A groundbreaking study that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492. Traditionally, Americans learned in school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus's landing had crossed the Bering Strait twelve thousand years ago; existed mainly in small, nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the land that the Americas was, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness. But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent the last thirty years proving these and many other long-held assumptions wrong. In a book that startles and persuades, Mann reveals how a new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously unheard-of conclusions.
Beginning with the tribes' devastating loss of land and the forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools, he shows how the period of greatest adversity also helped to incubate a unifying Native identity. He traces how conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of their self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is an essential, intimate history - and counter-narrative - of a resilient people in a transformative era.
The story of the American Indians has, until now, been told as a 500-year tragedy, a story of violent and fatal encounters with Europeans and their diseases, followed by steady retreat, defeat, and diminishment. Yet the true story begins much earlier, and its final recent chapter adds a major twist. Jake Page, one of the Southwest's most distinguished writers and a longtime student of Indian history and culture, tells a radically new story, thanks to an explosion of recent archaeological findings, the latest scholarship, and an exploration of Indian legends. Covering no less than 20,000 years, In the Hands of the Great Spirit will forever change how we think about the oldest and earliest Americans.Page writes gracefully and sympathetically, without sentimentality. He explores every controversy, from the question of cannibalism among tribes, to the various theories of when and how humans first arrived on the continent, to what life was actually like for Indians before the Europeans came. Page dispels the popular image of a peaceful and idyllic Eden, and shows that Indian societies were fluid, constantly transformed by intertribal fighting, population growth, and shifting climates.Page uses Indian legends and stories as tools to uncover tribal origins, cultural values, and the meaning of certain rituals and sacred lands. He tells the story of contact with Europeans, and the multipower conflicts of the Seven Years War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812, from the Indians' point of view. He explains the complex and shifting role of the U.S. government as expressed through executive decisions and through the role of the courts. Finally, he tells the fascinating story of the late-twentieth-century upsurge in Indian population and resources, which began as a social movement and exploded once casinos came into fashion.Author and editor of over a dozen books on American Indian life and culture, Page is a masterful teller of this incredible story. In the Hands of the Great Spirit will forever change the familiar story of recent centuries, replacing it with a far more sweeping and meaningful story of tribes and peoples who have suffered enormously yet endure and enrich the American experience.
It's the mid-1960's, and everyone is fighting back. Black Americans are fighting for civil rights, the counterculture is trying to subvert the Vietnam War, and women are fighting for their liberation. Indians were fighting, too, though it's a fight too few have documented, and even fewer remember. At the time, newspapers and television broadcasts were filled with images of Indian activists staging dramatic events such as the seizure of Alcatraz in 1969, the storming of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building on the eve of Nixon's re-election in 1972, and the American Indian Movement (AIM)-supported seizure of Wounded Knee by the Oglala Sioux in 1973. Like a Hurricane puts these events into historical context and provides one of the first narrative accounts of that momentous period. Unlike most other books written about American Indians, this book does not seek to persuade readers that government polices were cruel and misguided. Nor is it told from the perspective of outsiders looking in. Written by two American Indians, Paul Chaat Smith and Robert Allen Warrior, Like a Hurricane is a gripping account of how for a brief, but brilliant, season Indians strategized to change the course and tone of American Indian-U.S. government interaction. Unwaveringly honest, it analyzes not only the period's successes but also its failures.
More than five centuries of native peoples' artistry. Native Americans crafted beautiful clothing out of skins, pigment, quills and sinew. The collection of photographs in this outstanding reference celebrates this decorative genius. Many of the 300 photographs from more than 60 leading museums and private collections have never been published previously. The book describes the clothing in fascinating detail, from moccasins and tunics to sashes, bags and ceremonial and burial costumes. Theodore Brasser explains who made what and how, as well as the meanings of the different kinds of decoration, such as beadwork, embroidery, appliqué, patchwork, weaving and dyeing. There are also many examples of native pottery and other historic artifacts that depict themes used in the clothes. Native American Clothing provides a thorough historical background of the many influences on this clothing, including: Mythology Social status Political standing Wealth Climate Geography Contact with European settlers. The book covers the entire North American continent and is organized by tribal groups and regions: Southeast Northern east coast Eastern Great Lakes Eastern sub-Arctic Great Lakes Plains Southwest Plateau/desert California Northwest coast Western sub-Arctic Arctic. Numerous maps show the ranges of the tribes and convey how trade and travel spread cultural themes. With authoritative text and art-quality color reproductions, Native American Clothing will be important to collectors and historians and will also appeal to general readers.
Celebrated novelist David Treuer has gained a reputation for writing fiction that expands the horizons of Native American literature. InRez Life, his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist's storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present. With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the United States government and the Native American population. Through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers, and tribal court judges,he shows how casinos, tribal government, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of Native American life. A member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota, Treuer grew up on Leech Lake Reservation, but was educated in mainstream America. Exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture,Rez Life is a strikingly original work of history and reportage, a must read for anyone interested in the Native American story.
Weaving Indian and Euro-American histories together in this groundbreaking book, Sami Lakomäki places the Shawnee people, and Native peoples in general, firmly at the center of American history. The booknbsp;covers nearly three centuries, from the years leading up to the Shawnees’ first European contacts to the post#150;Civil War era, and demonstrates vividly how the interactions between Natives and newcomers transformed the political realities and ideas of both groups. nbsp; Examining Shawnee society and politics in new depth, and introducing not only charismatic warriors like Blue Jacket and Tecumseh but also other leaders and thinkers, Lakomäki explores the Shawnee people’s debates and strategies for coping with colonial invasion. The author refutes the deep-seated notion that only European colonists created new nations in America, showing that the Shawnees, too, were engaged in nation building. With a sharpened focus on the creativity and power of Native political thought, Lakomäki provides an array of insights into Indian as well as American history.
Ohio's First Peoples depicts the Native Americans of the Buckeye State from the time of the well-known Hopewell peoples to the forced removal of the Wyandots in the 1840s. This book presents the stories of the early Ohioans based on the archaeological record. In an accessible narrative style, it provides a detailed overview of the movements of Fort Ancient peoples driven out by economic and political forces in the seventeenth century. Ohio's plentiful game and fertile farmlands lured tribes such as the Wyandots, Shawnees, and Delawares, which are familiar to observers of the historic period. Although founders of the state pointed to the natives' prehistoric earthworks as evidence that the architects were a people of "ingenuity, industry, and elegance," their rivalry with the Indian inhabitants led to decades of warfare and treaty-making. Native American armies managed to win battles with Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair, but not the war with Anthony Wayne. By the early nineteenth century only a few native peoples remained, still hoping to retain their homes. Pressures from federal and state governments as well as the settlers' desire for land, however, left the earlier inhabitants no refuge. By the mid-1840s they were gone, leaving behind relatively few markers on the land.
"An insightful, unflinching portrayal of the remarkable siblings who came closer to altering the course of American history than any other Indian leaders." --Professor H.W. Brands, author of The Zealot and the Emancipator The first biography of the great Shawnee leader to make clear that his misunderstood younger brother, Tenskwatawa, was an equal partner in the last great pan-Indian alliance against the United States. Until the Americans killed Tecumseh in 1813, he and his brother Tenskwatawa were the co-architects of the broadest pan-Indian confederation in United States history. In previous accounts of Tecumseh's life, Tenskwatawa has been dismissed as a talentless charlatan and a drunk. But award-winning historian Peter Cozzens now shows us that while Tecumseh was a brilliant diplomat and war leader--admired by the same white Americans he opposed--it was Tenskwatawa, called the "Shawnee Prophet," who created a vital doctrine of religious and cultural revitalization that unified the disparate tribes of the Old Northwest. Detailed research of Native American society and customs provides a window into a world often erased from history books and reveals how both men came to power in different but no less important ways. Cozzens brings us to the forefront of the chaos and violence that characterized the young American Republic, when settlers spilled across the Appalachians to bloody effect in their haste to exploit lands won from the British in the War of Independence, disregarding their rightful Indian owners. Tecumseh and the Prophet presents the untold story of the Shawnee brothers who retaliated against this threat--the two most significant siblings in Native American history, who, Cozzens helps us understand, should be writ large in the annals of America.
The revolutionary Ohio Valley is often depicted as a chaotic Hobbesian dystopia, in which Indians and colonists slaughtered each other at every turn. In Unsettling the West, Rob Harper overturns this familiar story. Rather than flailing in a morass, the peoples of the revolutionary Ohio Valley actively and persistently sought to establish a new political order that would affirm their land claims, protect them against attack, and promote trade. According to Harper, their efforts repeatedly failed less because of racial antipathy or inexorable competition for land than because of specific state policies that demanded Indian dispossession, encouraged rapid colonization, and mobilized men for war. Unsettling the West demonstrates that government policies profoundly unsettled the Ohio Valley, even as effective authority remained elusive. Far from indifferent to states, both Indians and colonists sought government allies to aid them in both intra- and intercultural conflicts. Rather than spreading uncontrollably across the landscape, colonists occupied new areas when changing policies, often unintentionally, gave them added incentives to do so. Sporadic killings escalated into massacre and war only when militants gained access to government resources. Amid the resulting upheaval, Indians and colonists sought to preserve local autonomy by forging relationships with eastern governments. Ironically, these local pursuits of order ultimately bolstered state power. Following scholars of European and Latin American history, Harper extends the study of mass violence beyond immediate motives to the structural and institutional factors that make large-scale killing possible. The Ohio Valley's transformation, he shows, echoed the experience of early modern and colonial state formation around the world. His attention to the relationships between violence, colonization, and state building connects the study of revolutionary America to a vibrant literature on settler colonialism.
Native American societies, often viewed as unchanging, in fact experienced a rich process of cultural innovation in the millennia prior to recorded history. Societies of the Hocking River Valley in southeastern Ohio, part of the Ohio River Valley, created a tribal organization beginning about 2000 bc. Edited by Elliot M. Abrams and AnnCorinne Freter, The Emergence of the Moundbuilders: The Archaeology of Tribal Societies in Southeastern Ohio presents the process of tribal formation and change in the region based on analyses of all available archaeological data from the Hocking River Valley. Drawing on the work of scholars in archaeology, anthropology, geography, geology, and botany, the collection addresses tribal society formation through such topics as the first pottery made in the valley, aggregate feasting by nomadic groups, the social context for burying their dead in earthen mounds, the formation of religious ceremonial centers, and the earliest adoption of corn. Providing the most current research on indigenous societies in the Hocking Valley, The Emergence of the Moundbuilders is distinguished by its broad, comparative overview of tribal life.
In many Native American tribal societies, it was not uncommon for some men to live as women and some women to live as men. In this land, the original America, men who wore women’s clothes and did women’s work became artists, ambassadors, and religious leaders, and women sometimes became warriors, hunters and even chiefs. Same-sex marriages flourished. Berdaches—individuals who combine male and female social roles with traits unique to their status as a third gender—have been documented in more than 150 North American tribes. By looking at this aspect of non-Western culture, Roscoe challenges the basis of the dualistic way most Americans think about sexuality, and shakes the foundation of the way we understand and define gender.
This landmark book combines the voices of Native Americans and non-Indians, anthropologists and others, in an exploration of gender and sexuality issues as they relate to lesbian, gay, transgendered, and other "marked" Native Americans. Focusing on the concept of two-spirit people--individuals not necessarily gay or lesbian, transvestite or bisexual, but whose behaviors or beliefs may sometimes be interpreted by others as uncharacteristic of their sex--this book is the first to provide an intimate look at how many two-spirit people feel about themselves, how other Native Americans treat them, and how anthropologists and other scholars interpret them and their cultures. 1997 Winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize for an edited book given by the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists.
As contemporary Native and non-Native Americans explore various forms of "gender bending" and gay and lesbian identities, interest has grown in "berdaches," the womanly men and manly women who existed in many Native American tribal cultures. Yet attempts to find current role models in these historical figures sometimes distort and oversimplify the historical realities. This book provides an objective, comprehensive study of Native American women-men and men-women across many tribal cultures and an extended time span. Sabine Lang explores such topics as their religious and secular roles; the relation of the roles of women-men and men-women to the roles of women and men in their respective societies; the ways in which gender-role change was carried out, legitimized, and explained in Native American cultures; the widely differing attitudes toward women-men and men-women in tribal cultures; and the role of these figures in Native mythology. Lang's findings challenge the apparent gender equality of the "berdache" institution, as well as the supposed universality of concepts such as homosexuality.
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