In the center of the plaza of Santa Fe there is a monument, erected in 1867, to “the heroes of the Federal Army who fought and who fell in the battles of Canon del Apache and Pigeons' Rancho, March 28, 1862" --that is, the Civil War battle now known as the Battle of Glorieta Pass-- "and in the battle of Valverde, February 21,1862” and
To the heroes who have fallen in various battles with ______ Indians in the Territory of New Mexico.

There’s a watercolor of this monument on the web: www.virtuallastchapter.com/examples/chapter03/sfobelisk/

The word before “Indians” was chiseled out on August 7, 1973. It used to say “savage”. Witnesses to the erasure describe the chisel-wielding critic as “a young man with blonde hair tied in a pony tail and wearing a hard hat.” Said “young man” (what people used to call me when I was a hippie) probably shared the sentiments of this masterpiece(www.santafenow.com/links/april99/):

These days there is a baselisk [sic] monument in the center of the plaza commemorating the rich history and culture of our community. Look closely. You'll notice one side has a word missing, it's been chipped from the stone in mid-sentence. It was originally a reference to "Savage Indians." It was corrected to read "Indians." Cultural competency requires conscious attention and practice. By leaving the missing word gouged from the marble, we are always reminded that the multicultural community we so value should not, - and can not -, be taken for granted. The annual Indian Market is held on the Plaza, in the shadows of the baselisk. I think that's a good sign.

It’s “obelisk”, not “baselisk”. “Cultural competency” requires knowing what “savage Indian” meant in 1867, when this monument went up. Why? Because the Indians who participate in Indian Market are mostly Pueblo Indians. The Pueblo (and the Ute, the Hopi and others) fought and died along with the U.S.Army in the battles against the “savage” Indians. The “heroes” the obelisk honors includes their ancestors, too.

The term “savage” Indian was not a racist epithet. It was used to describe a particular class of Native Americans who behaved ... like savages. The usage of the term is documented in a contemporary opinion of the Supreme Court of the Territory of New Mexico (the equivalent of a modern-day federal district court). United States v. Lucero, 1 N.M. 422 (1869).

In United States v. Lucero, Juan Lucero was prosecuted for buying some land in Cochiti Pueblo. Under an Act of Congress in 1834, it was a crime for non-Indians to settle on Indian lands. The New Mexico court decided that the term “Indian”, as used in the 1834 statute, could not possibly apply to the Cochiti, because they were civilized Indians, not “savage Indians”. Chief Justice Watts wrote the opinion, which is uncharacteristically informative for 19th Century legal writing:

The Spanish rule in Mexico was partial and unjust. Its few favorites of the Spanish crown held all the offices in church and state, made the laws, executed the laws, and considered the great body of the Mexican people, equally honest and more industrious than themselves, a sort of upper servants and peons to the wants of their whiter skin and more refined civilization.

Justice Watts went on to describe the role of the Indians in the Mexican Revolution. In light of their contribution to the liberation of the Republic, Indians were granted full and equal citizenship. Since this was leading up to the rather shocking (for 1869) assertion that Pueblo Indians were not really “Indians”, but full citizens of the United States, the learned judge then explains the distinction between the civilized “Indians” and “savages”:

The Spanish scholar will not fail to remember that when Spanish law books and Spanish legislators speak of Indians, they mean that civilized race of people who live in towns and cultivate the soil, and are often mentioned as naturales and pueblos, natives of the towns, and as Indios del pueblos, Indians of the towns; and for the other distinct and separate class of Indians whose daily occupation was war, robbery, and theft carried on against the pueblo Indians, as well as the Spaniards, the term savages (salvajes) or barbarous Indians (Indios barbaros), was the expression used.

In 1848, the War between the Republic of Mexico and the United States was ended with a treaty, executed in the town of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Section VIII, Mexicans residing in territories ceded to the United States were allowed to elect to become United States citizens by remaining in the territory. The same section of the treaty also ratified existing property rights. Thus, the “Indians” of New Mexico were citizens of the Republic of Mexico and by the treaty (which supercedes an Act of Congress) they were United States citizens with full property rights. Conclusion: the Cochitis could sell their land to Mr. Lucero if they wanted to, and it was none the United States Attorney’s business, notwithstanding the Act of 1834.

The Judge then explains that the people the Mexicans called “Indians” had no counterpart in the experience of United States lawmakers, and the people that federal statute referred to as “Indians”, the Mexicans would and did call “savages”.

An examination of the eleventh article of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo will demonstrate, that in speaking of the Indians, no reference was had, or intended to be had, to the pueblo Indians, for the term is tribus salvajes (savage tribes). When the term Indian is used in our acts of congress, it means that savage and roaming race of red men given to war and the chase for a living, and wholly ignorant of the pursuits of civilized man, for the simple reason that when those laws had been enacted, no such class of Indians as the pueblo Indians of New Mexico existed within the existing limits of the United States.

By contrast, parts of Arizona and New Mexico, ceded to the United States by this treaty, were occupied by Navajos, Apaches and Comanches, semi-nomadic herders who had been raiding Spanish settlements since 1650, thus earning the epithet “savages”. In Section Eleven of the treaty, the United States promised to use military force to suppress these “savage tribes” and prevent them from crossing the new border to raid Mexico.

The Treaty makes no mention of the citizenship or property rights of these "savage tribes", because under Spanish law, they had no such rights:

Neither the Spanish crown, its viceroys in the new world, nor the Mexican republic ever legislated for the savage class of Indians. They would as soon have thought of legislating upon what time the wolf should be admitted into their sheep-fold, the bear into their cornfields, the fox into their hen-roosts, or the skunk into their parlors.

The Pueblos, by contrast, had land grants from the Spanish Crown, to honor the promises made by De Vargas in the re-conquest of New Mexico following the Pueblo Revolt. In short, the epithet “savage Indians” was not racist. The Navajos, Apaches and Comanches earned the epithet by their behavior and lifestyle.

Title: Savage: The Battle for Newerth
Platform: PC CD ROM, Online Download
Developer: S2 Games
Publisher: iGames Publishing
MSRP: 40 USD
ESRB: Teen
Date of Release: September 9, 2003 US and everywhere online

I envision that in the near future, there will be no "games" made; just worlds created, and stories told. Within these scenarios, a player will be able to take on any role they want to help or hinder the story's progress in any way imaginable - games will even have mechanisms for dealing with a story's near-demise. One game that's a start of this trend is Grand Theft Auto III - you can race, you can save people, you can play taxi cab driver, vigilante, murderer or gangster - heck, you could even have a story told to you while you play. Another game is Savage: The Battle for Newerth, in which Real-Time Strategy and First-Person Shooter meet and have a little party. Humans legions vs. Beast Horde, in full 3D.

RTS FPS RPG WHAT?!

That's right. The usual trappings of real time strategy (think Warcraft/Starcraft) like limited resources and research trees are present here. You receive a small amount of gold and stone (the two resources in the game - the stone is technically red stone for no apparent reason) to start with, and go on from there. You can create the usual peons to mine and build, build the usual assortment of buildings (barracks, research buildings, defense tower, stronghold) and then you go out to destroy your enemy, who is doing the same thing. The view is very Warcraft III, full 3D overhead, zoomable to ground-level. Finally, the controls are similar as well, with the usual lasso to select units and right-click to give contextual orders (move, attack, defend, build, repair). In other words, full RTS regalia with not much innovation.

But here's the twist. The warriors that you would usually spawn from the ubiquitous barracks are actually other human players. Not only that, but they're playing the game from a first person perspective, able to run around, shoot, swing, snipe or help build, mine and repair all from ground level. When you give out commands from above, they see glowing waypoints on their screens, and a booming automated voice giving them directions - a clear and effective way of achieving one-to-many communication. When you place the buildings, they see them as shadowy outlines until they're actually built (accomplished over time - goes faster if everyone helps). When you research new technologies, they are able to outfit themselves with new weaponry and items. And in return, whenever they score a kill or damage an enemy structure, a portion of their profits go to your till.

The best part about this is the transparent teamwork that goes on. If you don't help the team, your commander (the guy giving orders from above - one per team, whoever gets in the seat first gets it, but can be impeached by a majority vote) doesn't get the supplies he needs, and thus can't develop the weapons/items/units you want. Likewise, if the commander doesn't do what the troops request, they won't follow his orders and may even impeach him.

I mentioned the RTS part is rather light - so is the FPS portion. The weapons consist of the usual assortment of shotgun, machine gun, pistol, instakill sniper rifle, grenade and rocket launcher, masquerading as fantasy equivalents - each can be upgraded twice to its maximum potential. This is augmented by items such as mines, detonation packs, sensors and invisibility cloaks. While the beast weaponry is slightly more interesting with a bigger focus on melee weapons, they're still fairly similar - this helps the balance issue that invariably faces developers trying to design opposing sides. The worst part is perhaps hit detection which is iffy at best, and pure guesswork at worst; melee also offends, as the bunny hopping and circle strafing making close range combat a frantic, senseless clickfest.

Finally, the RPG portion - again in its light version. As you fight enemies, build or destroy buildings and mine gold, you receive persistent experience (persistent meaning it stays with you even if you fall in battle). Experience allows you to gain levels, which in turn increases your efficiency. Each level bestows a perk (increased stamina, better hand weapon, armor, and more) the instant you achieve it, and slightly increases your unit size - so it's easy to assess opponents simply based on that visual cue. You can also change classes to a limited extent as your team researches them; you also need to have cash (as mentioned, you receive this from mining or combat) to obtain these high-end units. There are three progressively tougher combat units, and two siege weapons for each race.

Audio Visuals

Savage is pretty. Rolling hills, well animated units for both races, wavy grass, a day and pseudo night cycle, foggy swamps, projectile trails and explosions are all done well. You won't see much complex geometry here, and all maps are outdoors (with a few simple structures built for variety, like sniper towers, ledges or bunkers), but the destructable base buildings, sometimes huge units (the beast's offensive siege unit is a huge troll, bigger than most buildings) and considerable sight distance, combined with smooth framerates even on low-medium range machines means quite a lot (apparently this was fixed only recently, as earlier reviews note jerkiness - the built-in autopatching utility is yet another bonus). Audio consists of average thwacks, zaps, thuds, grunts and booms, although the vocal audio cues are superb in their simplicity.

Opinion

Savage lets you command, fight, build, defend or even mine if pacifically inclined. S2 did some clever things that imply they actually played their game a good deal, and thought about common problems in games which attempt to create and enforce teamplay. By creating suggested constraints on the players and easy, intuitive ways for the commander and his troops to communicate, S2 has created the perfect setup for fans of casual team-based games. So far, the games I've played have been amazingly l337-free and quite well organized - this is more than I can say for just about anything else, where "every man for himself" is the rule. If you don't mind that the RTS and FPS facets are very light, and the RPG aspect is laughable, then for an hour of on-the-spot team gaming, Savage is a very good bet.

S2 has also improved customer convenience by offering the full game download right from their website. You can download either the install files, or the ISO, and you receive the installation key in an email. No more wondering if it's in stock, or paying inflated prices - at the time of purchase, all brick stores were claiming a $50 price tag. Finally, there is the clans.s2games.com site, where you can start your own official clan as easily as filling out a brief application form. Your new clan designation and icon will now show up in-game. It's amazing that a relative newcomer (oh yes, the entire S2 team is composed of eight people. Eight) does so many things right when recurring tournament-based games fail to do so. Well done, S2.

One note: the gameplay is heavily dependent on the commander - it seems that while the troops mostly cooperate with requests, sometimes commanders may be slow, inexperienced or simply obtuse. In those cases, when your side is losing due to a complete lack of expansion, the game gets extremely frustrating. Simply disconnect and go elsewhere - there hasn't been a shortage of available servers yet, and the frustration is not worth staying for.

Sav"age (?; 48), a. [F. sauvage, OF. salvage, fr. L. silvaticus belonging to a wood, wild, fr. silva a wood. See Silvan, and cf. Sylvatic.]

1.

Of or pertaining to the forest; remote from human abodes and cultivation; in a state of nature; nature; wild; as, a savage wilderness.

2.

Wild; untamed; uncultivated; as, savage beasts.

Cornels, and savage berries of the wood. Dryden.

3.

Uncivilized; untaught; unpolished; rude; as, savage life; savage manners.

What nation, since the commencement of the Christian era, ever rose from savage to civilized without Christianity? E. D. Griffin.

4.

Characterized by cruelty; barbarous; fierce; ferocious; inhuman; brutal; as, a savage spirit.

Syn. -- Ferocious; wild; uncultivated; untamed; untaught; uncivilized; unpolished; rude; brutish; brutal; heathenish; barbarous; cruel; inhuman; fierce; pitiless; merciless; unmerciful; atrocious. See Ferocious.

 

© Webster 1913.


Sav"age, n.

1.

A human being in his native state of rudeness; one who is untaught; uncivilized, or without cultivation of mind or manners.

2.

A man of extreme, unfeeling, brutal cruelty; a barbarian.

 

© Webster 1913.


Sav"age (?; 48), v. t.

To make savage.

[R.]

Its bloodhounds, savaged by a cross of wolf. South.

 

© Webster 1913.

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