Use Of Tobacco Among North American Indians

Tobacco has been one of the most important gifts from the New World to the Old. In spite of the attempts of various authors to prove its Old World origin there can be no doubt that it was introduced into both Europe and Africa from America. Most species of Nicotiana are native to the New World, and there are only a few species which are undoubtedly extra- American. The custom of smoking is also characteristic of America. It was thoroughly established throughout eastern North and South America at the time of the discovery; and the early explorers, from Columbus on, speak of it as a strange and novel practice which they often find it hard to describe. It played an important part in many religious ceremonies, and the beliefs and observances connected with it are in themselves proof of its antiquity. Hundreds of pipes have been found in the pre-Columbian mounds and village sites of the eastern United States and, although these remains cannot be dated, some of them must be of considerable age. In the southwestern United States the Basket Makers, an ancient people whose remains are found below those of the prehistoric Cliff Dwellers, were smoking pipes at a time which could not have been much later than the beginning of our era.

Indian Mounds throughout North America

Charlevoix and Tantiboth speak of Indians who inhabited the region of country around Lake Michigan, who were well skilled in the art of erecting mounds and fortifications, Charlevoix also states that the Wyandots and the Six Nations disinterred their dead and took the bones from their graves where they had lain for several years and carried them to a large …

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Indian Hostilities in California and New Mexico – Indian Wars

In New Mexico, which became a part of the United States territory at the same time as California, the Indians are numerous and far more formidable than those farther west. The Apache Indians and Navajo Indians are the most powerful tribes west of the Mississippi. Being strong, active, and skillful, war is their delight, and they were the terror of the New Mexicans before the territory was occupied by the United States troops. The Pueblo Indians are among the best and most peaceable citizens of New Mexico. They, early after the Spanish conquest, embraced the forms of religion and the manners and customs of their then more civilized masters. The Pimos and Maricopos are peaceable tribes who cultivate the ground and endeavor to become good citizens. They are much exposed to the irresistible attacks of the Apache Indians and Navajo Indians, and, very often, the fruits of their honest toil become the plunder of those fierce wanderers.

1890 Report on the Pueblos of Laguna, Acoma and Zuñi

By Julian Scott, Special Agent The following report was prepared during September and October 1890, and August and September 1891: Laguna Pueblo Acoma Pueblo Zuñi Pueblo My observation in the 3 pueblos of Laguna, Acoma, and Zuñi is, that the so called control of these people by the United States government makes them expectant, and …

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Zuñi Pueblo

Zuñi lies in a great plain, or valley, through which the Zuñi River flows. On account of the severe storm that had prevailed for a number of days the streets of the town were in a horrible condition, and looked as if they were never cleaned. They are now higher than the ground floors of …

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Acoma Pueblo

Reaching the open plain, we came within view of the rock of Acoma, and were in a little while watering our horses at the reservoir over which the pueblos are quarreling. The water was very low and there wore evidences of recent neglect. The rock of Acoma, bears the pueblo of that name. It seems …

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Observations of the Census of the Pueblo Indians, 1890

For various reasons statistics compiled from schedules of enumerators as applied to the area under cultivation would be misleading. Upon the ordinary blanks used for agricultural statistics the instructions were that no entry was to be made of farms under 3 acres. Very many farms among these villages do not contain that amount, awl were …

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Picuris Pueblo

The following report was furnished by Mr. Frederick P. Midler, of Taos, New Mexico, February 20, 1891 I have just returned from the pueblo of Picuris. On the journey I and my horse came near freezing, The snow on the mountains and on the trail is 4.5 feet deep. No human being has passed through …

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Isleta Pueblo

On arriving in Isleta one immediately marks numerous points of difference between this community and the more northern pueblos in matters of dress, building, and customs. The town is composed entirely of 1 story dwellings, for the most part detached, though not isolated from neighboring habitations. These are always commodious and built frequently after the …

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Sandia Pueblo

Like San Felipe, the Sandia Pueblo community holds more land than it can improve. The large Mexican town of Bernalillo presses upon the north side of its tract of 24,187 acres, In 1824 the Indians of the pueblo gave the land on which the town stands, but no patent of this transaction is inexistence. Sales …

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Santa Ana Pueblo

One leaves Zia to follow the Jemez River directly east toward the Sandia range of mountains. The soil from this point rapidly becomes sandy and untillable, and at Santa Ana, 9 miles below, it is entirely unproductive. The inhabitants of this town have long since abandoned it as a place of slimmer abode, and use …

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Zia Pueblo

Approached from any direction the little town of Zia stands forth boldly against the sky, a low line of gray white buildings capping the stony promontory, which rises abruptly from the river to the height of 250 feet, and finds its connection with the mesa beyond in a narrow ridge to the north. The church …

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Jemez Pueblo

The village of Jemez is situated at the mouth of one of the most romantic, canyons of New Mexico. Just above, the northern boundary of the pueblo grant the walls of the mesa on either side rise suddenly to a height of 1,900 feet. The remains of the ancient pueblo of Jemez are still seen …

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Cochiti Pueblo

Cochiti has an extremely favorable site. It times the river at a height of 95 feet and is surrounded on 3 sides by tillable plains. The buildings in the town, 50 in number, are generally separated, not more than 3 dwellings being contiguous. The larger portion are of 1 story. Bight Mexican families dwell here …

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Nambe Pueblo

Nambe is found by following the bed of the Pojoaque River for three miles after leaving the government road. Its difficulty of access causes it to be rarely visited, The hills surrounding it to the north and east are fast crumbling by disintegration, showing some of the best sculptured forms of geological structure to be …

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