Native American Culture

Native American culture is deep-rooted, tracing back thousands of years, some to 15,000 B.C., and it is a culture of tradition, ceremony, spiritual significance, loyalty to tribe and family as well as a respect for each other and for earth.

Thanks to Native Americans, who ensure Native American culture remains by passing the traditions and stories down with each new generation, Native American culture has come to play a significant role in the history of North America and the role of the Native Americans in the development of the United States.

There are now more than 500 Native American tribes officially recognized by the government of the United States, and there are even more under state recognition, because the Native American culture differed from tribe to tribe, its is impossible to stereotype or group Native American culture into one. However, within each tribe, Native American culture does share a number of similar qualities, and these qualities have come to define Native American culture as a whole among non-Native Americans in North America.

Out Of Many Groups, Some Patterns Emerge

Native American culture placed significant value on a harmonious relationship with nature and the resources given to them by the earth and mother nature. This balance was disrupted when settlers arrived in the 1400s and 1500s, and it was this difference of opinion on land and land ownership that led to many conflicts among Native American culture and the attitudes of the settlers.

Native American culture also believed and espoused the value of the spiritual side of life, many of those beliefs also rooted in nature, such as spiritual animal guides and a more religious and metaphysical connection to mother nature and the earth itself. Native American culture valued this spirituality, celebrating it in dance, looking to the spiritual to assist them in hunting and crop harvesting and farming and to protect them and their families.

While Native American culture differs from tribe to tribe, these similarities paint a beautiful portrait of a people who are deep-rooted in tradition, at one with the earth and their spiritual being, and whose devotion to tribe and family makes Native American culture so significant in the history of the United States.

Check out the early Native American culture of the Mission Indians. Read all about their culture with the Mission Indian Federation history.

Joseph Paige 2006

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