Cultural Regions of North America Preceding Colonization


The three cultural groups that directly preceded colonization are the Algonquian, the Iroquois and the Narragansett. This essay will briefly profile the three cultural regions of North America that directly preceded colonization. The essay will provide a description of culture and distinctive traits defining the groups from each period.

The Iroquois

It was a large tribe that lived in the eastern woodlands along the Mohawk River, which now is a New York estate. The Iroquois were a league of five tribes including the Cayuga; its language was the Cayuga. The Cayuga consisted of five matriarchal clans having a clan mother and a chief. There were four ceremonies celebrated according to the moon’s phases and held at the Longhouse, the house they lived in. Their staples were beans, squash and corn. Sporting activities included lacrosse, snow snake and running.

The Algonquian

Their tribes were most populous and estimated at hundreds. They occupied what is now New Jersey, southeastern NY, much of Canada and Illinois and Michigan. We will talk about the Ojibwe tribe. It had its own Ojibwe clan system as a form of government. The Ojibwe spirituality centers on certain beliefs, concepts and events. They sacrificed dogs for rituals. They spoke the Ojibwe language and populated the Ontario and Manitoba areas.

The Narragansett Tribe

They are mainly from the Rhode Island, eastern woodland. It was a well-organized group with central authority governed by eight sachems who resided in the largest village located in the Narragansett Bay. They used to farm and had corn, beans and squash as their staples. They supplemented this diet with hunting and fishing.

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