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The mid-thirteenth century AD marks the beginning of tremendous social change among Ancestral Pueblo peoples of the northern US Southwest that foreshadow the emergence of the modern Pueblo world. Regional depopulations, long-distance migrations, and widespread resettlement into large plaza-oriented villages forever altered community life. Archaeologists have tended to view these historical events as adaptive responses to climatic, environmental, and economic conditions. Recently, however, more attention is being given to the central role of religion during these transformative periods, and to how archaeological remains embody the complex social practices through which Ancestral Pueblo understandings of sacred concepts were expressed and transformed. <br><br>The contributors to this volume employ a wide range of archaeological evidence to examine the origin and development of religious ideologies and the ways they shaped Pueblo societies across the Southwest in the centuries prior to European contact. With its fresh theoretical approach, it contributes to a better understanding of both the Pueblo past and the anthropological study of religion in ancient contexts This volume will be of interest to both regional specialists and to scholars who work with the broader dimensions of religion and ritual in the human experience.
Not every world culture that has battled colonization has suffered or died. In the Ecuadorian Andean parish of Salasaca, the indigenous culture has stayed true to itself and its surroundings for centuries while adapting to each new situation. Today, indigenous Salascans continue to devote a large part of their lives to their distinctive practices—both community rituals and individual behaviors—while living side by side with white-mestizo culture.
In this book Rachel Corr provides a knowledgeable account of the Salasacan religion and rituals and their respective histories. Based on eighteen years of fieldwork in Salasaca, as well as extensive research in Church archives—including never-before-published documents—Corr’s book illuminates how Salasacan culture adapted to Catholic traditions and recentered, reinterpreted, and even reshaped them to serve similarly motivated Salasacan practices, demonstrating the link between formal and folk Catholicism and pre-Columbian beliefs and practices. Corr also explores the intense connection between the local Salasacan rituals and the mountain landscapes around them, from peak to valley.
Ritual and Remembrance in the Ecuadorian Andes is, in its portrayal of Salasacan religious culture, both thorough and all-encompassing. Sections of the book cover everything from the performance of death rituals to stories about Amazonia as Salasacans interacted with outsiders—conquistadors and camera-toting tourists alike. Corr also investigates the role of shamanism in modern Salasacan culture, including shamanic powers and mountain spirits, and the use of reshaped, Andeanized Catholicism to sustain collective memory. Through its unique insider’s perspective of Salasacan spirituality, Ritual and Remembrance in the Ecuadorian Andes is a valuable anthropological work that honestly represents this people’s great ability to adapt.
Check out an interview with the author here!
A Symmetrical Ethnography
Agrarian Conflict, Market Logic, and Conservation in a Mexican Forest
“The Earth says, God has placed me here. The Earth says that God tells me to take care of the Indians on this earth; the Earth says to the Indians that stop on the Earth, feed them right. . . . God says feed the Indians upon the earth.”
—Cayuse Chief Young Chief, Walla Walla Council of 1855
America has always been Indian land. Historically and culturally, Native Americans have had a strong appreciation for the land and what it offers. After continually struggling to hold on to their land and losing millions of acres, Native Americans still have a strong and ongoing relationship to their homelands. The land holds spiritual value and offers a way of life through fishing, farming, and hunting. It remains essential—not only for subsistence but also for cultural continuity—that Native Americans regain rights to land they were promised.
Beth Rose Middleton examines new and innovative ideas concerning Native land conservancies, providing advice on land trusts, collaborations, and conservation groups. Increasingly, tribes are working to protect their access to culturally important lands by collaborating with Native and non- Native conservation movements. By using private conservation partnerships to reacquire lost land, tribes can ensure the health and sustainability of vital natural resources. In particular, tribal governments are using conservation easements and land trusts to reclaim rights to lost acreage. Through the use of these and other private conservation tools, tribes are able to protect or in some cases buy back the land that was never sold but rather was taken from them.
Trust in the Land sets into motion a new wave of ideas concerning land conservation. This informative book will appeal to Native and non-Native individuals and organizations interested in protecting the land as well as environmentalists and government agencies.
Rethinking Cargos, Family, and Ethnicity in Highland Mexico
For many communities around the world, the revitalization or at least the preservation of an indigenous language is a pressing concern. Understanding the issue involves far more than compiling simple usage statistics or documenting the grammar of a tongue--it requires examining the social practices and philosophies that affect indigenous language survival.
In presenting the case of Kaska, an endangered language in an Athapascan community in the Yukon, Barbra Meek asserts that language revitalization requires more than just linguistic rehabilitation; it demands a social transformation. The process must mend rips and tears in the social fabric of the language community that result from an enduring colonial history focused on termination. These "disjunctures" include government policies conflicting with community goals, widely varying teaching methods and generational viewpoints, and even clashing ideologies within the language community.
This book provides a detailed investigation of language revitalization based on more than two years of active participation in local language renewal efforts. Each chapter focuses on a different dimension, such as spelling and expertise, conversation and social status, family practices, and bureaucratic involvement in local language choices. Each situation illustrates the balance between the desire for linguistic continuity and the reality of disruption.
We Are Our Language reveals the subtle ways in which different conceptions and practices--historical, material, and interactional--can variably affect the state of an indigenous language, and it offers a critical step toward redefining success and achieving revitalization.
The Politics of Sobriety in a Native American Community
On February 10, 1918, John Power woke to the sound of bells and horses’ hooves. He was sharing a cabin near the family mine with his brother Tom and their father Jeff; hired man Tom Sisson was also nearby. Then gunfire erupted, and so began the day when the Power brothers engaged the Graham County Sheriff’s Department in the bloodiest shootout in Arizona history.
Now Thomas Cobb, author of Crazy Heart and Shavetail, has taken up the story in this powerful and meticulously researched nonfiction novel. What seems at first a simple tale of crime and pursuit takes on much greater meaning and complexity as the story traces the past lives of the main characters and interconnects them—all leading back to the deadly confrontation that begins the book. Cobb cunningly weaves the story of the Power brothers’ escape with flashbacks of the boys’ father’s life and his struggle to make a living ranching, logging, and mining in the West around the turn of the century. Deftly drawn characters and cleverly concealed motivations work seamlessly to blend a compelling family history with a desperate story of the brothers as they attempt to escape.
Grappling with themes of loyalty, masculinity, technology, and honor, this sweeping saga reveals the passion and brutality of frontier life in Arizona a hundred years ago. Richly authentic and beautifully written, With Blood in Their Eyes breathes dramatic new life into this nearly forgotten episode of the American West.