The Indians of the Southeast were considered members of the Woodland Indians.
About 4000 years ago, there were many different Southeast Woodland Indian tribes. Most tribes were farmers, hunters, and gatherers. They spoke different languages and dialects. Some knew each other. Some did not.
They had many things in common. They were artistic, clever people. They produced colorful art using natural dyes. They made baskets from natural fibers to haul food and store goods. They used shells to make really sharp knives. They created incredible beadwork. These early people were great story tellers. They were knowledgeable about herbs and natural medicines. Knowledge was handed down orally from one generation to the next.
Each tribe was divided into a small number of clans. Clans were related people. When a baby was born, he or she belonged to the mother's clan. Laws varied, but some laws were the same in all tribes. One such law was that you could not marry someone from your own clan.
The Southeast Woodland people believed in many gods and goddesses, deities to whom they prayed in song and dance for help and guidance. They had some very strange customs, and some very beautiful ones. Come meet a few of the Southeast Woodland Indian tribes and see how they lived in olden times.