Amerindians Theme 1 Amerindians possibly came from Asia -- from an area called Mongolia. The Amerindians are said to be descendants of the Mongoloid people. Their ancestors were nomadic hunters from East - Central Asia. They migrated into America by an ice (land) bridge covering the Bering Strait over 20,000 years ago. Today the term Mongoloid only applies to the ESKIMOS. Amerindians are classified as a different race because of biological differences. Amerindians are more homogenous than inhabitants of any other large landmass are. This means that they posses the same basic genetic structure. Mongoloid Characteristics a) Brown skin b) Straight black hair (on head) c) Absence of body hair d) Slightly slit eyes e) High cheekbones Climate, diet, and way of life (culture) cause the differences we see between Amerindians. They are homogenous because they were isolated for many years as the sole race present in Americas up until the arrival of the Europeans. WHERE THE AMERINDIANS SETTLED The SEMINOLE settled in Florida} North America The MAYA settled in Yucatan} Central America The AZTECS settled in Mexico} Central America The INCAS settled in Peru} South America
-The ARAWAKS and CARIBS originally settled in South America (Bolivia & Brazil). They then migrated to the West Indies. At the time of the European arrival the Arawaks inhabited the Greater Antilles and half of Puerto Rico, While the Caribs controlled the Lesser Antilles. The word Arawak defines a Linguistic Group. There were many distinctive tribal groups, which settled in the Caribbean most of them were Arawak speaking people. The Lucayans were only found in the Bahamas. The Tainos were found in Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. The Siboney were found in Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. (Said to be the first inhabitants of the West Indies, they were Nomadic and more primitive than the Arawak. They were driven northwards at the arrival of the Arawak in the West Indies) The Borinquens fiercest Arawaks were found in Puerto Rico. Caribs (Callinago and Carina) were found as far as Puerto Rico and in the Lesser Antilles. (The words “Arawak” and “Caribs” are language classifications.) The Arawaks on the island and those on the mainland lived in villages of up to 3,000 inhabitants. They cultivated manioc and maize and they hunted and fished.
-- The Arawak society had reached the primitive settlement-village stage of development. Women did the subsistence farming while the men did fishing and hunting. The society was peacefully structured.
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-- The Cacique was the hereditary ruler of the Arawak society and he was also high priest and judge. Religion -- The Arawaks worshipped zemis who were believed to have control over forces of nature they believed coyaba (heaven) the Cacique’s zemis were considered to be the most powerful Customs (Culture) -- The Arawaks flattened babies’ heads as a sign of beauty. They enjoyed singing, dancing, music, tobacco smoking. The Arawaks played a ball game called ‘Batos’ -- The Arawaks ate seafood; vegetables and pepper .The agouti, iguana and a bark less dog, which they had domesticated, provided them with protein. --The Arawaks lived in round huts made from poles, adobe and thatch. Rectangular huts were sometimes built for the Cacique but they were harder to build -- Gold was used for decoration; men and women both wore loincloth The chief’s wives wore cotton skirts
CARIBS The Caribs culture was extremely warlike and they were skillful hunter and fishermen. The South American Caribs cultivated a little but the Antillean Caribs hardly ever cultivated. The Arawak women they captured to be used as concubines did some subsistence farming. The Caribs were very fear some and aggressive Europeans who came in contact with them reported that they practiced Cannibalism. Some historians believe cannibalism was done in order to get hold of some of...