Free Native American Culture Essay Sample
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Human culture is one of the ever changing phenomena in every part of the world. While there are distinct cultures in different parts of the world today with distinct characteristics, most of these cultures are not pure i.e. they have been contaminated by other cultures around through cultural integration. As a result, majority of cultures around the globe are generic in the sense that they have evolved from the interacting relationship between them and other foreign cultures that have settled in their territories. Among the cultures that have been affected are those of the Native Americans and those of the European settlers who found a home in the New World, i.e. Americas.
To begin with, the Native Americans lived in social families either in towns, villages or in small social groups such as clans and families. Many of these social groups spoke hundreds of different languages. However, it is important to note that some of the Native Americans did not settle and instead built semi permanent houses as they kept on moving from one place to another to fish, hunt and collect wild fruits, leaves and roots that were used as their food. It is argued that their economic activities kept on changing with farming especially in maize as one of their activities as they began to be civilized. It is also believed that some of these cultures had a systematic form of chiefdom government that was organized in such as that there were able to record their history and culture. However, when the European settlers came to Americas, they destroyed much of this work and there are only a few pieces of writing that has been preserved in museums (Hodges and Inc Educational Design 74).
The Native Americans also had certain rituals among them that were passed from one generation to another through intermarriage and trade. These rituals include dealing with the dead. Different Native American cultures had different ways of treating their dead. Since they believed that when a person died he became a spirit and influenced the lives of the remaining people, some either buried their dead in furnished tombs, some left them in ice that they may be devoured by wild animals while others still practiced burial of secondary bones (Advameg, Inc). Similarly, the Native Americans had different gods whom they worshiped. However, it must be understood that their worship of gods depended on the environment that surrounded them. For example, those that lived near the sea were worshipers of sea gods while those that lived on the mountains worshiped mountain gods.
However, the arrival of the European settlers in the new world changed the whole setup of the Native Americans. First, the Native American culture was suppressed by the European settlers as they sought to colonize the Americas. Therefore, these Natives were restricted from practicing their culture, a factor that led to the eroding away of their original culture. For example, the European settlers tried on many occasion to restrict the language of the Native Americans from being talked. According to Nosotro (2010), the European settlers who were Christians worked on different ways of converting the Native Americans from their original religion to Christianity. The flooding of the European settlers into Americas also caused tension both among the Native Americans and the Europeans. They both viewed each other with suspicion. The Native Americans believed that their land would be taken away and their religions and way of life completely destroyed. On the other hand, the Europeans thought that their coming to the Americas would one day result in chaos as the Native Americans tried to protect their land and way of life. As a result, each one of them strengthened their military power in preparation for the uncertain future.
The reintroduction of the horse in the Americas by the Europeans served as an advantage to the Native Americans who increased their mobility and speed at which they moved. Their hunting efficiency was also improved greatly. However, the Europeans also came with diseases that wiped out large populations of the Native American. Most of them died as a result of failing to understand how these diseases could be controlled and the treatment that needed to be administered. Among the diseases that destroyed many of them is measles. Similarly, when the war broke out between the European settlers and the Native Americans, most of them were killed leaving some communities either extinct or with very small populations (Hodges and Inc Educational Design 70).
The discovery of the Americas by the Europeans did not affect the Native Americans alone. Other parts of the world were affected. Among the affected areas include Africa, whose people were sold as slaves to go and work on plantations in the Americas as the Europeans had found it favorable for farming and needed a supply of manpower. There was also a tremendous migration of the Europeans who settled in different parts of America. This created a new culture that was an integration of the Native American culture and the culture of the settlers. Among the cultures that were as a result of integration of different culture is Cajun that resulted from intermingling of the French and the Native Americans (Auslander 43).
The discovery of the Americas by the European settlers has contributed to a rise of some of the most powerful nations on the face of the earth. However, there are revolutions that these nations has gone through, some of which resulted in violation of human rights and strangling of the original cultures that were there in the Americas. It also worth to note that the culture of the settlers too was impacted in a way and there were emergency shifts that required the settlers to adapt to in order to survive and continue with their course.