Tobacco has been one of the most important gifts from the New World to the Old. In spite of the attempts of various authors to prove its Old World origin there can be no doubt that it was introduced into both Europe and Africa from America. Most species of Nicotiana are native to the New World, and there are only a few species which are undoubtedly extra- American. The custom of smoking is also characteristic of America. It was thoroughly established throughout eastern North and South America at the time of the discovery; and the early explorers, from Columbus on, speak of it as a strange and novel practice which they often find it hard to describe. It played an important part in many religious ceremonies, and the beliefs and observances connected with it are in themselves proof of its antiquity. Hundreds of pipes have been found in the pre-Columbian mounds and village sites of the eastern United States and, although these remains cannot be dated, some of them must be of considerable age. In the southwestern United States the Basket Makers, an ancient people whose remains are found below those of the prehistoric Cliff Dwellers, were smoking pipes at a time which could not have been much later than the beginning of our era.
Dakota Indians. The earliest known home of this tribe was on and near the Mississippi in southern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, and neighboring parts of Iowa. In 1825, after they had spread somewhat farther west, Long (1791) gives their boundaries thus: They were bounded by a curved line extending east of north from Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi, so as to include all the eastern tributaries of the Mississippi, to the first branch of Chippewa River; thence by a line running west of north to Spirit Lake; thence westwardly to Crow Wing River, Minn., and up that stream to its head; thence westwardly to Red River and down that stream to Pembina; thence southwestwardly to the eastern bank of the Missouri near the Mandan villages; thence down the Missouri to a point probably not far from Soldiers River; thence east of north to Prairie du Chien. At a later time they occupied less territory toward the east but extended much farther westward between the Yellowstone and Platte Rivers.
Mdewakanton Indian Tribe History
Sign Language Among North American Indians – Proper Names