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Chumash uprising 1824 - Research Paper Example

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The Chumash Uprising of 1824 Your Name Name of of Professor The Chumash Uprising of 1824 The history of colonialism is peppered with events where native communities have risen in revolt. This has mostly been against a devaluation of indigenous cultures and their own institutions such as their religions…
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Chumash uprising 1824
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Download file to see previous pages This binary between the colonial and the colonized cultures was, understandably, something that the native communities found very hard to digest. The Chumash Uprising of 1824 was one such revolt that made it clear to the Spanish colonizers that a mindless devaluation of indigenous cultures and traditions would not be tolerated. There was little that these cultures could do in these situations in terms of their military might; however, they were able to mount cultural challenges through the preservation of their own cultures. This is what the Chumash did as well. Despite reverses as far as the military aspect of their revolt was concerned, they preserved their culture in certain ways through a following of their own religions and modes of production. However, one needs to explore why the Chumash felt the need to revolt in the first place. This was definitely because of the Spanish attempts to efface their culture and the indigenous modes of being. This led to tension that then bubbled over in the form of the Chumash uprising of 1824. This was then something that can be looked at as an assertion of an indigenous identity and the symbols and signs that are attached to it. The Spanish attempt to spread Catholicism was also a potent cause for the uprising. Indigenous cultures all around the world had religions of its own. The Chumash were no different as far as this aspect was concerned. They had their own religions and ways of living. This was what the Spanish colonizers chose to challenge as part of their mission. This was part of an impulse where they believed that they had a good knowledge of the Chumash society and their culture. This knowledge is what they used for the purpose of exercising their control over the Chumash society. Edward Said, in his seminal work on postcolonial societies and the phenomenon of colonialism, says that this notion of knowledge was then converted into power by the colonizers (Said 2000, 12). However, their imperfect knowledge led to slippages in the exercise of their power and laid open room for revolts and uprisings such as the one that was carried out by the Chumash. The interstices of colonial narratives need to be looked into for a better understanding of such issues. They would help one understand the points at which the colonizer’s power was subverted and challenged. This would then lead to a better understanding even of postcolonial societies in general as a reconstruction of history is necessary for a better understanding of these societies. Another aspect of the colonization was the fact that the colonizers always encouraged only the nobility of the native country (Jackson and Castillo 1995, 36–37). If there was any possibility for the commoners to be a part of the colonial administration, there may have been a possibility that the natives would have cooperated with the colonial administration. However, this was not so in the case of the Chumash. The colonial administration often collaborated with the native nobility so as to oppress the commoners. This resulted in whatever support may have been possible for the colonizers to not emerge. This is not to point out any positive effect that colonialism may have had, but only to highlight how there was a nexus between the colonizer and the upper echelons of the colonized society. This then led to greater ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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