October 29, 201
Early North American Cultures
The first group of people to migrate to a relatively bare and less frigid North America was Asians and their Native American descendants who unwittingly were the first to discover and create settlements in what is known today as North America. Long before any ships sailed from Europe in search of new land and a haven from the turmoil, starvation and disease that plagued their homeland, these nomadic hunters from Siberia had “discovered” Alaska and migrated in droves due to a more hospitable weather that was conducive to their nomadic lifestyle. The first passage of people from Asia to America probably took place during the prehistoric glacial period-either before 35,000 B.C.E. or about 10,000 years later-when huge amounts of the world’s water froze into sheets of ice (Davidson-Gineapp-Heyrman-Lytle-Stoff, 2005). The dramatic drop in the sea levels left the Bering Strait, once an impassable ocean, into a broad, grassy plain that served almost as a prehistoric interstate highway, allowing for the movement of humans and animals from the frozen tundra of Siberia into an ice-free Alaska. This migration went on undaunted even after the Bering Strait once again became submerged due to melting glaciers, and spread from the Alaskan coast, and ultimately into the American mainland and Mexico.
The early North Americans remained hunters and gatherers after arriving in America but there was a gradual shift with agricultural revolution that led to increased interest in farming thus leading to the growth of their communities and the development of economic, social and political infrastructures that were absent prior to the revolution. Leaders of tribes assigned territories for the men of several families to hunt and the booty was shared with the whole band. They hunted elk, moose, bear, deer and speared fish from lakes while the women were mostly concerned with the agricultural...