Effect of Christianity on Cabeza de Vaca and the Natives

1451 words 6 pages
The Effects of Christianity on Cabeza de Vaca and the Natives

On June 17, 1527, Cabeza de Vaca set sail on the order to conquer and govern the lands from the Rio Grande to the cape of Florida. However, during his journey he encountered much devastation such as the wrecking of his ship which resulted in his separation from the majority of his Christian companions. Praying to God after every ordeal, Cabeza routinely sought after his Christian religion to guide him through his unexpected journey. While traveling through the interior of America, he also encountered many native tribes which inhabited the land. While most of the Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century spread their religion through warlike ways and rearranged societies
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This enslavement made his survival possible and changed his view of the Indians for good. Cabeza would often thank God for sparing his life and allowing him to become a slave to the natives which would enable him to move from tribe to tribe. This movement was possible because a slave in an Indian tribe had the same duties as a woman. Women were responsible for the transportation of wood, hauling of water, and digging for roots in the cane swamps (Petty 4). Cabezza would say "The women toil incessantly" (Covey 61). With his womanly privilege he was able to communicate between two warring tribes which allowed him to trade where others might not have been allowed to. During times of war women were sent to make negotiations (Petty 4). With his slave status, Cabeza was allowed to travel with the women which gave him a greater understanding of the environment and terrain which lay ahead of his journey as he traveled westward in search of fellow Christians. While traveling from tribe to tribe Cabeza encountered a village on an Island which gave him a chance to break free of his slavery status. It is on this island where he learned to become a medicine man which ultimately gave him prosperity in the Indians eyes. When first presented with the natives' way of curing the ill, the Europeans "Scoffed at their cures" (Covey 64), but after food was held from them until they learned how to heal, the men were forced to obey. While Cabeza learned the