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Recently I went on a trip with my family to Jamestown, Virginia, and learned about the Native Americans from living reenactors of the Colonial period. I have found that many of the customs they portray are somewhat like the ones of the people we work with in Asia Pacific. Obviously there are a lot of differences between the two lands, for instance North America has forests instead of jungles, and there are seasons here in North America but not at home in the tribe. Also, some Native Americans lived in tepees and hunted big game like moose; those things aren’t back in the jungle where I grew up.
But despite a few differences, in many ways the Native American culture resembles that of the people we work with. Some similarities are that both groups hunt wild animals and harvest crops for food. Both people groups also take the same roles of labor. The men are the hunters, the ones who skin animals, the ones who chop firewood, and so on; the women are the ones who work in the gardens, make meals, and take care of the children.
Another thing that they have in common is that they make their own clothes. The Native Americans that I have learned about used bark and animal skins. Most of the time deerskin is used for their clothes. The people that we work with also use bark for clothes.
Both groups hunt with bows, arrows, and spears. The Native Americans used short arrows and put feathers on the end so they could go straight, but the mountain people that we work with use longer arrows and no feathers. Even without feathers, their arrows still fly straight and are accurate. The tribal people we work with use a type of ground vine to make the bowstrings. The vines are about as wide as a penny and hundreds of feet long. They are the rope of the jungle. The tribal people cut and slice this vine and use it not only for bowstrings but also for many other things including using it to help build their houses. The Native Americans, on the other hand, would cut strips of deerskin for their bow strings.
The last similarity that sticks out to me between the Native Americans and the tribe we work with is that they both believe in animism. That means they both believe that evil spirits control their worlds, and they believe that, in order for things to go well with them, they have to give the spirits offerings and praise.
The sad thing is that there are still millions of people left in this world who believe the same thing; so let’s make sure that we are staying busy for Christ by going out to teach them the truth!
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