The Indigenous in the Americas

Part II: The Mississippian Culture

The Mississippian Culture

*900 b.c.e.-1700 c.e.: The Mississippian Culture survived much longer than the Hopewell Culture did. They had large, permanent settlements that included a central plaza with two mounds--one for ceremonial activities and one for the chief's residence.

*Dwellings: There were orderly rows of dwellings around the plaza and others beyond the town in smaller villages, farmsteads and hunting camps.

*Houses were made of wattle and daub and were rectangular. Some towns were fortified with earthen walls and some with tall, log stockades.

*River Towns: There were river towns that became large trade centers that were stable communities.

*The townspeople became dependent on farming, raising maize, beans, squash and pumpkins; they also developed food storage methods that allowed them to live comfortably all year.

*The Mississippians supplemented their cultivation with fish, mussels and hunting.

*They developed agricultural practices, culture and a social organization that was learned from the sharing of ideas and techniques through trade with people in Central and South America.

*Shells: Shells were an important part of the economy of river towns' people.

*Copper: Copper from the Upper Peninsula of present-day Michigan was considered sacred and was important for the creation of important ceremonial objects.

The Mound Builders CLIP
Mississippian Indian Mounds