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Chief Joseph.

Chief Joseph. Chief Joseph (1840-1904), chief of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce and one of the leaders of Native American resistance to white encroachment in the western United States. His Nez Perce name was In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat ("thunder coming up from the water over the land"). Succeeding his father as chief in 1873, Joseph continued a policy of...

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Inuit. I INTRODUCTION Inuit, a people inhabiting small enclaves in the coastal areas of Greenland, Arctic North America (including Canada and Alaska), and extreme northeastern Siberia. The name Inuit means "the people." In 1977 the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, held in Barrow, Alaska, officially adopted Inuit as the replacement for the term "Eskimo." There are several related...

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Iroquois. I INTRODUCTION Iroquois, important confederacy of Native American tribes of the Iroquoian language family and of the Northeast culture area. The Iroquois Confederacy, thought to have been founded in the late 16th century, originally consisted of five tribes--the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca--in what is now central New York State. The confederacy came to...

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Maya Civilization.

Maya Civilization. I INTRODUCTION Maya Civilization, an ancient Native American culture that represented one of the most advanced civilizations in the western hemisphere before the arrival of Europeans. The people known as the Maya lived in the region that is now eastern and southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and western Honduras. They thrived for more...

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First Americans.

First Americans. I INTRODUCTION First Americans, the earliest humans to arrive in the Americas. The first people to come to the Americas arrived in the Western Hemisphere during the late Pleistocene Epoch (1.6 million to 10,000 years before present). Most scholars believe that these ancient ancestors of modern Native Americans were hunter-gatherers who migrated to the...

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Native American Architecture.

Native American Architecture. I INTRODUCTION Native American Architecture, traditional architecture of the peoples of who lived in North America before Europeans arrived. In traditional Native American culture, the dwelling was far more than a physical shelter or what Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier called "a machine for living." For many Native Americans the house was a physical...

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Native American Art.

Native American Art. I INTRODUCTION Native American Art, the visual works crafted by indigenous people of North America, starting after their arrival on the continent thousands of years ago and continuing until the present. These works may be painted, carved, woven, sewn, or built, and can incorporate such materials as feathers, porcupine quills, tree bark, animal...

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Native American Languages.

Native American Languages. I INTRODUCTION Native American Languages, indigenous languages of the native peoples of North, Middle, and South America. Scholars can only guess at the total number of languages once spoken by Native Americans; many of these languages disappeared before they could be documented. When Europeans arrived on the North American continent in the late...

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Native American Literature.

Native American Literature. I INTRODUCTION Native American Literature, the literature of people of Native American descent. The dominant focus of Native American literature is on issues related to Native American culture, history, religion, and experiences. Although native peoples live in every country in North America and South America, the term Native American literature, or alternately, American...

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Native American Policy.

Native American Policy. I INTRODUCTION Native American Policy, laws and procedures developed in the United States to define the relationship between the government and Native Americans. From the time of first contact, Europeans who came to North America noted vast differences between their cultures and those of the native peoples who already inhabited the New World....

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Native American Religions.

Native American Religions. I INTRODUCTION Native American Religions, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes of the indigenous peoples of North America concerning the spiritual forces of the cosmos. These beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes remained an integral part of indigenous North American cultures until the European settlement of North America was completed at the end of the 19th century....

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Native Americans of Middle and South America.

Native Americans of Middle and South America. I INTRODUCTION Native Americans of Middle and South America, indigenous peoples of Middle America (Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies) and South America. Native Americans were the first humans to inhabit these regions, arriving thousands of years before European explorers laid claim to the "New World." The story...

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Native Americans of North America.

Native Americans of North America. I INTRODUCTION Native Americans of North America, indigenous peoples of North America. Native Americans had lived throughout the continent for thousands of years before Europeans began exploring the "New World" in the 15th century. Most scientists agree that the human history of North America began when the ancient ancestors of modern...

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Navajo (people).

Navajo (people). I INTRODUCTION Navajo (people), Native Americans of the Athapaskan language family and of the Southwest culture area. The Navajo are one of the largest tribes in the United States. Their homelands are in what is now northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, southeastern Utah, and southwestern Colorado. In the Navajo language their name is Diné...

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Pocahontas. Pocahontas, (1595?-1617), daughter of the Native American chief Powhatan. She was born in Virginia. Her real name was Matoaka; the name Pocahontas means "playful one." According to a legend, in 1608 Pocahontas saved the life of Captain John Smith by holding his head in her arms as he was about to be clubbed to death by her...

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Pueblo (people).

Pueblo (people). I INTRODUCTION Pueblo (people) (Spanish pueblo, "village"), Native Americans living in compact, apartment-like villages of stone or adobe in northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona. They belong to four distinct linguistic groups, but the cultures of the different villages are closely related. The eastern villages, located along the upper Río Grande near Santa Fe...

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Sacagawea. Sacagawea or Sacajawea (1787?-1812), Shoshone Native American woman, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 and 1806. Her presence helped persuade many Native American tribes of the peaceful intentions of the expedition. Sacagawea also acted as an interpreter and during one incident, helped save some of the Lewis and Clark journals. Sacagawea was probably born...

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Sioux. I INTRODUCTION Sioux, Native Americans of the Siouan language family and of the Great Plains culture area. The Sioux are often discussed as a single tribe, but were really a loose alliance of many different Siouan groups. The name Sioux comes from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) word for them, rendered into French by early explorers and...

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Sitting Bull.

Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull, Native American name Tatanka Yotanka (1831?-1890), Native American leader of the Sioux, born in the region of the Grand River in present-day South Dakota. Led by Sitting Bull, the Sioux resisted efforts of the United States government to annex their lands and force them to settle on reservations. Between June 25 and June 26,...

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American Civil War.

American Civil War. I INTRODUCTION American Civil War, a military conflict between the United States of America (the Union) and the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy) from 1861 to 1865. The American Civil War is sometimes called the War Between the States, the War of Rebellion, or the War for Southern Independence. It began on...

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American Revolution.

American Revolution. I INTRODUCTION American Revolution (1775-1783), conflict between 13 British colonies in North America and their parent country, Great Britain. It was made up of two related events: the American War of Independence (1775-1783) and the formation of the American government as laid out by the Constitution of the United States in 1787. First, the

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Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Arab-Israeli Conflict. I INTRODUCTION Arab-Israeli Conflict, conflict between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East over the land of historic Israel and Palestine. The conflict has led to several wars, beginning in 1948, among Arab nations, Palestinian refugees, and the state of Israel. Since 1979 several peace accords have been signed, addressing parts of the conflict.

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Battle of Bunker Hill.

Battle of Bunker Hill. Battle of Bunker Hill, first large-scale engagement of the American Revolution, fought on June 17, 1775, in Charlestown (now part of Boston), Massachusetts. At issue in the battle was possession of Bunker Hill (34 m/110 ft) and Breed's Hill (23 m/75 ft), adjoining heights dominating Boston Harbor. About 1200 American troops, led by Colonel...

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Battle of Gettysburg.

Battle of Gettysburg. Battle of Gettysburg, battle fought July 1 through July 3, 1863, considered by most military historians the turning point in the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg was a decisive engagement in that it arrested the Confederates' second and last major invasion of the North, destroyed their offensive strategy, and forced them to fight...

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Battle of Stalingrad.

Battle of Stalingrad. I INTRODUCTION Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943), World War II battle that halted the German advance into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Battle of Stalingrad lasted from August 1942 to February 1943. It involved the German Sixth Army and the Fourth Panzer Army, totaling about 290,000 troops, against the Soviet Red...

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