Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Native Americans, Cultural Degradation
Gerry Cox & Vincent N. Parrillo
Scorn for the Native Americans' ways of life became apparent soon after their first encounters with Europeans. Disparagement of, and disrespect for, tribal cultures continued thereafter and, unfortunately, still continues today. For centuries, much of what people have known about Native Americans has rested on misinformation, stereotypes, and media creations that have led to biased attitudes and negative beliefs. The very term Indian , in fact, comes from a misconception. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans had rich cultures and social systems. The Aztec, Arikara, Anasazi, Clovis, Hidatsa, Hohokam, Inca, Inuit, Mandan, Mayan, Mogollon, Mounds Builders, Oneota, Pueblo, and others developed flourishing cultures long before 1492. Although the many tribes varied significantly in language, clothing and bodily adornment, housing, social organization, and ways of life, they were mostly similar in their belief systems and primary relationships that were built on a clan or friendship system. Despite the cultural ...