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Noble Savages - June 07, 2011 (L05)

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Leslie Jermyn

Noble Savages - Noble savage is an European notion because it was conceived using Eurocentric views th th o Originated around the Renaissance period (14 17 c.) Cultural movement = Rebirth in the interest of Classical thinking, art, architecture, etc. (Greek and Roman aesthetics, philosophies, etc.) Dark and Middle Ages = periods in which the Catholic Churchs hegemony squashed the ClassicalHellenistic culture of the ancient world Europeans beginning to question again, figure out alternative ways of thinking about things (i.e., deviating somewhat from Catholic way of thinking) - Renaissance witnessed the evolution of the way people perceive the world o 1492 and forward, from the sailing of Columbus, the Europeans forced to conceptualize a world that is bigger than they thought (esp. with the discovery of the New World with people who live in a wholly different way) o Europeans were impressed because of the similarities between them and the occupants of the newly discovered lands (taxation, ruling group, trade, etc.) but they were found lacking because they were not organized in distinct societies like the Europeans - Spanish to the west, the Portuguese to the south to Africa = continually found new people living so differently from them - This voyages resulted into a shift of European self-conception they are now wondering where to place themselves within a world that is inhabited by others not like them - Monogenist vs. Polygenist o Mono: all humans came from a single origin (Adam and Eve) created only once. Eden is an historic place, the Bible is literally history. Problem = how did their descendants end up living in many different places when they supposedly originated somewhere in the Middle East? Also, if the Bible IS history, then that means the world is very young (ca. 6000-7000 years old). o Poly: think that God probably made more than one kind of people that live apart, and look different from each other (Thus, they eliminated the problem that plague the monogenists). Their belief that god created different people led to the belief that they were also created for different purposes. (Hamitic myth tie-in and a supporting reason for concept of White supremacy). E.g., Africans created to be labourers, Europeans created to be dominants
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