Problems in New Lands.docx
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HISA01 Sept. 17
Explorers ran into problems of how to identify things that they ‘discovered’ while arriving
in new lands.
How to identify new/unknown things:
Talk to natives
o Is hard to do so as language barrier.
o The unfamiliar in terms of the familiar = unknown in terms of the known.
o These problems of not knowing things leads to problems, which are both
understandable and problematic (leads to cultural assumptions).
Compare to known things
o Looks like… so must be…
Columbus and the Taino
There was money needed after the reconquest of the Holy Lands (Jerusalem etc.) from
the Muslims in name of Spanish.
Religion was a way to show others who they were
Put a cross in the ground and assumption of being Christian.
Spanish put idea of Garden of Eden for the Americas
Tainos: natives of where Columbus landed.
Tainos were to represent innocence (Adam and Eve)
o Columbus claimed that the Tainos were ‘naked of clothing and culture’.
Spanish had two ways of justifying conquering the Americas:
The natives hadn’t adequately used lands.
The land was ‘empty land’: no dwellings.
Bougainville and New Cythera
Eighteenth century – 1760s
Bougainville wanted to be the first French captain to circumvent the world. He went past
the Pacific islands.
As his boats went past, canoes from the natives came up and a woman climbed
onto the French boats. She removed her clothing.
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