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History, Race, and Place in the Making of "Black" Mexico
Located on Mexico's Pacific coast in a historically black part of the Costa Chica region, the town of San Nicolás has been identified as a center of Afromexican culture by Mexican cultural authorities, journalists, activists, and foreign anthropologists. The majority of the town's residents, however, call themselves morenos (black Indians). In Chocolate and Corn Flour, Laura A. Lewis explores the history and contemporary culture of San Nicolás, focusing on the ways that local inhabitants experience and understand race, blackness, and indigeneity, as well as on the cultural values that outsiders place on the community and its residents. Drawing on more than a decade of fieldwork, Lewis offers a richly detailed and subtle ethnography of the lives and stories of the people of San Nicolás, including community residents who have migrated to the United States. San Nicoladenses, she finds, have complex attitudes toward blackness—as a way of identifying themselves and as a racial and cultural category. They neither consider themselves part of an African diaspora nor deny their heritage. Rather, they acknowledge their hybridity and choose to identify most deeply with their community.
A Story of American Indian Resurgence
A Legacy for the Future
This intriguing study explores the power and artistry of prophecy among the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, who use predictions about the future to interpret the world around them.
This book challenges the common assumption that American Indian prophecy was an anomaly of the 18th and 19th centuries that resulted from tribes across the continent reacting to the European invasion. Tom Mould's study of the contemporary prophetic traditions of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reveals a much larger system of prophecy that continues today as a vibrant part of the oral tradition.
Mould shows that Choctaw prophecy is more than a prediction of the future; it is a way to unite the past, present, and future in a moral dialogue about how one should live. Choctaw prophecy, he argues, is stable and continuous; it is shared in verbal discourse, inviting negotiation on the individual level; and, because it is a tradition of all the people, it manifests itself through myriad visions with many themes. In homes, casinos, restaurants, laundromats, day care centers, and grocery stores, as well as in ceremonial and political situations, people discuss current events and put them into context with traditional stories that govern the culture. In short, recitation is widely used in everyday life as a way to interpret, validate, challenge, and create the world of the Choctaw speaker.
Choctaw Prophecy stands as a sound model for further study into the prophetic traditions of not only other American Indian tribes but also communities throughout the world. Weaving folklore and oral tradition with ethnography, this book will be useful to academic and public libraries as well as to scholars and students of southern Indians and the modern South.
Race, Class, and Nation Building in the Jim Crow South, 1830-1977
Despite overwhelming poverty and significant racial prejudice in the rural South, the Mississippi Choctaws managed, over the course of a century and a half, to maintain their ethnic identity, persuade the Office of Indian Affairs to provide them with services and lands, create a functioning tribal government, and establish a prosperous and stable reservation economy. The Choctaws’ struggle against segregation in the 1950s and 1960s is an overlooked story of the civil rights movement, and this study of white supremacist support for Choctaw tribalism considerably complicates our understanding of southern history. Choctaw Resurgence in Mississippi traces the Choctaw’s remarkable tribal rebirth, attributing it to their sustained political and social activism.
Mormonism and Race in Hawai’i
Christianity figured prominently in the imperial and colonial exploitation and dispossession of indigenous peoples worldwide, yet many indigenous people embrace Christian faith as part of their cultural and ethnic identities. A Chosen People, a Promised Land gets to the heart of this contradiction by exploring how Native Hawaiian members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (more commonly known as Mormons) understand and negotiate their place in this quintessentially American religion.
Mormon missionaries arrived in Hawai‘i in 1850, a mere twenty years after Joseph Smith founded the church. Hokulani K. Aikau traces how Native Hawaiians became integrated into the religious doctrine of the church as a “chosen people”—even at a time when exclusionary racial policies regarding black members of the church were being codified. Aikau shows how Hawaiians and other Polynesian saints came to be considered chosen and how they were able to use their venerated status toward their own spiritual, cultural, and pragmatic ends.
Using the words of Native Hawaiian Latter-Day Saints to illuminate the intersections of race, colonization, and religion, A Chosen People, a Promised Land examines Polynesian Mormon articulations of faith and identity within a larger political context of self-determination.
Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934
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.
Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North
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.
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.