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Since the fourteenth century, Eastern Woodlands tribes have used delicate purple and white shells called “wampum” to form intricately woven belts. These wampum belts depict significant moments in the lives of the people who make up the tribes, portraying everything from weddings to treaties. Wampum belts can be used as a form of currency, but they are primarily used as a means to record significant oral narratives for future generations. In Reading the Wampum, Kelsey provides the first academic consideration of the ways in which these sacred belts are reinterpreted into current Haudenosaunee tradition. While Kelsey explores the aesthetic appeal of the belts, she also provides insightful analysis of how readings of wampum belts can change our understanding of specific treaty rights and land exchanges. Kelsey shows how contemporary Iroquois intellectuals and artists adapt and reconsider these traditional belts in new and innovative ways. Reading the Wampum conveys the vitality and continuance of wampum traditions in Iroquois art, literature, and community, suggesting that wampum narratives pervade and reappear in new guises with each new generation.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, About the Author
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  1. Contents
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xxviii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xxix-xxx
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  1. Note on Language and Orthography
  2. pp. xxxi-xxxiv
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  1. 1. Two Row Wampum in James Thomas Stevens’s A Bridge Dead in the Water and Tokinish
  2. pp. 1-26
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  1. 2. The Covenant Chain in Eric Gansworth’s Fiction, Poetry, Memoir, and Paintings: The Canandaigua Treaty Belt as Critical Indigenous Economic Critique
  2. pp. 27-64
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  1. 3. Tribal Feminist Recuperation of the Mother of Nations in Shelley Niro’s Kissed by Lightning
  2. pp. 65-80
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  1. 4. Kahnawake’s Reclamation of Adoption Practices in Tracey Deer’s Documentary and Fiction Films: Reading the Adoption Belt in a Post-Indian Act Era
  2. pp. 81-102
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  1. 5. Conclusion: Wampum and the Future of Hodinöhsö:ni’ Narrative Epistemology
  2. pp. 103-112
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 113-136
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 137-148
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 149-152
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  1. Other Works in the Series, Back Cover
  2. p. 153
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780815652991
Related ISBN
9780815633662
MARC Record
OCLC
897552137
Pages
200
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-04
Language
English
Open Access
No
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