Captured By Indians
Matthew S. Schweitzer | Columbus, OH United States | 05/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This History Channel Documentary focuses on the narratives of European settlers who were captured (and in many cases adopted) by the many American Indian tribes living along the eastern frontier in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
From the time of King Phillip's War in 1676 until the end of the era of Western expansion, there were many instances of white (and black) settlers who were taken captive by American Indians living in the territory into which European and American settlements were encroaching. The stories of these captives were sometimes written down after their escape or repatriation to white society (often times against their will) and serve as an invaluable source of information regarding Indian culture and history. The documentary tells the captivity stories of people like Mary Jemison, James Smith, and others who survived the traumatic experience of capture only to find themselves adopted into the tribes by which they were taken. Many of these captives spent years living among the Indians and thus gained great knowledge and insight into a strange and alien culture. Some of these captives survived to later set down in words their own harrowing experiences. Many of these narratives served as some of the first truly American literature in a time when most people were extremely limited in their reading choices.
As with so many other of these History Channel DVDs, this serves as an interesting introduction to a complex area of history and due to time constrainsts has left much detail by the wayside. However it does serve as a good exposure to a fascinating bit of American history with which many people are not familiar and as such serves as a good way to promote further reading on the subject. This DVD is perfect for those interested in the history of the frontier era of American history."
Like the Wife of Dances-with-Wolves
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 12/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary is full of cheesy reenactments. Many of the Natives are painted all over their bodies, rather just having a dot here or a line there. This may be historically accurate, but I wonder if it's also used to let non-Native actors play Native roles.
This work is very gender-conscious. It covers males and females, adopted/captured by Native tribes. It spoke of double standards between European Americans in this circumstance. It showed male and female academics speaking on the subject.
The work says Blacks were captured/adopted by tribes but then never goes further. My guess is that those adoptees didn't want to go back to a slave-holding or anti-Black society. I don't know why Blacks get scant review here. Also, I'm surprised, maybe horrified, that no Native academics or ancestors of these tribes were interviewed.
This was a multicultural work, over all. It mentions many captives who did not want to return to their birth cultures. It also spoke of how knowledge of Native ways helped business and "New World" survival."