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The Story of Colonialism, or Rethinking the Ox-Hide Purchase in Native North America and Beyond


In this paper I offer a comparative assessment of the ox-hide purchase narrative (tale type AT 2400, ATU 927C*; Motif K185.1) in Native North America. Drawing on my own fieldwork and the beginnings of a historic-geographic treatment, I consider the story from the perspective of work on historical consciousness in Native North America and treat it as an opportunity to establish a link between folkloristics and other fields concerned with interpreting the legacies of colonialism.