Vatican uncovers first known depiction of Native Americans

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A Resurrection scene painted by the Renaissance master Pinturicchio was restored to reveal  a small depiction of naked men with feathered headdresses who appear to be dancing. A man on horseback is also visible. Photo courtesy Vatican Museums

A Resurrection scene painted by the Renaissance master Pinturicchio was restored to reveal a small depiction of naked men with feathered headdresses who appear to be dancing. A man on horseback is also visible. Photo courtesy Vatican Museums

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) A recently discovered 1494 depiction of Native Americans is consistent with Christopher Columbus' account of being greeted by naked men who painted themselves black or red and danced for the European explorers.

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  • Jon Cleland Host

    Um, Eurocentric much? Isn’t that the “first known depiction of Native Americans” by *Europeans*? After all, Native Americans have been depicting Native Americans for thousands of years, and hundreds of these pieces of art are still around. Some of the many examples include the “Dresden” codex (a Native American book that we refer to by using the name of a German city), the Caverna da Pedra Pintada paintings, and many, many more.

    Maybe Alessandro Speciale didn’t mean it, but it’s tiring to see Native American art and culture yet again ignored. Oh yeah, the article is about the first depiction of Native Americans *by the people who count* – while for thousands of years, my Ancestors have been depicting Native Americans just fine. In religion as in eveything else, it would have been refreshing to read an article written as if everyone mattered.

    I’m glad that Alessandro Speciale has a good career. However, I would suggest that he take a Native American Culture class at a local University, or at least a World History class.

    Jon

  • Jon Cleland Host

    ‘looks like it has been changed to read “first European depiction”. Thanks, that helps. The title hasn’t been fixed, but it’s an improvement.

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