Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

American Indian Nudity Destroyed

American indigenous peoples, prior to contact with Europeans, principally went unclothed except during inclement weather. That assertion is well founded in the literature. Early drawings by the white man were often inaccurate as clothing was added to suit the artist.

In what is now the South Western U.S. and Mexico, early representatives of the Roman Catholic Church imposed their own requirements upon the indigenous peoples, which systematically altered and abolished their culture. From the web site of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians:

In 1798, Spanish Missionaries founded the Mission of San Luis Rey de Francia, forever altering Luiseño tribal life and pressing the Luiseño people into servitude, slavery or imprisonment. The Roman Catholic Church established ranchos that encompassed the native villages.

Referring to indigenous sweat lodges, from the scholarly work of Dr. Horacio Rojas Alba:

The Spaniards were appalled and outraged by this, to them, barbaric practice. Not only was it inextricably interwoven with pagan beliefs and ritual, as is all ancient traditional medicine, but, most shocking of all, the bathers entered into these small, dark chambers, all sexes and size together, naked as the day on which they were born.

The European settlers of North America destroyed the culture and lifestyles of the indigenous inhabitants. That includes the separation of nudity from sex.

While genitals and nipples have dual functions, they are both banned from current public view because of their sexual function. Proof of this assertion is the fact that infants and young children are permitted to be seen nude, but are required to cover-up at a time when adults start to become uncomfortable with the nudity. Male nipples do not have a sexual function and are permitted to be seen nude.

Pre-contact Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians were undoubtedly no different than other indigenous peoples when it came to clothing. But, post-contact Pechanga Band peoples had their culture destroyed, and it is obviously not acceptable for the Pechanga to historically depict their ancestors correctly. Outside the Pechanga Resort and Casino are the statues shown here. While the male child is depicted as nude, no genitals are exposed and the bare breasted adult woman beside him has her breasts covered by a woven reed item. A standing woman is also bare breasted, but her breasts are ill-defined without nipples and appear no different than if covered by clothing. In a hotel room is a painting of a bare breasted woman, but she has vegetation strategically placed to block the view of her nipples.

Many good things came from Europe, but that does include what is now the American obsession and vilification of the body concerning nudity and sex. That’s part of our Judeo-Christian heritage that is not healthy.

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