Keeping Safe and In Shape:
The people of the Plateau believed that pregnant women had to
avoid looking at certain things, such as dead animals, as this
might frighten her unborn baby. She also had to avoid certain
foods and stay in shape by running and swimming.
Midwives: When she went into labor, she
was moved into a special birthing hut and helped by a midwife. She and the baby
would stay in the birthing tent for the first five days after birth, which
protected both the mother and the child, and gave the mother a chance to be
taught by the midwife how to feed and care for her newborn baby. No visitors
were allowed to enter the birthing hut, not even the father.
Living Space: After the birth of their
first child, many things changed for the young couple. Before the birth, they
were required to live with the bride's family. After the birth, they had some
choices. They could live with the groom's family. They could
request a space of their own in the village longhouse. They could even build
their own pit house if they wished. Whatever their decision, custom dictated
that the families would support their decision and help to set them up in a
space of their own.
Cradle Boards: For the first six months,
babies were carried straped into cradleboards. Cradle boards were made from a
wood plank or tightly woven basket fibers. To use a cradleboard, first you
bunted the baby. Bunting means to wrap tightly. Even their arms were tightly
wrapped against their bodies inside the blanket. Then, babies were strapped
against a cradleboard. It worked. It worked wonderfully. Cradleboards kept
babies warm and safe. The mother
might carry a cradleboard on her back, as she gathered berries or washed clothes
in the nearby creek or river. Or the board might be propped up outside, so that
the mother could keep an eye on the infant strapped to the board, while working at
other tasks. The infants could see what was happening around them.
It was a baby's first introduction to village life.
Weddings, and Living Space
Return to the People of the Plateau for Kids (main index)
American Games & Activities
Stories, Myths and Legends
Native Americans for Kids
Native Americans in US, Canada, and the Far North
Early people of North America (during the ice
age 40,000 years ago)
Northeast Woodland Tribes and Nations
- The Northeast Woodlands include all five great lakes as well as the Finger Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River. Come explore the 3 sisters,
longhouses, village life, the League of Nations, sacred trees, snowsnake games, wampum, the
arrowmaker, dream catchers, night messages, the game of sep and more. Special Sections:
The Lenape Indians. Read two
myths: Wise Owl and
The Invisible Warrior.
Southeast Woodland Tribes and Nations
- The Indians of the Southeast were considered members of the Woodland Indians. The
people believed in many deities, and prayed in song and dance
for guidance. Explore the darkening land, battle techniques, clans and marriage, law and order, and
more. Travel the Trail of Tears.
Indians and Cherokee
Plains Indians - What was life like in
what is now the Great Plains region of the United States? Some
tribes wandered the plains in search of foods. Others settled down and grew crops. They spoke different
was the buffalo so important? What different did horses make?
What was coup counting? Who was
Southwest Indians -
Pueblo is not the
name of a tribe. It is a Spanish word for village. The Pueblo People are the decedents of the
Navajo and the
Apache arrived in the southwest in the 1300s. They
both raided the peaceful
Pueblo tribes for food and
other goods. Who were the Devil Dancers? Why are blue stones important? What is a wickiup? Who was
Child of Water?
Pacific Coastal Northwest Indians -
What made some of the Pacific Northwest Indian tribes "rich" in ancient times? Why were woven mats so
important? How did totem poles get started? What was life like
in the longhouse? What were money blankets and coppers? How did
the fur trade work? How did
Raven Steal Crow's
Inland Plateau People - About
10,000 years ago, different tribes of Indians settled in the Northwest Inland Plateau region of the
United States and Canada, located between two huge mountain ranges - the Rockies and the Cascades. The
Plateau stretches from BC British Columbia all the way down to nearly Texas. Each village was independent, and each had a
democratic system of government. They were deeply religious and believed spirits could be found
everything - in both living and non-living things. Meet the
California Indians - The Far West was
a land of great diversity. Death Valley and Mount Whitney are the highest and lowest points in the
United States. They are within sight of each other. Tribes living in what would become California were
as different as their landscape.