Reviewing, Relocating, Reclaiming
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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When working on the island of New Caledonia, the French missionary and ethnologist, Maurice Leenhardt (1878–1954), in conversation with his most trusted Native informant, Erijisi Boesoou, proclaimed: “In short, what we’ve brought into your thinking is the notion of esprit” [spirit or mind]. To which Boesoou retorted: “Spirit? Bah! We’ve always known about spirit. What you ...
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If you make your bodies of me, you will live to see old age, and live into the Blessed Days. That was what the indigenous beings said to the Osages, when we came down from the stars into this world, and sent our messengers ahead to find out how to live in this new place and time—a Creation Story that used to be told during the traditional Naming Ceremony. The messengers traveled...
I VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS
1 Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
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American artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is a storyteller, but she doesn’t fit into tidy categories of art or life. She invents her artistic strategies to suit her immediate goal, which is always to attract and inform an audience. Her visual vocabulary and materials are as diverse and expressive as her interests. Smith is a bricoleur, who has self-consciously shaped her identity and her art ...
2 Restating Indigenous Presencein Eastern Dakota and Ho Chunk (Winnebago) Portraits of the 1830s–1860s
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This essay examines a small selection of painted and photographic portraits that represent Eastern Dakota and Winnebago male leaders from the southern Minnesota area in the middle years of the nineteenth century, between the 1830s and the 1860s. These portraits—two paintings and one photograph— were made in a period of some volatility and I will use them as a synecdoche...
II DISMEMBERMENT AND DISPLAY
3 Plaster-Cast Indians at the National Museum
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The artist James Luna (Luiseño) uses his own body as a performative instrument in order to deconstruct historically entrenched stereotypes of Native identity and so counterbalance the objectification of the Native body in museum displays. In one of his best known works, “Artefact Piece,” 1987, he delivered a set of complicated messages to his viewer. Lying face-up, near-naked,...
4 William Lanné’s Pipe
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The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart in Tasmania recently installed a new Aboriginal display. One of the glass cases contains a nineteenth-century tobacco pipe labeled “William Lanné’s pipe.” This exhibit, presented without any explanatory context, demonstrates the simplicity, the humanity, and the utter recognizability of the item, and by extension its owner. Anyone ...
III GENDER AND SEXUALITY
5 Sodomy, Ambiguity, and Feminization
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Whether explicit or hidden under the appearances of gentlemanly admiration, as expressed in the quote from the novel by James Fenimore Cooper cited above, homosexual and homoerotic meanings have informed, directly or indirectly, much of the ideological and moral attitudes toward American Indians since the beginning of colonization.1 In the following essay I...
6 Devil with the Face of an Angel
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The French Oblate missionary, Émile Petitot (1838–1916), who lived in the Canadian northwest from 1862 to 1881, wrote about the language, traditions, history, and territory of the Dene1 and Tchiglit (Siglit) Inuit.2 Petitot was a prolific author.3 However, with the exception of his contribution to geography (which included maps with Aboriginal toponyms and ethnonyms4) ...
IV IMAGINATION AND COMMODIFICATION
7 Marketing Indigenous Bodies in the Fiction of Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, and Sherman Alexie
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“White people want to be Indians. You all have things we don’t have. You live at peace with the earth. You are so wise,”1 says Betty, a white groupie of an Indian rock band, Coyote Springs, in Sherman Alexie’s 1995 novel Reservation Blues. Betty’s words are symptomatic of an intense interest in and enduring fascination with Indian cultures which, as many Native and non-Native critics ...
8 Stories from the Womb—Esther Belin’s From the Belly of My Beauty
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Through the image of a storyteller in whose body, as if in a mother’s womb, stories grow, Leslie Marmon Silko points to the fundamental role played by storytelling and language in Native American tradition, which is “to heal, to regenerate, and to create.”2 Using the “reproductive” power of language to shape stories, the storyteller becomes an “agent of cultural continuity”3 and, ...
V DIS-EASE AND HEALING
9 Prayer with Pain
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The introductory quotation by Saqamaw (chief) Mi’sel Joe, of the Conne River Mi’kmaq, suggests that the suffering of the individual is inseparable from the suffering of the community, and that there is a shared responsibility for the health of all individuals. There are many ways to pray amongst First Nations, but often those that involve an element of physical suffering are considered...
10 Coping with Colonization
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Diabetes is currently emerging as a global health issue, but Aboriginal people in Canada have suffered from epidemic rates of type 2 diabetes and its many medical complications for several decades.1 Biomedical studies of this phenomenon among First Nation peoples have predominantly focused on physical risk factors, such as genetics, nutrition, and exercise, in the prevention...
VI PHYSICAL LANDSCAPES
11 Representing Indigenous Bodies in Epeli Hau’ofa and Syaman Rapongan
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This chapter explores the representation of indigenous bodies within the context of the trans-indigenous Pacific. Drawing on the life narratives of Epeli Hau’ofa and Syaman Rapongan, two authors who are native to the Pacific region, I argue that Pacific indigenous body politics are very much connected to an “oceanic” body and constitute a “counter-conversion” from land to sea....
12 The Many Indigenous Bodies of Kai Tahu
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This chapter will explain and illuminate the terms that we as Kai Tahu2 use to describe and locate ourselves and our bodies in our world. In a Treaty relationship with Otago Polytechnic, designed to further teaching and ako (learning) and rakahau (research), Kai Tahu has participated in the SimPā: Digital Landscapes of Māori Memory project.3 This is an IT program that has...
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Page Count: 245
Publication Year: 2013