Tensions Between Jesuits and Natives

Part 15 of the Nicolas Point Exhibit   ( « Previous | Next » )

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Explore the Drawings: (click images to open in slideshow)


Artist: Nicolas Point, S.J. (1799-1868)
Medium: Pencil on Paper
Lender: Midwest Jesuit Archives

Although the Jesuits experienced great success at converting the Natives, tensions arose between indigenous and Christian beliefs. The first piece displays this tension, as the Native medicine man is shrouded in shadows while the Jesuit attempts to spread the light. Converts were attracted by Christianity’s medicine power, or the idea that Christianity might better protect them. But indigenous values remained powerful. “Ignace’s Medicine Power” depicts Point’s friends Ignace surrounded by deer, a powerful animal in Native religion. The final piece shows Natives continuing their worship of “false idols,” angering Point and his Jesuit compatriots.

Written and narrated by Liam Brew.

Part 15 of the Nicolas Point Exhibit   ( « Previous | Next » )

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