The Importance Of The Native American Culture

Decent Essays
Thesis: Both the Spanish and the Native American’s commitment to tradition shaped the early encounters between the two cultures. The Native American’s drastically different values and rituals led the Spanish to believe that the tribes had immoral views and caused the colonists to attempt to assimilate the native people into Catholicism and a life of servitude. When the Spanish first arrived in California, they were offended by the Ohlone’s fierce loyalty to their rituals and traditions surrounding respect toward the natural world and acceptance of different sexual practices. “Religion was usually closely linked with the natural world on which the tribes depended for sustenance. Native Americans worshipped many gods, whom they associated variously with crops, forests, rivers, and other elements of nature” (Brinkley 6). Many of the rituals performed by the Ohlone tribes centered around nature. The tradition surrounding the respect of nature was of the utmost importance to the natives and served as their religion, something the Spanish did not understand. “It is clearly a dream of great power and, as is our way, when one has such a powerful dream we must do all that we can to make it true” (The Earth on Turtle’s Back 5). In this creation myth, tradition is embodied in the way that the chief says, “as is our way”. He respects his ancestors and the rituals and rules they laid out for their descendents. “The colonists were also simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by some
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