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Lecture 2

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HST 202

HST 202 Lecture Notes Beginnings & the “New World” The Atlantic World II: Native Americans 1/14/13 PRESENT DAY NATIVE AMERICANS VIEW:  James Luna: o Artist who created a performance piece called “The Artifact” o Titles of artwork hold importance as well as the actual piece o Displays himself as a Native American exhibit and labels his modern gadgets o Shows that Native American cluture is NOT a bunch of artifacts but the people still exist today and participate in modern times o Shock factor of a live person o Native Americans are often used in our history as a myth, including their falsely believed “disappearance” and other assumptions  National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI): o Beautiful building opened in 2004 o Offers diverse stories operated by different people groups that constantly rotate exhibits o Man collected around 700,000 artifacts for the Smithsonian collection which constitutes 85% of it o Turned back over in 1989 to Native Americans so that people who have rightful family ownership to objects can reclaim them o Focuses on contemporary culture, not the history ORIGINS OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS:  Archaic Indians: o Crossed the Bering Strait from Asia in small bands of hunter/gatherers following herds o Stereotype that Native Americans did not alter their environment is false – for example, they often burned brush to find deer more easily o Eventually settled and began to experiment with agriculture by domesticating corn, chiles, and other crops MESOAMERICA (Central and South America): CENTRAL AMERICA:  Olmec: o Had a huge trading network o Pioneers of many ideas which societies following them built upon  Maya: o Followed the Olmec o Culturally advanced o Reached dominance in present day Mexico/Yucatan Peninsula o Developed calendars more accurate than the European ones o Had a mathematical system that included zero  Toltec: o Took over Maya in 1000BC o Mysteriously retreated and abandoned their cities to live in smaller surrounding populations  Aztec: o Rose up after the Toltec o Capitol city of Tenochtitlan was the largest in the world with a population of 300,000 SOUTH AMERICA:  Andes: o Created a system of terracing o Social classes o Highly organized centralized government o Drought took a toll on population  Inca: o Rise to power after Andes people and by conquering neighbors
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