Thanx to Stalin, Anon. Nietzsche, Hank Purcell Jr. Chicago May Day ' Such a spectacle ought to offend nearly everyone.
Nineteenth-century literature authored by Native Americans was text-based and written in English, which resulted primarily because of the English taught in missionary schools. Most 18th and 19th century writers used the common literary genres like autobiography and the novel, yet combining narratives with the traditional trickster oral story or myth creating a hybrid literary form.
These early writers were driven by their awareness of the power of writing as a tool in changing attitudes, but it would be a long time before this could overcome the deep prejudices shaped during the conflicts between Euro-Americans and Natives in the bloody Indian Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The contentious debate concerning the legality of this law solidified the negative feelings on both sides. Supreme Court sided against the Cherokee. In the background of this fight a very negative image was formed. Indians were to be contained and separated to make room for the expanding dominant society.
It would take a long struggle and a large amount of native literature before this image would change. While the dominant society was systematically excluding Native Americans from sharing in the rights others enjoyed, many began to view them as unique and interesting, almost as part of the American identity, as making it distinct from European traditions.
The dominant society began to know them and care about their plight. Native American Writers The early Native writers had to work within a political environment that was hostile to their success and within a literary tradition of the day that condoned and sentimentalized the death of Indians.
Somehow they were able to engage their detractors and author their own accounts of Native Americans which challenged the stereotypical images and showed that they would not remain silent nor were they going to disappear. Autobiography One of the primary genres that Native Americans borrowed from the writers in the dominant society of the time was the autobiography, which they used to address their own experiences and concerns.
These autobiographies mostly involved experiences concerning their conversion to Christianity and their education in the mission schools.
At times they adopted the voice of the "authentic" Native American who had the knowledge of the practices and traditions of the tribe, but at the same time, they were educated and Christianized by into the mainstream society.
For instance, in A Son of the Forest: The Experience of William Apess, A Native of the Forest written inWilliam Apess describes his escape from an abusive childhood by being converted to Christianity. Through his involvement in the Church he was provided access to the same freedom and position with God that white society enjoys.
Yet, his ongoing experiences of discrimination within the Church as a minister in a white world reminded him that this ideal was elusive. In his writing, Apess rejects the stereotyping of Indians and he does this by documenting his own accomplishments related to the activities that white society values.
Ahead of his time, Apess advocated a balance between accepting Christianity and retaining pride in ones Indian identity. After the publication of his autobiography, Apess became more militant, helping to organize the Mashpee Revolt ofto help the Mashpee regain lost freedoms. Cherokee Phoenix George Copway, Ojibwe wrote another important autobiography of the 19th century called The Life, History, and Travels of Kah-ge-ga- gahbowh, written in The choice to become a Christian seems to be an easy choice for Copeway.
He believed it was necessary for the Native American to convert if he wanted to stay alive. And like Schoolcraft, he was thought of highly by his white contemporaries such as James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving. However, his own people shunned him.
Unlike Copway and Apess, Hawk did not even speak English. Protest Literature Early Native American literature was preoccupied with trying to change the political and social status of their people. Boudinot was able to purchase a printing press and begin printing the first Native American newspaper written in the syllabary created by the Cherokee Sequoyah.
Some of the Cherokee wanted to fight removal, while others, like Boudinot championed for the Cherokee to accept relocation.
This caused a violent division within the tribe and Boudinot became a target because he was vocal about accepting relocation when writing in his newspaper. Rival factions killed Boudinot, while Sequoyah had his fingers cut off, but his life was spared. Historically, Cherokee jewelry symbolically expresses the experiences from this period.
Boudinot writes, "There is, in Indian history, something very melancholy, and which seems to establish a mournful precedent for the future events of the few sons of the forest, now scattered over this vast continent.
We have seen every where the poor aborigines melt away before the white population.
I merely state the fact, without at all referring to the cause. We have seen, I say, one family after another, one tribe after another, nation after nation, pass away; until only a few solitary creatures are left to tell the sad story of extinction.
Shall this precedent be followed? I ask you, shall red men live, or shall they be swept from the earth? With you and this public at large, the decision chiefly rests. Must they all, like the unfortunate Creeks, victims of the unchristian policy of certain persons, go down in sorrow to their grave?INTRODUCTION: by DIANNE JACOBS THOMPSON (under construction) Around January of that year, I went home to die cont.
I was diagnosed with stage 2 stomach cancer, chronic bronchitis, acutely infected ovarian cysts, arthritis, sciatica, low thyroid, anemia and a heart condition.
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