Comparing the changes amongst the Iroquouis and the Calusa

Many people make the assumption that all Native American tribes were exactly the same. In this line of thought people tend to believe that the Native Americans fought the same exact way, believed the same things, and traded all the same way. All through grade school, kindergarten through twelfth grade, we are taught this way of thinking. If we continue to follow this way of thinking than one might also be able to assume that once the Europeans came and began to settle, trade with, and influence the Indians; that each tribe reacted in the same exact manner. In theory, such assumptions would have the potential to produce a plausible scenario. However, if people delve into research on even two tribes– say one from the north, and one from the south– then they may be able to see some of the differences that are blatantly apparent.

That is precisely the route I took for this particular research project. For the northern area I focused my research on the Iroquois tribes in what is now the New York and Canadian area. As for the southern region, my focus was on the Calusa Indians from the south-western Florida peninsula area. For the purposes of this research project I will compare and contrast three specific categories for each tribe in order to show how they were either similar or different from one another. These categories include: leaders and family units, trading habits and rituals, and finally religious beliefs and rituals.

I also researched how the arrival and influence of the European people affected each of the three categories listed above. By showing how the coming of the Europeans and their influence affected the lives of the Native Americans it will be easier to see if the Native American tribes were really as similar as we believed them to be. My ultimate goal is to show a clear picture of the differences that may or may not existed amongst the Iroquois and Calusa Indian tribes.

Here are active links to the research project.

1) Calusa v. Iroquois: Leadership and Family Units

2) Calusa v. Iroquois: Trading

3) Calusa v. Iroquois: Religious Beliefs

4) European Influence on Leadership and Family Units

5) European Influence on Trading

6) European Influence on Religious Beliefs

7) Closing statements

8) Resources