Critical Review the Way We Lived Chapter 1

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Short Critical Review # 1

In our cinematographic history is normal to see a common depiction of the Native Americans as primitive, salvage and violent people. Nonetheless, in the chapter 1 The First Americans of Binder’s The Way We Lived, Native Americans are mainly described as a civilized and orgamized group of people that showed certain traits of agriculture, technology and political relationships.

In the essay about the Algonquians and Iroquoians included in Chapter 1, it is shown how these tribes used to hunt and eat and which places they visit to find their food, along with the search for places they will inhabit. Also, the essay talks about how they took advantage of the natural resources and how they used to perform in their daily life. This performance is divided on the book by seasons and it describes the variety of activities they had on each one of them. At the same time, it specifies the place or region where they used to do certain activities. It is in this section of chapter 1 where we can find the first signs of contrast between the film portrait of Native Americans and this book’s portrait.

The first strong evidence that Native Americans were not mere primitive individuals is that they had great expericence in agriculture. In the main essay, the Algonquian’s and Iroquoian’s agricultural procidures are explained in detail. It is explained how the combination of crops like squash, beans and green corn helped eachother out. The beans added nitrogen to the soil wich the corn consumed, while the stalk of the corn gave support to the bean vines. At the same time the corn gave the shadow needed to protect the squash. This procedure shows that, although not in a scientific way, the tribes knew by experience the good each plant contributed to eachother. In other words, they refined by observation their agriculture procidures (Binder, p 9). The Second evidence shows that the instruments used for hunting and war, although primitive in comparison to...
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