Colonialism: The Destruction Of Native American Culture

Good Essays
Colonialism has caused many problems for native people all over the world, throughout history. “Traditionally, colonialism is understood to refer to an area of the world acquired by conquering the territory or settling it with inhabitants of the nation holding it in control, thereby imposing physical control over the region and its population”(Bennett, “Colonialism and Neocolonialism”). The problem with colonialism is that when new people come into an already established culture, they also bring their culture with them. When these people come in, they try to enforce their culture on the people whose land they have taken over. Bennett stated: the areas where Islamic or Asian culture, religion, and laws had existed for a thousand or more…show more content…
Therefore, when people had strong developed culture, they resisted colonization more because they would lose more. A people stripped of their native culture is a people stripped of their identity and souls. When North America was colonized, “Native Americans tried to maintain their identity and lands…(and they) desired to maintain their own culture and beliefs”(Duplain, “Destruction of Native American Culture”). The Native Americans tried to maintain their culture because it helped create their identity. It can be seen that this true by the definition of culture: “the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group”("The Definition of Culture"). Through cultural imperialism, the leaders within the federal government attempted to make Native Americans into white men using various methods...for example, Cherokee women, whose culture called for them to be in charge of the farming, were required to change their focus to domestic duties, including household management of chores and the children…show more content…
A Hawaii native states, “Today, Hawaiians continue to suffer the effects of haole (white) colonization. Our language was banned in 1896, resulting in several generations of Hawaiians, including myself, whose only language is English”(Haunani-Kay, “Struggle For Hawaiian Sovereignty”). Language is one of the key parts to someone’s identity. The definition of Identity according to Merriam-Webster dictionary states, “the qualities, beliefs, ect., that make a particular person or group different from others.” A language definitely distinguishes a group of people. When people talk, others can tell where they are from based on the tongue they are speaking. By taking away this important identity feature, the Native Hawaiian were stripped of their native identity. Now their culture and identity is used for a tourist attraction. “The hula, for example, an ancient form of dance with deep spiritual meaning, has been made ornamental, a form of exotica for the gaping tourist”(Haunani-Kay). This is another example of how the Hawaiian culture and identity has been stripped away from the people. People who have come into Hawaii to colonize it have changed the native traditions and turned them into tourist attractions, which takes away the deep meaning and the true identity of the people. In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, there are more examples of how colonist came into a culture, with their own culture, and changed the
Get Access