The image of the Indians in the Late Nineteenth Century. Paper Example

Published: 2023-02-27
The image of the Indians in the Late Nineteenth Century. Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Racism Discrimination Justice American history
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 562 words
5 min read

In her article, Stacie G. Widdifield explains how the Spanish conquest of Mexico led to the dispossession of power, resources, and the social culture of the Indians. Through assimilation, there was an establishment of the people's social hierarchy, depending on their race. The Natives were forced to adopt the European's ways and abandon their culture. The article is dominated by racial stereotyping, where the dark-skinned and the mixed-race were put in the lowest social order while the whites were in the peak of power. This paper focuses on reacting to the "Dispossession, Assimilation, and the image of the Indians in the Late Nineteenth Century Mexican Painting" article by Stacie G. Widdifield.

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In my opinion, the author convincingly emphasizes racism where the whites are depicted as superior, whereas the dark-skinned and the mixed-race are placed on the lowest social class. She effectively convinces us by incorporating the paintings from different artists who concentrate on the people's skin color (Widdifield 125). The racial hierarchy, however, is as a result of physical assimilation by the colonialists. She further uses paintings that show the difference in how people from different classes dress. Children born from a mixed-race are labeled to associate them with a particular class. The author also shows the transition between the colonial and the post-colonial period where racism has been disregarded by the Indians after colonialism.

Additionally, the author clearly explains the process of the assimilation of the Indians. The Indians are included in the painting. However, in the paintings, the skin color differences stand out. She uses Parra paintings, which are drawn to detail and are realistic. In his painting, Parra portrays the idea that many Indians have been killed by the Spaniard colonialists to make them surrender (Widdifield 127). More women have been killed to show the greed that the Spaniards have to take control of the Indian resources. The author effectively portrays the typical situation of the contemporary Indians, as she shows Parra's painting, which no one can criticize.

Moreover, the author logically shows the cultural assimilation of the Indians as they are being converted to Christianity. In the painting, an Indian woman is shown to a woman clings the European Friar and abandons the seated statue of a deity behind her (Widdifield 130). There is more emphasis on the transformation of Christianity. All the paintings used by the author show two different groups to suggest the imminent process of assimilation. However, the differences between the groups are depicted explicitly. There is a differentiation of the males and females and the peasants and those with high social status.

In conclusion, the author effectively describes the process of dispossession and assimilation of the Indians by the colonialists. She also shows the significance of Indian assimilation as it shapes the Indian policy. Traditionally, the Indians are divided into different classes, which are dominated by racism, where the whites are at the peak of power. The dark-skinned and those with a mixed-race are placed in the lowest social class. The Indians later disregard racism and abolish laws on the classification of people according to their skin color. The author utilizes the images to depict a realistic situation of the contemporary Indians. The paintings show the transition of the Indians from the colonial to the post-colonial periods.

Work Cited

Widdifield, Stacie G. "Dispossession, Assimilation, and the Image of the Indian in Late-Nineteenth-Century Mexican Painting." Art Journal 49.2 (1990): 125-132.

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