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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Surveying the history of Native Americans of the South from ancient times through the early twenty-first century, this chapter draws on oral tradition, material culture, climatology, and historical documents. Like all Native North Americans, Southern Indians have a dynamic past. They repeatedly adapted their societies to meet challenges arising from climate change 10,000 years ago, population growth during the Mississippian era, population collapse due to the introduction of new diseases following contact, warfare, and slaving in the colonial era, Indian removal, and ongoing US racial discrimination and imperialism. While pointing out diversity within the region, as well as the ties that linked Southern Indians to other people and places over time, this chapter also marks the cultural characteristics that make Native peoples of the South a distinctive group, namely their traditions of matrilineal kinship, dense populations, their long history of agriculture, and distinctive art forms and architecture.

Keywords: Southern Indians, matrilineal kinship, agriculture, Mississippian, slavery, race, Indian removal, colonialism

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