Published on July 6, 2013 by Casey
The climate and natural resources that were available resulted in the adoption of the culture shared by the Northeast Woodland Group. This section on the Northeast Woodland Group group provides facts and information about their languages, the Geography and Environment which featured inland rivers, streams and lakes.
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The animals and the Plants and Trees including Poplars, birches, elms, maples, oaks, pines, fir trees and spruces and fir trees. provided their food, clothing, shelter and decorations. Their Houses, Shelters and Homes depended on the materials available to them and included fortified villages.
There are also facts and info about the Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs of the Northeast Woodland Group group whose tribes included the Algonquian speaking Fox, Shawnee, Wampanoag, Delaware, Pequot and Menominee tribes.
Learn about the life of the people of the Northeast Woodland Group. Discover facts and information about the natural resources available, the languages, culture, clothing, their religion, beliefs and ceremonies. Illustrated with Pictures and images of the Northeast Woodland Group culture. The climate, land and natural resources that were available to the Indian tribes resulted in the adoption of the Northeast Woodland Group culture.
Name of Group: Northeast / Eastern Woodlands Indians
Culture: Hunter-gatherers, farmers, fishers, trappers
Geography of the State of Eastern Woodlands Indians: Lush woodlands, rivers, ocean
Animals: Squirrels, white-tailed deer, raccoon, bear, squirrel, beaver, moose, and caribou
Fish and Sea Mammals: Whales, Seal, Fish and shell fish
Crops: Corn (maize), pumpkin, squash, beans and tobacco
Trees: Poplars, birches, elms, maples, oaks, pines, fir trees and spruces and fir trees.
Transport: Birchbark canoes
Clothing: Little clothing in the summer, animal skins (Buckskin) in winter
Types of housing, homes or shelters: Chickees, Wigwams aka Birchbark houses and Longhouses
Famous Tribes of Eastern Woodlands: Miami, Lenape, Iroquois, Massachusett, Powhatan, Abenaki, Shawnee and Pequot, Fox, Sauk, Wampanoag, Delaware, Huron (Wyandot), Mohawk, Mohican and Menominee
The Native Indians who lived on the borders of lands often reflected two different types of lifestyles
The different types of Houses, Shelters and Homes depended on the materials available and whether the home was permanent or temporary. The homes of the Eastern Woodlands Indians included Wigwams aka Birchbark houses and Longhouses. Inter-tribal warfare was harsh and frequent so that people of some tribes lived in villages which were fortified by fencing and reinforced with dirt. They tended to live near water.
The languages of the Northeast Woodland Group included the Algonquian and Iroquoian languages
The Religion, Ceremonies and Beliefs were based on Animism. Animism was a commonly shared doctrine, or belief, of the indigenous people of North America and Canada including the Woodland Indian tribes. Animism is based on the spiritual or religious idea that the universe and all natural objects have souls or spirits. In this religion it is believed that souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in animals, plants, trees, rocks etc. This belief is also extended to natural phenomena such as thunder storms and rain and geographic features such as mountains, caves or rivers also possess souls or spirits. Face paint or War paint was applied by the Woodland tribes to intimidate their enemies but also to give them protection against evil spirits. There were various ceremonies and festivals relating to the corn crops including the the Green Corn festival. These ceremonies and festivals included feasting and music using rattles and drums. Heroic figures or “transformers” who transform, or change, the world into its present state feature in the legends and myths of the Woodland peoples.
This group was believed to have created the Dreamcatcher, which was a protective charm or device. The Dreamcatcher was believed to protect a person from the bad spirits that appeared in dreams. The dreamcatcher was constructed in a spider web design. A wooden hoop was attached to a woven web or loose net, like a spider’s web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with personal and sacred items such as feathers and beads. It was said that “Nightmares pass through the holes and out of the window. The good dreams are trapped in the web, and then slide down the feathers to the sleeping person.”
Wampum was extremely important to this culture group. Wampum are the traditional, sacred shell beads of Eastern Woodlands tribes used for currency, recording special events and marking exchanges for engagement, marriage, and betrothal agreements.
There were several ceremonies which were important to the Northeast Woodland Group. Notably the Cry Ceremony. When someone in a Woodland tribe died, the tribe would hold a cry ceremony. To prepare for the ceremony five knots were tied in a piece of milkweed. Milkweed was abundant in the longleaf pine forests and were plants with milky sap and light wind-blown seeds. The chief of the tribe performed dances and sang around a fire. The ceremony lasted five days and on each day one of the knots would be untied.
The physical characteristics of Eastern Northeast Woodland Group are dark brown eyes, prominent cheek bones, straight black hair, and scantiness of beard. The skin color of Native Indians varies from very light in some tribes such as the Cheyenne, to almost black in others, such as the Caddo and a yellowish color in such as the Flatheads.
The Geography and Environment can be generally described as a region of moderate climate with high levels of rainfall. Lakes, including the Great Lakes, rivers and forests.
The Northeast Woodlands – pine trees and Fir trees
The Great Lakes and Woodlands – birch and beech tree forests and woods
The Prairie and Woodlands
The Southeast Woodlands – semi-tropical cypress swamps and pines
The animals were very important to the Northeast Woodland Group. Squirrels, white-tailed deer, bear, moose, beavers, and raccoons. Fish and Sea Mammals included Whales, Seal, Fish and shell fish of the coast including clams, oysters, lobsters, mussels. The uses of the animals were varied and included food, clothing, shelter and decorations. Dogs were the only domesticated animals.
The clothing of the Northeast Woodland Group were generally made of buckskin, deer skin without hair or fur. The men wore loincloths, leggings, shirts and moccasins. The women wore grass dresses or skirts and moccasins. The picture at the top of the page shows a Fox Warrior which illustrate the typical clothing worn by a Woodland man.
The crops included beans, corn, pumpkins, squash and tobacco. The trees included poplars, birches, elms, maples, oaks, pines, fir trees and spruces and fir trees.