What is a Indian burial mound?

“Indian mound” is the common name for a variety of solid structures erected by some of the indigenous peoples of the United States. Most Native American tribes did not build mounds. The majority were constructed in the Lower Southeast, Ohio River Valley, Tennessee River Valley and the Mississippi River Valley.

How do you identify an Indian burial mound?

It seems that some Indians buried their dead in mounds. The bodies were placed one on top of another with only a few feet of dirt between. Whole hills can be found containing the bodies of these Indians. If you see a perfectly shaped, mounded hill, it’s a good chance you’re looking at an Indian burial mound.

Where are Indian burial mounds located?

Adena and Hopewell culture burial mounds

Mound Location Culture
Indian Mounds Regional Park Saint Paul, Minnesota Hopewell and Dakota cultures
Miamisburg Mound Miamisburg, Ohio Adena culture
Mound City Chillicothe, Ohio Ohio Hopewell culture
Pinson Mounds Mounds 6, 12, and 31 Madison County, Tennessee Miller culture

What happens if you disturb an Indian burial ground?

Any disturbance to the burial site is considered greatly disrespectful and is said to bring suffering to the descendants of the deceased. The Navajo believe a body must be properly buried so that the spirit can move on. If it is buried improperly, the spirit may remain in the physical world.

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Are Indian burial grounds protected?

Native activists won a landmark victory in 1990 with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. This law protects Native human remains on federal and tribal lands and mandates that federal institutions (or institutions that receive federal funding) must repatriate Native remains in their possession.

Is it illegal to dig up Indian burial grounds?

It took five years, but in 1990, Congress finally passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA, which made it illegal to dig, desecrate or take any Native American remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony from federal and tribal lands.

What is the purpose of Indian mounds?

Regardless of the particular age, form, or function of individual mounds, all had deep meaning for the people who built them. Many earthen mounds were regarded by various American Indian groups as symbols of Mother Earth, the giver of life. Such mounds thus represent the womb from which humanity had emerged.

How did the mound builders bury their dead?

Historian Otis Rice suggests these early Americans “built mounds over the remains of chiefs, shamans, priests, and other honored dead.” For their “common folk,” the Adenas cremated the dead bodies, placing the remains in small log tombs on the surface of the ground.

What Indian tribes were mound builders?

The Adena Culture, commonly called “the mound-builders”, thrived in the region from 800 B.C. to around 100 A.D. They lived in small villages, grew crops, hunted, made pottery, traded goods with other Native Americans, and built sometimes large and intricate mounds and earthworks.

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What were mounds built for?

Mounds were typically flat-topped earthen pyramids used as platforms for religious buildings, residences of leaders and priests, and locations for public rituals. In some societies, honored individuals were also buried in mounds.