7 History of some Native American Tribes which have ‘Chinese’ DNA – Antonia Bowen-Jones

History of some Native American Tribes which have ‘Chinese’ DNA – Antonia Bowen-Jones

History of some Native American Tribes which have ‘Chinese’ DNA

They are a linguistic family of north central California, which is now generally considered to be part of the Penutian stock.  They are further divided by dialect into three tribes namely: the Maidu proper who lived on the upper reaches of the Feather River south of Eagle Lake around Susanville, Butte Valley and Quincy; the Konkow who occupied the east side of the Sacramento River around Chico; and the Nisenan or Southern Maidu who settled in the Yuba, Bear and American River Valleys around Marysville, Nevada City, Placerville and Auburn.  They therefore divided into groups occupying the valley, foothills and mountain of Maidu.

They took part in the Kuksu religious cult of the Sacramento Valley, which wears distinctive costumes with an extensive range of rituals, impersonation of spirits and they use large semi sub-terranean dance houses.  Bark or brush was used to create lean-to houses.  They used a complex system of shell money exchange.  Funeral rites saw the burning of property including fine baskets that were made for the event in honour of the dead.  They often went naked or wore breechcloths or aprons of buckskin.

The contact with the arrival of the Spanish was limited to the Nisenan, yet American and Hudson Bay trappers appeared in the 1820’s and the Gold Rush after 1848 brought about the ruinous invasion of their land by the whites.  The Maidu comprised of a population of 9,000 in 1846 which reduced to just 1,100 in 1910 who were mainly Maidu in Plumas County, Konkow in Butte Country, and Nisenan in Yuba, Placer and El Dorado Countries.

They consist of a group of small tribes that reside in the upper Eel River valley in the Coast Range Mountains of northwest California and also along the coast between Rockport and Fort Bragg.  The Yuki proper lived in the Round Valley area; the Huchnom on the south Eel River; and the Coast Yuki who are possibly a branch of the Huchnom, in the coast area.  These tribes along with the Wappo and Lile’ek, who are a detached southern branch of Yuki, form a language family unique unto itself, with no known related ones.

Their region of habitation is on the west side of the Sacramento River valley, from the river to the crest of the coastal mountain.  They can be divided into 3 different dialectal groups.  The northern or Wintu lived in the upper sections of the Trinity and Sacramento Rivers north of Cottonwood Creek to the edge of Shasta County and were the largest of the 3 groups in the Wintun family.  The Wintun Proper or Nomlaki occupied the Sacramento valley between Cottonwood Creek and south to Grindstone in Glenn County numbering c.2000 at the time of first contact with the Europeans.  Thirdly the Patwin or Southern Wintun lived from just beyond Colusa to San Pablo Bay in Colusa and Yolo Counties.  These groups were then further divided into groups who lived in the plains, hills or the river valleys.  They had bark houses which were built around semi-subterranean earth lodges for ceremonials of the Kuksu type including the Bole-Maru cultists who performed the “Big Head Dance”- which are male and female spirit impersonators who wore large impressive feather headdresses.  The Patwin suffered from contact with the Mexicans in the late 18th Century and then from American contacts in the 1840’s and onwards.  The whole family numbered c.15,000 in the mid-18th century dropping substancially to around 1,000 that were reported in the 20th century yet of tribal and racial mix.

Sioux/ Dakota/ Lakota/ Nakota
The Sioux occupy the Plains and Priaries were feared by other tribes from the Great Lakes to the Rockies.  Their linguistic group is known as the Siouan (Dakotan).  The tribal name Sioux comes from the French version of a Chippewa word in the Algonquian language.  The Chippewa tribe named their enemies Nadouessioux for “adders”, a kind of snake.  The Sioux are also known as the Dakota (Lakota or Nakota), which comes from the Siouan meaning “allies”.

The Sioux comprised of four branches each of which consisted of different bands.  The first and biggest of the branches was the Teton Sioux with the following groups: 1. Ogala 2. Brule (Sicangu) 3. Hunkpapa; 4. Miniconjou; 5. Oohenonpa; 6. Itazipco (Sans Arcs); and 7. Sihasapa.

The Santee Sioux were the name of another branch with the following bands attached: 1. Sisseton; 2. Wahpeton; 3. Wahpekute; and 4. Mdewkanton.

Yankton Sioux was the name of a third branch with just the one band – Yankton.

Yanktonai Sioux was the fourth branch, which was adjoined with the following bands: 1. Yanktonai 2. Hunkpatina; and 3. Assiniboine (who broke off from the Sioux c1600 and migrated westwards)

Of the four branches the Tetons use the Lakota version of the tribal name; the Santees use Dakota and the Yanktons and Yanktonais use Nakota.

With an aboriginal population of more than 30,000, they were one of the largest tribes in the Western-Hemisphere.  The Sioux migrated to the Upper Plain states from the headwaters of the Mississippi in the sixteenth century because of warfare with the Cree.

Today this is the second most populous tribe in the USA with 220, 000 claiming membership of this nation.  Over 60% of this Indian tribe’s members are under the age of 30 with the population continuing to rapidly expand.  In 1868 there were about 10,000 Navajo.

The Navajo reservation occupies 24,000 square miles in north-eastern Arizona, north-western New Mexico and south-eastern Utah.  Roughly 90% of the tribe’s members live on the reservation.

Their language belongs to the Athabascan family characteristic of a group of tribes known as Apache.  The word “Navajo” comes from a Tewa word meaning “cultivated fields” and was used by the Spanish in colonial documents as early as 1626.  The alternative spelling of “Navaho” was disused in 1969 after a tribal council officially pronounced the tribe to be called “The Navajo Nation”.  The Navajo however call themselves “Dine” which means “The People” and call their homeland “Dinetah” meaning among the People”.

The history of the Navajo tribe is described in accounts, which describe a series of migrations from one “world” to another.  Rex Lee Jim asserted in the Encyclopedia of North American Indians that descriptions of the first three worlds can be likened to migration routes proposed by anthropologists.  According to him the first world , also called the black world, is “in its physical description, representative of a tundra biome, possibly the Far North,” Second World (blue-green world) contains “landmarks and animals similar to that of western and central Canada”, Third World, yellow world, contains “mountains and plains reminiscent of the eastern slope of the Rockies and the Southwest”, and the fourth world, glittering world, “brings us to Dinetah….in the northwest New Mexico”.

The Navajo way is to strive for harmony with nature and with other people; the word “hozh” represents the concept of this ideal state of universal harmony, goodness and order, and beauty.  Leland C. Wyman wrote in “Navajo Ceremonial System” that “[the Navajo] regard the universe as an orderly, all-inclusive, unitary system of interrelated elements.  The tiniest object, being, or power, even minute insects…all have their place and significant function in the universal continuum.”

The Principal dwelling type used by the Navajo is a rectangular wooden house called a hogan.  If wood is scarce then a Hogan can be built of stones held together with mud mortar.  Their principal subsistence type on moving to the southwest was maize, wild plants and small game.  During their early period the Navajo wore breechcloths, leggings, skirts and blankets woven from the yucca plant or from cedar bark.

They belong to the Algonquian language family and the name originates from the Algonquian term sawanwa or “Southern People”.  Today three separate divisions of the tribe exist named the Eastern Shawnee, the Cherokee (or Loyal) Shawnee, and the Absentee Shawnee.

Shawnee tribe members are estimated between 2,000 and 12,000 prior to European contact with a hugely increased number of 12,600 today.  Pre-European contact they lived as far south as South Carolina and Tennessee, north through Kentucky and West Virginia.  Between 1700 and 1830 they also extended into the Ohio River Valley west to Indiana and Missouri and presently in Oklahoma.

Quechua is the their language where the name “Inca” means “prince” or “male of royal blood”, and usually referred to the Emperor.  Under the Spanish Conquistadors it became synonymous with the noble class however today it the name refers to the entirety of this famous lost race.

The Inca Population amounted to approximately 6 million and was originally settled in the central Andean highlands; yet by the 15th Century the Inca has expanded into territories that at present the countries of Equador, Peru, Bolivia, western Argentina and the northern half of Chile.  During the 500 years of Inca rule and expansion their Quechua language became the most common single language in South America.

Historial Timeline
1400 – a new culture emerges in the southern highlands: the Inca.  Viracocha, who took his name from the Inca creator god, was the first Inca to establish a permanent military presence around the capital Cusco.  Several other powerful tribes also were in power in the region during the 1400’s.  The Lupaca and the Collas were at war with each other and had been for some time.  The Incas sided with the Lupaca inorder to get rid of the Collas.  The Chanca group launched a full scale attack on Cusco the Inca capital after the death of Viracocha taking advantage of the split family in power.  Viracocha is believed to have favoured his third son Urcon over his eldest Inca Roca and his greatly respected second son, General Cusi Yupanqui.  When Chanca attacked Cusco, Urcon fled while the other two brothers stayed behind and successfully defended the city.  Cusi then became the nineth emperor taking the name Pachacuti.
1438-1471 – Viracocha’s son, Pachacuti reigned during this period and was perhaps the empire’s greatest Inca.  Cusco was reconstructed and the empire expanded into new land.
By 1460 the Incas ruled over the whole of the southern highland region and the empire was the largest and most powerful state in South America.
1500 – Inca Empire extends over 380,000 miles
1527 – Huayna Capac, the twelfth emperor dies and the Spanish adventurer Francisco Pizarro becomes stranded on the island of Gallo
1532 – Atahuallpa overthrows his brother Huascar, the rightful heir, in a civil war.  This then weakens the Inca Empire and leaves it open to Spanish attack.

There is no written form of Quechua but they used Quipus to keep records of trade and for other such dealings.  Quipus is a system of knotted string and one that was also used by the Chinese.  This ancient system can still be found in use in some parts of the highlands today.  Recently scholars have unearthed evidence in the form of seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary documents, which implies that the quipus were just used for trade transactions and the like.  The documents suggest that it was used for recording all manner of things from battles to astronomical observations.

Comment: If you have comments or suggestions on this article please click here

Comments are closed.