Why didn’t Indigenous N&S Americans develop technology at the same rates as Indigenous Europeans and Indigenous Asians did?


–written by Kanien:kaha’ka

“compare natives pre contact with europeans at the same period in history, the 15th century.

europeans got the wheel from the persian culture just as they got gunpowder from the chinese, glass from the sumerians and many other things. north america did not have these other cultures on the same land mass and so was more isolated.

contrary to popular belief, we were not in a constant state of war therefore did not have the necessity of inventing better weaponry all the time. europe was constantly being invaded by one culture after another (another reason things like gunpowder etc were co-opted for lack of a beter word). our weapons suited us fine and were used primarily for hunting.

our homes were varied and ideally suited to the lifestyle and environment of the nations. plains nations who followed herds of buffalos had “mobile homes”, easily packed up and moved and easily put up again. anyone who has been on the plains in winter knows it is cold windy and snowy. tipis are able to withstand all of them plus you can build a fire in them and the shape and construction of the home pulled the smoke upwards. (think shape of cooling towers of nuclear power plants and chimneys, creating updrafts).

other homes were suited to the environment as well. my nation in the northeastern usa and canada used permanent homes as we were not nomadic. our homes were made of wood and could be up to 200 feet long and 2 stories tall. we farmed and hunted. we did not domesticate animals because of our beliefs and how we see the world and our place in it. very unlike the european of the time.

agriculturally we were superior. today 70% of the worlds crops originated in pre contact americas, including the potato (hundreds of varieties were cultivated in south american and later north america), corn, which was cross pollinated to produce varieties able to withstand different climates, tomatoes, wild rice, etc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Crops)

we understood crop rotation and the importance of leaving ground fallow and fertilization as well as the medicinal uses of thousands of plants etc.

we had complex forms of governments. the haudenasaunee people’s confederacy served as the model and inspiration for the usa constitution.

many of our cultures were matrilineal and women and men shared power and duties equally. our women had equality thousands of years before european women would begin to fight for their own equality. in fact, it was native women who inspired them to do so.

the idea that europe was so advanced and the americas so primitive is a fallacy. europe at that time had poverty, frequent famines, and plagues. the americas did not have these things pre contact, in part because of our knowledge.

this is not an attempt to slam europeans and their descendants but it is time the lies and misconceptions about life here in the americas before europeans arrived, be laid to rest. there was a reason so many people wanted to leave europe to come here.”

–written by Kanien:kaha’ka


5 thoughts on “Why didn’t Indigenous N&S Americans develop technology at the same rates as Indigenous Europeans and Indigenous Asians did?

  1. I would like to add, to this wonderful conveyance of wisdom, my own economic take on it, as seeded in me by Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs & Steel.
    If you notice how quickly the horse spread thru the americas, after original contact with the Europeans, you’ll note that Europeans encountered horses, more than what, 5,000 kms from the source of the horsie injection (Mexico City)–without ever seeing the underlying trade network.

    They didn’t HAVE draught animals, domesticated–either as mentioned above due to philosophical reasons, or due to there not existing the types of animals necessary for work. The horse was such an interesting, valuable, priceless, necessary resource, that it spread all the way to northern Alberta, before the Europeans arrived a couple centuries later. Had it existed already, the economic development pattern would have been very different and destiny would have too.

    From my view, cultures have advanced due to the ability to create surpluses. Initially Caloric, now it is power–financial/economic or military.
    The circumstances of europe–land geography, climate, animals, history, neighbours–created a certain culture–which for the destiny of humanity mattered. They created the most energy surpluses. Total and per capita.

    If each grain of cereal crop and arrowhead were considered contributing to a prehistoric GDP, imagine the differentials allowed for by having animals for transport, for farming, for war, for meat, for barter.

    Then divide the GDP by all the people involved in its production, and you get a figure that would influence the successes of distinct tribes throughout the world.
    Many variables, such as whether there happened to be horses around within 5000kms…were not under the influence of the humans found there.

    These non-constant variables in the history of our tribal ancestors of every geography on earth, is what altered the philosophies of life, economic potentials, and social developments. But all in one complex web.

    I conceive of contemporary issues in a similar way, when realizing that if America’s population was 1 billion, it would be a third world country.
    If Bill Gates had 100000 children, all from his own seed, he would not be the richest man any more.
    Your wealth is relative to your economic demands, so for america to be doing so well, in my economic view–HOLDING ALL THINGS CONSTANT, today, right now, to increase it’s population by a factor of more than three, would reduce it’s wealth distributively by the same factor.

    Why has India increased its population by what now, 4 times, 400 percent since 1947?
    If it had grown slower, today it would be that much wealthier.
    Why must humanity grow anymore, anyway?
    Two children per couple is SUFFICIENT.
    Medical Science has advanced so much that old people aren’t dying and babies aren’t dying and mothers aren’t dying giving birth, but our expectations of fertility have not–usually due to outdated religious and social mores.

    The amount of people able not to die on a specific geography implies the maximum potential of a land, but that does not imply how well the people are living. That is only found at an optimal population.

    Very simplistically–every economy of the world COULD be of the same wealth by having the same amount surplus energy, per capita.
    People don’t have to DIE for this to occur, they just should not be replaced.
    If you think outside of your lifetime, many world problems could be rectified–historical or future.
    Global Warming? It’s actually a symptom, not a problem, and it’s just a feedback message from Earth saying things are getting a wee bit outta hand, and maybe we need to slow down–our total human growth.

  2. Theory and actuality, history and truth are all interpretation. Show a village, country, group, anything (related to people) that live as one with the earth, no technology-electrical. The past is the past, the future has already been decided because not enough people will stop what they are doing to make the difference. And there is not enough truth out there to be the example. Please keep writing, some of us miss the obvious often.

  3. Perhaps you should ‘please keep writing’, cuz some o us miss what you’re driving at completely??
    why write so vaguely?
    ‘the future has already been decided’? so your greatgrandpapee knew that AIDS was a comin’, and that the coldwar would produce the internet?

    history is never decided for humanity, because the variables of life constantly change.
    europe had a huge overpopulation problem during colonial times, and today growth is negative–other than emigration what has changed?

  4. you should stop reading if everything is ‘interpretation’ for you.
    just watch tom cruise movies. some shit is calculable.

    “Theory and actuality, history and truth are all interpretation”–what does this refer to, orgasms? fishes? flatulence?

    the most efficient folk are the impoverished. everywhere.

  5. The Indigenous in the Western Hemisphere did indeed have extremely distinct cultures. It is a fallacy to claim otherwise and a perpetuation of the racist thoughts of the modern interloper groups who started arriving after 1492.

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