When many people think of Native tribes, they think of the reservations and land that they currently live in. But in almost every case, where current Native tribes reside is not where they were originally from. One man, Aaron Carapella who lives on Cherokee lands, has decided to pinpoint the original locations and names of hundreds of tribes before their first contact with Europeans. Through these efforts, Carapella has created an all-encompassing map of Native American tribes.
Available in sizes as big as 3 and 4 feet, these extraordinarily beautiful maps not only feature old photos of some of the tribes, as well as most of the original indigenous autonyms that tribes used to call themselves. As the first time that many of these Nations have ever been placed on a map, this map serves as a visual reminder of their memory and legacy. With more than 600 original tribal names hovering over the lands that they once occupied, this map is also a reminder that the population of America and its countryside stretched back long before 1492 and the European invasion. As stated on the Tribal Nations website:
“We seek here to honor those hundreds of tribal nations who existed in their respective territories for millennia unscathed until the encroachment of Europeans.”
Carapella is a self-taught map maker who spent more than a decade combing through history books, archives, and libraries to find information for his map project. He also called different tribal members and visited reservations as a part of his research. Currently, Carapella has created and designed maps of the continental United States, Mexico, and Canada with a map of Alaska currently being worked on. Below is a section of the United States map, with a focus on the California region. To see a larger and full version of the map, visit NPR’s website here.
Available in many different versions and sizes, these maps are a great tribute to all of those forgotten tribes whose names had been lost, but who live in the minds and hearts of modern day Native Americans. To see more information about the process, availability, and more about the maps, visit the Map of Our Tribal Nations website that also has a great and informative blog.
What do you think about Aaron Carapella and the maps that he has created? Do you have any questions for us here at 1st Tribal Lending? Share it with us privately at 1st Tribal Lending or leave a comment below, we love chatting with our readers!