The Narrative Of The Life Of Mrs. Mary Jemison Analysis

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Native Americans have always been given the stereotype of "wild savages" by white settlers. The Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison gives a more caring, and human quality to the so-called "wild savages". Through Mary's narrative, the traditions of Native American, as well as the domestic roles of men and women are analyzed.

Throughout her captivity, Mary mentions that she was treated with the utmost respect by her Indian family. They loved her like she was one of their own. Based on what we studied in class about Adoptions, it is safe to assume that Mary was part of an Adoption ceremony. A member of the tribe could have been killed by another tribe, and Mary was a replacement for the person who died. Mary notes that the ceremony started
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During her time with the tribe, she was expected to perform the domestic chores associated with Native American women. Interestingly enough, certain domestic chores that Mary was more accustomed to, being a colonist, were different from the Native Americans ideals of domestic skills. For example, Mary mentions that "spinning, weaving, sewing, stocking, knitting and the like, are arts which have never been practiced in the Indian tribes". Mary mentions that her job as an Indian woman was "to bring home the game that was taken by Indians, dress it, and carefully preserve the eatable meat, and prepare or dress the skins". Additionally, Mary was expected to assist the women with the agriculture, as well as cooking and cleaning. As she grew older she was expected to marry, and therefore she married Sheninje who was from a neighboring tribe and bore her first son, Thomas. She ended up marrying a total of two men; her first husband succumbed to a disease. Her captivity gave her an insight into the daily lives of Native Americans. Her treatment by the Indians disproved the theory that all Indians were "savage" and …show more content…
Mary's narrative serves as a case study of individuals who were victims of Native American kidnapping. Her point of view gives historians an idea of how life was like for abducted victims of Indian tribes. Mary experienced acts that gave the Indians the nickname of "savages". For example, there were frolics that took place that involved the mutilation of prisoners. There was also a time where Mary and her brothers came across a group of tradesmen who had been murdered and tortured by another tribe. Mary's own family was murdered by the tribe who would later take her to her adopted family. However, this last example could be speculated that the Indians were merely cutting the ties Mary had with the English world, so she could better assimilate into the Native American culture. Overall, Mary's narrative offers a look from a foreigner, into the world of the Native American culture. As a refugee, she was able to witness the numerous changes that impacted Native American culture, and she was able to witness the politics of Native American culture when a murder was committed. In conclusion, Mary was a victim, however, she was treated very well by her new family, and even in her old age, they granted her a plot of land that contained over 4,000

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