The 10 Largest Native American Tribes in the United States

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The 10 Largest Native American Tribes in the United States

The United States has many indigenous tribes living within its country. They have a long history and their number is increasing every year. These tribes have unique traditions and customs which unfortunately some of these cultures were lost during colonization by Europeans.

Native American tribes are still proud of their traditions and culture. The following are some Native American tribes that have a fairly large population to date. Although there are still many indigenous tribes that are still unknown.

1. Cherokee Tribe

The Cherokee tribe is a Native American tribe whose real name is Aniyuwiya which means “main people”. These aboriginal tribes currently inhabit areas along river valleys in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and West Virginia. They speak the Iroquoian language and have their own writing system created by the Sequoyah.

The Cherokee are economically an agrarian society. They depend on crops such as corn, beans, sunflowers, tobacco and pumpkins for their livelihoods. In addition they also hunt animals such as rabbits, turkeys, squirrels.

Like most Native American tribes, they also have problems with the rights to their homeland. They were forced to migrate because they lost their homeland. This incident is known as the Trail of Tears . There are about 66 agreements that they follow to fight for their rights.

2. Navajo

The Navajo tribe, also known as the Diné, are a Native American tribe originating from the United States in the southwest. The Navajo are said to be related to the Apache. The Navajo are a tribe who speak the Athapascan language.

The livelihood of the Navajo tribe is hunting, the animals they usually target are buffalo. Apart from being a hunter tribe, the barter they did with the Pueblo tribe, made them finally learn to grow crops. Meanwhile, when in contact with the Spaniards, they began to herd livestock such as sheep and goats.

The Navajo tribe can be said to be a tribe that has a very wide area of ​​power when compared to other indigenous tribes, which is about 27,000 square miles. Today they inhabit their homeland that stretches from the highlands of Colorado to New Mexico. This land they got after a long struggle known as ” Long walk “.

3. Choctaw Tribe

The Choctaws are a Native American tribe who speak a Muskogean language. They are a tribe that originally inhabited the southeastern United States, namely the Alabama Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana areas. The Choctaw tribe was originally an agrarian society, they worked together or communally and then shared their crops.

The Choctaw tribe is the first tribe to experience the Indian Removal Act , which was initiated by the 7th American President Andrew Jackson. They were the first to experience the Trail of Tears journey . They had to go from their homeland to the Indian territory of Oklahoma. Along the way around 2,500 people lost their lives.

4. Ethnic Chippewa

The Chippewa tribe is also known as the Ojibwa or also Anishinaabee. Most of the Chippewa tribe inhabit North America. They have about 150 ethnic groups that inhabit areas in the United States, such as Minnesote, Wisconsin, and Michigan. They also inhabit parts of Canada, such as areas of Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Most of the Chippewa tribe have a sedentary lifestyle and their livelihood is hunting and also fishing which is usually done by Men. While the women usually work by farming. The crops usually grown by the women are corn, pumpkin and wild rice.

5. The Sioux

The Sioux or also known as the Oceti Sakowin , but they call themselves the Lakota or Dakota. The Sioux tribe is a combination of several tribes who speak three different dialects, namely, Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota.

The Sioux are a tribe that is respected by tribes that come from the large lake area to the Rocky Mountains. They were very proud of the richness of their inheritance. The Sioux also ruled over the plains and prairies of North America. They are a nomadic society traveling by horse.

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The Sioux were known to be great warriors, and their families were the center of their lives. In addition, they are also known as a religious tribe that conveys prayers through dance and song. Like many other indigenous tribes they also faced problems with their ancestral lands when European settlers came to their lands which resulted in major wars.

6. Ethnic Apache

Apache is the name given to several Native American tribes who speak the Athapascan language. The Apache are a Native American tribe whose homeland is in the mountains, valleys, canyons, and plains of the south. Including the area from New Mexico to central Arizona commonly known as Apacheria.

Initially the Apaches were a nomadic people, they got their food by hunting and gathering. Hunting is usually done by men, while women gather food, wood, and water. The Apaches are famous for their ability to make baskets well.

The Apache tribe is known as a fierce warrior and able to adapt to the wild. They also engaged in battles with European settlers who entered their lands. The defeat they experienced made them have to leave their homeland.

7. The Blackfeet Ethnic

The Blackfeet are a Native American tribe consisting of four Native American tribal groups, including the Piegans to the north and south, the Bloods, and the Sikska . At first they inhabited a fairly large area from the northern Saskatchewan river in Canada to the Montana area, precisely on the Missouri river.

Like the tribes in the plains, they are usually a nomadic tribe. Their livelihood is hunting and gathering. They live from gathering food and also from hunting buffalo. They became acquainted with horses when settlers from Europe came to America. Usually they will exchange buffalo for horses and also for firearms.

The number of the Blackfeet tribe had experienced a decline when settlers from Europe came to bring disease outbreaks. In 1837, as many as 6,000 Blackfeet died of a smallpox epidemic. In addition, thousands more died of starvation due to disruption of food supplies and also because of the war.

8. The Creek Tribe (Muscogee)

The Creek tribe calls themselves Isti or Istichata, while the name Creek was given by European settlers because the Creek tribe lives around the Ocmulgee river. Their homeland was in what is today southern Tennessee, Alabama, northern Florida and the northern Georgia area.

The fate of the Creek Tribe is also not far from other Native American tribes. They also face almost the same challenge, namely losing their homeland. They were forcibly transferred to the territory of the Indian tribe which is now known as Oklahoma.

9. The Iroqouis

This Native American tribe is a combination of several tribes, including the Mohawk, Oneida, Senecan, Cayuga and also Onondaga. They became the strongest tribe in the northeast. There are an estimated 28,000 Iroquouis living in the United States, while the rest are in Canada, numbering about 30,000.

The Iroqouis are a community that has a variety of livelihoods, from hunting and gathering, farming, and fishing. Farming activities as well as gathering food and medicine are usually done by women, while hunting is a job done by men. They usually grow corn, pumpkins, and beans.

10. Lumbee Tribe

The Lumbee tribe is a Native American tribe who inhabited the North Carolina area, which until now still lives in the Robeson County area. The name of this tribe comes from the Lumber River which runs through Robeson County. There are about 55,000 people registered as the Lumbee tribe.

Unlike other tribes who usually have to leave their homeland. They have occupied their ancestral land for about 14,000 years. The Lumbee tribe is an agrarian society. They don’t speak Native American languages, but they were the first Native Americans to speak English.

Those are some of the Native American tribes that have a sizeable number in the United States. The number of these tribes usually declines due to the impact of disease outbreaks brought by settlers from Europe. Apart from that they died on a long journey when they had to leave their ancestral lands, an event known as the Trail of Tears.

Conflicts that often occur between these tribes are usually related to the ancestral land in which they live. This conflict occurred when settlers from Europe came to their land. There were many agreements they made so that they could return to live in their homeland and be able to establish their own territory.


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