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Native American's Impact on Modern US Culture 
14th-Mar-2008 04:53 am
stimulate
So many people from other countries often criticize that the United States has no roots or culture as a result of being a mesh of people from multiple other countries and cultures. Someone even said that we have no words that are only used in the United States. The person saying this was a Hispanic person from Mexico who mentioned that several places in Mexico have many words that came from Aztec or other Central American Native languages. She said that because the US had basically annihilated the Native Americans in North America, and/or forced them off the land, that there is no ability to claim that the culture was impacted by anything other then the mix of cultures from whence US citizens' multi-colored butts came.

I do know that there are a great many words are used that have Native American etymology, but I was hoping that someone who studied this area would have more scope on what other ways it can be said that Native American culture influenced modern US culture.

Thanks! ^^
Comments 
14th-Mar-2008 12:04 pm (UTC) - ignorance
umm, mississippi, ohio, illinois are ALL NA words, as are delaware, sioux, dakota... Scioto river, Olentangy river, pemmican, wampum, tipi, i could go on, but won't.
14th-Mar-2008 12:25 pm (UTC) - Re: ignorance
As I said earlier, I know there are a great many words with NA etymology. I was hoping for something more along the lines of the way that despite English invasion Scotland still retained a decent portion of it's original local identity. Kilts, Bag Pipes, styles of art, colloquial phrases specific to that area, signs of the original culture that persist in spite of modernization and globalization.
14th-Mar-2008 12:50 pm (UTC) - Re: ignorance
pow-wows
14th-Mar-2008 01:09 pm (UTC) - Re: ignorance
to expound more: my own tribe has Homecoming Days in September when we get together with the Eastern Band and relight the sacred Fire from the old one.... as long as the sacred fire burns, there will be Tsalagi. we still have clans through matriarchal lineage. we still have traditional crafts like seed pots, beadworks, hell, we have our own alphabet!!!!! our newspaer is written in our language, in our alphabet... can't get more colloquial than that. do we still dress in deerskins? no, no more than your hispanic friend does human sacrifices.
14th-Mar-2008 09:45 pm (UTC) - Re: ignorance
Scioto, Olentangy... you live around Columbus? ;)
15th-Mar-2008 05:56 pm (UTC) - Re: ignorance
yup
17th-Jul-2008 12:09 am (UTC)
My top-of-mind picks for 3 great places to live around Columbus are Worthington, Dublin and Powell.
17th-Jul-2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Not Bexley?
14th-Mar-2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
Seattle ? "tl" seems to be a typical Native American suffix .
14th-Mar-2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, Thanksgiving Day, which is almost universally celebrated in the U.S., traces its origins to the feast day shared by native Americans and Mayflower Pilgrims shortly after the latter arrived --the foods traditionally associated with Thanksgiving are Native American: turkey, corn, pumpkin, & oysters.

Likewise, the predominant architecture in the state of New Mexico derives directly from Pueblo forms and materials.

Popcorn, a snack food ubiquitous in the United States, is native American.

As I write this, I am wearing moccasins, a Native American footwear still popular in this country.

14th-Mar-2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Also, in the arid Southwest, farm irrigation techniques perfected by the Anasazi are still in use.
15th-Mar-2008 11:57 am (UTC)
Good for you ! You're very knowledgeable and interesting .
16th-Jul-2008 07:15 am (UTC)
" Ralph Towner "You're very knowledgeable and informed. You really know what you're talking about. You're doing the music a great service with your work.
14th-Mar-2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
I think Seattle was a chief of a tribe in that area.
(Deleted comment)
15th-Mar-2008 02:15 am (UTC)
O rly? I swear, the Northwest has the weirdest NA names. Snohomish, Skagit, Puyallup... :p
16th-Jul-2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Another sample, "Seattle" sounds like [Si A LLLLo] in USA ( "tl" part is both consonants has continuous tongue touching the dome ), [Sia ToLu] in Japan.
14th-Mar-2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Although I cannot answer your question about NA etymology in US-English, I think the point of view of this Hispanic guy is really onesided. How is culture defined? Why couldn't a mix of different cultures build a new culture? To me it seems like a very traditional, and nationalistic view.
What about the worlds culture? Is it western, since the world is dominated by western countries at the moment? Is it Asian, since China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia together with all the Ex-UDSSR countries include more than half of the worlds population? Would it be more of an US/NA culture, if there were more NA words used in the language? Although these words were used by people who do not feel connected with NA customs and traditions in any way? That belong more to a christian philosophy than to any natural religion practiced by Native Americans?
How should parts of the NA culture enter the culture of the Imperialists, if the NA were the enemys they were fighting?

I think it is an interesting question though. Did you find any other informations about that subject?
14th-Mar-2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
they could say that about south america, too. spanish came in and annihilated their indians, as well. europeans all kicked each other's asses, too. they are all amalgamations of each other. hello, english has lots of french words from the Norman invasion. they just didn't do the tribal wipe-outs (in europe that is).




14th-Mar-2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
you should post this to linguists
14th-Mar-2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
How can a civilization have no culture? I wish I had the dipstick of truth that the original querant had.
15th-Mar-2008 12:49 am (UTC)
Wow, so many ways. One that comes to mind is the impact of Iroquois politics on early American statesmen, such as Ben Franklin. Read about it here. There's some debate over just how much the example of the Iroquois affected the drafters of the Constitution--the influence was probably largely indirect or subconscious with most of the "founders," but that doesn't negate its influence. And Franklin was rather more direct about it.
15th-Mar-2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
A great book that explores this theme over time is Playing Indian by Philip Deloria.
17th-Mar-2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Right. I've read this from several secondary sources. The idea of union of the states coming from the international Union of 5 Nations, the Hottinoshoni or Iroquois.

Franklin, and others, heard the story of Degandawida and the bundle of Arrows. It is said to be the influence of a sketch done by Franklin, which lead to a later version put on the One Dollar Bill...the eagle holding the arrows.

Someone back me up on this one...
15th-Mar-2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
It's impossible for there to be "no culture." And maybe there are very few non-place name words that we use, but what about the hundred or perhaps thousands of words exported to the rest of the English-speaking world from the Americas? (Sandwich is one... I haven't read Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue in a while so I'm forgetting.)

Furthermore, your friend is being totally demeaning to living indigenous peoples to say that Native American culture has been "basically annhilated." There are plenty of living Native Americans who continue to practice their unique cultures, probably not far from where you live! Colonial legacies mean that indigenous cultures change, of course (and not often in immediately positive ways). But to claim that they don't exist is to become a part of the problems associated with colonial hegemony, not the solution.



And other commenters are right. The blending of lots of cultures means that a new culture comes forward, but I generally argue that "American culture" is defined by a series of subcultures. So mention the Amish, rural Appalachian peoples, modern classical composers of NYC, the corporate structure of Wal*Mart, a rez in the Southwest, etc. None of these groups have a strict analog in the Old World and all have their own specialized vocab (or more)! Culture is not defined by words alone, but even if it was your friend would still be wrong.
17th-Mar-2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
The influence is immense.

Tons of words. Cultural practices that persist to this day. Most especially preserved in the culture is anything that crossed over, either direction. And not limited to the US. Because of Britain, Spain, and US influence in the world of late, Native words and culture is known worldwide.

Here is a list of words provided by wikipedia.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_from_indigenous_languages_of_the_Americas

Also note that pow-wows, the Green Corn Festival, several functions out southwest, and thanksgiving are among several holidays practiced. The military has taken great care in naming lots of machines after Native Americans. 27 states have Native titles, hundreds of counties (if not thousands), and hundreds of cities and towns. Surviving populations interbreed with many incoming europeans for 500 years now. I live in the Southeastern US and many, many people around me have partial Cherokee and Creek lineages.

Food is huge. Please seek out food. I wish I knew more about the food.

Philosophy. I am currently reading some fatally interesting stuff by William Brandon "New Worlds for Old: Reports from the New World and Their Effect on the Development of Social Thought in Europe, 1500–1800", which is very, very persuasive in suggesting that the idea of Liberty was practiced in the Americas and seen here by incoming Europeans, hence leading to the French and American revolutions and our modern definition of liberty.

But in defense of your Mexican friend, it may be that Mexico has more influence than the US. Mexico was what the people ruling the Aztecs called themselves (mexica="may-she-ca"). Mexico might have been more populated, possibly accounting for the influence. Also, the people of the Southwest US and the Mississippi Mound Builders (reaching as far north as St. Louis) were influenced by culture AND agriculture out of Mexico.


It seems that native cultures are overwhelmed most of the time. But if you look around, I think that you see otherwise. Europe slamming into the Americas built most of the modern world.
18th-Mar-2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
And of course, Lacrosse
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