When children grew older, nonrelated specialists such as shamans, skilled craftsmen and women, war- riors, or others complemented the educational work of kin. Although less so than in modern Western societyat least where the two- parent family still functionsIndian biological parents often did have a di- rect role in upbringing. Mann notes how the young Cheyenne girl imitated her mothers every action. Luther Standing Bear claimed that, even while he still hung in his cradleboard, his Lakota Sioux mother had begun the task of training him for membership of the group.
And until he went off to boarding school at age ten, he appears to have had a warm and instructive relationship with his father. Similarly, Irene Stewarts Navajo father was for her a major educator, especially after her mother died. And the Nakota Yankton Sioux Zitkala-. Sa rememberednot without some degree of re- sentmenthow through a systematic combination of observation, practice, and critical appraisal, her mother taught her the female craft of beadwork. Sa graphically conveyed the sense of tension and, nally, release in- volved: Often after these conning sessions I was wild with surplus spirits, she wrote decades later, and found joyous relief in running loose in the open again.
There was no implication that the biological parents had failed; indeed, many Indian kinship systems mandated the active involvement of such rela- tives. Polingaysi Qoyawayma remembered how in her matrilineal Hopi tribe, which traced descent in the female line, children are advised, instructed, scolded, and sometimes punished by their maternal uncles.
Similarly, among the Kiowa-Apaches, Jim Whitewolfs grown sister was taught beadwork by her mothers half-sister. Charles Eastman was one of the most famous of ed- ucated Indians in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as he became an author, lecturer, Indian spokesman, and medical doctor Boston education in native america and ireland to the s 18 University.
He told how he acquired his traditional learning from his fathers brother, who systematically instructed the young Dakota Santee Sioux to ob- serve, name, and describe the things he saw each day. Later the uncle taught the boy about the habits of animals and instructed him in tribal ethicssuch as generosity and respect for the agedand in spiritual values.
Among the Kiowa and Kiowa Apache, writes Pittaluga, grandmothers played a fundamental role in the instruction of both girls and boys. They taught how to manufac- ture material items, transmitted moral standards of behavior, and introduced them to storytelling, to appropriate gender roles, and into respective social circles of fundamental importance in adult life. A grandmother might teach little girls how to make miniature tipis and how to cook; she might also bring a young boy to observe some of the mens societies restricted membership groups within the tribe.
James Kaywaykla, a Warm Springs Apache, recalled how his mother desired to be with her warrior husband and so handed the young boy over to his grandmother. It is natural that you should love your grandmother best of the family, declared the mother. She has taken care of you since you were a baby. Others such as Eastman and Allen James, a Pomo, similarly recalled the affectionate and educational role of grandmothers and even great-grandmothers.
Jim Whitewolfs grand- father came to stay with him and taught him things a boy should know: how to get a wife, how to lasso dogs, and how to make and shoot blunt-edged ar- rows. He told me not to shoot at anything but birds, and not to go crazy like some older boys. Whitewolf was not to swim with bigger boys, who might drown him.
The older Kiowa Apaches also used to rouse the boy from sleep and helped him learn to ride horses. Now, concluded Whitewolf signi- cantly, I have tried to teach my own grandson Willy some of the things that I learned from my grandfather. Other old men could simultaneously entertain and instruct. A Kiowa remembered how they not only provided stories but, by constant repetition, helped the boys learn them.
We shall see how nineteenth- century American and Irish educators decried rote memory learning, but in oral societies this was a vital form of pedagogy, crucial for passing knowl- edge from one generation to another. These old folks would tell stories at night, over and over and over, the Kiowa recalled. The young boys listening nally got it down pat. Thats the way they used to do it every night.
Further, what we might call knowledge specialists, nonkin and kin, also stepped in at appro- education in native america and ireland to the s 19 priate times to instruct. Forms of apprenticeship existed, and there was clear evidence of formalized educational patterns, if not fully edged schooling in a Western sense. Anna Moore Shaw, a Pima from the Southwest, went as a young girl to live with a famous basket maker to learn her art.
Jason Betzinez began his warrior training in the swith the Apache leader Geronimo. No young man could be trusted as a warrior, Betzinez claimed, without un- dergoing such an apprenticeship. Also through apprenticeship Mourning Dove sought to become a shaman to her Salishan people. Her adopted grand- mother became the girls tutor and actually rejected the validity of the girls vision quest: a case of the teacher failing the pupil. But for those youths who so aspired, a tutor, related or unrelated, was vital to the enterprise.
Westerners have often stereotyped traditional cultures as primitive and thus simple. However, the culture of even a single village was immensely complex, full of contesting views and always changing, even before con- tact with Euro-Americans. No child or even adult could know the whole of his or her cultureand indeed not all were meant to know the whole of it. Participation in some cultural activities required further education and ini- tiation into its rites, or into full membership of a ceremonial or warrior so- ciety.
Such societies or sodalities, writes Pittaluga of the Kiowa and Kiowa Apache, completed the childrens instruction as far as warfare, hunting pat- terns, discipline, and knowledge of social hierarchies were concerned. Younger boys might enter the Rabbit Society, for example, whose members learned by imitating the actions of the older age-group societies. Other Plains Indians such as the village-dwelling Omahas and the nomadic Cheyennes and Lakotas also evolved hierarchies of prestigious societies, entry into which depended upon age or upon military, economic, or other kinds of achievement.
The complex process involved observation, hands-on learning, explicit instruction, and, of course, the educative wonders of storytelling. To us, wrote Francis La Flesche, an Omaha who later worked for the Bureau of American Ethnology and became a major Indian spokesman of the early twentieth century, there seemed to be no end to the things we were obliged to do, and the things which we were to refrain from doing.
Thus Indian peoples devised incentives and punish- ments. On the side of incentives, many autobiographers conrm that love and respect for kin, especially for grandparents, generally did motivate children to learn. The giving of new names was especially important in many societ- ies, both as stimulus and as reward for achievement.
Although Hopi society discouraged individualism and thus shunned direct praise, Albert Yava re- ceived a new name upon entering the One Horn Society of the Hopis. Charles Eastman appeared thrilled to be renamed Ohiyesa the winner after success at lacrosse. Similarly, Luther Standing Bear described how, in Lakota society, a boys rst name was selected by parents or relations, and this he keeps un- til he is old enough to earn one himself. After some act of bravery he would then be privileged to take a name indicating what this worthy act was.
Kay Bennett recalled her initial resentment at the demanding standards imposed by her mother as the girl learned to weave rugs. Later, however, the Navajo developed a sense of pride in her achievement and began to show off the rug to family and neighbors. Among the Wishram, the old women would gather together when a young girl gave away her rst gathering of huckleberries, thus initiating her into her role as provider. Girls, like boys, could also be given honorable names and later be admitted into womens societies. As in most human societies, adult demands could produce deep resentments and thus require degrees of coercion.
Humiliation, disdain, fear of worldly failure, and spiritual retribu- tion were used in different ways among different tribes. Don Talayesvas Hopi grandfather warned him that it was a great disgrace to be called kahopi not Hopi or not peaceable , and that such people would not survive long; those who lived by the teachings of the people could expect kindness and would reach an advanced age. Just how demanding these peaceable ways could be emerged in an interview that anthropologist Dorothy Eggan conducted with a forty-year-old Hopi woman.
As a girl of six she had neglected to take proper care of her baby sister. For ten days her family ostracized her, insisting that she eat alone. I was so ashamed all the time, the woman recalled. Noted the anthropologist, she cried, even then, as she talked. Even more humiliating, Cheyenne girls might openly mock a young man who came home from an un- successful hunt or war party. It was hard to go into a ght, and we were often afraid, recalled Stands in Timber with touching honesty, but it was worse to turn back and face the women. Girls too had to strive to avoid shame.
Never be Lazy, the Pima mother told her daughter. No one wants a lazy wife. Tribal societies often encouraged childrenespecially boysto accept and even revel in physical pain, so its use as an educational punishment would have been counterproduc- tive. Yet some tribes did employ the rod or variants thereof. Jim Whitewolf faced physical punishment that might have shocked even nineteenth-century Americans for its severity. The young Kiowa Apaches overuse of sexual talk brought a literally pointed adult response. My mother went out and spoke to this old lady, he recalled, indicating how punishment could be inicted by those beyond the immediate family to deect resentment from the mother and father.
She got a sharp piece of glass and told me she knew I was always talking dirty. She grabbed me and threw me on my back. She cut my lip with a glass until it bled. Then she asked me if I was going to talk dirty anymore, and I said I wouldnt. They did that to a lot of kids who talked dirty. Edward Goodbird noted how his uncle so severely ducked him in a pail of cold water that the young Hidatsa thought he would drown. Don Talayesva was brought down into the underground kiva to be instructed, admonished, andhe ex- pectedgently whipped by the Kachina spirits.
But the young Hopi was to- tally unprepared for the beating he received. He took the rst four blows of the whip without crying. But then the Kachina struck me four more times and cut me to pieces. I struggled, I yelled, and urinated, wrote the Hopi in a stark and unattering passage.
Blood was running down over my body. I tried to stop sobbing, but continued to cry in my heart. Later, when he found out that these spirit beings were actually local men wearing masks and cos- tumes, his resentment deepened. Ultimately, however, he felt the ordeal was a turning point in his life, drawing him closer to Hopi ways.
After years of American boarding schools he would nally return to Hopiland. Asa Daklugie claimed that as young Apache warriors wed been trained more rigidly than at the self-consciously rigid Carlisle School.
Tribal societies too could produce dysfunctionality. Indeed, Indian narrators them- selves occasionally indicated that even as children they resented some of their tribes methods. Many frankly recalled having disobeyed instructions. Two Leggings, an obsessively ambitious Crow, deed elders and went on war par- ties without the appropriate spiritual medicinea sacrilegious and danger- ous form of rebellion. Individual Apaches recalled similar intergenerational conict.
As a reminiscing adult, Mourning Dove regretted how she scornfully rejected the herbal knowledge her adopted grandmother offered, and how she quickly lost interest when she accompanied the old woman in the forest. Now, she admitted, that knowledge was lost to her forever. John Stands in Timber similarly regretted his youthful disregard for the wisdom of Cheyenne adults.
And a Ponca man remembered how, while his father droned on with his adult wisdom, he himself wanted only to get started on the food. Kay Bennett re- called her mother rushing around exclaiming: I must nd work for them to do or they will become lazyalmost as a matter of principle. And a Pima mother told her sons, You never rest until you die. Asa Daklugie recalled the misery of morning dips into icy water, but he feared disobeying Geronimo, who was training the boys to hardness.
Other older Indians admitted to deceiving adults, pretending to work while slacking off. A Navajo woman wondered why a man who ignored the proscribed ex- ercises enjoyed wealth, while those who persisted in doing the right thing remained poor. And Kaywaykla admitted that some of his Apache people could question a particular tribal belief: Like white Eyes, we had our skep- tics among us.
Its patterns were inherently conservative, designed to preserve and extend the heritage of the people, but development of individual initiative was also central. What Anthony F. Wallace wrote of Northeastern peoples also applied to many other tribes. Iroquoian children, he states in a memo- rable phrase, were carefully trained to think for themselves but to act for others. Indian peoples quickly accepted and incorporated into their own systems such Euro- American advances as metal tools, the horse, and guns; some adopted and syncretized Euro-American thought patterns, such as versions of Christianity.
As this book demonstrates, they also came to appreciate new kinds of edu- education in native america and ireland to the s 23 cational institutions. Narrators could recall how older people, the supposed repositories of traditional tribal wisdom, could encourage them to attend school, to learn English and become literateand above all to adapt to the new way.
Sanapia, a Comanche medicine woman, told how her grandmother quickly saw the utility of writing to preserve the old traditions: She tell me that I should write it down, but at the time I didnt even know what writing is, but my grandma did. Rosalio Moiss, a Yaqui, recalled how his father got him to transcribe family and tribal history to better preserve this heritage. Jim Whitewolfs Kiowa-Apache grandfather encouraged him to take care of his horses so he could farm with them, rather than ght; he also taught the boy how to use a.
Pittaluga has convincingly shown how the latter people adapted their educational practices and traditional stories to changing circumstances. For example, as contacts with whites intensi- ed in the late nineteenth century, stories of Saynday the Trickster began to reect this reality. In a later story Saynday meets and deceives a white trick- ster, ending up with the latters boots, shirt, and gun. Among the Cheyennes, stories of Vehoe, the spider, were also adapted to incorporate increasingly problematic white contact. Such myth revisioning, to use Peter Nabokovs term, does not imply abject surrender to the new but was part of a creative reformulation of ethnic identity.
Signicantly, it might be the older guardians of tribal heritage who encouraged the young in the new waya process similar to what was hap- pening in Ireland during this same period. II Whatever their attitudes toward white society, before and during the period under review tribal adults faced increasing educational competition, as Euro- Americans set out to Christianize and civilize Indian peoples through the schooling of their children.
In northeastern parts of the present United States and Canada, for example, and in the Spanish Southwest, Roman Catholic Jesuit and Rcollet Franciscan missionaries, along with Ursuline nuns and other congregations and orders, established far-ung missions during colo- nial times, some employing schools, some sending Indian children to live with white people. Indian evangelization became part of the English public ratio- nale for American colonizationjust as Protestant ideology would underpin contemporaneous English colonization in Ireland.
First Encounters: Native Americans and Christians | The Pluralism Project
Yet, despite funding sup- port from a number of home-grown missionary societies and support from education in native america and ireland to the s 24 the Imperial and colonial governments, only a small number of dedicated individuals actually set out to answer what they believed to be the American Natives plea for help. As with Catholic efforts in Canada, schools were central to his mission. Quarantined from their savage family backgrounds, young Indians would rst be saved themselves. They would then return as cul- tural brokersmediatorsto carry the Gospel and English civility back to their peoples.
Some colonists sent tribal children to England; some, like the French, took them into their homes. A number of young Indians actually at- tended Harvard and other colonial universities and colleges. The eighteenth-century Enlightenment era also wit- nessed outbursts of religion of the heartthe Great Awakeningand this complex period saw, in Szaszs phrase, a urry of experiments in school- ing for Indian youth. Almost ninety Indian boys and girls attended the former institution, a num- ber of whom have left behind writings from which we can glean their sense of achievements and deep frustrations as cultural mediators.
By the time of the American Revolution, according to James Axtell, perhaps only about Indiansadults along with childrenhad crossed the cultural divide to become Anglicized Christians. Yet we have no way of telling the extent to which such people syncretized or partly adopted Christian and English ways. Axtell concludes that the many schools and edu- cational experiments notoriously failed to turn Indian children into English adults. Szasz notes just how difcult it is even to establish agreed-upon criteria according to which we might judge the success or failure of these many ventures.
For my purposes, we can say that during the colonial centu- ries s small numbers of Indian tribal children and their kinfolk became acquainted with the school as an educational institution; and we must remember that, at this time, only a small number of white American colonial children or Irish or other European children attended school for any length of time. Indians quickly learned the game of counter-manipulation, education in native america and ireland to the s 25 seeing schooling of their children as a tactic for individual and group survival in the rapidly changing colonial world.
The British colonial missionary enterprises, especially, established pat- terns for assimilationist Indian schooling that persisted throughout the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century. Protestant colo- nial missionaries, their nineteenth-century counterparts, later U. This Christian civilization was locked in a deadly struggle against heathenism, savagery, and all such supposedly decient cultural states. Colonial missionaries and later educators generally combined an egalitarian and nonracist conviction in the capacity of Indian peoples, with a near-abso- lute ethnocentric conviction that Indians must leave all their old ways behind and accept all the new ways.
The more culturally tolerant French Jesuit mis- sionaries were less ethnocentric in their demands for changes not immedi- ately religious. The school thus became a panacea: many Indians were too old and set in their ways to change; therefore salvation, spiritual and secular, would come through the children. Like Eliot with his quarantining praying towns, later generations of missionary and U.
The nineteenth century has been called the Great Century of Protestant missions to the world. As a result of a turn-of-century outburst of religious revivalismthe Second Great Awakeningmany new missionary societies were established and began to send their members to the heatheninclud- ing Indiansthroughout the world.
By around abcfm schools were teaching mostly in English, but also utilizing the Native languages, at least initially. The abcfm then stretched its reach right across the continent to the Pacic Northwest, where it established missions among the Cayuses and Nez Perces. Indeed, Indians themselves may have been the instigators of these Northwestern missions; a number of them traveled to St.
Louis in to ask for missionarieswe cannot tell the extent to which they understood the whole missionary venture and ambition. By the s there were over 11, schools of all kinds on the small island of Ireland. The vast majority of these, however, were extralegal and impermanent hedge schools.
By there were approx. English, and Spanish in the Southwest , had established hundreds of mis- sions and schools in many of the major regions of the present United States and Canada. Even among peoples who did not directly experience these de- velopments, the knowledge of such different educational institutions must have permeated; as the nineteenth century wore on, always pragmatic Indian adults would become increasingly interested in, if ambivalent about, school- ing for their children, to complement rather than displace traditional forms of education.
By the beginning of our period of study, however, it is likely that the vast majority of Indian peoples had no personal experience of the school or schooling. But then, neither did large numbers of Irish people at that time. III Despite powerful alliances among some of its native leaders and help from Catholic Spain, the old Gaelic order was no match militarily for the new English Tudor nation state. Although a full cultural and religious conquest did not take place, the Battle of Kinsale in sounded the death knell of many older and less civilized Gaelic patterns.
Around the same time began the Protestant plantation of large areas of northeastern Ulster that would so deeply inuence later Irish history. In this political, cultural, and religious assault, Celtic educational institutions did not remain unaffected. The famed bardic schools and monastic schools of Ireland were repressed or gradually fell into disuse. These, however, never aimed at mass elementary education rather the opposite, as their goals were the training of small cultural and ecclesiastical elites.
As we have seen, by perhaps only two out of ve Irish children were enrolled at any school. Indeed, it is difcult to tell how most ordinary Irish people educated their children during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As John Logan has noted, compared with the history of schooling in Ireland, education within the household has been neglected by historians. Logan has shown how a tiny minority of Irish parents provided their children with the services of tutors, governesses, and wandering scholars from around to Neither in this useful study nor a later work do we learn how ordinary people, like con- temporaneous American Indians, educated generations of children outside of school or tutoring; nor do we learn this from Antonia McManuss more recent study of the famous Irish hedge schools of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
From to individuals whose experiences are featured in the present book attended national schools or National Board model schools in or near many of the cities, towns, and villages shown here. Their methods were probably similar to those used by Indians: observation, on-the-job training, oral instruction and sto- ry-tellingvital in nonliterate culturesand various kinds of informal and formal apprenticeships, involving learning from adults within or outside the family. As in tribal societies, Irish girls and boys would have received partly similar and partly different forms of instruction appropriate to their future rolesas wives and mothers, or as farmers or shermen.
His mother instructed him on personal and religious values, on the dangers of envy, and on the importance of faith in Godher good advice combined conventional wisdom and Catholic devotion and would have complemented the more formal school religious instruction. She hoped that none of her fam- ily would go astray so that we would all be in one company in Gods Kingdom, the way we were in lifea powerful blending of family and religious values.
In the long-term perspective, writes Colin Heywood of broader patterns that surely also applied to Ireland, it is worth remembering that for most people in the West, right up until the nineteenth century, the family fullled many functions. It had to provide for the subsistence of its members, plus their edu- cation, vocational training, health, entertainment and old age. Patrick Bradley and his childhood friends awaited the visit of the seanachaidhe storyteller. Looking so far back now, he wrote as a reminiscing Indian might have, it seems hard to realize the fascination these stories exerted on our youthful minds.
Some people doubted the veracity of the stories. As for myself, hav- ing heard from early childhood, round the winter reside, tales of ghosts, fairies, leprechauns, pookies, and banshees, it will be readily understood that I was not one of the sceptics. Indeed as a youngster Bradley was so afraid of such beings he was loath to go out alone in the dark.
Similarly R. Robson believed that the effect of well-told stories on the young mind is wonder- ful. Writing about Protestantand more self-consciously modernUlster, he claimed that whether we admit it nor not. William OMalley more critically remembered how he lived on Fairy stories and in an atmosphere of the grossest superstition when he was a child. The stories he heard were also frightening, about real Ghosts and of various tales of the education in native america and ireland to the s 29 education in native america and ireland to the s 30 supernatural. Obviously a modernizer, he saw it as progress that such sto- rytelling was dying out.
An improvement in the condition of the people and the spread of Education were, he believed, dissipating the faith in Fairies and hobgoblins. As Heywood reminds us, European peasants and laborers who had little or no schooling were far from being ignorant, depraved, culturally deprived, or even illiter- ate.
In a striking passage, one that recalls Francis La Flesches account of how much Omaha children had to learn, a French Breton man who also became an anthropologist remembered the comprehensiveness of his nonschool but systematic and demanding early education: I began.
It was thus that you adapted yourself to nature and occasionally held it in check at the same time as it satised your basic needs. They learned the economic, cultural, and spiritual valuesto again employ Szaszs formulation for Indian childrenvital for survival or even a degree of prosperity in their immediate families and rural communities. As the advantages of speaking English and of literacy became more and more obvious, Irish people, like Indians, began to see the practical value of schooling. The inability of most adults to read and write [was] one of the more striking features of late eighteenth century [Irish] society, writes Logan, and this ensured that if children were to acquire literacy, it would not be from their parentsunless these were of the more privileged classes.
Or to have a helpful neighbor: Irish-speaking Michael MacGowan learned nothing from an English-speaking teacher in the local national school. Luckily an old man taught him the alphabet using shapes such as the gable end of the house A to illustrate the letters. For some Irish children, both nonschool and school learning could complement each other. It all depended on the par- ents whether [children] got any learnin before they started school, declared education in native america and ireland to the s 31 an informant of the Irish Folklore Collection.
Not many parents were t to learn their children anything, because they couldnt read or write. This in- formant had obviously internalized the ofcial view that nonschool learning was not education. Luckily his father learned us the alphabet and put us in the rst book. Indeed, with its bitter intertwining of national, political, and religious issues, educa- tion has always been a battleground in Ireland. Although the act attempted to establish parish schools to preserve English culture and the Protestant religion, initially its ambitions were defensive and limited.
According to Raymond Gillespie, a state-sponsored national educational system was not in the minds of [the acts] drafters. It was principally directed at. Few such schools were actually established, and fewer still were the concrete results of the act. In other words, these parish schools had little effect on most Irish children. The Irish Language, Habit, and Order continued to prevail [outside] the English Pale, concluded the Commissioners with obvious disdain, and could with Difculty be restrained from encroaching within its limits.
By the early nineteenth century, according to the Commissioners, there were parish schools in Ireland, enrolling 36, children 21, Protestants, 15, Catholics a small fraction of school-age children. The master of every such free schoolactually a kind of gram- mar school teaching higher subjects than the parish schoolswas to be a Protestant Englishman. Few of these diocesan schools were built, and by only two or three were actually admitting students free of charge.
They had become, according to the commissioners, applied solely to the Education of the higher and middle Orders. However, they too remained few in number. By such schools enrolled a total of only scholars. These parish, di- ocesan, and royal schools were created by legislation and endowed through government grants. Many schools were run by the Anglican Church of Ireland for its own children a small minority of the total population ; indeed this state church saw itself as the guardian of morality and political loyalty for all the people of Ireland from the later sixteenth century until its disestablishment in Of course, in the heavily Presbyterian regions of the country, especially in Northern Ireland, members of this intensely education-orientated denomi- nation arranged the schooling of their own children.
Therefore, not all Protestant schools in this period were primarily proselytizing. Yet, as in the American colonies, a number of Protestant missionary societies and other private organizations set up schools in Ireland, sometimes with government help. The last of these organizations magnan- imously dened its goals thus: for the accomplishment of the great work of educating the Irish poor, schools should be set up upon the most liberal prin- ciples and should be divested of all sectarian distinctions of Christianity. Catholics initially supported the organization, but by the s, as it distrib- uted grants to large numbers of explicitly missionary Protestant organiza- tions, representatives of the majority religion turned against it.
In Akensons vivid phrase, they helped smash the Kildare Place Society with considerable vigor and tactical shrewdness. By the government had withdrawn nan- cial support from the Kildare Place Society and other such missionary educa- tional societies, in order to establish a state-controlled elementary system.
Predictably, writes McManus, all of these bids at rescuing the Irish from being Irish failed. The vast majority of the expand- ing and predominantly Catholic Irish people had little sustained contact with such forms of schooling, in other words. However, the belief persisted in government circles that it was through education that the Irish would be socialized and politicized along loyal, law abiding lines. The other 9, or so were independent pay schools receiving no aid whatsoever, conducted by private individuals for their own prot or at their own risk in a generally poverty-stricken country.
The Commissioners conceded the anti-Catholic intolerance of this cumulative body of legislation. One of the statutes rendered it highly penal to receive any other than a Protestant Education. Further legislation decreed that Catholics could not establish or run schools, nor could they travel abroad to obtain a Catholic education. By the late eighteenth century many of the most onerous provisions of the Penal Laws had been repealed, and there is controversy among scholars on the ex- tent to which the any of them were rigidly enforced.
Akenson notes ironically, however, that their very nature, their declared intention to deprive Catholics of almost any kind of education unless it be Protestant, only intensied the desire of the majority to seek, with a tenacity born of desperation, some more acceptable form of schooling for their children, illegal or not. This criticism was probably accu- rate in terms of religion. But ironically, and not withstanding their honored position in Irish nationalist hagiography, the hedge schools increasingly taught in English rather than Irishthus preparing large numbers of pupils and parents for the new national school ethos.
Individual teachers attempted to use Irish and preserve its literature. Yet parental pressures, along with the growing tendency of the Catholic Church to use English, and the association of Irish literacy with some Protestant missionary organizations that strategi- cally exploited the vernacularall militated against the greater use of Irish in the hedge schools. These schools also probably contributed toward a slowly rising literacy; by the time of the census perhaps 47 per cent of Irish peo- ple over the age of ve possessed some degree of literacy, or at least claimed to be able to read.
This was literacy in the new language rather than the ver- nacular. Thus these home-grown Irish educational expedientsestablished education in native america and ireland to the s 34 by Irish teachers, attended by Irish pupils, and supported by Irish parents made their own contribution to the weakening of the vernacular even before the national schools and other forces of modernization came close to obliter- ating the Irish language. There was no inspector over us like [in] the National School, recalled a man who attended a late- surviving school during the s, and we took holidays when we liked.
A woman told of entering such a school at around the age of nine, perhaps dur- ing the same decade. As the master owned no house, he accepted a form of room and board from different families, who gave him a few shillings at the end of the year. He taught in a shed during the winter and outdoors during the summer. We had no desks or seats. The rst arrivals for the day would sit on turf sods or stones. The rest of the class would have to stand or take in a few sods of turf with them to make a seat. Upon arrival the master would instruct pupils to fetch his stool.
In cold weather they had a re, and that was a troublesome re, she remembered. There was no chimney in the bothin [shed] and sometimes you couldnt see to put your ngers in your eyes with smoke. Our eyes used to be running with the cut of the smoke. During night class two boys would stand each side of the master, a splinter blazing away and they holding them up, so he could see.
Then there was even more smoke than during the day. They had no books, only slates, and pupils had a free day a month to look for stones to write on the slate. Reecting the one-on-one teaching often used in the hedge schoolsas distinct from the graded sys- tem used from the early decades of the nineteenth century, in which a teacher worked with a full classthe master called individual pupils to the top of the room. They would kneel in front of him, and hed show us our lesson and he pointing out the letters with the stem of his pipe, he was for ever smok- ing.
Most of his time twas telling us about foreign countries he was. He never taught them to write, but we could spell anything for you after him. Signicantly, although he could speak Irish and actually used it with the pu- pils, the master never actually taught a word of the language. In all, it is a sharp but affectionate account of the man and his school, told decades later. We were lonesome after him when he died, the informant concluded. Mark F. Ryan, who describes a school held in a barn rented from a local farmer. The fteen or so pupils paid a few pence a week to the teacher, who instructed them in English and used a strap to maintain disci- pline.
Pupils each brought a sod of turf to school, and although instruction education in native america and ireland to the s 35 ran from 10 a. The teaching was very poor, concluded Ryan, but he remembered how the pupils delighted in memorizing polysyllabic words that they hardy understood, but that impressed their parents.
One boy told them that he had learned Orthography, etymology, syntax, prosody agus [and] hieroglyph- ics! At another such school Ryan attended, in a locally built church, they made a turf re on stones to protect the mortar oor. Again, they could hardly see each other until the smoke had cleared away. Lombe Atthil, another doc- tor, came upon what we might term a classic version of the type of school around midcentury: I saw some ve or six boys sitting around an old man, under a tall hedge by a roadside, not a mile from my house.
The teacher ap- peared to be a great sufferer, and Atthil brought him to his dispensary and gave him temporary medical relief for his ailments. Then the teacher told me what indeed I knewthe condition of the men of his class; that he rarely received any money; that he had spent his life wandering from place to place, teaching when he had the chance the children of the poor the rudiments of learning. This he did in barns, sheds, or by the roadside, receiving in return such scanty food as they had to give, seldom sleeping in any dwelling-house, but in some dilapidated barn or uncleanly shed.
Earlier, the hedge schoolmaster claimed, things had been a little better. But by then, with the national schools springing up everywhere, he was no longer wanted. The schools were, writes historian J. Adams, totally independent of any kind of authority other than market forces and the ire of the parents. Yet Adams himself, Akenson, J. Dowling, and McManus all argue that the overall inuence was deep and highly positive in providing a kind of schooling, at times a high level, for up to , mostly Catholic children by the midswhose parental reli- gion would otherwise have deprived them of any.
Above all, writes Adams, the hedge schools testied to the strong desire of ordinary Irish people to see their children receive some sort of education. And McManus similarly claims that there can be little doubt that Irish parents set a high value on a hedge school education and made enormous sacrices to secure it for their childrendespite chronic poverty. Indeed these people came to regard the hedge schoolteacher as one of their own; he and they shared so much in terms of culture, music, song, and poetry.
And considering how few children the various other schools taught, the growing literacy in English by the early nineteenth century is an indication of the reach of the hedge schools, despite education in native america and ireland to the s 36 their precarious nature.
McManus has shown the wide variety of readings, from the moralistic to the horric, utilized by the masters. By the second half of the eighteenth century there was a system of such church-controlled schools throughout the country. Due to a shortage of priests the church sometimes had to work with hedge schoolteachers to fulll its mission. Often the local parish priest exercised the right of supervision over such hedge schoolsthe masters needed priestly approval to survive in a community and might in turn assist the priest as a kind of parish clerk.
Indeed, claims McManus, a symbi- otic relationship grew up between the Catholic Church and the hedge school- masters, at least until the early nineteenth century. By there were about nuns in 18 houses belonging to 6 orders; by their number had increased to 8, nuns in convents of 35 different orders. By the end of the [nineteenth] century, writes Mary Peckham Magray, women religious had created an im- mense network of institutions that had become indispensable to the func- tioning of the Irish church and Irish society.
However, by around nuns were reaching relatively few of the Irish population. By the number of brothers had increased to 1,, in a smaller total Irish population, and they taught about 27, male elementary school pupils, thus also achieving far greater inuence upon the Catholic population by the end of the period under review.
An Intercontinental North: North Britons and North Americans
Initially the brothers worked within the new national system established in but soon withdrew to provide unambigu- ously denominational schools for their boys. In terms of nonschool educationthe lot of the majority in both areasthere were per- haps surprising similarities. Responsibility fell mostly on kin and the local community. Further, and also related to the general lack of schooling, most education was oral in nature. Few Indian languages had by then been put into writing.
Nor, despite the existence of manuscript and published sources in education in native america and ireland to the s 37 Irish, were native speakers generally literate in this language, still spoken by around three million Irish people in However, we should not exaggerate the extent or regularity of that experi- ence. Very limited numbers of Irish children attended the charter schools and other Protestant missionary institutions, or Catholic parish schools, and the Catholic teaching orders were still quite small in personnel at the beginning of our period.
It is likely that attendance at hedge schoolseven when a local school met regularlywas sporadic. Irregular attendance would plague the far more systematically organized national schools throughout the period under review; it is unlikely that the hedge schools fared better in this regard. Indians and Irish people would thus bring diverse yet partly similar his- torical and cultural experiences into the nineteenth century. Yet tradi- tional forms of education, along with sporadic missionary and hedge school- ing, were in some ways surprisingly compatible with the demands of mass schooling: memorization of stories at home would help some adjust to the rote learning common in both systems; some Indian and far more Irish chil- dren were beginning to learn English; the very idea of the school, as a place set apart for education, was becoming more and more familiar, especially in Ireland, but even among Plains and Far Northwestern Indian peoples too.
Although the content varied from tribe to tribe and from Indian America to Ireland, and indeed within Ireland, boys and girls were educated to different gender roles. Traditional Indian and Irish constructions of gender were thus in principle compatible with the policies and practices of missionary organi- zations, the bia, and the cnei, all of whom assumed without question that the sexes should be educated to different future roles in life. The School as Weapon of State Until the nineteenth century, writes Colin Heywood, the idea that the state should intervene between parents and their children was almost unthink- able.
Yet it was only in the early s that schooling became a systematically wielded weapon of the state throughout the Western world. And it was only then that Britain and the new United States acknowledged national responsibility for the education of difcult subgroups and actually began to establish, support, and physi- cally build national and later compulsory elementary educational systems to Anglicize and Americanize these subgroups. The United States became a nation in and built on British Imperial and colonial policies toward Indians, including cooperation with missionar- ies.
For decades more the bia performed this duty in a less-than-systematic way; at one point the government attempted to slough off its responsibility, parceling out the tribes to various Catholic and Protestant missionary or- ganizations. Yet by the later part of the nineteenth century, with the estab- lishment of government day schools and boarding schools on and off the reservations , the bia had pushed the missionary societies to the margin. Indeed, from the beginning of its existence the United States had staked out its responsibility for civilizing and Americanizing Indian peoples, whose savagery and heathenism were affronts to the new Republic.
Responding to Roman Catholic complaints and to the critical ndings of a number of educational commissions, and realizing the inadvisability of continuing to subsidize Protestant missionary ventures in a predominant- ly Catholic country, in the British Parliament agreed to establish and nance the new elementary school system for all Irish children. The British state, like the American, thus embarked on an ambitious program of mass education for a supposedly problem people, but from the beginning the British did so more systematically.
The Irish national school authorities no longer worked with mission societies, for example. At that time neither the U. The Indians and the Irish were different. Indeed historian John Coolahan has noted how the Irish national school system could be seen as a kind of laboratory for later developments in England itself. I Large numbers of nineteenth-century Americans cared little whether Indians survived or vanished, as long as they vacated their lands for white settlement.
Many U. These white Americans be- lieved that through the schooling of tribal children, Indians could be raised into Christian and civilized society and thus be saved both in this life and the next. The offer of civilization and Christianity would amply repay Indian peoples for the loss of mostly useless tribal lands; thus uplifted they would prac- tice American-style agriculture and be absorbed into the population of the Republic. This commitment to Indian schooling drew from broader developments in mass education throughout the Western world.
Prussia lead the way in es- tablishing nationwide, standardized, age-graded school systems, and other nations followed. Mass education had become a powerful cultural weapon, especially for those nations striving to indoctrinate the masses into a whole and unblemished body politic. The school would become the great unier, creating one nation from many, in thousands of nearly identical classrooms across the expand- ing nation, presenting nearly identical curricula to children of different ethnic groups.
From the Revolution on, writes Andy Green, education was held to be uniquely important for the cultivation of national identity, for the maintenance of social cohesion, and for the promotion of republican values, especially in a country of dispersed and heterogeneous communities and in the school as weapon of state 39 the school as weapon of state 40 the early years of a new and fragile republic. Barbara Finkelstein has noted how the school became a formidable structure of persuasion that would inculcate American values, self-control, and Protestant Christianity into all groups.
American advocates of the common school believed that education would be the key to creating the good society, concurs Joel Spring. Emerging from such a heady mix of idealism, social anxiety, and pragma- tism, the Act making provision for the civilization of the Indian tribes adjoining the frontier settlements, often called the Indian Civilization Act, was sweeping and yet explicit in its goals. Building on colonial precedent and, as we shall see, on previous decades of treaty making, the act was introduced for the purposes of providing against the further decline and nal extinction of the Indian tribes.
It empowered the president, where practicable, and with their own consent, to embark on Indian schooling. He was to employ capable persons of good moral character to instruct them in the mode of agriculture suited to their situation, and for teaching their children in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Most signicant then and later, an annual sum of ten thou- sand dollars was appropriated to carry out the provisions of the act.
Further, an account of the expenditure of the money, and proceedings in execution of the foregoing provisions, shall annually be laid before Congress. Yet Congress continued to appropriate money for Indian education. Further, from government agents were given increasing re- sponsibility for the oversight of Indian schooling and could actually close schools in their jurisdiction; and in the s and s an inspector and later a superintendent of Indian schools was appointed.
The Constitution of the United States assigned responsibility for Indian af- fairs to the federal government, rather than to individual state governments. At the time of the Civilization Act the War Department exercised oversight of Indian affairs, and in Congress established a unit within it called the school as weapon of state 41 the Ofce of Indian Affairs, later referred to as the Bureau of Indian Affairs hereafter bia.
Headed from by the commissioner of Indian Affairs, the bia was in transferred to the Department of the Interior, where, despite some attempts to return it to the War Department, it has remained to this day. By there were thirty-two such schools in operation, enrolling over tribal children, and this rela- tionship continued to develop throughout the nineteenth century. Indeed a later Indian commissioner, Francis E. Leupp, admitted in that for the rst hundred years of the Republic until about the s, in other words the education of tribal children was practically in the hands of the religious associations.
Irrespective of the apparent willingness to surrender some of its prerogatives to religious orga- nizations, however, the federal government had become inextricably involved in both the subsidizing and policing of Indian schoolsand it would later begin to build and staff such institutions. Treaties too were crucial to Indian schooling. According to the Constitution, the making of treaties was a federal responsibility: the executive branch ne- gotiated a treaty, the legislative branch through the Senate, the upper house ratied or rejected it.
Groups became identified as hyphen-American. For the original inhabitants of the land, the "correct" term became Native-American. The word "native" has a generic meaning, referring to anyone or anything that is at home in its place of origin. So "Native American" does not avoid the problem of naming from an outsider's perspective. Concern for political correctness focuses more on appearances than reality. As John Trudell observed at the time, "They change our name and treat us the same. As an added twist, it seems that the only full, un-hyphenated Americans are those who make no claim of origin beyond the shores of this land.
Many of these folk assert that they are in fact the real "native" Americans. We have to discard both "American Indian" and "Native American" if we want to be faithful to reality and true to the principle that a People's name ought to come from themselves. The consequence of this is that the original inhabitants of this land are to be called by whatever names they give themselves. There are no American Indians or Native Americans. There are many different peoples, hundreds in fact, bearing such names as Wampanoag, Cherokee, Seminole, Navajo, Hopi, and so on and on through the field of names.
These are the "real" names of the people. But the conundrum of names doesn't end there. Some of the traditional or "real" names are not actually derived from the people themselves, but from their neighbors or even enemies. If we want to be fully authentic in every instance, we will have to inquire into the language of each People to find the name they call themselves. It may not be surprising to find that the deepest real names are often a word for "people" or for the homeland or for some differentiating characteristic of the people as seen through their own eyes.
The important thing is to acknowledge the fundamental difference between how a People view themselves and how they are viewed by others, and to not get hung up on names for the sake of "political correctness. In this context, the difference between "American Indian" and "Native-American" is nonexistent. Both are names given from the outside. On the other hand, in studying the situation and history of the Original Peoples of the continent, we do not need to completely avoid names whose significance is understood by all.
Indeed, it may be that the shortest way to penetrate the situation of Indigenous Peoples is to critically use the generic name imposed on them. It is a component of "Indigenous Peoples Studies. It is sometimes noted how far advanced Indigenous Peoples in Latin and South America and Canada are in thinking about their nationhood, as compared to Native Peoples inside the United States. A major reason for this disparity is the apparent capturing of Indigenous self-understanding in the United States and not only in American history classes.
The substitution of "Native American" for "American Indian" may actually deepen the problem. Everyone knows the Indigenous Peoples are not Indians. Not so many know they are also not Americans. Only a little more than half identified themselves as American citizens. This survey is an example of the usefulness of the "incorrect" label "Indian" to explain something significant about indigenous self-identification. It's been asked ,"What's in a name?
Scott Momaday, in The Names: A Memoir , writes about the meaning of who we are that is contained and not contained in our names. Names, in other words, are mysterious, sometimes revealing sometimes concealing our identity or the identity of a people or place.