The Suppression of the Indian Religion and Culture in the New World

Powerful Essays
Thesis Statement:

I believe that a profound effect on Indian religion practiced in the

New World was caused by Columbus and the Age of Discovery.

Historical evidence proves that, before there were Europeans

on this continent, there were native peoples living in communion

with their environment and, very often, each other. Their religious

practices were interwoven with their daily lives and religion held

a prominent, significant place within their culture. The intrusion

by Europeans into this peaceful world had profound effects on the

Indians, especially their religious practices. What had been a

peaceful, harmonic lifestyle changed dramatically that fall of

1492. The Europeans entered the native people's world in search of

a trade route to the Indies. They felt it their "duty" to save

these poor creatures in the name of the King of Spain. "It wasn't

so much that Europe discovered Americas as that it incorporated it

and made it a part of its own special, long-held and recently

ratified, view of nature."(Sale p. 75) This arrogance would have

profound effects on these natives to last throughout all time,

including the present.

Let us begin our search for truth by asking ourselves this

question: Why are native peoples in the Americas referred to as

Indians? The naming of these peoples is credited to Columbus. It

was "Columbus, who gave to the peaceable multitude of the islands

the name, indios - because he considered their habitat to be "the

Indies", of course, but perhaps also because he thought of them as

living "in God". (Sanders p. 95) The Spanish word for God is



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