A Study of Two American Indian Societies

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The Shoshone relied on small game, fish, and dug for roots for subsistence, hunting, gathering, and foraging for food. societies are usually mobile or nomadic, being dependent on their natural environment to provide sufficient resources in order to sustain themselves. The resources available in a geographic area depend on local climatic and seasonal conditions, forcing such societies to keep moving. It is thus that the Western Shoshone lived in a large area around the arid Great Basin and Great Plains, spread out over present-day California, Nevada, and Utah. Also known as The Snake, the Shoshone is related to the Paiutes, Comanches, and Utes with whom they share many language characteristics.The other society selected for the study is the Apalachee, a tribal Native American society of northern Florida. The Apalachee were farmers who developed a mature agricultural economy and grew Indian corn, beans, pumpkins, squash, and vegetables. They also developed pottery skills and the works of pottery were traded far away. Commerce with Native Americans outside Florida brought copper, iron ore, and seeds of maize in exchange for Florida freshwater pearls, conch shells, and fish bones. They spoke their own language of Muskogean9 origin. The Apalachees lived in permanent villages and built ceremonial mounds.The Shoshone shared a common period of existence with the Apalachee, towards the end of the Mississippian era. Though geographically separated, the period when they coexisted has been reliably confirmed from early Spanish and other European records consisting of first-hand accounts by many explorers, priests, and colonists. Western Shoshone occupied their Great Basin homeland as hunter-gatherers in minimum bands of about ten individuals. The bands moved across the land utilizing resources.