History: America in 1492
1492 has always been an important year in comprehending world history, it links with the Columbus’s discovery of a sea route to America. This essay is going to focus mainly on Worldviews in the context of European encounters in the America in 1492, also the perceptions the local people may have held of the Europeans.
In the year 1492 Christopher Columbus set boat looking for India over the Atlantic Ocean, but unfortunately, he lost the track, he discovered the Caribbean islands near America’s east coast.
He assumed that he was in the right location, which is India, that is where the misunderstanding started because he named the Indigenous people Indians.
Columbus is known as the first man to be found in the America looking for money. At their arrival they first encountered with so called native people who were also known as Tainos. They happily traded together, which however did not last.
According to Tainos worldview objects that come from away were trusted to be from the sky.
The object was given value by the origination of the foreign, as the unique importance of foreign was given by the Tainos. In the sense of Christian, the Heavenly and turey meant the same thing, but they designated someone or something foreign.
It is rational now that Tainos identified the wrong side of the Columbus in their worldview. Different from the narrative of the European in submissive god’s like and worshippers Christians, the outcomes of this dissimilar belief system did not have the restful and friendly connection.
Europeans had huge misunderstanding of the indigenous people of the Americas. He outlooked them as people who do not have belief, but only have a least of gold. He Described them as affectionate people, embodied strong and brilliant, also added that they seemed to be easily changeable to Christianity and therefore to rule.
Columbus offered them some strings of beads to wear them as necklaces, red caps etc. By doing so he actual won native’s trust because they became so happy and more connected to them. Later they return floating using ships, bringing balls, parrots, javelins etc. they seemed to be poor in his sight, because they were all undressed, with smooth faces and short hair.
In contrast with what has been said above, the indigenous did not have much information about how the Europeans were on their initial encounter. Most of them thought that they were Gods because of the unusual dressing of the white man, while others thought maybe they were giant monsters.
They noticed that they have huge differences in terms of beards, bad manners, their hairiness and strange otherworldly weapons and technology.
The Tainos also added that they were convinced that the Europeans were the soul named Caribe or canibales who were mostly scared and related to the East. The function of these Souls was to carry the Tainos to the immortality, by doing that, the Caribe swallowed the dead ones.
The way in which the Tainos saw Columbus when they arrive in 1492 is far different. Many people and non-identical communities acknowledged to the Christian strangers in way which are different. Others exchanged with them, offered gifts or gave aid, while some ran with them, left their families and ambushed them.
Tainos recognised Columbus either as enemies or friends creating a warning to their people. Worldviews and belief systems of the Tainos in their encounter with the Christians is important.it gives more understanding of how the Tainos European encounter.
There was fierce competition between the Europeans for prosperity and competence which formed the relationship between the Europeans and the indigenous peoples.
About 90% of the indigenous people were killed because at the end the control was in European’s hands. Regardless of everything the European still shoved other indigenous into the inside of both continents, while others were still forced into enslavement.
- Primary sources Columbus, C., Journal (1492-1493), viewed 08-08-2019.
- Secondary sources Rogers, C., Christopher Who? History Today 67(8), August 2017, pp. 38-49.
- Tignor, R. et al., Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World from the Beginning of Humankind to the Present, 5th ed (New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 2017), pp. 447-481. (Chapter 12: Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450-1600).
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