- May 24, 2020
Indigenousor Native Americans have an extensive history and background thatremains inconclusive. According to the American AnthropologicalAssociation, Africans migrating out of Africa into Asia settledaround 20,000 years ago[ CITATION Flo16 l 1033 ].Native Americans migrated in the New World in three waves.According to the history, the North and the South America were nothabited until the first arrivals from Siberia into Alaska. Theinitial American wave commenced more than 15,000 years ago, from Asiainto the North and South America[ CITATION Gle09 l 1033 ].The migration was halted by the Ice Age glaciers and resumed fromSiberia. The Eskimo-Aleut population and the Na-Dene languagespeaking Canadians were the two surges that initiated migration.
Contactwith other ethnic groups
Thefirst Paleoamericans spread throughout the America, diversifying intonumerous culturally distinct tribes and nations. There is stilldebate concerning the timeframe, routes, and the model of themigration. Archaeological studies indicate that remnants of humansettlement in Chile, Monte Verde, dated back over 12, 500 years[ CITATION Gle09 l 1033 ].However, some recent studies show American Aborigines might have beendisplaced or assimilated by the Siberian immigrants. According toscholars, the estimate of America population before contact with theEuropean differs from 10 million to 112 million[ CITATION Gle09 l 1033 ].However, one of the major things agreed upon is that the nativepopulation resided in Mesoamerica and South America, with nearly 10percent residing in North America.
Conflictwith other ethnic groups
Thecontact and colonization of the Americans had a significant impact onthe culture and bloodlines of the indigenous people. The nativepopulation faced social problems such as warfare, disease outbreaks,and slavery. The primary culture that Columbus encountered was theTainos of the Hispaniola, dominant in the Greater Antilles and alsothe Bahamas[ CITATION Flo16 l 1033 ].The widespread of diseases in America led to the loss of thousandslives moreover, conflicts arising from European soldiers resulted inthe enslavement of most of the Native Americans. Most cultures wereextinct, with only 500 surviving by the year 1550[ CITATION Flo16 l 1033 ].On the other hand, indigenous tribes in Amazonia weathered centuriesof persistent colonial insults.
TheNative Americans did not have a definitive culture that can beidentified as a uniting factor among the people. Across all thetribes and nations, various cultural patterns existed among theAmericans. Cultural practices and norms were mostly shared based ongeographical boundaries. For instance, Mesoamerica is one of thecultural areas where the millennia of coexistence and mutualdevelopment resulted in a homogenous culture of sophisticatedagricultural and social patterns. Additionally, the North Americapopulation in the Great Plains areas shared traits of nomadism andhunters and gatherers foundational on buffalo hunting.
Onthe other hand, Native Americans did not have a universal religion orspiritual system. According to the history, Native Americans religionand spirituality comprised of stories including creation myths. Mostof the Native Americans cultures and tribes did have traditionalhealers, mystic, ritualists, and lore-keepers among others. Most ofthese religious practices were recognized as forms of spiritualityrather than religion though both terms could, sometimes, be usedinterchangeably[ CITATION Flo16 l 1033 ].The spirituality of the Native Americans focused on maintaining ahealthy and harmonious relationship with the spirit realm. Thesespirituality or religious practices were accomplished throughceremonial acts such as sand painting. However, asEuropean settlers progressed in America, they brought inChristianity. On the other hand, missionaries brought Catholicism,specifically in the South America.
Awidely-held myth or misconception, how do we know this is a myth? Whyis this myth so difficult to abandon?
NativeAmericans have been associated with various myths and different formsof common culture. Regrettably, most people identify them with theaforementioned popular culture thus a wide misconception and errorsabout the Native American are epitomized. For instance, NativeAmericans want to be called “Native American.” However, the termNative American is widely rejected by most actual natives[ CITATION Gle09 l 1033 ].In places like Canada, they use “first nations,” which is lessoffensive, to refer to the Americans. On the other hand, the NativeAmericans are depicted as war-hungry savages. The stereotype of the is highly identifiable with the bow and arrow,tomahawk, and feathers in the hair.
Unlikethe stereotype, Native Americans are recognized to be such calm andpeaceful people. The only tribes that resulted in war were the oneswho came across European, the colony. The European colonizationbrought instability in the region as native populace protected theirlands from the invading Europeans. Some of these myths are sodifficult to forget and abandon because they have been transferredfrom generation to the other over the years[ CITATION Flo16 l 1033 ].The misconception and image created about the Native Americans havestuck in the minds of people, thus proving it hard to abandon. Theabove-mentioned myths are known to be true regarding the AmericanAmericans. Despite the fact that the Native Americans wore feathersand carried bow and arrows did not qualify to label them aswar-hungry savages.
Flook, C. (2016). Native Americans of East-Central Indiana. New York: Arcadia Publishing.
Glenn, E., & Rafert, S. (2009). The Native Americans. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society.