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Native Peoples of North America

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

  1. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Theories attempting to explain Aboriginal substance use patterns:

    1. Historical theories claim Indigenous groups were not socially prepared for the potency of alcohol, without codes or patterns of moderate consumption and use was modeled primarily upon the aberrant, uncontrolled consumption of early frontiersmen.
    2. Biological/genetic/physiological theories claim Indigenous people are biochemically prone to crave and lose control over alcohol and metabolize it at significantly slower rates.
    3. Psycho-social/economic theories purport substance abuse is a coping strategy for forced relocation, broken families, stress, unemployment, poverty, inadequate education, poor health and low self-esteem.
    4. Cultural theories allege transitional or bicultural stress and cultural loss precipitates abuse to the more exotic cultural predisposition to seek "visions" in altered states of consciousness.

    From a lengthy study here.

    To repeat what I had said in a different thread, in Canada, the living conditions and suicide rates on many reserves are horrific; aboriginals can’t really follow their traditional ways, but the reserves aren’t set up to allow them to learn the “white man’s” ways either, so they’re basically left with nothing to do. When they decide to leave the reserves in an attempt to escape the nightmare, they come to the cities, can’t find work (partly because nobody wants to hire a “drunken Indian”, which is the stereotype), and end up on the street, no better off than when they were on the reserve. And even those who have managed to succeed despite the sometimes overwhelming odds against them still face prejudice.

    @ Mystra – to call Winnipeg a ****-hole is an unfair comment (assuming that I know what you meant by ****). Downtown has a problem, but the rest of the city is fine. And while the problems with the downtown certainly put a strain on resources, it’s unfair to say that the aboriginals are “sucking the system dry”; there are other factors as well that are unrelated to the native population.
     
  2. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I would say that by Canadian standards, Winnipeg is a ****-hole. As far as cities go, it's alright i guess.
     
  3. ejsmith Gems: 25/31
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    It's always a really *hairy* subject when you get into culture and conquerers.

    Yeah, Americans wiped out the Indians. We imposed sanctions (wiping out the buffalo), and interred them (onto reservations). You can argue in Natural Selection and Manifest Destiny. You can argue in India and Pakistan, Britain and Palestine, Iraq and Iran. And all the racist names that I dare not list.

    The only thing I can say is the world isn't black and white; Yin and Yang. If it did exist in black and white, America would have nuked North Korea and Russia by now; the Red Mob and No-Dongs and all the other stuff in-between. If we're wrong, what about Alexander the Great? What about Atilla the Hun? Would Cypress still have a north and south if Britain hadn't pushed the Turks back?

    America had a civil war. Britain has had one. Frace, Russia, Japan, Columbia.

    I think it's time for Mexicans and North Koreans and Cubans to figure out their country, rather than escaping to America and China. I think it's time for Iranians and Palestinians and Columbians and Peruvians to figure themselves out, too.

    On a related side note, you can call it the "People's Multi-Cultural Ethnically-Diverse Democracy of Israel". Still doesn't change the fact you have to be a Jew to own land. Or change the fact that there's no North Korean word for "election".

    I wouldn't call it a lie. It's not really a lie if everyone already knows the truth, which comes back to the whole "Grey/Gray" thing.
     
  4. Malaqai Gems: 4/31
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    I wish the "White man" never came to the New world. All Europe gave to the New World was genocide---new weapons and a whole lot o' weapons. I think the world would have been a better place if there was now an Astzec or an Inca state, instead of a countries that are former colonies.
     
  5. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    I agree that there is a genetical factor too but what you describe here happens too to someone i know. One time he tried to take a sip from whiskey cola and we took him to the hospital to take the caffeine shots :sick: .
    @ Ejsmith
    All the above France, Russia, Japan and many many more had more than one civil as well as Britain. America is the only one country with only one civil and practically none other war.
    As for the indians and their fate all i can say is that the damage done to them by our civilisation is so big that i fear it can't be reversed. Furthermore our (to be exact the administrations policy) continuous racist behaviour towards them is not going to stop that easily and it won't be forgotten so easy too.
    These people have been treated like animals (in North America and Central) and have been stripped of almost all rights a human like you and me has.
    I know that this is only a part of the problem but i can't help wondering what would happen if the colonists used a different approach. And something else.
    Not all natives Americans were savages :rolleyes: . The Mayas and the Incas have monuments and sites of archaiological interest, that also a mystery as to how they managed to reach a lever of craftmanship that we reached the last 50 years or so. They have created empires that worked like a clock. As for the easterns they have reached a level of mental excellence that in Europe was reached by few people (not tribes, people). Most of them so, were not savages but they have chosen to evolve in a different field than Europe did. But by the time we met them we could not appreciate and that is our mistake. We just destroyed what was not ours and we felt jealous and could not perceive. :(
    Mmany good things vanished from earth because someone was to idiot to understand that they were valuable, although it was not gold. :(
    Also BTA i don't think that the link you so kindly showed me has too good basis. I can't really understand its purpose. To help us lighten the guild because we make too brutal wars? Well we are supposed to have evolved from that state.
    What else is new? War was always a part of humans because we are creatures of chaos Entropia if you are familiar with this term
     
  6. ArtEChoke Gems: 17/31
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    What guilt? Is there anyone present in this forum that has personally repressed another culture?

    In any case, the article BTA posted points out that just because the Native Americans technology wasn't as advanced as the incoming Europeans, it does not mean they were neccesarily "in harmony with the land."

    In some cases they were hunting large game into extinction. Not very harmonius. I've read something to that effect before in a book called, "Guns, Germs and Steel" which is about this exact topic. In a nutshell, primitive cultures, prior to learning how to raise large animals, had a tendency to hunt them down to the last animal. They didnt' exactly co-exist.

    In addition, many of the tribes were warlike, practiced cannabalism, torture, etc. Not to say that it isn't a tradgedy and a horror to what happened to the race as a whole, but the romanticized veiw of how they lived, doesn't do the situation justice.

    On the original topic, well so what if they haven't changed their customs in 500 years. Look at Christianity, Judaism or Islam, there's some pretty old goings-on in there.

    Its not like the Native Americans decided that modern technology was "of the devil" or anything. Just come to any casino on a reservation for evidence of that.
     
  7. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    I was reffering to the article and the effect it wants to have to the human species IMO, i think you misunderstood me.
    You are forgetting one thing, because this is not happening only to USA but to many other countries as well, well i think this will do for an answer
    And these words have a romantic view of todays world.
    And once again i will say that i do know how these people lived but this does not mean that because they were more straight in the ways they dealed with some situations means they are not noble as you say. Or you mean that because they did not use the same repulsive subterranean ways our society does means they are savages? You want to tell me that when someone steps on the corpse of his co-worker to promote his work instead of his (which by accident is indentical but who cares) is not cannibalism :rolleyes:
    Well i have found this one article from NG that says that cannibalism may was a widespread custom throughout the ancient world but is it something that exists no more? I think not according to this and in some more sites that i don't want to put them here. But if you put the word on google you will find about 248000 results and about 30% of them refer to our modern world. As for torture i won't say a thing since even now torture is a beloved practice to take information from a prisoner or just for fun. And warlike tribes sorry nations can be found even today and with more devastating effects i dare say.
    As for this quote from BTAs link that, again i will say, so kindly provided, i doubt about this point among others.
    They lived by following the flock and hunting for their food. Do you believe that they were so naive as not to notice that small animals (young ones) and the whole life of these mammals? They believed they were reincarnated not planted for heavens sake.
    I think that most of the facts this article presents as a fact are speculations. They found a pot with human leftovers and they whole tribe was categorized as cannibals. Wow imagine that 2000 years from now they find the pot of a psyco with human leftovers or do diggings were his house yard was and find human bones chewed, what should these future people do? Say that we were cannibals or speculate that the phenomenon of cannibalism existed during our time?
     
  8. 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!)

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    You may choose to turn a blind eye to evidence when it runs contrary to your personal worldview, but that does not make the evidence go away.

    The article points to scientific evidence; if you wish to refute it, do not use conjecture, provide evidence.
     
  9. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    One thing that BTA's article does is refute the idea that everything in the Americas was perfect before the coming of the evil white man. The idea that the White's were perfect and wonderful and brought technology, love and culture to the Natives is bunk. By the same token, the idea that the White's came to Eden and destroyed it with their evil technology is also bunk. The fact is, hard as it is for some people to admit it, a technologically superior culture subdued and pretty well subsumed another culture. As I said earlier, that is sad, but life goes on -- they can deal with it, try to preserve what they can of their old traditions, but don't try to guilt me into paying for your cultural resescitation(sp).
     
  10. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    I never said that America was Eden or the native Americans lived a dreamy life all i said is they evolved their technology and culture in a different way than white people did. And they paid it with blood and massacres.
    And BTA they do not provide evidence either they just say a couple of finds and then they generallize it for the whole nation. I never denied the fact that there were these kinds of actions but to say that almost everyone practiced cannibalism or every tribe was warlike or generallization for something we did not see for ourselves is a risky and most of the times a wrong assumption.
    Furthermore i can't accept the label barbarian attached to indians by a member of a race that allthough it pronounce herself noble behaved like a barbarian
     
  11. Laches Gems: 19/31
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    10/8:
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    I think the latter quote is why I thought you may've been going overboard and may be why others may've felt the same way; it looks like you're saying what your first quote says you didn't say, or something close to it at least.

    The fact, imo, is that people are people are people are people. Your view looks romanticized imo because you say, for example, that the Natives "chose" to evolve in a different way than the Europeans. IMO, that isn't the way it works at all. They didn't sit around and 'choose' to evolve in any way in particular, they just hadn't thought of the same things others had.

    Blaming things like war or waste on human nature is fine if that's what you want to do. It seems a tad gloomy to me but at least it's an equal opportunity angst fest. However, to blame all of these things, or even some of them, on one culture (and you've seemed to pick Europeans in this example) is over the top in my opinion. People are people are people are people.
     
  12. 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!)

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    Well, let's see... did you read the same article I did?

    Right there. 186 societies were analyzed for this conclusion. Year and author of the study provided.

    There. The article cites a book and author. If you wish more detail than the article gives, you have the source that was used.

    Again, a book and author cited for conclusions. If you want verification or more detail, you have the source.

    This was a short article that provided a summary of conclusions to support the author's premise. Many sources for the information that was used for the conclusions were given for the inquisitive to either get more detail, or to verify. What more do you want?
     
  13. Manus Gems: 13/31
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    I'm not entering into this argument too deeply, and I have no idea of the present times compared to the past (where the majority of my knowledge lies) but they did in fact choose to evolve in a seperate manner.

    There is an old native american prophesy, which spoke of a branch that runs throughout mankinds history; On one side lies harmony with nature, shamanistic mysticism, the old bonds, and 'magick' on the other; an ever-increasing reliance upon tools (read, machinery, technology etc.) and wealth, and the deterioration of the human as a power within itself. This second path led to a gloomy fate for those who follow it, and the annhilation of life.

    They also had beliefs that it was wrong to mine, to take what was not offered up to them on the surface, to take more than was immediately needed from plants and trees, and yes, animals -and they asked permission of their local spirits before slaying any. Also, many animals do become extinct all on their own, just as some races of people seem to just fade away. With the example of the buffalo that was previously used, this was hunted for a long time by larege groups of people before the settlers came and demolished the herds.

    Now the tribes from "South America" had huge social advancements - let alone their building skills - and to such a level that they still have not recovered the wealth and population which they once had. Everyone had what they required in terms of an abundant and diverse supply of food, clothing, and simple tools for everyday life, and to fault these advancements because they didn't want anything else (according to their records, which I admit, may be propoganda by the ruling families, but was also supported by the spanish conquistadors), to say these advancements were unimportant due to the "lack" in other areas is an empty claim.

    I know that these tribes fought amongst each other, but usually (especially in the case of the Incans, Mayans, Aztecs and the like) the tribes ended up being integrated into a larger tribe in which both former groups prospered, and they didn't fight anywhere near to the extent of magnitude or brutality of some of the European groups (Caesar was reknowned for ordering the slaughter of all women, children, elders, and prisoners in his wars against the gaelic and germanic tribes).

    Also, the cannibalism by the northern groups was ritualistic and very limited - upon a victory or initiation of a certain member, a small portion of flesh was ingested to consume the warriors strength and vigour, believe it or not it was a sign of respect for a fallen opponent, and this was by no means limited to these particular racial groups, almost every race on earth has at some point either practiced ritual cannibalism or blood sacrifices.

    Now I do not doubt that not everyone followed this creed as strictly as others, nor do I try to place these tribes as superior to others, people are people as Laches has stated.

    Nor do I in anyway accuse the settlers of anything more than fullfilling a role - we all have a part to play. And I also do not condone the behaviour nowadays of anyone based solely upon questionable actions in the past. As has been stated elsewhere, this culture spoke of no-longer exists as a large body, and the people who belong to any race such as this can choose to follow any ancient beliefs they like, but I draw the line the same place I would with any race.

    This being said, the continuation of the way of life so many westeners and an ever increasing portion of these other groups- like to lead is in direct contradiction to these beliefs, which leaves everyone in a quagmire, especially since you can't just pack-up and leave as the people themselves, along with the land, are forever changed - to try to recreate the past would be fatal, but this does not mean that a new future cannot be forged based upon those principles which existed in every culture for longer than most people are even aware that such a thing existed itself. This is not the native American Indian culture specifically, but definate strands of these ideals can be seen in it, as they can be seen in every other, even today, albeit to a smaller extent - but it is the fourth round right?

    I hope I haven't stood on any-one's toes here, and I'm in no way trying to give a definate answer for todays situation, just trying to clarify the past a little better, something I care for a lot more than most of what goes on these days ... except computer games of course :)

    Edit- I posted this before I saw the latest by BTA, so, the above does not refer to it. I think I am still correct however, as the impact upon the environment- whatever the assumed reasons for it -which do not take into account the fact that lesser levels of technology and economy were in themselves concerted efforts- was still lesser.

    As to the wars, I don't know. Perhaps they may have been as bloody as Europes, though I still hold reservations towards this, but the after-effects were vastly different. A lot of the original societies in Europe were destroyed in the same manner as elswhere, the difference being it was the same people who did the destroying in both places, within Europe or without- for example, there was a lot of in-fighting in the germanic/scandinavian and Celtic and Gaelic tribes, but these were eventually destroyed mostly by the Romans. It is ironic that many of the survivors here chose to emulate instead of resist their conquerors , and in turn the English and Spanish (Spain was settled by a germanic tribe originally) after the self-destruction of Italy, continued the legacy.

    That's all in the past however, I make no comment on present day countries. (Even though to this day in the UK, Celtic and Gaelic groups still exist, and the resistance (allthough pitiful) continues!) Vive la resistance!

    Edit #2 - I just thought I better say that I'm not dismissing what has been said by Blackthorne and Laches most recently (as I don't think what I have said conflicts with most of the earlier posts, most of which I agree with), but that despite these facts, the groups in question were civilised and very advanced in certain areas, allthough they were superced in many, and were also usually not even the best (overall) in their own area of expertise. I fully assert that the Ancient Europe, Middle East, Egypt, and Asia were profoudly ahead in all facets of life, but that modern day europe (and indeed, most other places if not by the time of the american colonisation then by now) had lost some of it's former splendour. Indeed, the ones who acted with true savagery at the time were the invaders, not the natives.

    So Again, I'm not saying that either group was ever definately superior, but that there was worth in these conquered people, and it should not be so readily dismissed.

    [ October 08, 2003, 18:05: Message edited by: Manus ]
     
  14. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    "Not entering it too deeply"? That's one of the longest posts I've ever seen! :)

    I hope I never came across as believing there is nothing of value in Native cultures. It's just that they have been defeated and subsumed, and yet .... the world keeps turning. The Etruscans, the Celts, the ancient Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Hittites are only a few of the cultures that are pretty well gone from the face of the earth. That's a pity, and those cultures have influenced their descendants, but they are gone, and I'm not keen on breaking my neck and paying money to revive them. If someone wants to spend his time looking for them, go for it, but I'm not paying for it!
     
  15. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    I think then that you (plural) are prejudged to me and to my motives as far as i see it. The first quote is true and you and i know it they were better adapted to nature than Europeans were/are/will ever be. But this does not mean they lived a dreamy life. Adaptation to something does not mean better life but better reflexes, at least that is the way i perceive it. If i am wrong, according to your beliefs and understandings, what can i say i had different expierences and this means i have a different understanding of how things work, next time i will try to think like you and translate my words to something you understand.
    When you evolve you don't sit around and try to choose you have to make one really simple and difficult at the same time choice (which reveals itself fully on later stages). Adapt yourself to the surrounding enviroment or adapt the enviroment to yourself. And that my friend is a choice not necessarily a concious one but still a choice. So from my point of view they chose as we did or at least our/their ancestors did.
    And who was more evolved in the fields they chose i tell you this. They had reached a level in architecture, surgery, engineering, mathematics and astronomy that we reached during the last 50 or less years. A small example is this
    As for who is to blame for wars and in generall everything bad occurs in this Earth i cannot help blaming our chaotic human nature and the instict of self (at start) and society (later) persevation. We are the ones with the capability to change the enviroment to fit our needs. We are the ones who decide that we need more space/resources we make these wars happen so who should i blame, God? You say it is angst i say it is facing reality. The doctor you visit when you are ill, can't cure you unless he is able to diagnose the disease and the root of that disease. My remark was not gloomy it is an effort to identify the problem and try to solve it. I did not say we fight a lost battle, i say we turn a blind eye to this battle. People are people, well people are not perfect and in fact they are way too behind that state. We must see the mistakes of the past and try to not repeat them to become perfect is almost impossible to become better is possible if you want. People are people that is gloomy and angst fest.
    As for this particular event of history i am trully sorry, because i am a member of the Europeans too, but they did all these attrocities and destructions not the natives. I understand that most of them were criminals and thieves but there were some in there (priests who had studied sort of speak) who could prevent this happen but instead they encouraged its destruction because it was heretical therefore evil.
    They did this for one purpose only gold. The concistadores saw gold in that new land and decided it should be theirs, so they reached their hands and made their grabs without considering how they could do that without hurting anyone. And again i am ashamed for this.
    Anyway too much said about this. All i can say that there and in other continents where the white people set foot, havoc followed. In Japan they forced the Europeans out, because of their bad habit to have it their way or destroy it.
    And BTA i want to say something on the this review for the book The ecological Indian with just two quotes posted here
    I at least never imagined that primitive people lived a happy life with peace and stuff like that. Hell every guy who reached 35 in ancient times was considered old. Did you know that? I do and i know furthermore that these guys were so brutal that even the worst criminal of today would lose his colour if he was to face one of these guys. But they lived in a more dangerous world than we do.I said, and this only i defended, that these natives were closer to nature and more ecologists than we are now, even subconciously as the article says or unwillingly as it implies. Well we are conciously destroying it. So they still are better than us, as far as it concerns ecology.
    The summary of all this spamming is that there were civilizations there that were worht more respect than the one Europeans gave. And this decreases our stature not theirs
     
  16. 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!)

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    This is the part I don't understand. What makes you think they were "more eclologists than we are now"? Are you saying merely that they de facto caused less harm to the environment than we do today? If so, I have no arguement; but if you're saying that they are better than us because they intentionally caused less harm to the environment, then the study by Bobbi Low mentioned above and in the article tends to show otherwise.
     
  17. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    Before i write my previous post i tried to find the study of Bobbi Low (strange name for a woman btw i thought she was a man) but i could not find it. I checked as many links as i could find and nothing just a remark of this study in her CV. All the rest was at her work "Why sex matters".
    As for the intentions of the people of the past i can't say nothing but de facto even because of their technology if you want to put it this way they did produce less pollution than we do. I hope i have answered your question :)
     
  18. Silverwolf86 Gems: 6/31
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    *sigh* I find this all a touch long-winded and more than a little insane on the part of some people who don't know all their facts so I will clarify things. Oh and both Manus and ejsmith were in the right. Ejsmith about it not being black and white but very very gray. And Manus in the majority (if not all) of his facts and knowledge. So I will try to shorten this a touch with some basic guidelines of facts I've gleaned from years and years of living in America and being force-fed TONS of info on the American tribes (and all the info I looked up on my own out of my own interest)

    1. The Aztecs were brutal, even a touch more so than Ceasar because their religion dictated mass victim sacrifices to appease their Gods. (I don't know the exact numbers, I know they once found an account listing one particular bloodbath after the Aztecs had conquered a new tribe but I don't know the specific numbers somewhere around 20,000 I believe but I'm not sure -- points to anyone who can get me a link to an exact number) Anyone ever read the Belgariad? David Eddings took the method of the Grolims sacrifices to Torak straight from the Aztecs. That's right, they bent their victims on their backs over a large stone (in their temple) and cut out the heart with a ceremonial knife and burned the heart on special ceremonial coals. Harsh, wouldn't you say? Now you might say, well the Egyptians did similar things and some Eastern cultures would bury servants alive with their dead masters but my answer to that is that these people were alive when it happened, right until their heart stopped beating in their chests. And they also had to watch it happen to everyone else before them. Especially since their were four VERY long lines running up to the temple due to it's design.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm fascinated with the Aztecs and yes they carved out their own little empire in Central America -- like Ceasar in the Roman Empire. But there were differences. When the Romans conquered an area they might kill anyone they had to or anyone who got in their way, including kids. And they might take slaves and require tributes (cough taxes) but they also brought some advancement to those said civilizations in the forms of literature and new defenses. The people conquered by the Romans also benefitted in and odd way. The people conquered by the Aztecs: not so much. The Aztecs were not more fully evolved by ways of literature, science, mathematics, philosophy. . . They were simply far more aggressive, ruthless and had the right amount of weapons and training. When a Native tribe was conquered by the Aztecs it was generally massacred and every year it had to send more of it's memebers to be sacrificed.

    2. The Mayans and Incans however, were not quite so brutal as the Aztecs and more on par with the Romans if you will. They had literature, sciences, architecture, and in short culture. When a tribe was conquered by the Mayans or Incans they were not completley massacred and did benefit culturally. -- No need to press that further.

    3. Not all the North American tribes were at constant war. The Iroquois of what is now the East Coast of the U.S. had banded together and formed a pretty stable government. However, most of the Native tribes DID war with one another. Be they Incans, Hurons or Cherokee. (By the way the Hurons were also known as the Wyandot and originally inhabited the area around Ontario and were dreadful enemies with the Iroquois, which may be why the Iroquois allied together.)

    4. Despite their constant inner warring, the Native Americans did have peace with nature. The water wasn't polluted and they could freely drink of the rivers and streams (without getting sick.) And they fished and hunted and yet never so much so that it depopulated an area. See, whatever you might believe, the Native Americans did grasp a certain concept -- overpopulation. Certain members of the buffalo herds would starve anyways so if the Native Americans hunted a few members and used them for meat, skins, fur, and bone tools and jewlry (and yes they used ALL of the carcass) then the herd would not be affected. It'd stay in balance. But if they overhunted the buffalo. . .

    5. Another thing, the Native Americans also understood not to waste things. They did not need to have the copious amounts of landfills America has now. Granted, the Natives did not have the manufacturing or factories either. But is that good or bad? The manufacturing leads to more comfortable livestyles, a stable economy and that in itself creates societary improvements, including that of hospitals, medicine, libraries, science, universities etc. But it also causes pollution, and the overhunting of certain species and the destruction of habitats. For instance, The Great Lakes. They are EXTREMELY polluted, all due to the manufacturing around there. Manufacturing the the Native Americans protested.

    6. As for Columbus discovering America... Yes he thought it was the Indies (not so much India but Japan because he was along the latitude Japan is supposed to be at) but several explorers quickly caught on and realized it was a new continent with different resources than that of the Indies, but still probably useful ones. This led to the European discovery of the Americas, and while inevitable, Columbus WAS a catalyst. As for Leif Erickson and the Vikings? They did reach Iceland, and even parts of Canada, but didn't share their knowledge with the rest of the European world and after them it was another 3 centuries before anyone successfully went out that way (so far as we know) As for Columbus killing Millions of people. . . :rolleyes: While I think Columbus was a bit a fool and a probably a jackass, he certainly wasn't a mass murder on par with Hitler. And if you want to bring slavery into it; the huge amounts of slavery derived from the plantations and mass production of things. Originally the settlers that came to South America after the conquistadores enslaved the locals to do their work. (The Spanish believed that they were holy and racially superior to the natives) But several monks thought this was a bit cruel and in attempts to find alternative ways suggested using African slaves/indentured servents. Of course once there became a mass market for African slaves those particular monks deeply regretted that decision. . . Oh and that reminds me, the Spaniards were in the Americas long before the French and affected more Native tribes and area. Also the Spanish conquered and set up missionaries to spread Christianity but the French had a more trade-based relationship with the Natives and so for this reason warred far less with them and even got the Natives to ally with them against the English settlers (French-Indian war) So I guess you could say that the French were the least responsible for drastically changing the Native's lifestyles in America. Anyways, so yes, the Europeans destroyed the Native's lifestyles. But they also brought with them some certain good things. (Like freedom from mass sacrifices)

    7. Last point I promise, (I know this is getting insanely long even though I'd meant to keep it short and sweet) As for the Native Americans trying to retain their old lifestyles. . . Well let me say this: Before the arrival of the Europeans the Native Americans had more or less kept the same lifestyle for perhaps thousands of years without any drastic changes. Well the North American tribes anyway. As previously mentioned, the major Central and South Americans (I'm actually including the Mexican Aztecs in that despite Mexico being part of North America) actually did come up with sciences and certain pieces of technology.

    So to Reepnorp's: 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.
    I'm honestly not so sure that's true. In fact I highly doubt it. The Native Americans lived a lifestyle they thought was pretty cool (I think it was pretty cool too) and so they had no need of changing it drastically. They more or less had what they wanted and no cataclismic thinkers to start scientific revolutions. I honestly think that if the Europeans hadn't discovered the Americas for another 500 years, they wouldn't have found the tribes much differenct unless the Aztecs began conquering their way into the North American forests....

    And as for the Native Americans continuing their old lifestyles, *shrug* it's their culture and it was all they knew for a very a long time. I'm actually all for them trying because as previously mentioned, they DO have a hard time coping in the world outside the reserves. For prt genetic, part sociological reasons. But in the end I think if the world actually lasts that long then there will eventually be no more solid races. It will be all intermingled to one. Just like how in the Xanth novels the humans tend to fade out into crossbreeds without reinforcements from Mundania. Same deal. I like diversity, but I think it'd be pretty neat to see the world in say another 1000 years where the races aren't really distinguishable anymore.

    Oh and lastly, my political beliefs: As I said I'm all for the Natives trying to continue previous lifestyles and I think that modern day people could learn A LOT from it. (Animal preservation, environmental balance, NOT polluting the resources you need to live. . .) But also I think if the Native Americas were able to pull themselves together and completely avoid the traps in today's society, they could also learn a lot and contribute a lot. As for the Europeans being wrong in conquering the Americas? *shrug* It's all gray. They were both right and wrong in doing so. And ditto on the their intentions. Some wanted to convert the blood-thirsty Aztecs to Christianity (which I'm for) and others simply wanted their gold (which of course was greed and evil.) So in the end you can debate the good and bad to both ends of the situation until face turns blue but it won't matter much because it was inevetible and it's completely unchangable. But I'm all for the Native Americans setting up casinos on their preservations ;) -- that was part of the adjusting to today's world I was talking about.
     
  19. Laches Gems: 19/31
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    Just to clarify, you're then denying the Scientific American article and the studies cited therein?:

    BTA quoted this earlier, and I think it sums up my view:

    People are people are people are people.

    We're not ecologists because we mine. Manus said the Natives didn't mine because they believed it was wrong. Well, that's just not true. The Anishnabe (Chippewa or Ojibwa) Odawa (Ottawa), and others who probably spoke the Algonkian languages had copper mines around the Lake Superior basin. Now, these mines didn't do the damage that some of the more modern strip mining did but not having the same technological ability doesn't equal being ecologically sensitive in my book.

    The Native's rivers were cleaner but they still crapped in them upstream and let their neighbors downstream have a taste. Not having reached the point of chemical manufacturing doesn't mean you're ecologically sensitive imo.

    I agree with BTA. If all you mean by 'being one with nature' is they did less damage, well okay, but then that doesn't say much for 'being one with nature.' By that standard, despite the growth in enviornmentalism today we're, as a society, less ecologically sensitive than the cave men who could barely speak or, well, a group of slugs for that matter.

    Don't get me wrong, I think aspects of some of the Native cultures were cool. Hell, I've got 5 Tlingit and Haida inspired tattoos as I type. But people are people and all cultures destroyed stuff throughout history - just some are more efficient than others.

    Edit to add some of how others think these romantic conceptions come about:

    and:

    and I'd also like to add:

    I agree that Natives were people. They aren't and weren't less than other people. But they weren't more either.

    [ October 10, 2003, 23:22: Message edited by: Laches ]
     
  20. ejsmith Gems: 25/31
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    @Silverwolf86

    Dude. That's one hell of a rant.

    But it's a good one. History++;
     
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