Native American Traditions Essay Example
Decades ago, before Christopher Columbus stumbled across the foreign lands of America; the region was inhabited by simple, earthly individuals we now refer to as Native Americans due to their ethnic roots. Their beliefs, ideologies, and lifestyles were excessively simple. The numerous Native American legends that have survived in their original forms are synonymous with the ridiculous fairy tales of nowadays. The core of Native American beliefs is maintaining harmonious familial relationships with the elements of nature including plants and especially animals (First People). For their reverence of the animals they share the world with, numerous forthcoming treaties and agreements were also signed and titled on their names (First People). However, vast difference prevails with regards to Native American values and current modern USA values.
Native American Traditions repeatedly emphasize the importance of living in harmony with all the occupants of this world as quoted “It is the story of all life that is Holy and is good to tell, and of us two-leggeds sharing in it with the four-leggeds and the wings of the air and all green things; for these are children of one mother and their father is One Spirit” (Neihardt). On the contrary, modern USA values focus on colonization and rule. This difference of ideologies has inflicted oppression on the Native Americans on behalf of the USA; Hawaii and its sovereignty plans remain a living proof. The Native American beliefs are backed by mystics and baseless assumptions, much like the Black Elks remembrance of how the Sacred Pipe was bestowed upon them (Neihardt), while the modern American culture is heavily laden with scientifically supported evidence and logical facts. The Native Americans are what modern America would refer to as uncivilized, unsophisticated, and illiterate rogues whereas the Native Americans would refer the USA Americans as “Wasichus”. The Native Americans have always felt pride in being skilled in physical combat as quoted “The boys of my people began very young to learn the ways of men, and no one taught us; we just learned by doing what we saw, and we were warriors at a time when boys now are like girls” (Neihardt). On the other hand, USA American youth is unconcerned about national security and generally possess no warrior skills or interests. In other words, the Native American traditions have been natural and down-to-earth whereas the modern USA cultures are all the more complex.
The biggest Native and Modern American conflicts have arisen in the form of the Hawaiian Sovereignty issue. Since late 18th century, Hawaiian Natives have fallen prey to all forms of oppression including foreign socio-economic advancements and their inadaptability to it, the extensive bloodshed amounting to 90% of the native population of that time, the annexation of Hawaiian lands by the USA and consequently the abuse of their 200,000 acres of land and natural resources (Conklin). Although in 1993, President Bill Clinton signed an official Apology Resolution, the Hawaiian Natives, who now constitute not more than 20% population of present Hawaii, are still pressurizing the USA to declare Hawaii as an independent state. The natives believe they can handle their state affairs in a better manner than foreign ambassadors to the island in the form of USA government representatives. However, this sovereign declaration will pose serious difficulties on the 80% non-Native majority currently residing in Hawaii. According to their constitution, the non-natives will be deprived of the basic human rights of voting and economic power. However, modern USA Americans are of the idea that there should be equality and unity amongst the Native and Non-Native Americans to ensure that a further series of oppression does not occur (Conklin). Some people believe that Hawaiian Independence has to occur decisively and that the only question remaining is when that will happen. Some people hold contrary beliefs. However, only time can unfold its mysteries and counter-plans in this regard and unleash Hawaiian destiny.
Neihardt, John. G. “Black Elk Speaks”. First People. firstpeople.us, n.d. Web. 10 Sep. 2011.
Conklin, Kenneth. R. “Three Choices For Hawai’i’s Future: Akaka Bill vs. Independence vs. Unity and Equality”. Instant Hawaii. instanthawaii.com, 2004. Web. 10 Sep. 2011.
Conklin, Kenneth. R. “Introduction: An Overview of the Sovereignty Issues for Newcomers”. Angel Fire. angelfire.com, 2000. Web. 10 Sep. 2011.