Friday, January 16, 2015

Historical History

I am reading "Aku-Aku: the Secret of Easter Island" (1958,Thor Heyerdahl) The book describes the 1955-56 archaeological expedition of Easter Island.

I understand that a lot has changed in the world in the last 60 years, but I'm still having a lot of trouble controlling my disdain and annoyance at the "us white and smart; they native and dumb". The level of condescension for native spiritual beliefs as dumb childish superstitions while upholding the resident priest with his spiritual superstitions as rational and somehow more intelligent is nauseating.

Also the shock the is expressed that the natives retain the knowledge about the great statues and myths is beyond arrogant. I'm also super angry about the way they "stole" lots of family heirloom items from the natives and justify their "looting" as science.

I keep having to remind myself that the book is OLD - historical in and of itself; written by a man born in 1914 - 3 years before women here in Ontario got the right to vote.


Pat Tillett said...

It is a terrible thing we've done to indigenous people all over the world.
What the Spanish, Mexican and then Whites, did to the American Indians, was much worse than a criminal.

I read the book you referenced and totally agree with you.

Pat Tillett said...

When I was young, I loved the book. When I read it again many years later, I didn't like that part of it all. The American Indians got that same kind of treatment. Especially so in the Southwest.