Never surrender: Native tribes of Colonial Spanish America never subdued by the Spaniards

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“El joven Lautaro”, an already classic painting by P.Subercaseaux depicts the Mapuche warlord Lautaro (who confronted the Conquistadores in the mid-16th century) along with his army and people. Note the horses and the European weapons and helmets on the right, captured from the Spaniards (credit: Wikimedia commons).


By Periklis Deligiannis


The Spanish Conquistadores and mostly the European microbes and diseases that they brought to the New World (smallpox, measles, ‘influenza’ and others) – which often were decimating the native tribes even before the physical appearance of the Spaniards themselves – managed between 1492 and 1600 to conquer huge areas of the North, Central and South America starting with the Caribbean world. Due to the spread of the European diseases, the thrashing superiority of the arms, armour and tactics of the Spaniards, their superior socio-political and financial system and other factors, just 11,000 Conquistadores more or less were proved to be enough for the subjugation of many millions of Amerindians in those years.



Collateral relatives of Amerindians among the Bronze Age populace of Siberia?

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Republication from Pub Med

siberia map[maps added by the republisher]

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1999 Feb;108(2):193-204.


Nonmetric and metric traits were studied in cranial series representing prehistoric and modern populations of America and Siberia. Frequencies of the infraorbital pattern type II (longitudinal infraorbital suture overlaid by the zygomatic bone) are universally lower in Amerindians than in Siberians. The os japonicum posterior trace, too, is much less frequent in America than in Siberia. The only two Siberian groups with an almost Amerindian combination are late third to early second millennium BC populations from Okunev and Sopka, southern Siberia. The multivariate analysis of five nonmetric facial traits and ten facial measurements in 15 cranial series reveals two independent tendencies.




ottawa or Huron warrior 18th cent

Huron  or  Ottawa  warrior,  18th  century.  He  is  armed  with  a  curved  club  and  an  American  long  rifle,  an  acquisition  of  trade  or  warfare (artwork  by  Don  Troiani).

 By  Periklis    Deligiannis

The  Europeans  (British  and  French)  who  colonized  North  America  in  the  17th  to  18th  centuries  were  forced  to  adapt  to  the  martial  art  of  a  ‘primitive’  and  ‘savage’  environment  which  was  lost  from  Europe  since  Late  Antiquity  or  the  Early  Middle  Ages.  The  Native  American  (Indian)  who  was  their  main  rival,  unfortunately  for  them,  had  not  read  Grotius  and  Vattel,  the  founders  of  the  rules  of  the  noble  and  ‘civilized’  warfare  (corresponding  to  the  subsequent  Treaty  of  Geneva)  with  which  the  Europeans  of  the  17th  and  18th  centuries  complied.  The  Native  American  had  his  own  original  weapons  and  his  own  methods  of  war,  the  deadly  warfare  of  the  forest.  Of  course  he  did  not  know  the  pitched  battles  or  the  attack  at  the  sound  of  the  trumpet.  The  Indian  bow  unlike  the  European  harquebus  (and  afterwards  the  musket)  was  silent,  accurate,  and  able  to  unleash  fast  repeated  arrowshots,  even  in  wet  weather  (when  the  wick  and  the  gunpowder  of  the  harquebus/musket  dampened  and  made  it  useless).