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AMERICAS BEFORE COLUMBUS

UNIT #2 - DISCOVERY OF THE “NEW WORLD” BREAKING THE MYTHS OF THE PAST (W2:D1) (Search bold words at huntthepast.com to know more) Well before Christopher Columbus, there were people throughout America. Many were nomadic people, who would travel with the changing of the seasons; others were able to build into their surroundings small cities throughout their territory. Many of these tribes worked together to trade or keep to their own areas, while some were war-like, and made their livelihood through attacking others. Recent archeologists have studied the burial remains of these people and dated them back thousands of years, through a process called Carbon Dating (finding the age through the breakdown of its carbon molecules). DNA tests taken from these remains show many different origins, from Asia to Africa; some, like the Cherokee, have DNA markers found solely in Jewish DNA. Because there are very few records of the origin of these people (only oral tradition, by storytelling their history), no one knows how these people, throughout the Americas, came to live here. Their means of arrival in the Americas is also not known. Some evidence points to an ice bridge that formed between Alaska and Russia, allowing people to follow the mammoth herds to this new land. Others believe in a Pangea, where all the continents were once one, and people moved around the sole continent freely. Evidence, in what records exist, DNA, and oral tradition, tell of them traveling to the Americas using small and great ships. For example, it is thought by many in the Southeast Alaska tribe, the Tlingit people, that their stories of creation and culture are remarkably similar to those in Tonga, 9,600 miles away. So, though we do not know how all the Indigenous people came to the Americas, we can learn of the tribes we already know. Note: the word “Indian” comes from the word “Indios” which may have come because Columbus thought he had found India, or as some linguistics experts have considered, Columbus was Italian and did not speak Spanish well. He may have called the people “Una gente in Dios” or “A people in God”, “in God”, “in Dios”, “indios”. The terms “Native American” and “Indigenous” came in the late 1970s. Native Americans have been calling themselves Indians for years, as you will find in the Federal Indian Laws, negotiated with North American tribes. For this reason, we will use all three terms. Also, those far in northern Canada, parts of Greenland, and Alaska, would be called ‘Inuit,’ or to their people, ‘Inuktitut.’ These people inhabited the arctic areas of North America. Leif Erickson - How Europe found America

There were many explorers who arrived before Columbus in the Americas - many we have no record of. One of the first European visitors to settle in the Americas would have to be Leif Erickson, whose family was exiled from Norway, in Northern Europe, because of his grandfather, Thorvald Asvaldsson. Thorvald killed a local tribesman, while seeking vengeance for his kinsmen’s death, and was banished from the Scandinavian territories. Note: You may know these people as Vikings, but they never referred to themselves as Vikings, but rather Norseman, coming from Norway. Any historical record who calls them Vikings should be questioned for accuracy. After being banished, Thorvald sailed west to find a land that had been discovered by another Norseman, by the name of Hrafna-Flóki. He came upon a great island, and when seeing a mountain full of glaciers, declared the land to be called Iceland. His son, Eric Thorvaldsson, or as you may know him, Eric the Red, followed in his father’s footsteps and was banished for killing another Norseman. He was exiled for three years, as punishment, and in his travels found Greenland. His son, Leif Erickson moved to Scotland for a time, and then, from the tales of another Norse explorer, learned of a land West of Greenland. So, he traveled there to find North America and began the first - but unsuccessful - European settlement in the Americas, and began to do missionary work to the indigenous people. Long story short, Christopher Columbus was not the first European settler to visit North America, or settle in North America; Columbus did not even settle North America, since he spent all his time in the Caribbean and northern South America. You can read more about this and Columbus’s story in the next few chapters. There were hundreds of tribes throughout North and South America, and we will share the stories of some of the largest and more impactful, in the story of North America, in future chapters. It is easier to remember when you weave them into the story and show how they were part of the founding of what is now America Activity: Boat Building - Have you ever made a paper boat? Well, you are going to have fun with today’s activity! Today we will teach you to fold an origami paper boat, and then test its durability in different weather. Visit HuntThePast.com/SpanishExploration/ Part #2: Look at your origami ship and draw it in the space below. How would it look if it were real? 1. How well did your boat stay afloat? ______________ _____________________________________________


2. What did you learn from folding your ship? ________ _____________________________________________


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