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Word Count: 1,727
It is well known that the Natives have been occupying the lands of the Americas several thousand years before the first contact of the Europeans While their numbers remain scarcely thin today back in colonial times the lands were highly populated with the cultural differences of the Natives This essay will focus primarily on warfare development before and after European contact and how the natives were able to adapt to their changing environment Before contact the Natives of America were seen as simple peoples in the eyes of the Europeans Confrontations among the diverse natives populations were of low casualty largely ritualized intergroup conflict that lacked systematic aggression Archaeologists interested in the kind of warfare that existed in pre-contact America assume that there were two distinct modes of warfare ones involving massed shield lines and producing few casualties and the other involving destruction of small communities Eastern Woodland tribes in particular often fought over control of tribal territory or hunting rights Warfare typically consisted of skirmished between rival war parties casualties were still considerately low Casualties suffered in war however might trigger further military actions or mourning wars intended to replenish the population reduced by fighting Insuch wars some prisoners taken captive might be tortured and killed while others deemed suitable were adopted by the tribeSaukampee a Cree who was involved in many battles during his youth describes a confrontation between two native tribes and the extent of what Native weaponry was like they sat down on the ground and placed their large shields before them We did the same Their bows were not so long as ours but of better wood and their arrows went a long way and whizzed about us They were all headed with sharp smooth black stone which broke when it struck anything Our iron-headed arrows did not go through their shields but stuck in them
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