Re: Survival of the Fittest

Matthew S. Tomaso (Tomaso@MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU)
Fri, 15 Sep 1995 14:34:11 -0500

At 04:13 PM 9/14/95 -0500, Nick Corduan wrote:
> there are still things which separate, in general, American Indians
>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.

>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.

>the view of natures,

what, exactly, are 'natures'? If you meant 'nature,' I think I can agree
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.

>the emphasis on

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 regions????

Othering is dangerous, Nick.


Matt Tomaso.
Anthropology. University of Texas at Austin.
Phone/Fax 512-453-6256