posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 12:14 PM
I dont know if this has been said but I will try to put in my two cents.
There seems to be a misunderstanding that native people were a primitive people. This is not true. The problem here is that native people and native
culture is generally seen through western perspective. The western perspective is based on anthropological reports and understandings of the culture.
The problem with anthopology is though that it lacks a true understanding of the culture, its history and its people. Anthropologists generally judge
the cultures they are studying with a westernized view point. Native Americans are one of the most studied people on earth (anthropologically
speaking) because it seems like people are always trying to figure out all their great mysteries.
There are several probelms with this. The first being that as much as you can study and learn, anthropology is mostly about observing and taking notes
and making educated guesses based on observations and facts. Even if you understand the language, you will never understand the people without living
their and learning how to think differently.
The second problem is that although the anthropologists or whoever listen to the stories of the Native people the myths and legends of the people are
generally chalked up to being fairy tales of a primitive peoples. The accepted method is to try to use science to uncover the "truth" (which seems
to always be changing) when it may in fact be right in front of your face in a "myth". I guess it is hard to explain if you dont understand where I
am coming from.
This all affects how native people are seen in this western world. The fact is that Native people are generally always viewed as having been a
primitive people. I even saw some one mention this on the first page of this thread. That assumption is simply NOT TRUE. Native people are or were no
less advanced than any other race. The assumption comes because western thinking means we use western society as a yard stick to measure all other
forms of civilization. This is just plain wrong. It is impossible to measure the achievements of one civilization against another to determine their
place on the evolutionary scale. Im not sure how to describe this but it seems to me on the same line as comparing a chiwawa to a rotweiler. Saying
the rottweiler is more advanced because it is bigger and has larger teeth doesnt mean anything. Civilization is created to adapt and fit into the
circumstances around it. If a people are able to live and function and thrive (which was what was happening on North America before colonization) than
the civilization is exactly where it should be for those people.
People using stone tools, and a hunter gatherer lifestyle as a way to classify a people as primitive may be surprised to learn that the Iroquois
(Haudenosaunee) people of the great lakes area had a system of true democracy set up, including a sort of senate of 50 chiefs. Others knew important
things about agriculture, like crop diversity.
The Bering Strait theory of American population is generally considered by anthropologists NOW to be incorrect. It was originally considered because
people assumed that native peoples were too primitive to be able to use boats or ships, and because if native people were actually not native and just
recent inhabitants than a claim to this land was legit (although im not sure how the original thought of 12,000 years *now greatly disproved* is
I am running out of room but I guess what i am trying to say is people underestimate the accomplishments and history of native peoples because they
dont understand them and refuse to look at the history outside of a white mans eyes.
A final thought is, if a christian says, "Man was made from dirt into flesh by God." people generally let him accept that as his belief. If a native
man says, "My people came from a giant hole in the ground." and he can showyou that hole, his beliefs are still wrong.
[edit on 4-2-2009 by Brainbow]