Tribal jewelry remnants along with tools and human bones tell the story of Asian coastal peoples coming up over the Alaskan land bridge between ice ages, and how these waves of Asian peoples became less Asian in appearance the farther they advanced into the Americas. The oldest human artifacts are at Old Crow in the Yukon, near the entry point onto the North American continent, and these peoples pushed down the east side of the west coast icefield in a gap, and this language group advanced as far south as the Mexican border, as it includes the Navaho and Apache tribes.
Later arrivals created a cultural gap between north Athabaskan language families in Alaska and Canada, and those in Arizona and New Mexico. At at rate, these people moved inland and stayed there. The next arrivals from Asia were island hoppers and likely bypassed the receding icefields first on Vancouver Island in what is now the southern half of Canada's province of British Columbia. From here tribes migrated out and down coastal and interior areas.
From these points south, through Washington and Idaho to Oregon and California are many waves of differing language groups jostling for their space. This continued until the continent was fully populated: the last of these Asian arrivals in the period 10-30,000 year ago, were the Iniut-Eskimo peoples, who still all look quite similiar and share languages, and who took over the areas above the tree line around the Arctic.
Sign language is thought to have evolved around the Rio Grande region as a means for tribes to understand enough to trade essential goods with each other. And gradually, cultures settled into routines, boundaries, adapting to thrive on local food and resources, trading far away goods. Sea shells dug up in desert digs among human remains and tribal jewelry are found often, proof of an intricate trading system, in which the wearer could behold items from a culture they might never see.
And these cultures had evolved their social intelligence and worked out ways to work as many units often, yet had worked out a system of cooperation to allow rare artifacts to be where they caused awe and inspiration. So we see coastal Haida natives near the Alaskan border evolve a maritime culture, and like the Viking in Europe, attack in slave raiding parties on southern tribes living easy. It may have been ever thus, hardy northern people attack those rich and living soft.
Egypt had three thousand years of sublime peace and prosperity. Until those damned Assyrians on their horses came out of Asia on their horses with their swords, soft civilizations have felt nervous ever since. Watch yon Cassius, he has a lean and hungry look. If there are any good tribal artifacts still out there, they are as often not being crushed under Bull. Dozer One and Bull Dozer Two, are busy out there, to find metals and minerals and oil in the ground. Dust to dust, ash to ashes, but.
If and as we can, we do need to save and learn. About ourselves. About who we all are. Connected, is what. Common parents back in Africa, how we look depends which way our ancestors turned when they crossed that same Sinai the the Assyrians roared out of, Moses wandered lost in for all those years, tripping over tribal artifacts. There is more history now, perhaps fewer artifacts and tribal jewelry. But awareness of rareness can be liberating. Save and be saved. There is an Indiana Jones in us all: if we can't quite crack the whip on the site, we can click in and see what he found. And not have to go down into that pit with the snakes. Now that is win win.
Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure politics, wise use and mis use of power and protective love at
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