American artifacts essays in material culture

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American artifacts essays in material culture

The first explorers met Indians whose ancestors had occupied the region for thousands of years. These were impressive and well-organized societies, to whom Europeans introduced new technologies, plants, animals, and diseases, setting in motion a process of population loss and cultural change that would continue for centuries.

The United States government forced Indians to leave their ancient homelands and attempted—during the nineteenth century—to eradicate Indian traditions altogether.

Indian communities persevered and today continue to celebrate their rich cultural heritage. This heritage is an important part of Arkansas history. The Spaniards were visited on or about May 22 on the Julian calendar by Aquixo, the leader of a large community on the other side of the river.

Aquixo arrived with a fleet of canoes outfitted with banners and shields and filled with powerful teams of paddlers and painted warriors wearing colorful feathered regalia.

The warriors were organized in ranks, and Aquixo was seated beneath a canopy erected over the stern of a very large canoe.

So begins the history of relations between Europeans and Arkansas Indians. When they crossed over to the western bank of the Mississippi, the Spaniards described the lands they observed as among the most agriculturally productive of any they had seen.

Groves of nut and fruit trees and extensive fields of corn separated compact, fortified towns with populations numbering in the thousands. A system of roads and trails connected one town to the next.

Many towns contained hundreds of square, thatch-covered houses. Open plazas provided space for public ceremonies. When the Spaniards reached the Arkansas River Valleythey encountered unfortified, dispersed villages composed of individual farmsteads—a pattern also observed in the Red River region of southwest Arkansas.

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Like their counterparts in the Mississippi River Valley, these villages also were organized around ceremonial centers featuring the plazas, mounds, and temples that characterize sixteenth-century communities across the Southeast. Sometimes, leaders competed with one another to determine whose ancestor possessed the greatest power or prestige.

But you know that I am older than you, and that I confine you in your walls whenever I wish, and you have never seen my country. When the Spanish army entered the Red River valley, they suffered serious losses to a very well-organized fighting force consisting of warriors from three separate communities who were commanded by a paramount leader from the province of Naguatex.

Vibrant social and religious institutions acknowledged the role of powerful spiritual forces in day-to-day activities. Although Spanish chroniclers neglected to describe most Indian rituals, they did comment on the ceremonious receptions with which they were sometimes greeted as they approached Indian villages.

In these ceremonies, community social organization was put on display as leaders and their close relatives marched out of their towns, heading orderly retinues of elders and nobles, warriors, and men, women, and children.American artifacts essays in material culture auctions.

American artifacts essays in material culture

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When defining culture, one must indeed take into account even the minutest of details. What of a lighter, for example, or a telephone? The essays in this new collection examine just that. The contributors pose not only a historical, pragmatic use for the items, but also delve into more imaginative aspects of what defines us as Americans.

Examples of cultural artifacts include almost anything - from pots and books, to religious items, clothing, and tools or gadgets. A cultural artifact is any artifact or item that sheds light on the way a particular society lived, thought or otherwise expressed itself.

Because this definition is so. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. Visual images, artifacts, and performances play a powerful part in shaping U.S.

American artifacts essays in material culture

culture. To understand the dynamics of public persuasion, students must understand this "visual rhetoric.".

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