There was a time when America knew nothing of freeways cutting through her prairies nor of smokestacks piercing her clear blue skies. Even bustling gold mining settlements, fringed buggies and Colt Walker pistols did not exist. These were only a faint shadow of the future to come.
This was the time of the American Indian.
With cultures and ways of life that differed from tribe to tribe and nation to nation, these people spread from coast to coast. Even today, over 500 groups of Native people still live in America. As with all indigenous cultures, the land—fondly known as Mother Earth—determined the way of life for these early people. How they ate, the homes in which they lived, and the arts they developed were based on the land. If plant life was appropriate, baskets were made. If the soil was rich with clay, pottery was made. People subsisted on animals and vegetation available to them and in ways that the land dictated.
A number of tribes still live in some ways that are active remnants of their cultures. But for all Native groups, there is a desire to preserve and remember the life created by their ancestors. Pride is there, as it should be. Tribal sites and cultural centers have been developed or preserved throughout America. The trail of the American Indian is there for all to learn from and enjoy—a great legacy for America.
Join us as we explore the heritage of the Indian in the American West.