One early example of the Captivity Narrative is that of Hans Staden; a German man captured by the Tuppin Imba while on a voyage to Brazil. Staden’s account is largely concerned with the cannibalistic tendencies of his captors, and the way in which he escaped a gruesome fate by convincing them that he was protected by God. Initially he is accused of being one of the hated Portuguese by the Tuppin Imba and is subjected to a violent reception. He notes that upon his capture “they threw me to the ground and shot and stabbed at me…One said he was the first...
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..., they gradually came to occupy places of varying familiarity with their captors. In their journey each acquired some new understanding of themselves, through either faith or worldly experience. The extraordinarily inclusive nature of these societies is apparent in the tradition of adoption, with the manner in which captives become akin to family being extremely curious. Most striking in the narratives is how the entirety of the Native American culture is exposed, in all its brutality and humanity. In each of the narratives, the audience is confronted with shocking acts of violence that stand in stark contrast to the humanity displayed by the Native Americans in the later portions of the narrative. Eventually, it can be seen that the narrator’s attitude towards his captors slowly shifts as he becomes more familiar with both the people and customs of an alien culture.
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