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Chickasaw Museums and the Construction of History and Heritage
The Chickasaw Nation, an American Indian nation headquartered in southeastern Oklahoma, entered into a period of substantial growth in the late 1980s. Following its successful reorganization and expansion, which was enabled by federal policies for tribal self-determination, the Nation pursued gaming and other industries to affect economic growth. From 1987 to 2009 the Nation’s budget increased exponentially as tribal investments produced increasingly large revenues for a growing Chickasaw population. Coincident to this growth, the Chickasaw Nation began acquiring and creating museums and heritage properties to interpret their own history, heritage, and culture through diverse exhibitionary representations. By 2009, the Chickasaw Nation directed representation of itself at five museum and heritage properties throughout its historic boundaries.
Josh Gorman examines the history of these sites and argues that the Chickasaw Nation is using museums and heritage sites as places to define itself as a coherent and legitimate contemporary Indian nation. In doing so, they are necessarily engaging with the shifting historiographical paradigms as well as changing articulations of how museums function and what they represent. The roles of the Chickasaw Nation’s museums and heritage sites in defining and creating discursive representations of sovereignty are examined within their historicized local contexts. The work describes the museum exhibitions’ dialogue with the historiography of the Chickasaw Nation, the literature of new museum studies, and the indigenous exhibitionary grammars emerging from indigenous museums throughout the United States and the world.
The Florida Brigade of the Army of Tennessee
Constructing a New Society after the Angel Chiefdom Collapse
An important case study of chiefdom collapse and societal reemergence. Caborn-Welborn, a late Mississippian (A.D. 1400?) farming society centered at the confluence of the Ohio and Wabash Rivers (in what is now southwestern Indiana, southeastern Illinois, and northwestern Kentucky), developed following the collapse of the Angel chiefdom (A.D. 1000?). Using ceramic and settlement data, David Pollack examines the ways in which that new society reconstructed social, political, and economic relationships from the remnants of the Angel chiefdom. Unlike most instances of the demise of a complex society led by elites, the Caborn-Welborn population did not become more inward-looking, as indicated by an increase in extraregional interaction, nor did they disperse to smaller more widely scattered settlements, as evidenced by a continuation of a hierarchy that included large villages. This book makes available for the first time detailed, well-illustrated descriptions of Caborn-Welborn ceramics, identifies ceramic types and attributes that reflect Caborn-Welborn interaction with Oneota tribal groups and central Mississippi valley Mississippian groups, and offers an internal regional chronology. Based on intraregional differences in ceramic decoration, the types of vessels interred with the dead, and cemetery location, Pollack suggests that in addition to the former Angel population, Caborn-Welborn society may have included households that relocated to the Ohio/Wabash confluence from nearby collapsing polities, and that Caborn-Welborn's sociopolitical organization could be better considered as a riverine confederacy. "A fine scholarly presentation of the data, resulting in a new interpretation of this culture. . . . Dr. Pollack has produced an excellent case study of the collapse of a Mississippian society and its subsequent reformation. Since the unfortunate looting of the Slack Farm site in the late 1980s, archaeologists have wanted to see information on this society. . . . The graphics are most impressive." â€”Marvin T. Smith, Valdosta State University David Pollack is Staff Archaeologist with the Kentucky Heritage Council and Director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey.
The Web Spun by Taino Rulers Between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico
Cemís are both portable artifacts and embodiments of persons or spirit, which the Taínos and other natives of the Greater Antilles (ca. AD 1000-1550) regarded as numinous beings with supernatural or magic powers. This volume takes a close look at the relationship between humans and other (non-human) beings that are imbued with cemí power, specifically within the Taíno inter-island cultural sphere encompassing Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The relationships address the important questions of identity and personhood of the cemí icons and their human “owners” and the implications of cemí gift-giving and gift-taking that sustains a complex web of relationships between caciques (chiefs) of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
Oliver provides a careful analysis of the four major forms of cemís—three-pointed stones, large stone heads, stone collars, and elbow stones—as well as face masks, which provide an interesting contrast to the stone heads. He finds evidence for his interpretation of human and cemí interactions from a critical review of 16th-century Spanish ethnohistoric documents, especially the Relación Acerca de las Antigüedades de los Indios written by Friar Ramón Pané in 1497–1498 under orders from Christopher Columbus. Buttressed by examples of native resistance and syncretism, the volume discusses the iconoclastic conflicts and the relationship between the icons and the human beings. Focusing on this and on the various contexts in which the relationships were enacted, Oliver reveals how the cemís were central to the exercise of native political power. Such cemís were considered a direct threat to the hegemony of the Spanish conquerors, as these potent objects were seen as allies in the native resistance to the onslaught of Christendom with its icons of saints and virgins.
This dramatic and controversial new interpretation of Cahokian leadership strategies examines the authority a ruling elite exercised over the surrounding countryside through a complex of social, political, and religious symbolism.
This study uses the theoretical concepts of agency, power, and ideology to explore the development of cultural complexity within the hierarchically organized Cahokia Middle Mississippian society of the American Bottom from the 11th to the 13th centuries. By scrutinizing the available archaeological settlement and symbolic evidence, Emerson demonstrates that many sites previously identified as farmsteads were actually nodal centers with specialized political, religious, and economic functions integrated into a centralized administrative organization. These centers consolidated the symbolism of such 'artifacts of power' as figurines, ritual vessels, and sacred plants into a rural cult that marked the expropriation of the cosmos as part of the increasing power of the Cahokian rulers.
During the height of Cahokian centralized power, it is argued, the elites had convinced their subjects that they ruled both the physical and the
spiritual worlds. Emerson concludes that Cahokian complexity differs significantly in degree and form from previously studied Eastern Woodlands chiefdoms and opens new discussion about the role of rural support for the Cahokian ceremonial center.
A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication
This edition of Moorehead's excavations at Cahokia provides a comprehensive collection of Moorehead's investigations of the nation's largest prehistoric mound center.
Covering almost fourteen square kilometers in Illinois, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the largest prehistoric mound center in North America and has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Built between A.D. 1050 and 1350, Cahokia originally contained the remains of over 100 earthen mounds that were used as places for Native American rituals, homes of chiefs, or elite tombs. Earlier scientists debated whether the mounds were part of the natural landscape, and many were destroyed by urban and industrial development
This book is a report of archaeological investigations conducted at Cahokia from 1921 to 1927 by Warren K. Moorehead, who confirmed that the mounds were built by indigenous peoples and who worked to assure preservation of the site. The volume includes Moorehead's final 1929 report along with portions of two preliminary reports, covering both Cahokia and several surrounding mound groups.
John Kelly's introduction to the book sets Moorehead's investigations in the context of other work conducted at Cahokia prior to the 1920s and afterwards. Kelly reviews Moorehead's work, which employed 19th-century excavation techniques combined with contemporary analytical methods, and explains how Moorehead contended with local social and political pressures.
Moorehead's work represented important excavations at a time when little other similar work was being done in the Midwest. The reissue of his findings gives us a glimpse into an important archaeological effort and helps us better appreciate the prehistoric legacy that he helped preserve.
Calendar of Regrets is a wildly inventive and visually rich collage of twelve interconnected narratives, one for each month of the year, all pertaining to notions of travel—through time, space, narrative, and death.
Linguistic and Cultural Origins and Relationships
History, Diplomacy, and Black Catholic Marriage in Antebellum St. Augustine, Florida