Glossary and Terms
Native Americans for Kids
Adobe - A sun-hardened clay building material made from straw, dirt, and water. It was used by the Pueblo peoples to make their homes.
Algonquian tribes - A large group of tribes in the northern United States that speak the Algonquian language.
Buckskin - Soft leather usually made from the skin of a deer, elk, or moose.
Canoe - A narrow boat with pointed ends that is propelled by paddles.
Chickee - A dwelling build by the Seminole Indians in Florida with a raised floor, thatched roof, and open sides.
Cradleboard - A frame which a baby is attached to by using blankets. It is used to protect the baby while it is being carried around.
Ghost Dance - A religious movement that prophesied an end to the expansion of the white man.
Hides - Animal skins.
Hogan - A Navajo dwelling built with a log frame and covered with packed mud.
Igloo - A home build by the Inuit of the Arctic built from blocks of ice and snow.
Iroquois tribes - A league of several nations of Native Americans located in the northeastern United States.
Kachina - A spirit of an ancestor or nature. They were often represented by dolls called kachina dolls.
Kiva - An underground ceremonial room used by the Pueblo for religious ceremonies and meetings.
Lacrosse - A team sport using sticks with nets on the end to pass around a ball. It was first played by Indians in North America.
Maize - The main crop of many of the original Native American tribes. Maize is a grain and is the Indian name for corn.
Moccasins - Shoes made from soft leather.
Medicine man - A religious or spiritual leader.
Potlatch - A festival celebrated by Indians in the northwest United States and Canada where gifts were exchanged.
Powwow - A ceremony or meeting among Native American Indians.
Pueblo - A village of multistoried buildings made from stones covered with adobe clay. Sometimes they were built into the side of a cliff.
Reservation - An area of land set aside by the United States government that is managed by a Native American tribe.
Roach - A headdress worn by many Native American men made from stiff animal hair that stood strait up from the head. It was sometimes called a porcupine roach.
Teepee - A home made from long polls covered with buffalo hide. It took the shape of an upside down cone. Teepees were portable homes used by the plains Indians.
Tomahawk - A small axe similar to a hatchet used both as a tool and a weapon.
Totem pole - A tall wooden post carved with symbols.
Travois - A sled made from long poles that trailed behind dogs or horses used to carry belongings when moving.
Tribe - A group of families that have a common language, culture, and religion.
Vision quest - A rite of passage ceremony where the person seeks to find spiritual guidance and their life purpose.
Wampum - Beads made from shells that were sometimes used as money.
Wigwam - A dome shaped home made from wooden poles covered with bark.
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