The Sioux Native Americans have a profound respect for their faith and hold true to their beliefs shown by the sacredness of the Great Mystery’s creations such as nature shown in Standing Bear’s “Nature” as well as Zitkala-Ša’s American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings. Differing from the Native Americans, the European settlers show a variation of different levels of reverence for Christianity and it’s beliefs. The European’s demonstrate a lack of respect for Native American religion shown by the tactical attempts to convert Native American culture to converge with their belief system and practices. However, Native Americans show a lack of respect for Christianity and its beliefs within Mary Rowlandson’s experience as a captive. She uses the Bible to pull her through heart-wrenching and painful experiences from being shot to loosing her daughter against the wishes of her master and mistress. Although the experiences within Native American literature display the importance of religion and devotion to the Native American beliefs and ceremonies, it also shows the presence and effect of religion among the European settlers both respectable and corrupt. Through early American texts such as Standing Bear’s “Nature” and Zitkala-Ša’s American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings, The Native American tribe of Western Sioux Indians display a profound respect for the Great Mystery, the creator of the world and Mother Nature. The Western Sioux tribe had a deep
Casper and Richard O. Davies “Individuals could do nothing about their predestination: God’s grace alone, not good deeds, determined their fates” (Casper and Davies, 17). This relationship between God and the individual would affect the way Puritan colonists’ interpreted individual success as a way of knowing their fate, which separated the rich from the poor, who would not be saved (Winthrop, 18). This idea of individualism would help create the mentality of us vs them, as seen in Mary Rowlandson’s narrative where she views the behavior of the Native Americans as savagery and describes them as “heathens” as lesser beings than herself (Rowlandson, 19). The idea of individualism allows the Puritan colonists to view the Native American behaviors as uncivilized compared to their own, which then they use to interpret their behaviors as favorable to God and the behavior of the Native Americans as demonized or against God. Which then begins to create a view of Native Americans as enemies that hinder the idea of a city upon a hill or a barrier in creating the perfect Christian community. Which in turn creates the conflicts between the colonists and the Native Americans as they attempt to convert them into Christianity as seen with the praying Indians in Rowlandson’s narrative
In American Indian Stories, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London edition, the author, Zitkala-Sa, tries to tell stories that depicted life growing up on a reservation. Her stories showed how Native Americans reacted to the white man’s ways of running the land and changing the life of Indians. “Zitkala-Sa was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition” (back cover) is a great way to show that the author’s stories were based upon actual events in her life as a Dakota Sioux Indian. This essay will describe and analyze Native American life as described by Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories, it will relate to Native Americans and their interactions with American societies, it will
In 1675, New England sees war breakout between Native American and English forces. Over one half of New England’s towns and settlements are rampaged by Indians, and both sides suffer thousands of casualties. However, through the bloodshed and wreckage, one woman lives to tell the story of her capture by Native Americans. Mary Rowlandson, the lucky survivor, spends eleven weeks in brutal captivity, after being seriously wounded and seeing her own child die in her arms. How she survives her experience is nearly impossible to pinpoint directly, but her devotion to her religion can be tied to her method of survival. Rowlandson’s commitment to her religion equips her with a coping mechanism and keeps her thoughts positive during her
Popular culture has shaped our understanding and perception of Native American culture. From Disney to literature has given the picture of the “blood thirsty savage” of the beginning colonialism in the new world to the “Noble Savage,” a trait painted by non-native the West (Landsman and Lewis 184) and this has influenced many non native perceptions. What many outsiders do not see is the struggle Native American have on day to day bases. Each generation of Native American is on a struggle to keep their traditions alive, but to function in school and ultimately graduate.
In her book American Indian Stories, Zitkala-Sa's central role as both an activist and writer surfaces, which uniquely combines autobiography and fiction and represents an attempt to merge cultural critique with aesthetic form, especially surrounding such fundamental matters as religion. In the tradition of sentimental, autobiographical fiction, this work addresses keen issues for American Indians' dilemmas with assimilation. In Parts IV and V of "School Days," for example, she vividly describes a little girl's nightmares of paleface devils and delineates her bitterness when her classmate died with an open Bible on her bed. In this groundbreaking scene, she inverts the allegation of Indian religion as superstition by labeling
When the first colonists landed in the territories of the new world, they encountered a people and a culture that no European before them had ever seen. As the first of the settlers attempted to survive in a truly foreign part of the world, their written accounts would soon become popular with those curious of this “new” world, and those who already lived and survived in this seemingly inhospitable environment, Native American Indian. Through these personal accounts, the Native Indian soon became cemented in the American narrative, playing an important role in much of the literature of the era. As one would expect though, the representation of the Native Americans and their relationship with European Americans varies in the written works of the people of the time, with the defining difference in these works being the motives behind the writing. These differences and similarities can be seen in two similar works from two rather different authors, John Smith, and Mary Rowlandson.
The Indigenous people of America are called Native Americans or often referred to as “Indians”. They make up about two percent of the population in the United States and some of them still live in reservations. They once lived freely in the wilderness without any sort of influence or exposure from the Europeans who later came in the year of 1492, and therefore their culture is very different from ours. The Iroquois are northeastern Native Americans who are historically important and powerful. In the following essay we will discover some differences between the religious beliefs of the Native American Iroquois and Christianity to see if culture and ways of living have an effect on the view of religion, but we will also get to know some similarities. I am going to be focusing on the Iroquois, which are the northeastern Native Americans in North America.
When examining early American history it is commonplace, besides in higher academia, to avoid the nuances of native and colonizer relations. The narrative becomes one of defeat wherein the only interaction to occur is one of native American’s constant loss to white colonizers. It is not to say that the European colonizers didn’t commit genocide, destroy the land and fabric of countless cultures, but rather when looking at history it is important to take a bottom’s up approach to storytelling. We must examine in what ways the native Americans fought English colonization, not just through war, but also through the legal system that was established after the area was colonized.
Throughout the stories told in both Mohawk Saint and The Unredeemed Captive, the unintended consequences of attempting to convert the American Indians to Christianity are powerful players in the unfolding events. When these Christian groups arrived in the New World, they came armed with the word of God that they wished to share among a group of people that have never before encountered the concept of Christianity. While eventually these relationships improved and Christians and American Indians began to have closer contact, there were still results from the conversion process that no one could have expected when the progress had started. In both of these stories, the unintended consequences of the encounters between Christian religious and
The Black Hills are an isolated mountain range rising 3000 to 4000 feet above the surrounding plains of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana (Sundstrom et al. 1996). The importance of this land to the Sioux Nation goes beyond dedication to the place they have lived in for generations. The Lakota creation story itself incorporates the Black Hills in particular as central to their identity as a people. The Black Hills are not only regarded as the birthplace of Sioux culture in religious songs and legends, but as the first place created on Earth—literally the heart of the Earth, which is seen as Mother. Sioux spiritual lore utilizes metaphor both to explain and to embody the thing signified—the Black Hills are the heart of the Earth, and that concept is
Native American literature from the Southeastern United States is deeply rooted in the oral traditions of the various tribes that have historically called that region home. While the tribes most integrally associated with the Southeastern U.S. in the American popular mind--the FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole)--were forcibly relocated to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) from their ancestral territories in the American South, descendents of those tribes have created compelling literary works that have kept alive their tribal identities and histories by incorporating traditional themes and narrative elements. While reflecting profound awareness of
Mary Rowlandson believed the Native Americans were savage, blood-thirsty creatures that were either going to kill or be killed. In her story, she supports her claim by using vivid imagery of a major event that took place during her lifetime. A very interesting quote from Rowlandson’s literature is “It is a solemn sight to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here, and some there, like a company of sheep torn by wolves, all of them stripped naked by a company of hell-hounds, roaring, singing, ranting, and insulting, as if they would have torn our very hearts out” (Rowlandson). This quote uses an incredible amount of imagery and allows the reader to see just how Rowlandson feels about the natives.
There are times when assimilation is not a choice but rather something is forced. In circumstances such as being taken hostage, the ability to survive must come at the price of assimilating one's own customs into another lifestyle. In February of 1675 the Native Americans who were at war with the Puritans obtained hostage Mary Rowlandson of the Plymouth colony. During this time she must perform a role that is uncommon to a colonial woman's way of life so that she may live among them. With the need to survive, how can a person accommodate a second culture? The actions of Mary Rowlandson demonstrate how a person can gain,
Mary Rowlandson’s memoir The Sovereignty and Goodness of God was indeed a compelling, thorough and praise worthy piece of literature. Rowlandson, not only recollected a chapter of her life, she delivered a solid visual of the circumstances during Metacom’s War. Rowlandson being a minister’s wife, a Puritan and pious women, gives us her journey with the Indians. Without any hesitation she narrates the journey she experienced and in the following essay, I will be discussing portions of her journey, and the significance of religion in her life.
Throughout history, and all over the world, mythology has been developed as a way of explaining the unknown and coping with one’s existence. Why does the sun shine? Well, seemingly, to generations past, something is controlling the universe, so there must be a god in charge of the sun and many other natural phenomenon. During the creation of Native American myths, “there was much in the way of free-range food, but hunting wasn't as easy as getting up in the morning, taking a stroll and shooting a few passing bison with your bow” (Godchecker). Times were tough, “even Plains societies who lived off the prolific buffalo fell under the threat of starvation at times” (Godchecker). Finally, “when herds were found, the people were grateful and