Unit One Vocabulary

Layah Thompson


Migration - the movement of persons from one locality to another
Historical Context - In history migration was clear because of traces of a shared language which the migrants bring to a new place. Since about 3000 BC you clearly could have identified groups that have migrated from one area to another.


Culture - all the knowledge and values shared by a society
Historical Context - Culture helps communicate values, beliefs and customs which made it an important social factor and it helped many tribes and groups find their identity.


Totem - emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant
Historical Context - Many Native American Indians expressed themselves with their artwork carved into totem poles. The raising of a totem pole is a big celebration among the Indian tribe.


Matrilineal - based on or tracing descent through the female line
Historical Context - In some traditional societies and cultures membership in their group was inherited matrilinealy just like Gitksan, the Khasi and most Jewish communities.


Democracy - the orientation of those who favor government by the people
Historical Context - Although many people believe democracy originated in one time and place known to be Athens circa 508 BC but there is evidence its existed in several other areas before that time.


Plantation - an estate where cash crops are grown on a large scale
Historical Context - Plantations were an important aspect of history of the American South particularly the antebellum era.


Enslavement - the act of making slaves your captives
Historical Context - the start of European slave trading in Africa was in 1441 when Portuguese captains captured 12 Africans in Cabo Branco and took them to Portugal as slaves.


Primogeniture - right of inheritance belonging exclusively to the eldest son
Historical context - primogeniture was a tradition that came to America from Europe and was continually supported by colonial communities.

Hunter Gatherer

Hunter-gatherer - a member of a hunting or gathering society
Historical context - Hunter- gatherer society was the sole way for life for the majority of human history. Its said that hunter gatherer societies have been known to function for nearly 2 million years.


Mestizo - a person of mixed racial ancestry
Historical context - The mestizo population were the next highest social class. These were the children of Spanish and natives. Very quickly the mestizo population became the numerical majority in Latin America.


Surplus - a quantity much larger than what is needed
Historical context - as the farm economy collapsed in the 1980s the United States Department of Agriculture was saddled with mountains of surplus cheese, corn and other foods.


Village - a settlement smaller than a town
Historical context - villages are rooted in soil. A village creates a community. we see people living in villages when it is helpful to farm or work communally for one reason or another.

Bering Strait

Bering Strait - a strait connecting the Bering sea to the Arctic ocean
Historical context - people crossed the Bering Strait into alaska toward the end of the ice age 14,000 years ago.


Nomad - a member of people who have no permanent home
Historical context - nomad societies did not have large populations. One group, the Mongols gave rise to the largest land empire in history.


Irrigation - supplying dry land with water by means of ditches etc
Historical context - Irrigation began around the same time in Egypt using the water of the flooding Nile or other rivers.

Ice Age

Ice Age - any period of time during which glaciers covered a large part of the earths surface
Historical Context - time period that began about 1.8 billion years ago and lasted until about 11,700 years ago.


Evidence - knowledge on which to base belief
Historical context - Historical methodology is he process by which historians gather evidence and formulate ideas about the past. they usually use primary and secondary sources as evidence.


Archaeologist - an anthropologist who studies prehistoric people and their culture
Historical context - History and archaeology both study ancient people and things.


Settlement - the act of colonizing; establishment of colonies
Historical context - Hakluyt was one of the experts of colonization of his time and despite repeated explorations throughout and efforts to establish colonies the 16th century not one non- Hispanic nation had established a settlement.


Tradition - a specific practice of long standing
Historical context - There are a lot of tribes and villages in the United States that have their own culture. language, history, unique traditions, and distinct styles of housing, dress, and food.