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How were the Native Indians when Columbus arrived?[Angels?, Savages?,etc]
Myself ^ | 12-3-01 | electron1

Posted on 12/03/2001 11:18:01 AM PST by electron1

I have a question. I was discussing Native Indians with a friend of mine, and she seems to believe that Indians were nature loving angels and our ancestors totally ruined their harmonious relationship with nature. Is this true?

This may very well be true, but since it fits perfectly into the liberal propaganda, I have my suspicions. Since liberals are known for supressing the truth to further their cause.

I have also seen posts on here where a person has briefly mentioned that the way we currently imagine the Indians of the time is not true to how they actually were.

Can anybody assist me in understanding the true character of the Indians at the time? I appreciate any input.


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1 posted on 12/03/2001 11:18:02 AM PST by electron1
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To: electron1
Each tribe was different. Some no doubt lived close to nature and understood nature's mysterious ways. Others ate their neighbors.
2 posted on 12/03/2001 11:22:49 AM PST by RightWhale
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To: electron1
Your friend is an idiot - a trait hardly confined to liberals. Captian John Smith, writing in the 1620's, asked the same question. And, as he was in a position to answer it, he did.
3 posted on 12/03/2001 11:24:14 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: RightWhale
What was the "NORM"? Were there far more neighbor eaters, or far more nature lovers?
4 posted on 12/03/2001 11:25:07 AM PST by electron1
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To: electron1
Try here
5 posted on 12/03/2001 11:25:10 AM PST by Fighting Falcons
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To: liberallarry
elaborate
6 posted on 12/03/2001 11:25:29 AM PST by Dengar01
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To: RightWhale; electron1
Good point. One thing that many tribes shared, however - the smell of each settlement could be noticed from a great distance. Native Americans should never be equated with environmentalism.
7 posted on 12/03/2001 11:25:33 AM PST by Senator Pardek
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To: liberallarry
Can you elaborate?
8 posted on 12/03/2001 11:25:59 AM PST by electron1
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To: electron1
"Tonto, it looks like we're surrounded by bloodthirsty savages!!!"

"What's this 'we' stuff, Kemosabe????"

9 posted on 12/03/2001 11:27:14 AM PST by Fintan
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To: electron1
They were savages...Didn't you ever watch them old westerns?
10 posted on 12/03/2001 11:27:28 AM PST by Portnoy
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: electron1
What was the "NORM"? Were there far more neighbor eaters, or far more nature lovers?

I was taught in the liberal education system so I am ignorant to all the facts as you all would probably guess. I was taught that Columbus was bad, and that the Indians (oops Native Americans) were butchered, ect. So this discussion would probably help me out too. I'm struggling after 12 years of brainwashing, however, I am a grownup conservative now. Just a little ignorant to the facts, about Indians, Columbus, you all know what I mean.

12 posted on 12/03/2001 11:27:53 AM PST by Dengar01
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To: Twodees; Native American Female Vet
Ping!
13 posted on 12/03/2001 11:28:49 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: electron1
There may have been some tree-huggers but I doubt it. Warfare was the normal state of the eastern indian tribes, and they loved to torture anyone they caught from an enemy tribe.

The Iroqois and Algonquins had a long running war. One of the highlights was when the Iroquois massacred the entire Erie tribe. Approximately 1,000 Eries were tied individually to trees and burned alive, all in one day, somewhere near the eastern shore of Lake Erie.

At one point the Iroquois were willing to travel hundreds of miles to the west to massacre a tribe in Illinois.

Ritual cannibalism was common among these tribes. Eating the heart of a brave enemy was believed to confer bravery on the diner. You don't want to know about the tortures they employed . . .

14 posted on 12/03/2001 11:29:51 AM PST by Neanderthal
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To: electron1
Here is an address that links to the story of the torture and murder of Catholic missionary Isaac Jogues who died at the hands of the Iroquois tribe:

http://www.sfo.com/~denglish/wynaks/jogues.htm
And here is the torture part:

The trip to Quebec was made without mishap. On August 1st, Jogues' group, forty in number, laden with goods and supplies for the hard pressed mission, left on the return trip to Huronia. They did not get very far. On the following day they were ambushed by the waiting Iroquois. Most of the Hurons fled, a few were killed or captured, and Jogues and two donne's Rene' Goupil and Guillaume Couture were taken prisoner. Among the captured Hurons was Ahatsistari, the greatest of their warriors, and several other prominent Christians. What a blow to the Huron mission!

As soon as the engagement was over, the nightmare of torture began. The enemy fell upon their captives in a great rage, ripping out their finger nails, chewing their fingers and beating them with clubs. They then hustled off their victims to Mohawk country south of the St. Lawrence. En route the poor captives were "caressed" by 200 Iroquois setting out on the warpath. All, except a few small children, were savagely beaten and mutilated.

And yet there was still so much more to come.

On the 18th day, weak from lack of food, loss of blood and the agonizing pain of their bruised, broken and mutilated members, the prisoners arrived in the first Iroquois village. Here again the same ordeal had to be faced: running the gauntlet, beating, cutting, whip-ping, burning, scratching. It was an incredible experience to be under-gone again in two other villages. One wonders how the captives could survive such brutal and inhuman treatment.

Jogues seemed to be singled out for the refinement of this cruelty since the Iroquois considered him a kind of leader. They hacked off his left thumb; and yet he was grateful they had spared the right thumb so he could write to his brethren! He also received some terrible blows to his body, especially with a big lump of iron attached to a rope, and, as he said, "the only thing that kept me from fainting and that sustained my strength and courage was the fear that my tormentor would hit me with it a second time."

And even at night there was no respite for the poor victims. It was then the turn of the adolescents and children who delighted in throwing hot coals and burning cinders on their tortured flesh, in tearing open their wounds and in inflicting other senseless barbarities. And as Jogues himself remarked, "patience was our physician." <

15 posted on 12/03/2001 11:31:25 AM PST by Temple Drake
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To: Dengar01
Since I live in California, I know EXACTLY what you mean.
16 posted on 12/03/2001 11:31:53 AM PST by electron1
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To: electron1
I have actually discussed this with other liberals myself many times. One group of indians in Northern Ohio was totally wiped out by another tribe at one point - little remains of who they once were. Offhand I cannot give you a link on this but I came across it in my own studies of this question. Indians were for the most part just as agressive as the white man in taking territory (not all of course).
The point being is that just like the rest of the world there were 'good' and 'bad' tribes - but I will admit we did screw them over pretty bad in treaties and we should have approached the whole thing in a slightly more civilized manner. That said - our forefathers did the best they could with what they had and the indians are still here today: We could have finished them all off so perhaps we are more humane then some of them were...
17 posted on 12/03/2001 11:32:57 AM PST by chance33_98
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To: Neanderthal
Appreciate the info...Do you know any objective books or websites I can read?
18 posted on 12/03/2001 11:34:16 AM PST by electron1
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To: electron1
Well Chicagoland has its fair share of leftist propagandists. The schools are overrun. My niece is now in third grade and I'm trying to re-educate the fallacies she is taught. I should make a thread about the bad education system. She was taught how to read by memorization and if she didn't recognize a word she was told to skip it. I couldn't believe it, I was taught with phonics.
19 posted on 12/03/2001 11:35:29 AM PST by Dengar01
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: electron1
Were there far more neighbor eaters, or far more nature lovers?

BWAHAHAHA! The nature lovers got eaten every time. Why did you think they were called savages?
21 posted on 12/03/2001 11:37:17 AM PST by balrog666
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To: electron1
You may want to study the accounts of Lewis and Clark's expedition. The were the first caucasion Americans to encounter several groups "America's First Immigrants"
22 posted on 12/03/2001 11:38:42 AM PST by Freebird Forever
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To: Dengar01
A couple things I learned about Indians. One - they were pratically stone age. The North American Indians did not have the wheel nor beasts of burden. Two essential items for a civilization to advance, the third being the plow which I do not think they had, either. The other thing they did not have was a written language. Stories and information was passed down from generation to generation from the oldest to the young. When the white man came and introduced certain deseases into the environment - two groups of people were quickly wiped out. The very young and the very old. This proved devastating as now not many existed to tell the stories. A written language would have solved that problem. I passed this information in an English class a couple semesters ago and the instructor stated that what I was saying was almost racist. Not that I was wrong, but only that it should not be said.

Also, liked someone said earlier - depended upon tribe to tribe. Some tribes were into enslaving others, war, and other nasty things only attributed to whites these days. What - the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans practiced baby and virgin killing in the form of sacrifices. Somehow, that all gets glossed over today. It is like the Indian woman who supposively helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition. I hear it was actually her French husband and she was just along for the ride.

23 posted on 12/03/2001 11:39:49 AM PST by 7thson
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To: proud patriot
Some of the ones that did did manage to destroy their local environment...the Maya deforested and overpopulated Central America, contributing to their own collapse, long before Europeans arrived.

A lot of Indian Tribes were peaceful. A lot of other Indian Tribes were vicious, aggressive killers.

White Americans shouldn't spend their entire lives living in guilt.

However, I do have a problem with people who don't have at least the SLIGHTEST tinge of embarassment or guilt over some of the things that were done by the U.S. Government regarding the Indians. The story of Chief Joseph and the eviction of the Nez Perce from their lands should at least engender some regret and sorrow, for example.

24 posted on 12/03/2001 11:40:05 AM PST by John H K
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To: electron1
Dude, they never even invented the wheel!

They dragged their stuff around on two sticks or a sledge of some sort.

They were a stone-age culture until the Europeans showed up. They had gotten as far as making fire and quit.

You can cloth it in all the threadbare 'nature loving' arguments you want, but they never ever progressed beyond that of a stone-age culture until the Europeans dragged them into the 17th century.

They were about 12,000 years behind the times.

25 posted on 12/03/2001 11:40:31 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith
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To: RightWhale
Bump for tribal differences - and let's not forget that there were also confederations of tribes, creating governments. Each tribe/confederation was different, with different rules and values, and those rules and values changed through the years.

To ask, "were the Indians angels or savages?" is about like asking "were the Americans angels or savages?". The question would have to be couched in terms of time, place, and culture. Texas is different than California; the Caddo were different than the Karankawa. To try to generalize any culture as only good or only bad is to oversimplify - and that in itself is wrong.

26 posted on 12/03/2001 11:41:25 AM PST by dandelion
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To: electron1
It ran the gamut, depending on location, between fairly sophisticated federations to small groups of hunter-gatherers at a truly stone-age level. In North America the Mississippi Valley civilization, for example, was very nearly a nation/state. All dead from European disease before the first white man ever got there...make a heckuva horror movie...

Of course, there were notable civilizations in Central and South America that really were nation/states, the Toltecs, Aztecs, Maya, etc, etc. These had literate cultures and advanced mathematics but curiously, not the wheel. They were anything but "children of nature," having as high a zest for killing their neighbors in an organized fashion as did their European counterparts. Pretty good at it, too...

27 posted on 12/03/2001 11:43:42 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: electron1
As RightWhale pointed out, the tribes varied. One thing must be kept in mind, however, and that is that this "good stewards of the Earth" is a lot of rubbish. Indian tribes lived in an area until its resources -- or the ones useful to them -- were exhausted, and then they moved on.

They were usually at war with their neighbors, a fact usually glossed over by present-day romantic views of Native American life. In a sense, this constant warfare helped keep Indian populations in check, so you could say that the Indian's primary natural enemy was himself.

That they remained too few in number to reduce the continent to a waste-land before English settlers got here should not be confused with a modern sensibility regarding the "sanctity of the earth."

28 posted on 12/03/2001 11:45:13 AM PST by Gumlegs
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To: dandelion
I see your point. Can you give me examples of bad and good on both sides?
29 posted on 12/03/2001 11:46:30 AM PST by electron1
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To: electron1
Well, there were lots of different tribes in the Americas, with various warring between the sets of them. However, Columbus himself only encountered the Carribean tribes. Columbus generally reports that the natives were very generous. What needs to be clear is that the spanish mission to the new world focused almost exclusively on acquiring gold for the kingdom of spain. In retrospect, the infighting among the indian tribes didn't look that brutal in comparison to the spanish lust for gold, thus allowing the native tribes to look much better in hindsight.

Columbus himself wrote that the Indians, "are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone."

An interesting set of quotations from source-texts on the matter is the first chapter of Howard Zinn's "people's history of the United States," which I thought everyone taught in American History, nowadays. Zinn seems to quote extensively from Batolome de las Cases, a young priest involved in the conquest of Cuba in his book "History of the Indies." I'd also delve into the original source texts of Columbus's writings.

30 posted on 12/03/2001 11:46:40 AM PST by constans
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To: electron1
That's akin to asking if it's true that Europeans are all either evil Stalins or freedom loving Chamberlands. Some Indians were very "close" to nature, living with almost no possesions, and what possesions they did have were owned communally. They survived on seasonal crops and wild game they managed to catch, wore no clothing, built no shelters, and in general had a rather miserable existence by our standards. On the other hand there were tribes that cleared large areas of forest for crops, built giant mounds, conquered or regularly warred with their neighbors, and lived a very settled life. These Indians also quickly adopted white man's ways, and not infrequently out-civilized their white pioneer neighbors. As far as warfare goes, again, their were many extremes. Some practised brutal raiding full of killing and burning, while others barely possesed weapons.

At any rate, with perhaps the exception of the large Central American tribes (who also destroyed vast areas of rainforest and other ecological sins) levels of mass violence were rather low in comparison to what whites would bring. It should be noted, however, that many of the millions whites killed were not killed intentionaly, but by the transimision of disease. Of course there were many masacres on both sides, but in the end it is fair to say the white man outdid the Indian in terms of death and destruction. Indians would massacre one white settlement and the whites would massacre a dozen-thus was the lopsided struggle.

In short, neither liberal "nature loving" legends or Western "bloody savage" legends are acurate. I would suggest you find the volume Cabaz de Vaca wrote on his experience with the many tribes of the Gulf coast. He gives an excellent, suprisingly unbiased, view of the very diverse tribes he encountered. His experience ranged from night time raids on his men to ocean rescues by tribes on Galveston Island to the hundreds of followers he amassed in New Mexico to his futile attempts to save the Southwestern Indians from slavery. His views on Indian treatment were excellent, far superior to those of his peers. He did not believe in forcing Christianity upon them, rather deciding they could only be won to Christ and civilized nature by love and compassion. Alas, few of his comrades shared his views-lands to conquer, slaves, and gold clouded their eyes, overshadowing any nobler ambitions for the Indian's well being and salvation.

31 posted on 12/03/2001 11:47:55 AM PST by Cleburne
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To: electron1
Native Americans were bloodthirsty savages in harmony with nothing but the carcasses of the enemies they cannibalized. The best and most advanced of them, the Anasazi, were recently added to the list of cannibals.

I'm OK with Native Americans killing each other, Europeans have done it every 20 years or so throughout time, but cannibals?

32 posted on 12/03/2001 11:47:57 AM PST by anton
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To: All
"Indian tribes lived in an area" should have read, "Most Indian tribes lived in an area." I believe some tribes, particularly in the Southwest, adopted farming practices and were not nomads.
33 posted on 12/03/2001 11:48:06 AM PST by Gumlegs
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To: electron1
I believe it was late 1991 or 1992 that the National Geographic ran a series on Columbus. One of the stories covered the native tribes pre-columbus. Most of what has been said here is true. So many tribes many different situations: war, etc all the way to peace and developed forms of government. I suggest you check out NG,
34 posted on 12/03/2001 11:49:43 AM PST by breakem
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To: electron1
When Columbus returned to Hispanola (Dominican Republic/Haiti) in 1493, Fort Navidad had been burned to the ground, and the 44 settlers he left behind were gone.

Who knows what happened . . . .

35 posted on 12/03/2001 11:51:41 AM PST by Mitzi
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To: electron1
I am sure that the Indians were nature worshipers, they still are, that is their religion. They think of the mountains, trees, etc. as gods.
The new history has them being peace loving, but I doubt they just rolled over and played nice when the White man came in and wanted to live on the land they considered their own.
The truth probably lies somewhere between the two histories, the one I learned, and the one learned now after the revisionists took over.
I don't buy the new one that Columbus was some murdering, raping savage!
Those that have rewritten history were not there, the ones who wrote it before had it passed down through diaries, records, and families etc.
36 posted on 12/03/2001 11:56:02 AM PST by ladyinred
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To: RightWhale
There were good and bad among Native Americans as among all people. It is wrong to categorize them in simplistic terms. They were as complicated as human beings anywhere. Early Spanish explorers such as Cabeza de Vaca reported that they worked very hard. They had no dometicated animals to do the labor for them. Many of the cities in Central and South America are older than European cities.

It is true that Meso-Americans indulged in human sacrifice but were not the Europeans also putting to death witches and heretics to appease their God during the same period as well? I doubt Native villages were any more septic than most European cities of the time. Most Native Americans also bathed more often than Europeans of the time.

Many of the staple crops today such as maize, potatoes, chocolate, squash, tomatoes and pumpkins were first developed by Native Americans. Most societies in North America were egalatarian and practiced democracy. Chiefs rarely had dictatorial powers and women had great influence on who the leaders would be. Traditional Native Americans valued honesty and always telling the truth. Native societies worked for thousands of years. They were destroyed more by European diseases than by any military conquests. The first European explorer on tha Amazon described a high degree of culture along the Amazon River. He said it was teeming with bustling cities but today it is all gone, due to disease.

Native Americans should be accepted as people. "Savages" are unfortunately found in all races and groups as even this message board sometimes evince.

37 posted on 12/03/2001 11:59:21 AM PST by Eternal_Bear
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To: electron1
When Columbus arrived in the New World it was soon after a horrible pestilence that destroyed a large portion of the population in the New World. The Cahokia Indians, the most advanced tribe in North America, were dispersed and almost wiped out by it. The Indians that did survive had their culture pushed backwards into the "savages" that are stereotyped about, much like Europeans in the Dark Ages. Most tribes valued the warrior tradition and most relied upon nature for substinance. Many tribes had developed agrarian cultures, but it was fairly primative, and those agrarian tribes were the hardest hit by the pestilence. That left the nomadic tribes at the advantage and the nomadic lifestyle lends toward the warrior tradition more. So were the Indians more savage than the white man? No, more primative, less cultured, but no more savage. Were they less savage? No, many tribes were exceedingly brutal and horrific in dealing with their enemies, just like many Europeans. So both the blood thirsty savage image and the tree-hugging, pot-smoking, Gaia-worshipping, flower children image are just that, images.
38 posted on 12/03/2001 12:01:40 PM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: chookter
The Aztecs and Mayans made Europeans look like savages, had the Europeans realized their existence. While Europe was locked in the Dark Age, the Central American tribes were developing advanced astronomical ideas, a very well done calander, had made many precise calculations relating to the earth's movement and seasons, had a workable petrglyph system, and built massive stone pyramids that would have dwarfed European accomplishments of the time. However, they conducted barbaric human sacrifices (we white folk just kill our enemies in war!), and frequent in fighting resulted in the demise of the Mayas, and the Aztecs and Incas would collapse with the coming of Spaniards and their rifles and diseases. They lacked sustanibility, and had a very wicked religion-their downfall coupled with Spaniards, in my opinion.
39 posted on 12/03/2001 12:03:16 PM PST by Cleburne
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To: electron1
The truth is, the Indians were as different as Europeans. Some were good, some were bad, some were peaceful, some were bloodthirsty. In that respect, they weren't any different than anybody else. You might want to check out the following book. Cabeza de Vaca was one of the very first to encounter the Indians of what is now the Southern United States. If I'm not mistaken, he held a different view than Cortez on how to deal with the Indians. This is from Amazon.com.

Castaways : The Narrative of Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca
(Latin American Literature and Culture, No 10)
by Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca, Alvar N. Cabeza De Vaca,
Alvar Nuunez Cabeza De Vaca, Enrique Pupo-Walker (Editor)

Book Description
This enthralling story of survival is the first major narrative of the exploration of North America by Europeans (1528-36). The author of Castaways (Naufragios), Alvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca, was a fortune-seeking nobleman and the treasurer of an expedition to claim for Spain a vast area that includes today's Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. A shipwreck forced him and a handful of men to make the long westward journey on foot to meet up with Hernn Corts. In order to survive, Cabeza de Vaca joined native peoples along the way, learning their languages and practices and serving them as a slave and later as a physician. When after eight years he finally reached the West, he was not recognized by his compatriots. In his writing Cabeza de Vaca displays great interest in the cultures of the native peoples he encountered on his odyssey. As he forged intimate bonds with some of them, sharing their brutal living conditions and curing their sick, he found himself on a voyage of self-discovery that was to make his reunion with his fellow Spaniards less joyful than expected. Cabeza de Vaca's gripping narrative is a trove of ethnographic information, with descriptions and interpretations of native cultures that make it a powerful precursor to modern anthropology. Frances M. Lpez-Morillas's translation beautifully captures the sixteenth-century original. Based as it is on Enrique Pupo-Walker's definitive critical edition, it promises to become the authoritative English translation. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Here is the link to this book on Amazon

BTW, there's a foreign movie entitled "Cabeza de Vaca" which was pretty good.

40 posted on 12/03/2001 12:03:22 PM PST by wimpycat
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To: electron1
When Columbus arrived in the New World it was soon after a horrible pestilence that destroyed a large portion of the population in the New World. The Cahokia Indians, the most advanced tribe in North America, were dispersed and almost wiped out by it. The Indians that did survive had their culture pushed backwards into the "savages" that are stereotyped about, much like Europeans in the Dark Ages. Most tribes valued the warrior tradition and most relied upon nature for substinance. Many tribes had developed agrarian cultures, but it was fairly primative, and those agrarian tribes were the hardest hit by the pestilence. That left the nomadic tribes at the advantage and the nomadic lifestyle lends toward the warrior tradition more. So were the Indians more savage than the white man? No, more primative, less cultured, but no more savage. Were they less savage? No, many tribes were exceedingly brutal and horrific in dealing with their enemies, just like many Europeans. So both the blood thirsty savage image and the tree-hugging, pot-smoking, Gaia-worshipping, flower children image are just that, images.
41 posted on 12/03/2001 12:03:23 PM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: electron1; Neanderthal; Temple Drake; Cleburne
electron1:

This is NOT from Columbus's era, but from 1709.
IIRC, its one of the earliest accounts of the Indians of North Carolina.

Please excuse the length, but I thought some of you may be interested in this.

-CD

.

From A New Voyage to Carolina, by John Lawson:

"Their Cruelty to their Prisoners of War is what they are seemingly guilty of an Error in, (I mean as to a natural Failing) because they strive to invent the most inhumane Butcheries for them, that the Devils themselves could invent, or hammer out of Hell; they esteeming Death no Punishment, but rather an Advantage to him, that is exported out of this into another World.

Therefore, they inflict on them Torments, wherein they prolong Life in that miserable state as long as they can, and never miss Skulping of them, as they call it, which is, to cut off the Skin from the Temples, and taking the whole Head of Hair along with it, as if it was a Night-cap. Sometimes, they take the Top of the Skull along with it; all which they preserve, and carefully keep by them, for a Trophy of their Conquest over their Enemies. Others keep their Enemies Teeth, which are taken in War, whilst others split the Pitch-Pine into Splinters, and stick them into the Prisoners Body yet alive. Thus they light them, which burn like so many Torches; and in this manner, they make him dance round a great Fire, every one buffeting and deriding him, till he expires, when every one strives to get a Bone or some Relick of this unfortunate Captive."

.

An account of John Lawson's murder, two years later:

New Berne, North Carolina
John Fiske

Between the Tuscaroras and the numerous Sioux tribes by which they were partly surrounded there was incessant and murderous hostility. On the other hand, there was amity and alliance, at least for the moment, between the Tuscaroras and the Algonquin coast tribes whose lands the palefaces were invading. The first murders of white settlers occurred in Bertie Precinct at the hands of Meherrins, and seem to have been isolated cases. But a general conspiracy of Iroquois and Algonquin tribes was not long in forming, and the day before the new moon, September 22, 1711, was appointed for a wholesale massacre.

A few days before the appointed time the Baron de Graffenried started in his pinnace from New Berne to explore the Neuse River. His only companions were a negro servant and John Lawson, a Scotchman who for a dozen years had been surveyor-general of the colony. Lawson was the author of an extremely valuable and fascinating book on Carolina and its native races, a book which one cannot read without loving the writer and mourning his melancholy fate. No man in the colony was better known by the Indians, who had frequently observed and carefully noted the fact that his appearance in the woods with his surveying instruments was apt to be followed by some fresh encroachment upon their lands.

Lawson and Graffenried had advanced but little way into the Tuscarora wilderness when they were taken prisoners. The Indians were very curious to learn why they had come up the river; perhaps it might indicate that the people at New Berne had some suspicision of the intended massacre and had sent them forward as scouts. If any such dread beset the minds of the red men, it was probably soon allayed; for it is clear that, had there been any suspicion, Graffenried and Lawson would not thus have ventured out of all reach of support.

The barbarians were two or three days in making up their minds what to do. They then took poor Lawson, and thrust into his skin all over, from head to foot, sharp splinters of lightwood, almost dripping with its own turpentine, and set him afire. The negro was also put to death with fiendish torments, but Graffenried was kept a prisoner, perhaps in order to be burned on some festal occasion.

Before the news of this dreadful affair could reach New Berne, the blow had fallen, not only there, but also at Bath and on the Roanoke River. Some hundreds of settlers were massacred, at New Berne 130 within two hours from the signal. No circumstance of horror was wanting. Men were gashed and scorched, children torn in pieces, women impaled on stakes. The slaughter went on for three days.

Old Virginia and Her Neighbours by John Fiske, pages 350-353
Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Boston, 1902

42 posted on 12/03/2001 12:03:40 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: electron1
There are more mature forests today than when Columbus discovered America. That is partly because there were more forest fires in those days, but it is also because mature forests are not good hunting grounds. A mix of lands with old and new growth is better.

Indians generally had the utmost respect for nature since their lives depended on it, so they did not kill for sport as a general rule.

Some of the other posters have pointed out that there was a mix of good and bad as on any Continent. Some tribes and individuals were wise, while others were not. They were also no different from people in other parts of the world in that they were tribal and often had intertribal warfare. They were brutal and used torture freely as a general rule. This is no different from other parts of the world either. They did this because it instills fear in the others and thus promotes the safety of the tribe and reluctance to go to war, IMHO.

43 posted on 12/03/2001 12:03:43 PM PST by OK
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To: electron1
"Appreciate the info...Do you know any objective books or websites I can read?"

You can start with Francis Parkman, the great American historian. He wrote the 7 volume "France and England in North America." The first two volumes have a lot on this stuff. They are "Pioneers of France in the New World," and "The Jesuits in North America."

Another good resource is Allan W. Eckert's book "The Frontiersmen," and his five volume "Winning of America" series.

44 posted on 12/03/2001 12:42:39 PM PST by Neanderthal
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To: chookter
Dude, they never even invented the wheel!

Who needs a wheel, when you can have a nice scalp?

45 posted on 12/03/2001 12:42:39 PM PST by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: OK
There are more mature forests today than when Columbus discovered America. That is partly because there were more forest fires in those days, but it is also because mature forests are not good hunting grounds.

Supposedly, the loss of buffalo has contributed to the increase in forested land.

Don't get me wrong, I could not care less about this loss...

46 posted on 12/03/2001 12:42:43 PM PST by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: KayEyeDoubleDee
Actually, several New World Indian tribes invented the wheel but it never advanced beyond the stage of a toy for children. Lacking a sturdy draft animal like the ox or horse probably inhibited further development.
47 posted on 12/03/2001 12:46:00 PM PST by Hootowl
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To: Eternal_Bear
Not all you say is correct here. The Aztecs, for example, had a SINGLE, WEEK-LONG sacrifice to dedicate a temple that killed 80,000---more people, per capita, per minute, than occurred in some of the Nazi death camps.

The "Mourning Wars" involved northern tribes that abducted children of other tribes to raise them as their own, and when pursued, they left a head on a stick every mile to taunt their pursuers.

Moreover, there are two new books out saying that essentially the Plains Indians destroyed much of the bison population long before "Buffalo Bill." As to the diseases, the numbers are shifting all the time: whereas only 20 years ago anthropologists were thinking there were 100 million Indians in North and Central America, now the UPPER-BOUND number is only 50 million, and some put it as low as 8 million. What all this means is that notions that European diseases killed 50 million Indians are baseless.

And just this week, there was even NEWER evidence that many diseases are being discovered in the pre-Columbian bones, meaning that the Indians already HAD these diseases.

48 posted on 12/03/2001 12:53:04 PM PST by LS
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To: Hootowl
I would cite the example of the relatively-civilized Aztecs who practised ritual human sacrifice (and attempts to compare human sacrifice to the burning of witches ignore important differences in the two practices). I note also that the Inca's were a militarily-expansive empire (n

The Indians also practiced slash-and-burn agriculture, hardly environmentally friendly.

49 posted on 12/03/2001 12:54:47 PM PST by bagman
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To: electron1
I think the original people who lived here, when europeans arrived a few hundred years ago, were much like the neolithic peoples the world over, They were just more isolated and therefore did not have the recent improvements of the past 10,000 years. They did not possess some kind of idealized life plan. They survived like we all do. The diversity they had in abundance was no different than all the races of man across all of history. It is wrong to believe they were better because they were closer to nature or some earlier, since lost, simpler life style.

These ideas are created by the same people who want us to believe modern man is a blight on the earth. It isn't true.

I remember seeing a small statue carved by a Central American artist about 500 AD. It was a captive who was tied to a tree. He had crows pecking at his eyes which were wide open. The accompanying explanation in the museum was that he had been flayed alive, and his captors had paid particular attention to the removal of his eyelids so the the birds could do their thing. Shows a low regard for human pain and suffering, but maybe they were nature-loving birders.

50 posted on 12/03/2001 12:56:19 PM PST by JeanLM
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