Home |   For Kids |   E-Exhibits |  Glossary

American Indians in Oklahoma

Glossary

allotment: A piece of tribal land assigned to a person as a way to break up communal ownership.

ancestors: One's family members from generations back, like a grandparent.

assimilation: To take in or absorb another culture, usually by force.

citizen: A recognized member of a group, city, or nation.

Columbian exchange: Cultural and biological exchanges between Europeans and American Indians that included plants, animals, and life-threatening diseases.

coup: A quick and often violent takeover of a government or ruler by another faction.

culture: The beliefs, customs, and traditions of a group.

Dawes Act: A bill, proposed by Henry Dawes, that authorized the United States to divide American Indian tribal land into allotments.

earth lodge: A small home or room carved out of a hillside, often used by Plains Indians.

faction: A small but organized group of like-minded people.

foraging: Searching and gathering of food or supplies.

heritage: Customs, beliefs, and ideas shared by a group of people that are passed down to the next generation.

Indian boarding schools: Schools created by the US government to assimilate American Indian children into a "civilized" lifestyle that included speaking English and land ownership.

matrilineal: When families pass down the mother's ancestry rather than the father's.

reservations: A parcel of land, chosen by the government, where a Native nation lives.

semi-subterranean: Partially underground, like earth lodges or storage caches.

stereotype: To believe unfairly that all people who share a characteristic, like race, class, or gender, are the same.

storage caches: Small rooms or storage areas dug out from the earth.

sovereignty: Independence, free from someone else's rule or power.

tipi: A mobile tent made out of animal skins and wooden poles.

Trail of Tears: What American Indians called the march from their native lands to Indian Territory because of its extreme length and danger.

travois: A sled used to move and carry goods.

treaty: An agreement between two groups.



Main Page
Pre-Contact
Trail of Tears
History of the Five Tribes
Tribes of Oklahoma
The Civil War
Conflict and Assimilation
Dawes Roll and Allottments
Twentieth Century
Arts
Biographies
Glossary
Activities
Bibliography

Printable Version

Download a PDF