Hemming’s Noble Savages
In the written piece “Noble Savages” by John Hemming he give an historic account of different European adventures in the Brazilian mainland. He also tells some of the stories about the Brazilian people that were taken back to Europe about the savages’ way of life.
A fleet of ships sailing towards Cape of Good Hope on April 22, 1500 was blown astray. They were blown so far west, that their commander Pero Alveres Cabral saw a new land, which they named Easter Mountain.
The men were surprised when the savages met them on the shore. They couldn’t be heard, so they made a friendly exchange of gifts. During their brief stay, the men made a cross with their iron tools and held a mass on the empty beach. The savages watched the cross building with lots of interest because they had no such iron tools that would cut through wood at such a great rate. After the mass was over, the savages showed their willingness to be “noble” by getting up and dancing and blowing their horns for the new god they had just been shown. By this display, the Europeans thought that the conversion of these savages to Christianity would be easy, for they observed that “they do not have or understand any faith” (pg. 25).
Many of the things that the Europeans, Cabral’s men and others later, observed about these savages were very interesting to them. The first thing that they found amazement in was the fact that the savages wore no clothing of any sort. They were fascinated by the savages and as they “examined them very closely, they did not become embarrassed” (pg. 26). This astonished the Europeans, for they came from a country that had a strict set of rules that said they could do no such thing. Another thing that the men observed was that the savages had no kind of domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, or chickens that provided European people with nutrition and the...