Parts of Noble Savages
are among the few white-knuckle reads in contemporary anthropological literature.
Many letters written in the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga and elsewhere record the missionaries' disappointment at finding that the noble savages
of their imagination and expectations were a dying race damaged by tobacco addiction, prostitution, venereal diseases, infertility and swindling.
Each and every one is either a bloodthirsty mindless killer and pillager or a childlike noble savage
and feeble victim.
Other reiterated themes include the discourse on natural rights, which surfaces in campaigns for political reform and the abolition of slavery, as well as in primitivist accounts contrasting the lives of noble savages
with those of 'civilized' man, and the gradual introduction of institutional support for writers, artists, and scientists, who previously had been dependent economically on aristocratic patronage.
As both noble savages
and savage nobles, Native Americans represented a regal, timeless connection to eternal truths and the monarch's gaudy materiality, respectively.
To dramatize its evil, he romanticizes Caribbean life, nearly invoking images of noble savages
He is seen by the radical Left as the vanguard of an invasion of hateful Europeans who in their greed and racism couldn't wait to wipe out or subjugate the noble savages
of the New World.
The residents of Mogadishu are one-dimensional characters in their own country: either crazed gunmen indiscriminately shooting at anyone, or noble savages
to be pitied.
The idea that consumerism creates artificial desires rests on a wistful ignorance of history and human nature, on the hazy, romantic feeling that there existed some halcyon era of noble savages
with purely natural needs.
There are no noble savages
, no brutal or inept Europeans, no racial or racist caricatures in the book, just people of different origins, outlooks, or cultures, who quite simply do their utmost to come to terms with themselves and their lives in a specific context which is described as neither natural nor unnatural.
As Native elders warn, no one can, or should try to live up to the image of the proud Indian imprinted on a nickel or emblazoned atop a corporate logo -- let alone members of a minority group that has almost been wiped out by the very people who mint the coins and run the companies that put noble savages
on lofty perches.
Concomitantly, descriptions of hill tribes, surveyed in chapter 4, depicted simple, rugged, noble savages
, in stark opposition to the deviousness, effeminacy, and decadence attributed to the inhabitants of the plains.