Apachean People Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1097 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Native Americans


What are the metaphors for the Mescalero Apache? Do you think metaphors influence the way we see the world? Or do you think they are a reflection of our perceptions? Try to come up with some common metaphors that may be taken for granted in your culture. One example in American culture is "time is money."

According to Claire R. Farrer's book Thunder Rides a Black Horse, the metaphors the Mescalero Apache people use to express what it is like to come of age as a young woman, to understand the heavens, and to mark the passage of time are critical to understanding these native people's culture. The Apache believe that the voice of the creator of the universe is written on the sky, and the truth of the world and how all people behave is written in the stars, thus all people should all respect and learn from nature. This is belief is demonstrated when marking the passage of a girl's coming of age into womanhood. The whole tribe gathers outdoors to bear witness to the truth that is written on the sky. Astronomy dictates Apache life, belief and actions.

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Metaphors do not merely express how we think about life; they also guide how we approach life. For example, the Apache view life as a circle. Nature does not have an end point, it is constantly renewing itself. Because life is a circle, there is great respect for elders in Apache culture, as youth, adulthood, and old age, are all part of the same natural cycle of creation. A human life is a small reflection of the cycle of nature. Time is fluid, it is not something that can be measured or broken down easily into minutes or days, and the past and the present are always closely connected. This means that one's ancestors have influence upon one's daily life. The belief in circularity affects everything, even the way that circular baskets are weaved.

Term Paper on Apachean People Assignment

This positive view of nature and the life cycle is not reflected in American culture. When Americans say something has been ignored, they say that it has "gone to seed," in other words, that it has grown old and neglected, like an untended garden sprouting seeds. This reinforces the idea that something must have gone bad if nature is allowed to take control. The idea that aging of the human body is not a good thing is reflected in such American compliments as "he doesn't look his age," or "she doesn't look a day over sixty." The idea that the pursuits of the old are less valuable than the pursuits of the young are reflected in American advertisements that promise viewers "this is not your father's car/truck/Jeep." In other words, children want to be different than their parents, and older people want to seem young. Old age and youth are not seen as part of the same cycle of life, rather everyone is attempting to remain young as long as they can.

American phrases like "you can't change the past," and "what's past is past" would also be confusing to Apaches. Unlike Apaches, Americans see time as a fixed line, and the past is always being lost, while the Apaches believe one can understand the past because the past affects the present.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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