Portal:Indigenous peoples of the Americas

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The Indigenous peoples of the Americas Portal

Distribution of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas.svg
Current distribution of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas (not including mixed people like mestizos, métis, zambos, and pardos)

The Indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peoples.

Many Indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers and many, especially in the Amazon basin, still are, but many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture. While some societies depended heavily on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming, hunting, and gathering. In some regions, the Indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, chiefdoms, states, kingdoms, republics, confederacies, and empires. Some had varying degrees of knowledge of engineering, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, writing, physics, medicine, planting and irrigation, geology, mining, metallurgy, sculpture, and gold smithing. (Full article...)

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A Calusa wood carving of an alligator head excavated in Key Marco in 1895, on display at the Florida Museum of Natural History

The indigenous people of the Everglades region arrived in the Florida peninsula of what is now the United States approximately 14,000 to 15,000 years ago, probably following large game. The Paleo-Indians found an arid landscape that supported plants and animals adapted to prairie and xeric scrub conditions. Large animals became extinct in Florida around 11,000 years ago. Climate changes 6,500 years ago brought a wetter landscape. The Paleo-Indians slowly adapted to the new conditions. Archaeologists call the cultures that resulted from the adaptations Archaic peoples. They were better suited for environmental changes than their ancestors, and created many tools with the resources they had. Approximately 5,000 years ago, the climate shifted again to cause the regular flooding from Lake Okeechobee that gave rise to the Everglades ecosystems.

From the Archaic peoples, two major tribes emerged in the area: the Calusa and the Tequesta, who were of Taíno origin, an Arawak people, originating from the Caribbean and South America. The earliest written descriptions of these people come from Spanish explorers who sought to convert and conquer them. Although they lived in complex societies, little evidence of their existence remains today. The Calusa were more powerful in number and political structure. Their territory was centered on modern-day Ft. Myers, and extended as far north as Tampa, as far east as Lake Okeechobee, and as far south as the Keys. The Tequesta lived on the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula around what is today Biscayne Bay and the Miami River. Both societies were well adapted to live in the various ecosystems of the Everglades regions. They often traveled through the heart of the Everglades, though they rarely lived within it.

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80 - Machu Picchu - Juin 2009 - edit.jpg
image credit: Martin St-Amant

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The following are images from various Indigenous peoples of the Americas-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Francis Pegahmagabow shortly after World War I

Francis Pegahmagabow MM** (March 9, 1891 – August 5, 1952) was the First Nations soldier most highly decorated for bravery in Canadian military history and the most effective sniper of World War I. Three times awarded the Military Medal and seriously wounded, he was an expert marksman and scout, credited with killing 378 Germans and capturing 300 more. Later in life, he served as chief and a councilor for the Wasauksing First Nation, and as an activist and leader in several First Nations organizations. He corresponded with and met other noted aboriginal figures including Fred Loft, Jules Sioui, Andrew Paull and John Tootoosis.

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