Showing posts with label Native Americans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Native Americans. Show all posts

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pictures and History of Mission San Diego de Alcala

Mission San Diego de Alcala is the first mission in San Diego and has a long history of local influence. It is now a National Landmark due to its 1769 start that has molded the city. Thousands of visitors come to the landmark to see the early beginnings of Western influence in the area. Prior to this, Native Americans lived in the region and maintained natural lives unseen by outsiders. The mission was an attempt to colonize and convert these locals while maintaining ownership of the land. 

Photography PrintsThe European story starts with the arrival in 1542 of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. There was no interest in colonizing the area until 1768 when King Carlos III of Spain became aware that Russians were fishing off of California. The push to build settlements became a heightened need to ensure that the land was controlled by Spain. 

The first mission was established in On July 16, 1769 by Father Serra. It overlooked the bay but only lasted five years because of a lack of water and ability to maintain crops. The new mission was moved closer to the Native American tribes at the mouth of the river. However, discontent broke out in the Native American villages and 800 warriors sacked the location fearing the mission’s intent. 

Because of the sacking, the mission was rebuilt like a fort to protect the inhabitants. It was a poor area but eventually with time, effort, and Native American interest it became self-sustaining and productive. It stayed untouched until secularization removed some of the religious leaders after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821.

Once the U.S. claimed the area, the military in 1853 brought its cavalry and artillery to ensure control. They improved mission infrastructure but eventually abandoned it until nuns came and started a school. It moved back into an active parish and historical landmark visited by people studying California history. The cost of admittance is $5.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving as an Example of How Business can Further Societal Interest

In 1620, a small ship named the Plymouth with 102 passengers landed on the new American shores. In 1621, the colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared a meal together from the harvest. By this time, the 102 members were down to about half due to their first year spent on the ship trying to survive the cold. They were greeted by a Native American who spoke English after returning home from a slavery escape at the hands of an English captain. Without that Native American’s help, the Plymouth visitors may have perished.

I wonder what was going through this Native American’s head and why he took such pity on the European settlers. Regardless of the reasons, he decided that him and his band of people would help the settlers find a stronger footing. The peace seemed to have worked out.  Perhaps it was his familiarity with the values of human life that made all of the difference in his decision process. Certainly, he and his band could have made it difficult for the Puritans to get off  the ship. 

It is also important to remember that the Puritans would have stayed in Holland if they did not find some way of starting over.  They had a need to create their own destiny and the new land seemed like a great opportunity. The problem they faced was that they did not have the money or resources to pay for such a trip on their own. They needed the business community’s help.

An investment group by the name of Merchant Adventurers looked upon the Puritans who fled to Holland to avoid English persecution positively and decided to finance their operations. As the Merchant Adventurers were a joint-stock company that invested in fine clothing, trade, fishing, and other activities they thought the trip may someday prove fruitful. The Puritan group was seeking more freedom and the investors were seeking greater opportunities. It seemed to have worked out in mutual self-interest. 

Business and societal change are part of the same existence. We often view business as separate from these wonderful moments in human history. Yet they are the motivations, resources, and pressures that help create meaningful interactions. Business can be a problem solver or a problem creator and this depends on the person making the decisions and the environmental pressures they face.  Yet, when we think outside of conventional approaches, we may find that there are times when business can further human interest.

Other Reading:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Are Native Americans and Europeans Related?

A 24,000-year-old arm bone indicates that Native Americans may be cousins to Eurasians. DNA samples along with current projects to map the DNA of Native Americans have made new discoveries. It was found that the Native Americans share about 18% to 38% with Eurasian and other genomes with East Asians. This may mean that Native Americans are really a mixing of genetics between Eurasians and East Asians that create a distinct identity. 

The scientists originally thought they contaminated the samples and put the tests on hold. A year later, they found the same results. They began to look around the American continent for other examples and came across the 9,000-year-old Paleo-Indian found in Washington. To their amazement this Native had features more European than East Asian. 

It was believed that earlier studies with Eurasian DNA were a result of mixtures with Europeans after settlement and colonization. Now it is possible that such DNA structures are actually deeper and can date back tens of thousands of years. If so, this would mean that Natives have been in the area for a long time and have developed their own ways of life independent of other societies. 

When people view all human life as common, using similar expressions, mannerisms, and processes but with different cultures the idea is no longer farfetched. Other studies that are mapping the mich-DNA are finding similarities in other large groups in other areas indicating that early human development was very interrelated. 

What does this really change for people? Mostly it is about perspective. We often view ourselves as very different but these are cultural differences. At a very deep level, we may all be interrelated and come from similar ancient backgrounds. Over the years, we have learned different ways of surviving within our environments and passed these methods through the generations to create culture.

Mass, et. al. (November 20th,2013). Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans.  doi:10.1038/nature12736   Journal

Other Reading: 

Video on the History of Native Americans

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Art: Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks

Edward Hicks (1780-1849) painted over sixty different versions of his popular Peaceable Kingdom. As an American painter in folk art, he worked in a style that was uniquely his. At times, a lack of formal training can be a benefit as styles vary from those offered by some of the masters. His unique work and individualized style led to his great art mastery.  His fame as an artist grew by the passion he put within his work.

The Peaceable Kingdom is a rendition of the biblical passage of Isaiah 61: 6-9. As a Quaker, he saw his world through this particular lens and seemed to recreate those concepts on canvas. The passage states, “The Leopard shall lied down with the kid,; and a calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” It was this concept that led to a peace treaty in Pennsylvania with the Natives that became an ideal model for others. The land was purchased and equitably owned as the Quaker mindset was to view all people as human with rights to their own land.

The picture is one of plush looking figures living in harmony and European and Natives talking together. The children are living with the beasts in pure harmony.  What you find is that the forefront creates an ideal perfection that is applied to the political issues of the time as expressed in the background (i.e. Natives and Europeans).

Peace is a homeostasis where want and need does not force unfair actions on others. The problem with this ideal is that people within the world will always have needs just like the lions and the children. If the lions are hungry, the children cannot feel safe. This is an ideal on earth that should be something we strive for even if it may never be realized.

As you can tell from the painting, it is dreamlike with oddly stuffed and soft animals. The children are in white indicating purity. The sun is setting meaning that night is coming. The natives and the Europeans are both wearing hats and feathers.  One European and one Native have their hands outstretched as though they are explaining something to their colleagues. Are they not the same?