One kid-friendly fact about Indians is that they are actually Native Americans, but Columbus dubbed them "Indians" by mistake. Other facts include that they hunted the land for food, made their own weapons and lived in various types of shelters, including tipis. The Indians taught the pilgrims to farm the land.Continue Reading
Native Americans got the name “Indians” when Christopher Columbus erroneously thought that he reached India when he landed in North America. When Columbus landed, there were hundreds of different tribes throughout the country, all of which lived off the land.
All Native American tribes hunted for food, including elk, deer, salmon, buffalo and rabbit. Some tribes grew their own food. An important crop for the Native Americans was maize, which is corn. The Indians also grew potatoes, wild rice, sweet potatoes, beans and peanuts. Additional foods grown included pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, avocados and peppers.
In Native American life, men hunted for food and provided protection for the tribe. The men fashioned weapons from a variety of materials, including animal bones. They made bows and arrows, knives and spears, and often traveled in hunting parties, following herds of animals.
Women were in charge of caring for the children, preparing food, and making clothing and shelters. Some tribes made portable shelters called tipis that were easy to move when following a herd. Other tribes built homes made from logs or from bricks that they dried in the sun.
Around 90 Wampanoag Indians attended the first thanksgiving celebration in 1621 alongside 50 or so pilgrims. The feast lasted for three days. The Wampanoag were instrumental in teaching the pilgrims how to cultivate crops and farm the land.Learn more about US History