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Area and Ethnic Studies > Native American and Indigenous Studies

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The Americas That Might Have Been Cover

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The Americas That Might Have Been

Native American Social Systems through Time

Written by Julian Granberry

This work answers the hypothetical question: What would the Americas be like today—politically, economically, culturally—if Columbus and the Europeans had never found them, and how would American peoples interact with the world's other societies? It assumes that Columbus did not embark from Spain in 1492 and that no Europeans found or settled the New World afterward, leaving the peoples of the two American continents free to follow the natural course of their Native lives.

The Americas That Might Have Been is a professional but layman-accessible, fact-based, nonfiction account of the major Native American political states that were thriving in the New World in 1492. Granberry considers a contemporary New World in which the glories of Aztec Mexico, Maya Middle America, and Inca Peru survived intact. He imagines the roles that the Iroquois Confederacy of the American Northeast, the powerful city-states along the Mississippi River in the Midwest and Southeast, the Navajo Nation and the Pueblo culture of the Southwest, the Eskimo Nation in the Far North, and the Ta&iactue;no/Arawak chiefdoms of the Caribbean would play in American and world politics in the 21st Century.

Following a critical examination of the data using empirical archaeology, linguistics, and ethnohistory, Granberry presents a reasoned and compelling discussion of native cultures and the paths they would have logically taken over the past five centuries. He reveals the spectacular futures these brilliant pre-Columbian societies might have had, if not for one epochal meeting that set off a chain of events so overwhelming to them that the course of human history was forever changed.

"Offers the latitude to explain a model of cultural evolution based on kinship categories while speculating about hjow several Indian nations might have developed sans colonialism."—North Dakota Quarterly



Amskapi Pikuni Cover

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Amskapi Pikuni

The Blackfeet People

A contemporary history of one of the best-known American Indian nations. Written in collaboration with Blackfoot tribal historians and educators, Amskapi Pikuni: The Blackfeet People portrays a strong native nation fighting for two centuries against domination by Anglo invaders. The Blackfeet endured bungling, corrupt, and drunken agents; racist schoolteachers; and a federal Indian Bureau that failed to disburse millions of dollars owed to the tribe. Located on a reservation in Montana cut and cut again to give land to white ranchers, the Blackfeet adapted to complete loss of their staple food, bison—a collapse of what had been a sustainable economy throughout their history. Despite all of these challenges, the nation held to its values and continues to proudly preserve its culture.

Ancestral Places Cover

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Ancestral Places

Understanding Kanaka Geographies

Katrina-Ann R. Kapāʻanaokalāokeola Nākoa Oliveira

Ancestral Places explores the deep connections that ancestral Kānaka (Native Hawaiians) enjoyed with their environment. It honors the moʻolelo (historical accounts) of the ancestral places of their kūpuna (ancestors), and reveals how these moʻolelo and their relationships with the ʻāina (land) inform a Kanaka sense of place.

The book elucidates a Kanaka geography and provides contemporary scholars with insights regarding traditional culture—including the ways in which Kānaka utilize cartographic performances to map their ancestral places and retain their moʻolelo, such as reciting creation accounts, utilizing nuances embedded in language, and dancing hula.

A Kanaka by birth, a kumu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (language teacher) by profession, and a geographer by training, Oliveira’s interests intersect at the boundary where words and place-making meet her ancestral land. Thus, Ancestral Places imbues the theoretical with sensual practice. The book’s language moves fluidly between Hawaiian and English, terms are nimbly defined, and the work of the field is embodied: geographic layers are enacted within the text, new understandings created—not just among lexica, but amidst illustrations, charts, terms, and poetry. 

In Ancestral Places, Oliveira reasserts both the validity of ancestral knowledge systems and their impact in modernity. Her discussion of Kanaka geographies encompasses the entire archipelago, offering a new framework in Kanaka epistemology.

Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms Cover

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Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms

Interpretations of Mississippian Iconography

Edited by F. Kent Reilly, III, and James F. Garber

A major reconstruction of the rituals, cosmology, ideology, and political structures of the prehistoric native peoples of the Mississippi River Valley and Southeastern United States.

Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game Cover

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Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game

At the Center of Ceremony and Identity

Michael J. Zogry

A precursor to lacrosse, anetso, a centuries-old Cherokee ball game still played today, is a vigorous sport that rewards speed, strength, and agility. It is also the focus of several linked ritual activities. Zogry argues that members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation continue to perform selected aspects of their cultural identity by engaging in anetso. He shows that it is a ceremonial cycle that incorporates a variety of activities which, taken together, complicate standard distinctions of game versus ritual, public display versus private performance, and tradition versus innovation.

Anguish Of Snails Cover

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Anguish Of Snails

Native American Folklore in the West

Barre Toelken

After a career working and living with American Indians and studying their traditions, Barre Toelken has written this sweeping study of Native American folklore in the West. Within a framework of performance theory, cultural worldview, and collaborative research, he examines Native American visual arts, dance, oral tradition (story and song), humor, and patterns of thinking and discovery to demonstrate what can be gleaned from Indian traditions by Natives and non-Natives alike. In the process he considers popular distortions of Indian beliefs, demystifies many traditions by showing how they can be comprehended within their cultural contexts, considers why some aspects of Native American life are not meant to be understood by or shared with outsiders, and emphasizes how much can be learned through sensitivity to and awareness of cultural values.

Winner of the 2004 Chicago Folklore Prize, The Anguish of Snails is an essential work for the collection of any serious reader in folklore or Native American studies.

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Anishinaabe Syndicated

A View from the Rez

Jim Northrup

The topics of the day fly fast and furious over Jim Northrup’s moccasin telegraph: The game wardens were playing catch and release with the Anishinaabeg spearers. one Shinnob went back for seconds. He got two tickets. . . . The powwow was great. I’d like to thank all those who worked to make this happen. as a Vietnam vet, I felt honored, but still think we should quit making veterans. . . . Hell just froze over because Fonjalackers got a per capita gambling payment. after almost fifteen years of high-stakes bingo and gambling casinos, we got a check for $1,500 each. . . . Now Mom can get that operation and I can send my kids to Harvard. I can also get that Ferrari I’ve always wanted. I’ll decide on the color after my round-the-world vacation. . . . Between 1989 and 2001, Indian Country saw enormous changes in treaty rights, casino gambling, language renewal, and tribal sovereignty. Jim Northrup, a thoroughly modern traditional Ojibwe man who writes a monthly syndicated newspaper column, the Fond du Lac Follies, witnessed it all. With humor sometimes gentle, sometimes biting, sometimes broad, these excerpts tally the changes, year by year, as he spears walleye, raises a grandson, harvests wild rice and maple sugar, fixes rez cars, attends powwows, and jets across the country and across the ocean to tell stories.

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Anonimo Mexicano

Richley Crapo and Bonnie Glass-Coffin

Anonimo Mexicano is the first publication of the full Nahuatl text and English translation of a rare and important Native history of preconquest Mexico. Written circa 1600 by an anonymous Tlaxcaltecan author, it is an epic account of the settling of central Mexico by Nahua peoples from the northern frontier. They developed a sophisticated culture with powerful city states and an agricultural economy, fought great wars, established dynasties, and recorded their history and legends in painted books. The Mexica became the most powerful of these nations until their conquest by the Spanish with the help of the Tlaxcalteca, who were rivals of the Mexica and whose national origin tale was recorded in Anonimo Mexicano.

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Answering Chief Seattle

Albert Furtwangler

This book traces the origins of one of the most famous speeches in American history and how our responses to it, over more than a century, show the changing tide of Native-white relations.

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Anthropologists and Indians in the New South

Edited by Rachel Bonney and J. Anthony Paredes, and foreword by Raymond D. Fogel

Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2002

An important collection of essays that looks at the changing relationships between anthropologists and Indians at the turn of the millennium.

Southern Indians have experienced much change in the last half of the 20th century. In rapid succession since World War II, they have passed through the testing field of land claims litigation begun in the 1950s, played upon or retreated from the civil rights movement of the 1960s, seen the proliferation of "wannabe" Indian groups in the 1970s, and created innovative tribal enterprises—such as high-stakes bingo and gambling casinos—in the 1980s. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 stimulated a cultural renewal resulting in tribal museums and heritage programs and a rapprochement with their western kinsmen removed in "Old South" days.

Anthropology in the South has changed too, moving forward at the cutting edge of academic theory. This collection of essays reflects both that which has endured and that which has changed in the anthropological embrace of Indians from the New South. Beginning as an invited session at the 30th-anniversary meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society held in 1996, the collection includes papers by linguists, archaeologists, and physical anthropologists, as well as comments from Native Americans.

This broad scope of inquiry—ranging in subject from the Maya of Florida, presumed biology, and alcohol-related problems to pow-wow dancing, Mobilian linguistics, and the "lost Indian ancestor" myth—results in a volume valuable to students, professionals, and libraries. Anthropologists and Indians in the New South is a clear assessment of the growing mutual respect and strengthening bond between modern Native Americans and the researchers who explore their past.

Rachel A. Bonney is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. J. Anthony Paredes is Chief of Ethnography and Indian Affairs in the Southeast Regional Office of the National Park Service and editor of Indians of the Southeastern United States in the Late 20th Century. Raymond D. Fogelson is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and author of The Cherokees.

Additional reviews:

"Anthropologists and Indians in the New South reaches beyond the Southeast to touch on issues in all areas of Native American studies and on contemporary methodological and ethical issues in anthropology and other fields such as history. It makes an excellent resource for research as well as teaching. . . . invaluable to any course about Native American culture, history, and contemporary issues."—American Indian Culture and Research Journal

"A nice contribution to the Southeastern anthropological literature for several reasons. First, it highlights the increasingly positive rapprochement between anthropologists and Indians rather than dwelling on the negative, as is so often done. Levy's article on the positive outcomes of NAGPRA is an example of this refreshing perspective. Second, it focuses on the changing relations between these two groups, reminding us that all cultures change; anthropology is no exception. Finally, all of the articles are tied together by the common theme of how anthropology has changed as the relationships between anthropologists and Indians change. Maintaining a strong theme throughout an edited volume is no easy task, especially when there are so many authors. Bonney and Paredes have done a commendable job in keeping this theme alive in each of the chapters and in the introductions to each section. Regardless of one's position on applied anthropology, readers will find the case studies presented here to informatively and succinctly characterize the changing nature of anthropologist-Indian relations in the Southeast today."—Southeastern Archaeology

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