Native Essay

Submitted By Natty-Nat
Words: 2191
Pages: 9

Savages and the Virgin Forest Belief
Beliefs play a detrimental role in the history of colonizing the Americas. Historical evidence suggests that around two thousand Native American cultures and languages were practiced in the America’s. The explorers did not take that into consideration because they could not understand the early inhabitant’s foreign language, influencing the belief that these inhabitants were savage like or heathens. The lack of misunderstanding can be blamed for the barbaric image that explorers used to explain Native Americans in their journals. Unfavorable and favorable images encouraged biased beliefs of the explorers. Whether the forest was un touched or filled with vegetation, whether the Native American’s were intellectual humans or shameless barbarians, the explorers had one mission in mind. Christopher Columbus believed that the land they set out for was the holy lands. Invading foreign lands over and over again justified all in the name of Christ. These beliefs caused upheaval and wars for several hundred years. When explorers destroyed these humans, they had to look good in doing so. In order to justify these actions. It was essential that explorers convince their own people that there were no philosophers or intellectuals in this newly “discovered” holy Land. How they conquered the America’s is essential when understanding the mass genocide committed by early explorers. How to conquer the land is answered by the crusader, the answer was warfare. It is assumed that the conquistadors spilled more blood than any group of individuals ever spilled up to that time and would be quite a contest if you know the history before that time.1 History suggests that the conquistadors felt they had to dehumanize their victims of the conquest. The first inhabitants of America were not humans in the eyes of many explorers, they were savages. Modern scholars identify the conquest as the birth of racism2. It was the first time that arguments were put forth in the courts portraying Native Americans commonly as heathen like savages, that were biologically inferior to man. In the eyes of explorers, these people were more beasts of burden3. The beliefs of the explorers can be held accountable for the mass genocide that Native Americans endured. This interpretation of Native peoples granted them a western identity that would shape the way generations of explorers would respond to this culture of Native people in the Americas. Since the original inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere neither called themselves by a single term nor understood themselves as a nation, the idea and image of the Indian was created for the white man4. It is easier to group an estimated of 2000 different languages and culture into one entity in order to educate a Holy nation of people who do not question authority for fear of being killed. It was easy to brain wash Europeans that in the past has perpetrated mass killings in the name of their biased beliefs.
Columbus gave Europeans the first negative conception of the Native peoples. The bad image he portrayed of the Indian suggests a hellish creature, who eat human flesh. The ambiguity of the word “Indian” associated all of the first inhabitants of the new world as savages, depraved ones at that. This image suggested that all “Indians” were cannibalistic monsters which was rather unfair. The people of the Americas were tribal and all very different from one another. Amerigo Vespucci provided Europeans with vivid details about Native Americans. In his descriptions of Native American men and women European biased are very clear. Amerigo Vespucci is dismayed by the lustful women, the facial piercings, and most of all the cruel killings and “wars without art or order. ” This description was the first of many descriptions that would damage the reputations and identity of the Native peoples. The new printing press in Europe encouraged the unfavorable image of the Indian. The image developed in