Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hair Raising Reading in Wild West Magazine

Real history is more complex than TV shows or movies. There is much discussion about the portrayal of Native Americans in cinema. On the one hand there is the image of the hyper violent
savage familiar from many Westerns and on the other hand is the Mazola ecogreen retro Marxist fantasy of Native Americans living in harmony with nature.

Native American cultures were diverse with practices that were in some ways good and in other ways not so good. Plenty of societies practiced slavery and aggressive warfare. Raids are excused by anthropologists as stealing food possessions from your enemy in order to ensure group survival.
Sorry, but cutting through the blather depriving another group of possessions, food, territory is a societal crime. Oddly the Marxist critics of these crimes fail to note that the notion that this is not a way for civilized people to behave is a Western Construct.

In the August 2010 issue of Wild West Magazine the subject of the most famous captive ever taken by Indians Cynthia Parker is discussed. For those who are familiar with the history Cynthia Parker was a nine year old white settler who was abducted in a brutal raid by Comanches. Over time her relatives were raped and slaughtered, but she was adopted into the tribe and came to see them as her people. She married a brutal warrior and gave birth to the most famous Comanche in history Quannah Parker.

First off the Comanches of the past would be perplexed with the odd racialism of Dr. Yeagley. The earliest members obviously were more interested with who can lead or will make a dutiful
wife who will have many children than kook racial purity. The fact that Cynthia Parker and her half racial son were accepted is largely a historic rejection of the Yeagley kook theory of racial purity. The Comanche were in many ways a merit based society.

Moving onto the raids of Nocona, these raids were brutal and horrific. It is true that many crimes were committed against Indians were inexcusable. However among the highlights are gangrapes, torture, mutilation and abduction of children who were sometimes adopted and other times killed.

Now we have heard plenty about the evils of Christians and wanting to blame them for some very real abuses. However, not all of the cultural practices were peachy and there were many
missionaries who devoted their lives to serving their communities. Yes the cases Ray speaks of
as abuse of clerics vs Indians are also very real.

We need to have a more balanced view of Indians. The tribes had vibrant cultures, but like our own they were far from perfect. No Indian ever tiptoed through the tulips. If an Indian walked quietly through the woods he was likely looking for game which he killed.

Indians like other groups sometimes had poor leaders who made bad choices.

When admiring the culture it is important not to turn a living culture into a myth for political purposes. We need to get to an era where we can say Indians are the Oldest members of our American family and honored and we really wronged them. There were really nasty crimes committed on both sides. However, we need to honor our treaties, respect (not Disney, nor Freddy Kruger) the cultures and history and live up the best of our ideals as American citizens

15 comments:

CM said...

Beakerkin,

Well said.

Heck, I used to be on the side of the cowboys looooong time ago watching black and white tv. Our homeplace was surrounded by a C shaped creek with lots of trees and I used to wake up thinking the "Indians" are creeping up from the creek to attack us after watching those cowboy and indian shows. Me..a full blood Comanche and scared of the Indians on TV.!!!!

We are in the here and now, it's been said many times,we need to know our past in order to move forward in a good way, but forgive me, we learned "YOUR" past in public schools, ours was not taught. Thats not Your fault nor mine. By the way, I love those Western Books, I leaf thru them, if they have any history of Indians or the South Tex. I usually buy them too. Wild West or True West are my favorites to look thru. I have one that features the desert tigers, Geronimo and his peeps. Buffalo Bill Cody, and one that features Custers love triangle(hmmm, with an Indian) another great one of the Alamo and early maps of San Antone.. that one was fun because it was just after I had visited San Antone and walked the very places and even found the bulding still standing where the Council House Massacre of Comanches in 1840 happened!

What amazes me is in 1840, we were still raiding and maurading killing each other for land, horses etc.(whites doing the same too) here in the Southwest while you guys were all civilized with cities and all.

Yeagly....humph!

beakerkin said...

Actually CM

White people did steal horses, rape people but they were considered criminal.

In general it is not acceptable to kill civilians, rape women and torture is clearly not acceptable.
In those days the torture clearly was on both sides.

In the modern era we are more allegedly more enlightened. Someday
long term wars will just be viewed as too expensive.

The Pagan Temple said...

Long term wars are expensive only when one side is forced to fight with one arm tied behind ones back, the way the US and Israel is forced to do. Matter of fact, that is more often than not the reason wars become long term wars to begin with. Going all out with a take no prisoners, kill the enemy wherever you find him approach usually works wonders at making the enemy see reason.

I used to love those Wild West magazines. There's still a lot of unknown stories just waiting to be told.

beakerkin said...

The funny thing about reading those wild west magazines is some of the best articles are really not the ones the publishers intended. We can read and forget scores of articles of criminals like Clay Allison, Brave Mountain Men, Noble Indians and Frontier women who were super tough. For some reason I remember an article about sod homes. I am having a hard time visualizing such a home being maintained for 80 years.

Older folks will probably laugh at my disbelief of woody cars. More comical is the younger folks who mistake the term woodies for an erection.

Ducky's here said...

Beak, do you really want to be lectured by someone who considers a culture that couldn't develop the wheel or a written language as a pinnacle?

The Pagan Temple said...

Well, I guess I must be somewhere in the middle. I don't have a clue what woody cars are, and the other definition of woodie would occur to me no more often than the days I have them, which seem to be few and far between these days.

A sod home sounds like it would wash out pretty quickly, but I guess that would depend on how it was constructed, what else went into it, and of course where. No doubt they would seem as well insulated as a modern home.

I like reading the old outlaw stories, as long as they stick to basic facts and avoid the fantasies of Jesse James living past his given date of death and all that. Those kinds of stories are just meant to attract new readers, no one should take them seriously.

If someone really wanted to do some digging through old historical archives and newspapers, etc., there's probably a wealth of new material yet to be discovered. Railroads, mining towns, houses of ill repute, cattle wars, etc. Even just common garden variety murders and crimes of passion and resulting trials and hangings can be interesting.

beakerkin said...

Ducky

All cultures develop differently and are unique. The fact that one group did not develop the wheel or written language does not make them inferior.

We think of Native Americans in an almost magical way. Yet they were very adaptable when horses and firearms arose. Many were shrewd traders that would rival the best small businessmen in any community.
Indians also knew hard work long before there was a GOP.

Their societies like ours were not perfect. However, this does not mean we can not appreciate their spirit, art and cuisine.

However, let anyone coming near me with roasted muskrat give me ten minutes to run anywhere.

CM said...

Woody is from Toy Story!

Beak, you come up(no pun)with the strangest things.....

Church Missions is said to be great places to find the History. I think for Comanche, you have to read Spanish.

I found a little booklet in Phoenix called Miracle In Moccasins which was written by a Missionary to the Indians of the southwest Geroge Walker. Its a great priceless little Booklet. It mentions Dr. Cooks "first mud Church, with adobe walls 20 inches think." A great story of hardships and determination in the dusty Sacaton and Missionary to the Peaceful quiet Pima Indians. The date was 1925 and the Pima were one of the poorest of Indians. However they did not know this, this was their home.

Now 2010, the quiet Pima/Maricopa Indians are doing mighty fine, they have two beautiful Casinos, their own Wal-mart, Banks, beautiful homes, their own free telephone and Internet! Land fill, Sand Blasting co. Schools, Colleges, Cultural Center, Museum, and the newest venture a 140 acre baseball Training camp and golf course and so much more. I'm loving it for them. I should be jealous, but I'm not!

The Pagan Temple said...

American Indians and Mezo-Americans probably didn't develop the wheel for no other reason than they came to America before the wheel was invented. By the time it spread to where they had been, wherever that was, they were gone. Probably the same thing with written language. The idea of written language was probably another invention that spread from its original source and was adapted. Indians were isolated. No big mystery, nor is it a reflection on them or their culture.

CM said...

Was the Duck speaking of me, lecturing Beakerkin?


Why would we my ancestors need a wheel? They had the horse and travoice, and the first car seat for a baby, the Cradle! Our language "IS" written and still found on Canyon walls, on rocks,ever hear of the Trail of Trees? Lots of these things you don't want to understand, ducky.

I thought this was a discussion or comments, I never knew I was lecturing anyone, I never meant to.

beakerkin said...

I think Ducky was referring to Yeagley who idealizes ancient Persia.
The Duck is unfamiliar with this as
he has limited knowledge of Yeagley.

The ancient Persians were enlightened
and more enlightened than their peers.

Alligator said...

The wheel first appears to have been invented about 3,500-4,000 years ago in ancient Sumeria. The pattern of wheel appearances after that indicates it was indeed then "borrowed" by neighboring cultures and civilizations. The wheel did did not even reach the British Isles until around 500 BC.

The Aztecs and Maya were familiar with wheels. Toys and religious objects with wheels have been found in archaeological sites. But in Meso-America, there were no draft animals and loads could be carried by porters as well or better than by pulling carts. So there was little need for a commercial application of wheels. Necessity is the mother of invention.

The first writing was in the form of pictograms, which all Indian tribes did as well. Writing as in ledgers, literature, etc. appears around 3,500 -4,000 BC (again) Some debate as to whether Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia or the Indus valley holds the record. However since the ancients all traded with one another, it seems likely that as with the wheel, the concept passed between various cultures.

In every other respect, American Indians meet the definition of "civilization." One thing Indians did better than Indians was the domestication and genetic development of agriculture crops. With the exception of wheat, the corn, beans, squashes, potatoes eaten around the world were developed and grown by Indians.

The Old World developed domesticated animals, the New World developed domesticated plants. Today we benefit from both.

The Pagan Temple said...

Yeah, the Greeks enlightened their asses real good.

CM said...

I still think Ducky is yeagley! He keeps bringing him up, remember yeagley likes attention no matter whats said.

I'm going on a trip.....I will leave you all, maybe for good, I hate to keep bringing attention to yeagley my own self, but he is irritating to the bone, to my Comanche People! No one can understand unless it hits their peeps, and he has hit many Nations.

Peace!

beakerkin said...

CM

You are always welcome wherever I am.
You are a valued friend to all at this site including poultry.

Alligator

Thanks for saving me the effort. Indians were very adaptable. The Duck is arrogant.

PT

That is true, but the Persians in many ways were more tolerant than their Greek peers.