By Richard W. Pointer
Historians have lengthy been conscious that the come across with Europeans affected all elements of local American existence. yet have been Indians the single ones replaced via those cross-cultural conferences? may the novices' methods, together with their spiritual ideals and practices, have additionally been altered amid their myriad contacts with local peoples? In Encounters of the Spirit, Richard W. Pointer takes up those fascinating questions in an leading edge examine of the spiritual come upon among Indians and Euro-Americans in early the United States. Exploring a sequence of episodes throughout the 3 centuries of the colonial period and stretching from New Spain to New France and the English settlements, he reveals that the movement of cultural effect used to be extra usually reciprocal than unidirectional. (2008)
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Historians have lengthy been conscious that the come upon with Europeans affected all points of local American lifestyles. yet have been Indians the single ones replaced by means of those cross-cultural conferences? may perhaps the beginners' methods, together with their non secular ideals and practices, have additionally been altered amid their myriad contacts with local peoples?
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Extra info for Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion (Religion in North America)
Whatever the mood, singers, players, and dancers usually carried on for hours, if not days. 17 Crowds eagerly gathered to watch and sometimes join in the music making. ’’18 Local nobles went one step further. They hired professional singers to be part of their households. 19 Just that type of music was being written and sung as late as the 1550s. 20 By that time, Spanish conquistadors and padres had had more than a generation to take stock of the Nahuas and their music. The reverse was also true.
Hernán Cortés’s entourage had included several ﬁne musicians whose talents were immediately showcased. Their minstrel songs quickly caught the attention of central Mexico’s indigenous peoples. 22 When Motecuhzoma’s representatives arrived to negotiate with the aliens, the Indian diplomats were likely struck by Cortés’s insistence that talks be delayed until a makeshift altar could be constructed and worship offered to their Spanish god. The words and symbols of that Catholic ritual no doubt seemed strange, if not bizarre, to native eyes and ears.
Those varied within and between the groups. But all had been shaped principally, if not exclusively, in Old Spain or elsewhere in Europe. Coming to the New World afforded an opportunity to transplant familiar religious ways, although for the reform-minded Franciscans, it was also a chance to leave behind some of late medieval Europe’s longstanding religious problems. What took form as the Catholic Church in Mexico in the sixteenth century, then, was not solely a product of missionary strategy. 69 At a practical level, reproducing aspects of their Old World religious culture was certainly easier said than done, whether at the Church of San José or at remote visitas.