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3) Who Were the Hopewell?

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The people learned to adapt their ways of hunting, so that they could hunt the animals that migrated north into Michigan’s now more moderate climate. The whitetail deer was the animal most important to the lifestyle of these later inhabitants. At this time the network of groups with which these early people traded expanded.

Much, much later, during the period of time that archaeologists have named the middle woodland period , some people in Michigan began to follow the ideas of the Hopewell culture. These ideas came mainly from people living in Illinois at this time, but the Michigan Hopewell also had contact with people and Hopewell ideas from Ohio.

Bands of people all over the eastern part of North America shared a complex group of religious and social ideas known as Hopewell. Language or a common leader did not unite the Hopewell people. The common characteristics of people sharing the Hopewell ideas were mound construction used for burials, and an extensive trade network to acquire exotic goods and materials to use in the burial of important men, women and children. The Hopewell bands in Michigan often buried the dead with amulets and medicine bags.

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