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Pictorial History of the North American Indian
By: Bill Yenne & Susan Garratt
They were called Indians by the first Europeans who thought they inhabited the islands of Southeast Asia, but they were the native people of a vast new continent whose breadth and complexities it would take five centuries to digest and comprehend. These people are presumed to have come from Asia 50 millennia ago from whence they spread across the land, following the caribou and buffalo, learning their ways and becoming part of the great land themselves. They came to develop a half-dozen major languages and to live in nine roughly defined geographical areas in North America. This book present in detail the story of the Indians of the various regions and describes the specific cultures and heritage that evolved in each.
The native people in each of these areas had centuries-old history of their own before they left their mark on the white men who came to claim these lands. When the white man arrived, the interaction was occasionally one of mutual respect but in many cases it was a violent encounter, the lifting of white scalps or the enslaving of Indians. In some places in North America, the Indian's presence had been replaced by that of the white man well before the American Revolution, while in other areas the native ways persisted relatively intact, past the close of World War II.
The heritage of America's native people is present in the place names that fill the map of North American today. Names like Massachusetts, Ottawa, Iowa, Chicago and Missoula are just a few reminders of the continent's original populace, and no one in the Pacific Northwest is without a constant reminder of Chief Seattle.
The story of the American Indian is a rich one. From the elaborate wood carvings of the Northwest Coast that astounded the white man to the delicate bone carvings of the Eskimo, their art is filled with masterpieces both subtle and profound. From the great war chiefs of the Plains to the men like Sequoia who gave his people a written language, the story of the American Indian is one of great men who lived in momentous times and left their mark on the history of a great continent.
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