Native American Culture/Native American Tribes


I have often read a lot about whole Native American tribes that were wiped out because they were exterminated by "the white man" or by "the white man's disease." Does anyone know how many Native American tribes that once existed no longer exist?

Without a written history, it would be difficult for someone outside of the many cultural and linguistic groups to compile and accurate history of the settlement of North America because their complete history is part of their traditions and verbally transmitted,not written down. One figure I have heard, which can give you an idea of just how difficult a task this would be, is the accepted number of separate tribes in California alone before European contact: 600. If you want to know exactly how many indigenous people were killed by the diseases that accompanied the Europeans to North America, you may be able to get that information/an estimate, from an epidemiologist at a medical university, or there may have been a study. I remember hearing an estimate when I was in college that it was between two and three million people, but I can't give you reference to the study that was found in. Hope this helps.

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Richard Sutton


As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.


My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, and our Ebay Store.

UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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