Gatherers: The Athapascan were hunters and
gatherers. The Kutchin were probably the most warlike of the
Athapascans, but their daily life was pretty typical.
wore clothes similar to the Eskimos. The men's clothes had a pointed
tail in the front and back so they could sit on the ice comfortably.
Women's clothes were decorated with painted quills. The Ojibwa
probably learned their quill making technique from the Athapascan. The
men tattooed their bodies. They added a stripe for each person they
killed in battle.
winter, the Kutchin lived in pole houses. Some were covered inside
with hides for additional warmth. The rest of the year, they traveled
in search of food. They dragged portable homes with them, which were
poles covered with hides.
woman's life was very hard. The Kutchin women pulled the sleds. When a
new camp was set up, the men arrived first as they could move more
rapidly. Once the women arrived, the women set up the tents and cooked
food, dragged goods around. The men did nothing. During a hunt, the
women had to follow the men, so they could pick up the kill and drag
it back to camp. They cleaned the hide, dried the food, and made the
clothing. A woman's life was so hard that women sometimes killed their
infant daughters to spare them a woman's life.
had little authority. Any young man could get up in a council meeting
and speak out without fear. The power was held by the
War Tricks: Before
a war party set out, they danced a jig and wore masks. The Kutchin had
a war technique that worked very well for them. As they were
traveling, they killed everything they saw, every animal, any person.
When they arrived at a neighboring tribe's home, they pretended to be
friendly. The minute the tribe was off guard, they killed everyone -
men, women, and children.
was not all war and revenge and hunting for food. These early people
also loved singing, dancing, and story telling. They played many
games. One was tug-of-war, women against men. Another was a trampoline
jumping game. They stretched a very small fur between four trees and
used it as a springboard to jump higher and higher until finally
someone fell, much to the hearty amusement of all the onlookers.
was their favorite sport. The tribal wrestling was a big deal. It was
a contest. Young boys were paired off, two by two. The winner of each
of those matches went on to wrestle another winner; and so it
continued until one winner was found.
Presentations in PowerPoint format
Return to the Far
or to Native
Americans for Kids