Changes in the Land

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Changes in the Land

Native Americans were some of the first people to live and settle in America, and lived much differently than Europeans. Cabeza de Vaca and William Cronon explain their experiences with Native Americans in Cabeza de Vaca's Adventures in the Unknown Interior of American and Changes in the Land respectively. Their lifestyle was very new and unfamiliar to both de Vaca and Cronon when they arrived in America. Cabeza de Vaca arrived in Southwest America in the sixteenth-century while William Cronon arrived in the New England area of America in the twentieth-century. Even though both of them lived in different time periods and were in different parts of America, there are several similarities and a few differences when they observed and encountered Native Americans.

The Native Americans were nomadic people and traveled frequently according to the seasons and availability of food. In Changes in the Land, Cronon explains that the Native Americans only owned belongings that were essential because they moved around depending on where the food was most abundant (Cronon 54). During the seasonal migrations, a family might carry: clothing, baskets, fishing equipment, a few tools, corn, beans, and smoked meat (Cronon 54). Cabeza de Vaca explains that the Capoques and Han lived by the ocean in small huts. These huts are made of mats and their floors consisted of oyster shells, and they sleep on these shells in animal skins (de Vaca 62). The Han Indians often traveled to the shore to eat oysters during the Winter and would return to the mainland in the Spring. The Native Americans in both accounts are nomadic people and move around depending on the season.

The Indians moved around a lot because of the availability of food depending on the time of year and would often starve or find other ways to adapt. During the twentieth-century, Cronon explains that the Native Americans would go fishing in the Spring then move back to the coast to hunt and pick...
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