The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, by Bruce G. Trigger, Wilcomb E. Washburn

By Bruce G. Trigger, Wilcomb E. Washburn

This e-book offers the 1st entire historical past of the local Peoples of North the US from their arrival within the western hemisphere to the current. It describes how local Peoples have handled the environmental variety of North the United States and feature answered to different ecu colonial regimes and nationwide governments that experience verified themselves in contemporary centuries. It additionally examines the improvement of a pan-Indian identification because the 19th century and gives a comparability now not present in different histories of the way local Peoples have fared in Canada and the U.S..

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Extra info for The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, Volume 1, Part 1: North America

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Storied locations created a "topographic mnemonic" for the migration narratives of entire peoples, as with the stopping places and place names associated with epic relocations of the Creeks, Arikaras, Kiowas, and Crows. Some Indian peoples juggle both creation and migration mythic scenarios, notably the eastern Choctaws. Outside present-day Philadel­ phia, Mississippi, they revere two separate sites, a mile and a half apart, at the headwaters of the Pearl River. Both are known as Nani Waiya. " But the Choctaws also have a creation story, linked to a natural hill, on whose 73 74 75 « Q u o t e d in Peter N a b o k o v and Larry Loendorf, Every Morning of the World: Ethnographic Resources Study of the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Bureau of Land M a n a g e m e n t ( 1 9 9 4 ) , 7 < Alfred C .

If we combine the observation that, of all folk genres, the tale enjoys the readiest responsiveness to shifting socio-economic conditions, with the fact that most American Indian folklore was elicited during decades of dizzying change, the suggestion that historical commentaries and value judgments might be encoded into this body of oral literature does not seem far-fetched. Often couched in seemingly innocent, entertain­ ing forms, featuring tricksters, culture-heroes, evil monsters, and other familiar characters whose supernatural antics seem outside historical time, these commentaries could remain subversive and retain their pragmatic references.

That was the supposition of archaeologist W. D . Strong after he heard from Naskapi Indian hunters of northeastern Labrador in the 1930s how their culture hero and trickster story cycle featured largeheaded, long-trunked, big-toothed monsters who were eventually slain by their trickster hero. Normally a tough-minded scientist who only con­ cocted chronologies of bygone Indian eras from hard evidence dug out of the ground, Strong took pains to distinguish these "historical traditions" from other "myths of observation" he found in the literature, which were the result, he believed, of Indians "rationalizing" into story form their exposure to huge fossil bones.

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