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They were handicapped by the lack of sharp metal tools. The most important of these was the buffalo, or bison.
Snow fell on the mountains in winter and supplied water for streams, springs, and water holes.In addition to a marked absence of blood type B and the Rh-negative blood type among Native Americans, several other characteristics of their blood types set them apart from the Mongoloid peoples, with whom they were sometimes classed in the past.The Indians lived in different ways in various parts of the country.The Pueblo Indians learned to irrigate their fields and to find moist spots for dry farming. They built large dwellings, like apartment houses, from stone and adobe (sun-dried clay).A whole village, or community, lived in one of these huge houses.When the Spanish explorers saw them in the 16th century, they called the community houses pueblos from the Spanish word for village.The region also had nomadic Indians who did not build villages.The Navajos were hunters and raiders of the settled villages until the Spaniards brought sheep and goats.They gradually began tending flocks of these animals for a livelihood. Game animals were scarce, and the men could not supply enough food by hunting. The giant red cedar provided straight-grained wood which even crude tools could split.Their hunters, warriors, and traders used paths now followed by roads and railroads.Indian words dot the map of the Native American farmers were the first in the world to domesticate potatoes, tomatoes, and many other food plants that help feed the peoples of the world today.