The Native Americans were the original inhabitants of North America.
Today over 1,400,000 Native Americans live in the United States and are American citizens. There are about 500 tribes. Some still live on the lands of their ancestors, but most of them live in about 300 reservations, situated mainly to the west of Mississippi River.
The largest reservation is the Navajo Reservation, in the state of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, with population of about 200,000 people.
There is a great cultural, linguistic and religious diversity among the different tribes.
They are great warriors. In battle they wear war costumes and eagle feathers in their hair.
In a tribe there are different chiefs, such as war chiefs, civil chiefs and medicine man. The chiefs of a tribe meet regularly to discuss tribal matters.
The Native Americans’ ancestors travelled from Asia into North America about 25,000 years before people began arrive from Europe and Africa. European explorers called them Indians by mistake. In fact when Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492, he thought he had reached India, so he named all the inhabitants of the area Indians.
Some of the numerous Indian tribes travelled to the Great Plains, that is the area between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River forest. Plains Indians include tribes such as the Sioux, Comanche, Kiowa, Blackfoot, Cheyenne and the Crow.