ABOUT THIS BOOK
The histories of post-1500 American Indian and First Nations societies reflect a dynamic interplay of forces. Europeans introduced new technologies, new economic systems, and new social forms, but those novelties were appropriated, resisted, modified, or ignored according to indigenous meanings, relationships, and practices that originated long before Europeans came to the Americas. A comprehensive understanding of the changes colonialism wrought must therefore be rooted in trans-Columbian native histories that span the centuries before and after the advent of the colonists.
In Crafting History in the Northern Plains Mark D. Mitchell illustrates the crucial role archaeological methods and archaeological data can play in producing trans-Columbian histories. Combining an in-depth analysis of the organization of stone tool and pottery production with ethnographic and historical data, Mitchell synthesizes the social and economic histories of the native communities located at the confluence of the Heart and Missouri rivers, home for more than five centuries to the Mandan people.
Mitchell is the first researcher to examine the impact of Mandan history on the developing colonial economy of the Northern Plains. In Crafting History in the Northern Plains, he demonstrates the special importance of native history in the 1400s and 1500s to the course of European colonization.