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Alexander Von Gernet

ANT241 Lecture # 2 First impressions II (European documentation of and response to strange practices) Visual Images of Aboriginal Peoples • 1500’s, (sixteenth century) – Literature developed during the 1500’s. • Philip Ghoul – An artist who described the aboriginals as being savages. In his painting “America” he showed a woman carrying someone’s head. • Another German depicted the people of the islands as savages. • Publishing’s in the early 17 century depicted the first contacts with the aboriginals. Aboriginal Views of Europeans • Aboriginals wanted to know if Europeans were mortal or not, and they tested this by throwing them in water. Europeans were not familiar with swimming as much because they never gave it priority, hence a vast majority of them drowned, this however could’ve been fabricated because the aboriginals were rational people. • This seemed to depict the savagery of the aboriginals. Sources of Knowledge • Eyewitness accounts or drawings. – They viewed everything from a different perspective but still witnessed and had 1 hand accounts on the aboriginals. • Secondary woodcuts – Theodre De Bry published woodcuts on accounts described to him by other eye witness, which is why there were two different perspectives before the final output. • Kidnapped natives and displayed them in Europe to show the Europeans the “new” world. They would also force them to learn the European languages and then taken back to translate their own message to their own folk back. They were used to help raise money for fundraisers and help the development of the new world. The vast majority ended up in Europe in 16 century because most of them were literally kidnapped. Only a few went out of their own choice to explore Europe. They would be taken on the deal that they’d be back the next summer, and in many cases this never happened. • 1503 Queen Isabella: The Spaniards came to the new world to extend their fuel system. Natives would’ve been the work-force for the Spaniards. West Indies was considered to be a province of Spain. 1 • Millions of aboriginals died of diseases during the 1 century itself due to contact with the people from the “old” world. The population had never been exposed to the diseases of the old were for thousands of years. Flu Virus, which was very common in the European world, was a death sentence to the aboriginals because of virtually no resistance to the virus. Diseases had the greatest impact on the aboriginals. It was assumed to be the biological warfare of that time period. Small pox was intentionally introduced in certain areas. Measles, small pox had devastating impact on the Aboriginals. • Slave Trade: Shipping the aboriginals as slaves to Europe, and it was similar to importing slaves from Africa. Enslavement was then restricted to Cannibals according to Queen Isabella, which in those times meant the aboriginals. Imagery depicting the aboriginals as cannibals was widely published anyway. • 1513 King Ferdinand: The document created was written in Spanish, and literally very few natives could read and understand Spanish. It said “Indians have to recognize the church, and the pope, and if they resisted this, they’d be considered rebels and executed”. The aboriginals had two choices. Convert to Catholicism or else be considered rebel and be killed off. • 1537 Pope Paul III: Issued a poll, statement or doctrine coming form the pope himself. Indians were considered to be true men who were capable of receiving catholic faith and were not brutes. The churches finally regarded them as being humans and were capable of being Catholics. Despite the pope’s decision, efforts to enslave them and kidnap them continued. There were however exceptions to this harsh attitude. • 1550 Bartholome De Las Casas: Staunch protector of the aboriginals. He was against the concept of treating the natives as being inferior. He stated that they were misguided with their beliefs. Even though he supported them, he couldn’t overcome his European superiority. • Tobacco Smoking: Savage or Civiliz
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