Native american slaves: Within the United States of America, slavery by and of Native Americans is a part of Native American history. The slave trade and the territory of the indigenous peoples crossed over current borders. Prior to and throughout European colonialism, certain Native American tribes kept war prisoners as slaves. In some cases, Native Americans were captured and sold into slavery by others, while in other cases, Europeans seized and sold Native Americans themselves. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a few Native American tribes began keeping slaves as chattel property, increasing the number of African-American slaves they held.

Slavery in pre-contact America was unique from the sort of chattel slavery introduced by Europeans in North America during the colonial period. With their slave-gathering missions, they became involved in a series of conflicts both with one other and the Europeans.

Native American Slaves: Slavery Prior To And Following Contact

native american slaves

Slavery among Native Americans specify prior to colonialism was distinct from slavery practised by Europeans after colonisation. Native Americans[specify] took slaves from different Native American groups and so saw them as ethnically inferior, whereas many Europeans eventually came to view slaves of African heritage as being racially inferior. 

There was also a difference in that pre-colonial Native Americans[specify] did not buy and sell slaves, but this was occasionally swapped with other tribes in exchange for the redemption of their own members.

Native American slaves were often let to dwell on the periphery of Native American society until they were gradually incorporated into the tribe.

Such enslaved individuals may not be properly described as “slaves” in the traditional sense of the word.

After the Europeans first came into touch with the Native Americans, they began trading slaves.

In their first interactions with Europeans, Native Americans[specify] attempted to utilise captives from enemy tribes as a “means of playing one tribe against another” in a failed game of divide and conquer.

Slaves’ Treatment And Roles As Slaves

Native american slaves: War prisoners were frequently enslaved by Native American groups[specify]. They were mostly employed for small-scale labour.

When they had nothing else to do, some people would risk their lives in gambling scenarios, which would lead to servitude for a short time or even life; captives were sometimes tortured as part of religious rites, which occasionally featured ritual cannibalism.

It was not uncommon for some Native Americans to sell their children for food in times of famine.

Native American communities had vastly divergent approaches to the treatment of captives. Enslavement, death, or adoption were all options available to captives if they were not freed. After a time in captivity, some prisoners were adopted by their captors. Although prisoners were often adopted by the Iroquoian peoples (and not just the Iroquois tribe), for religious reasons such adoptions had to be postponed for a period of time.

As a result of a raid, numerous new tribes took in captives to replace the warriors who died.

Sometimes, as part of a spiritual grieving process for slain family, warrior captives were subjected to ceremonial mutilation or torture that could lead to death.

They had to fill in for their deceased loved ones’ economic, military, and familial responsibilities; they had to fit into society’s shoes; and they had to keep their tribe’s spirit strong.

In certain cases, captured individuals were allowed to join the tribe and eventually have a family of their own.

Slave children and children born to free Creek women were treated as complete members of their mothers’ clans and of the tribe by the Creek, who practised this and had a matrilineal system, where property and hereditary leadership went down the maternal line. When it comes to Iroquoian culture, the status of any kid is defined by the woman’s clan, which is based on a matrilineal system in which males and women are valued equally. Women and children were often taken captive by tribes for adoption because they were more adaptable to new ways of life.

In Exchange For Money, A Number Of Tribes Kept Captives As Hostages.

The enslaved would be restored to full tribal status once they paid back their debts to the tribe.

It was also of great interest to Native American warriors, especially the men of various tribes, in order to meet the criterion of being considered brave to capture prisoners.

The Comanches of Texas, the Creeks of Georgia, the fishing societies like the Yurok in Northern California, the Pawnee, and the Klamath all owned slaves in North America. Slave-holding Native Americans whose ancestors had moved from Cuba lived in St. Augustine, Florida, when the city was founded in 1565.

Slave traders from Alaska’s southeast coast, the Haida and Tlingit, were well-known throughout the continent for their ruthlessness and cunning, even as far away as California.

Their society became a slave society after they were taken as POWs.

Native American Saves: The Children Of Slaves Were Doomed To Be Slaves, Too.

Native american slaves: Slaves made up as much as a quarter of the population of some tribes in the Pacific Northwest. Inter-tribal slave markets or raids on rival groups were the most common means of capturing them. So as to show the owners’ disrespect for property, slaves were occasionally slaughtered in potlatches.

native american slaves

Around 1730, the Native American slave trade was still going on. Several catastrophic wars sprang out amongst the tribes as a result, including the Yamasee War. During the early 18th century, the Indian Wars and increased African slave importation virtually halted the Native American slave trade by 1750. Colonists learned that Native American slaves could easily avoid, as they understood the region. 

The wars lost the lives of numerous colony slave traffickers and destroyed their early cultures. The remaining Native American groups gathered together to oppose the Europeans from a strong position. Many surviving Native American persons of the southeast expanded their informal coalitions of linguistic groups and joined confederacies like the Choctaw, the Creek, and the Catawba for protection.

Or if they were slaves whether or, Native American women faced a high risk of rape because of the male-dominated nature of the settlers in the early colonial period. When it came to having sex, they ended up turning to Native American women.