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Area and Ethnic Studies > Native American and Indigenous Studies

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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

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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.
 
 

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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.

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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.

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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.
 

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The Common Pot

The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast

Lisa Brooks

Literary critics frequently portray early Native American writers either as individuals caught between two worlds or as subjects who, even as they defied the colonial world, struggled to exist within it. In striking counterpoint to these analyses, Lisa Brooks demonstrates the ways in which Native leaders—including Samson Occom, Joseph Brant, Hendrick Aupaumut, and William Apess—adopted writing as a tool to reclaim rights and land in the Native networks of what is now the northeastern United States.

 “The Common Pot,” a metaphor that appears in Native writings during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, embodies land, community, and the shared space of sustenance among relations. Far from being corrupted by forms of writing introduced by European colonizers, Brooks contends, Native people frequently rejected the roles intended for them by their missionary teachers and used the skills they acquired to compose petitions, political tracts, and speeches; to record community councils and histories; and most important, to imagine collectively the routes through which the Common Pot could survive.

Reframing the historical landscape of the region, Brooks constructs a provocative new picture of Native space before and after colonization. By recovering and reexamining Algonquian and Iroquoian texts, she shows that writing was not a foreign technology but rather a crucial weapon in the Native Americans’ arsenal as they resisted—and today continue to oppose—colonial domination.

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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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Contesting Knowledge

Museums and Indigenous Perspectives

Susan Sleeper-Smith

This interdisciplinary and international collection of essays illuminates the importance and effects of Indigenous perspectives for museums. The contributors challenge and complicate the traditionally close colonialist connections between museums and nation-states and urge more activist and energized roles for museums in the decades ahead.
 
The essays in section 1 consider ethnography’s influence on how Europeans represent colonized peoples. Section 2 essays analyze curatorial practices, emphasizing how exhibitions must serve diverse masters rather than solely the curator’s own creativity and judgment, a dramatic departure from past museum culture and practice. Section 3 essays consider tribal museums that focus on contesting and critiquing colonial views of American and Canadian history while serving the varied needs of the indigenous communities.
 
The institutions examined in these pages range broadly from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC; the Oneida Nation Museum in Oneida, Wisconsin; tribal museums in the Klamath River region in California; the tribal museum in Zuni, New Mexico; the Museum of the American Indian in New York City; and the District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Conversations with Remarkable Native Americans

Entertaining and enlightening interviews with some of today's most important Native Americans. In these lively and informative interviews noted ethnohistorian and international consultant Dr. Joëlle Rostkowski brings to light major developments in the Native American experience over the last thirty years. Overcoming hardships they have experienced as the “forgotten” minority, often torn between two cultures, these prominent native writers, artists, journalists and activists, lawyers, and museum administrators each have made remarkable contributions towards the transformation of old stereotypes, the fight against discrimination, and the sharing of their heritage with mainstream society. Theirs is a story not so much of success but of resilience, of survivance, with each interview subject having marked their time and eventually becoming the change they wanted in the world. The conversations in this volume reveal that the assertion of ethnic identity does not lead to bitterness and isolation, but rather an enthusiasm and drive toward greater visibility and recognition that at the same time aims at a greater understanding between different cultures. Conversations with Remarkable Native Americans rewards the reader with a deeper understanding of the Native American Renaissance.

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