The Deadly Politics of Giving
Exchange and Violence at Ajacan, Roanoke, and Jamestown
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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Over half a century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and more than two decades before Captain John Smith laid eyes on Jamestown Island, a young Virginia Indian single-handedly altered the course of European colonization in North America. “Don Luis” was the name Catholic missionaries gave to this native Algonquian; his indigenous name would forever elude the...
2. Gifts and Commodities
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Whereas a gift is a simple and direct something-for-nothing offering, gift exchange is part of an elaborate social and economic system with rules and consequences. Gift exchange dictates that there is no such thing as a free gift. There are always strings attached. Of the many scholars who have studied exchange, none figure more prominently here than anthropologist Marcel Mauss. ...
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An understandably defeatist attitude permeates many scholarly discussions of Ajacan. This stems from a variety of factors, but it is primarily due to the paucity of historical records that exist regarding this attempted settlement and the questionable details within them. To begin with, the Jesuits resided at Ajacan for less than six months, which included a period of isolation for nearly half...
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The first English attempts at settling North America occurred in Carolina Algonquian territory during the 1580s. Neither the 1584 precolony venture nor the three subsequent colonies resulted in permanent English settlement. The local Ossomocomuck Algonquian tribes that the English engaged maintained separate identities and frequently antagonized one another. ...
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Undeterred by three failed colonies in the Carolinas, England attempted another Middle Atlantic settlement in the early 1600s. This Jamestown colony would succeed in becoming the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Much like the ill-fated European colonies at Ajacan and Roanoke, socioeconomic clashes contributed to intercultural hostilities at early James-...
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Europeans and Algonquians maintained different motivations and tactics in their political and socioeconomic dealings with one another. In the course of discussing their differences, this analysis has endeavored to show how socio-economic violations were one of a handful of likely catalysts for conflict. ...
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Publication Year: 2006