Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European by Richard W. Pointer

By Richard W. Pointer

Historians have lengthy been conscious that the stumble upon with Europeans affected all points of local American lifestyles. yet have been Indians the single ones replaced by way of those cross-cultural conferences? may perhaps the novices' methods, together with their spiritual ideals and practices, have additionally been altered amid their myriad contacts with local peoples? In Encounters of the Spirit, Richard W. Pointer takes up those interesting questions in an cutting edge examine of the non secular come upon among Indians and Euro-Americans in early the US. Exploring a sequence of episodes around the 3 centuries of the colonial period and stretching from New Spain to New France and the English settlements, he unearths that the movement of cultural effect used to be extra frequently reciprocal than unidirectional.

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Extra resources for Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion (Religion in North America)

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What limits, if any, should be set on native music within the community as a whole? Such questions vexed Catholic clergy throughout the sixteenth century and beyond. No uniform position or policy emerged in the 1500s. Certainly most friars worried about religious activities maintaining a proper amount of solemnity. ’’81 An ecclesiastical order of 1539 implies that some wanted to go 34 ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPIRIT much further in restricting Indian music. 82 But that pronouncement is hardly the whole story, for there is evidence that state and church officials took an interest in and even a liking to some native performances.

Neither that policy nor imperial pronouncements demanding a cutback in the number of Indian singers and players netted that result. 2 native church musicians per community. 52 A SPLENDID WORSHIP It also seems clear that their churches wanted and needed them. For everything that has been said so far regarding the pluses that attracted them and the hardships they were willing to endure, Indian musicians would never have been so plentiful or so prominent if friars had not wanted or at least been willing to have it that way.

37 Furthermore, the hours Indians spent in musical instruction, practice, and performance for the church were hours not spent in other forms of labor (sometimes for the church), few if any of which held much appeal. 38 Moreover, the work of making a joyful noise unto the Lord was not so time-consuming. Philip II’s complaints imply that at least some Indian musicians had plenty of leisure time, enough to act in un-Catholic ways with local women. 24 ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPIRIT Virtuous or not, the participation of men and boys in the church choir or orchestra certainly made them visible within missionized Indian villages, and all the more so in places where they got to wear elaborate robes.

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