Native Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 263 quotes )
The claim to a national culture in the past does not only rehabilitate that nation and serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. In the sphere of psycho-affective equilibrium it is responsible for an important change in the native. Perhaps we haven't sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today.
Thus the white men and Native Americans were able, through the spirit of goodwill and compromise, to reach the first in what would become a long series of mutually beneficial, breached agreements that enabled the two cultures to coexist peacefully for stretches of twenty and sometimes even thirty days, after which it was usually necessary to negotiate new agreements that would be even more mutual and beneficial, until eventually the Native Americans were able to perceive the vast mutual benefits of living in rock-strewn sectors of South Dakota.
As a young child I wanted to be a writer because writers were rich and famous. They lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opium in a yellow pongee silk suit. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle.
The Statue of Liberty, that frequently malevolent bitch, has an enormous tumor in her gut that has spread to her brain and eyes. With regard to the Native Americans she has Alzheimer's or mad cow disease and can't remember her past, and her blind eyes can't see the terrifying plight of most of the Indian tribes. Meanwhile she blows China and stomps Cuba to death, choosing to forget the Native cultures she has already destroyed.
In the Carolinas they say "hill people" are different from "flatlands people," and as a native Kentuckian with more mountain than flatlands blood, I'm inclined to agree. This was one of the theories I'd been nursing all the way from San Francisco. Unlike Porterville or Hollister, Bass Lake was a mountain community ... and if the old Appalachian pattern held, the people would be much slower to anger or panic, but absolutely without reason or mercy once the fat was in the fire. Like the Angels, they would tend to fall back in an emergency on their own native sense of justice -- which bears only a primitive resemblance to anything written in law books. I thought the mountain types would be far more tolerant of the Angels' noisy showboating, but -- compared to their flatlands cousins -- much quicker to retaliate in kind at the first evidence of physical insult or abuse.
When the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventional figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives", and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask and his face grows to fit it.
The native calls the baobab 'the devil tree' because he claims that the devil, getting tangled in its branches, punished by the tree by reversing it. To the native, the roots are branches now, and the branches are roots. To ensure that there would be no more baobabs, the devil destroyed all the young ones.
There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and the wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbal of the great human principle.
Above all, it seems to me wrongheaded and dangerous to invoke historical assumptions about environmental practices of native peoples in order to justify treating them fairly. ... By invoking this assumption [i. e., that they were/are better environmental stewards than other peoples or parts of contemporary society] to justify fair treatment of native peoples, we imply that it would be OK to mistreat them if that assumption could be refuted. In fact, the case against mistreating them isn't based on any historical assumption about their environmental practices: it's based on a moral principle, namely, that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate or exterminate another people.
Thought Experiment: You are a native of New York City, you live in New York, work in New York, travel about the city with no particular emotion except a mild boredom, unease, exasperation, and dislike especially for, say, Times Square and Brooklyn, and a longing for a Connecticut farmhouse. Later you become an astronaut and wander in space for years. You land on a strange, unexplored (you think) planet. There you find a road sign with an arrow, erected by a previous astronaut in the manner of GIs in World War II: 'Brooklyn 9.6 light-years.' Explain your emotion.
The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots. If you are not an idiot, but find yourself in the Navy, you can only operate well by pretending to be one. All the shortcuts and economies and common-sense changes that your native intelligence suggests to you are mistakes. Learn to quash them. Constantly ask yourself, "How would I do this if I were a fool?" Throttle down your mind to a crawl. Then you will never go wrong.
It has often been remarked of the Scottish character, that the stubbornness with which it is moulded shows most to advantage in adversity, when it seems akin to the native sycamore of their hills, which scorns to be biassed in its mode of growth even by the influence of the prevailing wind, but, shooting its branches with equal boldness in every direction, shows no weather-side to the storm, and may be broken, but can never be bended.
I must not forget that these coarsely-clad little peasants are of flesh and blood as good as the scions of the gentlest genealogy; and that the germs of native excellence, refinement, intelligence, kind feeling, are as likely to exist in their hearts as in those of the best born. My duty will be to develop these germs: surely I shall find some happiness in discharging that office.
But though, to landsmen in general, the native inhabitants of the seas have ever regarded with emotions unspeakably unsocial and repelling; though we know the sea to be an everlasting terra incognita, so that Columbus sailed over numberless unknown worlds to discover his one superficial western one; though, by vast odds, the most terrific of all mortal disasters have immemorially and indiscriminately befallen tens and hundreds of thousands of those who have gone upon the waters; though but a moment’s consideration will teach that, however baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in a flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever and for ever, to the crack of doom, the sea will insult and murder him, and pulverize the stateliest, stiffest frigate he can make; nevertheless, by the continual repetition of these very impressions, man has lost that sense of the full awfulness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it.
exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted. And while it is true that literature and history contain heroic, romantic, glorious, even triumphant episodes in an exile’s life, these are no more than efforts meant to overcome the crippling sorrow of estrangement.
Most of what's known about religious practices in pre-Hispanic Mexico has come to us through a Catholic parish priest named Hernando Ruiz de Alarcn, one of the few who ever became fluent in the Nahuatl language. He spent the 1620s writing his "Treatise on the Superstitions and Heathen Customs that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain". He'd originally meant it to be something of a "field guide to the heathens" to help priests recognize and exterminate indigenous religious rites and their practitioners. In the process of his documentation, though, it's clear from his writings that Father Ruiz de Alarcn grew sympathetic. He was particularly fascinated with how Nahuatl people celebrated the sacred in ordinary objects, and encouraged living and spirit realities to meet up in the here and now. He noted that the concept of "death" as an ending did not exactly exist for them. When Aztec people left their bodies, they were presumed to be on an exciting trip through the ether. It wasn't something to cry about, except that the living still wanted to visit with them. People's sadness was not for the departed, but for themselves, and could be addressed through ritual visiting called Xantolo, an ordinary communion between the dead and the living. Mexican tradition still holds that Xantolo is always present in certain places and activities, including marigold fields, the cultivation of corn, the preparation of tamales and pan de muerto. Interestingly, farmers' markets are said to be loaded with Xantolo.
PatriotismBreathes there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, 'This is my own, my native land!' Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd As home his footsteps he hath turn'dFrom wandering on a foreign strand? If such there breathe, go, mark him well; For him no Minstrel raptures swell; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concentred all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.