Abenaki Indians as Environment

773 WordsOct 8, 19994 Pages
Many people are under a false impression that early Native Americans are the original environmentalists. This is an impression that many people share. The Abenaki tribes that resided in Maine from 3700 BP were not by our traditional definition, environmentalists. In fact they were far from ecologically sound. This paper is meant not to criticize the Native Americans of the age, but to clarify their roles in the environment. To better understand this subject some background is needed. The Abenaki People of the Northeast led a non-permanent exististance based mostly on the seasonal flux in the region. The area of land now referred to as Maine especially. Maine has always had abrupt seasons and the Abenaki used these seasons to their…show more content…
They used what is known as a diffused substinance pattern. By this we mean that by using resources available to them lightly as opposed to intensely using the same resources, they were conserving for the future. These tribes would spiritualize nature. In this culture everything was significant. They held reverence for the environment and a strong kinship with nature. Often these people observed respectful guidelines to avoid spiritual retaliation. For instance, the bones of the beaver would be returned to the river where it had been trapped. This was believed to keep the beavers there plentiful. As you can clearly see the early Native Americans culture regarding the surrounding ecosystem would probably horrify many ecologists upon first look, but perhaps if we look deeper we can learn a truer meaning to the idea of environmentalism. If we plan to sustain the resources of the earth for our children we must find a balance and end the selfish taking of resources. We can learn much from this
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