When it comes to Native American history and culture, there is such an incredible and fascinating wealth of information that is not commonly known by most people. From Native American jewelry to Native American languages to even the historical origins of many of the United States’ largest cities, Native American history is American history.
Read on to learn more about the fascinating history of Native American people and how their language and culture are deeply intertwined with our everyday lives.
A Long & Rich History
In both North and South America, there have been Indigenous inhabitants for tens of thousands of years. There is recorded evidence of Native Americans in North America dating back 12,000 years, and in South America dating back 30,000 years.
Native American is a term that specifically refers to those who are indigenous to the continental US and does not include individuals who are indigenous to Alaska or Hawaii.
There are several different terms to refer to individuals who are indigenous to North America. In the United States, some of the commonly used terms are Native Americans or American Indians. In Canada, the terms First Nations or Indigenous are commonly used. It’s also important to remember that different groups or individuals often have different preferences, so be sure to do your research beforehand and always be thoughtful with your language.
Linguistic Diversity & More
Indigenous communities throughout North America are rich in linguistic diversity. Famous Native American linguist Joseph Greenberg researched over 1,500 distinct Indigenous languages and traced the roots of these language origins back to 3 distinct migrations from Asia into the Americas thousands of years ago.
Historical Native American meeting spots and trading posts for items such as furs, Native American jewelry, weapons, and food are the sites of many larger modern-day cities including Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh.
Many Native American words have been adopted into the North American English lexicon. For example, the word barbecue is actually rooted in the Arawaken word “barabicu,” which means an “elevated framework of sticks.” Other words like tomato, coyote, chocolate, chili, and potato also come from Native American linguistic origins.
Shop Native American Jewelry, Bracelets, Pottery, & More
If you’re searching for a beautiful piece of Native American jewelry or art, check out all of the amazing options we have at Palms Trading Company. With tons of unique and authentic jewelry, pottery, and Native American art, we have proudly been serving the New Mexico community with beautiful pieces since 1933.