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Native Americans

Glossary and Terms

History >> 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.



For more Native American History:

Culture and Overview
Agriculture and Food
Native American Art
American Indian homes and Dwellings
Homes: The Teepee, Longhouse, and Pueblo
Native American Clothing
Entertainment
Roles of Women and Men
Social Structure
Life as a Child
Religion
Mythology and Legends
Glossary and Terms

History and Events
Timeline of Native American History
King Philips War
French and Indian War
Battle of Little Bighorn
Trail of Tears
Wounded Knee Massacre
Indian Reservations
Civil Rights

Tribes
Tribes and Regions
Apache Tribe
Blackfoot
Cherokee Tribe
Cheyenne Tribe
Chickasaw
Cree
Inuit
Iroquois Indians
Navajo Nation
Nez Perce
Osage Nation
Pueblo
Seminole
Sioux Nation

People
Famous Native Americans
Crazy Horse
Geronimo
Chief Joseph
Sacagawea
Sitting Bull
Sequoyah
Squanto
Maria Tallchief
Tecumseh
Jim Thorpe
Works Cited



History >> Native Americans for Kids

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