Module three was about learning about the ancient civilizations that pre-dated the pilgrims and the achievements, lifestyles, and strategies that these native colonies used as well as further disproving the single story of the “pristine wilderness” that claims that natives lived in small remote communities when instead the native Indians societies, cities, and civilizations were healthier and larger than the Europeans.
First, we read the article, “1491” which spoke of the ancient civilizations of the Americas and further disproved the “pristine wilderness” single story that is believed by some. The podcast challenged this single story by describing the lifestyle and achievements of these ancient civilizations, and when compared, these ancient Native civilizations were as advanced as the Europeans, if not more advanced through their use of suspension bridges and advanced irrigation farming. Compared to the podcast, the article focused more on the expansion of the colonizers and how disease was the devastating culprit which decimated Native-American societies. The article spoke about how the pilgrims landed on the Americas and were met with abandoned Indian villages the article quotes that, “[Disease] killed 90 percent of the people in coastal New England”. This topic of abandoned living spaces was recurring and the pilgrim would paint the picture that the Natives were scarce scattered communities. And not only this, but the article goes on to state that it was calculated by Dobyns that in 1491 the Western hemisphere held ninety to 112 million people, “Another way of saying this is that in 1491 more people lived in the Americas than in Europe”, and to add on to this, “Dobyns, estimated that in the first 130 years of contact about 95 percent of the people in the Americas diedthe worst demographic calamity in recorded history.”. So one could come to the conclusion that as colonizers swept through the America’s sweeping disease with them, stumbling upon abandoned or massively deserted communities, of course, they would record that this New World was scarcely populated.
This week I learned how massive the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas were, along with how advanced their societies, cities, and techniques were. I also learned about mono-culture food in our society through the Ted talk this week. I thought it was incredibly important that native nations were able to protect their culture and cultural foods from genetic engineering. I also found the story Winona LaDuke painted of the corn seeds that would only grow in the Nebraska region was spectacular to me.