Desmond Johnson Professor Williams English 101 14 December 2010 The Roots of America’s Heritage: The Indians? The Indians were here before the name American even existed. In Luther Standing Bear’s essay “what the Indian means to America”, he informed us of how great the American Indian is. While many scholars would debate on the true heritage of America’s beginning, The Indian would not join this argument because they alone know the real story of this country we call home. Within this essay the Indians are a breed of people that do not lie down easily.
Many would strongly agree with Luther Standing Bear’s definition that the Indian is a true American. The Indians are the roots under America soil because of their strong connection with nature, their spiritual toughness, and their musical influence. First and foremost, before the colonist arrived the Indians had the strongest connection to this land; they understood and had an intense love for nature and respect for the life that the earth produced. Throughout Standing Bear’s essay, it’s clear that to him the white man will never obtain the same attachment to the earth as the American Indian. He is the man who through centuries has been molded and sculpted by the same hand that shaped its mountains, forest, and plains… ” This quote shows that the Indians are the original Americans. The Indians will always remain of the land because that’s were their soul lies. They have talked to Mother Nature since the moon was bright white and the sun was burnt orange. Besides the connection to Nature, Indians have a strong spiritual toughness bestrode at birth and the white man was blind to that fact. “The Indian loved to worship. From birth to death he revered his surroundings. This statement tells that these people were taught from birth to protect their home and maintain the balance of nature. The Indians were fierce because of their religious beliefs which compelled them to fight so hard for their survival-no matter how many times they were forced to move to new lands. “He considered himself born in the luxurious lap of mother Earth and no place was to him humble. ” America Indians were noble, trust-worthy and full of compassion. Luther Standing Bear’s definition holds true as the Indians grew. Throughout the ups and downs, they still had love for their fellow man.
Their connections with God and the animals are far beyond our comprehension. For instance, the buffalo were sacred to them because they served as a source of food and clothing, tools and utensils and most of all a Spirit Being blessing them with everything they needed to survive. The Indians truly believed in maintaining the natural balance of the land. Many Indians learned from their elders that there is an underling balance between man and nature that all must respect. One way they balanced the land for example was through dance and music. “And the Indian wants to dance!
It is his way of expressing devotion, of communing with unseen power, and in keeping his tribal identity. ” For example, if the dance for harvest was performed incorrectly they might not get the rain, which would hurt the crops and the tribe. Their traditional flute playing and drums have influenced many jazz musicians. Even though Standing Bear disapproves of jazz music calling it “noisy” the Indians did pave a way for music culture. The Indians had many skills that derived from there communion with the divine through song. Despite all the trouble they went through to express their heritage in music, they are true Americans.
According to Luther Standing Bear’s definition, they would stand the test of time. In Short, what Luther Standing Bear appeared to convey is that people should realize the true importance of knowing our history and the Indians existence here. Without their influences, our way of life would be different. The Indians are true Americans because they are indigenous to the land. The Indians gave their blood, sweat, and tears fighting for the land they occupied and loved. They are the red-white-blue of America, and will stand the test of time. The Indians will always remain the roots of America’s heritage.