CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas
|PRINT & NATIVE CULTURES
Most Europeans chose to overlook the fact that many native cultures, like them, employed forms of writing to record matters of cultural and political importance - Incan quipus (knotted cords); Mayan hieroglyphic codices; Iroquoian and Algonquian pictographs and wampum belts, to name just a few. Europeans emphasized the supremacy of alphabetic literacy (in European languages) and sought to teach it.
Some natives who became literate went on to employ print in order to speak directly to European readers. Garcilaso de la Vega, an Inca, modeled his histories on European examples; his narratives were translated from Spanish into English and French. [See related essay by Sabine MacCormack]
Cusick wrote the oral traditions of the Iroquois, while the defeated Black Hawk turned to autobiography to seek justice for his people.
Print and Native Cultures
|Exhibition Contents | Introduction | Essays | Bibliography & Links|
Last update: Thursday, 02-Aug-2012 15:07:49 EDT