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NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS

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Originally appearing in Volume V14, Page 454 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS. The name of " American Indians " for the aborigines of America had its origin in the The name use by Columbus, in a letter (February 1493) written ''Amer;- soon after the discovery of the New World, of the can term Indios (i.e. natives of India) for the hitherto Indians." unknown human beings, some of whom he brought back to Europe with him. He believed, as did the people of his age in general, that the islands which he had discovered by sailing westward across the Atlantic were actually a part of India, a mistaken idea which later served to suggest many absurd theories of the origin of the aborigines, their customs, languages, culture, &c. From Spanish the word, with its in-correct connotation, passed into French (Indian), Italian and Portuguese (Indio), German (Indianer), Dutch (Indiane), &c. When the New World came to be known as America, the natives received, in English especially, the name " American Indians," to distinguish them from the " Indians " of south-eastern Asia and the East Indies. The appellation " Americans " was for a long time used in English to designate, not the European colonists, but the aborigines, and when, in 1891, Dr D. G. Brinton published his notable monograph on the Indians he entitled it The American Race, recalling the early employment of the term. The awkwardness of such a term as " American Indian," both historically and linguistically, led Major J. W. Powell, the founder of the Bureau of American Ethnology, to , put forward as a substitute " Amerind," an arbitrary curtailment which had the advantage of lending itself easily to form words necessary and useful in ethnological writings, e.g. pre-Amerind, post-Amerind, pseudo-Amerind, Amerindish, Amerindize, &c. Purists have objected strenuously to " Amerind," but the word already has a certain vogue in both English and French. Indeed, Professor A. H. Keane does not hesitate, in The World's Peoples (London, 1908), to use Amerinds " in lieu of " American Indians." Other popular terms for the American Indians, which have more or less currency, are " Red race," " Red men," " Redskins," the last not in such good repute as the corresponding German Rothhaute, or French Peaux-rouges, which have scientific standing. The term " American Indians " covers all the aborigines of the New World past and present, so far as is known, although some European writers, especially in France, still seek to separatefrom the " Redskins " the Aztecs, Mayas, Peruvians, &c., and some American authorities would (anatomically at least) rank the Eskimo as distinct from the Indian proper. When the name " Indian " came to be used by the European colonists and their descendants, they did not confine it to " wild men," but applied it to many things that were wild, strange, non-European in the new environment (see Journ. Amer. Folk-Lore, 1902, pp. 107-116; Handbook of Amer. Inds., 1907, pt. i. pp. 605-607). Thus more than one hundred popular names of plants in use in American English (e.g. " Indian corn," " Indian pink," &c.) contain references to the Indian in this way; also many other things, such as " Indian file," " Indian ladder," " Indian gift," " Indian pudding," " Indian summer." The Canadian-French, who termed the Indian sauvage (i.e. " savage "), re-, membered him linguistically in botte sauvage (moccasin), traine sauvage (toboggan). The term " Siwash," in use in the Chinook jargon of the North Pacific coast, and also in the English of that region, for " Indian " is merely a corruption of this Canadian-French appellation. In the literature relating to the Pacific coast there is mention even of " Siwash Indians." Throughout Canada and the United States the term " Indian " occurs in hundreds of place-names of all sorts (" Indian River," " Indian Head," " Indian Bay," " Indian Hill," and the like). There are besides these Indiana and its capital Indianapolis. In Newfoundland " Red Indian," as the special term for the Beothuks, forms part of a number of place-names. Pope's characterization of the American aborigine, " Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears Him in the wind," is responsible for the creation in the mind of the people of a " Mr Lo," who figures in newspaper lore, cartoons, &c. The reputations, deserved and undeserved, of certain Indian tribes north of Mexico have been such that their names have passed into English or into the languages of other civilized nations of Europe as synonyms for " ruffian," " thug," " rowdy," &c. Recently " les Apaches " have been the terror of certain districts of Paris, as were the " Mohocks " (Mohawks) for certain parts of London toward the close of the 18th century. The North American Indians have been the subject of numerous popular fallacies, some of which have gained world-wide currency. Here belongs a mass of pseudo-scientific and thoroughly poputar unscientific literature embodying absurd and extravagant fallacies. theories and speculations as to the origin of the aborigines and their " civilizations "which derive them (in most extraordinary ways sometimes), in recent or in remote antiquity, from all regions of the Old World—Egypt and Carthage, Phoenicia and Canaan, Asia Minor and the Caucasus, Assyria and Babylonia, Persia and India, Central Asia and Siberia, China and Tibet, Korea, Japan, the East Indies, Polynesia, Greece and ancient Celtic Europe and even medieval Ireland and Wales. Favourite theories of this sort have made the North American aborigines the descendants of refugees from sunken Atlantis, Tatar warriors, Malayo-Polynesian sea-farers, Hittite immigrants from Syria, the " Lost Ten Tribes of Israel," &c., or attributed their social, religious and political ideas and institutions to the advent of stray junks from Japan, Buddhist votaries from south-eastern Asia, missionaries from early Christian Europe, Norse vikings, Basque fishermen and the like. Particularly interesting are the theories of " Welsh (or white) Indians " and the " Lost Ten Tribes." The myth of . the " Welsh Indians," reputed to be the descendants of a colony founded about A.D. 1170 by Prince Madoc (well known from Southey's poem), has been studied by James Mooney (Amer. Anthrop. iv., 1891, 393-394), who traces its development from statements in an article in The Turkish Spy, published in London about 173o. At first these " Welsh Indians, who are subsequently described as speaking Welsh, possessing Welsh Bibles, beads, crucifixes, &c., are placed near the Atlantic coast and identified with the Tuscarora, an Iroquoian tribe, but by 1776 they had retreated inland to the banks of the Missouri above St Louis. A few years later they were far up the Red river, continuing, as time went on, to recede farther and farther westward, being identified successively with the Mandans, in whose language Catlin thought he detected a Welsh element, the Moqui, a Pueblos tribe of north-eastern Arizona, and the Modocs (here the name was believed to re-echo Madoc) of south-western Oregon, until at last they vanished over the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The theory that the American Indians were the " Lost Ten Tribes of Israel " has not yet entirely disappeared from ethnological literature. Many of the identities and resemblances in ideas, customs and institutions between the American Indians and the ancient Hebrews, half-knowledge or distorted views of which formed the basis of the theory, are discussed, and their real significance pointed out by Colonel Garrick Mallery in his valuable address on Israelite and Indian: A Parallel in Planes of Culture " (Prot. Amer. Assoc. Adv. Sci. vol. xxxviii., 1889, pp. 287-331). The whole subject has been discussed by Professor H. W. Henshaw in his " Popular Fallacies respecting the Indians " (Amer. Anthrop. vol. vii. n.s., 1905, pp. 104-113). Of ways of classifying the races of mankind and their sub- divisions the number is great, but that which measures them by their speech is both ancient and convenient. The Linguistic multiplicity of languages among the American Indians stocks. was one of the first things that struck the earliest investigators of a scientific turn of mind, no less than the missionaries who preceded them. The Abbe Hervas, the first serious student of the primitive tongues of the New World, from the classificatory point of view, noted this multiplicity of languages in his Catalogo delle lingue conosciute e notizia della Lora afnitet e diversitd (Cesena, 1784); and after him Balbi, Adelung and others. About the same time in America Thomas Jefferson, who besides being a statesman was also a considerable naturalist (see Amer. Anthrop. ix. n.s., 1907, 499-509), was impressed by the same fact, and in his Notes on the State of Virginia observed that for one " radical language " in Asia there would be found probably twenty in America. Jefferson himself collected and arranged•(the MSS. were afterwards lost) the vocabularies of about fifty Indian languages and dialects, and so deserves rank among the forerunners of the modern American school of comparative philologists. After Jefferson came Albert Gallatin, who had been his secretary of the treasury, as a student of American Indian languages in the larger sense. He had also himself collected a number of Indian vocabularies. Gallatin's work is embodied in the well-known " Synopsis of the Indian Tribes within the United States East of the Rocky Mountains, and in the British and Russian Possessions in North America," published in the Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society (ii. 1-422) for 1836. In this, really the first attempt in America to classify on a linguistic basis the chief Indian tribes of the better-known regions of North America, Gallatin enumerated the following twenty-nine separate divisions: Adaize, Algonkin-Lenape, Athapascas, Atnas, Attacapas, Blackfeet, Caddoes, Catawbas, Chahtas, Cherokees, Chetimachas, Chinooks, Eskimaux, Fall Indians, Iroquois, Kinai, Koulischen, Muskhogee, Natches, Pawnees, Queen Charlotte's Island, Salish, Salmon River (Friendly Village), Shoshonees, Sioux, Straits of Fuca, Utchees, Wakash, Woccons. These do not all represent distinct linguistic stocks, as may be seen by comparison with the list given below; such peoples as the Caddo and Pawnee are now known to belong together, the Blackfeet are Algonkian, the Catawba Siouan, the Adaize Caddoan, the Natchez Muskogian, &c. But the monograph is a very good first attempt at classifying North American Indian languages. Gallatin's coloured map of the distribution of the Indian tribes in question is also a pioneer piece of work. In 1840 George Bancroft, in the third volume of his Hi.;tory of the Colonization of the United States, discussed the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi, listing the following eight families: Algonquin, Catawba, Cherokee, Huron-Iroquois, Mobilian (Choctaw and Muskhogee), Natchez, Sioux or Dahcota, Uchee. He gives also a linguistic map, modified somewhat from that of Gallatin. The next work of great importance in American comparative philology is Horatio Hale's monograph forming the sixth volume (Phila., 1846), Ethnography and Philology, of the publications of the " United States Exploring Expedition, during the years 1538, 1839, 1840, 1842, under the Command of Charles Wilkes, U.S. Navy," which added much to our knowledge of the languages of the Indians of the Pacific coast regions. Two years later Gallatin published in the second volume of the Transactions of the American Ethnological Society (New York) a monograph entitled " Hale's Indians of North-west America, and Vocabularies of North America," in which he recognized the following additional groups: Arrapahoes, Jakon, Kalapuya, Kitunaha, Lutuami, Palainih, Sahaptin, Saste, Waiilatpu. In 18J3 he contributed abrief paper to the third volume of Schoolcraft's Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, adding to the "families" already recognized by him the following: Cumanches, Gros Ventres, Kaskaias, Kiaways, Natchitoches, Towiacks, Ugaljachmutzi. Some modifications in the original list were also made. During the period 1853–1877 many contributions to the classification of the Indian languages of North America, those of the west and the north-west in particular, were made by Gibbs, Latham, Turner, Buschmann, Hayden, Dall, Powers, Powell and Gatschet. The next important step, and the most scientific, was taken by Major J. W. Powell, who contributed to the Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1885–1886 (Washington, 1891) his classic monograph (pp. 1-142) on " Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico." In 1891 also appeared'Dr D. G. Brinton's The American Race: A Linguistic Classification and Ethnographic Description of the Native Tribes of North and South America (New York, p. 392). With these two works the adoption of language as the means of distinction and classification of the American aborigines north of Mexico for scientific purposes became fixed. Powell, using the vocabulary as the test of relationship or difference, enumerated, in the area considered, 58 separate linguistic stocks, or families of speech, each " as distinct from one another in their vocabularies and apparently in their origin as from the Aryan or the Scythian families " (p. 26). The 58 distinct linguistic stocks of American Indians north of Mexico, recognized by Powell, were as follows: (I) Adaizan; (2) Algonquian; (3) Athapascan; (4) Attacapan; (5) Beothukan; (6) Caddoan; (7) Chimakuan; (8) Chimarikan; (9) Chimmesyan; (lo) Chinookan; (II) Chitimachan; (12) Chumashan; (13) Coahuiltecan; (14) Copehan; (15) Costanoan; (16) Eskimauan; (17) Esselenian; (18) Iroquoian; (19) Kalapooian; (20) Karankawan; (21) Keresan; (22) Kiowan; (23) Kitunahan; (24) Koluschan; (25) Kulanapan; (26) Kusan; (27) Lutuamian; (28) Mariposan; (29) Moquelumnan; (30) Muskhogean; (31) Natchesan; (32) Palaihnihan; (33) Piman; (34) Pujunan; (35) Quoratean; (36) Salinan; (37) Salishan; (38) Sastean; (39) Shahaptian; (40) Shoshonean; (41) Siouan; (42) Skittagetan; (43) Takilman; (44) Taiwan; (45) Timuquanan; (46) Tonikan; (47) Tonkawan; (48) Uchean; (49) Waiilatpuan; (5o) Wakashan; (51) Washoan; (52) Weitspekan; (53) Wishoskan; (54) Yakonan; (S5) Yanan; (56) Yukian; (S7) Yuman; (58) Zunian. This has been the working-list of students of American Indian languages, but since its appearance the scientific investigations of Boas, Gatschet, Dorsey, Fletcher, Mooney, Hewitt, Hale, Morice, Henshaw, Hodge, Matthews, Kroeber, Dixon, Goddard, Swanton and others have added much to our knowledge, and not a few serious modifications of Powell's classification have resulted. With Powell's monograph was published a coloured map showing the distribution of all the linguistic stocks of Indians north of Mexico. Of this a revised edition accompanies the Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, published by the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1907–1910, now the standard book of reference on the subject. The chief modifications made in Powell's list are as follows: The temporary presence in a portion of south-west Florida of a new stock, the Arawakan, is now proved. The Adaizan language has been shown to belong to the Caddoan family; the Natchez to the Muskogian; the Palaihnian to the Shastan; the Piman to the Shoshonian. The nomenclature of Powell's classification has never been completely satisfactory to American philologists, and a movement is now well under way (see Amer. Antlzrop. vii. n.s., 1905, 579-593) to improve it. In the present article the writer has adopted some of the suggestions made by a committee of the American Anthropological Society in 1907, covering several of the points in question. In the light of the most recent and authoritative researches and investigations the linguistic stocks of American aborigines north of Mexico, past and present, the areas occupied, earliest homes (or original habitats), number of tribes, subdivisions, &c., and population, may be given as follows:— r. A 2. 3. 4. A 6. 8. 9. 10. iI. t2 13 Stock. Area. Earliest Home Tribes, &c. Population.
End of Article: NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS
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