Cabeza de Vaca

Topics: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Narváez expedition, Spanish American Pages: 2 (820 words) Published: February 22, 2007
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca is best known as the first Spaniard to explore what we now consider to be southwestern United States. His nine-year odyssey is chronicled within the book The Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition. His account is considered especially interesting because it is one of the very first documents that illustrates interactions between American natives and explorers. However, when examining the exploration of the modern United States, there are many arguments that have to do with the entitlement to the land and the motivations behind settling in the first place. Most explorers were obviously in favor of their own conquests and Cabeza de Vaca is of course no exception. In Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition, Cabeza de Vaca seems to be in favor of this exploration by outwardly expressing superiority and pity towards the Indians while secretly appreciating their accommodating nature throughout the conquest in order to justify his entitlement to their land to the rest of . As him and his Spanish conquistadors make their westward journey on foot they encounter many obstacles among these having to do with natural disasters and the Indians they come across that all prove to be extremely telling of the differences between western cultures and that of the Indians and the historical motivations behind conquest in general. This physical and emotional struggle of accommodation between races

Cabeza de Vaca describes the Indians in such a way that is dehumanizing and condescending. Though he journeys out to claim land that is clearly in possession of the Indians, him and the other Spanish noblemen seek fortune in the southwestern united states or essentially steal the Indians' fortune. The Indians, although they proved to be helpful in some situations, were never held in high regard. Ultimately, in order for explorers to feel reasonable about their conquests, they had to deem the Indians as unworthy of their own land so that stealing from them and...
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