Published on April 10, 2013 by Carol
When Christopher Columbus first discovered North America, he mistakenly believed that he had discovered the Indies. This led to the name “Indian.” It is believed that the first North American Indian came across a land bridge across the Bering Sound, from Siberia into Alaska. This would have been during the last ice age about twenty thousand years ago.
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When the Europeans discovered America, there were approximately ten million Indians already living there. These Indians were amazed at the Europeans white skin and technology, which would eventually prove to be their downfall.
While the Indians were amazed by the Europeans, they also noticed that they were greedy, and viewed nature as a means to gain wealth and power. The North American Indian viewed nature, and by extension life, as sacred, and the Europeans views were abhorrent to them.
Not only did the white man bring outlandish tools, and a need to own land but also diseases that hit the Indian tribes hard, decimating their population. The Indians were outnumbered by the invaders, and had inferior weapons to defend themselves. While the Europeans had metal knives and swords, the North American Indian had bows and arrows and crude wooden spears. The arrows have remained today and this is where the sport of archery originated.
While the Indians lived here first, the Europeans viewed them as nothing more than nomads, with no claim to the land.
Even though the Indians had inferior weaponry, they fought fiercely and the Indian warrior was feared for his viciousness in combat. Many of them were excellent marksmen with the bow, and they knew the land intimately, making it hard for the Europeans to conquer them.
But no matter how many of the Europeans the Indians killed, more would replenish their number from across the sea.
The Europeans came close to wiping out the existing tribes in North America, and the last great battle was fought in 1890, when thousands of Indian children, women and men were slaughtered by U.S cavalry.
That battle pretty much ended the wars that plagued North America, and left a stain on North American history that remains today. The remaining Indians were either assimilated, or repressed. The culture that the Indians had fought so hard for was almost lost.
While the history of the North American Indian is a tragic one, they still remain today, although they are a shadow of what they once were. They are, and were, a proud people, with a remarkable heritage and because of them archery has been recognized worldwide.