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Who were the Valdivia people? South American history

By |2018-11-09T08:22:30+00:00September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Valdivian carving, ca. 3500-2000 BC The first people in Ecuador People probably first reached Ecuador by boat, about 13,000 BC. They were coming down the Pacific Coast from North America. These people settled in river valleys along the coast. They hunted and gathered their food, some on land but mostly by fishing in the ocean. About the same time as people in Asia and Africa, [...]

Central and South American food

By |2018-04-19T15:03:08+00:00September 8th, 2017|Central America, Food, South America|

Aztec men sharing a meal When people first came to Central and South America, perhaps about 15,000 BC, they hunted and gathered all of their food. They picked wild potatoes, wild teosinte (the ancestor of corn), wild beans and wild tomatoes and avocados. They hunted rabbits and llamas and turkeys, and fished in the rivers and the ocean. For fun, they probably fermented teosinte and other plants into [...]

History of Brazil – Brazil and colonization

By |2018-08-19T05:59:20+00:00September 8th, 2017|History, South America, Where|

History of Brazil: The Tapuia people, ca. 1650 (by Albert Eckhout) Tupi war with Tapuia In the late 1400s AD, the Tupi people had just won a big war with the Tapuia people. They had gotten control of the Atlantic coast of South America (modern Brazil). They forced most of the Tapuia people inland. So the [...]

Thanksgiving – American holidays

By |2018-10-29T14:26:47+00:00August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

History of Thanksgiving: A map of Wampanoag village at Plymouth Bay in 1613 AD,just before the Puritans arrived. See the growing crops around each house? Green Corn Ceremony Beginning about 100 AD, when they started farming their food, all throughout the middle and eastern parts of North America, people celebrated the Green Corn Ceremony every fall [...]

Mississippians and American history

By |2018-11-20T10:05:20+00:00August 13th, 2017|History, Native American|

Excavation of a house at Joara The Little Ice Age The people who lived in the lower Mississippi valley (modern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) were not doing so well around 1500 AD. The Little Ice Age of the 1400s, or some other crisis, had weakened their economic and political system. But they were farming corn and beans and [...]

American food history – tacos to… tacos!

By |2018-04-24T09:45:59+00:00August 11th, 2017|Food, North America|

People eating in Virginia, about 1550 AD (from the British Museum) Native American food In 1500 AD, most of the people living in North America, like the Pueblo, the Cherokee, the Iroquois, and the Mississippians, ate mainly beans and corn and squash. Sometimes people ate their corn baked into tacos or tortillas; other times people boiled corn into mush or soup. To go with [...]

Three Sisters – Native American religion

By |2018-04-24T10:38:43+00:00August 10th, 2017|Native American, Religion|

  Corn, beans, and squash growing together Different people told different versions of this story. Here is a Cherokee version: Once upon a time there were three sisters. The first sister was very tall and strong; her name was Corn Girl, and she wore a pale green dress and had long yellow hair that blew in [...]

Green corn ceremony – Native American religion

By |2018-04-12T08:53:19+00:00August 10th, 2017|Food, Native American, Religion|

Corn, beans, and squash growing together Like other people around the world, when people in North America started to get more of their food from farming, starting about 1 AD, they also began to hold harvest festivals every year to celebrate a successful harvest with plenty of food to eat for the next year. People thanked the [...]

Early Shawnee history – Native Americans

By |2018-04-07T17:05:39+00:00August 9th, 2017|History, Native American|

Serpent Mound (Ohio, about 500 BC?) Shawnee people were related to the Algonquin and the Cree, and spoke a related Athabascan language, but they lived a little further south, in the mid-west (modern Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Kentucky). Indeed, the word "Shawnee" may mean "south people". The Shawnee lived more like their neighbors than like [...]

Mississippian period – Native Americans

By |2018-04-24T10:24:37+00:00August 9th, 2017|History, Native American|

Cahokia mound in Illinois, where a Mississippian city was After 800 AD the Mississippian culture developed all along the Mississippi and the Missouri valleys, replacing the earlier Woodland culture. Now many people lived in towns. They built temples and palaces on top of big earth mounds. They had wooden fortification walls around their towns, with [...]