Different European Groups

Decent Essays

As was the practice of many European groups, kidnap of adolescent native individuals occurred quite often as they could easily remember their native tongue, while learning European languages, becoming valuable interpreters. As can be expected this first contact did not leave a positive impression on the Powhatan people. The second contact occurred on September 10, 1570 when Jesuit missionaries arrived. The Jesuit set up missions along the York River, and demanded food from the local communities. They expected new converts to provide them with resources but unfortunately for them, there was a great droughte that year, meaning resources were lean and people unwilling to abandon their native ways. The missionaries’ principal issue was the Powhatan priests who held a powerful influence over the native people. Their role involved both spiritual and physical health, in addition to holding an important political status within the community. In order for the Powhatan people to reject their own beliefs and follow the Jesuit missionaries, they would have had to demonstrate greater power than they observed in their own priests. If, for example, the Jesuit missionaries had facilitated an end to the droughte and famine the Powhatan may have considered altering their loyalty, but this did not occur. As the Jesuit missionaries were not acquainted with the local customs, their actions appeared to disrespect the Powhatan way of life. From their lack of concern for providing themselves

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