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Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?

 
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 05:48 PM
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Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
[link to www.scientificamerican.com]

The approach of Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday, has me brooding over recent scientific portrayals of Native Americans as bellicose brutes. When I was in grade school, my classmates and I wore paper Indian headdresses and Pilgrim hats and reenacted the "first Thanksgiving," in which supposedly friendly Native Americans joined Pilgrims for a fall feast of turkey, venison, squash and corn. This episode seemed to support the view—often (apparently erroneously) attributed to the 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau—of Native Americans and other pre-state people as peaceful "noble savages".

As I've pointed out previously, prominent scientists now deride depictions of pre-state people as peaceful. "Contra leftist anthropologists who celebrate the noble savage," the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker wrote in 2007, "quantitative body counts—such as the proportion of prehistoric skeletons with ax marks and embedded arrowheads or the proportion of men in a contemporary foraging tribe who die at the hands of other men—suggest that pre-state societies were far more violent than our own." According to Pinker, the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes "got it right" when he called pre-state life a "war of all against all."
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 05:49 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
A lot.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 05:56 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
My ancestory is partly Iroquois. My tribe actually ate other tribes. We dominated the Eastern Seaboard from Virginia to Maine to Michigan to Tennessee. They were made up of 5 main tribes and if you didn't assimilate you were killed or driven off. It wasn't like this as much in most other areas though. The Sioux, the Apache and the Northen Cheyenne were really the only other tribes that were noted for imposing on other tribes for land. However...almost all of their skirmishes are recorded as occuring because of conflict between individual memebers from different tribes. Eventually the personal dispute often led to all out war between tribes.
The Guy

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11/22/2010 05:56 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
Pretty warlike, actually. The Cherokee have legends going back centuries, about staining mountaintops red with the blood of rival tribes.
It's good to be open-minded, just don't let your brain fall out.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 05:56 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
I'm NA and I hold no grudge towards anyone, native or non native. But I also don't think that you can paint us all with one broad brush stroke.

And as the article pointed out, the Natives did not meet Europeans with aggression. So despite it all they were capable of kindness to others.

Sounds a lot like modern humans. We like war, but yet are capable of treating each other with compassion.

Happy Thanksgiving...how ever you choose to view it.

hf
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11/22/2010 06:08 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
"At every point where I landed, and succeeded in talking to them, I gave them some of everything I had—cloth and many other things—without receiving anything in return, but they are a hopelessly timid people. It is true that since they have gained more confidence and are losing this fear, they are so unsuspicious and so generous with what they possess, that no one who had not seen it would believe it. They never refuse anything that is asked for. They even offer it themselves, and show so much love that they would give their very hearts. Whether it be anything of great or small value, with any trifle of whatever kind, they are satisfied. I forbade worthless things being given to them, such as bits of broken bowls, pieces of glass, and old straps, although they were as much pleased to get them as if they were the finest jewels in the world. One sailor was found to have got for a leathern strap, gold of the weight of two and a half castellanos, and others for even more worthless things much more; while for a new blancas they would give all they had, were it two or three castellanos of pure gold or an arroba or two of spun cotton. Even bits of the broken hoops of wine casks they accepted, and gave in return what they had, like fools, and it seemed wrong to me. I forbade it, and gave a thousand good and pretty things that I had to win their love, and to induce them to become Christians, and to love and serve their Highness and the whole Castilian nation, and help to got for us things they have in abundance, which are necessary to us. They have no religion, nor idolatry, except that they all believe power and goodness to be in heaven.

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Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 08:54 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
Well, you must have heard about the Mayans, who killed thousands of human sacrifices every year as a part of their religion.

Is that warlike enough for ya there sparky?
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 08:59 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
are turkeys native american or imported
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 09:13 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
The Spanish and later the Freemasons at Washington.



The British Colonists made treaty with the Natives and got along fairly well. Read the history of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2010 09:18 PM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
I dunno i wasnt there.
Anonymous Coward
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11/28/2010 11:28 AM
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Re: Thanksgiving guilt trip: How warlike were Native Americans before Europeans showed up?
Whites lived in North America 9,000 years ago, they came over the existing land bridge from what is now Russia. They were more than likely killed off by the invading Indian tribes from south and central America.


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