1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Native Peoples of North America

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by reepnorp, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. reepnorp

    reepnorp Lim'n Lime Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,674
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    First off, I don't mean to offend anyone with this topic. Secondly, I would really like to hear your opinions on this matter.

    Okay, so in the 1500's or so, the French found the Americas, and settled, etc. Then, you get the native people, treated like dirt, and have their ancestrol land taken by the "white man". Now, they go around and practice their customs, and beliefs, etc. from 500 years ago. There is nothing wrong with this, but I can guarantee that if the French didn't come along, their culture would have changed alot in 500 years, yet they still practice these century old rituals and things.

    Now, lets hear what you all think.
     
  2. Grey Magistrate Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl


    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    2
    French culture has changed a lot in the past five hundred years, too - the move from monarchy to republic, Catholicisme to secularism, the Huguenot intermission, the first and second empires, etc. But it's always been recognizably "French" - even as they persist in rituals much older than five centuries (e.g., Catholicism).

    So I don't know that the Native Americans are necessarily any more "traditional" than other identity groups. They're certainly more "changed", culturally, then groups like the Amish that resist change for the sake of resisting change.

    That said, the change does appear to be less significant for Native Americans than the "other" Indians - the billion on the subcontinent who were so profoundly affected politically (for good and ill) by British imperialism. But I'm no anthropologist.
     
  3. Iago Gems: 24/31
    Latest gem: Water Opal


    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    0
    And the "Indians" changed the British for good. Tea, Shampoo, Polo, curry, spice and all things nice.

    In the south of the Americas, the cultures seem much more interwined. Even if the integration in the beginning mainly consisted of using them as "péons". Maybe because the catholics focused much more on conversion of the natives, then the settlers a century later on the northern part of the continent did. Therefore the cultures didn't fecundate each other to a big extend, whereas I am sure that there has been a lot of cultural exchange going on. But the cultures remained foreign somehow. I think GM makes a very good point, they maybe changed a lot, but they remain different.
     
  4. Blackhawk Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl


    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    In 1492 Columbus sailed the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria to find a western way to India. He grew up in Portugal, but moved to Spain when the King did not finance is plan.

    The French played absolutely no part in "discovering" America. :nono:
     
  5. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    One thing I've always wanted to know is why the Americans celebrate Columbus Day. The guy got lost and stumbled on America and thought it was India for god's sake. When he got there he thought he would take back some slaves. He ended up totally decimating the native population and killed hundreds of thousands of people (indirectly, but still). If I was living in America I would go to work that day just to spite his ass. Matheias, you're quite a religious dude, what have you got with Columbus. He's considered a religious man and all.
     
  6. Iago Gems: 24/31
    Latest gem: Water Opal


    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    0
    Columbus actually was a Genoese and he went first to the leading seafaring country, Portugal, to propose his expedition. But the Portugese had no interest in him, because they had already nearly monopolized the sea-trade with Africa and would later control the sea-trade to Asia.

    So Columbus went to the recently originated kingdom of Castille and Aragon, which just at that time was finishing with the conquest of Spain. They were looking for some ways to compete with the Portugese and Columbus seemed fit.

    And Columbus surely wasn't happy with discovering some obscure Islands in the middle of nothing. His job was to find a way to tab into the wealth of Asia. That he acutally found a new continent, hasn't immediately become clear.

    I can't help it, but maybe this going to change the topic of the thread. But that's tens of millions. And that wasn't only the Spanish and Portugese. And then the slave-trade has to be included, which cost approx. 100 millions Africans their lives.

    [ October 01, 2003, 12:01: Message edited by: Yago ]
     
  7. Khazraj Gems: 20/31
    Latest gem: Garnet


    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,257
    Likes Received:
    0
    Blackhawk, did you hear that the native Americans discovered America even before Colombus in 1492? Strange that...
     
  8. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    4,329
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    11
    I certainly can't blame Native Peoples for clinging to the ancient aspects of their culture - it's all they have left, since that culture was never given the chance to evolve into modern times. It's sad to think of those lost contributions, and how much better modern society could have been if, for example, more of us took to heart the Navajo appreciation for beauty and stillness.
     
  9. Eze Gems: 24/31
    Latest gem: Water Opal


    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    0
    Columbus was such a dolt that he died, thinking that he had reached India.

    Amerigo Vespucci was the chap who figured out that America is not India, but a new continent.
     
  10. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
    Latest gem: Waterstar


    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMHO their way of life would not have changed much. These tribes were in complete harmony with nature and allthough many may look them as barbarians at least for me these guys have reached a level of understanding and cooperation (can't find a better suited word) with nature that west will never, i fear, reach.
    So from a certain point of view they were more advanced than we were/are. And this thing and connection with nature they try to re-establish because our "enlighting" :rolleyes: teaching literally put them out of track.
     
  11. Laches Gems: 19/31
    Latest gem: Aquamarine


    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,128
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a highly romanticized view of the lifestyle of North American Natives.

    It reminds me of the myth of the noble savage.

    [ October 01, 2003, 17:24: Message edited by: Laches ]
     
  12. LKD Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    6,284
    Likes Received:
    271
    Gender:
    Male
    I cling to traditions that date back to before the birth of Christ, so I have no problem with Natives clinging to their traditions. As long as they are not picking my pocket or otherwise infringing on my rights, they can do as they please and they have my full support.
     
  13. Oxymore Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose


    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Weren't native tribes very divided? The more-connected-to-nature thing is beautiful and probably true, but it was easy for conquistadores to ally with one tribe to crush another. Not sure Hurons loved Mohicans very much (just taking two random names here) before Europeans came.

    For the rest I guess I stand close to what Rallymama said.

    P-S: the guys who explored North-America were French, dudes like Cartier, Brulé, de Champlain... mapped the areas around the St-Laurent, Huron lake and the likes.
     
  14. LKD Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    6,284
    Likes Received:
    271
    Gender:
    Male
    The tribes were definitely divided -- they hated each other with a passion, some of them. This idea that the Natives lived in Eden before the evil Europeans is such utter crap. As my History professor put it "when it came to torture, the Europeans had nothing to teach the Iroquois." and the same can be said of warfare and other unpleasant activities.

    Now, there are problems with saying that a particular culture is morally superior to another, unless the critisized culture is Nazi Germany, but the fact is that the Europeans were the TECHNOLOGICAL superiors of the Native groups they met. The defeat of the Natives was unavoidable. This is sad. Yet other cultures in the past have been defeated and forgotten, yet the world somehow keeps turning. I have no problem with Natives trying to keep old traditions alive, but if those cultures disappear, while that is unfortunate, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it -- it's just the way things go in this world sometimes, and I refuse to feel guilt for the actions of my ancestors.

    What burns my butt is when it is implied that our tax dollars should go to keeping these cultures alive. I'd rather see that money go into making jobs for the natives (actually, everyone, for that matter) or improving education or health care. In a world with unlimited resources, great, publicly fund everything, but with limited resources, that money should go to more important things.
     
  15. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    It actually isn't known how many Arawak Indians (the natives of the Bahamas that Columbus subjugated) were on the islands in the first place. Some say less than 1 million, some say more than 8. I used "hundreds of thousands" to be conservative, but the fact remains that a whole lot of Arawaks were slaughtered. By the end, a Spanish noble would think nothing of up and knifing a slave just to test the sharpness of his blade. (Some of you may recognize that as Zinn).

    Now on topic... What should the Natives practice. Their entire culture was destroyed by the settlers. In Canada, we have a serious Native problem. Winnipeg is a ****-hole because much of the Native population don't have jobs and suck the system dry (I'm not trying to be controversial, it's common knowledge). Natives, as a people, have trouble with substance abuse. It's something about their constitution that makes them prone to addiction.
     
  16. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
    Latest gem: Waterstar


    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it? I don't talk about the relationships between the tribes and i do regognize that they were facing many difficulties in order to survive but the fact remains that they at least did respect what was not their to spoil nature.

    Apart from the fact that most drugs and addictive substances were used there long before we discover them, maybe the fact that they are facing a lousy behaviour from many white people and the goverment, the fact that they are torn between two totally different ways of life, the lack of a clear and shiny future for most of them, i say maybe is the reason they look so easily addicted.
     
  17. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    4,329
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    11
    I'm sure that's a major contributing factor, Mithrantir, but there really IS a physical component as well. Many Native Americans cannot tolerate alcohol and become addicted to it more easily than people of other races. I understand that this is also true for some Asians. I knew a brother and sister from Taiwan, and they simply could not consume alcohol. The smallest drink would put either one of them completely under the table.

    Considering that some Native religions use substances in their ceremonies, I wonder if this biological sensitivity to substances is limited to alcohol or extends to other "drugs" as well? I also have to wonder if a long cultural history of substance use hasn't bred a tolerance for them into Natives, leaving them susceptible to others. Could it be that Europeans and their descendants are more tolerant of alcohol because of the long period of history when it was safer to drink beer or wine than water?
     
  18. LKD Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    6,284
    Likes Received:
    271
    Gender:
    Male
    I firmly believe that there is a genetic factor within some groups of people that makes them susceptible to certain things, such as alcohol. This may be the case with Natives, though I don't know of any scientific study that would support this.

    One thing I do know is that under the present system in Canada, Natives feel that they do not have very many opportunities to advance, contribute, and succeed. When a group feels that way, they turn to something to cheer themselves up, and drugs, be they legal like alcohol or illegal like crack, come into play.

    Here's a poem by Mums the Schemer, who plays Poet on HBO's OZ -- I watched it last night and downloaded it this morning. It's about Blacks in the inner city ghetto, but I believe the principles in play are the same. Pardon the language -- this is from OZ, after all!

    Poet: Kidnap the President's wife without a plan
    Kidnap the President's wife without a plan
    Yeah, I got a plan
    It's etched with a knife in the center of my hand
    So I guess I'm gonna have to keep my fist clenched
    Walk around DC in the rain 'til my wares is drenched
    Wait for that motherf***** to take out the garbage
    Do a press conference about what great shape this country in
    And when them welfare cuts gonna begin
    And when he pat his dog and kiss his wife goodbye
    That's when I move in
    I throw that silly ho in a headlock
    I muffle her grill so her screams stop
    I whisper to her, "Your man ain't here to protect you, baby. He gone."
    I dial up my nigger, oh no
    Tell him to meet me with the Caddy on the white lawn
    I toss her in the backseat
    Cover her head with a black sheet
    Put the still in her grill piece
    Be like, "If you don't shut up, I'll gonna do shots off in your dome piece."
    Watch her have fits
    If she don't understand I'm gonna give her a quick lesson in Ebonics
    "I'm a shoot you, baby."
    I take her to my hideout in the low income houses down the street
    I replace her Joan and Davis with purple Reeboks on her feet
    I give her 4 hungry kids, no job, no ambition
    No family support and a last welfare check
    I give her crappy ass Medicaid and a ill type of growth growing out the side of her neck
    I tell her, "Fend for yourself. Keep you in them shorties and proper health."
    After sufficient time on that hype
    I'll introduce her to the crack pipe
    Yeah, I'll let her feel its soothing effects
    As she tries to forget about the absence of them checks
    I'll make her sells her jewels for it
    I make her pay the dues for it
    And then I'll come to her late at night
    And I'll be like, "Yo, everything ain't gonna be all right.
    You ain't gonna be able to go quietly in that good night
    Peace ain't gonna come 'til your death be done."
    And then I'll lead her up to the roof
    And I'll show her all the s*** she don't own
    I'll lead her over to the edge
    And leave her there all alone.
     
  19. Iago Gems: 24/31
    Latest gem: Water Opal


    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's pretty it. Related to it is the European custom of eating on a table, instead of eating on the floor, because the European floor wasn't clean, unlike the floors in the more advanced east. Drinking water was dangerous and the consume of alcoholic bewerage had a lot of advantages. Mainly alcohol kills off many diseases, and kept the drinker healthy, so drinkers had a higher life-expectation. This is today not a issue any longer. But the higher European alcohol-tolerance goes hand in hand with the immuninity to many diseases, which killed Asians and particularly American-Natives by getting in contact with Europeans.

    By the way, I know two people (European) with an unusual low alcohol-tolerance and the effect of alcohol is astonishing different then on me and the usual effect.
     
  20. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,362
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    226
    Gender:
    Male
    Here is an interesting article I read not too long ago in Scientific American. It's nice that you can get this stuff online these days. (But why do I pay for my subscription then? :) )

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000B3718-5941-1F03-BA6A80A84189EEDF&catID=2
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.