According to Kirwan in “The Emergent Land,” “nature and ecology” were central elements of an aboriginal lifestyle. The Native Americans viewed the earth as a spirit “containing a multitude of natural deities” and the creator of all living things; therefore, everything that inhabited the world was created equal. “Man and nature are brothers.”Powerful stories emerged proclaiming man’s relationship with nature Man was not viewed as outside or separate from the land but equal to; it was these practices that instilled an appreciation and relationship with nature for primitive lifestyles. By having a spiritual connection to the earth offered aboriginal lifestyles a greater meaning than just trying to survive the natural world but give back, love, and respect the natural world. Native Americans used the natural resources provided to them by the earth to symbolize their bond between them and the landscape. It was their devotion toward the land and their fundamental need to survive that these “resources were a part of the greater paradigm that was the Native American’s cognizance of the environment.” On the other hand, western civilizations thought mankind was placed above the entirety of creation. Man felt as if they were destined to conquer and hold dominion over the natural world; therefore, claiming their dominance over God. These practices caused the western man to become detached from their environment and exploit it as a piece of a commodity in which they could control and use for power. The difference in perception of landscape between the two cultures derives from man’s understanding of God and God’s place in the natural order of things. The Native American’s never sought to control God or his creation but to coexist and live in harmony with it; to use the land’s resources in a means that was not careless but with purpose and reason. Alternatively, western cultures wished to control God as they desired to control the land. They mined and capitalized on the resource the land provided to them without considering how it might affect the environment. In both cases, it was their beliefs that dictated their relationship with nature.
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