The Red Man in the United States: An Intimate Study of the Social, Economic, and Religious Life of the American Indian

The Red Man in the United States: An Intimate Study of the Social, Economic, and Religious Life of the American Indian

The Red Man in the United States: An Intimate Study of the Social, Economic, and Religious Life of the American Indian

The Red Man in the United States: An Intimate Study of the Social, Economic, and Religious Life of the American Indian

Excerpt

From some of his friends among the alien race which has fallen heir to his expansive heritage the "original American" may well pray to be delivered. Everybody knows the representation of him as a lonely, pathetic figure, seated on a drooping horse, his gaze turned toward the setting sun, the emblem of a dying race. That is a dramatic but utterly misleading picture, hardly less misleading, indeed, in its well-intentioned appeal for sympathy than the frankly hostile portrayal of the Indian race as not only dying, but hopelessly degenerate -- an ignorant generalization based upon individual cases where the vices of the white man have been superimposed with deplorable results upon the Indian's racial weaknesses. More or less the same point of view is that of the sentimentalists. Contrasting the "noble red man" of the past, superbly decked in war paint and feathers, with the Indian farmer, day laborer, logger or fisherman of to-day, unesthetically clad in the drab garments of the village store, they find the picture unsatisfying to their romantic fancy. They would preserve the Indian permanently as a museum piece, withholding from him the advantages of education and civilizing influences which will one day merge him in the general citizenship of the nation. Finally, there are the humorists, at whose hands "Mr. Lo," as they like to call him, has suffered a good deal. Of late years, particularly, the accidental prosperity of a few individuals has afforded unrivaled opportunity for a cheap sneer against the race. "Lo, the rich Indian!" ejaculates the humorist, wagging a merry finger in the general direction of Oklahoma. The fact is, of course, that only the Osages and a limited number among two or three other tribes in Indian Territory have managed to "profiteer" from the white man's well-intentioned efforts to segregate them on some of the most unpromising lands in the United States.

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