American Indians and Their Environment: Historical Background

For the Native Americans, their food, clothing, and shelter depended upon the seasons. In winter, they hunted birds and animals and lived on stored foods. In spring, they hunted, fished and picked berries. In summer, they grew crops (beans, corn, and squash). In fall, they harvested crops and preserved food for the winter.

The Native Americans used natural resources in every aspect of their lives. They used animal skins (deerskin) as clothing. Shelter was made from the material around them (saplings, leaves, small branches, animal fur). They used natural resources such as rock, twine, bark, and oyster shell to farm, hunt, and fish.

Indian men had the primary tasks of fishing and hunting. Deer meat, or venison, served as a supplement to the mostly agricultural diet. The Indians used other parts of the deer such as skin for clothing and bones for tools.

Source: American Indians and Their Environment: Historical Background
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