Lesson Five – Stability and Change in Early Colonization
European colonization of the Louisiana Territory (which includes present-day Arkansas) during the 17th and 18th centuries affected southeastern Indian tribes in many ways. New diseases, technologies, and social and religious institutions brought changes–small and large–to many of the hundreds of Indian communities living in what is now Arkansas. Indian foodways, on the other hand, remained comparatively stable. New crops and domesticated animals including poultry and livestock were transplanted onto native lands, but took hold slowly. During the early period of colonization, Europeans adopted native foodways more than the other way around. When Indians accepted new foods, such as watermelons or chickens, it was because planting or tending requirements were similar to native species (like squash or turkeys). Archeologists learn about colonial era foodways from two sources: plant and animal remains preserved at archeological sites dating to that period and written records (such as ship manifests or merchant inventories) produced by Europeans. Studies that use both sources of information require a combination of archeological and historical methods.
The educator and student materials from the Gathering, Gardening, and Agriculture curriculum are included here to help make teaching easier. The activity sheets can be easily downloaded and photocopied. The PowerPoint includes all of the materials that may need to be projected while teaching this lesson. To request a copy of the curriculum, contact Nancy Smith at (479) 575-3556.