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Area and Ethnic Studies > Native American and Indigenous Studies

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Climate and Culture Change in North America AD 900–1600 Cover

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Climate and Culture Change in North America AD 900–1600

By William C. Foster

Correlating climate change and archaeological data, an award-winning historian offers the first comprehensive overview of how the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age significantly impacted the Native cultures of the American Southwest, Southern Plains, and Southeast.

Climate, Culture, Change Cover

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Climate, Culture, Change

Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North

by Timothy B. Leduc

Every day brings new headlines about climate change as politicians debate how to respond, scientists offer new data, and skeptics critique the validity of the research. To step outside these scientific and political debates, Timothy Leduc engages with various Inuit understandings of northern climate change. What he learns is that today’s climate changes are not only affecting our environments, but also our cultures. By focusing on the changes currently occurring in the north, he highlights the challenges being posed to Western climate research, Canadian politics and traditional Inuit knowledge.


Climate, Culture, Change sheds light on the cultural challenges posed by northern warming and proposes an intercultural response that is demonstrated by the blending of Inuit and Western perspectives.

The Collected Works of Benjamin Hawkins Cover

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The Collected Works of Benjamin Hawkins

Written by Benjamin Hawkins and introduction by Howard Thomas Foster

A comprehensive collection of the most important sources on the late historic Creek Indians and their environment.

In 1795 Benjamin Hawkins, a former U.S. senator and advisor to George Washington, was appointed U.S. Indian agent and superintendent of all the tribes south of the Ohio River. Unlike most other agents, he lived among the Creek Indians for his entire tenure, from 1796 to 1816. Journeying forth from his home on the Flint River in Georgia, he served southeastern Indians as government intermediary during one of the longest eras of peace in the historic period.

Hawkins's journals provide detailed information about European-Indian relations in the 18th-century frontier of the South. His descriptions of the natural and cultural environment are considered among the best sources for the ethnohistory of the Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and, especially, the Creek Indians and the natural history of their territory.

Two previously published bodies of work by Benjamin Hawkins are included here-A Sketch of the Creek Country in the Years 1798 and 1799 and The Letters of Benjamin Hawkins 1796-1806. A third body of work that has never been published, "A Viatory or Journal of Distances" (describing routes and distances of a 3,578-mile journey through parts of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi), has been added. Together, these documents make up the known body of Hawkins' work—his talks, treaties, correspondence, aboriginal vocabularies, travel journals, and records of the manners, customs, rites, and civil polity of the tribes. Hawkins' work provides an invaluable record of the time period.


Colonial Entanglement Cover

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Colonial Entanglement

Constituting a Twenty-First Century Osage Nation

Jean Dennison

From 2004 to 2006 the Osage Nation conducted a contentious governmental reform process in which sharply differing visions arose over the new government's goals, the Nation's own history, and what it means to be Osage. Osage anthropologist Jean Dennison do

Colonial Mediascapes Cover

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Colonial Mediascapes

Sensory Worlds of the Early Americas

Matt Cohen

In colonial North and South America, print was only one way of communicating. Information in various forms flowed across the boundaries between indigenous groups and early imperial settlements. Natives and newcomers made speeches, exchanged gifts, invented gestures, and inscribed their intentions on paper, bark, skins, and many other kinds of surfaces. No one method of conveying meaning was privileged, and written texts often relied on nonwritten modes of communication.
 
Colonial Mediascapes examines how textual and nontextual literatures interacted in colonial North and South America. Extending the textual foundations of early American literary history, the editors bring a wide range of media to the attention of scholars and show how struggles over modes of communication intersected with conflicts over religion, politics, race, and gender. This collection of essays by major historians, anthropologists, and literary scholars demonstrates that the European settlement of the Americas and European interaction with Native peoples were shaped just as much by communication challenges as by traditional concerns such as religion, economics, and resources.
 
 

Color of the Land Cover

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Color of the Land

Race, Nation, and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929

David A. Chang

Chang brings the histories of Creek Indians, African Americans, and whites in Oklahoma together into one story that explores the way races and nations were made and remade in conflicts over who would own land, who would farm it, and who would rule it. He argues that in struggles over land, wealth, and power, Oklahomans actively defined and redefined what it meant to be Native American, African American, or white.

Comanche Ethnography Cover

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Comanche Ethnography

Field Notes of E. Adamson Hoebel, Waldo R. Wedel, Gustav G. Carlson, and Robert H. Lowie

Thomas W. Kavanagh

In the summer of 1933 in Lawton, Oklahoma, a team of six anthropologists met with eighteen Comanche elders to record the latter’s reminiscences of traditional Comanche culture. The depth and breadth of what the elderly Comanches recalled provides an inestimable source of knowledge for generations to come, both within and beyond the Comanche community. This monumental volume makes available for the first time the largest archive of traditional cultural information on Comanches ever gathered by American anthropologists.

Much of the Comanches’ earlier world is presented here—religious stories, historical accounts, autobiographical remembrances, cosmology, the practice of war, everyday games, birth rituals, funerals, kinship relations, the organization of camps, material culture, and relations with other tribes.

Thomas W. Kavanagh tracked down all known surviving notes from the Santa Fe Laboratory field party and collated and annotated the records, learning as much as possible about the Comanche elders who spoke with the anthropologists and, when possible, attributing pieces of information to the appropriate elders. In addition, this volume includes Robert H. Lowie’s notes from his short 1912 visit to the Comanches. The result stands as a legacy for both Comanches and those interested in learning more about them.

Coming Full Circle Cover

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Coming Full Circle

Spirituality and Wellness among Native Communities in the Pacific Northwest

Suzanne Crawford O'Brien

Coming Full Circle is an interdisciplinary exploration of the relationships between spirituality and health in several contemporary Coast Salish and Chinook communities in western Washington from 1805 to 2005. Suzanne Crawford O’Brien examines how these communities define what it means to be healthy, and how recent tribal community-based health programs have applied this understanding to their missions and activities. She also explores how contemporary definitions, goals, and activities relating to health and healing are informed by Coast Salish history and also by indigenous spiritual views of the body, which are based on an understanding of the relationship between self, ecology, and community.
 
Coming Full Circle draws on a historical framework in reflecting on contemporary tribal health-care efforts and the ways in which they engage indigenous healing traditions alongside twenty-first-century biomedicine. The book makes a strong case for the current shift toward tribally controlled care, arguing that local, culturally distinct ways of healing and understanding illness must be a part of contemporary Native healthcare.
 
Combining in-depth archival research, extensive ethnographic participant-based field work, and skillful scholarship on theories of religion and embodiment, Crawford O’Brien offers an original and masterful analysis of contemporary Native Americans and their worldviews.
 

Contested Territories Cover

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Contested Territories

Native Americans and Non - Natives in the Lower Great Lakes, 1700-1850

A remarkable multifaceted history, Contested Territories examines a region that played an essential role in America's post-revolutionary expansion—the Lower Great Lakes region, once known as the Northwest Territory. As French, English, and finally American settlers moved westward and intersected with Native American communities, the ethnogeography of the region changed drastically, necessitating interactions that were not always peaceful. Using ethnohistorical methodologies, the seven essays presented here explore rapidly changing cultural dynamics in the region and reconstruct in engaging detail the political organization, economy, diplomacy, subsistence methods, religion, and kinship practices in play. With a focus on resistance, changing worldviews, and early forms of self-determination among Native Americans, Contested Territories demonstrates the continuous interplay between actor and agency during an important era in American history.

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