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Rolling Over the Native Culture - Essay Example

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This discussion stresses that Europeans were able to dominate the Indians because they possessed advanced military type weapons. By the end of the 18th century, the US government had already fought several bloody wars based on European battlefield strategies. …
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Rolling Over the Native Culture
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"Rolling Over the Native Culture"

Download file to see previous pages From this paper it is clear being able to hunt and make war are only two aspects that any culture faces in their day to day life. Art was an area that had a proud European tradition and it was also celebrated by the Indian tribes of North America. However, there were vast differences in the intent of the art and its use. European art was, for the most part, reserved for the elite. Music was seldom heard outside of aristocratic circles or in formal settings. It had little if any relevance to the average European and performances were routinely commissioned by the wealthy. However, Native American music was offered at tribal ceremonies and was a part of their traditional activities. This was due in part because of the difference in the instrumentation involved. While Europeans used complex and highly engineered instruments and compositions, Natives would use simpler forms. This discussion highlights that the visual arts also had stark differences. Once again, the Europeans looked on art as the property of the elite. Works were commissioned and the practice and appreciation for art was left to those considered worthy. The subject matter generally had no real relationship to the average man. Often the works would become the property of a church or monarch. Here they were kept from view for many that resided in the countryside, or were that barred due to status. The Natives, in contrast, had a rich tradition in art with a more meaningful use. ...
This gave the Indians the ability not only to hunt, but also to garner respect from their neighboring tribes. In fact, the Montana Historical Society Museum has over 1000 firearms from this period, one of which is Sitting Bull's 1866 Henry repeating rifle ("Museum Collections"). This is evidence of the high desire for European weapon technology and its great importance to both sides.
Another important item that was provided by the Europeans was the horse. The Spanish introduced the horse to North America in the 16th century. The horse was a superior tool for the Native Americans as it provided them with much greater mobility, allowing the Indians to travel greater distances and expand their territory. It provided them with a more effective way to pursue their prey on a hunt and greatly increased their opportunity for survival. Horses were also desirable in waging war. The horses brought from Europe would serve the mounted cavalries of the U.S. Army as they pushed the Indians westward. The repeating rifle and the horse, though often misused, were indeed icons of European superiority.
The Arts
Being able to hunt and make war are only two aspects that any culture faces in their day to day life. Art was an area that had a proud European tradition and it was also celebrated by the Indian tribes of North America. However, there were vast differences in the intent of the art and its use. European art was, for the most part, reserved for the elite. Music was seldom heard outside of aristocratic circles or in formal settings. It had little if any relevance to the average European and performances were routinely commissioned by the wealthy. However, Native American music was offered at tribal ceremonies and was a part of their traditional ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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