Duwamish Tribe

The Duwamish Tribe are an unrecognized Lushootseed Native American tribe in western Washington, and the original indigenous people of metropolitan Seattle. The Duwamish tribe descends from at least two distinct groups from before intense contact with people of European ancestry—the People of the Inside (the environs of Elliott Bay) and the People of the Large Lake (Lake Washington).

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History of the Georgia Creek Indians

The history of early Georgia is largely the history of the Creek Indians. For most of Georgia’s colonial period, Creeks outnumbered both European colonists and enslaved Africans and occupied more land than these newcomers. Not until the 1760s did the Creeks become a minority population in Georgia. They ceded the balance of their lands to the new state in the 1800s. Continue reading

Native American slavery

Many Native American tribes practiced some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America; but none exploited slave labor on a large scale.

Native American groups often enslaved war captives whom they primarily used for small-scale labor. Others however, were used in ritual sacrifice, usually involving torture as part of religious rites, and these sometimes involved ritual cannibalism.

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Missions of California

The twenty-one Spanish missions in California established by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order between 1769 and 1834, were supposed to expand Christianity among the Native Americans living in the area. The local natives were forcibly relocated from their traditional dwellings, villages, and homelands to live and work at the missions as virtual slaves.

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Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Funeral Customs

Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Funeral Ceremonies

Before treating upon the subject of their manner of interment, I will just refer to the remedies used for their diseases. They possessed some knowledge of the virtues of certain medicinal herbs, and the external application of them to cutaneous disorders; but for internal diseases, such as fevers, &c., they always resorted to cold baths. For pains in the head, immediate application of cold water was the remedy.

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Superstitions of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians

Superstitions of a ridiculous, and most extravagant nature, were found associated with these Indians, and even now, in almost every town, or hamlet, the child’s first education is a belief in their authenticity; and they grow up from infancy familiar with all their fabulous traditions. The effect tends to enervate their physical faculties, and weaken their mental, so that they naturally become a pusillanimous race of people, liable to be deceived, imposed upon, and of course easily influenced by the puplem, and old men, who are their sole instructors.

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Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Principal Feasts and Dances

As on all their feast days, dancing was the principal ceremony of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians.  I will endeavor to describe many of the ludicrous customs attending it. Such was the delight with which they took part in their festivities, that they often continued dancing day and night, and sometimes entire weeks. Their whole heart and soul were wrapped up in the amusement, and hardly a day passed, without some portion of it being devoted to this insipid and monotonous ceremony.

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Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Marriage Customs

The usual marriage customs of the Juaneño Band of Mission  Indians in selecting and obtaining their wives, was as follows:

When one of them was inclined to marry, and having seen one with whom he was particularly pleased, he kept loitering about her place of residence, until opportunity offered to communicate, in secret, the wish of his heart: generally after this style: “I wish to wed with you,” or, “We are to be married;” and the reply of the fair one, invariably, was, “It is well.” “I will inform my parents, and you shall know.” The girl then gave the information to her father and mother, and if the proposal were agreeable, the suitor was admitted to the house as a visitor.

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Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Puberty Rites

The Instructions the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians Gave to Their Children

One of the difficulties most perplexing to the Indians, was, the rearing and educating their children. They were unacquainted with the arts, excepting those most necessary for their maintenance, and ignorant of all useful knowledge to keep them from idleness; so that their only education consisted in the construction of the bow and arrow, with their peculiar uses, in procuring game and defending themselves from their enemies.

Although, ignorant as they were of the knowledge of the true God, the moral instruction given by parents to their children, was contained in the precepts of Chinigchinich, which were strongly impressed upon their minds, that they might become good, and avoid the fate of the evil.

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Juaneño Band of Mission Indians: Description of the Vanquech or Temple

The temples erected by command of the God Chinigchinich, or the celebrated idolater Ouiamot, were invariably erected in the centre of their towns, and contiguous to the dwelling-place of the, captain, or chief; notwithstanding their houses were scattered about without any particular regard to order, still, they managed to have the location of his house as near the middle as possible.

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Chinigchinich, religious God of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians

Chinigchinich is an ethnographic account of the culture and notably religious beliefs of the native Californians in the vicinity of the famous mission San Juan Capistrano. This is the mission where the swallows, legendarily, return every year. There is nothing, however, about the returning swallows in this book. Boscana was one of the few Spanish missionaries who, like Bishop Landa in the Yucatan, actually took an interest in the culture they were destroying.

Boscana was, typically, a bigot and a racist (he describes the Indians as being like monkeys). However, he lived among them for decades and obviously had an inquisitive mind and a talent for observation. While he condemns the practices and beliefs of the indigenous people, he describes them in great detail. Barring a time machine, this is the only first-hand account of mission-era Juaneños we will ever have.

The translator of this treatise, Alfred Robinson, was one of the first Yankees to settle in California.

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Juaneño Band of Mission Indians

The  Juaneño Band of Mission Indians is recognized by the State of California, but is not federally recognized.  They traditionally lived along the coast in what is now Orange and San Diego counties in California.

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