Posted by Rich on June 30, 1998 at 12:23:29:
In Reply to: Re: Questions posted by Myrrh on June 30, 1998 at 07:40:59:
: Also, not to disagree or negate anything in Eric's comment, but I believe Indians of the past could also be violent and maintain their spirituality, if the violence was a part of the culture to begin with, and had meaning and purpose. I know that may sound strange to some, but it makes sense to me. Comments welcome...please educate me if I'm off-base historically! Wasn't there ritual 'violence' of various kinds in many Indian cultures?? Warfare itself (occasional, purposeful) was very important to some, wasn't it? I think we have : to be careful not to be interpreting "violence" through our modern-day, Euro-American lense.
Without passing judgement one way or the other ... Indian life was FILLED with violence, back in the traditional days. Some, was caused as the direct result of European encroachment, but much existed prior to. Generalizing, because things differed from tribe to tribe ... the way to rise in societal stature was through warfare. It should be noted, however, that there was generally a lot less, if any, blood spilled. Raids, stealing horses, counting coup, were the norm. There were, to be sure, bloody exceptions. And, taking land was not something Indians learned exclusively from Europeans. The Iroquois & Lakota, two dominant tribes in historical times, were VERY guilty of this. As in Europe, the history of our native land was filled with bloodshed. Blood is blood, regardless of who is guilty of causing it to flow. On the other hand, there's an interesting study of the Cheyenne way, comparing their moral codes to the Ten Commandments. In my own personal view, we should be careful NOT to over-romantacize the Native cultures, but one would be VERY hard pressed indeed to find violence in their history to compare with the Crusades, the Inquisition, and other horrors of earlier European history.
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