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This website was written for young people seeking Anishinaabe Indian information for school or home-schooling reports. We encourage students and teachers to visit our main Anishinaabe language and culture pages for in-depth information about the Anishinaabe tribe, but here are our answers to common questions asked by kids, with Anishinabe pictures and links suitable for all ages. Photographs are the property of the sources we have credited.
Anishinabe string game
|They do the same things any children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Anishinabe children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian kids had more chores and less time to play, just like colonial children. But Anishinabe kids did have dolls and toys to play with, and older boys liked to play ball games like lacrosse. Like many Native Americans, Anishinabe mothers traditionally carried their babies in cradleboards on their backs. Here are some pictures of Native American cradleboards.|
Anishinabe birchbark house
|There were several different types of Anishinaabe houses. The most common were dome-shaped birchbark houses called waginogans, or wigwams. Each waginogan usually housed one family. Some Anishinaabe people built Iroquois-style longhouses instead. An entire clan would live in such a large building. On the Great Plains, some Anishinaabe lived in large buffalo-hide tents called tipis. The Plains Indians were nomadic people, and tipis (or tepees) were easier to move from place to place than a waginogan. Here are some pictures of wigwams, longhouses, tipis, and other Indian houses. Today, Native Americans only build a wigwam or tepee for fun or to connect with their heritage, not for shelter. Most Anishinabes live in modern houses and apartment buildings, just like you.|
Anishinaabe women usually wore long dresses with removable sleeves.
Anishinaabe men wore breechcloths and leggings.
Everybody wore moccasins
on their feet and cloaks or ponchos in bad weather. The design of Anishinaabe clothes varied a lot from tribe to tribe, however, and
Anishinaabe people could often identify each other by their clothing style.
Later, the Anishinaabes adapted European costume such as cloth blouses and jackets, decorating
them with fancy beadwork.
Here are more
pictures of Anishinabe clothing styles, and some photographs and links
about Native American clothes in general.
Some Anishinaabe warriors shaved their heads in the Mohawk style, using grease to stiffen their hair so that it spiked up. Other Anishinaabe men wore their hair in two braids. Women wore their long hair either loose or in braids. Headdresses varied a lot from band to band. Many Anishinaabe people wore leather headbands with feathers standing straight up in the back. Some Anishinaabe warriors wore a porcupine roach, a turban made of otter fur, or a long feather headdress. Here are some pictures of these different styles of Native American headdress. The Anishinaabes painted their faces and arms with bright colors for special occasions. They used different patterns for war paint and festive decoration. Some Anishinaabes, especially men, also wore tribal tattoos.
Today, some Anishinaabe people still wear moccasins or a beaded shirt, but they wear modern clothes like jeans instead of breechcloths... and they only wear feathers or roaches in their hair on special occasions like a dance.
Anishinabe birchbark canoe
|Yes--the Anishinabe Indian tribes were well-known for their birchbark canoes. Canoeing is still popular in many Anishinabe nations today, though few people handcraft their own canoe from birch bark anymore. Here is an article with pictures of Indian birch bark canoes. Over land, Anishinaabe people used dogs as pack animals. (There were no horses in North America until colonists brought them over from Europe.) Many Anishinaabe people used tools like snowshoes and sleds to travel in the winter, and some of the bands furthest to the north used dogsleds. Today, of course, the Anishinaabes also use cars... and non-native people also use canoes.|
Anishinaabe woman Anishinaabe man
harvesting rice spear-fishing
What was Anishinabe food like in the days before supermarkets?|
Anishinabe bands lived in different environments, so they didn't all eat the same types of foods. Woodland Anishinaabes were mostly farming people, harvesting wild rice and corn, fishing, hunting small game, and gathering nuts and fruit. Here is a website about Anishinabe wild rice. The Plains Anishinaabe were big-game hunters, and buffalo meat made up most of their diet. The Northern Anishinaabe were hunter-gatherers, and moved around frequently shooting deer and small game, fishing in rivers and lakes, and collecting wild plants. Here is a website with more information about Native Americans' food.
What were Anishinabe weapons and tools like in the past?
Anishinabe warriors used bows and arrows, clubs, and hide shields. Hunters also used snares, and when Plains Anishinabe men hunted buffalo, they often set controlled fires to herd the animals into traps or over cliffs. Here is a website with pictures and more information about Native American weapons. Woodland Anishinaabes used spears or fishhooks with sinew lines for fishing, and special paddles called knockers for ricing.
|Anishinabe artists are known for their beautiful beadwork, particularly floral design. Other traditional Anishinabe crafts include birch bark boxes, baskets, and dreamcatchers. Some Anishinabes also crafted wampum out of white and purple shell beads. Wampum beads were traded as a kind of currency, but they were more culturally important as an art material. The designs and pictures on wampum belts often told a story or represented a person's family.|
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