Ais 102 American Indians and the U. S. Political System Fall 2004

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II. Native American Cultures

A. Culture Areas

The culture-geographic regions were developed by early ethnologists like Clark Wissler (1870- 1947) to produce a typology based upon human response to environments. Common responses were material cultural elements like housing, clothing, etc.. However, more subtle cultural elements of religion and philosophy were generated by Native American responses to their environment that are reflected in the written and oral traditions expressed in stories and songs.

These regions are the most common way that scholars begin to organize Native American cultures, but language phyla is a more precise measure of the origins of different groups of people.

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