Effect of Christianity on Cabeza de Vaca and the Natives

Topics: Christianity, Religion, Christian Pages: 4 (1438 words) Published: April 24, 2006
The Effects of Christianity on Cabeza de Vaca and the Natives

On June 17, 1527, Cabeza de Vaca set sail on the order to conquer and govern the lands from the Rio Grande to the cape of Florida. However, during his journey he encountered much devastation such as the wrecking of his ship which resulted in his separation from the majority of his Christian companions. Praying to God after every ordeal, Cabeza routinely sought after his Christian religion to guide him through his unexpected journey. While traveling through the interior of America, he also encountered many native tribes which inhabited the land. While most of the Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century spread their religion through warlike ways and rearranged societies for the sole purpose of their own economic gain, Cabeza thought that kindness was the only way to win the hearts of the natives and without clothes or any material possessions, he upheld his promise and beliefs. After being enslaved by the natives Cabeza moved from tribe to tribe with the hope of finding his fellow Christians while praising and thanking God that his life was spared. Moving from tribe to tribe as a medicine man Cabeza still lived by his Christian teachings and implemented them into the way that he communicated with the natives, ultimately converting many tribes into Christianity. The religion of Christianity directly influenced the way in which Cabeza de Vaca interacted and felt toward the natives, thus throughout the duration of his time traveling across the interior of America, Cabeza was able to continually practice his religious beliefs while also being able to convert many Indians to his religion at the same time.

The main question which the explorers of North America had in respect to the natives was if the Indians were able to understand the concept of Christianity and religion. The majority of the explorers placed the natives in a class subhuman to Europeans which deserved to be enslaved. Cabeza makes...

Bibliography: Stephen, Petty. "Cabeza de Vaca: A Model for Multiculturalism." 6 March 2006.
http://www.library.txstate.edu/swwc/cdv/further_study/multiculturalism.pdf
de Vaca, Cabeza. Aventures in the Unknown Interior of America. New Mexico: 1983.
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