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Native Americans


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Ambilateral - descent can be traced through either the male or female parents but not both.

Anthropomorphic - having human characteristics or form.

Atlatl - a weighted throwing stick used to increase the distance a spear could be thrown.

Bilateral - descent is traced through both male and female parents.

Bolas - a hunting weapon made by attaching stones to the end of thongs or cords. The weapon is then swung overhead and thrown at prey. The cords wrap around the animal or bird allowing the hunter to move in and kill their prey.

Brideprice - the price paid by the groom or his family as compensation to the bride's family at the time of marriage.

Ethnography - the systematic description of a culture, done through fieldwork.

Exogamy - the practice of marrying outside one's own group.

Meter - 1 meter is equal to about 3.28 feet.

Patrilineal - the system whereby one's descent is traced through the male line.

Patrilocal - a residence pattern the newly married couple live with the husband's parents or kin.

Petroglyphs - pictures on rock made by pecking or carving the rock surface.

Pictographs - paintings on rock using pigments.

Polygamy - plural marriage, usually with one man and two or more wives.

Polygyny - plural marriage with one man and two or more wives.

Riverine - plants and animals associated with a river environment.

Subsistence - methods of procuring food.

Taboo - cultural rules or practices of avoidance.

Twine method - this is a method of weaving basketry where grasses are woven back and forth through stiffer materials as opposed to wrapping or coiling grasses.


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