Native Americans came from Asia. Over 20 000 years ago they traveled across the land between Siberia and Alaska. When English colonists came to the New World on board the "Mayflower" the native Americans met them and were very friendly and helped them a lot. In those days people lived in small earth houses and grew their own food. Some Indians ate only grass, nuts, and what fruit they could find. Other people were fishermen and lived in wooden houses. Most native Americans were very peaceful. They wanted to live happily with nature and each other. They believed in many gods and thought that the gods live in trees, stones, water and fire. They believed their gods could bring success in hunting, farming and fishing. They often had special ceremonies with dances and music before they went hunting or fishing or when they began farming. Native Americans songs and poems are a very important part of their traditions as they help them to keep their history and culture alive. Another famous tradition was smoking of a peace pipe. When they smoked this pipe together with people they did not know it meant friendship and peace. Many years ago Native American tribes lived in all parts of the USA, and hunted and fished wherever they choose. Now most of them live in poor lands to the west of Mississippi River. Many live in "reservations".