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The Native Americans: Origin, Society and Culture Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Aug 20th, 2019

Several works has been done with regard to the Native Americans concerning their origin, sufferings, war, society, language and culture. This paper attempts to explore awareness of, concern for, and identity for the coming generation.

Besides aspects of significant identity with local geographical region of the Native Americans is applauded. Finally, the paper looks at the Native American Graves Repatriation and Protection Act (NAGRPA).

From the first film, the main theme revolves around Traditional Native American‘s awareness of, concern for, and identity with ancestors and the future generations.

From the story line, we see a profound concern for their identity as painted in the character of Maria Solares (1842-1919) was notably chose to learn the stories, songs, history, and language of her people. Furthermore, 100,000 pages were recorded from her.

In addition, we see that the Chumash Elders and young Apprentices pays tribute to the composer and recorder of the notes as symbolic of a traditional tool for passing on language and culture to the generations to come.

After a proactive analysis of the film, it is evident that the Traditional Native Americans are aware of, concerned for, and have an identity with their ancestors. Moreover, they are able to pass on this identity to the next generation as they preserve notes that depict their identity.

From the second film, the most important theme depicts indigenous people as having significant identification with place and local geographic region. From the story line in the film, it is clear that Ishi (was the last wild Indian in North America) went through intense suffering during the bloody massacres of 1860s and 1870s.

He lived in hiding with the few survivors. After Ishi left jail, we observe Ishi living his last four years as an informant and teacher at the Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco. Despite the oppression and suffering Ishi went through and even after living in hiding and even his tribe was considered extinct, he goes back to his native home.

This shows that whatever the indigenous people go through, they would still want to be identified with their geographical region and start their life again at home.

NAGRPA was passed in November 23, 1990 to protect against grave desecration, to repatriate thousand of dead relatives or ancestors, and to retrieve stolen or improperly acquired religious and cultural property from native owners (Mihesuah 123).

After the bloody wars and massacre, human remains of the Native were obtained by soldiers, government agents, pothunters, private citizens, museum collecting crews, and scientists in the name of profit, entertainment, science, and development (Mihesuah 125). The traditional movement, which is supported by the Americas Bills of Right, states that there should be protection of the sanctity of the dead and the sensibilities of the living.

On the contrary, scientists argue that Native human remains have scientific and educational value and therefore should be preserved for scientific research (Mihesuah 124). This created conflict between the government and the scientists.

The enactment of the NAGPRA favored traditional view and it is speculated skeletons and grave goods gathering dust in museums would be released for burial and ancient graves would be protected from further desecration. From this analysis, it is in order to confirm the fact that Native Americans own a rich past.

In conclusion, there is a rich history defining the Native Americans. What is notable among this group is that they are the primary agents of an indecisive matter. In addition, they have suffered social iniquities such as wars, slavery, oppression, discrimination, racism among others. However several steps have been taken by the American government to improve on their wellbeing.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Native Americans: Origin, Society and Culture'. 20 August.

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