Indigenous tribes are communities that are the original residents of a particular land. They are culturally distinct ethnic groups native to a place that has been colonized and settled by another ethnic group. What Colonial Powers did to these tribes has been a dark phase of history. Today, we will explore four instances of Colonial Barbarism that lead to the destruction and extinction of a few tribes.
Niantic people from Connecticut and Rhode Island, the United States
The Niantic was a tribe of Algonquian-speaking Natives who lived in Connecticut and Rhode Island during the colonial period. They were distributed into western and eastern groups due to invasions by the powerful Pequots. Niantic people survived on beans, corn, and squash, supplemented by fishing, hunting, and collecting nuts, fruits, and roots. Conflict developed between the Niantic tribes and colonial invaders in the 15th Century. The English colonists carried on military expeditions against them, resulting in extensive destruction, deaths, and property loss. The violence degenerated into the Pequot War in 1637 CE. This conflict resulted in the total destruction of the Western Niantics by the colonists. In America, we hear much about these crimes today in school and politics, but we forget that this history was suppressed. The colonialists wiped out a thousand-year strong tribe. It is also said that the colonial powers used biological warfare to exterminate Niantic people.
1918 Flu Pandemic in India
India’s 1918 flu pandemic was the outbreak of influenza in India between 1918 and later in 1920. The pandemic is thought to have killed over 17 million people. India was permeated by the beliefs, culture, and minds of those who inhabited it. When colonists from Britain arrived in India, they brought their language and their customs and laws. They also brought their soldiers and their war. The British ships carrying troops returning from the First World War in Europe brought the Spanish Flu with them and devastated India. Almost an entire generation of Indians was wiped out. All rivers across India were clogged up with bodies because of a shortage of firewood for cremation. Around five tribes in Maharashtra, two in Madhya Pradesh, and approximately 17 elsewhere faced extinction due to the pandemic. The Colonial Barbarians, The British Empire, were at fault as they not only caused the virus to spread in India, but they didn’t do anything to stop it.
Serer people of Senegambia
Serer people of Senegambia in West Africa are perhaps one of the first documented tribes who fought the Portuguese invaders and defeated them with ease. In 1446 CE, a Portuguese caravel bearing the Portuguese slave trader – Nuno Tristão and his team tried to enter the Serer region to carry out slave raiding. None of the adult passengers of that caravel survived. They all succumbed to Serer’s poisoned arrows. However, Serer’s battle was with different power – a religious one. They faced forced conversions from Invaders whose main aim was Islamization was the region. Long story short, the people who resisted conversion were killed, mutilated, and displayed, and the entire ancient Serer Religion is now on the verge of total extinction. Serer people became a target of the 1861 CE jihad led by the Mandinka cleric Ma-Ba Jaxoo. Even the French colonial forces were a part culprit in this war as they knew that a divided Senegal would be easier to rule. France used it to their advantage.
How Colonial Barbarians Wiped out indigenous populations?
Caeté people of Brazil
The Caetés were an indigenous people of Brazil who populated Brazil’s shoreline, and they were among the first tribes that the Portuguese confronted when they arrived in South America. Portuguese brought numerous troubles for them, including smallpox. Additionally, the Portuguese started to enslave the indigenous tribes. Those who were not enslaved were killed and put on display. After burning down villages, the Portuguese colonists abducted the women and children, who were married into their families. The Caeté tribe resisted slavery violently. Caeté tribes were around 5000-year-rich. However, the Portuguese exposed them to diseases, and their population was wiped off.
It may be hard to understand why anyone would want to stick around an empire that systematically oppresses its population. Still, it is more difficult to understand why anyone would want to stick around a nation where most people suffered while the few favored. There should be no defense for these criminal acts by colonial invaders.
The medieval era was the time where most people suffered while the few favored. Swipe next and read Four Crimes of the Colonial Barbarians. Word Count – 700-800.