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How “Civilized” Were the People of North America Before the Arrival of Europeans?

In: Historical Events

Submitted By blaine
Words 748
Pages 3
The native Americans are usually looked at like savages, slaves, uncivilized people. But nobody ever proved that to be true. Everything written about the Indians from the time before the Europeans came was written by Europeans themselves. As Europeans saw nothing in Indians other then slaves, land owner and savages, they were regarded for only the bad qualities of their civilization and often exaggerated by the hating Europeans
Defining civilization in both the art of living in cities, and being able to satisfy the needs of the culture and tribe of the native Americans, in both prospects native Americans were “civilized”. So were Europeans- they needed gadgets, and they made gadgets, and it was a need of their culture and most of them would be pretty useless for native Americans
Indians were judged for being civilized against their clothes and was behavior. The European culture was to wear clothes covering near the entire body. But Indians didn't need that. They were hunting and it would make their moves tighter if they had to wear everything the Europeans did. Also the climate was very different which also made an impact of the native American clothing. The environment was different-and the civilization was different too – not the stages but the type.
We know that Indians were sorted by different tribes. Each tribe commonly had its permanent house, but the Indians traveled a lot within the continent during the year. The tribes were structured too. There was a chief, who together with his family was the leader of the tribe. There were priests and priestesses who were highly respected. The women in the families did the work at home – making the food, cleaning the house and growing and teaching the children. The men usually went out to hunt or do some other physical work. Once teen boys grew, their fathers would start teaching them to hunt and would take them together for the hunts. Whereas the girls would stay home to learn to cook, clean, etc. The girls later were married to live in the husbands family.
The Indians made good use to land. During the different seasons they would travel from place to place in order to find the best for a certain period – In summer, they went to an area where it was easy to grow props, in winter, when there wasn't as much vegetation left, they would go to a place where you could hunt easier and get all the food you needed.
The native Americans knew very well how to fish, hunt, plant crops, etc to get food all throughout the year. The weapons they used were bow and arrow, war club, spear, fishing spear. The really mastered these and knew how to handle them much better then Europeans who didn't all need to know that as they had farms. The weapons were made out of stone, metal and wood (sometimes). They were decorated with feathers and paint.
To go fishing, as well as the fishing spear the Indians used canoes. They didn't need more land like Europeans so they didn't go out to sea. The went fishing near to the shore and didn't need huge boats to “explore”.
The Indians were even a few steps ahead of Europeans in medicine- they could cure almost any desiease in the human body using traditional medicine- plants, animals, other substances, adding a mix of “magic to it” that would apparently help the spell.
The Indians had pretty simple houses. That was reasoned by the warm climate. They could have built houses as complicated as European if it was requested by the environment. They actually had a few temples with European standards even before Europeans came, which shows they weren't really much behind on architecture.
Talking about temples, the Native Americans actually had some beautiful artwork, which tells you a lot about their culture. It was mainly paintings, sculptures and masks.
To end with, the Indians only wanted peace and were willing to share the land with Europeans The Europeans were the uncivilized ones to take what the Indians offered them, not follow any rules of the treaties they made, pushing Indians out of their own land. Indians should be regarded as to civilized people, and the stereotypes mustn't spoil their image.


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