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State of Louisiana, appear to have been the only society to have had a true caste system. In such a system, the members of the ranked groups are allowed to marry only within the group. Social ranking was also very prominent among the peoples of Florida. Among the Timucua, for instance, the supreme leader enjoyed a greatly elevated status and was sometimes carried around by his followers. Natchez society included strict rules for marriage and social status. In other tribes, such as the Cherokee, social rank was relatively unimportant.

They spent more of their time in scattered hunting and gathering camps. By the first half of the 1600s, however, nearly every village was ringed by a protective palisade. The most widely used house in the Northeast was the dome-shaped wickiup (or wigwam). The Indians made a frame of small, flexible trees, or because the latter were often destroyed by frost. saplings. They stuck them firmly in the ground in a Similarly, the Ojibwa and other tribes of the northern circle, then bent them overhead in an arch and tied them Great Lakes area relied more on wild rice than on crops.

Thule art includes small carved ivory or wooden figures, possibly used for magic or religious purposes or as game pieces. Thule culture disappeared from central Canada in the 1400s, probably because of climatic cooling. However, its influence among the Eskimo endures to the present. 23 24 THE ARCTIC The Granger Collection, New York were the southern Yupik and the Aleut. They got nearly all their food by fishing and hunting sea mammals. The Aleut also gathered shellfish and wild plant foods such as berries.

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