Who were the Adena people?
How did they get their food?
These people were too far north to grow corn yet at this time. They probably chose leaders in a “big man” system. They got some of their food from hunting and gathering and fishing, and some of their food from planting squash and other plants. Adena farmers grew tobacco to use in religious ceremonies, too (and possibly to smoke outside ceremonies too).
Adena earth burial mounds
Adena people often built large mounds of earth. Some of these were burial mounds to put dead people in. When people died, their relatives would smear red ochre or graphite on their bodies and then bury them inside these big mounds.
Sometimes they buried dozens of people in the same mound (not all at the same time! They buried the people one by one, when they died.). People buried carved soapstone tobacco pipes with the bodies for their souls to use in the next world.
Other Adena mounds
Other mounds that the Adena people built were not for burials, like the Snake mound in the picture on this page. These mounds might have been to show what group or clan people belonged to in that area.
What happened to the Adena people?
Learn by doing: making pemmican
More about the Hopewell culture
More about the Mississippian culture
Or check out the Encyclopedia Britannica article about the Adena.