哥倫布日?原住民日!

2009-10-16
◎ 紀駿傑

本週一是美國的國定紀念日─哥倫布日,當天或前一兩天,全美各地有許多的慶祝活動,慶祝歐洲白人開啟了「新大陸」的佔領與殖民。在我目前訪問的新墨西哥州大學校園裡,一群以本地原住民為主的學生也舉行了慶祝活動,不過他們慶祝的不是哥倫布日而是「原住民日」─原住民歷經五百多年的侵略佔領而能維持獨特社會文化傳統。他們同時也向學校行政單位提出請願,要求學校承認與重視「原住民日」而非慶祝或宣揚「哥倫布日」。

從美洲原住民的角度來看,佔領者慶祝他們最早來到此地的祖先,這對於祖先被屠殺、強佔土地、強迫改變宗教、強迫放棄自己文化的原本當地主人而言,真是情何以堪?

以新墨西哥州的Pueblo原住民為例,白人到來之前的人口約有五萬人,一百年後的人口則驟減為一萬多人,失去的人口中部分是因為白人的殺戮,更多則是感染了白人帶來的傳染病。可說這些原住民無端地惹上了這場「白禍」。

過去,白人佔領者常常以「文明者」的姿態與理由來合理化對於美洲的殖民。然而究竟何者為文明其實是很值得爭論的。

最初西班牙人來到新墨西哥州時,除了帶來殺戮與傳染病之外,還將歐洲落伍的封建制度一起帶過來,強徵原住民的土地與大量作物並視為「納貢」。

再者,極端的一神主義宗教(天主教)也容不下任何其它形式的宗教與信仰,因此許多原住民傳統宗教的奉行者也在類似西班牙宗教審判的大旗下被處死。

現今美國西南區的Pueblo原住民在白人來到之前,就已經發展出高度複雜的社會組織、建築形式與藝術文化,而他們也不實施當時在歐洲還盛行的、落後不平等的階級制度。

這些高度文明的原住民一次又一次地反抗白人殖民者霸道與落後的統治,他們在一六八○年短暫地發動了美洲第一次成功的革命,趕走了西班牙人,之後也不斷地對抗重返的西班牙、墨西哥、以及美國政權;在這一次次地奮戰過程中,造就了今日他們人口雖少但自信十足與屹立不搖的社會文化傳承。

在白人的「哥倫布日」當天,Pueblo原住民強調:佔領者不應在流著被佔領者祖先血液的土地上慶祝佔領的開始。他們的呼喊,在台灣熱中於慶祝「光輝十月」的一些漢人們是否聽到了呢?

(作者為美國新墨西哥州大學訪問學者)

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