Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Native Violence

hbdchick links an article from Science 2.0, The Most Violent Era In America Was Before Europeans Arrived. That's a bit of an overdramatisation.  The article focuses on enormous violence in a single region: southwest Colorado and the Puebla Indians.
Writing in the journal American Antiquity, Washington State University archaeologist Tim Kohler and colleagues document how nearly 90 percent of human remains from that period had trauma from blows to either their heads or parts of their arms. "If we're identifying that much trauma, many were dying a violent death," said Kohler. The study also offers new clues to the mysterious depopulation of the northern Southwest, from a population of about 40,000 people in the mid-1200s to 0 in 30 years.
Still, it is a counternarrative to the expected one that there was very little conflict until natives learned it from the Europeans. Peoples is peoples, and they don't seem to nicen up until A) they stop marrying their cousins, and/or B) start engaging in specialised trade, from which many benefit.  From the landing of the Puritans until King Philip's War in 1673, the Newenglanders had conflict but little warfare, in contrast to both the Europeans back home or the native tribes just inland from the coast.  Perhaps death, disease, and starvation held them together, as well as a desire for each others' goods.


Texan99 said...

Oh, man, you're harshing my Noble Savage buzz.

Roy Lofquist said...

"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

Declaration of Independence