Unfortunately for the natives, the most significant cultural
difference from the European was their view of property. If you asked most
native Americans, who owned the land, they would give you a puzzled look. To
the native Americans, it would be like asking, who owns the air? They had a
more collective ownership of property view than did the Europeans. That is also
the reason why they would give away highly valued property in exchange for
almost nothing. In fact, Europeans many times wrote in their diaries how the natives
would trade gold for almost nothing and think nothing of it.