Comment on the hostilities that existed between the tribal people and the white people. What solution does Seattle find to put an end to hostilities in ‘Chief Seattle’s Speech’, 1854?
There have always been some hostilities between the white people and the tribal people like the Red Indians. The white people try to force their way into the tribal areas and prove themselves superior in everything. But the tribal people are closer to mother Nature and don’t like the white people’s proud attitude as if they own the earth. Also, there have been fundamental differences between their thoughts, feelings and beliefs. While the white people are more mechanical and artificial in their way of life, the tribal remain with the nature and their ancient way of life where there is more value for people’s tears and smiles.
Chief Seattle has found a way-out to put an end to the hostilities between the two races. He suggests the white people to treat the land, the water, the air and all its people with the respect they deserve. The white people should behave with the tribal people as if they were close relatives. The tribal people should be allowed to visit the tombs of their ancestors, friends and children any time. Only then they can accept the White Chief‘s proposal.
Chief Seattle was a leader of a tribe in the nineteenth century who gave a very powerful and a moving speech. The speech discussed about a lot of beliefs of his tribe as well as that of white men. White men were the Europeans who made it a mission to rule over the Red Indians under the garb of civilization. The speech delineates the physical and mental oppression meted out to the native Americans when White men came and started colonising them. The white men believed in expansion of their territory and community by suppressing others by colonisation and military powers. They believed that the universe was made for man and he has the right to unlimited expansion. According to them everything was a resource, even if it dealt with nature. Their resources were inexhaustible. They can consume as much as they want. The White men were very powerful. From the speech it can be comprehended that White men were obsessed with their power and resources. They wished to conquer and own every square foot of land possible. According to them there were no bounds to man’s right to compete with other species. The white men were so involved in expansion ,industrialization and colonisation that they never loved their ancestors. They wandered away from the graves of their own ancestors, without any regret. They would forget their ancestors after burying them. The dead did not love the descendants. As they would pass the gateways of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars, they would never return.
On the other side, the beliefs of the Red Indians were totally different from that of the white men. They did not believe in hostilities or enmity. They believed in brotherhood. They would love even them whom they cant dwell with. They loved peace and tried to maintain it. They never tried to outrage enmity against anyone. They loved their ancestors. They believed in immortality of death. Their people, after death, would return back to earth because they loved their people and land. They would never forget this beautiful world. They had a very strong belief that traditions are derived from ancestors and it is to be followed by the descendants. They were attached to their land, ancestors and religious beliefs. According to them every part of the soil was sacred in the estimation of their people. Everything has been hallowed by some sad or happy events. Even the rocks are said to be thrilled with the stirring events connected to their people. They believed that even if they perish, their souls would still wander in the lands where they belong to i.e. their origin land. The future generation would not be alone. They would be surrounded by the returning ghosts of the Red Indians.
There have always been hostilities between the white people and the red Indians (tribe people). The White people try to prove themselves superior or condescending in everything. They belive that the Universe was made for man. Man was made to rule the world. There are no bounds to man’s right. The resources in the world are inexhaustible and they can consume as much as they want whereas Red Indians believe that land is a natural resource. Every part of the Earth be it a valley, a mountain or a rock is sacred. We are part of Earth. The Earth doesn’t belong to us, we belong to Earth and we must preserve the Earth for subsequent generations.
In the society the Red Indian people did not get any respect from the other tribal people. On the other hand the white people always presented themselves as superior and forced the tribal people to leave their land. Chief Seattle said through his speech that they were very small in number so they did not need any extensive country to live. They thought that their forefathers arrived their homeland and told them in their dream not to leave their motherland. And they believed that the whole nature was their God. But the White people ignored their forefathers and also the nature. That is why Chief Seattle blamed them in his speech. And in this way the hostilities among them was going on.