When the first Europeans docked in America’s coastline, they did not find nor created a “new world,” but rather, remodeled a new one.
This process is often entitled of “Colonialism.”
– Colonialism is the substitution of one’s culture over another, brought in by outsiders and either adopted under acceptance or forced in host populations through assimilation.
In all facets of Colonialism, social connections between the host populations and colonizers are vital.
Hence, the reproduction of America and it’s racial structure was no different than the notion of cohesion between “aliens” and inhabitants, and thus it’s commixture.
In the building of America, Interracial marriage was the maniple ingredient of the colonial project that benefited the basic necessities such as food and lofty ambitions, like political power.
It eased the new cross-cultural encounters in ways that brought temporary peace, but could not ultimately stop the progression of European dominance over natives.
It helped to spread the Christian religion as well as explain Native culture to ‘White’ men. Whom turned females into auxiliary players akin to commodities and placed them in positions of influential and economical power.
It helped to meld Natives and Europeans together while consequentially producing an offspring who would later be viewed as degenerate. It also filled the simple role that all marriage does by providing two people with a partner to help and support them.
Since the European disembarkation in the New World, the first proposition that Europeans were susceptible upon settling was on how to acquire food.
But, since Traders did not possess the required time nor the regional knowledge for growing food or hunting in foreign land, they had to establish good relations and strengthen their connections with the Natives in order to survive. Therefore, Traders relied on the Indigenous populations for food as they were traveling. They prompted that interracial marriages could be the key in the sowing of America, even if only useful for attaining food to eat, but foremost, for the foundational social ties of the fur trade, established through marriage.
In the “middle ground” of the fur trade, post-contact North America, the traditional roles of Indigenous women were limited till expanded, and their actions as negotiators, sexual partners, intercultural emissaries, spouses, workers, and members of intricate kin networks became increasingly important.
These marriages between European men and Native women were encouraged by Iroquois leaders, as a way to create a social bond reinforcing the economic relationship between the two groups.
Events like these can all be seen, perhaps, in the most famous interracial marriage of all time, between John Rolfe and Pocahontas, depicted in Brueckner’s painting entitled: “The Marriage of Pocahontas”.
As Kaarin Mann described Brueckner’s painting:
“…all are smiling and healthful looking. The Indians are shown wearing cloth goods that would have been gained, wearing cloth goods that would have been gained through the fur trade, illustrating that trade agreements had been arranged and were working smoothly.
The marriage is clearly happening inside a church. The Ten Commandments from the Bible are posted on the wall behind the priest who is leading the ceremony. Both Whites and Indians are brought into the church through Pocahontas’ and Rolfe’s marriage in a physical sense that points to their likely spiritual conversion.
The presence of a child in the front row serves as a representation of the child this marriage would produce, Thomas Rolfe.
The simple joy of partnership is represented by the couple holding hands and the serene, happy face Brueckner gives Pocahontas. An open window shows the world outside full of promising sunshine that flows into the room to illuminate the blissful couple as if the whole world were made new through their union. Perhaps the world was made new.
Pocahontas and Rolfe would have been one of the first interracial marriages between a White and an Indigenous in America, starting a long line of marriages which
would help shape America into what it is today.”
Here are some renowned celebrities, whom have a high degree of Indigenous ancestry.