State University of New York Press

Tribal Worlds: Critical Studies in American Indian Nation Building

Published by: State University of New York Press

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Roving Mariners

Australian Aboriginal Whalers and Sealers in the Southern Oceans, 1790–1870

A comprehensive history of Australian Aboriginal whaling and sealing. For most Australian Aboriginal people the impact of colonialism was blunt—dispossession, dislocation, disease, murder and missionisation. Yet there is another story of Australian history that has remained untold, A story of enterprise and entrepreneurship and Aboriginal people seizing the opportunity to profit from life at seas as sealers and whalers. In some cases participation was voluntary; in others it was more invidious and involved kidnapping and trade in women. In all cases the individuals involved maintained and exercised their personal autonomy and agency within their new circumstances. This book explores some of the lives and adventures of those Aboriginal people who became roving mariners. The techniques used to delve into these stories are a combination of individual stories, analysis of diaries and journals, and an exploration of European artifacts housed in museum collections. The sources for these stories are the archival records of maritime industry, captains’ logs, ships’ records, recollections of sailors and the reflections of those who took to the sea. Much of what is known about this period comes from the writings of Herman Melville, and in this book Melville’s whaling novels act as a prism through which relations onboard ships are understood. As such Roving Mariners uses both history and literature to explore the lives, lifestyles, friendships, and sexual relationships that these people formed.

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Tuscarora

A History

The definitive history of the Tuscaroras and their return to western New York. Tuscarora is the comprehensive history of the small Iroquois Indian reservation community just north of Niagara Falls in western New York. The Tuscaroras consider themselves to be a sovereign nation, independent of the United States and the State of New York. They have preserved a system of social organization and ideal public values, along with the Tonawanda Seneca and the Onondagas that retains matrilineal clans, and a Council of Chiefs nominated by the clan matrons. Over the course of their existence, however, the Tuscarora have faced many struggles. Stemming from over sixty years of research, Anthony F. C. Wallace follows their story of overcoming war and loss of population, migration from North Carolina in the 1700s, the emotional trauma and social disorders resulting from discrimination and abusive conditions in residential boarding schools, and successful adaption to urban industrial society. Wallace weaves together historical detail, ethnography, and his own personal reflections to offer a unique and sweeping look at this fascinating group of people.

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