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16.1 North American Societies

Complex Societies in the West- Early North American cultures were less developed than those of South America and Mesoamerica.- First peoples of North America did create complex societies. They were able to conduct long-distance trade and construct magnificent buildings.- Pacific Northwest was rich in resources and supported a sizable population. Most important resource was the sea. Coastal forest provided plentiful food.- The potlatch is an elaborate ceremony where families displayed their rank and prosperity. They gave food, drink, and gifts to community.- The desert lands of the Southwest were a much harsher environment than the temperate Pacific coastlands. Southwest began to farm the land in 1500 B.C.- Hohokam of central Arizona used irrigation to produce harvests of corn, beans, and squash.- The Anasazi also influenced the Hohokam and lived in the Four Corners region which is where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. They built impressive dwellings and were built on top of mesas or in canyons.- The largest Anasazi pueblo was Pueblo Bonito which means beautiful village in Spanish. This housed probably about 1000 people- A number of underground ceremonial chambers called kivas were used for religious practices.

Mound Builders and other Woodland Cultures- Mound Builders created their own traditions in the woodlands east of the Mississippi River.- Adena culture built huge earthen mounds to bury their dead. Hopewell culture did this as well.- The Hopewell culture might have used the mound for other reasons such as religious ceremonies.- Mississippian culture created thriving villages based on farming and trade. - Cahokia was the leading site of Mississippian culture. - They enjoyed transportation on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.- Woodlands people often fought with each other over land. Some tribes formed political alliances to protect lands.- Iroquois is the most known example of one of these political alliances.



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