Wondering Why?

Why do Native Americans drink so much?

Why do Native Americans drink so much?

The Indians who were also Americans and who were serving in World War I came back to the country which did not consider them as citizens. Though they were taken as soldiers who could fight for the country they were not given right to vote for the president. In 1924, the Indian citizenship act was passed which decided that indigenous United States people were having right to vote. A mixed race people called the melungeons were living in Appalachias. They appeared to have married other race people called Powhatans, Catawbas, Pamunkeys, Creeks, Cherokees and Yuchis.

The indigenous people at North America were not drinking alcohol until Europeans entered the West. Earlier Mexicans and current people of southwest United States used to have alcohol of all kinds. Previously, Mexicans and South Arizona people were having fermented beverages. The groups called Pimas and Papagos utilized and enjoyed alcohol only for celebrations. The Yumans, Apaches and Zunis were drinking informally.

Earlier to 1492 fermented beverages were used only for rituals that were performed occasionally. The groups called Tepehuanes and Tarahumaras who occupied northern Mexico region, used to ferment corn to give rise to tesvino. This drink was consumed during some celebrations. They believed the strength in alcohol since few centuries. The indigenous people had a belief of offering alcohol to Jesus before they drank. The South west United States land was inhabited by the Pimas and Papagos who extracted a drink like alcohol from Saguaro cactus. The Aztecs of Mexico were drinking pulque which is also similar to alcohol. They prepared this drink by fermenting it from maguey.

They thought that alcohol has some holiness in it. Mayas used to drink balche from bark and honey in certain limits. The Europeans showed their impact of alcohol consumption in America. The liquor trading began in United States and Canada and was strong from 17th century. The British and French colonies converted the sugar they got from West Indies and sold it as liquor in North America. Since 1650, alcohol consumption has become common and it has become a commodity in fur trade. Native Americans borrowed rum from British and brandy from French. From then onwards the native and indigenous people started drinking alcohol. Though there were several protests by the Native people against liquor trade and its consumption, the colonists considered alcohol consumption as ideal.


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