Native American Cultural Aspects Apply to Psychological Essay

Pages: 2 (703 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans

¶ … Native American Cultural Aspects Apply to Psychological Theory

According to author Barry M. Pritzker (A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture and Peoples) the early Southwestern tribes (the Navajo, the Athapaskans, the Pima and Hakataya) survived and stayed solvent through trading and exchanging critical goods and services. The passages on this page by Pritzker relate to the "historic and prehistoric periods" long before the Europeans arrived and pushed many Native American tribes off their traditional land. Some of the Indians mentioned above grew corn, beans, squash, cotton, and tobacco -- and those living near rivers ate fish.

The point here is those tribes that did not produce food for themselves or who had very little access to food, and did not hunt deer or buffalo, became involved in raiding others, in trading with other tribes -- or those less fortunate tribes may have been the recipients of gifts from more successful tribes. A big part of the culture of Southwestern Indians was the concept of trading. Trading was likely the most common form of obtaining the basic essentials. "Southwestern tribes exchanged goods on a large scale" during this period in American history, Pritzker writes (p. 4).

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Food, turquoise, shell beads and other minerals were traded. Silver jewelry, baskets, blankets and buckskins were traded. They also traded "spouses," Pritzker explains; they traded medicine people and dancers as well as "ritualists." The Indians figured out and devised very complex systems of exchange, and this helped ensure the independence and "basic egalitarianism" that each Indian community required.

TOPIC: Essay on Native American Cultural Aspects Apply to Psychological Assignment

Psychological Theory: And so how would this system of trade and exchange relate to traditional psychological theory? Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs fits in interestingly with the trading back and forth between tribes. The first needs on Maslow's hierarchy of needs are human's physiological needs -- the need for food, air, water (http://psychology-about.com) -- came into play in Indian culture. Food was a major need of course and food was at the top of the list of items to be traded from one tribe to another. If the Navajo (nomadic herders of sheep) or Apache (feared… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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