An insightful and informative look into the Waccamaw Siouan's quest for identity and survival.
Waccamaw Legacy: Contemporary Indians Fight for Survival sheds light on North Carolina Indians by tracing the story of the now state-recognized Waccamaw Siouan tribe from its beginnings in the Southeastern United States, through their first contacts with Europeans, and into the 21st century, detailing the struggles these Indians have endured over time. We see how the Waccamaw took hold of popular theories about Indian tribes like the Croatan of the Lost Colony and the Cherokee as they struggled to preserve their heritage and to establish their identity.
Patricia Lerch was hired by the Waccamaw in 1981 to perform the research needed to file for recognition under the Bureau of Indian Affairs Federal Acknowledgement Program of 1978. The Waccamaw began to organize powwows in 1970 to represent publicly their Indian heritage and survival and to spread awareness of their fight for cultural preservation and independence. Lerch found herself understanding that the powwows, in addition to affirming identity, revealed important truths about the history of the Waccamaw and the ways they communicate and coexist.
Waccamaw Legacy outlines Lerch’s experience as she played a vital role in the Waccamaw Siouan's continuing fight for recognition and acceptance in contemporary society and culture.
In the three years, eight months, and twenty days of the Khmer Rouge’s deadly reign over Cambodia, an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians perished as a result of forced labor, execution, starvation, and disease. Despite the passage of more than thirty years, two regime shifts, and a contested U.N. intervention, only one former Khmer Rouge official has been successfully tried and sentenced for crimes against humanity in an international court of law to date. It is against this background of war, genocide, and denied justice that Cathy J. Schlund-Vials explores the work of 1.5-generation Cambodian American artists and writers.
Drawing on what James Young labels “memory work”—the collected articulation of large-scale human loss—War, Genocide, and Justice investigates the remembrance work of Cambodian American cultural producers through film, memoir, and music. Schlund-Vials includes interviews with artists such as Anida Yoeu Ali, praCh Ly, Sambath Hy, and Socheata Poeuv. Alongside the enduring legacy of the Killing Fields and post-9/11 deportations of Cambodian American youth, artists potently reimagine alternative sites for memorialization, reclamation, and justice. Traversing borders, these artists generate forms of genocidal remembrance that combat amnesic politics and revise citizenship practices in the United States and Cambodia.
Engaged in politicized acts of resistance, individually produced and communally consumed, Cambodian American memory work represents a significant and previously unexamined site of Asian American critique.
Cabanaconde, a town of 5,000 people, is located in the arid Andean highlands. It is dominated by the foreboding Hualca Hualca mountain peak that is the source of this town’s much-needed water. How the villagers obtain this water, Paul Gelles writes, is not a simple process: the politics of irrigation in this area reflect a struggle for control of vital resources, deeply rooted in the clash between local, ritualized models of water distribution and the secular model put forth by the Peruvian state. Water and Power in Highland Peru provides an insightful case study on the intense conflicts over water rights, and a framework for studying ethnic conflict and the effects of “development,” not only in Peru, but in other areas as well.
Most of the inhabitants of Cabanaconde do not identify themselves with the dominant Spanish-speaking culture found in Peru. And the Peruvian state, grounded in a racist, post-Colonial ethos, challenges the village’s long-standing, non-Western framework for organizing water management.
Gelles demonstrates that Andean culture is dynamic and adaptive, and it is a powerful source of ethnic identity, even for those who leave the village to live elsewhere. Indigenous rituals developed in this part of the world, he states, have become powerful tools of resistance against interference by local elites and the present-day Peruvian state. Most importantly, the micropolitics of Cabanaconde provide a window into a struggle that is taking place around the world.
We Are A People
Paul Spickard Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress GN495.6.W4 2000 | Dewey Decimal 305.8
As the twentieth century closes, ethnicity stands out as a powerful force for binding people together in a sense of shared origins and worldview. But this emphasis on a people's uniqueness can also develop into a distorted rationale for insularity, inter-ethnic animosity, or, as we have seen in this century, armed conflict. Ethnic identity clearly holds very real consequences for individuals and peoples, yet there is not much agreement on what exactly it is or how it is formed.
The growing recognition that ethnicity is not fixed and inherent, but elastic and constructed, fuels the essays in this collection. Regarding identity as a dynamic, on-going, formative and transformative process, We Are a People considers narrative -- the creation and maintenance of a common story -- as the keystone in building a sense of peoplehood. Myths of origin, triumph over adversity, migration, and so forth, chart a group's history, while continual additions to the larger narrative stress moving into the future as a people.
Still, there is more to our stories as individuals and groups. Most of us are aware that we take on different roles and project different aspects of ourselves depending on the situation. Some individuals who have inherited multiple group affiliations from their families view themselves not as this or that but all at once. So too with ethnic groups. The so-called hyphenated Americans are not the only people in the world to recognize or embrace their plurality. This relatively recent acknowledgment of multiplicity has potentially wide implications, destabilizing the limited (and limiting) categories inscribed in, for example, public policy and discourse on race relations.
We Are a People is a path-breaking volume, boldly illustrating how ethnic identity works in the real world.
The Haudenosaunee, more commonly known as the Iroquois or Six Nations, have been one of the most widely written about Indigenous groups in the United States and Canada. But seldom have the voices emerging from this community been drawn on in order to understand its enduring intellectual traditions. Rick Monture’s We Share Our Matters offers the first comprehensive portrait of how the Haudenosaunee of the Grand River region have expressed their long struggle for sovereignty in Canada. Through careful readings of more than two centuries of letters, speeches, ethnography, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and film, Monture argues Haudenosaunee core beliefs have remained remarkably consistent and continue to inspire ways to address current social and political realities.
Identifying distinct social groups of the past has always challenged archaeologists because understanding how people perceived their identity is critical to the reconstruction of social organization. Material culture has been the standard measure of distinction between groups, and the distribution of ceramics and other artifacts has often been used to define group boundaries. Western Pueblo Identities argues that such an approach is not always appropriate: demographic and historical factors may affect the extent to which material evidence can define such boundaries. Andrew Duff now examines a number of other factors—relationships among settlement size, regional population densities, the homogeneity of material culture, and local and long-distance exchange—in order to trace the history of interaction and the formation of group identity in east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico from A.D. 1275 to 1400.
Using comparative data from the Upper Little Colorado and Zuni regions, Duff demonstrates differences in patterns of interaction within and between regions with different population densities. He then links these differences to such factors as occupational history, immigrant populations, the negotiation of social identities, and the emergence of new ritual systems. Following abandonments in the Four Corners area in the late 1200s, immigrants with different historical backgrounds occupied many Western Pueblo regions—in contrast to the Hopi and Zuni regions, which had more stable populations and deeper historical roots.
Duff uses chemical analyses of ceramics to document exchange among several communities within these regions, showing that people in less densely settled regions were actively recruited by residents of the Hopi and Zuni regions to join their settlements. By the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, two distinct social and territorial groups—the Hopi and Zuni peoples—had emerged from this scattering of communities. Duff's new interpretations, along with new data on ceramic exchange patterns, suggest that interaction is a better way to measure identity than more commonly used criteria. His work offers new perspectives on the role of ritual in social organization and on identity formation in Pueblo IV society and is rich in implications for the study of other sedentary, middle-range societies.
Despite its long history of encounters with colonialism, slavery, and neocolonialism, Panama continues to be an under-researched site of African Diaspora identity, culture, and performance. To address this void, Renée Alexander Craft examines an Afro-Latin Carnival performance tradition called “Congo” as it is enacted in the town of Portobelo, Panama—the nexus of trade in the Spanish colonial world. In When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in Twentieth-Century Panama, Alexander Craft draws on over a decade of critical ethnographic research to argue that Congo traditions tell the story of cimarronaje, charting self-liberated Africans’ triumph over enslavement, their parody of the Spanish Crown and Catholic Church, their central values of communalism and self-determination, and their hard-won victories toward national inclusion and belonging. When the Devil Knocks analyzes the Congo tradition as a dynamic cultural, ritual, and identity performance that tells an important story about a Black cultural past while continuing to create itself in a Black cultural present. This book examines “Congo” within the history of twentieth century Panamanian etnia negra culture, politics, and representation, including its circulation within the political economy of contemporary tourism.
In researching accounts of diasporic Chinese offspring who returned to their parents’ ancestral country, author Patricia Chu learned that she was not alone in the experience of growing up in America with an abstract affinity to an ancestral homeland and community. The bittersweet emotions she had are shared in Asian American literature that depicts migration-related melancholia, contests official histories, and portrays Asian American families as flexible and transpacific.
Where I Have Never Been explores the tropes of return, tracing both literal return visits by Asian emigrants and symbolic “returns”: first visits by diasporic offspring. Chu argues that these Asian American narratives seek to remedy widely held anxieties about cultural loss and the erasure of personal and family histories from public memory. In fiction, memoirs, and personal essays, the writers of return narratives—including novelists Lisa See, May-lee Chai, Lydia Minatoya, and Ruth Ozeki, and best-selling author Denise Chong, diplomat Yung Wing, scholar Winberg Chai, essayist Josephine Khu, and many others—register and respond to personal and family losses through acts of remembrance and countermemory.
"An unusual and powerful study."--Eric R. Wolf, Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY
"A profound study of the nebulous Creoles. . . . Domínguez's use of original sources . . . is scholarship at its best. . . . Her study is fascinating, thought-provoking, controversial, and without a doubt, one of the most objective analyses of Creole Louisiana. Her emphasis on social stratification and her excellent integration of ethnic and racial classification of Creoles with legal and social dynamics and individual choice of ethnic identity elucidates strikingly the continuing controversy of who and what is a Louisiana Creole."--Journal of American Ethnic History
"Domínguez's most important contribution lies in her conceptualization of the problem of identity. She treats ethnic identity as something that can change over time, warning us against imposing current meanings on the past and requiring us to consider evidence of how terms were actually used in the past. . . . It is hard to imagine a frame of reference more ideally suited to historical analysis."--Louisiana History
"A valuable interdisciplinary examination of the processes of racial definition in Louisiana's history. Her study combines the anthropologist's sensitivity to language and self definition within a community with a skillful exploitation of historical sources."--Law and Society
"I highly recommend this book to all persons interested in social stratification."--Alvin L. Bertrand, Contemporary Sociology
"A vivid and insightful reading of the historical circumstances that have shaped definitions of Creoles within Louisiana law and society."--Journal of Southern History
"A provocative, often brilliant book. It offers fresh perspectives on fundamental questions and deserves a wide readership among American social historians."--Journal of American History
For years, conventional scholarship has argued that minority groups are better served when the majority groups that absorb them are willing to recognize and allow for the preservation of indigenous identities. But is the reinforcement of ethnic identity among migrant groups always a process of self-liberation? In this surprising study, Carmen Martínez Novo draws on her ethnographic research of the Mixtec Indians’ migration from the southwest of Mexico to Baja California to show that sometimes the push for indigenous labels is more a process of external oppression than it is of minority empowerment.
In Baja California, many Mixtec Indians have not made efforts to align themselves as a coherent demographic. Instead, Martínez Novo finds that the push for indigenous identity in this region has come from local government agencies, economic elites, intellectuals, and other external agents. Their concern has not only been over the loss of rich culture. Rather, the pressure to maintain an indigenous identity has stemmed from the desire to secure a reproducible abundance of cheap “Indian” labor. Meanwhile, many Mixtecs reject their ethnic label precisely because being “Indian” means being a commercial agriculture low-wage worker or an urban informal street vendor—an identity that interferes with their goals of social mobility and economic integration.
Bringing a critical new perspective to the complex intersection among government and scholarly agendas, economic development, global identity politics, and the aspirations of local migrants, this provocative book is essential reading for scholars working in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and ethnic studies.
The Mexican American woman zoot suiter, or pachuca, often wore a V-neck sweater or a long, broad-shouldered coat, a knee-length pleated skirt, fishnet stockings or bobby socks, platform heels or saddle shoes, dark lipstick, and a bouffant. Or she donned the same style of zoot suit that her male counterparts wore. With their striking attire, pachucos and pachucas represented a new generation of Mexican American youth, which arrived on the public scene in the 1940s. Yet while pachucos have often been the subject of literature, visual art, and scholarship, The Woman in the Zoot Suit is the first book focused on pachucas.
Two events in wartime Los Angeles thrust young Mexican American zoot suiters into the media spotlight. In the Sleepy Lagoon incident, a man was murdered during a mass brawl in August 1942. Twenty-two young men, all but one of Mexican descent, were tried and convicted of the crime. In the Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943, white servicemen attacked young zoot suiters, particularly Mexican Americans, throughout Los Angeles. The Chicano movement of the 1960s–1980s cast these events as key moments in the political awakening of Mexican Americans and pachucos as exemplars of Chicano identity, resistance, and style. While pachucas and other Mexican American women figured in the two incidents, they were barely acknowledged in later Chicano movement narratives. Catherine S. Ramírez draws on interviews she conducted with Mexican American women who came of age in Los Angeles in the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s as she recovers the neglected stories of pachucas. Investigating their relative absence in scholarly and artistic works, she argues that both wartime U.S. culture and the Chicano movement rejected pachucas because they threatened traditional gender roles. Ramírez reveals how pachucas challenged dominant notions of Mexican American and Chicano identity, how feminists have reinterpreted la pachuca, and how attention to an overlooked figure can disclose much about history making, nationalism, and resistant identities.