American Indians

American Indians is a term that is used to refer to people whose have Indian roots but are American citizen or live in America. This citizenship is a result of early migrations of people from their mother land in search of greener fields in the United States. However, these people were not appreciated by indigenous Americans in the 18th century since they were seen be inferior compared to indigenous Americans. Short essay 1 The long term study preferred by social cultural anthropologist can be the most effective in deciding someone’s culture.

This is because a long term study would address changes that occur in long period of time in a society. Cultures do change with time and so along time study could be used in solving this. This experience that is gotten in the field makes the anthropologists come into direct contact with the issues in the society and this makes them write exactly what is on the since they experience it themselves. It’s worthy noting that this approach is totally different from that used by a journalist or a historian.

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Historians and journalists do not get into that direct contact with the society and so they do not get the real idea like the anthropologists. Journalist’s historians do not spend much time studying the cultures of a particular society and in most cases they study or rely on the findings of other people. Short essay 2 According to Horseman the new racial ideology of the 19th century are racial ideologies that are supported by the principles of free democratic republicanism other than innate superiority of the American Anglo-Saxon group of people who were of Caucasian race.
The previous ideologies placed American Anglo-Saxons a class above other races and they believed that they were destined to bring good governance, commercial prosperity as well as Christianity to America and to the world at large. This meant that the other races were inferior and they were reduced to a subordinate status failure to which they were faced with a possibility of racial extinction. This new racial ideology was very different from the earlier Euro-American view of Indians. Previously, both American and Europeans took some races to be superior to others for different reasons.
These reasons included biblical theories and they followed these theories despite their inconsistencies and their contradictions since they believed that they had a special continental and world mission to accomplish as a race. Both Americans and Europeans both shared a belief in the political and individual freedoms as well as a need for uniqueness in language and racial origins unlike the new racial ideology which advocated for free democratic republicanism. In the 19th and 20th century, these views towards American Indians did not change either since they were subject to enslavement.
At this time, many social scientists thought that native people were inferior to the Native Americans and so were subject to them and they went ahead to provide the much needed scientific proof for racial distinctions. During this time also, many government officials too felt that it was the descendant of the Anglo-Saxons who played great roles in the establishment of free government and hence the justification for their superiority altitude. Due to this, the government passed policies that bound the immigrants to conform to the prevailing political, economic and social systems .
These new polices from the American government led to the justification of sufferings and deaths of blacks, Mexicans and even Indians since any feelings of guilty which would come afterwards could be assuaged by assumptions of both historical and scientific inevitability. The general public also felt that Americans were the people who were destined to shape the destiny of the world and the other races were inferior and were doomed to permanent subordination or risk facing extinction. Lastly it’s worthy noting that the representation of native people held by social scientists, early anthropologists, the U.
S. government, and the American public are not contradictory since they seem to place them high above all the other races in all aspects of life. Short essay 3 The Indian country is today faced with an uphill task of determining who true Indians are and who are not. This task has not been easy since it has been surrounded by a lot of controversies. Many criteria’s have been proposed as the best to apply when determining who the true Indians are. First, there are those who believe that the true measure of how Indian one is through the amount of ‘Indian blood’ in them.
This criteria has been largely criticized since some people argue that there no true measure of the Indian blood that is present in someone since there are people who are born of one Asian parent while the other parent is from anther ethnic group. Secondly, there are others who believe that the true marker of a true Indian identity should be genealogy, private property and competence in civilization. This group of people argues that the true evidence of a true Indian should be based mostly on shared history between a person and other people who are known to be of an Indian background.
Social ties with people from Indian or who have Indian blood in them could be acceptable as a true claim to one being an Indian. This means that one needed to trace his ancestors and prove that his roots are Indian by tracing his ancestors. Attachment to Indian culture was proposed to be criteria too for determining who true Indian was. This required someone to be aware of all cultural believes and behaviors of the Indian people. Early practices like hunting and others were argued to be very effective criteria for identifying who real Indians were.
The ability to communicate in traditional Indian language was also advocated for by the people who shared this view. This controversy in the best criteria for separating true Indians and fake ones has been a big challenge to the Indian country since there still need for identifying who the true Indians. The American government is responsible for determining whether one is an American Indian or a Native American. The blood quantum criterion is used by the American government in the administration of Indian schools and land allotments.
In census reports, this method of separating Indians and non Indians is applied. The society also can decide who a true Indian is through the application of cultural believes of indigenous Indians as well as their life styles. Scholars have not been left behind either and they too can use their knowledge and principles to differentiate between the two. The federal government of America uses several methods in determining whether someone is a Native American or not. Blood quantum is one of these criteria’s and it applies the idea of determining how much of American blood a person has in their body.
In America, there is a settlement that is set aside for people of Indian origin. Any new person who may claim to be an Indian must have a proof of relationship with the already settled Indians in this land allocated to people of Indian backgrounds. The ability of some one to speak in Indian language and display cultural practices of Indians are acceptable by the federal government as true claims for an Indian. These criteria’s that are used by the government are not very different from those used by Native Americans in determining who a true Indian is.
To begin with, the native communities look mostly at the cultural connection between a person and the community in question. This criterion requires someone to practice Indian cultural practices and have some ties with well known Indian families. Physical appearances as well as the ability to communicate in Indian languages are used too. Non-native Americans on their side, identify the native ones by the kind of lifestyles they lead. The language they communicate in as well as their accent too. This identity of ones race is very important in many ways.
First, it’s used by the federal government in allocation of many services like education and social welfare. All these efforts in trying to determine who true Indians are pits at risk the identity of persons who are of a mixed ancestry because it makes them feel that they belong nowhere. All socialcultural anthropologies ideas have not offered any solution to solve this problem. People may have mixed ancestry hence making it hard to pick out their true identity. References 1. Deloria, Vine (1969) Custer Died for Your Sins: an Indian Manifesto, New York: Macmillan.
2. Calloway, Colin G. , (1995) The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities ,Cambridge University Press 3. O’Donnell, James, (1973) Southern Indians in the American Revolution ,University of Tennessee Press 4. Hirschfelder, Arlene B. ; Byler, Mary G. ; & Dorris, Michael (1983) Guide to research on North American Indians, American Library Association 5. Johnston, Eric F. (2003). The Life of the Native American. Atlanta, Tradewinds Press 6. Jones, Peter N.
(2005 Respect for the Ancestors: American Indian Cultural Affiliation in the American West, Boulder, CO: Bauu Press 7. Nichols, Roger L. (1998) Indians in the United States & Canada, A Comparative History, University of Nebraska Press 8. Snipp, C. M. (1989). American Indians: The first of this land, New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 9. Sturtevant, William C. (Ed. ). (1978) Handbook of North American Indians , Smithsonian Institution 10. Tiller, Veronica E (1992) Discover Indian Reservations USA: A Visitors’ Welcome Guide. Council Publications, Denver, Colorado


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