Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and Brand New Way

Topics: Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Americas, Pre-Columbian era Pages: 2 (642 words) Published: December 10, 2009
Much interest may be found in Charles Mann’s book 1491. In it, Mann invites the reader to explore the history of the Americas in a brand new way. With this, he takes us into a world that stirs our imaginations and begs the question of what it was like to inhabit the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. The book explains how many preconceived ideas about the pre-Columbian Americas should be “thrown out the window” in a sense. Mann delves into this through Holmberg’s Mistake, the ongoing debate of pre-Columbus populations, and also with an array of new information and evidence that has recently come to light concerning many of these ancient civilizations. With Holmberg’s mistake, Mann talks about Allan Holmberg, the doctoral student who spent the better part of two years with the Siriono, a Native American group, in the Beni region of Bolivia. He concluded that the natives were much like primitive humans and also that they had no effect whatsoever on the environment around them. Mann goes on to explain that this was not only incorrect, but also that natives throughout the Americas were rich in culture and ultimately used the environment for the better. This is apparent through the use of innovations in agriculture, maize, and establishing empires spanning great distances. Now let us imagine the New World before the arrival of Columbus. What would we have seen in this new land? How many “savages” would we encounter upon our arrival and exploration? Mann goes into this full-force and acknowledges the long going debate of the Low Counters versus the High Counters. The Low Counters would have said that the population in the Americas was somewhere around 8.4 million natives in the Americas, whereas the High Counters have estimated there to have been as many as 112 million. Either way, these populations would have been diminished tragically by diseases, such as smallpox, brought over by the Europeans. The rate for this has been determined to be around ninety...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and New World Essay
  • Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and Guatemalan Culture Essay
  • Indigenous people of latin america Essay
  • Indigenous People Essay
  • Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and Thesis Statement Essay
  • Indigenous People Essay
  • Indigenous People Essay
  • Indigenous People Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free