The following primary source set focuses on material culture produced about and by American Indians. The information and materials in the set can be used as a jumping off point for teachers looking to access resources provided by the Library of Congress related to the topic. The subject of American Indian history and culture is generally not emphasized significantly in American history curriculum and classrooms.
When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Bay, indigenous peoples on the East Coast had been in sustained contact with European explorers and fur traders for over a hundred years. In the 17th century, however, European colonists began to permanently settle in North America. Indigenous communities found ways to adapt their cultural forms to the regular presence of Europeans, building upon knowledge amassed over the last century.