There are numerous food items, tools, building materials, clothing items, and more popular items invented by indigenous peoples that are valuable in society today. Various Native American tribes are responsible for introducing the world to corn, rubber, goggles, and kayaks, along with the concept of mouthwash, oral contraceptives, and pain relief medication. However, there are different nations of indigenous people throughout the globe, many of which boast inventions of their own.
Winterwear – Caribou Inuit
The Caribou Inuit tribe has a rich culture of barren-ground caribou hunting, inland nomadic lifestyles, and survival in the most rugged conditions. They originate from the Keewatin Region, or modern-day Nunavut in Canada, where temperatures reach well below freezing on a regular basis.
As such, the Caribou Inuit are famous for their invention of insulated winterwear made from animal hides and oils. Their most significant creation is the parka, a superior type of winter jacket used in militaries and found on fashion runaways worldwide. This indigenous tribe still exists today, with around 3,000 living in Northern Canada.
Advanced Resins – Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians, such as the Wiradjuri Nation, helped discover the concept of modern thermoplastic resin as a binding agent in construction. These indigenous people perfected the method of extracting, cleaning, and heating resin from native porcupine grass to bind various building materials together.
This is because certain resins strengthen when cured and cooled, making them highly valuable for a variety of applications, including tool and weapon construction. While the indigenous people of Australia didn’t invent artificial thermoplastic resins, we credit them with the practice of using resin in construction.
Coffee – The Oromo of East Africa
Africa is home to a rich and often forgotten history full of innovations and inventions. In fact, key societal concepts, such as mathematics and astrology, were invented in Africa. The Oromo people of East Africa are considered the first humans to consume coffee beans.
The Oromo people noticed the alerting effects this vegetation caused when their livestock consumed coffee plant cherries. Then they started eating “coffee paste” to stay awake and introduced coffee to the Arabian Peninsula, where production and trade exploded and reached every corner of the earth!
These are just some of the most popular items invented by indigenous peoples – it’s worth learning about the native individuals and nations that once occupied the lands many of us call home to gain a better appreciation for their culture and history.