American Indians (First Americans) were the first people who lived in Virginia. They lived in all areas of the state.

There were three major language groups in Virginia.

Why are First Americans called Indians?

Christopher Columbus called the people he found in the lands he discovered “Indians” because he thought he was in the Indies (near China).

What evidence is there that American Indians (First Americans) lived in all areas of the state?

Artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery, and other tools that have been found tell a lot about the people who lived in Virginia

What were the three major language groups found in Virginia, and where was each located?

Algonquian was spoken primarily in the Tidewater region; the Powhatans were members of this group.

Siouan was spoken primarily in the Piedmont region.

Iroquoian was spoken in Southwestern Virginia and in Southern Virginia near what is today North Carolina; the Cherokee were a part of this group.

What are some characteristics of Virginia’s climate?

The climate in Virginia is relatively mild with distinct seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter—resulting in a variety of vegetation.

Forests, which have a variety of trees, cover most of the land. Virginia’s Indians are referred to as Eastern Woodland Indians.

What are some ways Virginia’s American Indians adapted to the climate and interacted with their environment to meet their basic needs?

The kinds of food they ate, the clothing they wore, and the shelters they had depended upon the seasons.

Foods changed with the seasons.

In winter, they hunted birds and animals. In spring, they fished and picked berries. In summer, they grew crops (beans, corn, squash). In fall, they harvested crops.

Animal skins (deerskin) were used for clothing.

Shelter was made from materials around them.

What materials do you think Native Americans used?


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