Page:The American Indian.djvu/67

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41
TRANSPORTATION

chiefly among the Siouan tribes. On the other hand, many tribes, even of the same stock, are as averse to its use as are the whites. Since here the local distribution of the custom is geographical and is associated to some extent with certain ceremonies, its occurrence may be sporadic,[1] for the general tendency north of Mexico is to regard the dog as not proper food.

Turkeys were raised for their feathers and eggs by the Pueblo and Mexican peoples. According to some authorities the latter domesticated geese also. Turkeys were wild in some parts of South America in pre-Columbian times, but seem never to have been tamed. As to the tribes of the lower Mississippi, we cannot be certain for some of them got chickens so early that the first French settlers in Louisiana found them raised everywhere.[2] They also had orchards of European fruits and raised hogs, while many others ran wild. The natives of Cuba, however, are credited with having domestic fowls and with stocking fish ponds when first discovered. The sheep, and to some extent the goat, was introduced into the great maize area and later developed the chief material characteristics of the Navajo tribe. The domestication of the bee for its honey has been noted above.


CANOES AND NAVIGATION

We come now to the second form of transportation and the one which is not in any way associated with the domestication of animals. It is strictly a mechanical affair from which the modern science of navigation has evolved. Somewhat in contrast to the Old World, the New has no great insular regions except that of the West Indies. The other favorable island group is on the Pacific Coast north of the Columbia River. The only other one in ice-free waters is on the lower west coast of South America. In the region of high culture the coast line is very regular and the inland waters very shallow. South America has one great central river system but no lakes. On the other hand, North America has a large river and lake area with many portages. So far as can be seen, boats were in use wherever advantageous, and from this point of view may be

  1. Wissler, 1910. I.
  2. Swanton, 1911. I.