Cabeza de Vaca

Topics: 16th century, The Europeans, Hernán Cortés Pages: 2 (524 words) Published: November 29, 2012
The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca:
Attitude Towards the Native Indians

In The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca, we follow the journey of Cabeza de Vaca to one of the earliest conquests to the New World. De Vaca's perspective was not like that of conventional conquerors, but he was rather an anthropologist who accepted other cultures and traditions. De Vaca was an advocate for better treatment of Indians, which lead to him being convicted and sent to Africa. This action alone speaks volumes about the heightened prejudice that fueled in the minds of the Europeans against the Native Indians. In The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca, we witness the superior and greedy attitude of the European conquistadors, which later evolves to a civil and sympathetic view. During the 16th Century, European attitude towards Indians was dehumanizing as they felt that the Native Indians were inferior to them because they didn't have European characteristics of blue eyes and blonde hair .The European conquistadors were looking for new land in hopes to live, seek gold and gather wealth. Europeans enslaved the Native Indians and tried to force them off the land, thus the Indians had to fight back. Religious missionaries tried to convert the Indians to Christianity, they believed that this was the right thing to do because the Indians were superstitious and savage. Due to this perception of Europeans, Cabeza de Vaca suffered greatly because of his sympathy for Native Indians. Like most European explorers, Cabeza de Vaca was inclined towards their conquest. Cabeza de Vaca expressed sympathy and somewhat superiority towards the Indians, while welcoming their hospitable nature throughout the expedition in order to justify his entitlement to their land. As him and his Spanish conquistadors made their westward journey, they encountered many obstacles, such as natural disasters and the initial captivity by the Native Indians. During his almost decade long odyssey, Cabeza de Vaca...
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