Research Paper On Native American Culture

1542 Words7 Pages
European invention of Native Americans When we talk amongst ourselves about American history, it’s hard not to imagine the Native Americans that once wandered and hunted in the wilderness of this country. During the time when the thick forest covered the plains of the Midwest and the wild buffalos roamed through the wilderness; Native Americans were considered to be the single most important indigenous people to have lived in America. Today, “Native Americans were and are real, but the Indians was White invention and still remains largely a white image if not stereotyped” (Berkhofer, p.3). As far as I can remember, my first introduction to Native Americans and their culture were those depicted by teachers and my…show more content…
Although the media depicted the cavalry coming to the rescue and defeating the Native Americans, I could not help but wonder if all Native Americans were demeaning and fearful towards the whites. Nonetheless, my initial portrayal and assumptions of Native American culture was; as one can imagine, anything but of images filled with savageness towards the innocent European whites. So how and where did all of these primal assumptions of mine towards Native American culture originate? Why were they depicted as ignoble savages and if the European whites knew of the different tribes of Native American lump together all of the tribes as a collective entity? (Berkhofer, p.23) The current stereotypes we hold of the Native Americans stem from the first encounters of Europeans with the indigenous people. These indigenous people were the first humans of a different race and ethnicity the European had encountered. As Berkhofer explains, “early English adventurers into Virginia spoke of Indians, savages, and infidels in one breadth at the same time as they carefully studied the various alliances and specific characteristics of the tribes
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