‘Lies Our Elders Told Us’
‘The History We Know is A Lie’
Goodrich’s remorseless examination of the Indian paragon is excellent. Then he dives into excoriating what has happened to the American prairie at the hands of whites. The whites who did in the Indians were being driven west by other whites, the upper class, the slave masters, the banker, the railroad baron who would finally box them in.
Goodrich did an excellent job of exposing the phony cigar store Indian played by an Italian on the ancient 1970s environmental commercial.
Two things that I can say about the denuding of the North American continent:
1. The original fur company take in North America, before the 1800s was harvested almost exclusively by Indians. Indians killed the animals that supported their ecosystem in exchange for guns, steel knives, even booze.
2. Every Indian war was fought by whites on one side and Indians guides on the other side and by Indians on one side and white advisors, adoptees and traitors on the other side.
3. Recall that Crazy Horse was said to have blue eyes and non-black hair and refused to have his picture taken.
“No place to parade that prejudice.”
I like Mister Goodrich’s attitude toward looking at Indian warfare—looking “at what happens after the battles,” that “Indians lived for torture, their highest art form,” “death is not a part of the picture, life is, torture is.”
Documentation of this torture complex among Indians went back to the late 1500s. Indians were so into torture that when they were captured it was a point of honor for the captured warrior to tease and outshine his torturers by basically saying stuff like, “That’s it, that’s all you can do?”
The account of Kathryn German was an awesome job of oral history. Though there were many children raised among Indians who rarely wanted to be ransomed, women who were taken were generally raped and brutalized and if they stays and remained loyal to their rapists it seems to have been based on the fact that they had sons and daughters by them.
Specifically, Comanche warriors who capture a woman would all rape her on the way back to camp, and then back to camp, she would belong to only one man. Goodrich’s work on Custer is excellent as well as his retelling of stories of.
I love his description of the Indian pony as the T-34 C of the Indian wars. This podcast is a great post. Tom Goodrich makes history come alive and preserves the humanity of the Indians. As he said—“this sets the table.”