American Indians topic of talk

HOWLAND – The American Indians who once lived in the area left a legacy of clothing, jewelry and games, some of which were showcased at the Howland Historical Society.

Traci Manning, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s curator of Education, spoke recently to the Howland Historical Society. Her grandfather was a Seneca Iroquois Indian who lived on a reserve in New York.

She said the clothing worn by the Iroquois Indians was made from deerskin.

“The men and women wore very similar clothing. Everyday clothing was simple since everyone worked in it. Men and women wore pants and tunics to protect their bodies form the elements and weather,” Manning said.

She said lots of necklaces also were worn.

She said the Native Americans who lived in the area were migrants who came to North America 15,000 to 20,000 years ago by crossing the Bering Strait from Russia into what is Alaska today.

“They came in Canada and North American and later Central and South America. The vast majority of Native Americans left this area in the early to mid-19th century,” she said.

Manning said the local Native Americans lived in Montreal, Quebec, to the north and Pittsburgh to the south.

The games that Native Americans had helped teach them hand-eye coordination and patience, including one game where the person had to get geometric shapes onto a small spike, she said.

Manning said whenever she presents a program, she learns something new each time after hearing comments and questions from those in attendance.