preparing was not an option. In accordance with this, parts like the eyes and the tongue that would be easily discarded in today’s society were not seen as trash to the Native American Indians back then.

Smoking meat was not only a delicious way to prepare a meal, but it was also a necessary one. The fact that this measure would allow the meats to stay edible for a longer period of time, meant that none of their preciously hunted food would go to waste and also that their food storage wouldn’t be limited during the harsher months of the year.

Using Modern Lighting to Illuminate the Past

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Using Modern Lighting to Illuminate the Past

Light is really a wonderful thing. Though light from the sun is a bit different from the light produced by a LED bar or a similar electronic source, the fact is they are both able to brighten an area and make things more visible. As I journey around checking out various sites across North America to try and find stories of the people who were here before us, I find myself packing light sources all the time. Many of my searches take me into the depths of caves, or into the sides of cliffs, or into other locations which haven’t seen light in centuries.

Actually, it’s gotten to the point where I don’t even carry around those big, bulky flashlights anymore. One of the main ways LED lighting is superior to standard bulbs is in the weight of the device. When comparing a system of LED lights to traditional lights where both systems produce the same amount of light, or lumens, it is a guarantee that the LED system will simply weigh less. It requires less wiring and is designed in such a way as to make it more portable and easier to carry. That’s not to say the LED lights I use are always necessarily better than other types of lights.

led light barFor starters, I’ve noticed that LED bars and other lighting fixtures tend to be unable to produce a great deal of light. They can be bright, but certainly spotlights and other light sources with a good deal of energy flowing into them are still capable of producing more light. On light bars like the ones I use, it can also be a real pain when individual LED cells die, leaving me with a bar which has uneven lighting. These are impossible to replace as far as I know, though I imagine there is a way. I also imagine it would probably just be cheaper to replace the entire bar, as I’ve done several times in the past.

The bottom line is, when I’m going for my treks, climbs and hikes to check out various areas with a strong Native presence here in North America, I need to be able to move quickly and easily. I can’t afford to be tied down by heavy equipment, or burdened with items that are unwieldy or difficult to maneuver in an enclosed environment. In a great number of different ways, LED lighting is better than other types of lighting for the things I want to do. I’ve already outlined how it isn’t perfect here, but remember nothing is perfect, right?

In my experience, it’s the best kind of lighting there is. But everyone has different needs, you know? I need to be able to spot things like bits of pottery, arrowheads, tools and other remains left behind when I’m rooting through dark places. This means I usually need at least a free hand to dig through dirt or other roughage while my other hand holds onto the light. Comfortable clothing is also important here, but I think I already mentioned that.

Interesting and amazing Native American customs

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Interesting and amazing Native American customsIt is always interesting to delve into the past and find about the culture, life, and ways of our ancestors. From the early civilization to the present day culture, there have been many changes for the better and sometimes for worse too. Nevertheless knowing about a particular tribe’s culture helps in understanding their way of life and gives us a glimpse of the world that was at that particular time. Native American customs form a part of their culture. They have evolved from their spiritual traditions and beliefs. Here are a few of the intriguing customs:

Medicine man

In Native American custom, the medicine man features prominently. While the names may vary based on the particular tribe, they were mostly decided based on the person’s character, animals, natural environment, and certain other factors. The medicine men were healers who performed rituals to ward off evil and cure illnesses in persons. Bloodletting was a common procedure used by the medicine men to treat back pain, headaches, and other illnesses.

Totem animal

Native Americans believed that each human being possesses an inherent animal presence or force such as bear, wolf, or eagle. This is a chief identity used by a tribe and is subject to many controversies and superstitions. The animal names were taken up to serve as guardian angel for them. This animal symbolism has been linked to astrology and is representative of the culture, customs and natural influences.

Dancing

Most of the celebrations in the Native American communities featured ritual dances in which men and women took part. Mostly the dances were performed to celebrate victory in battle. The blowing of conches was also done to indicate victory. Empty conch shells were also used as calling bells.

Nowadays with the huge technological advancements, we have sophisticated door bells, free of wires to ensure safety in homes. In addition to victory dances, joyous occasions such as weddings, religious festivals, and corn harvest were considered important and dancing was held at such events. The bravery of the soldiers in battles can be seen depicted clearly in the dances, which mimicked the fighting sequences in them.

Painting in sand

Based on the Navajo beliefs, the sand paintings were the gift bestowed upon the natives by the holy people. The paintings were done with a blend of gypsum, ochre, red sandstone, and charcoal and mixed using different techniques. The paintings created on a smooth sand base turned into a custom followed by several tribes. For added color, crushed flower petals as well as cornmeal was included. The paintings are connected to Navajo mythology and symbolize healing, harvest and other joyous events. Legendary visions, sacred mountains, and traditional dances are commonly featured in these paintings.

Sky, Great Spirit and Earth

Wakan-Taka, the Great Spirit is the core of universe and is present inside every person, according to the Native Americans and most customs followed by them revolve around this concept. Men and women thank the Great Spirit for their existence. The revered circle symbolized by rotating earth, stars and elements are related to the Great Spirit. The spirit was believed to wield control over stones, clouds, trees, animals and everything on earth.

Choose the right spiritual path to defend yourself with

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Choose the right spiritual path to defend yourself withOne of my latest posts reminded me of how important it is to stay rooted. By this I mean keeping in touch with your cultural roots, whether by heritage or those you’ve chosen to affiliate yourself with. And by affiliation I do not mean deliberately accepting the general behavior of mainstream ‘multicultural’ and commercial-oriented culture which has tragically become the American way of life. Back then, particularly before the Western settlers arrived and drove our forefathers and their tribes from their hallowed land, the American way of life was quite different. I feel myself drawing closer to those spiritual roots every day that goes by.

The spiritual significance of cultural weapons

Westernized culture also went on to create offensive ‘cowboys and Indians’ movies which always portrayed the Native American warriors as the proverbial bad guys. They were portrayed as vile primitive beasts that derived sustenance from drawing blood from innocent victims. And the primitive weapons they used, bows, arrows and axes, were their killing machines. But how quickly modern society still forgets what these weapons really meant to the young braves who were selected to defend their tribes and leave home on hunting expeditions to ensure their tribes’ survival.

It is also not out of place to suggest that these hand-crafted weapons had religious and/or spiritual significance for these men and in learned circles today, particularly among the survivors of those tribes who choose to have them close to their person; these weapons are regarded as cultural accoutrements. Apart from its spiritual significance, the weapons mainly served as a means which to defend with, not annihilate or wantonly kill with. As tools of necessity, these cultural weapons also resonate with the spiritual philosophies of the true martial arts practitioner.

The talismanic value of the jewelry I wear

When they practice their kicking and punching skills on a good freestanding punching bag, they don’t have vengeance in mind nor do they have venom coursing through their veins. I hope these thoughts on weapons and the means for equipping yourself with effective fighting skills have placed you in the right frame of mind too, particularly in light of recent, violent events plaguing mainstream society today. As it has helped me, it will also help you to stay rooted as a well-rounded American. It goes without saying that it would please me even more if you chose to one day become a true Native American.

I’d like to close this post with one more thought on my culture of choice. I’m digressing slightly from what I said earlier on being superstitious. Let me rephrase; I am still marveling at my transformation from being an inherently suspicious and superstitious young man to one who derives great spiritual value and benefit from the talismanic jewelry I now wear religiously.

To help you fully appreciate what I feel and mean to say here, think also of those folks who swear by wearing the Star of David or a crucifix around their necks.

Awareness of cultural diversity, brings about respect, appreciation and joy

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Even among the many Native American or Indian tribes of North America, there is cultural diversity. Long before European colonialists arrived to settle on the vast plains of the New Continent, clearing indigenous tribes, often violently and cruelly, from land they had inhabited for hundreds of years, there was cultural diversity among all the original and first inhabitants of Canada and the United States of America. Having come from all corners of the earth to settle here long before the ‘white’ colonists arrived, Native Americans were inherently different from each other in numerous but subtle cultural and religious ways.

Ignorance then and now

Yet even then, the indigenous North American tribes did not fully appreciate their unique and invaluable differences and still went to war against each other, usually over issues related to living space and natural and food resources. Back then, they did not have the benefit of opaque or bright LED light bars to see their way clearly through the fog of prejudice. But sadly and ironically, while the last remaining survivors of the continent’s indigenous settlers, often living in rural settings and in squalor on locations, now have a greater appreciation of cultural differences than their perceived urban sophisticates. With the benefit of technologies and vast resources of knowledge, mainstream (urban) American society remains far less aware and appreciative.

Recent remarks by a Presidential candidate have been taken so seriously that it prompted the White House to call upon the Grand Old Party to take action and remove this candidate from its roll. And yet among the remaining Republican candidates there are signs of hope because these gentlemen, one way or another, show signs of cultural sensitivity and tolerance, whether through proclamations or actions.

What needs to be done and what we can achieve

Speaking of actions little is actually done by mainstream American politicians to help improve the lot of our Native Americans. As you should know by now, many of them remain underdeveloped on isolated locations. And instead of beneficiating their elders and leaders with reckless casinos, we could be giving them a lift-up with more sustainable tools and work and life options and reviews, such as the ones shown here, farming and natural power-generating business opportunities.

These examples given here are perfect for propagating what we’re trying to achieve here. Close to our indigenous roots, we are trying to create greater awareness of our cultural diversity. By doing this, more respect and tolerance for those who are different is possible. And when this is achieved, we get more appreciation and joy out of life, particularly when we are able to laugh at ourselves when noting those quirky similarities that we did not know about before.

For instance, did you know that clan leaders of indigenous Southern African tribes are also referred to as ‘chief’? And did you know that like the buffalo once was to the Native Americans, the African bull is a prized asset of Southern African males?

Native Americans’ Traditional Fishing Techniques

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Aside from hunting and farming, fishing is another essential life skill that every adult Native American had to learn. But unlike the fishing that we now know (complete with spinning reels, a fishing rod and a bait), ancient fishing methods of the Native Americans were completely different.

Native Americans lacked conventional tools so they devised ingenious ways of catching fish. Had there been modern spinning reels, like the ones found at SpinningReelPro.com, things would have been much different.

The first settlers from the New World were impressed at how skillful at fishing the natives were. Their fishing techniques relied on indigenous materials and were especially designed for shallow waters. Since they had no metals, the natives used net-like obstructions (weirs) made of woven or tied weeds to catch or impound fish. They carefully placed weirs across channels or streams where fish most likely pass through. The weirs were made of tied or woven reeds, and are anchored to the sand using poles. The top of these crude fish nets extended above the water and appeared like fences. The patterns are carefully designed and weirs are arranged to ensure fish are impounded.

Besides using weirs, the natives, particularly men, were good at spear fishing. Spear fishing was a skill reserved for men, meanwhile women employed simple string with a hook for catching fish. Spring and winter proved to be the perfect time for spear fishing. Once the lakes froze, the natives cut a hole through the ice where they let down their hand crafted lures made of bones or woods. They peek through the hole in the ice, thereby covering the incoming light and providing them better view of the fish beneath.

Natives used different implements for spear fishing depending on the size of the fish they were catching. Before they started using metal and copper, the tips were made of sharpened wood or stick. The shafts were also made from wood. For small fishes, three-pronged spears were used.

During spring, the Native Americans rode canoes as they went spear fishing. The natives went spear fishing at night and used fire torches to light up the water’s surface. They traversed shallow waters. Usually, they stood for long periods of time while waiting for the perfect moment to let out the spear.

Nowadays, the traditional fishing techniques of Native Americans are not commonly used because of the much easier and more versatile fishing reel and rod. You can choose from the different saltwater spinning reel by visiting this site. Aside from fishing rod and reel, there are also modern methods of spear fishing. There are spear guns used for spear fishing, usually done with scuba diving. Due to environmental concerns, fishing may also be restricted to designated fishing areas.

What Colors Meant to the Native Americans?

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Native American paintings reveal so much about the culture and life of our ancestors. Like any other art forms, Native American paintings are replete with both physical and spiritual representations. Indians traditionally painted everyday items such as clothing, pottery, woodcrafts, and even cave walls and tipi covers. The most notable of all woodcrafts are the Totem Poles. But unlike today where we have power tools, such as air compressors with adjustable nozzle (visit this site for more details), that make painting much easier, ancient Indian tribes manually painted their pieces using rudimentary tools.

color-wheelWhile a great chunk of Native Indian art has not survived time, many ancient symbols are still used today as tattoo designs. They are also depicted on numerous objects such as clothes, tepees, and custom art. A lot of us appreciate this ancient art symbols, particularly Totem Poles, but do we really know their meaning, much less the significance of the colors they used?

Native American Indians used colors to show the meanings in their Totem Poles. There are many different tribes and each associate unique meaning to colors. Red color symbolizes life, power, blood, war, strength, energy, and success in war. It may also represent beauty and happiness. In totem poles, red is frequently seen as the scarlet tanager, the crest of a red-headed woodpecker, or the tongue of an animal.

White and other light colors are used as background. They represent the spacious heavens and the skies. It also means peace, purity and death.

In Native Indian art, black is a “living” color and usually used as face paint for war. It is very aggressive and stood for power and strength. They are often used to define lines in Totem Poles. They used mud from sulphur springs and other earth deposits for color black.

Blue symbolizes the skies as well as the waters, lakes and rivers. Some tribes use dark blue to signify mountains as seen from a distance. The color represents happiness and sincerity. Native Indians derived the color from berries. Sometimes they used western pigments and clay that lent different hues of blue.

Predominant in their surroundings, yellow is a perennial color in Totem Poles and represents happiness, sun and light. Native Indians source yellow dye from tree moss, clays, tannic barks, and roots.

The trees, the hills, the earth, and the mountains are represented by the color green. These natural features are predominant in Indian legends and are thus frequently depicted in Totem Poles. The color green is usually produced by mixing blue and yellow, but can also be derived from simple acid action on copper. The extracts from grass likewise produce green dye.

Purple coming from huckleberries is commonly used by Indians to symbolize reverent nature. It may also represent mountains in the distance.

Native Indian art has provided an effective way of enriching and passing their culture. Today, many Native American Indian artists continue the traditional art, blending ancient art with mainstream art. Colors are effectively used to convey the artist’s ideas.

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