ERIC Number: ED216833
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-21
Native American Games & European Religious Attitudes in the 16th & 17th Centuries.
Some aspects of the white-Indian relationship are reflected in the writings of 16th and 17th century observers of Indian pastimes. The Noble Savage image was apparently accepted by French colonists as a consequence of an intellectual disappointment in the contemporary societies. In an age of absolutism and religious intolerance, the picture of the Indian as a carefree and independent specimen spending much of his time gambling, playing lacrosse, and feasting was to serve as a symbolic example for the disillusioned. The Puritan philosophy of the English excluded the notion of the Native as a guiding example for a better earthly society, since for them, earthly existence served merely to obtain the world to come and the Indians' sporting activities were a "waste of time ... the deadliest of sins." The early Quakers, though disapproving "all excesses in luxury, pleasure, and wanton pastimes" nevertheless had good relations with the Indians, regarding them as children of God deserving respect. Major criticism among all the early observers was aimed at the Indians' excessive gambling and betting, but all the colonists commented on how scrupulously fair the Indians were in their gaming activities. A list of early authors is included. (LC)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A