Intercultural Relations Between Euro Americans And Native Americans

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Intercultural Relations between Euro Americans and Native Americans

Intercultural Relations between Euro Americans and Native Americans

Intercultural Relations between Euro Americans and Native Americans


The term Native Americans refers specifically to the descendants of people living in what is now the contiguous United States prior to the mass arrival of settlers from other continents. The United States Census combines Native Americans and Euro Americans, although both groups are culturally, linguistically, and politically distinct. Native Americans are also used to refer to indigenous peoples from Central and South America. Other terms to refer to Native Americans include American Indian, Indian, Amerindian, Native, and Indigenous. Generally speaking, Native Americans prefer their individual tribal affiliation over the more general term of Native Americans.

By XVI century several Spanish and Portuguese colonies has been founded in America. Settlement of Europeans was so swift that by the end of the XVIII century. Euro-Americans accounted for 3.2 million and European settlers brought with them a lot of slaves from Africa, who later made much of the American population especially after the Civil War when they were given freedom.

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Historically, the social, political, and economic systems of Native American culture groups were tremendously diverse from Euro American, ranging from hierarchical systems based on various social statuses to more egalitarian systems. Many culture groups were and still are matriarchal and matrilineal. The Apache of the southwest, for example, trace their lineage through the mother's line; all children belong to the mother's family. Among the Iroquois nations of the northeast, women performed all of the agricultural labor and controlled the distribution of their produce, thereby exerting both social and political authority. Iroquois women were also politically active, as were women in many southeastern culture groups such as the Cherokee.

The pre-contact social systems of all Native American tribes underwent great change beginning in the early contact period and continuing today. For instance, the arrival of horses (which migrated from Mexico after arriving with the Spaniards in the early 1500s) had a tremendous impact on the cultures of many Native American groups, most notably those on the Plains, who became much more mobile. This increased mobility encouraged a period of prosperity for Native American groups whose hunting territories were expanded. Horses quickly became an integral aspect of the spiritual, economic, and political culture of many Plains groups such as the Kiowa, the Sioux, and the Cheyenne. (Rae, 2002)

Another major change for all Native American groups has come through assimilation, both forced and voluntary. The U.S. government and the American people undertook varied efforts to assimilate Native Americans, including but not limited to various federal policies, education, particularly through the boarding school system, religious acculturation, and the reservation system, which simultaneously physically separated Native Americans from the rest of U.S. society and imposed non-Native forms of housing, land use, and agricultural and hunting methods, which becomes the reason of un pleasant history between Euro Americans and Native American. (LaFromboise, 2003)

In many Native American cultures both historically and today, the social and biological roles of mother ...
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