Prehistoric Human Migrations, Language Groups, Jim Thorpe

  
By:  dave-2693993  •  2 years ago  •  36 comments

Prehistoric Human Migrations, Language Groups, Jim Thorpe

Recently a discussion about the new Jim Thorpe movie and the level of participation from across a spectrum of Native American contributors triggered some curiosity.

The timing of this discussion surfaced some thoughts related to recent reading and research of "prehistoric" humans. Specifically, the human migrations into North America across the Bering Land Bridge from Asia.

I wonder during these commonly acknowledged migrations into North America, how close or separate the migrating peoples were?

Cut to the chase:

In the "Old Country" the concept of Indo-European languages is well established and accepted. This concept has been used to prove relationships and commonalities among what appear to be different cultures and people.

The same thing exists among the Native Peoples in the Americas today. There are language groups that show relationships among Native Peoples here.

Some may think it is good to see distant relationships coming back together in activities such as the Jim Thorpe movie. Even relationships without any recognizable language association in this case.

Yet outliers exist. Such as in Europe the Fins are distinctly different than others in the geographic region in which they settled. Others similar to them are geographically distant.

These situations easily fill the mind with questions, such as the one asked earlier: "I wonder during these commonly acknowledged migrations into North America, how close or separate the migrating peoples were?"

Then again, like the Fins, how did distinctly unique groups wind up in the midst of others (The Trail of Tears doesn't count here).

Present separate groups with languages derived from common root languages have their language source in common.

How did that happen?

Are these cases of single homogeneous groups dispersing over time? Or maybe cases of independent groups banding together for periods of time out of necessity for survival? Or a combination of both?

Then one wonders what did these early people find here?


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dave-2693993
1  author  dave-2693993    2 years ago

I wonder how prehistoric people handled typos?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1  1stwarrior  replied to  dave-2693993 @1    2 years ago

They rubbed them out with soap stone.

 
 
 
Freefaller
1.2  Freefaller  replied to  dave-2693993 @1    2 years ago

Lol given the lack of typewriters/computers/cell phones or written languages I doubt prehistoric societies were much concerned by that

 
 
 
Kavika
2  Kavika     2 years ago

There are a number of theories  as to the migration of Native Americans. Bering Straight etc. 

When language is studied some interesting conflicts present themselves. For example the Cherokee language today is centered in North Carolina and Oklahoma. The reason for the Oklahoma Cherokee is the ''Trail of Tears'' in the 1830's. That does not explain how the Cherokee belong to the language group of the Iroquoian people who were in the past and are today located in the U.S. northeast up into Canada. 

The Cherokee are part of the Five Civilized Tribes, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole yet the Cherokee language does not belong to any of the other tribes. How and why did the Cherokee migrate from what is today, Canada and the NE US to the Carolinas and Ga?

The Natchez people of the lower Mississippi region speak a language that has no know close relative languages. Why and how did this happen. 

The Algonquin language takes in many tribes, but was/is centered in the NE US and Canada. Yet among the speakers of the Algonquin language are the Ojibwe who are spread from Hudson Bay to as far west as Montana and into much of central Canada. The Blackfoot are located in Montana and central Canada yet belong to the Algonquin language group. 

At some point in time large migrations took place. As with the Ojibwe this seem to have take place 500 to 1,000 years ago when they began moving from the NE westward.

Many linguists believe that Native Americans have inhabited North America for as much as 50,000 years based on how language is developed and spread. This, of course, is much different then other theories which claim a much later date. 

But with each new discovery the date of human habitation moves further back in time. The discovery of ''Montana Boy'' a few years ago and the advanced DNA testing that took place shows that his skeleton was 12,800 years old and a direct link to the mysterious Clovis people and today's modern Native Americans.

Many tribes and people that have been said to ''disappear'' really haven't disappeared. The Hokokum people of what is today the state of Arizona were said to have disappeared. DNA testing and language testing shows that they didn't disappear but are what is know as the Tohono O'odaham  people of Arizona. 

The study of language can be of great help in showing the habitation of north and south America. 

Perhaps someday it will solve the riddle of the Anastasia people or the Cahokia people. Large civilizations that simple disappeared. Or did they.

 

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @2    2 years ago

The number and diversity of language spoken in the Americas is amazing. Far more than Europe. 

North America is notable for its linguistic diversity, especially in California. This area has 18 language families comprising 74 languages (compared to four families in Europe)

 
 
 
JBB
2.1.1  JBB  replied to  Kavika @2.1    2 years ago

One can hardly imagine the vastness of both North and South America to the first nomads who migrated here. The first tribes could have remained isolated and unknown to other newer migrants for eons until the total populations of indigenous people was so great that demand for land and game produced interaction, competition, conflict and finally warring among the tribes. Even if successive waves of immigrants started from approximately the same places over hundreds of generations the isolation of some tribes lead to very different traits developing between the different groups. Just observe the physical differences between, say, the Pueblo and the Cherokee Peoples. The same would be true of language given eons of isolation on two mostly uninhabited continents. These are just thoughts and thus not an argument but rather, hopefully, a contribution to the discussion. Hundreds of thousands of years of archaeological evidence seems to bear this out. All hose who immigrated here would have been, at least initially by definition, nomads. So, it should surprise nobody that some must have moved great distances conquering and supplanting other first peoples along the way...

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @2.1    2 years ago

dave, the Mewak (Mi Wak) are one of the sponsors/backers of this movie. It interesting to note that the Mi Wak language has become extinct. The last Mi Wak speaker died a few years ago. A good friend of mine who is Cheyenne and Cherokee worked with others to record the speaker before she walked on. Thus saving the language to a certain extent. 

Unfortunately many indigenous languages have died off or on the verge of extinction. As each one dies off we lose valuable information that can benefit our country. Some tribes have strong on going programs to expand their language and thus save it from the dust bin of history. My tribe, the Ojibwe have around 50,000 speakers of the language and we are adding to it all the time with immersion schools that require proficiency in both the Ojibwe language and English before they can graduate HS. A acquaintance of mine, Anton Treuer is professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State and a recognized expert in our language. His work to keep the language alive has resulted in many signs in the city to be in both Ojibwe and English. Over 200 federal/state/private business now have signs in both languages.   

The Mi Wak language as well as it's people were destroyed by the Spanish and then later the California genocide of the gold rush era. Today there are no full blood Mi Wak left.  

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.3  Kavika   replied to  JBB @2.1.1    2 years ago

The peopling of the Americas is changing by the day. Each new discovery adds valuable information to the migration to the Americas. Ground penetrating radar, drones etc have made huge discoveries in the last 5 to 10 years. Hopefully this will continue. 

IMO, language is a very important part of this process. 

As you stated, the physical differences between tribes of the SW and the Woodland Tribes and Plains Tribes is quite different.

Good thoughts on the subject JBB. 

 
 
 
JBB
2.1.4  JBB  replied to  Kavika @2.1.3    2 years ago
the physical differences between tribes of the SW and the Woodland Tribes and Plains Tribes is quite different.

If a Hopi and a Cherokee had come upon each other in 1,400 AD they might think they had met an alien...

Considering they share the same original DNA this is evidence of adaptation and natural selection over time.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.5  Kavika   replied to  JBB @2.1.4    2 years ago

Since you mentioned 1400 AD it's interesting to note that the Cahokia people which were centered at what is present day St. Louis were a very advanced civilization at that time, the main city was larger than either Paris or London at the time. They are considered a Mississippian civilization. Their trade routes went as far north as southern MN as far south as the gulf of Mexico and as far east the the Atlantic ocean. Their artwork is almost identical to that of the Mayan people. One has to wonder with the vast expanse of their trade routes what their thought were on the different people that they encountered. 

Here is a bit of information on the Cahokia people...

https://www.legendsofamerica.com/il-cahokia/

 

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.1.6  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @2.1    2 years ago
North America is notable for its linguistic diversity, especially in California. This area has 18 language families comprising 74 languages (compared to four families in

I could be mistaken, but isolation may have helped these groups maintain their individuality. In these cases it may be a result of small bands of people keeping  to themselves. If true, was that a chosen situation?

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.1.7  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @2.1.2    2 years ago

dave, the Mewak (Mi Wak) are one of the sponsors/backers of this movie. It interesting to note that the Mi Wak language has become extinct. The last Mi Wak speaker died a few years ago. A good friend of mine who is Cheyenne and Cherokee worked with others to record the speaker before she walked on. Thus saving the language to a certain extent. 

Unfortunately many indigenous languages have died off or on the verge of extinction. As each one dies off we lose valuable information that can benefit our country. Some tribes have strong on going programs to expand their language and thus save it from the dust bin of history. My tribe, the Ojibwe have around 50,000 speakers of the language and we are adding to it all the time with immersion schools that require proficiency in both the Ojibwe language and English before they can graduate HS. A acquaintance of mine, Anton Treuer is professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State and a recognized expert in our language. His work to keep the language alive has resulted in many signs in the city to be in both Ojibwe and English. Over 200 federal/state/private business now have signs in both languages.   

The Mi Wak language as well as it's people were destroyed by the Spanish and then later the California genocide of the gold rush era. Today there are no full blood Mi Wak left.  

The loss of some unique groups seems to be a common occurrence across  the history of human development. Gone are the Neanderthal and Denisovan, yet their DNA lives on.

Those that have survived still intact as unique and distinct groups have done a more diligent job of maintaining who they are and ties to their histories. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
2.1.8  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @2.1    2 years ago

True Kavika - there were approximately 2400 tribal groups in the U. S. region alone (Jack Weatherford - Indian Givers) prior to colonization.

Of further interest to me is the Cherokee migrated SE from the Great Lakes area 'bout 400 A.D., which possibly gave them the Algonquin language.  BUT, there have been artifacts found in Georgia, just outside Atlanta, that have Mayan foundation.

The Tuscarora "reportedly" originated in the SE, with the Algonquin language base, but were forced to migrated to PA and NY in the late 1600's/early 1700's for various reasons, such as getting their butts waxed in the Tuscarora War of 1711.

The Chickasaw and Choctaw originated in Central America, just outside of Mexico City, and migrated to the SE in 'bout 200 A.D., which is amazing in that their language base "should" have been of the Mayan dialect but is of the Algonquin dialect - but not the same base as the Cherokee and Creek.

The Navajo migrated from Alaska (hence Dine'), but their language base is not similar to the

  • Alaskan Athabaskans. Ahtna. Deg Hit'an. Dena'ina. Gwich'in. Hän. Holikachuk. Koyukon. Lower Tanana. Tanacross. Upper Tanana. ...
  • Eyak.
  • Tlingit.
  • Haida.
  • Tsimshian.
  • Eskimo. Iñupiat, an Inuit group. Yupik. Siberian Yupik. Yup'ik. Cup'ik. Sugpiaq ~ Alutiiq. Chugach Sugpiaq. Koniag Alutiiq.
  • Aleut (Unangan)

At the time of Columbus more than 109 million speakers throughout the Western Hemisphere used more than 2,000 languages; the geographic divisions within that estimate are 300 separate tongues native to some 35 million Native Americans N of Mexico, 300 different languages spoken by roughly 25.2 million people in Mexico and Central America, and more than 1,400 distinct tongues used by 49 million Native Americans in South America and the West Indies.  (Jack Weatherford - Indian Givers).

You're right Dave - way too interesting, missing way too many parts but ya can't stop thinking 'bout "What-if"?

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.1.9  author  dave-2693993  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.8    2 years ago

1stwarrior, this write up clearly shines the light on the variety of peoples populating the Americas. Not only that, but gives indicators to different migrations that could have occurred once settled populations picked up roots and moved again.

Over thousands of years, many things change. It is often difficult to automatically view and appreciate movements over millennia. Climate is often considered a driving force behind human migrations. Looking at the geologic record, that is easy to understand. For example, the Sahara once was under water. Look at it now. Changes like that would certainly cause people to move and bring their culture with them. Then over time change as conditions around them change.

Yes, the more information, the more questions.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.1.10  author  dave-2693993  replied to  JBB @2.1.1    2 years ago
One can hardly imagine the vastness of both North and South America to the first nomads who migrated here.

This almost started me down a path I want to take up later. One of Kavika's posts almost headed me off in that direction too.

I will come back to this later JBB. Maybe in a new thread. Or, maybe not.

Thank you.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.11  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @2.1.6    2 years ago

In California there was a lot of trading between the tribes. I don't believe that isolation was part of it, though it may have been with some tribes.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.12  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @2.1.11    2 years ago

Regarding California Indians, you could get a better understanding of them and the genocide that they faced by reading the ''Great California Genocide'' and also ''Ishi the Last of his People''....

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.13  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.8    2 years ago

Good points 1st. I always found in interesting that the Chickasaw originated in Mexico yet are tied to the Algonquin language base. I'm a bit familiar with the mounds and pyramids found in GA that bear the signature of the Mayan..

The more one investigates the more complex it becomes. 

The next thing is the recent discoveries in Alaska and Canada of native existence on island as far back as 20,000 years ago..The ''Kelp Highway'' seems to an excellent theory since indigenous life has been found on island from Alaska to California dating back over 11,000 years ago.

 

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.1.14  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @2.1.11    2 years ago

Any idea what could have influenced groups to maintain their uniqueness?

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.15  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @2.1.14    2 years ago

That's a tough one dave. I would suppose that there a multiple reasons. I'll have to think about that before answering.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.2  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @2    2 years ago

There are a number of theories  as to the migration of Native Americans. Bering Straight etc. 

When language is studied some interesting conflicts present themselves. For example the Cherokee language today is centered in North Carolina and Oklahoma. The reason for the Oklahoma Cherokee is the ''Trail of Tears'' in the 1830's. That does not explain how the Cherokee belong to the language group of the Iroquoian people who were in the past and are today located in the U.S. northeast up into Canada. 

The Cherokee are part of the Five Civilized Tribes, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole yet the Cherokee language does not belong to any of the other tribes. How and why did the Cherokee migrate from what is today, Canada and the NE US to the Carolinas and Ga?

The Natchez people of the lower Mississippi region speak a language that has no know close relative languages. Why and how did this happen. 

The Algonquin language takes in many tribes, but was/is centered in the NE US and Canada. Yet among the speakers of the Algonquin language are the Ojibwe who are spread from Hudson Bay to as far west as Montana and into much of central Canada. The Blackfoot are located in Montana and central Canada yet belong to the Algonquin language group.

Great, thank you Kavika. I am going to break your post up into a couple parts as each part is what I am looking for.

These examples of people being centralize, then dispersing into different regions and at times on the surface appearing unrelated just begs the question, why?

Social changes? Or a dispersal of once different groups which had banded together out of necessity? If so, did they maintain contact, trade, alliances? I think of this because of some discoveries we have come across arrow head technology here on the east coast. We have discovered arrow heads made from a form of chert that is not from around here. Based on research the chert is similar to what is found further north and up into Canada.

Again that just asks more questions. Were these groups physically or culturally linked? Or did they meet, share the čhaŋnúŋpa, strike up a deal and start a new association?

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.3  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @2    2 years ago
At some point in time large migrations took place. As with the Ojibwe this seem to have take place 500 to 1,000 years ago when they began moving from the NE westward.

That right there requires volumes to understand.

"began moving from the NE westward."

How did that happen? What caused that? We know people remained in the east. Regardless of all the natural resources, in instances it is easy to surmise conditions were not of an idyllic Garden of Eden Paradise. Or was it, depending on the reasons for the migrations?

I think there are some fantastic stories behind these events.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.3.1  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @2.3    2 years ago

The migration of the Ojibwe from the NE westward was due in part to the Seven Fires prophesy. 

http://www.chi-manidoo.com/7fires.html

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.3.2  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @2.3.1    2 years ago

Kavika, when was this first told?

 
 
 
Kavika
2.3.3  Kavika   replied to  dave-2693993 @2.3.2    2 years ago

Over 500 years ago dave.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
2.4  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Kavika @2    2 years ago

Many linguists believe that Native Americans have inhabited North America for as much as 50,000 years based on how language is developed and spread. This, of course, is much different then other theories which claim a much later date. 

But with each new discovery the date of human habitation moves further back in time. The discovery of ''Montana Boy'' a few years ago and the advanced DNA testing that took place shows that his skeleton was 12,800 years old and a direct link to the mysterious Clovis people and today's modern Native Americans.

Many tribes and people that have been said to ''disappear'' really haven't disappeared. The Hokokum people of what is today the state of Arizona were said to have disappeared. DNA testing and language testing shows that they didn't disappear but are what is know as the Tohono O'odaham  people of Arizona. 

The study of language can be of great help in showing the habitation of north and south America. 

Perhaps someday it will solve the riddle of the Anastasia people or the Cahokia people. Large civilizations that simple disappeared. Or did they.

This is the undiscovered gold mine. I want  to come back to this as a separate topic.

Please, have patience.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
3  Raven Wing    2 years ago

Great article Kavika. Very enlightening and educational as well. 

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1  Kavika   replied to  Raven Wing @3    2 years ago

It's dave's article RW.  I just commented on it.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
3.2  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Raven Wing @3    2 years ago

Thankfully Kavika has a lot of the answers...which, of course, leads to more questions.

 
 
 
lennylynx
4  lennylynx    2 years ago

But, but, I thought all language diverged at the Tower of Babel, when God was afraid that humans would reach heaven with the tower and caused them all to start speaking different languages so they couldn't.  No??

 
 
 
Greg Jones
4.1  Greg Jones  replied to  lennylynx @4    2 years ago

No, but I would like to know if any similarities of language of North American tribes to those of Mexico and Central and South America. Specifically, the Aztecs, Inca, and Mayan. Lots of peoples on the continent before Columbus arrived.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
4.1.1  author  dave-2693993  replied to  Greg Jones @4.1    2 years ago

Check out 1stwarriors post, regarding your question. That has some related information.

I would like to see Kavika's thoughts on that topic too.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
4.2  author  dave-2693993  replied to  lennylynx @4    2 years ago
I thought all language diverged at the Tower of Babel,

Hey Lenny, long time no type.

I don't know if you are aware but tremendous archeological work undertaken in that region (between wars). Sumer, Ur, Assur, Nineveh, Hattusa and even an "International" shared language that came from the Akkdians has uncovered a lot of concerning those cultures. Even ziggurat towers from the region.

Maybe even more interesting are the discoveries of the groups inhabiting those regions prior to the early cities.

Maybe surprising to some, but a lot of what we have in place and how we manage our civilizations stem directly from what those ancients put in place many thousands of years ago.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
5  author  dave-2693993    2 years ago

Need to take a break for other matters. Plenty of good comments here deserving replies.

 
 
 
charger 383
6  charger 383    2 years ago

interesting topic and good behavior by participants

 
 
 
dave-2693993
6.1  author  dave-2693993  replied to  charger 383 @6    2 years ago

Learning a lot too.

 
 
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