Posted by Victoria on October 06, 1999 at 16:11:10:
Unfortunately I don't have time for a more elaborate discussion on this, as it proves interesting.
Europeans have been borrowing/imitating Indians since they first got here. (Tammany Hall, Boston Tea Party, etc.) Current debate includes arguments whether Ben Franklin borrowed the idea for the 13 Colonies ("Fires") from the Iroquois Confederacy. Include in this the notion of the Indian as 'other', their ways non-European, and the farther we get from traditional European social, political, and spiritual directions, the closer we approach the ways of the 'other'. How more closely does post-Vietnam conceptions of war resemble Indian than Euro? Limited involvement of personnel, consensus before action, women in the decision making process as well as combat. How more closely do notions of modern marriage resemble eastern Indian notions than Euro? Women as holders of property, children 'belonging' to the mother, the ability to dissolve a marriage if it is no longer workable for one or both spouses.
America owes much of what it perceives as "American" to those that were here before. We enjoy the best of both worlds, ennit?
My dad has always wanted me to join the DAR, but it has had a reputation to live down. Maybe it, like so many patriotic institutions, is changing, incorporating those 'other' ideas. Hope so.
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