Connection To Native American Tribes

Historical Parallels

With all films, a producer has both internal and external motives that spark interest in certain genres of motion picture films.  After Avatar’s initial release, critics targeted the film due to its highly disputed political messages.  However, it was this political stature of the film that “highlighted historically problematic relationships between indigenous people and other human groups … [that] may have [had] good intentions, but whose activities lead to harmful consequences” (Adamson, 155).  The Na’vi were a tribe that inhabited the planet of Pandora that suddenly fell victim to the actions of human groups, and their unregulated desires.  Around 15,000 years ago, similar events happened to the indigenous inhabitants of North and Central America.

The founding Native Americans of both North and Central America are an indigenous group that parallel not only the actions of the Na’vi, but also their core values.  “Native Americans molded the landscape, using controlled burns to clear hunting lands, building traps, and constructing ceremonial mounds, some of which matched the pyramids of ancient Egypt as architectural feats” (Kidd, 2).  Establishing a “home” meant to unite an entire tribe is something that is also seen through the Na’vi’s Tree of Souls (place of worship) and their Hometree.  Although this only covers basic actions that the two tribes relate in, the similarity between their core values are also clearly evident.  “Native Americans engaged in rituals to recognize and honor the spirits that governed the hunt and animated their prey” while the Na’vi on the other hand, engaged in these same exact rituals (Kidd, 5).

Click on the photo to witness a Na’vi hunt and ritual.

In the video below, take notice to strict mindset of Neytiri, and her respect to not only the deceased creature but to her tribes core values.

Paralleling Avatar, these previously concealed Native American tribes all of the sudden fell victim to a foreign group infringing on both their land and tribal values.  After Christopher Columbus discovered North America in 1492, a “fundamental juncture of disruption, [began] a process of massive decline among Native Americans … and [the] death accompanying the Europeans were ravaging and recreating America again” (Kidd, 14).

Activists protest on Capitol Hill July 22, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Although the first acts of injustice towards the indigenous tribes of North and Central America were roughly half a millennia ago, these “beneficial acts for society” are still going on today.  These unjust and unfair actions by by the majority are still destroying indigenous minority groups all around the world.