Native Americans (2)
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  • 1. From “Noble Savage” to “Vanishing Indian”: Euro-American Perceptions of Native Americans English 441 Dr. Roggenkamp Edited by Mrs. Burk
  • 2. Native-American Literature is a Post-Colonial Literature
    • Literature by a COLONIZING culture (e.g. people of European descent) usually distorts the experience and realities of the colonized people—creates a picture of innate inferiority in terms of the colonized people
    • Literature by the COLONIZED culture (e.g. Native Americans) attempts to regain the power to speak for themselves, rather than be spoken ABOUT by the colonizers
  • 3. Your Turn
    • What is the difference between a colonized culture and a colonizing culture?
  • 4. Native-American Literature Characteristics
    • This literature articulates group identity, reclaims the past, writes their version of history—but also recognizes the influence of the colonizer
    • Colonizing countries often appropriate the languages, images, scenes, traditions, etc. of the colonized land—and vice versa
  • 5. Your Turn
    • What are the four characteristics of Native American literature?
    • How does the colonizing culture change the literature of the colonized culture?
  • 6. Colonial New England conceptions Native Americans
    • View 1: Native Americans lost tribes of Israel, waiting for conversion
    • View 2: Native Americans as children of Satan – descendents of fallen angels
    • Either way, justification to eradicate people and culture
    • Image: The Death of Jane McCrea , John Vanderlyn, 1804
  • 7. Your Turn
    • What was the colonist’s view of Native Americans?
  • 8. Southern colonial conceptions of indigenous peoples
    • “ Noble Savage”
    • “ Savage” meaning “uncivilized”
    • “ Noble” meaning innocent, pure, wise, childlike, connected to nature, spiritual—but uncultured
    • Merely inferior rather than the intrinsically evil
    • Open to European guidance and deliverance
    • Totally romanticized view
    • Image: Baptism of Pocahontas , John G. Chapman, Capitol Rotunda, Washington D.C.
  • 9. Your Turn
    • What is the meaning of
    • “ Noble Savage”?
  • 10. “ Noble Savage”
  • 11. “ The Vanishing Indian”
    • Pre-contact indigenous population of North America: est. 10-15 million (about 2 million today)
    • Disease and warfare
    • From 1840s : Native Americans are “vanishing race”
    • Vanishing in face of “superior” Euro-American advance
    • Justifies advance of non-Native population and eradication of Native American cultures
    • Image: Last of Their Race , John Mix Stanley, 1857
  • 12. Indian Removal Act of 1830
    • President Andrew Jackson
    • Force Native American removal from East
    • Guise of protecting and preserving Indian cultures
    • Move west or give up all tribal rights
    • Removal as only way to “civilize” the “vanishing Indian”
  • 13. Your Turn
    • Why did President Andrew Jackson remove the Native Americans from the East?
    • If the Native Americans did not move West, what would they have to do?
  • 14. The “Trail of Tears”
  • 15. Your Turn
    • What was the
    • “ Trail of Tears”?
    • Explain how you would feel if you were a Native American then and now.