Unit One Essay
Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Native American tribes thrived and their settlements spanned the whole of North America. Various Native American cultures consisted of whole subunits of different tribes. When learning about different Indians, it’s clear that there are many similarities held throughout the cultures but there are definite differences. The Pueblo people of the Southwestern Indians and the tribes of the Mississippi Valley are wonderful examples of this fact as they were very similar in their hunter/gatherer and hunter/farmer lifestyles, but the styles and construction of their homes were vastly different.
Both of the economic set-ups of the Pueblo people of the Southwest and the tribes of the Mississippi tribes were centered on agriculture and trade. The Pueblos were excellent farmers that grew a multitude of crops, such as corn, beans, and squash. Besides this, they also commonly engaged in trading with the Navajo and Comanche tribes. Corns and beans were a staple in the diets of Mississippi tribes, and trade between the Choctaws, a Mississippi Valley tribe, and other Southeastern tribes had long been established before Europeans ventured into their territory.
The differences of the Pueblo and Mississippi tribes greatly outnumber the similarities. For starters, the living quarters of the tribes were different. Choctaw Indians resided in single-story wattle and daub houses constructed from a rivercane frame and then thatched with grass or shingled with bark. Pueblo tribes lived in multistory adobe homes made from dried clay. While the adobe homes resembled modern apartment units, wattle and daub homes resembled little huts. Aside from this, the languages that were spoken throughout the tribes differed. The Muskogean language was shared throughout the majority of the Mississippi tribes, but the various Pueblo tribes, despite being closely related, don’t share the same traditional language.