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‘THE NATIVE AMERICAN WORLD VIEW By Gary Nash While Naive American and European cultures were not nearly so diferent as the concepts of "savagery" and "civtzation” imply, societies on the eastem and western sides of the Alantic had {veloped diferent systems of values in the cantures that preceded contact, Underlying the physical confrontations that would take place when European and Native American mat were Incompatible ways of looking a the world. Tass lalant confits ran ha san In contrasting European and indian views of 1) man's relatonship to his environment, 2) the concept of Property, and 3) personal idly. 4) In the European view the natural word was a resource for man fo use. “Subdue the earth,” t \was saidin Genesis, ‘and have dominion over every ving thing that moves on the earth" The ‘cosmos was sil uled by God, of course, and supernatural forces, manesting themselves in ‘earthquakes, huticanes, drought, and flood, could not be controlled by man. Buta scientific ‘evolution was under way in the early modern period, which gave humane mare confidence that ‘hay could comprehend the natural world— and thus eventually cont! For Europeans the ‘Secular and the sacred were dstnt, and man's relationship to his natural envronment fl into 1 secular sphere, In the Indian ethos no such separation of socular and sacred existed. Every part ofthe natural \Worid was sacred, fr Native Americans beleved the word was inhabited by a great varity of “beings. each possessing spirtual power and al inke together to form a sacred whole, “Plans, animals, rocks, ané stars," explains Murray Wax, are thus seen not as objects, {govered by laws of nature but as fellows’ with whom the individual ar band may have a more ‘ores advantageous relatonshi.” Consequenty, ifone offended the land by tipping it of ts cover, the spitval power in the land —callod 'maritou" by some woodlands tbee—would strike back fone overfiched or destroyed game beyond one's needs, the situa pawerinherng in fish and animals would take revenge because humans had broken the mulual ust and reciprocty that govemed relations between all boings—human and nonhuman. To explo the land orto treat with disrespect any part ofthe natural word wasto cut onesel off fom the ‘pitual power dweling in al things and "was thus equlvalent to repudiating the va force in Nature.” 2) Because Europeans regarded the land as a resource tobe explolte for man's gain twas ‘easier to regarditas a commodiy to be privately held Private ownership of property became: ‘one of the fundamental bases upen which European culture rested. Fences became the syinbols of exclusively held property, inheritance became the mechanism fr trnsmiting these "asses rom one generation to another within the same family, and courts provided the Insttuonal apparatus fr setting property dsputes. Ina largaly agricultural socaty property became the basis of politcal pow: In fact, oltcal rights in England derived frm the ‘ownership ofa spacted quantity of and. In addon, the socal structur was largely defined by