Native American Worldview in Envisioning America

I want to talk about the photo on page 94 of Envisioning America:IMG_0495

(excuse the photo taken by my phone and re-uploaded)

Instead of a quote, I felt that this photo is a powerful visual content that had deep meaning. The unrealistic amount of underwater animals symbolizes how abundant and available resources were for the Natives. It shows that their environment was rich with a variety of life. The environment represents the simplicity of life that does not include materialism. This is in contrast with the English worldview that highlights the importance of material goods reflects your social status in a society.

In addition, the photo shows how the harmonious relationship between the Natives and nature. Each living animal is shown in close proximity to the other living in sync to represent the peaceful relationship Natives had to animals. To me, this represents their  spiritual connection they had to the natural world. Furthermore, it emphasizes the ideology Natives had in how they viewed their position in the world. Unlike the British who believed they were the greatest creation from God, the Natives are seen as a part of one another, as a collective. The illustration shows the differences between Native and English lifestyles and their relationship with the environment.



2 Comments

  1. sjsmith9@illinois.edu wrote:

    Thi,I think you are making a pivotal argument, which leads us into not only the mind of the painter, yet the mind of the writers who gave the impressions of which to draw. I remember during our class tour to examine these articles in person. It was astonishing, and I will take away from that day, the idea that the people drawing the pictures were not there. However, the writer has given such remarkable detail that in fact the painter or illustrator has attempted to capture the words and represent them via illustration.

    Also, there are a plethora of images about natives of America, which to a modern eye, hold resemblance towards agriculture and sophistication within society.
    Now, were these self-imposed European concepts, which were unrelated to the original people and their society? Perhaps, yet in all the pictures I have noticed, therein with the background lies, the immense shooting of deer, with bows and arrows, again symbolizing the great sustenance of food.
    In closing, I continue to compare and contrasts the images found within Envisioning America, which are fascinating in retrospect, when contemplating the narrative from within a European contextualization of the indigenous peoples of America.

  2. sjsmith9@illinois.edu wrote:

    Thi, I think you are making a pivotal argument, which leads us into not only the mind of the painter, yet the mind of the writers who gave the impressions of which to draw. I remember during our class tour to examine these articles in person. It was astonishing, and I will take away from that day, the idea that the people drawing the pictures were not there. However, the writer has given such remarkable detail that in fact the painter or illustrator has attempted to capture the words and represent them via illustration.

    Also, there are a plethora of images about natives of America, which to a modern eye, hold resemblance towards agriculture and sophistication within society.
    Now, were these self-imposed European concepts, which were unrelated to the original people and their society? Perhaps, yet in all the pictures I have noticed, therein with the background lies, the immense shooting of deer, with bows and arrows, again symbolizing the great sustenance of food.
    In closing, I continue to compare and contrasts the images found within Envisioning America, which are fascinating in retrospect, when contemplating the narrative from within a European contextualization of the indigenous peoples of America.

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