Exciting Ways To Experience The Native American Culture

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Exciting Ways To Experience The Native American Culture

Who said learning about the Native American culture is boring?

There are many exciting ways to learn about and appreciate the Native American culture. More than just reading textbooks, looking at pictures in the Internet, or watching videos, there are interactive and immersive activities that you can do for better appreciation of our ancient culture.

Below let’s check out some destinations, activities and ways you can experience Native American way of life.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Found in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is home to the Native Indian culture of the state’s 19 pueblos. There is a weekly performance held at the plaza and attended by indigenous groups. There’s research library and a museum that houses numerous exhibits and resources on the Indian Pueblo culture. There’s also an annual film festival that features Native American cinema. If you want to try authentic pueblo cuisine, then be sure to visit the cultural center’s in-house café.

Navajo Nation Fair

A must-see if you want a firsthand experience of the Navajo culture, the Navajo Nation Fair is an annual gathering and celebration held at Window Rock, Arizona. During this week-long celebration, the indigenous group descends to the capital of the Navajo Nation to showcase their culture and participate in various activities. Visitors can see events like traditional singing and dancing, parade, science fair, and a pageant. Of course, you can expect the usual activities in a fair like food stations, rides, etc.

Petroglyph National Monument

A trip to the Petroglyph National Monument is a great way to learn our country’s earliest settlers. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the place is considered one of the largest petroglyph sites in the US. You might think that with its rugged terrain, the place should be great to drive your off-road truck equipped with a 30-inch LED light bar reviewed at http://lightbarreport.com/best-30-inch-led-light-bar-reviews/. Unfortunately, driving isn’t allowed. You really have to walk and follow the trail from the visitor center to the petroglyph sites.

Once on the cliff, you can see thousands of mysterious shapes and drawings of humans and animals etched into the stones. These stone markings date back to between 400 and 2,000 years

ago,

and show a record of the Native Americans. Some stones also bear marking of the Spanish colonists who traversed the lands around 16th century. Indigenous people regard the place as holy, so act accordingly when you get there.

Taos Pueblo

What better way to experience Native American culture than by immersing with the Taos Indians. Located in the Northern

New Mexico, the five-story adobe residential complex showcases the indigenous culture of Taos Indians. To date, the residential complex is home to about 150 Taos. The place has been their home for more than five decades now, making it one of the oldest communities in the country. And the good news is that it is open to the public seven days a week, except during some days when they hold tribal rituals usually in late winter and early spring.

These are just four great ways to immerse into the Native American culture. There are still many more events and destinations that we’ll feature in our future posts.

Best Ways to Experience Native American Culture

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Best Ways to Experience Native American Culture

There’s no better way to learn and appreciate the Native American culture than a firsthand experience of their way of life. Fortunately, there are many initiatives being put to help preserve, protect and make the fascinating culture and history of Native Americans accessible to all.

Visitors, enthusiasts and culture buffs have the opportunity to learn about the indigenous culture through immersive activities such as attending events, visiting living history museums, exploring ancient sites, viewing exhibits, and spending a day at a “pueblo” or a Native American settlement.

With so many things to see and do, make sure you plan your trip well. A paper planner like those reviewed at GetLifeYouDesire.com can help you in sorting out your schedule for this immersion. Write down your goals, like a bucket list, and cross each one out as you accomplish them. It’s also nice carry around a planner where you can write about your new discoveries and other stuff.

So, what are some events and places to experience Native American culture? Check out this list.

Cherokee Heritage Center (Tahlequah, Oklahoma)

Located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains is the Cherokee Heritage Center. This expansive cultural site spans 18 hectares and is dedicated to preserve the artifacts and culture of the Cherokee tribe. Among its best features is the Diligwa, a living history exhibit that lets visitors experience how the 17th century Cherokee villages looked like. You can also see the daily life of our ancestors through craft-making demonstrations and storytelling.

Then, there’s also the Trail of Tears exhibit that depicts the tragic history of Cherokees, their removal from their ancestral lands in the 1800s. You should also not miss the cultural classes that promote the Native American arts such as basketry, pottery and crafts. The center also hosts art shows that feature contemporary and traditional Cherokee art. Be sure to mark the dates in your calendar or planner. However, if you don’t own a planner yet, you can visit this link https://getlifeyoudesire.com/best-hourly-planners-for-busy-women/ to find one that suits your preferences.

Gathering of Nations (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Experience Native American culture in this annual fest held at Albuquerque, New Mexico. This annual event is attended by thousands of indigenous people coming from different tribes around the country. It’s a multi-day event that is filled with events that promote our ancient culture. Some highlights of the gathering are the drumming competitions, traditional dance, and songs. Over 3,000 performers from 500 indigenous tribes make the festivities very colorful. There’s also a bazaar of Native American crafts and products, such as pottery, jewelry and artworks. If you get hungry, don’t worry as there’s a banquet of traditional American cuisines.

Blackfeet Heritage Center (Browning, Montana)

A warm, traditional welcome awaits you at the Blackfeet Heritage Center. Situated on the Indian reservation, this cultural site lets you walk through the Tipi Village and Lodgepole Gallery. Here they showcase an array of indigenous crafts and drums made of bison hide and elk. You can also purchase them as keepsakes or remembrance. You can go on a cultural tour and see a number of historical sites around the reservation. Blackfeet also lets you feast on Indian cuisine and even experience sleeping in a tipi. A day at the heritage center immerses visitors to the rich customs, history, and culture of Native Americans.

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!

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.

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.

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