Native Americans - bloodthirsty savages or peaceful tribes?

Jun 2012
7,067
Malaysia
#41
LOL. With all due respect, Earl, and without meaning any offence, but just joining into the fray, this extract paras below lifted off the site https://www.ancient.eu/Saxons/

(1)
Ancient sources provide different versions of how exactly the Saxons arrived in Britain and how they expanded. Three major works concerned with the Saxons in Britain have survived to the present day: the De Excidio Britanniae, written by Gildas; the Historia Ecclesiastica, by Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a narrative with multiple authors. According to Bede, the famous British monk who lived in the early Middle Ages, the Britons were suffering attacks from the Scots and the Picts, so they decided to hire some of the Saxons as mercenaries to fight their enemies. After completing their task, the Saxons turned against the Britons. Gildas, a 6th century CE British monk, describes the Saxons as savages similar to dogs and lions, and he adds that "nothing more destructive, nothing more bitter has ever befallen the land". Gildas saw the destructive advance of the Saxons as a form of punishment inflicted by God for the sins of the British, whom he compares with the Israelites of the Bible:

(2)
The people of the Angles or Saxons were conveyed to Britain in three long-ships. When their voyage proved a success, news of them was carried back home. A stronger army set out which, joined to the earlier ones, first of all drove away the enemy they were seeking [the Picts and Scots]. Then they turned their arms on their allies [the Britons], and subjugated almost the whole island by fire or sword, from the eastern shore as far as the western one on the trumped-up excuse that the Britons had given them a less than adequate stipend for their military services (The Greater Chronicle, cited by Higham and Ryan).

There ya go.
 
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Haakbus

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
3,578
United States
#42
I know, but not from me. But I’m open to a word that describes people with little or no metal and textile working, no written language, society based on family bands etc.

I mean I'm no person to censor someone's speech in any way but it's just that that's a term that doesn't necessarily come across as objective.

Most tribes were not hunter-gatherers (though some were), but Neolithic-stage farmers with tribe and chiefdom level societies.

Actually in the southwest (AZ, NM) they did make cloth from the fur of a certain breed of wooly dog.


Of course the advanced societies in the Andes had metalworking and cloth. Metalworking did eventually spread to Central America.
 
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Jun 2012
7,067
Malaysia
#43
I don't know. But it cud be that when folks continue to face a tough life in a challenging environment (including physical environment, economic environment etc.), and they hv had to make do with the barest minimum, they might kind of evolve - or even regress - into a relatively cruder & robuster way of everyday living. Kind of like tamed house cats regressing back into their primordial, feral ways when abandoned & made to have to fend for themselves on their own.

Perhaps that was what essentially happened to the Amerindian tribes after somehow getting stranded in desolate, barren North America, after some journey of their ancestors from relatively fertile, abundant Asia.

As I heard from my elder brothers, our father was quite 'wild' when he was younger. He wud go into a rage & overturn the dining table when my mother made the small mistake of getting the rice just a wee a bit undercooked. But as our family's finances improved, he gradually became 'tamer' & mellower.
 
Dec 2015
2,512
USA
#44
I know, but not from me. But I’m open to a word that describes people with little or no metal and textile working, no written language, society based on family bands etc.
There were and are Native American tribes that worked with metals, had textiles, has some semblance or developed a written language, and most of their society was based on kinship or share-lineage bands.
 
Jan 2018
171
San Antonio
#45
There were and are Native American tribes that worked with metals, had textiles, has some semblance or developed a written language, and most of their society was based on kinship or share-lineage bands.
I know. I qualified my original statement by confining it to the Indians of what’s now the United States and said the statements were general in nature, which implies I’m aware of exceptions.
 
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kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,366
#47
It is a mixed bag of cats, it all depends on the tribe - just European nations that immigrated.

Remember that before the Pilgrims reached America that their fore-bearers were responsible for butchery across the whole of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England during the English Civil War and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; they set up a dictatorship of Cromwell; and when they lost the political station fled to the New World so to continue their theocratic dictatorship and have a famous Witch-trial.
 
Sep 2012
932
Spring, Texas
#48
It is a mixed bag of cats, it all depends on the tribe - just European nations that immigrated.

Remember that before the Pilgrims reached America that their fore-bearers were responsible for butchery across the whole of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England during the English Civil War and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; they set up a dictatorship of Cromwell; and when they lost the political station fled to the New World so to continue their theocratic dictatorship and have a famous Witch-trial.

They also went after several local Indian tribes. They went to war against the Pequot tribe and surrounded a walled village. The Pequot hid in their dwellings so the Pilgrims set these on fire. When they tried to get out, the Pilgrims would shoot them back into the fire. The Indian allies pitched a fit saying this was too cruel and was not war. The Pilgrims kept in doing it.



Ever wonder why there were so few New England tribes left today?


Pruitt
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,285
Brassicaland
#49
It would not be just to call them "savages", nor - as is a troubling modern trend - to deify them as existing in a state of Eden-esque purity devoid of all sin or vice.

Their nations were complex, warring and trading and forming alliances such as the Western Confederacy. When America fought Britain, and when America fought herself during the Civil War, Native nations made treaties with one side or another to better their lot.
Such behaviour is clearly not the frothing malice of a savage, nor the witless stupidity of an uncultured bumpkin.

So the answer is "neither", and any attempt to paint them as either extreme is often the result of political biases or wilful misunderstanding of the complexities of history.
Native Americans were Homo sapiens sapiens, no more or no less; glorifying and bashing would not do any good.
The Mayan sites may have destroyed the "environmentalist" myth.
 
Sep 2012
932
Spring, Texas
#50
The Yucatan and Southwest desert are two examples of habitats being destroyed by Native American groups. On the other hand the New England Native Americans were able to modify the surrounding woods to be a much easier place to hunt and gather food in. They burned the undergrowth every Fall. The ash fertilized the trees and a Hunter could see much further.



The Anasazi cut down the local Pinon Pines to build their dwellings. The

trees were holding the soil in place and the trees themselves were creating a bit of rain by recycling moisture. With the trees gone, they had go further and further for roof posts. The soil washed away. The climate went into drought.



The Maya went into a semiarid land that had a limited supply of water that was mostly underground. They built up a society that crashed and evaporated. On the west coast of Guatemala, there was no problems with drought. The mountains create a rain shield.


Pruitt