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" La Relacion "
Transcript of " La Relacion "
By: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
A Picture Summary
Summary of the Narrative
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and his crew set out on a barge in search for the new world. Along the journey many died of starvation and others were unconscious and close to death. On November 9 Cabeza de Vaca and the part of his crew who survived the trip reached new land. On the island they landed on, they encountered Native Americans. Their first thought was that they might be hostile, but contrary to their beliefs the natives were both hospitable and compassionate. The Native Americans are sympathetic and give the europeans food. De Vaca and his crew set sail again only to shipwreck once again and lose the lives of three more men. The native americans take in De Vaca and his men. The europeans are frightened because they think the natives are going to sacrifice them, but they accept the hospitality of the natives in hopes they might live. All but 16 of the spainards and half the Karankawas died of disease. The remainder of the Karankawas wished to kill the last of the spainards but instead turned them into healers.
About the Author
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
Born in 1490
first european to cross North America
came from a family of spanish Conquistadors
was a soldier for 20 yrs.
in 1527 he joined the expedition to spanish NA
became treasurer an second in command
he colonized the territory northeast of the gulf
he sailed on an expedition where a hurricane hit and drowned 200 of 600 men
used horse hide and nails to build 5 barges
two of the five wash ashore near Galveston island killing 80 men and and De Vaca was one of three survivors
lived 6 yrs. with natives as many roles such as a healer, captive, and a trader
in 1535 he returned to spain and wrote La Relacion as a report to the king
appointed governor of south american colony
in 1545 ousted of position an charged with corruption.
died in 1557
Text Analysis ~
Identify rhetorical devices used
He selected rhetorical devices that helped to support his report that the disaster was not due to bad leadership or mistakes but due to uncontrollable factors that were an act of God, starvation, and bad luck.
Pg. 74 line 10
"After midnight i moved over to see if he were dead. He said no, in fact was better, and would steer till daylight."
~~~Convoluted: The main clause is split in 2, opening and closing a sentence
Pg. 74 line 11& 12
"I would have welcomed death rather than to see so many around me in such condition."
----You can't welcome death----
~~~Idiom:a combination of words fictionary as a unit of meaning
Pg. 77 lines 63-68
"A single roll of the sea tossed the rest of the men into the rushing surf and back onto the shore half-drowned. We lost only those the barge took down ; but the survivors escapes as naked as they were born, with the loss of everything we had. That was not much but valuable to us in that bitter November cold, our bodies so emaciated we could easily count every bone and looked the very picture of death.
Evaluate a primary source:
the narrative is first-hand information and its a valuable source because it tells about how bad their conditions were and it uses good imagery to so it. Its a good source because it tells of the initial because there was no prior knowledge. it contains factual information and its less opinionated. This source can be considered a reliable source because although it's from an European point of view, the natives that De Vaca refers to as indians are not portrayed as barbaric, savage, or inferior as in so many other texts. His position, being one of a guest, would make his view point one of gratitude to the indians that give them food, and would speak well of them. However, he might have been somewhat exaggerated in his description of the journey to the island. He says that not 5 men could stand but if thats the case then who would have been manning the ship?
Shortcomings: its only his personal report and holds no view or reactions of others.It fails to mention personal lines and their feelings about the new world.
What do I know about the author and his times?
What details tell me about life in 16th century North America?
What is the relationship with the author and his audience?
What is the author's role in the events he describes?
Similarites between Journals and text:
both describe meeting natives in the new world
both tell about the death of natives and europeans
both include stories of starvation
hospitality of some indians (given food or taught to farm)
both describe the difficulties of the journey in the new world.
At the end of both there is clarity and reassurance about settling in the new world
in a way there are both reporting back to an authority figure in the text its the king and our journals are a report to our Queen (Mrs. Ledge)
Differences between journals and text:
Different dates of when came to new world:the text says in winter and the journals say summer
in our journals we faced excruciating heat and the narrative says they faced bitter cold
our journals don't tell about the journey to the new world and the narrative describes in detail about the bitter trip
we first met hostile indians and in the text they met compassionate indians
the indians did not take the pilgrims to live with them or give them food but in the text the natives did
in the text some europeans died of drowning and in the journals some pilgrims died in war
in our journals once we made it to the new world we did not attempt to leave and in the narrative the left and shipwrecked then came back
there was a war between the indians and the pilgrims and the text does not mention any fighting
The author came from a family of spanish conquistadors. He lived during the exploration era. They did not have advance technology. The Spaniards have already conqured the Aztecs and the Inca.
The land was more populated by native americans than later on after after europeans killed off and pushed out the natives.
There were no urban centers or large civilizations
Previous conquest led to native hostility
At first he is a high power on the barge, being as he's one of the only ones still able to function. Upon landing on Galveston Island, they encounter the indians of whom the seamen became guests of. The natives then assign Cabeza De Vaca the role of a doctor and was expected to heal the sick tribe members.
His writings are mostly factual descriptions of the encounter with the indians. There's not much description of his personal life or the lives of the sailors. He basically just wants to tell the events as the happen. His audience is the king of Spain and this is a record telling him about his encounters in Spanish America.