American Indian Artifacts

Native Indian Tribe

American Indian Artifacts
Facts and history about the life and lifestyles of Native American Indians. American Indian Artifacts provide an insight into to the lives of the indigenous people of America. Artifacts are  man-made objects such as weapons, tools or ornaments that have survived from the past and are of historical interest.

The oldest Artifacts, such as arrowheads, date back 14,000 years and span across the Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) and the Clovis and Folsom cultures. Other cultures developed over the years, different materials became available, and the skills of Native Americans increased to produce the American Indian Artifacts that are so greatly valued in the modern day.  

Native American Life - American Indian Artifacts
The life, history and lifestyle of Native American Indians is a varied and fascinating subject. The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on American Indian Artifacts.

American Indian Artifacts Fact Sheet for kids

  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 1: Definition: Artifacts are defined as handmade objects especially tools, weapons, or ornaments that have survived from the past and are of historical interest
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 2: Looking at pictures and reading as much as possible about old and rare objects is the best method to use in learning how to identify American Indian Artifacts. We have included access to various articles to help with research
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 3: The material the object is made from, its shape, design and location are the main factors to consider to help identify authentic relics and historical objects
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 4: Arrowheads and Spearheads: The design and materials used to make arrowheads changed and developed over the years. Arrow-points and spear points were made was made of of chert, hornstone, or flint (stone). The different styles and shapes of stone weapons indicate the time period they were made and the culture of the people who produced them

Types of Arrowheads - Clovis, Archaic, Woodland and Mississippian arrowheads

  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 5: Stone Tools: The stone tools were used to make weapons for fighting and hunting and 'household' objects. The types of tools included the axe, adze, knives, adze, awl, borers, scythes, scrapers, drills, saws and hammer stones. Refer to Native American Tools for pictures and facts about these ancient tools and Artifacts  
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 6: Weapons: Stone weapons included Axes, Arrows, Spears, Knives, Tomahawks, and Battle Hammers. As metals became available to the tribes, the stone heads were replaced with metal heads made from iron, steel, copper and brass. Refer to Native American Weapons for pictures, descriptions and facts about all of these weapons
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 7: Bone Weapons and Tools: Bone Weapons have also survived the test of time and include Jawbone clubs, and Gunstock Clubs. Tools made of bone included awls, arrow straighteners, billets and sewing needles.
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 8: The tribes developed various quivers, knife sheaths, bags and pouches to safely carry their weapons and other items. They had to be light and easily portable so were made of suitable natural resources such as deerskin or another animal hide, animal pelts, reeds and decorated with fringes, paint, quills and beads. These types of artifacts decline with age and requires careful handling
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 9: The Mississippian culture produced ancient pottery that hold considerable value in modern times. The Mississippian Head Pots are among the most rare and unique clay vessels
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 10:  Rare and authentic Native American art in the form of symbols and crests were used on the clothing and other Artifacts and objects, such as those shown in the picture at the top of the page, were used by the various tribes
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 11: The Historic Period (1650 - 1900) describe the era when the Native Indigenous tribes were heavily influenced by the Europeans. Trade between the tribes and the new comers provided access to European metals, trade cloth, weapons and tools. It was also the time when the horse was introduced to the Native Indian tribes which led to the migration to the Great Plains and the search for buffalo. It also led to great changes in the culture and lifestyle of the indigenous people
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 12: Headdresses: Native American Headdresses, including the war bonnets and roach headdresses, were intricately made items of head gear which varied according to the location of the tribe and the natural resources and materials available. The headdresses reflected the beliefs of the tribes and had great  symbolism attached to them
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 13: The ceremonial smoking pipe, called a Calumet, was often used to seal a peace treaty, hence the term 'Peace Pipe' and is a valued item of historical interest
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 14: Quillwork Artifacts: Quillwork is perhaps the oldest form of Native American embroidery. Porcupine quills were soaked to make them pliable, dyed and arranged into geometric patterns. Quillwork decorations are found on headdresses, moccasins and other clothing made during the first half of the 1800's
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 15: The availability of European Glass Beads led to a dramatic change to the ornamentation and jewelry worn by the tribes and the decoration of Native Indian clothing and other everyday objects. They became a particularly desirable commodity to the tribes because they replaced the shell and stone beads used to make jewelry that required extensive amounts of time to produce
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 16:  Native American Jewelry and beads were made from a variety of materials including the claws, bones and teeth of animals, stones, ivory, hide, wood, shells, quills, vegetable fibres and precious or semi-precious gemstones such as turquoise
  • American Indian Artifacts Fact 17: Basket Making and examples of weaving highlight the skills in arts and crafts. the The Chilkat weaving technique was developed by the Northwest Pacific Coast cultural group
Native Indian Weapons and Tools
Native American Life
Native Indian Tribes Index

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