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New Perspectives on Native North America

Cultures, Histories, and Representations

Sergei A. Kan

Publication Year: 2006

In this volume some of the leading scholars working in Native North America explore contemporary perspectives on Native culture, history, and representation. Written in honor of the anthropologist Raymond D. Fogelson, the volume charts the currents of contemporary scholarship while offering an invigorating challenge to researchers in the field.

The essays employ a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches and range widely across time and space. The introduction and first section consider the origins and legacies of various strands of interpretation, while the second part examines the relationship among culture, power, and creativity. The third part focuses on the cultural construction and experience of history, and the volume closes with essays on identity, difference, and appropriation in several historical and cultural contexts. Aimed at a broad interdisciplinary audience, the volume offers an excellent overview of contemporary perspectives on Native peoples.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press


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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xlii

The essays in this volume were influenced and inspired by Raymond D. Fogelson, who has taught in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago since 1965. The contributors, mainly Fogelson’s students, include some of the leading anthropologists and ethnohistorians working...

Part One. Perspectives: On the Genealogy and Legacy of an Anthropological Tradition

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1. Keeping the Faith: A Legacy of Native American Ethnography, Ethnohistory, and Psychology

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pp. 3-16

Like the Native American elders with whom many contributors to this volume work, Ray Fogelson’s nuggets of wisdom are often delivered cryptically—embedded in the discourse of the moment, often in the context of a very late party at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological...

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2. Fields of Dreams: Revisiting A. I. Hallowell and the Berens River Ojibwe

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pp. 17-41

The boreal forests of Canada have been the setting for diverse dreams and visions—those of Northern Algonquians who have resided there for centuries and those of a long series of questing newcomers who, experiencing their personal “first contacts” with the inhabitants, have recurrently...

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3. Framing the Anomalous: Stoneclad, Sequoyah, and Cherokee Ethnoliteracy

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pp. 42-62

It was in 1989, as a new graduate student in the University of Chicago’s anthropology department, that I first began talking with Ray Fogelson about the possibility of doing fieldwork with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.1 He gave me a sly look and said...

Part Two. Cultures: On Persons and Power, Rituals and Creativity

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4. Power as the Transmission of Culture

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pp. 65-97

An anthropological cliché: language is a mechanism for the transmission of culture. Around the crackling campfire at night (to continue the cliché), shadows flickering against the loblolly pines, someone tells a story. Others listen to it, and later themselves retell it. The “it” here, the myth...

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5. Ironies of Articulating Continuity at Lac du Flambeau

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pp. 98-121

To account for the “Walleye War” between the Lac du Flambeau band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and organized groups of non-Indians opposed to treaties in northern Wisconsin in the 1980s we must undertake a certain kind of archaeology of cultural dispositions....

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6. The Poetics of Tropes and Dreams in Arapaho Ghost Dance Songs

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pp. 122-161

In June 1892 ethnologist James Mooney heard from the Indian agent and from Arapahos themselves at the Shoshone (now Wind River) Reservation agency that Northern Arapahos no longer practiced the Ghost Dance. But later at a log-cutting camp...

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7. Night Thoughts and Night Sweats, Ethnohistory and Ethnohumor: The Quaker Shaker Meets the Lakota Sweat Lodge

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pp. 162-184

There are many things I deeply appreciate about my mentor, Ray Fogelson, though they are the kinds of things that, like one’s parents, sometimes go unappreciated until one has really grown up. To my frustration as someone who wanted to finish his dissertation in a single weekend...

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8. Self-consciousness, Ceremonialism, and the Problem of the Present in the Anthropology of Native North America

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pp. 185-208

Students of Raymond D. Fogelson have often shown a propensity for two seemingly different kinds of anthropological work: the use of documentary archives to understand the past(s) of American Indian communities— the now vital field of ethnohistory...

Part Three. Histories: On Varieties of Temporal Experience and Historical Representation

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9. Native Authorship in Northwestern California

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pp. 211-238

In 1976 I returned to northwestern California, where I had already spent some time with Native people, to undertake my first formal field work as a graduate student of anthropology. Since I was now there as a professional in training I thought it best...

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10. The Sioux at the Time of European Contact: An Ethnohistorical Problem

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pp. 239-260

The earliest period of European contact with the Sioux Indians (the Dakotas and Lakotas) dates approximately from 1660 to 1720, when they lived in the area of present-day Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. Many misconceptions concerning the Sioux...

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11. Proto-Ethnologists in North America

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pp. 261-284

In 1974 Raymond Fogelson published an article entitled “On the Varieties of Indian History: Sequoyah and Traveller Bird.” In it Fogelson explores, against an image of infinite regress, three types of American Indian history: (l) “the historical study of non-Western peoples...

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12. Folklore, Personal Narratives, and Ethno-Ethnohistory

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pp. 285-309

The stability of myth, legend, and folk tale categories derived from a European tradition of folklore scholarship has, as Ruth Benedict underlined long ago, “prevented the understanding of the usual morphological behavior of folk tales.” “Folklore incidents,”...

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13. Events and Nonevents on the Tlingit/Russian/American Colonial Frontier, 1802-1879

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pp. 310-326

Throughout 1877–78 the “Russian” (and some of the American) inhabitants of Sitka, a small town on the coast of southeastern Alaska, were anxiously anticipating an attack by the “savage Indians” whose village was located just outside the town’s...

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14. Time and the Individual in Native North America

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pp. 327-348

The ethnographic record exhibits a division of temporal labor.1 Africa offers up time from the point of view of segmentary social structure, latitudinal and longitudinal (Evans-Pritchard 1940; Fortes 1949). Australia offers up myth-time, past and present (Myers 1986; Munn 1970)...

Part Four. Representations: On Selves and Others, Hybridities and Appropriations

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15. Culture and Culture Theory in Native North America

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pp. 351-394

Consider a Crow elder’s remarks: You see that tin shed. It’s like my culture. You can sit back here, ask questions, and describe it. But it’s not ’till you get inside, ’till you see what’s inside and feel it, that you really know what the tin shed is about...

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16. Cannibals in the Mountains: Washoe Teratology and the Donner Party

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pp. 395-413

The scream came at midnight, just as I had turned off my lantern. I was in the Sierra Nevada foothills south of Lake Tahoe, at least five miles from any other human being. In a flash I was out of my tent and into my car, with the windows rolled up and the doors locked...

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17. “Vanishing” Indians in Nineteenth-Century New England: Local Historians’ Erasure of Still-Present Indian Peoples

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pp. 414-432

In this passage from the first published American Indian autobiography (1826), Pequot William Apess leveled the double charge that Euro- Americans had violently seized Native homelands, then deliberately justified their outrageous conquest...

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18. Pocahontas: An Exercise in Mythmaking and Marketing

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pp. 433-455

So ran one announcement of the 1996 release on video of Disney’s Pocahontas. Never mind that this Pocahontas more closely resembles Asian- American actress and sex symbol Tia Carrera than an early-adolescent eastern Algonquian girl...

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19. “I’m an Old Cowhand on the Banks of the Seine”: Representations of Indians and Le Far West in Parisian Commercial Culture

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pp. 456-473

What is it about Indians and the American West that has made them such an enduring source of European iconography? Christian Feest, addressing this “strange fact” clearly locates it in the realm of cultural imagination (Feest 1987a:1, 1987b:609)...

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20. “To Light the Fire of Our Desire”: Primitivism in the Camp Fire Girls

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pp. 474-488

I have a rather embarrassing confession to make. I did not first encounter the concepts of wakonda and the sacred fire through Ray Fogelson’s anthropology classes at the University of Chicago—although these undoubtedly deepened my understanding...

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pp. 489-495

Looming with his customary impatience in the shadows behind the range of essays in this volume is a loyal, cantankerous, vulnerable, goading but supportive embodiment of the proposition that the eccentric proves the rule, the committed anthropologist...


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pp. 496-500


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pp. 501-514

E-ISBN-13: 9780803253636
E-ISBN-10: 080325363X

Page Count: 516
Illustrations: Illus., map
Publication Year: 2006