Native Americans

Indian Art: Ancient Markers and Modern Markets
Long before Europeans ever came into our world, the Original People made wonderful tools with elaborate decorations to please the eye and to give life to the objects they used every day. These decorations also served as markers for group identity. Ancient trade between the many cultures allowed material and finished goods to travel enormous distances long before the White people crossed the sea. The changes in the materials traded and the native economies after 1500 are the subject of this slide illustrated lecture. Dr. Marshall Becker


Wampum: Native American Money or Belts Used for Diplomacy?
Beads made from sea shells have always been important objects in the ritual and ornamental activities of all of the Native American tribes in the Northeast. Around 1615 CE  a small, cylindrical bead type called “wampumpeag” began to be made in huge numbers along the shores of Long Island Sound. The uniform size and shape of these beads, generally called “wampum,” allowed them to be woven into bands of all sizes. This slide illustrated lecture shows how this bead type developed, how the Lenape, Five Nations Iroquois, and other Native peoples used these bands, and how Dutch traders were important in spreading wampum to the Puritans and other colonists. Dr. Marshall Becker

Archaeology of the Lenape and Other Indians of the Delaware Valley
Archaeological studies at Lenape sites, and in particular at the Printzhof (36DE3) and the Montgomery Site (36CH60), have told us much about how the Lenape lived before the Europeans came, and how their lives were altered by contact. Historic records about the lives of these fascinating Americans and how they were blended with the Europeans provide us with a rich understanding of how they once lived. Dr. Marshall Becker

The Lenape [Delaware]: How They Lived and Where They've Gone

By the time that William Penn arrived the Lenape had long been trading with and living among the Swedish settlers in the area that was to become Philadelphia. How the Lenape lived in the forests before European contact, how they interacted with these colonial peoples, and how they learned to adapt to European influences are the main subjects of this slide-illustrated lecture. Dr. Marshall Becker

Indians of Pennsylvania: Archaeology and History
"Lenape, Munsee, Susquehannock, Monongahela, Iroquois, Delaware..." all these names which are so familiar to us are a reminder of the Native American peoples who were here long before the time of the Vikings or Columbus. The exciting things that we have learned from archaeology about the way that they lived and how they interacted with each other, their dealings with Europeans, and what became of them will be reviewed in this illustrated slide lecture. Dr. Marshall Becker

Modern Indians and the Pan-Indian Movement:
Multiculturalism in America

No one knows exactly how many Native American cultures existed before 1500. Today over 500 are Federally recognized as being able to trace "tribal" identity back into the past, and provides each group with special benefits from the United States Government. However, most "Indian" activities which we read about today do not relate to any specific "Nation" but are based on activities only recently developed. The origins of dances, pow-wows, clothing, decorations/decorative arts, and foods now commonly seen in Pennsylvania, and their relationship to traditional counterparts, are the focus of this slide illustrated lecture. Dr. Marshall Becker

Sustainable Gardens of North America
Who invented ecological gardens? No one can answer that question, but Native Americans certainly cultivation plants in a sustainable manner long before the emergence of the native plant movements of the twentieth century. Anthropologist Marshall Becker will discuss what we know about how Native Americans created gardens and managed wild plant populations. Dr. Marshall Becker

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