Native Americans Before Columbus

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					Native Americas Before Columbus
Lecture 2

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Time on the Land
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Whether we take at face value the common NA position that they were placed in their traditional lands at Creation or we look at the oldest dates for NA archaeology sites, they have been in the New World for at least 15,000 years. As humans do, they learned about nature, used it, moved it, selected what they wanted from it, and integrated it into their ways of life (See Berkes, Folke, and Gadgil 1995). We have developed a theory of how this occurs which is illustrated in the following article and can be read in Stoffle, Toupal, and Zedeno 2003.

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Folks

1st 5th 16th 50th 200th Generation Generation Generation Generation Generation
(25 years) (125 years) (400 years) (1250 years) (5000 years)

ADAPTATION

Nature
Plants Animals Trees Herbivor e
Running Range Oak Stream Deer Red oak Mule deer

Red oak bark
Holy water

Water

Land forms

Mountain Headwater

Peak

Mule deer tail Vision quest

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Dyachronic Learning Diagram
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The previous diagram was developed to illustrate the basic idea that all humans learn. No humans are smarter than others. But some humans spend more time in place. When people move to unique ecosystems they become again first generation new comers. Naturally some humans choose adaptive strategies that eventually destroy their society and perhaps themselves.
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Types of Knowledge
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Local Knowledge = recently learned by people who have just arrived in a ecosystem. Highly ideosyncratic Traditional Ecological Knowledge = time-tested observations that are shared by a group who have remained in an ecosystem Indigenous Knowledge = awesome observations explained and supported by supernatural constraints
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Local Knowledge
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What we can learn within a few generations in the same ecosystem. Accessible observations – just out there for the viewing. Simple cause and effect. Begins as individual lessons, moves to the family level, and may eventually (over generations) pass to the community level.
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Local Knowledge Examples
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Dry washes run wet some times & some springs dry up in dry periods. Decade cycles of rain and drought Obvious single uses of plants, few combinations of plants and minerals Migration and habitat shifts of animals
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Traditional Knowledge
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Technically this occurs when the people under question become traditional. Shared knowledge = cultural knowledge. Time tested knowledge – it works to predict. More than two cause and effect relationships in a food web or trophic level. Mixture of secular and sacred based knowledge. TEK is used to describe traditional ecological knowledge
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Traditional Knowledge Examples
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Ojibwa wild rice harvesting Paiute burning of Indian Rice grass (Waii) Burning for male and female sages by the Dakota at Pipestone National Monument Shoshone gathering of pine forest ants and eggs.
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Indigenous Knowledge
Awesome knowledge along with high quality observations = can predict ecology cause and effect.  Deals with three or more non-intuitive connections along multiple food webs and different trophic levels.  Tied to sacred in most cases.  Example: Eating ants to stimulate visions among American Indian people in southern California (Groark 1996).  Example: Southern Paiutes indigenous knowledge is illustrated by medicine persons performing cataract eye surgery with the removed and living tail of a whiptail lizard as part of a Puha ceremony. 203 10
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Positive Disturbance
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A World Wildlife Fund web site (www.panda.org 2004) says most of the remaining significant areas of high natural value on earth are inhabited by indigenous peoples and this testifies to the efficacy of indigenous resource management systems. Missing from this discussion is a convincing explanation of how positive impacts can occur. Most authors simply assume that traditional people know when they are hurting nature and back off from such behaviors.
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Intermediate Disturbance
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Connell (1978) found that intermediate natural disturbances in ecosystems can cause positive impacts on biodiversity and biocomplexity. Intermediate in term of scale and frequency of occurrence. So do traditional people use their knowledge of ecosystems and consciously make intermediate human changes that have positive benefits?

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Some Characteristics of Positive Disturbance
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Traditional people can have a positive influence on the biocomplexity and biodiversity of their ecosystem. This is how we will define “being good” for the environment. Critics of this position say that traditional people often do hurt nature (Martin and Wright 1967) and if they don‟t it is because they lack the technology and the population size.
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From Conservation to Sustainability and Biodiversity
What can people do that is good for their ecosystems? The literature shows that traditional people can have positive impacts by  clearing spaces in forests (Turner, Davison-Hunt, O‟Flaherty 2003),  moving seeds to new habitats (Nabhan 1989),  digging tubers (Wandsnider and Chung 2003: 221-222),  changing behavior of herding animals (Anderson 1958),  pruning wild nut trees (Fowler 2000: 112), and  designing agricultural fields to stimulate animals and plant populations as well as provide sustainable farming (Atran et al. 2002).
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Source Garcia-Serrano and Del Monte 2004
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Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica

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The Bribri and Cabecar Cultures of this area are a good example of TEK and Conservation. They have a tropical home garden, rotating slash-andburn agriculture, and plantain cultivation. These two cultures have different sets of traditional rules for use of plants in “far” space where 24 species are harvested and “near“ space where 60 species are harvested. Generation after generation of these people have had an agreement with nature. Agriculture, and to varying degrees wild plant harvesting and hunting and fishing, continue being their main activities. They have a balanced system of exploiting nature.
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Location of TEK Study

Costa Rica
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A Bribri Web Site
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The Bribri People For thousands of years the Bribri People have lived in harmony with nature. The Bribri are located in the mountains and low-lying Caribbean coastal areas of southern Costa Rica and northern Panama on the Talamanca reservation. Approximately 5200 Bribri people have maintained an indigenous culture that's different from the rest of the country. Indigenous means that the Bribri were the original inhabitants of Talamanca. Agriculture is the main activity of the Bribri. They have roughly 120 wild and domestic crops used for food, building materials, medicine, and commercial trading. The Bribri are extremely isolated, and consequently, they have developed an extensive bartering system. Mostly the Bribri women participate in the trading of goods with neighbors. In addition to a bartering system, the Bribri isolation has caused them to have poor education and healthcare. They also have the lowest income per capita in the country; however, this isolation has made the Bribri a relatively self-sufficient society where there are enough crops grown and livestock raised to sustain them. One small tribe of the Bribri, the Kekoldi, only has about 200 people. They partake in the very unique practice of iguana farming. Iguanas are very important to the forest, so due to over-hunting, the Kekoldi tribe has devised a very efficient way to replenish the iguana population. The farm has been operating for 11 years and has about 2,000 iguanas and 2,000,000 eggs. The iguanas stay on the farm until five years of age at which time they are then released into the wild. The Bribri have their own language. They have a rich culture that has been molded over thousands of years and remained relatively untouched by western civilization.
References: Voices from a town meeting in indigenous Costa Rica http://www.gisp.ucsb.edu/lais/case12.htm Vandegrift, Darcie. University of California, Santa Barbara. 1996. Community Development with the Bribri of Costa Rica http://www.agroecology.org/cases/bribri.htm Agroecology Research Group 1999. Written by: Lyle Arnason

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Examples of Animals - Domestic
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Dog – everywhere Turkey – North America Guinea Pig – Andean Llama – Andean Alpaca – Andean Muscovy Duck –Andean Tropical Birds – everywhere for feathers. Aztecs made cloaks from humming bird feathers

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Raptors – raising eagles for feathers, North America Turtles – penned and perhaps bred along the Amazon River near large settlements.

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Managed Nature Moving Towards Cultigens
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Agroforestry in Amazon – variety of tree species involved including palms, cashew, and brazil nut. Pacae [Inga ] – large mesquite tree with a foot long seed pod – Pacific coast of Andes.

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Willow Trees – cut back to produce straight branches for basketry.

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Examples of Cultigens
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Peppers - everywhere Corn - everywhere Beans - everywhere Squash & Pumpkins everywhere Potatoes – several species, Andean Sweet Potatoes – several species – tropical coastal Manioc - Amazonian Amaranth – Mexico & Andean Chenopodium – Mexico & Andean

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Pineapple – tropical & arid coastal Lupin - Andean Tree cotton – 4 color varieties no dye needed – both sides of Andes Cacao (chocolate)- bean was a standard of value, grown in Central America by both Maya and Aztecs. Coca – middle altitude Amazon side of Andes. Controlled substance by the state.

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TEK of Agriculture Examples
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On island of Hispaniola Europeans noticed that NA did not have rows [lacked the draft animals and plow], but planted multiple crops in hills of earth heaped up. Corn, pumpkins, and beans planted together symbiotically. Bean roots fertilized the corn while the stock served the runners of beans and pumpkins. Irrigated the hills. Cotton had its own fields because of a longer growing season. Agroforestry trees and bushes like coca, and cacao were planted along edges of fields. Most agroforestry plants became more fertile the longer they were managed due in part to pruning, weeding, and mulching.

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Terra Preta in Amazon
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Making dirt. Enduring self renewal soil. Dated 2,000 years ago from Amazon. Made an organic mixture ( much like sour dough starter for bread) which makes a fertile soil. Moved it in large pots to new areas. Once established it is largely self sustaining. Instead of destroying the soil with tropical farming, they improved it.
See Mann 2002
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One Study Area

See: Mann 2002
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Images of a Human Soil
People have been farming here for thousands of years – farming hard – and we just have to learn how to do it as well as they did (Quote by Susanna Hecht in Mann 2002)

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See Mann 2002

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Inca Engineering
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Built roads – stone roads up and down the Andes 2400 miles long north and south with right angle feeder roads east and west. Longest and best built roads until modern times. Planted trees along roads to shade travelers. Suspension bridges in Inca Empire with tall stone masonry towers on both sides with plant fiber cords as cables and wooden slats. Wide enough for two horses to pass. They had suspension bridges before Europeans. Extremely long (up to 30 miles in length) irrigation cannels. Chasquis – curriers who ran along the Inca roads. Could bring fresh fish from the Pacific coast to Cuzco (Tawatinsuyu) [Peru] in less than 24 hours. Quipus – communication device.
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/inca/inc a_culture_3.html

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Mining
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Mineral pigment was mined everywhere in New World for decoration and ceremony. Andean groups mined gold ore and smelted it and worked it into jewelry and ceremonial objects. Made charcoal which was used in smelting – went to about 1400 degree F, an effective smelting temperature. Smelting device of Inca was eventually adopted by the Spanish at high elevations in Andes. Tin and copper mined in Andes, and could combine these minerals to make bronze metal. Turquoise and jade mined and most valued of all minerals. Emeralds mined in Columbia – green ones highest value. Copper mined in Great Lakes of North America.

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Cities
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Tenochtitlan (now Mexico) – larger than any Spanish city of the time. London may have been larger. Chaco (now New Mexico) – a massive ceremonial center with roads and connected service towns. Casas Grandes (now Chihuahua, Mexico) was a ceremonial center and a city with an irrigation sewage system. Cuzco (now Peru) massive high elevation city.
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What NA Did Not Have
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Maya had invented the wheel, but used it only on toys. Wheel was not used in New World. Strong draft animals. European-Asian diseases.

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Made and Managed Landscapes
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Whole Amazon Basin was a human landscape. Moving species, selecting species, clearing with slash and mulch. Andes were intensively managed with systems of terraces and modifications of hydrological systems. Domestic animals grazed grasslands. The peoples of the Antilles were largely farmers who cut down trees for fields and made salt ponds in the former coastal mangroves.
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Caribbean Basin Societies
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Arrival time unclear, but they were around the edges for 10K years and in the Greater and Lesser Antilles for at least 3,000 years. Various arrival routes currently being considered , but some definitely came from northeast coast of South America.

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Caribbean Indigenous Peoples
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Common Names (linguistic and cultural referents)
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Temporal Reference Terms
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Ciboney Arawak (subgroups =Tanoans, Lucayans, and Igneri) Caribs
Palaeo Meso Neo

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Peoples connected to all mainland basin societies. Cultivated manioc as well as corn, beans, and squash. Agroforestry – a kind of tree & bush horticulture Fishing Canoe travelers – up to 80 people in a sea-going canoe with canopies for cargo. Traded textiles – cotton and specialty feather cloaks; both used as a standard of value (like money). Gold dust and goose quills were used as money to settle debts in Mexico City markets.
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The Ciboney People
In western Cuba, cays north and south of Cuba, Guaicayarima Peninsula of Haiti.

Rouse 1948: 497-503
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The Ciboney People
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Ciboney are not well known because the Spanish did not interact with them on a regular basis, so be careful about the following descriptions. Thought to be the oldest people of the Antilles. Simple social organization and technology. Low population density. No agriculture. Simple religion. Assumed to have once occupied most of the Antilles but later replaced by Arawaks and Caribs. Survived in Cuba until early 17th Century when Spanish settlers offered rewards for their extermination because they shot cattle with bows and arrows.
Rouse 1948: 497-503
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The Arawak People
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Farming & fishing peoples whose ancestors probably arose more than 4,000 years ago along Orinoco River in Venezuela. Found mostly in Greater Antilles in 1492. Dense populations & large cities Complex social organization – Chiefdoms Distance Trading by Canoe – made from dugout cottonwood or cedar trees. Chief‟s canoe could hold 7080 men and was painted. Propulsion by long blade paddles. Traveled all around big islands but also between islands. Individuals would go on long voyages alone in small canoes. Oldest canoe found in region is from Florida and is dated many thousand of years old, and other Florida finds are 10s of thousands of years old .
Rouse1948:507-546

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Arawak – Interesting Facts
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Washing body was common. Used an aromatic fruit to form a lather in the water. Cooked from a pot that was over the fire all the time – called a pepper pot – each day people would add food to it. Painted and tattooed the body – both men and women did this. Used red, white, black, and yellow paints from vegetables and resinous gum. Often painted Zemis – symbols of spirits. Pierced ears and nasal septum and added plugs. Gold was washed from streams and made into jewelry. Chiefs could punish subjects by death for theft and adultery. Matrilineal – personal property and chieftainship was inherited through women.

Rouse1948:507-546
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Who Are The Carib People?
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In some respects this is one of the more important questions of this section, because whatever the Carib people were at contact they became the image of all Native Americans to Europeans. Think of them as newcomers to the Caribbean. They even remembered arriving. Think of them as basically like the Arawaks – farmers with good boats and some quirky traits.
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Carib Boats
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They were boat experts, having four types  Pirogues  Large canoes  Small canoes  Rafts The first two types were dugouts, but the sides were built up with planks, sewn together and pitched with bitumen. The average length of the piroque was 40 feet, some were large enough to carry 50 persons. Each one had a keel, a raised and pointed bow, a series of plank seats, and a flatpooped stern carved with an animal‟s head to frighten the enemy and often decorated with a barbecued human arm In historic times, (and perhaps earlier) the pirogues had three masts and the canoes two, each supporting a sail made from cotton or from palm-leaf matting.
Rouse 1948: 553-554
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Who Has The Boat Technology Advantage?
Carib Arawak

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Rouse 1948: Plates 91, 94

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Cannibal Warriors
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The Carib held assemblies to decide upon war and to fix a rendezvous; at these meetings the old women harangued them on the cruelty of the enemy, the war chief exhorted them to revenge themselves, they became very drunk, and at the height of the festival they ate some enemy flesh, smoked and preserved from the last raid. Each warrior was given a gourd full of pebbles, a string with knots [quipu?], or a stick with notches, to tell how many days before he had to be at the rendezvous. The primary weapon was the 6 foot long bow and arrows. Caribs attacked at dawn to catch the enemy asleep. If the enemy was defeated, they pillaged the village and roasted and ate the enemy corpses. They bound prisoners and carried them home. They then ate the men and incorporated the women and children into their own families.
Rouse 1948: 559-560
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The Essential Carib
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Cannibal Warrior Society or Agricultural Folks who could expand their territory and were a bit “in you face” with defeated groups? Most contemporary analysts agree that the Caribs were culturally and socially similar to the Arawaks, but were more aggressive against outsiders. Key issue here is: Did the Spanish select one cultural characteristic (i.e., eating defeated opponents) in order to essentialize the Caribs and to rationalize the conquest, conversion, and enslavement of all New World peoples?

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The Foundation of Essentialization
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After Columbus made contact with the Carib during his second voyage, in 1493, he purposely sailed farther south in order to investigate these fierce savages of whom he had heard in Hispaniola. {Note here that he first developed this Carib assessment from their enemies the Arawak} He discovered a Carib village in Guadeloupe where he received on board six captive Arawak women. There was no battle because the Carib men were gone. He then proceeded to St. Croix where Carib warriors attacked his expedition before it departed for the Arawak island of Puerto Rico.
Rouse 1948: 547-548

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Essential Response
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The Spanish made no attempt to settle the Lesser Antilles. There was no gold there, and the agricultural potentialities did not compensate the difficulty of subduing the Carib. [Note, that the small villages of the Carib were scattered on the high islands in isolated valleys that were difficult to approach and easy to defend.] [Note, that the Spanish had little interest in farming.] The Spanish colonists did, however, make numerous slave raids against the Carib islands taking advantage, after the prohibition of such raids elsewhere, of a provision permitting their attacks on cannibals.
Rouse 1948: 548
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Expansion of an Essentialization
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Why did the Spanish (and later other Europeans) care to characterize the Indians of the New World as cannibals? Morgan (1997: 176) argues that Europeans involved in conquest and slavery needed rationalizations for their actions. They accomplished this by developing stereotypes of American Indians (and later Africans) that would distance these peoples from the world of white civilization. Being a cannibal made the person a just candidate for slavery. Indian and African women were characterized in negative terms that would remove them from the protection of European norms, and in turn position them as valid candidates for slavery, abuse, and even death. Morgan illustrates this point with reference to a 1592 book where an Indian woman was portrayed in a drawing as licking the juices of grilled human flesh from her fingers. Jennings (1975) called the this process the “Cant Of Conquest;” a battle of words and ideas in which the conquest and enslavement of others is deemed just and even good for them because it brings them out of a savage condition into a civilized state.
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Selected References
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Berkes, F., C. Folke, M. Gadgil (1995) Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Biodiversity, Resilience, and Sustainability. In Biodiversity Conservation C. A. Perrings (ed.). Pp. 281- 299. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Carmony, N. and D. Brown eds. (1979) The Wilderness of the Southwest. Salt Lake: University of Utah Press. Castilla, Juan (1993) Humans: Capstone Strong Actors in the Past and Present Coastal Ecological Play in Humans as Components of Ecosystems by M. McDonnel and S. Pickett (eds).

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References
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Connell, Joseph H. (1978) Diversity in Tropical Rain Forests and Coral Reefs. Science 199(4335): 1302-1310. Groark, Kevin (1996) “Ritual and Therapeutic Use of „Hallucinogenic‟ Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex) in Native South-Central California.” Journal of Ethnobiology 16(1): 1-30. Jackson, Jeremy (et al.) 2001(July 27) Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems. Science Vol 293, 629-638. Jennings, Francis (1975) The Invasion of American: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Mann, Charles (2002) The Real Dirt on Rainforest Fertility. Science Magazine (August 9) Vol. 297: 292-293. Milanich, Jerald T. (1994) Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida. University Presses of Florida, Tallahassee, FL.

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References
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Morgan, Jennifer (1997) Some Could Suckle: Male Travelers, Female Bodies, and the Gendering of Racial Ideologies, 1500 to 1770. William and Mary Quarterly 54(1): 167-192. Rappaport, Roy (1968) Pigs for the Ancestors. New Haven: Yale University Press. Rouse, Irving (1948) The West Indies: Part 3. In Julian H. Steward (ed.) Handbook of South American Indians, The Circum-Caribbean Tribes. Pp. 495565 . Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office Stoffle, R., R. Toupal, and N. Zedeno (2003) Landscape, Nature, and Culture: A Diachronic Model of Human-Nature Adaptations. In Nature Across Cultures: Views of Nature and the Environment in Non-Western Cultures, H. Selin (ed.). Pp. 97-114. Great Britain: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Stokstad, Erik 2001 (July 27) Fossils With Lessons for Conservation Biology. Science Vol 293, 592-593. Vayda, Andrew (1993) Ecosystems and Human Action. In Humans as Components of Ecosystems by McDonnel and Pickett (eds.) Pp.72-78.

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