The Culture Of Native Americans In The Last Of The Mohicans

The American border began in the early 17th century with European settlements on the Atlantic coast and the eastern rivers, and in 1912 with the last continental territories. Usually, the'frontier' is 'the part of the country that divided another country'. From the beginning, the 'Frontier' was most often classified as the colonization's western boundary.However, this has not always been the case, the patterns of expansion and settlement in France, English, Spanish and Dutch have been quite different. Thousands of French immigrated to Canada and heavily arranged and rarely settled leather traders across the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. Meanwhile, the English generally constructed compact settlements and pushed not too far west. The United States Census Bureau defined areas with lower population intensities as 'unsettled' and marked the border line for each decade on a set of maps. Because of this, areas on the frontier were no really the exclusive domain of missionaries, explorers, and trappers, but settled homesteads could be found there, even if they were relatively rare and widely disorganized.

Historian Frederick Jackson Turner argued that in American civilization the frontier was extremely effective. 'The frontier,' he observed, 'fostered the formation for the American people of a composite nationality.'He kept it as a developmental movement: 'This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this spreading westward ... furnish the forces that dominate American character. Also, the lines up with “belt of sparsely occupied territory by Indian traders, hunters, miners, ranchers, foresters and adventurers of all kinds” which formed “the temporary boundary of an expanding society at the edge of substantially free lands.”. Another view of it as 'a form of society,' 'a state of mind,' 'the unused's edge,' 'the first stage in the process of transforming wilderness primitivity into modern social complexity.' Some frontier is intensified by the conquest and pivotal settlement of indigenous American lands west of the Mississippi River.

As the American frontier evolved into history, the same American and foreign imagination took hold of the West's fiction and film myths. Most of the films are white man-centered living with Native Americans, or it was the opposite, living within Native American. These films focus on how to be influenced or bounded by culture and nature. One of classic fiction films which express these issues is The Last of the Mohicans.

Summary of The Last of the Mohicans

It is the late 1750s, the French and Indian war proceeds in the frontier of westernCora and Alice Munro, Lieutenant Colonel Munro's daughters, are traveling from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry with Major Duncan Heyward to visit their father and guided by an American native named Magua. However, Magua leads them in the wrong direction. When they pass in the forest, they were being attacked by Magua's community Huron. Other scenes, Mohicans (Hawkeye, Chingachgook, and Uncas) are traveling somewhere. Hawkeye and Chingachgook are conversing about the different beliefs of whites and Native American. Suddenly, Uncas heard some footsteps and noise. They went to safe our ambushed character (Cora, Alice, and Duncan). Hawkeye wants to shoot Magua, but Duncan will not permit it and Magua escapes. Hawkeye learned their direction and he decided to take travelers to Fort William Henry with Chingachgook. Uncas is dispatched to try and stop the noise. He returns safely.

Hawkeye and the Mohicans lead the group to safety to their castle and at night, they stayed in the cemetery. In the early, they saw the house is ruined by Huron, Mohicans knew this house and people who stay but they do not do any grave because Huron can follow if they do them a tomb. However, our white people do not understand this situation so they insist on their request but Mohicans never listening to them. Hence, there was nothing left but to follow them. The night in a cave that they reach by canoe to the castle and the two daughters reached them father but Colonel Munro had confused because he sent them a letter which is his daughters never came to Fort William Henry. Hawkeye tried to explain that there's an agent in them and that they're going to make an ambush but Colonel Munro never believes him.

Hawkeye helped to escape people who want to provoke rebellion. Hence, the soldier arrested him. During this time, there was such a conversation between his father and Hawkeye; 'Why do they make my white son prisoner' and Hawkeye answer to him 'I helped Jack and other leave. This fight is not yours. I love you and my brother... and you should leave this place now.'. Cora tried to convince her father for freedom of Hawkeye but he denied. When Colonel Munro left the castle to the enemy and on the road, Huron attacked them and they killed Colonel Munro. On this time, Hawkeye safe Cora and Alice so they run away to this place. However, Huron was following them and they catch Cora, Alice, and Duncan. Hawkeye finds their place, want to talk with the leader of Huron. They had a passionate speech but leader just accept kill one woman but Duncan switched with Cora. Hawkeye saved Cora while there was in chaos but Magua escapes with Alice and two other Hurons. Uncas suffer painful defeat between Magua and his Hurons, but Magua stabs Uncas in the back and threw him down the mountain. After him, Alice also jumped down for not to die at their hands. Magua tries to escape but Chingachgook is finally able to shoot him. The next day, funeral services are held.

Analysis of The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans was James Fenimore Cooper's most popular novel of the Leatherstocking Tales and first published in 1826 in two volumes. The films have been nationalist and racialist themes over the years. 'The Last of the Mohicans' provided cultural myths, nationalism and white and red skin relationship. Russell Means, the well-known Indian performer who also described this film as an actor of Chingachgook, 'Chingachgook has quiet dignity and ferocity, and as a leader of the American Indian Movement it is something. I learned to cultivate. This film is a definite plus for Indian people and Indian and white relationship'. It traditionally appears to be in style and ideology. This film is a 'factual' event about which Cooper's was a very well-known American novelist, building a compelling tale of wilderness adventure. Mostly he mentions the American genre of the narrative of the Native American captivity, especially the Western. It extends to ethnographic and linguistic issues to the contorted and reductive nature of 'The Last of Mohicans.' During this time, wigs, feathers, war paint, phony beadwork, breechcloths, moccasins, smoke signals, sign language, canoes, and tepees are homogenized to American culture. The story tells the Western frontier of brutal battles with the Iroquois and their French allies, the vengeance of Native Americans, Native Americans, and the introduction of white people.

At the beginning of the film, we can see Mohicans hunting the deer and this effectively establishes the film's cultural and ideological agenda. When Hawkeye (who is a woodsman, hunter, and scout) killed the dear, we can hear Chingachgook traditional expression and his sorrow that is 'We do honor to your courage and speed, your strength' and the scene closed-up with Chingachgook speech. They killed it but they do not adumbrate that his death was too easy. We can understand this sentence or scene they respect every kind of creature. Native Americans give great value to nature and culture.

The affectionate racism mentioned in Cooper's novel includes the ideas of the self-genocide of ' savagery ' and the inevitable destruction of all Native Americans – ideas commonly held about other so-called primeval races in other colonial contexts (for duplicate, about the Maoris of New Zealand). Although Mann claimed to take great suffering to be historically definite in his film, the film is accurate only with regard to trivial particulars. More importantly, the film completely eliminates the sentimental racism of Cooper by, for example, turning Chingachgook into the ' last ' of his tribe rather than his son, Uncas, and thus ignoring the motive of the futureless child at the center of racism. But the film in a sense perfects the novel in phase out Cooper's racism because the sentimentalism that alleviated racism was already a form of oblivion or erasure. In Chapter 2, we can see offers from Cooper to help him draw the main lines of racial difference between white and red and suggest how to program each to see the other. The Native Americans are represented in war paint and caveman skins as distinctly different from whites, almost subhuman. They are physically strong, virtually indestructible, but also unpredictable as children and prone to violent behavior.

White people and indigenous Americans do not understand each other culturally. For example; we can hear Hawkey's speech to Cora is that 'Do not try to understand. Don't try to understand. There is because there is the breast of part, to make no sense'. He learns from his father Chingachgook about this quote. He told Cora because she did not understand the deceased's action and her apologies for her behavior. She just judged them and shouted them, but she had no idea why they weren't doing some funeral. She finally understands why they were acting like that after six or eight hours, though. Because they did not want to follow by Uncas.

Native Americans without betraying their own position — over just the kind of physical and cultural distance that Cora and Alice set in the scene. These two sisters have a common surname, while both are alive in nature, yet totally contradictory. Female character behavior for Cooper affirms the suggested 'Poor Eliza' ideas. His ideas that the ubiquitous spheres that create dichotomies between men and women collapse during the time of crisis are true in The Last of Mohicans and show that, whether he recognized it or not, Cooper was instrumental in delineating perceptions of gender roles on the American frontier.

When the call from Colonel Munro and Major Heyward to the colonist to take up arms against the French and Native Americans. Hawkeye against British colonial policies and this resistance to European hegemony in Native American for authoritarian and dismissal. Therefore, Major Heyward arrested him. When soldiers took him Hawkeye said to Chingachgook 'It is not our fight.'. If we can come up with this, we can find easily Hawkey's mean about the war that he does not care between these two countries fight, he just cares Mohicans and his friends. Because it is a cultural thing, Native Americans always value their civilization and culture.

Cooper really an interest in the friendship between the white and red competitions and The Native Americans provided they are self-sacrificed herself 'at the risk of his own life' to rescue a woman wandering in the woods. For example, after a long journey, Duncan Heyward told Mohicans that he was 'prepared to spend the night watchful, close to them.' And Mohicans share sleeping quarters that would be disapproved typically. Such acts suggest that even though the Native Americans may sometimes appear to be 'barbarians,' they may still be better gentlemen than the prefaces by which they have been 'deceived' and betrayed for years ; as a suitably 'mortified' result to admit, 'there were less humane Englishmen than the rude wilds of America,' Cooper said.

Furthermore, where nature means human nature, Cooper has a highly systematic way of taking it down; a division into racial or gender lines, plus a series of subdivisions that serve to record variant possibilities within the categories of 'redskin' and 'female.'

One is also the narrative's concentrated power because Cooper had the discipline to fasten everything elaborate or complex in his story to a very simple and economic one.

Being influenced by American culture

American culture did not really spread until after the Second World War, as America started to export more, and also as a result of the cultural mix in the 2 World Wars; soldiers from all countries mixed and shared culture. Hollywood films have also spread American culture, have a large budget, a language spoken by many, and are shown all over the world. Approximately 64% of the films shown in Europe are American, while 3% of the films shown in the United States are European. This has enabled the spread of American culture and stereotypes around the world. Usually, though, it might be a white man grown with Native Americans. For example, Hawkey was grown with Native Americans because he lost his family when he was a child. His effective narrative was based not only on repressed sentiments about race in the national psyche but also on our changing relationship with Eurocentric culture. He is ambiguous between 'nature' and 'civilization'. Civilization was his birthright, but nature is his habitat. He represents the better qualities of both conditions. The general preface of Cooper concerns the difference between his 'origin' and his 'situation.' He always confuses and proclaims loudly 'a man of white blood,' he develops a number of 'red' features. He also mentions that with Chingachgook's speech he tells us, 'Years passed before the white maiden's traditional tale, and the Mohicans 'young warrior, stopped trampling on the long nights and tedious marches or animating their young and brave with a desire for revenge.'

White people contend with whites as the Last of the Mohicans, and Native Americans with Native Americans. Hawkeye is white skin and French. He was one of the Native Americans, though. His acting, speaking behavior is like them.

Cooper scholars have generally recognized The Last of the Mohicans and their Native American characters as emblematic of the Vanishing American convention in American literature, whereby natives have to disappear to fulfill their destiny for a young America. The novel has come to be seen in a popular sense as an adventure story of the beginnings of our country, an American counterpart to Sir Walter Scott's Waverley escapades set against the backdrop of pristine yet unpredictable wilderness, whose inhabitants eventually disappear. These novel understandings clearly refer to European models, from Scott to Rousseau and Columbus as well.

Additionally, Cooper also works hard on language encounters between Native Americans and European Americans in his lifetime. He is understanding and releasing what he is doing and learning. However, it's difficult to him because nothing is similar between two languages, he does not have handbooks, no instructive dialogues, no phrase book, anecdotes, no critiques, no grammar, no classification systems.. etc.

The western frontier differed in many ways from the eastern United States, regardless of the precise boundary line used. Much of the West had a drier climate than that of the East, and much harsher in western terrain was often found. As a result, Western immigrants had to adapt and find new ways to do things to survive. Improvements in transport, communication, farm equipment, and other areas have helped their efforts. For example; seeds, equipment, household goods, animal feed, and credit were needed by farmers. Thus small towns began to dot the western landscape as retail businesses and banks have emerged to serve the increasing population. Social centers have also been growing, including churches, schools, and lounges. Therefore, they would have an effect on a different culture when they go to other places. For example, throughout Europe in the 1960s and 1970s children learned to 'play Indian' walk-in 'Indian file  wearing feathers in their hair, and greeting each other with ' Hogg ' was one of the popular entertainment. The Last of the Mohicans, therefore, has recalled much alive in the culture of Native Americans. There is a problem that people can not protect their own culture within a state that rejects the 'civil religion', the 'ethos', the 'narrative', or the 'meta-narrative', or any other name you may choose for the shared values and symbols of citizens of the state.


During his time, James Fenimore Cooper achieved the height of literary fame for his creation of the Leatherstocking series as well as many other publications. Too often, American writers were overshadowing by European literary models in Cooper's mind, and much of his goal in composing his unique American stories was to render a national intellectual tradition that would be somehow native. Born in New Jersey in 1789, Cooper found Native American peoples themselves to be his source material for this tradition in a newly independent America of British control. These Native American characters serve many purposes in the texts of Cooper, from exemplifying the wilderness to providing dramatic images of battle and adventure, to offering a non-Christian mystical flavor to an Anglo perspective otherwise. On a deeper level, however, and perhaps most importantly, the Indians of Cooper play an integral role in various American possibility meditations, specifically the human concerns that accompany the growing occupation of North America by European Americans. These concerns include the sustainability of the traditional livelihoods of tribes, the nature of colonial power, and cultural and racial diversity complexities. In this way, in addition to a geographical one, Cooper presents a human frontier, a varied microcosm reflecting a unique American cross-cultural sensitivity.

Native Americans, many thousands of years old in their cultures, had developed an incredible array of adaptations to the American West. Agriculture, fishing, and gathering and hunting provided a varied diet. Many Indian groups became superb mounted hunters and warriors after the Spaniards introduced horses to the Great Plains in the 1600s. Until the late 1800s, huge bison herds offered a large supply of food and building and clothing materials. The shifting frontier had devastating effects on the cultures of Native American. When white settlers pushed off their lands Native American tribes. They took some of their cultural or traditional things. 

16 December 2021
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