Native Americans

Hollywood has had a long and rocky relationship with the American Indian.

Hollywood has had a long and rocky relationship with the American Indian. It has treated him with a fickle mix of sentimentality, sympathy, savagery, and superficiality. Read more >>

The “Long House,” characteristic lodging of the Iroquois, also described their political union in which each Iroquois nation remained sovereignty under a common roof which sheltered them all.

New York Indians Discover Dutchmen

Snake River, Oregon side, June 1877 Read more >>

AFTER CENTURIES OF CONFLICT OVER THEIR RIGHTS AND POWERS, Indian tribes now increasingly make and enforce their own laws, often answerable to no one in the United States government. Is this the rebirth of their ancient independence or a new kind of legalized segregation?

MICKI’S CAFE IS, IN ITS MODEST WAY, A bulwark against the encroachment of modern history and a symbol, amid the declining fortunes of prairie America, of the kind of gritty (and perhaps foolhardy) determination that in more self-confident times used to be ca Read more >>

From Fort Ticonderoga to the Plaza Hotel, from Appomattox Courthouse to Bugsy Siegel’s weird rose garden in Las Vegas, the present-day scene is enriched by knowledge of the American past

A journey through a wide and spellbinding land, and a look at the civilization along its edges.

The synthetic colors of the motel in Albuquerque, all orange, purple, and blatant red, shouting the triumph of American civilization over the surrounding harshness, quickly fade from mind as we head out for Santa Fe. Read more >>

Did the Indians have a special, almost noble, affinity with the American environment—or were they despoilers of it? Two historians of the environment explain the profound clash of cultures between Indians and whites that has made each group almost incomprehensible to the other.

When the historian Richard White wrote his first scholarly article about Indian environmental history in the mid-1970s, he knew he was taking a new approach to an old field, but he did not realize just how new it was. Read more >>

New Orleans cuisine—with its French roux, African okra, Indian filé, and Spanish peppers—is literally a gastronomic melting pot. Here’s how it all came together.

Across most of America nowadays the term Creole when applied to food variably conjures up images of charred, blackened fish and meat, overbearing, fiery seasonings, and a ubiquitous red sauce not unlike the kind you buy in a ca Read more >>

This is not a test. It’s the real thing.

How precise is the educated American’s understanding of the history of our country? I don’t mean exact knowledge of minor dates, or small details about the terms of laws, or questions like “Who was secretary of war in 1851?” ( Answer: Charles M. Read more >>

Fort Adobe

The building shown below may look like a low-rise adobe condominium, and in a sense, that is what it is today—someone’s house. Read more >>

America’s First Native Cookbook

Cranberry sauce. Johnnycake. Pumpkin pie. Indian pudding. Read more >>

A photographic portrait of Lake Placid, New York, in the pre-Olympic Age

The Algonquin Indians, legend has it, called the natives who inhabited the mountains of upstate New York ” Adirondacks,” or “Those Who Eat Bark.” And so the mountains got their name—although by the end of the nineteenth century not many of those who came to t Read more >>

A Cheyenne Self-Portrait

A trooper’s firsthand account of an adventure with the
Indian-fighting army in the American Southwest

In the early summer of 1872, Kiowa or Comanche Indians killed and scalped two white ranchers to steal their sixteen-shot Henry rifles. Read more >>
The Winnebago Indians called him 0Ke-wah-gah-kah (“Man Who Takes the Pictures”) and he certainly did that, over a career that spanned more than four decades. Read more >>
The Plains Acrossi The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-60 by John D. Unruh, Jr. University of Illinois Press Illustrations, tables, maps 565 pages, $20.00 Read more >>

One hundred years ago, Congress created two agencies—the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Ethnology. Both, according to the author, have since “given direction, form, and stimulation to the science of earth and the science of man, and in so doing have touched millions of lives.”

Henry Morion Stanley, who later found Dr. Livingstone, reports the Treaty of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, October, 1867

In the summer of 1867, after more than a year of relative peace between Indians and whites, the southern Plains were in a shambles. It was an old story of blood and blunder by then. Read more >>

The mysterious diseases that nearly wiped out the Indians of New England were the work of the Christian God-or so both Pilgrims and Indians believed

In December of 1620, a group of English dissenters who “knew they were pilgrimes,” in the words of William Bradford, stepped ashore on the southern coast of Massachusetts at the site of the Wampanoag Indian village of Pawtuxet. Read more >>

The hands of Pueblo potter Maria Martinez have reached back across more than seven hundred years of history to create pottery that is now proudly displayed in museums and private collections all over the world.

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Thousands of Native American pictographs and petroglyphs are at risk from vandalism amd theft.

In 1693 the people of New York had more to worry about than a fiscal crisis, as the newly revealed documents on these pages attest. Read more >>

A Last Link with the Living Frontier

The granite was tough—but so was Gutzon Borglum

In late August, 1970, a band of Sioux Indians entered the sacred precincts of a National Memorial in South Dakota and bivouacked on a mountaintop there for several weeks. Read more >>
Americans have always assumed that scalping and Indians were synonymous. Cutting the crown of hair from a fallen adversary has traditionally been viewed as an ancient Indian custom, performed to obtain tangible proof of the warrior’s valor. Read more >>

Why have Americans perceived nature as something to be conquered?

Most people who have reflected at all upon the known history of the Americas, particularly North America, have been impressed one way or another with its dominant quality of fierceness. Read more >>
A decade ago a serious recognition of American Indian painters was rare indeed, for the simple reason that few art critics considered that there was anything about Indian painting worth knowing. Read more >>

How the Generals Viewed the Indians

The white man’s peace at Appomattox in 1865 meant war for the Plains Indians. Read more >>

No event in the history of Western man provided so profound a shock as the discovery of America

America was an experience man could only have once. Knowledge of China, knowledge of Africa, festooned as it was with the Spanish moss of myth and legend, had penetrated Europe from the days of Imperial Rome and beyond. Read more >>