Code Of Handsome Lake Essay

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Before the arrival of Europeans on the American continents, a wide variety of Indigenous tribes inhabited the land. Those tribes formed alliances, made war, studied, migrated, and worshipped for generations before Europeans began recording their histories. When the Europeans arrived on scene they had conquest in their hearts as they plundered tribal stores and lands for wealth, all while attempting to rescue the locals from the perceived threat of eternal damnation. However, the tribes of the Americas, like Indigenous tribes in other parts of the world, had their own faith systems. In some areas of the New World, Europeans successfully outlawed native faiths and imposed one or another version of Christianity on the local tribes, but in other…show more content…
The oral history format dictates a first person presentation which, in a religious text, creates an urgency and connection to the events unfolding in the story. The stories combine to present a tale of folly, loss, sin, forgiveness, and resurrection. In the Introduction to Arthur C. Parker’s translation of The Code of Handsome Lake, the influence of Christian mythology becomes evident. The story of “How the White Race Came to America and why the Gaiwiio Became a Necessity” is included in the Introduction. Therein, Handsome Lake explains that post-invasion the “Creator was sorry for his own people [the Native Americans] whom he had molded from the soil of the earth of this Great Island.”8 The sentiment echoes the island from the Iroquois creation myths and the creation of Adam from the earth in the Christian creation
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