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The Development of Indian Cultures: An Analysis

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When comparing and contrasting the development and later decline of major Indian cultures, one must come to understand the way of living of each culture. What did each culture develop in order to live, and what fault did they encounter which later caused them to fall? Usually, that fault of these cultures comes from the Earth itself. When looking at the Indian culture as a whole, one comes to understand the strife that Native Americans once had endure, despite the overwhelming conditions of their environments. Most commonly, the sudden change to colder, drier climates led to the decline of these cultures because of their unprepared ill-equipped lives which usually consisted and thrived on the basis of a warm atmosphere.

To begin, each culture must be first be identified, generalized with other cultures in order to compare. The Hohokam tribe, which was situated near what is today southern Arizona were the ancestors of the present-day Pima-Papago. The Hopewell and Mississippian cultures are linked together because the Hopewell culture, which faded somewhere after 550 A.D. was then transformed one might say into a similar religious cult known as the Mississippian culture, which endured until 1500. Both cultures were located in the forested core of the Midwest. The Mississippian culture, however, moved as far southeast as Florida. Pueblo, also in the Midwest, was a religion-based culture similar to Hopewell and Mississippian. The Woodland culture, is the most divergent from the others. The people of the Woodland culture, which spread throughout the east, were at great distance from the religious centers, and focused more on crops and hunting than religion. The Eastern Woodlands region includes the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.

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When delving into the development and then life of cultures linked by a common feature, you will notice certain similarities in the necessities of the people of the cultures. For example, all five of the Indian cultures listed were dependent on the cultivating of corn well as sometimes pumpkins, squash and beans. The Hohokam grew their crops in irrigated fields. The Mississippian culture, and its people built large towns with earth platforms, or mounds, supporting temples and rulers’ residences. This was a popular architectural concept used by the religious cultures. The Hopewell, raised some maize, but were more dependent on types of foods also used during the Archaic period because if it’s early existence, which so shockingly survived for centuries. The inhabitants of the pueblo culture practiced weaving and grew pumpkins and corn were grown as a supplement to hunting and the gathering of wild plants. The Woodland peoples of the region along the Atlantic Ocean seaboard benefited from a favorable climate and rich natural resources. This is one of few similarities the Woodland people shared with the other cultures.

The fall of these cultures simply goes to the fact that there were sudden changes in climate that gravely affected the crop growth and stock feed that these cultures had solely depended on. To the Hohokam, the worsening desert conditions later caused their demise, as weather eventually destroyed the rest.

To conclude and restate, the development and later decline of each of these Indian cultures were founded and destroyed because of what the Earth provided. Some fault within the culture and what it depended on, later proved necessary.

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