Re: Survival of the Fittest

Nick Corduan (nickc@IQUEST.NET)
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 16:33:50 -0500


> >and Europeans. Things such as the centralization of ritual,
> Europeans and Euroamericans get up every day, perform Horace Miner's Body
> Rituals, go to work... etc. all of this is scheduled and highly
> ritualized... just like a few of the more highly organized American Indian
> rituals. If you mean 'centrality of ritual', well, we should be arguing
> about how anybody might rationally measure such a thing.

No, I meant the centralization of ritual. There is a greater tendency in
Europe and the Near East to have one specified performer of ritual who sorta
takes care of the dirty work for everybody else. There tends to be one
religious leader above the others, etc... In more traditional cultures,
however, there are far more personal religious rituals, and a greater
dispersal of the spirtual power. (In general, mind you!)

> >the
> >anthropomorphizing of Deity,
> Most Europeans/Euroamericans have made their god(s) in the image of
> themselves. Of course, if you believe their origin myth, it's the other way
> around. I see the origin myth as an act of creation in and of itself.

In other words, you're agreeing with me, though?

> >the view of natures,
> what, exactly, are 'natures'? If you meant 'nature,' I think I can agree

That's what I meant. Typo -- sorry! <g>

> that present day American indians do tend to have a different view of nature
> than present day Europeans and European Americans. Whether any of this
> isn't a product of the last 500 years of colonial history, I'm unsure. And
> based on the ethnohistory I read on a daily basis, it is much less possible
> to generalize about American Indian views of nature that it is Mediterranean
> and northern European views.

I don't necessarily mean, "Nature: destroy or not to destroy?" However, in
traditional American cultures -- and I'm including Latin America, mind you --
there was, in general, a greater awareness of the natural world than in
Europe. Whether they were in peace and harmony with nature is another issue,
but they were certainly more attune to it.

> >the emphasis on
> >ancestors/descendants.
> Is there really any sense in bothering to mention the various European and
> Euroamerican cults of death (which we tend to refer to as 'religion'). Need
> I ention that according to Christian ideology, we are all descendants of
> that deity (who looks just like us), and that the saints in catholicism are
> sometimes held to be spiritual ancestors of people - sometimes whole

I wasn't really talking about religious groundings in this instance, but even
so, there is certainly a greater emphasis on the past and the ancestors in
traditional Latin American religion and Chinese religion. Catholicism and
related Christian sects have their saints and lighting of candles for the
dead, but nothing to compare with the place of Ancestors in the esteem of the
Confucian or the traditional LA Indian. Not because of the role in religion,
but because of the role in everday life -- and, in fact, the role of the
ancestor part of religion in everyday life.

> Othering is dangerous, Nick.

Not to be belligerent, but . . . why?


Nick Corduan "...there is as much dignity in tilling
at a field as in writing a poem."
( --Booker T. Washington