Cultural Literacy

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Cultural Literacy

Cultural Literacy


The history of Native Americans or American Indians, is a unique, tragic and at the same time full of optimism. It is unique because the Indians were indigenous to the Americas and experienced all the stages of its colonization by Europeans, beginning with the first colonies in the 17th century and ending with the completion of the development of the western border by the end of the 19th century.

It is tragic, because the conflict between Indians and whites is a repetition of the experience of other nations, the traditions which have come into conflict with the expanding industrialized society. This story at the same time full of optimism, because the Native Americans, although they are deprived of the 19th century most of their ancestral lands, have survived, they were able to establish themselves in their political and economic rights, they have retained their national identity and culture despite the invasion of modern civilization.


Today, Native Americans are full citizens of the United States, who are proud of the fact that they are Americans. However, they are not less proud of their own cultural heritage, and, as it may be difficult in today's world, trying to protect and preserve it. The traces of this heritage can be found across America. The Indians taught Europeans how to cultivate crops such as corn, tomatoes, potatoes and tobacco. Canoes, snowshoes and moccasins - it all came up with the Indians. Products of Indian handicrafts such as pottery, silver jewelry, paintings, and woven carpets are very much appreciated.

From 1970 to 1980, the indigenous population of the United States increased by 72 percent. Now the country is home in which about 1.4 million Native Americans (who constitute 0.6 percent of the total population), assuming that it is much more than in times when the New World by European settlers first arrived. In those days, Native Americans lived in North America nearly a million. Soon, these people are literally overwhelmed by the flow of European settlers. By the beginning of the American Revolution in 1776 lived on the continent four million whites and 60,000 blacks, mostly slaves. In just 40 years the white population had grown to 12.9 million, and the black - up to 2.5 million.

As European civilization spread throughout the American continent, the indigenous population decreased. Disease and war carried off their victims. By 1920, the Indian population decreased to 350,000 people. For a while it seemed that the Indians will disappear altogether. Moving land into the hands of Europeans, Indians, and later - the Americans, was accomplished through treaties and through the war and the violent rejection. They was accompanied by a prolonged struggle between the Indian and European Thus formation of life. In many ways the history of the United States has a history of this struggle.

In the prairie tribes such as the Sioux, traveled on horseback and hunted buffalo. Buffalo gave them everything they need for life. They ate buffalo meat. Skin and fur was used for the manufacture of ...
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