Archaeological research is uniquely positioned to show how native history and native culture affected the course of colonial interaction, but to do so it must transcend colonialist ideas about Native American technological and social change. This book applies that insight to five hundred years of native history. Using data from a wide variety of geographical, temporal, and cultural settings, the contributors examine economic, social, and political stability and transformation in indigenous societies before and after the advent of Europeans and document the diversity of native colonial experiences. The book’s case studies range widely, from sixteenth-century Florida, to the Great Plains, to nineteenth-century coastal Alaska.
The contributors address a series of interlocking themes. Several consider the role of indigenous agency in the processes of colonial interaction, paying particular attention to gender and status. Others examine the ways long-standing native political economies affected, and were in turn affected by, colonial interaction. A third group explores colonial-period ethnogenesis, emphasizing the emergence of new native social identities and relations after 1500. The book also highlights tensions between the detailed study of local cases and the search for global processes, a recurrent theme in postcolonial research.
If archaeologists are to bridge the artificial divide separating history from prehistory, they must overturn a whole range of colonial ideas about American Indians and their history. This book shows that empirical archaeological research can help replace long-standing models of indigenous culture change rooted in colonialist narratives with more nuanced, multilinear models of change—and play a major role in decolonizing knowledge about native peoples.
Drawing from forty-five years of experience, E. Richard Hart elucidates the use of history as expert testimony in American Indian tribal litigation. Such lawsuits deal with aboriginal territory; hunting, fishing, and plant gathering rights; reservation boundaries; water rights; federal recognition; and other questions that have a historical basis. The methodology necessary to assemble successful expert testimony for tribes is complex and demanding and the legal cases have serious implications for many thousands of people, perhaps for generations.
Hart, a historian who has testified in cases that have resulted in roughly a billion dollars in judgments, uses specific cases to explain at length what kind of historical research and documentation is necessary for tribes seeking to protect and claim their rights under United States law. He demonstrates the legal questions that Native Americans face by exploring the cultural history and legal struggles of six Indian nations. He recounts how these were addressed by expert testimony grounded in thorough historical understanding, research, and argumentation. The case studies focus on the Wenatchi, Coeur d’Alene, Hualapai, Amah Mutsun, Klamath, and Zuni peoples but address issues relevant to many American tribes.
An intimate ethnographic narrative of one indigenous family in the twentieth-century Caribbean
Among the Garifuna is the first ethnographic narrative of a Garifuna family. The Garifuna are descendants of the “Black Carib,” whom the British deposited on Roatan Island in 1797 and who settled along the Caribbean coast from Belize City to Nicaragua.
In 1980, medical anthropologist Marilyn McKillop Wells found herself embarking on an “improbable journey” when she was invited to the area to do fieldwork with the added challenge of revealing the “real” Garifuna. Upon her arrival on the island, Wells was warmly embraced by a local family, the Diegos, and set to work recording life events and indigenous perspectives on polygyny, Afro-indigenous identity, ancestor-worshiping religion, and more. The result, as represented in Among the Garifuna, is a lovingly intimate, earthy human drama.
The family narrative is organized chronologically. Part I, “The Old Ways,” consists of vignettes that introduce the family backstory with dialogue as imagined by Wells based on the family history she was told. We meet the family progenitors, Margaret and Cervantes Diego, during their courtship, experience Margaret’s pain as Cervantes takes a second wife, witness the death of Cervantes and ensuing mourning rituals, follow the return of Margaret and the children to their previous home in British Honduras, and observe the emergence of the children’s personalities.
In Part II, “Living There,” Wells continues the story when she arrives in Belize and meets the Diego children, including the major protagonist, Tas. In Tas’s household Wells learns about foods and manners and watches family squabbles and reconciliations. In these mini-stories, Wells interweaves cultural information on the Garifuna people with first-person narrative and transcription of their words, assembling these into an enthralling slice of life. Part III, “The Ancestor Party,” takes the reader through a fascinating postmortem ritual that is enacted to facilitate the journey of the spirits of the honored ancestors to the supreme supernatural.
Among the Garifuna contributes to the literary genres of narrative anthropology and feminist ethnography in the tradition of Zora Neal Hurston and other women writing culture in a personal way. Wells’s portrait of this Garifuna family will be of interest to anthropologists, Caribbeanists, Latin Americanists, students, and general readers alike.
In Cherokee Asegi udanto refers to people who either fall outside of men’s and women’s roles or who mix men’s and women’s roles. Asegi, which translates as “strange,” is also used by some Cherokees as a term similar to “queer.” For author Qwo-Li Driskill, asegi provides a means by which to reread Cherokee history in order to listen for those stories rendered “strange” by colonial heteropatriarchy.
As the first full-length work of scholarship to develop a tribally specific Indigenous Queer or Two-Spirit critique, Asegi Stories examines gender and sexuality in Cherokee cultural memory, how they shape the present, and how they can influence the future.
The theoretical and methodological underpinnings of Asegi Stories derive from activist, artistic, and intellectual genealogies, referred to as “dissent lines” by Maori scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith. Driskill intertwines Cherokee and other Indigenous traditions, women of color feminisms, grassroots activisms, queer and Trans studies and politics, rhetoric, Native studies, and decolonial politics. Drawing from oral histories and archival documents in order to articulate Cherokee-centered Two-Spirit critiques, Driskill contributes to the larger intertribal movements for social justice.
Despite the force of Oregon’s founding mythology, the Willamette Valley was not an empty Eden awaiting settlement by hardy American pioneers. Rather, it was, as Melinda Jetté explores in At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, one of the earliest sites of extensive intercultural contact in the Pacific Northwest.
Jetté’s study focuses on the “hearth” of this contact: French Prairie, so named for the French-Indian families who resettled the homeland of the Ahantchuyuk Kalapuyans. Although these families sought a middle course in their relations with their various neighbors, their presence ultimately contributed to the Anglo-American colonization of the region. By establishing farming and husbandry operations in the valley, the French-Indian settlers enhanced the Willamette Valley’s appeal as a destination of choice for the Anglo-Americans who later emigrated to the Pacific Northwest via the Oregon Trail.
Upon these emigrants’ arrival, the social space for the people of the “crossed races” diminished considerably, as the Anglo-Americans instituted a system of settler colonialism based on racial exclusion. Like their Native kin, the French-Indian families pursued various strategies to navigate the changing times and Jetté’s study of French Prairie takes on the relationships among all three: the French-Indian families, the indigenous peoples, and the Anglo-American settlers.
With At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, Jetté delivers a social history that deepens our understanding of the Oregon Country in the nineteenth century. This history of French Prairie provides a window into the multi-racial history of the Pacific Northwest and offers an alternative vision of early Oregon in the lives of the biracial French-Indian families whose community challenged notions of white supremacy, racial separation, and social exclusion.
Nahuatl-speaking women and men left last wills in their own tongue during an era when the written tradition of their language was generally assumed to have ended. Describing their world in testaments clustered around epidemic cycles, they responded to profound changes in population, land use, and local governance with astonishing vibrancy.
The Aztecs at Independence offers the first internal ethnographic view of these central Mexican indigenous communities in the critical transitional time of Independence. Miriam Melton-Villanueva uses previously unknown Nahuatl-language sources—primarily last wills and testaments—to provide a comprehensive understanding of indigenous societies during the transition from colonial to postcolonial times. The book describes the cultural life of people now called Nahuas or Mexicas in the nineteenth century—based on their own words, their own written records. The book uses previously unknown, unstudied, and untranslated indigenous texts to bring Nahua society into history, fleshing out glimpses of daily life in the early nineteenth century. Thus, The Aztecs at Independence describes life at the most local level: Nahua lineages of ritual and writing, guilds and societies, the people that take turns administering festivals and attending to the last wishes of the dying.
Interwoven with personal stories and memory, The Aztecs at Independence invites a general audience along on a scholarly journey, where readers are asked to imagine Nahua concepts and their contemporary meanings that give light to modern problems.
The image of biologically male people dancing while dressed in the traditional, colorful attire of Zapotec, Juchiteca, females stands in sharp contrast to the prevailing view of Mexico as the land of charros, machismo, and unbridled ranchero masculinity. These indigenous people are called los muxes, and they are neither man nor woman, but rather a hybrid third gender.
After seeing a video of a muxe vela, or festival, sociologist Alfredo Mirandé was intrigued by the contradiction between Mexico’s patriarchal reputation and its warm acceptance of los muxes. Seeking to get past traditional Mexican masculinity, he presents us with Behind the Mask, which combines historical analysis, ethnographic field research, and interviews conducted with los muxes of Juchitán over a period of seven years. Mirandé observed community events, attended muxe velas, and interviewed both muxes and other Juchitán residents. Prefaced by an overview of the study methods and sample, the book challenges the ideology of a male-dominated Mexican society driven by the cult of machismo, featuring photos alongside four appendixes.
Delving into many aspects of their lives and culture, the author discusses how the muxes are perceived by others, how the muxes perceive themselves, and the acceptance of a third gender status among various North American indigenous groups. Mirandé compares traditional Mexicano/Latino conceptions of gender and sexuality to modern or Western object choice configurations. He concludes by proposing a new hybrid model for rethinking these seemingly contradictory and conflicting gender systems.
There is no question that European colonization introduced smallpox, measles, and other infectious diseases to the Americas, causing considerable harm and death to indigenous peoples. But though these diseases were devastating, their impact has been widely exaggerated. Warfare, enslavement, land expropriation, removals, erasure of identity, and other factors undermined Native populations. These factors worked in a deadly cabal with germs to cause epidemics, exacerbate mortality, and curtail population recovery.
Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America challenges the “virgin soil” hypothesis that was used for decades to explain the decimation of the indigenous people of North America. This hypothesis argues that the massive depopulation of the New World was caused primarily by diseases brought by European colonists that infected Native populations lacking immunity to foreign pathogens. In Beyond Germs, contributors expertly argue that blaming germs lets Europeans off the hook for the enormous number of Native American deaths that occurred after 1492.
Archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians come together in this cutting-edge volume to report a wide variety of other factors in the decline in the indigenous population, including genocide, forced labor, and population dislocation. These factors led to what the editors describe in their introduction as “systemic structural violence” on the Native populations of North America.
While we may never know the full extent of Native depopulation during the colonial period because the evidence available for indigenous communities is notoriously slim and problematic, what is certain is that a generation of scholars has significantly overemphasized disease as the cause of depopulation and has downplayed the active role of Europeans in inciting wars, destroying livelihoods, and erasing identities.
In Bolivia, the discourse on indigenous peoples intensified in the last few decades, culminating in the election of Evo Morales as president in 2005. Indigenous people are portrayed by the Morales government as modest, communitarian, humble, poor, anticapitalist, and economically marginalized. In his 2006 inaugural speech, Morales famously described indigenous people as “the moral reserve of humanity.” His rhetoric has reached all levels of society—most notably the new political constitution of 2009. This constitution initiated a new regime of considerable ethnic character by defining thirty-six indigenous nations and languages.
Beyond Indigeneity offers new analysis into indigenous identity and social mobility that changes the discourse in Latin American social anthropology. Author Alessandra Pellegrini Calderón points out that Morales’s presidency has led to heightened publicity of coca issues and an intensification of indigeneity discourse, echoing a global trend of increased recognition of indigenous peoples’ claims. The “living well” attitude (vivir bien) enshrined in the new political constitution is generally represented as an indigenous way of life, one based on harmony and reciprocity, in sharp contrast to the capitalist logic of “living better” that is based on accumulation and expansion.
In this ethnography, Pellegrini explores the positioning of coca growers in Bolivia and their reluctance to embrace the politics of indigeneity by rejecting the “indigenous peoples’ slot,” even while they emerge as a new middle class. By staying in a space between ethnic categories and also between social classes, the coca growers break with the traditional model of social mobility in Latin America and create new forms of political positioning that challenge the dominant culturalist framework about indigeneity and peasants.
Big Water explores four centuries of the overlapping histories of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay (the Triple Frontier), and the colonies that preceded them. Examining an important area that includes some of the first national parks established in Latin America and one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams, this transnational approach illustrates how these three nation-states have interacted over time.
From the Jesuit reductions in the seventeenth century to the flows of capital and goods accelerated by contemporary trade agreements, the Triple Frontier region has proven fundamental to the development of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, as well as to the Southern Cone and South America itself. Although historians from each of these three countries have tended to construct narratives that stop at their respective borders, the contributors call for a reinterpretation that goes beyond the material and conceptual boundaries of the Triple Frontier. In offering a transnational approach, Big Water helps transcend nation-centered blind spots and approach new understandings of how space and society have developed throughout Latin America.
These essays complicate traditional frontier histories and balance the excessive weight previously given to empires, nations, and territorial expansion. Overcoming stagnant comparisons between national cases, the research explores regional identity beyond border and geopolitical divides. Thus, Big Water focuses on the uniquely overlapping character of the Triple Frontier and emphasizes a perspective usually left at the periphery of national histories.
Shawn Michael Austin
Bridget María Chesterton
Michael Kenneth Huner
Evaldo Mendes da Silva
Eunice Sueli Nodari
An outstanding work crafted from the handwritten pages of translations from the Navajo of the late Father Berard Haile giving three separate versions of the Blessingway rite with each version consisting of a prose text accompanied by the ritual songs and prayers. Valuable insights into the character and use of the Blessingway rite; its ceremonial procedures, its mythology, and its drypaintings.
Explores how perceptions and depictions of the physical landscape both reflected and influenced the history of the British colonial Caribbean
In Colonizing Paradise, historian Jefferson Dillman charts the broad spectrum of sentiments that British citizens and travelers held regarding their colonial possessions in the West Indies. Myriad fine degrees of ambivalence separated extreme views of the region as an idyllic archipelago or a nest of Satanic entrapments. Dillman shows the manner in which these authentic or spontaneous depictions of the environment were shaped to form a narrative that undergirded Britain’s economic and political aims in the region.
Because British sentiments in the Caribbean located danger and evil not just in indigenous populations but in Spanish Catholics as well, Dillman’s work begins with the arrival of Spanish explorers and conquistadors. Colonizing Paradise spans the arrival of English ships and continues through the early nineteenth century and the colonial era. Dillman shows how colonial entrepreneurs, travelers, and settlers engaged in a disquieted dialogue with the landscape itself, a dialogue the examination of which sheds fresh light on the culture of the Anglophone colonial Caribbean.
Of particular note are the numerous mythical, metaphorical, and biblical lenses through which Caribbean landscapes were viewed, from early views of the Caribbean landscape as a New World paradise to later depictions of the landscape as a battleground between the forces of Christ and Satan. The ideal of an Edenic landscape persisted, but largely, Dillman argues, as one that needed to be wrested from the forces of darkness, principally through the work of colonization, planting, cataloguing, and a rational ordering of the environment.
Ultimately, although planters and their allies continued to promote pastoral and picturesque views of the Caribbean landscape, the goal of such narratives was to rationalize British rule as well as to mask and obscure emerging West Indian problems such as diseases, slavery, and rebellions. Colonizing Paradise offers much to readers interested in Caribbean, British, and colonial history.
A Contested Caribbean Indigeneity is an in-depth analysis of the debates surrounding Taíno/Boricua activism in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean diaspora in New York City. Drawing on in-depth ethnographic research, media analysis, and historical documents, the book explores the varied experiences and motivations of Taíno/Boricua activists as well as the alternative fonts of authority they draw on to claim what is commonly thought to be an extinct ethnic category. It explores the historical and interactional challenges involved in claiming membership in, what for many Puerto Ricans, is an impossible affiliation. In focusing on Taíno/Boricua activism, the books aims to identify a critical space from which to analyze and decolonize ethnoracial ideologies of Puerto Ricanness, issues of class and education, Puerto Rican nationalisms and colonialisms, as well as important questions regarding narrative, historical memory, and belonging.
Panama’s Darién is a name many conservationists know. Renowned for its lowland tropical forests, its fame is more pronounced because a road that should be there is not: environmentalists have repeatedly, and remarkably, blocked all attempts to connect the Americas via the Pan American Highway. That lacuna, that absence of a road, also serves to occlude history in the region as its old-growth forests give the erroneous impression of a peopleless nature.
In Crafting Wounaan Landscapes, Julie Velásquez Runk upends long-standing assumptions about the people that call Darién home, and she demonstrates the agency of the Wounaan people to make their living and preserve and transform their way of life in the face of continuous and tremendous change. Velásquez Runk focuses on Wounaan crafting—how their ability to subtly effect change has granted them resilience in a dynamic and globalized era. She theorizes that unpredictable landscapes, political decisions, and cultural beliefs are responsible for environmental conservation problems, and she unpacks environmental governance efforts that illustrate what happens when conservation is confronted with people in a purportedly peopleless place.
The everyday dangers of environmental governance without local crafting include logging, land grabbing, and loss of carbon in a new era of carbon governance in the face of climate change. Crafting Wounaan Landscapes provides recognition of local ways of knowing and being in the world that may be key to the future of conservation practice.
With increasing speed, the emerging discipline of critical Indigenous studies is expanding and demarcating its territory from Indigenous studies through the work of a new generation of Indigenous scholars. Critical Indigenous Studies makes an important contribution to this expansion, disrupting the certainty of disciplinary knowledge produced in the twentieth century, when studying Indigenous peoples was primarily the domain of non-Indigenous scholars.
Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s introductory essay provides a context for the emerging discipline. The volume is organized into three sections: the first includes essays that interrogate the embedded nature of Indigenous studies within academic institutions; the second explores the epistemology of the discipline; and the third section is devoted to understanding the locales of critical inquiry and practice.
Each essay places and contemplates critical Indigenous studies within the context of First World nations, which continue to occupy Indigenous lands in the twenty-first century. The contributors include Aboriginal, Metis, Maori, Kanaka Maoli, Filipino-Pohnpeian, and Native American scholars working and writing through a shared legacy born of British and later U.S. imperialism. In these countries, critical Indigenous studies is flourishing and transitioning into a discipline, a knowledge/power domain where distinct work is produced, taught, researched, and disseminated by Indigenous scholars.
Hokulani K. Aikau
Vicente M. Diaz
Noelani Goodyear Kaopua
Daniel Heath Justice
Jean M. O'Brien
Critically Sovereign traces the ways in which gender is inextricably a part of Indigenous politics and U.S. and Canadian imperialism and colonialism. The contributors show how gender, sexuality, and feminism work as co-productive forces of Native American and Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and epistemology. Several essays use a range of literary and legal texts to analyze the production of colonial space, the biopolitics of “Indianness,” and the collisions and collusions between queer theory and colonialism within Indigenous studies. Others address the U.S. government’s criminalization of traditional forms of Diné marriage and sexuality, the Iñupiat people's changing conceptions of masculinity as they embrace the processes of globalization, Hawai‘i’s same-sex marriage bill, and stories of Indigenous women falling in love with non-human beings such as animals, plants, and stars. Following the politics of gender, sexuality, and feminism across these diverse historical and cultural contexts, the contributors question and reframe the thinking about Indigenous knowledge, nationhood, citizenship, history, identity, belonging, and the possibilities for a decolonial future.
Contributors. Jodi A. Byrd, Joanne Barker, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, Mishuana Goeman, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Melissa K. Nelson, Jessica Bissett Perea, Mark Rifkin
A Diné History of Navajoland
Klara Kelley and Harris Francis University of Arizona Press, 2019 Library of Congress E99.N3K3345 2019 | Dewey Decimal 979.10049726
For the first time, a sweeping history of the Diné that is foregrounded in oral tradition. Authors Klara Kelley and Harris Francis share Diné history from pre-Columbian time to the present, using ethnographic interviews in which Navajo people reveal their oral histories on key events such as Athabaskan migrations, trading and trails, Diné clans, the Long Walk of 1864, and the struggle to keep their culture alive under colonizers who brought the railroad, coal mining, trading posts, and, finally, climate change.
The early chapters, based on ceremonial origin stories, tell about Diné forebears. Next come the histories of Diné clans from late pre-Columbian to early post-Columbian times, and the coming together of the Diné as a sovereign people. Later chapters are based on histories of families, individuals, and communities, and tell how the Diné have struggled to keep their bond with the land under settler encroachment, relocation, loss of land-based self-sufficiency through the trading-post system, energy resource extraction, and climate change.
Archaeological and documentary information supplements the oral histories, providing a comprehensive investigation of Navajo history and offering new insights into their twentieth-century relationships with Hispanic and Anglo settlers.
For Diné readers, the book offers empowering histories and stories of Diné cultural sovereignty. “In short,” the authors say, “it may help you to know how you came to be where—and who—you are.”
Diné identity in the twenty-first century is distinctive and personal. It is a mixture of traditions, customs, values, behaviors, technologies, worldviews, languages, and lifeways. It is a holistic experience. Diné identity is analogous to Diné weaving: like weaving, Diné identity intertwines all of life’s elements together.
In this important new book, Lloyd L. Lee, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and an associate professor of Native American studies, takes up and provides insight on the most essential of human questions: who are we? Finding value and meaning in the Diné way of life has always been a hallmark of Diné studies. Lee’s Diné-centric approach to identity gives the reader a deep appreciation for the Diné way of life. Lee incorporates Diné baa hane’ (Navajo history), Sa’a?´h Naagháí Bik’eh Hózho?´o?´n (harmony), Diné Bizaad (language), K’é (relations), K’éí (clanship), and Níhi Kéyah (land) to address the melding of past, present, and future that are the hallmarks of the Diné way of life.
This study, informed by personal experience, offers an inclusive view of identity that is encompassing of cultural and historical diversity. To illustrate this, Lee shares a spectrum of Diné insights on what it means to be human. Diné Identity in a Twenty-First-Century World opens a productive conversation on the complexity of understanding and the richness of current Diné identities.
The border region of the Sonoran Desert, which spans southern Arizona in the United States and northern Sonora, Mexico, has attracted national and international attention. But what is less discussed in national discourses is the impact of current border policies on the Native peoples of the region. There are twenty-six tribal nations recognized by the U.S. federal government in the southern border region and approximately eight groups of Indigenous peoples in the United States with historical ties to Mexico—the Yaqui, the O’odham, the Cocopah, the Kumeyaay, the Pai, the Apaches, the Tiwa (Tigua), and the Kickapoo.
Divided Peoples addresses the impact border policies have on traditional lands and the peoples who live there—whether environmental degradation, border patrol harassment, or the disruption of traditional ceremonies. Anthropologist Christina Leza shows how such policies affect the traditional cultural survival of Indigenous peoples along the border. The author examines local interpretations and uses of international rights tools by Native activists, counterdiscourse on the U.S.-Mexico border, and challenges faced by Indigenous border activists when communicating their issues to a broader public.
Through ethnographic research with grassroots Indigenous activists in the region, the author reveals several layers of division—the division of Indigenous peoples by the physical U.S.-Mexico border, the divisions that exist between Indigenous perspectives and mainstream U.S. perspectives regarding the border, and the traditionalist/nontraditionalist split among Indigenous nations within the United States. Divided Peoples asks us to consider the possibilities for challenging settler colonialism both in sociopolitical movements and in scholarship about Indigenous peoples and lands.
For thirty years before the coming of the European missionaries, European explorers were able to observe Tahitian society as it had existed for centuries. Now Edwin Ferdon, Polynesian archaeologist and veteran of Thor Heyerdah's expedition to Easter Island, has interwoven their records to show us in fascinating detail what that society was like.
Want the word on Buffy Sainte-Marie? Looking for the best powwow recordings? Wondering what else Jim Pepper cut besides “Witchi Tai To”? This book will answer those questions and more as it opens up the world of Native American music.
In addition to the widely heard sounds of Carlos Nakai’s flute, Native music embraces a wide range of forms: country and folk, jazz and swing, reggae and rap. Brian Wright-McLeod, producer/host of Canada’s longest-running Native radio program, has gathered the musicians and their music into this comprehensive reference, an authoritative source for biographies and discographies of hundreds of Native artists.
The Encyclopedia of Native Music recognizes the multifaceted contributions made by Native recording artists by tracing the history of their commercially released music. It provides an overview of the surprising abundance of recorded Native music while underlining its historical value.
With almost 1,800 entries spanning more than 100 years, this book leads readers from early performers of traditional songs like William Horncloud to artists of the new millennium such as Zotigh. Along the way, it includes entries for jazz and blues artists never widely acknowledged for their Native roots—Oscar Pettiford, Mildred Bailey, and Keely Smith—and traces the recording histories of contemporary performers like Rita Coolidge and Jimmy Carl Black, “the Indian of the group” in the original Mothers of Invention. It also includes film soundtracks and compilation albums that have been instrumental in bringing many artists to popular attention. In addition to music, it lists spoken-word recordings, including audio books, comedy, interviews, poetry, and more.
With this unprecedented breadth of coverage and extensively cross-referenced, The Encyclopedia of Native Music is an essential guide for enthusiasts and collectors. More than that, it is a gateway to the authentic music of North America—music of the people who have known this land from time immemorial and continue to celebrate it in sound.
Myrtlewood is most often thought of as beautiful wood for woodworking, but to Native people on the southern Oregon coast it was an important source of food. The roasted nuts taste like bitter chocolate, coffee, and burnt popcorn. The roots of Skunk Cabbage provided another traditional food source, while also serving as a medicine for colds. In tribal mythology, the leaves of Skunk Cabbage were thought to be tents where the Little People sheltered.
Very little has been published until now on the ethnobotany of western Oregon indigenous peoples. Ethnobotany of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians documents the use of plants by these closely-related coastal tribes, covering a geographical area that extends roughly from Cape Perpetua on the central coast, south to the Coquille River, and from the Coast Range west to the Pacific shore. With a focus on native plants and their traditional uses, it also includes mention of farming crops, as well as the highly invasive Himalayan blackberry, which some Oregon coast Indians called the "white man's berry."
The cultures of the Coos Bay, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw are distinct from the Athabaskan speaking people to the south, and the Alsea to the north. Today, many tribal members are reviving ancient arts of basket weaving and woodworking, and many now participate in annual intertribal canoe events. Ethnobotany of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians contributes to this cultural renaissance by filling an important gap in the historical record. It is an invaluable resource for anyone who wishes to learn about the indigenous cultures of the central and southern Oregon coast, as well as those who are interested in Pacific Northwest plants and their cultural uses.
The Falling Sky
Davi Kopenawa Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress F2520.1.Y3.K66+ | Dewey Decimal 305.89892
Anthropologist Bruce Albert captures the poetic voice of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon, in this unique reading experience--a coming-of-age story, historical account, and shamanic philosophy, but most of all an impassioned plea to respect native rights and preserve the Amazon rainforest.
Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl is one of the most controversial and provocative Mexican chroniclers from the colonial period. A descendant of both the famous Prehispanic poet-king Nezahualcoyotl and Hernán Cortés’s ally Cortés Ixtlilxochitl, he penned chronicles that rewrote Prehispanic and colonial history. Traditionally known as a Europeanized historian of Tetzcoco, he wrote prolifically, producing documents covering various aspects of pre- and postconquest history, religion, and literature.
His seventeenth-century writings have had a lasting effect on the understanding of Mexican culture and history from the colonial period to the present. But because Alva Ixtlilxochitl frequently used Tetzcocan oral traditions and pictorial codices of his ancestors’ heroic achievements, scholars have long said that his writings exhibit a Tetzcocan bias that distorts representations and understandings of Prehispanic Mexican history and culture.
Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl and His Legacy is a collection of essays providing deeper perspective on the life, work, and legacy of Alva Ixtlilxochitl. The contributors revise and broaden previous understandings of Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s racial and cultural identity, including his method of transcribing pictorial texts, his treatment of gender, and his influence on Mexican nationalism. Chapter authors coming from the fields of anthropology, history, linguistics, and literature offer valuable new perspectives on the complexities of Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s life and his contributions to the history and scholarship of Mexico.
Winner of the Native American Literature Symposium's Beatrice Medicine Award for Published Monograph
In this first extensive study of contemporary Hawaiian literature, Brandy Nalani McDougall examines a vibrant selection of fiction, poetry, and drama by emerging and established Hawaiian authors, including Haunani-Kay Trask, John Dominis Holt, Imaikalani Kalahele, and Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl. At the center of the analysis is a hallmark of Hawaiian aesthetics—kaona, the intellectual practice of hiding and finding meaning that encompasses the allegorical, the symbolic, the allusive, and the figurative.
With a poet’s attention to detail, McDougall interprets examples of kaona, guiding readers through olelo no'eau (proverbs), mo‘olelo (literature and histories), and mooku'auhau (genealogies) alongside their contemporary literary descendants, unveiling complex layers of Hawaiian identity, culture, history, politics, and ecology.
Throughout, McDougall asserts that “kaona connectivity” not only carries bright possibilities for connecting the present to the past, but it may also ignite a decolonial future. Ultimately, Finding Meaning affirms the tremendous power of Indigenous stories and genealogies to give activism and decolonization movements lasting meaning.
Throughout the Americas, a boom in oil, gas, and mining development has pushed the extractive frontier deeper into Indigenous territories. Centering on a long-term study of Enron and Shell’s Cuiabá pipeline, From Enron to Evo traces the struggles of Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples for self-determination over their lives and territories. In his analysis of their response to this encroaching development, author Derrick Hindery also sheds light on surprising similarities between neoliberal reform and the policies of the nation’s first Indigenous president, Evo Morales.
Drawing upon extensive interviews and document analysis, Hindery argues that many of the structural conditions created by neoliberal policies—including partial privatization of the oil and gas sector—still persist under Morales. Tactics employed by both Morales and his neoliberal predecessors utilize the rhetoric of environmental protection and Indigenous rights to justify oil, gas, mining, and road development in Indigenous territories and sensitive ecoregions.
Indigenous peoples, while mindful of gains made during Morales’s tenure, are increasingly dissatisfied with the administration’s development model, particularly when it infringes upon their right to self-determination. From Enron to Evo demonstrates their dynamic and pragmatic strategies to cope with development and adversity, while also advancing their own aims.
Offering a critique of both free-market piracy and the dilemmas of resource nationalism, this is a groundbreaking book for scholars, policy-makers, and advocates concerned with Indigenous politics, social movements, environmental justice, and resistance in an era of expanding resource development.
From Tribute to Communal Sovereignty examines both continuity and change over the last five centuries for the indigenous peoples of central western Mexico, providing the first sweeping and comprehensive history of this important region in Mesoamerica.
The continuities elucidated concern ancestral territorial claims that date back centuries and reflect the stable geographic locations occupied by core populations of indigenous language–speakers in or near their pre-Columbian territories since the Postclassical period, from the thirteenth to late fifteenth centuries. A common theme of this volume is the strong cohesive forces present, not only in the colonial construction of Christian village communities in Purhépecha and Nahuatl groups in Michoacán but also in the demographically less inclusive Huichol (Wixarika), Cora, and Tepehuan groups, whose territories were more extensive.
The authors review a cluster of related themes: settlement patterns of the last five centuries in central western Mexico, language distribution, ritual representation of territoriality, processes of collective identity, and the forms of participation and resistance during different phases of Mexican state formation. From such research, the question arises: does the village community constitute a unique level of organization of the experience of the original peoples of central western Mexico? The chapters address this question in rich and complex ways by first focusing on the past configurations and changes in lifeways during the transition from pre-Columbian to Spanish rule in tributary empires, then examining the long-term postcolonial process of Mexican independence that introduced the emerging theme of the communal sovereignty.
Girl of New Zealand presents a nuanced insight into the way violence and colonial attitudes shaped the representation of Māori women and girls. Michelle Erai examines more than thirty images of Māori women alongside the records of early missionaries and settlers in Aotearoa, as well as comments by archivists and librarians, to shed light on how race, gender, and sexuality have been ascribed to particular bodies.
Viewed through Māori, feminist, queer, and film theories, Erai shows how images such as Girl of New Zealand (1793) and later images, cartoons, and travel advertising created and deployed a colonial optic. Girl of New Zealand reveals how the phantasm of the Māori woman has shown up in historical images, how such images shape our imagination, and how impossible it has become to maintain the delusion of the “innocent eye.” Erai argues that the process of ascribing race, gender, sexuality, and class to imagined bodies can itself be a kind of violence.
In the wake of the Me Too movement and other feminist projects, Erai’s timely analysis speaks to the historical foundations of negative attitudes toward Indigenous Māori women in the eyes of colonial “others”—outsiders from elsewhere who reflected their own desires and fears in their representations of the Indigenous inhabitants of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Erai resurrects Māori women from objectification and locates them firmly within Māori whānau and communities.
How can scholars best give back to the communities in which they conduct their research? This critical question arises from a long history of colonial scholarship that exploited study subjects by taking knowledge without giving anything in return. It is a problem faced by all field researchers, even those working in their own communities.
Over the past several decades—and especially since the evolution of feminist methodologies, participatory research, and the postcolonial turn in the 1990s—there have been calls for research to be less exploitative, but also for researchers and for the research itself to give something back. Giving Back: Research and Reciprocity in Indigenous Settings addresses the need for reciprocity in the research process, especially (though not exclusively) in regard to indigenous communities.
The twelve case studies in this volume demonstrate that giving back can happen through the research itself—through the careful framing of questions, co-production of knowledge, and dissemination of results—but also through the day-to-day actions and attitudes of researchers that inevitably occur in the field. It can range from everyday give-and-take to the sharing of research materials to larger and longer-term engagements.
As practitioners of community-based research gain greater awareness of these issues, scholars and institutions need guidance and strategies for ensuring reciprocity in the research process. This volume presents a variety of situations from a wide range of research contexts, discusses what has and hasn’t worked, and explores what issues remain.
Erica A. D’Elia
Catrina A. MacKenzie
Lea S. McChesney
Roxanne T. Ornelas
Wendy S. Shaw
John R. Welch
Indigenous peoples globally have a keen understanding of their health and wellness through traditional knowledge systems. In the past, traditional understandings of health often intersected with individual, community, and environmental relationships of well-being, creating an equilibrium of living well. However, colonization and the imposition of colonial policies regarding health, justice, and the environment have dramatically impacted Indigenous peoples’ health.
Building on Indigenous knowledge systems of health and critical decolonial theories, the volume’s contributors—who are academic and community researchers from Canada, the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand—weave a narrative to explore issues of Indigenous health within four broad themes: ethics and history, environmental and ecological health, impacts of colonial violence on kinship, and Indigenous knowledge and health activism. Chapters also explore how Indigenous peoples are responding to both the health crises in their communities and the ways for non-Indigenous people to engage in building positive health outcomes with Indigenous communities.
Global Indigenous Health is unique and timely as it deals with the historical and ongoing traumas associated with colonization and colonialism, understanding Indigenous concepts of health and healing, and ways of moving forward for health equity.
Sharon Leslie Acoose
John E. Charlton
Colleen Anne Dell
Judy A. Dow
C. Randy Duncan
Carina Fiedeldey-Van Dijk
Eleanor Louise Hadden
Robert Alexander Innes
Rachel Loewen Walker
David B. MacDonald
Mark F. Ruml
Caroline L. Tait
Nancy Van Styvendale
The conquest and colonization of the Americas marked the beginning of a social, economic, and cultural change of global scale. Most of what we know about how colonial actors understood and theorized this complex historical transformation comes from Spanish sources. This makes the few texts penned by Indigenous intellectuals in colonial times so important: they allow us to see how some of those who inhabited the colonial world in a disadvantaged position thought and felt about it.
This book shines light on Indigenous perspectives through a novel interpretation of the works of the two most important Amerindian intellectuals in the Andes, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala and Garcilaso de la Vega, el Inca. Building on but also departing from the predominant scholarly position that views Indigenous-Spanish relations as the clash of two distinct cultures, Gonzalo Lamana argues that Guaman Poma and Garcilaso were the first Indigenous activist intellectuals and that they developed post-racial imaginaries four hundred years ago. Their texts not only highlighted Native peoples’ achievements, denounced injustice, and demanded colonial reform, but they also exposed the emerging Spanish thinking and feeling on race that was at the core of colonial forms of discrimination. These authors aimed to alter the way colonial actors saw each other and, as a result, to change the world in which they lived.
A Leading Expert on Traditional Archery Offers Insight Into How the Longbow Was Drawn from Medieval Sources to Modern Recreations
“Soar’s book [The Crooked Stick] is indispensible.”—Bernard Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author
Relying on more than fifty years’ experience in archery, historian Hugh D. H. Soar reflects on how the longbow was drawn and shot across the centuries through examining the design of the bow and early literature about the bow, combined with his and his colleagues’ applied knowledge using replica bows. No complete medieval longbow has survived, but those found aboard the Tudor warship Mary Rose provide the best archaeological evidence to the possible construction of the medieval bow. Contemporary treatises written about the proper manner of shooting the bow, together with the resurgence in interest and construction of replica bows beginning in the late sixteenth century that form part of the author’s collection provide the basis for this work. How to Shoot the Longbow: A Guide from Historical and Applied Sources is a fascinating and practical look at the use of a legendary invention.
Winner of the Best First Book in Native American and Indigenous Studies Prize
In February 2006, the Six Nations occupation of a 132-acre construction site in Caledonia, Ontario, reignited a 200-year-long struggle to reclaim land and rights in the Grand River region. Framed by this ongoing reclamation, In Divided Unity explores community-based initiatives that promote Haudenosaunee traditionalism and languages at Six Nations of the Grand River as crucial enactments of sovereignty both historically and in the present.
Drawing from Haudenosaunee oral traditions, languages, and community-based theorists, In Divided Unity engages the intersecting themes of knowledge production and resistance against the backdrop of the complicated dynamics of the Six Nations community, which has the largest population of all First Nations in Canada. Comprising the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations, citizens of the Six Nations Confederacy collectively refer to themselves as Haudenosaunee, which means “we build the house.”
Theresa McCarthy critiques settler colonial narratives of Haudenosaunee decline used to rationalize land theft and political subjugation. In particular, McCarthy illustrates that current efforts to discredit the reclamation continue to draw on the flawed characterizations of Haudenosaunee tradition, factionalism, and “failed” self-government popularized by conventional scholarship about the Iroquois. Countering these narratives of decline and failure, McCarthy argues that the 2006 reclamation ushered in an era of profound intellectual and political resurgence at Six Nations, propelled by the contributions of Haudenosaunee women.
Centering Haudenosaunee intellectual traditions, In Divided Unity provides an important new model for community-based activism and scholarship. Through the active practice and adaptation of ancient teachings and philosophies, McCarthy shows that the Grand River Haudenosaunee are continuing to successfully meet the challenges of reclaiming their land, political autonomy, and control of their future.
Inari Sámi Folklore: Stories from Aanaar
August V. Koskimies and Toivo I. Itkonen, revised by Lea Laitinen; Edited and translated by Tim Frandy University of Wisconsin Press, 2020 Library of Congress GR201.I53K613 2019 | Dewey Decimal 398.20948977
A rich multivoiced anthology of folktales, legends, joik songs, proverbs, riddles, and other verbal art, this is the most comprehensive collection of Sámi oral tradition available in English to date. Collected by August V. Koskimies and Toivo I. Itkonen in the 1880s from nearly two dozen storytellers from the arctic Aanaar (Inari) region of northeast Finland, the material reveals a complex web of social relations that existed both inside and far beyond the community.
First published in 1918 only in the Aanaar Sámi language and in Finnish, this anthology is now available in a centennial English-language edition for a global readership. Translator Tim Frandy has added biographies of the storytellers, maps and period photos, annotations, and a glossary. In headnotes that contextualize the stories, he explains such underlying themes as Aanaar conflicts with neighboring Sámi and Finnish communities, the collapse of the wild reindeer populations less than a century before, and the pre-Christian past in Aanaar. He introduces us to the bawdy humor of Antti Kitti, the didacticism of Iisakki Mannermaa, and the feminist leanings of Juho Petteri Lusmaniemi, emphasizing that folktales and proverbs are rooted in the experiences of individuals who are links in a living tradition.
In 2012 Kateri Tekakwitha became the first North American Indian to be canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, an event that American Indian Catholics have awaited for generations. Saint Kateri, known as the patroness of the environment, was born in 1656 near present-day Albany, New York, to an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father. Tekakwitha converted to Christianity at age nineteen and took a vow of perpetual virginity. Her devotees have advocated for her sainthood since her death in 1680. Within historical Catholic writings, Tekakwitha is portrayed as a model of pious, submissive femininity. Indian Pilgrims moves beyond mainstream narratives and shows that Saint Kateri is a powerful feminine figure who inspires decolonizing activism in contemporary Indigenous peoples’ lives.
Author Michelle M. Jacob examines Saint Kateri’s influence on and relation to three important themes—caring for the environment, building community, and reclaiming the Native feminine as sacred—and brings a Native feminist perspective to the story of Saint Kateri. The book demonstrates the power and potential of Indigenous decolonizing activism, as Saint Kateri’s devotees claim the space of the Catholic Church to revitalize traditional cultural practices, teach and learn Indigenous languages, and address critical issues such as protecting Indigenous homelands from environmental degradation. The book is based on ethnographic research at multiple sites, including Saint Kateri’s 2012 canonization festivities in Vatican City and Italy, the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation (New York and Canada), the Yakama Reservation (Washington), and the National Tekakwitha Conferences in Texas, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Through narratives from these events, Jacob addresses issues of gender justice—such as respecting the autonomy of women while encouraging collectivist thinking and strategizing—and seeks collective remedies that challenge colonial and capitalist filters.
Amid controversies surrounding the team mascot and brand of the Washington Redskins in the National Football League and the use of mascots by K–12 schools, Americans demonstrate an expanding sensitivity to the pejorative use of references to Native Americans by sports organizations at all levels. In Indian Spectacle, Jennifer Guiliano exposes the anxiety of American middle-class masculinity in relation to the growing commercialization of collegiate sports and the indiscriminate use of Indian identity as mascots.
Indian Spectacle explores the ways in which white, middle-class Americans have consumed narratives of masculinity, race, and collegiate athletics through the lens of Indian-themed athletic identities, mascots, and music. Drawing on a cross-section of American institutions of higher education, Guiliano investigates the role of sports mascots in the big business of twentieth-century American college football in order to connect mascotry to expressions of community identity, individual belonging, stereotyped imagery, and cultural hegemony.
Against a backdrop of the current level of the commercialization of collegiate sports—where the collective revenue of the fifteen highest grossing teams in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has well surpassed one billion dollars—Guiliano recounts the history of the creation and spread of mascots and university identities as something bound up in the spectacle of halftime performance, the growth of collegiate competition, the influence of mass media, and how athletes, coaches, band members, spectators, university alumni, faculty, and administrators, artists, writers, and members of local communities all have contributed to the dissemination of ideas of Indianness that is rarely rooted in native people’s actual lives.
From a grandmother’s inter-generational care to the strategic and slow consensus work of elected tribal leaders, Indigenous community builders perform the daily work of culture and communalism. Indigenous Communalism conveys age-old lessons about culture, communalism, and the universal tension between the individual and the collective. It is also a critical ethnography challenging the moral and cultural assumptions of a hyper-individualist, twenty-first century global society.
Told in vibrant detail, the narrative of the book conveys the importance of communalism as a value system present in all human groups and one at the center of Indigenous survival. Carolyn Smith-Morris draws on her work among the Akimel O'odham and the Wiradjuri to show how communal work and culture help these communities form distinctive Indigenous bonds. The results are not only a rich study of Indigenous relational lifeways, but a serious inquiry to the continuing acculturative atmosphere that Indigenous communities struggle to resist. Recognizing both positive and negative sides to the issue, she asks whether there is a global Indigenous communalism. And if so, what lessons does it teach about healthy communities, the universal human need for belonging, and the potential for the collective to do good?
Cultural preservation, linguistic revitalization, intellectual heritage, and environmental sustainability became central to Indigenous movements in Mexico and Central America after 1992. While the emergence of these issues triggered important conversations, none to date have examined the role that new media has played in accomplishing their objectives.
Indigenous Interfaces provides the first thorough examination of indigeneity at the interface of cyberspace. Correspondingly, it examines the impact of new media on the struggles for self-determination that Indigenous peoples undergo in Mexico and Central America. The volume’s contributors highlight the fresh approaches that Mesoamerica’s Indigenous peoples have given to new media—from YouTubing Maya rock music to hashtagging in Zapotec. Together, they argue that these cyberspatial activities both maintain tradition and ensure its continuity. Without considering the implications of new technologies, Indigenous Interfaces argues, twenty-first-century indigeneity in Mexico and Central America cannot be successfully documented, evaluated, and comprehended.
Indigenous Interfaces rejects the myth that indigeneity and information technology are incompatible through its compelling analysis of the relationships between Indigenous peoples and new media. The volume illustrates how Indigenous peoples are selectively and strategically choosing to interface with cybertechnology, highlights Indigenous interpretations of new media, and brings to center Indigenous communities who are resetting modes of communication and redirecting the flow of information. It convincingly argues that interfacing with traditional technologies simultaneously with new media gives Indigenous peoples an edge on the claim to autonomous and sovereign ways of being Indigenous in the twenty-first century.
Debra A. Castillo
Gloria Elizabeth Chacón
Adam W. Coon
Tajëëw Díaz Robles
Alicia Ivonne Estrada
Jennifer Gómez Menjívar
Sue P. Haglund
Brook Danielle Lillehaugen
Paul Joseph López Oro
Rita M. Palacios
Indigenous activism in the Americas has long focused on the symbolic reclamation of land. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives, contributors to this issue explore narratives of territory and origin that provide a foundation for this political practice. The contributors study Indigenous-language stories from displaced communities, analyzing the meaning and power of these narratives in the context of diaspora and the struggle for land. Essays address topics including territorial struggle and environmentalism, Indigenous resistance to neoliberal policies of land dispossession, and alliances between academic and Indigenous knowledges and activisms. This issue brings together fruitful comparisons of theoretical frameworks and case studies in Indigenous studies across North and South America. Its contributors advance the process of returning to Indigenous knowledge, offering essential alternatives to Western epistemologies.
Contributors. Amber Meadow Adams, Alexandre Belmonte, Enrique Manuel Bernales Albites, Andrew Cowell, Ella Deloria, Leila Gómez, Sarah Hernandez, Penelope Kelsey, José Antonio Mazzotti, Javier Muñoz-Díaz, Craig Perez, Cheryl Savageau, Ángel Tuninetti, Christopher T. Vecsey
Popular music compels, it entertains, and it has the power to attract and move audiences. With that in mind, the editors of Indigenous Pop showcase the contributions of American Indian musicians to popular forms of music, including jazz, blues, country-western, rock and roll, reggae, punk, and hip hop.
From Joe Shunatona and the United States Indian Reservation Orchestra to Jim Pepper, from Buffy Saint-Marie to Robbie Robertson, from Joy Harjo to Lila Downs, Indigenous Pop vividly addresses the importance of Native musicians and popular musical genres, establishing their origins and discussing what they represent.
Arranged both chronologically and according to popular generic forms, the book gives Indigenous pop a broad new meaning. In addition to examining the transitive influences of popular music on Indigenous expressive forms, the contributors also show ways that various genres have been shaped by what some have called the “Red Roots” of American-originated musical styles. This recognition of mutual influence extends into the ways of understanding how music provides methodologies for living and survival.
Each in-depth essay in the volume zeros in on a single genre and in so doing exposes the extraordinary whole of Native music. This book showcases the range of musical genres to which Native musicians have contributed and the unique ways in which their engagement advances the struggle for justice and continues age-old traditions of creative expression.
Uprisings by indigenous peoples of Ecuador and Bolivia between 1990 and 2005 overthrew the five-hundred-year-old racial and class order inherited from the Spanish Empire. It started in Ecuador with the Great Indigenous Uprising, which was fought for cultural and economic rights. A few years later massive indigenous mobilizations began in Bolivia, culminating in 2005 with the election of Evo Morales, the first indigenous president.
Jeffrey M. Paige, an internationally recognized authority on the sociology of revolutionary movements, interviewed forty-five indigenous leaders who were actively involved in the uprisings. The leaders recount how peaceful protest and electoral democracy paved the path to power. Through the interviews, we learn how new ideologies of indigenous socialism drew on the deep commonalities between the communal dreams of their ancestors and the modern ideology of democratic socialism. This new discourse spoke to the people most oppressed by both withering racism and neoliberal capitalism.
Emphasizing mutual respect among ethnic groups (including the dominant Hispanic group), the new revolutionary dynamic proposes a communal worldview similar to but more inclusive than Western socialism because it adds indigenous cultures and nature in a spiritual whole. Although absent in the major revolutions of the past century, the themes of indigenous revolution—democracy, indigeneity, spirituality, community, and ecology—are critically important.
Paige’s interviews present the powerful personal experiences and emotional intensity of the revolutionary leadership. They share the stories of mass mobilization, elections, and indigenous socialism that created a new form of twenty-first-century revolution with far-reaching applications beyond the Andes.
Over the past 40 years, life in Timor-Leste has changed radically. Before 1975 most of the population lived in highland villages, spoke local languages, and rarely used money. Today many have moved to peri-urban lowland settlements, and even those whose lives remain dominated by customary ways understand that those of their children will not. For the Atoni Pah Meto of the island's west, the world was neatly divided into two distinct categories: the meto (indigenous), and the kase (foreign). Now things are less clear; the good things of the outside world are pursued not through rejecting the meto ways of the village, or collapsing them into the kase, but through continual crossing between them. In this way, the people of Oecussi are able to identify in the struggles of lowland life, the comforting and often decisive presence of familiar highland spirits.
In the 1600s, Marcos Cunamasi, an indigenous man in Pelileo, Ecuador, hid his child to protect him from officials who would put the boy to work in the textile mill. Cunamasi was forced to turn him over. Because his young son couldn’t keep up with spinning his quota of wool per day, Cunamasi helped so the child wouldn’t be whipped. After working a year, Cunamasi was paid a shirt and a hat.
Interwoven is the untold story of indigenous people’s historical experience in colonial Ecuador’s textile economy. It focuses on the lives of Native Andean families in Pelileo, a town dominated by one of Quito’s largest and longest-lasting textile mills. Quito’s textile industry developed as a secondary market to supply cloth to mining centers in the Andes; thus, the experience of indigenous people in Pelileo is linked to the history of mining in Bolivia and Peru.
Although much has been written about colonial Quito’s textile economy, Rachel Corr provides a unique perspective by putting indigenous voices at the center of that history. Telling the stories of Andean families of Pelileo, she traces their varied responses to historical pressures over three hundred years; the responses range from everyday acts to the historical transformation of culture through ethnogenesis. These stories of ordinary Andean men and women provide insight into the lived experience of the people who formed the backbone of Quito’s textile industry.
On April 24, 2013, Luci Tapahonso became the first poet laureate of the Navajo Nation, possibly the first Native American community to create such a post. The establishment of this position testifies to the importance of Navajo poets and poetry to the Navajo Nation. It also indicates the Navajo equivalence to the poetic traditions connected with the U.S. poet laureate and the poet laureate of the United Kingdom, author Anthony K. Webster asserts, as well as its separateness from those traditions.
Intimate Grammars takes an ethnographic and ethnopoetic approach to language and culture in contemporary time, in which poetry and poets are increasingly important and visible in the Navajo Nation. Webster uses interviews and linguistic analysis to understand the kinds of social work that Navajo poets engage in through their poetry.
Based on more than a decade of ethnographic and linguistic research, Webster’s book explores a variety of topics: the emotional value assigned to various languages spoken on the Navajo Nation through poetry (Navajo English, Navlish, Navajo, and English), why Navajo poets write about the “ugliness” of the Navajo Nation, and the way contemporary Navajo poetry connects young Navajos to the Navajo language. Webster also discusses how contemporary Navajo poetry challenges the creeping standardization of written Navajo and how boarding school experiences influence how Navajo poets write poetry and how Navajo readers appreciate contemporary Navajo poetry.
Through the work of poets such as Luci Tapahonso, Laura Tohe, Rex Lee Jim, Gloria Emerson, Blackhorse Mitchell, Esther Belin, Sherwin Bitsui, and many others, Webster provides new ways of thinking about contemporary Navajo poets and poetry. Intimate Grammars offers an exciting new ethnography of speaking, ethnopoetics, and discourse-centered examinations of language and culture.
Hawai'ian performance cartography is an interactive presentation of place as ‘experienced space’ that situates mapping in the environment, and encodes spatial knowledge into bodily memory via repetitive recitations and other habitual practices.
An important symbolic element in Hawai'ian cartography is the storied place name, which reflects Hawai'ian spatial knowledge of the environment. Many Hawai'ian place names performed in daily rituals were a conscious act of locating genealogical connections, recreating cultural landscapes, and regenerating cultural mores. They constitute a critically important body of Hawai'ian cultural knowledge. When Hawai'ian place names were incorporated into Western cartographic maps they were transformed epistemologically. They went from representing place as a repository of cultural knowledge to representing place as an object on the landscape. Hawai'ian spatial knowledge presentation is interactive, multi-sensual, and multi‐ dimensional.
Kanaka Hawai'i Cartography interweaves methodology with personal narrative and performance presentation in a playbill format. Three of the seven chapters are presented as “Acts” in a play. The remaining four chapters serve as intermissions or interludes together with a prologue and an epilogue for setting the stage and providing closure. To help make the topic more accessible, complex terms have been minimized, making academic theory easier for the educated reader to understand. The book will fill an important gap in Indigenous and Native Studies and will be welcomed by anyone interested in traditional Hawai’ian performance cartography.
A New Edition of One of the Most Important Cultural Artifacts of European and Indigenous American Contact
Roger Williams’s Key into the Language of America, first published in 1643, is one of the most important artifacts of early Indigenous American culture. In it, Williams recorded the day-to-day experience of the Narragansett people of Rhode Island in their own words, the first documentation of an American Indian language in English. Williams’s Key can be read at many levels because of its historical, literary, political, and religious significance. Its greatest value, though, is its intimate portrait of the Narragansett and their linguistic neighbors in the early years of European colonial settlement, before disease, dislocation, warfare—in particular, King Philip’s War—and colonial interference had diminished their population and power in the region. An extraordinary achievement, Williams’s Key gives us a contemporary account of Narragansett family life, of their sociability and skill in business, their dress, foodways, and the farming, fishing, and hunting that formed the basis of their sustenance practices.
This new Tomaquag Museum edition includes for the first time cultural commentary provided by the Narragansett Tribe as well as modern linguistic information provided by a leading authority in the study of American Indian languages.
The Tomaquag Museum, located in Exeter, Rhode Island, is an Indigenous nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing the culture, arts, and history of the Narragansett and other tribal communities of southern New England.
In the decades following the Mexican Revolution, nation builders, artists, and intellectuals manufactured ideologies that continue to give shape to popular understandings of indigeneity and mestizaje today. Postrevolutionary identity tropes emerged as part of broader efforts to reunify the nation and solve pressing social concerns, including what was posited in the racist rhetoric of the time as the “Indian problem.” Through a complex alchemy of appropriation and erasure, indigeneity was idealized as a relic of the past while mestizaje was positioned as the race of the future. This period of identity formation coincided with a boom in technology that introduced a sudden proliferation of images on the streets and in homes: there were more photographs in newspapers, movie houses cropped up across the country, and printing houses mass-produced calendar art and postcards. La Raza Cosmética traces postrevolutionary identity ideals and debates as they were dispersed to the greater public through emerging visual culture.
Critically examining beauty pageants, cinema, tourism propaganda, photography, murals, and more, Natasha Varner shows how postrevolutionary understandings of mexicanidad were fundamentally structured by legacies of colonialism, as well as shifting ideas about race, place, and gender. This interdisciplinary study smartly weaves together cultural history, Indigenous and settler colonial studies, film and popular culture analysis, and environmental and urban history. It also traces a range of Indigenous interventions in order to disrupt top-down understandings of national identity construction and to “people” this history with voices that have all too often been entirely ignored.
For over 150 years the Lakota have tenaciously defended their culture and land against white miners, settlers, missionaries, and the U.S. Army, and paid the price. Their economy is in shambles and they face serious social issues, but their culture and outlook remain vibrant. Basketball has a role to play in the way that people on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation configure their hopes for a better future, and for pride in their community.
In Lakota Hoops, anthropologist Alan Klein trains his experienced eye on the ways that Lakota traditions find a seamless expression in the sport. In a variety of way such as weaving time-honored religious practices into the game or extending the warrior spirit of Crazy Horse to the players on the court, basketball has become a preferred way of finding continuity with the past. But the game is also well suited to the present and has become the largest regular gathering for all Lakota, promoting national pride as well as a venue for the community to creatively and aggressively confront white bigotry when needed.
Richly researched and filled with interviews with Pine Ridge residents, including both male and female players, Lakota Hoops offers a compelling look at the highs and lows of a community that has made basketball its own.
They were the healers, teachers, and writers, the “wise ones” of Nahuatl-speaking cultures in Mexico, remembered in painted codices and early colonial manuscripts of Mesoamerica as the guardians of knowledge. Yet they very often seem bound to an unrecoverable past, as stereotypes prevent some from linking the words “indigenous” and “intellectual” together.
Not so, according to author Kelly S. McDonough, at least not for native speakers of Nahuatl, one of the most widely spoken and best-documented indigenous languages of the Americas. This book focuses on how Nahuas have been deeply engaged with the written word ever since the introduction of the Roman alphabet in the early sixteenth century. Dipping into distinct time periods of the past five hundred years, this broad perspective allows McDonough to show the heterogeneity of Nahua knowledge and writing as Nahuas took up the pen as agents of their own discourses and agendas.
McDonough worked collaboratively with contemporary Nahua researchers and students, reconnecting the theorization of a population with the population itself. The Learned Ones describes the experience of reading historic text with native speakers today, some encountering Nahua intellectuals and their writing for the very first time. It intertwines the written word with oral traditions and embodied knowledge, aiming to retie the strand of alphabetic writing to the dynamic trajectory of Nahua intellectual work.
Legends of the Northern Paiute shares and preserves twenty-one original and previously unpublished Northern Paiute legends, as told by Wilson Wewa, a spiritual leader and oral historian of the Warm Springs Paiute. These legends were originally told around the fires of Paiute camps and villages during the “story-telling season” of winter in the Great Basin of the American West. They were shared with Paiute communities as a way to pass on tribal visions of the “animal people” and the “human people,” their origins and values, their spiritual and natural environment, and their culture and daily lives.
The legends in this volume were recorded, transcribed, reviewed, and edited by Wilson Wewa and James Gardner. Each legend was recorded, then read and edited out loud, to respect the creativity, warmth, and flow of Paiute storytelling. The stories selected for inclusion include familiar characters from native legends, such as Coyote, as well as intriguing characters unique to the Northern Paiute, such as the creature embodied in the Smith Rock pinnacle, now known as Monkey Face, but known to the Paiutes in Central Oregon as Nuwuzoho the Cannibal.
Wewa’s apprenticeship to Northern Paiute culture began when he was about six years old. These legends were passed on to him by his grandmother and other tribal elders. They are now made available to future generations of tribal members, and to students, scholars, and readers interested in Wewa’s fresh and authentic voice. These legends are best read and appreciated as they were told—out loud, shared with others, and delivered with all of the verve, cadence, creativity, and humor of original Paiute storytellers on those clear, cold winter nights in the high desert.
An interdisciplinary work that draws on the fields of rhetorical studies, Native American and Indigenous studies, and museum studies, Legible Sovereignties considers the creation, critical reception, and adaptation of Indigenous self-representation in three diverse Indigenously oriented or owned institutions.
King tracks the exhibit spaces at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan’s Ziibiwing Center, Haskell Indian Nation University’s Cultural Center and Museum, and the Smithsonian’s Washington, DC branch of the National Museum of the American Indian over their first ten years, from their opening until the summer of 2014. Far from formulaic, each site has developed its own rhetorical approaches to reaching its public, revealing multiple challenges and successes in making Native self-representation legible and accessible.
Through documentation and analysis of the inaugural exhibits and recent installations, interviews with curators and staff, and investigation into audience reception of these spaces, Legible Sovereignties argues that there can be no single blanket solution for effective Indigenous self-representation. Instead, Legible Sovereignties demonstrates the nuanced ways in which each site must balance its rhetorical goals and its audience's needs, as well as its material constraints and opportunities, in order to reach its visitors and have Indigenous voices heard.
Despite centuries of colonization, many Indigenous peoples’ cultures remain distinct in their ancestral territories, even in today’s globalized world. Yet they exist often within countries that hardly recognize their existence. Struggles for political recognition and cultural respect have occurred historically and continue to challenge Native American nations in Montana and Sámi people of northern Scandinavia in their efforts to remain and thrive as who they are as Indigenous peoples. In some ways the Indigenous struggles on the two continents have been different, but in many other ways, they are similar.
Mapping Indigenous Presence presents a set of comparative Indigenous studies essays with contemporary perspectives, attesting to the importance of the roles Indigenous people have played as overseers of their own lands and resources, as creators of their own cultural richness, and as political entities capable of governing themselves. This interdisciplinary collection explores the Indigenous experience of Sámi peoples of Norway and Native Americans of Montana in their respective contexts—yet they are in many ways distinctly different within the body politic of their respective countries. Although they share similarities as Indigenous peoples within nation-states and inhabit somewhat similar geographies, their cultures and histories differ significantly.
Sámi people speak several languages, while Indigenous Montana is made up of twelve different tribes with at least ten distinctly different languages; both peoples struggle to keep their Indigenous languages vital. The political relationship between Sámi people and the mainstream Norwegian government and culture has historically been less contentious that that of the Indigenous peoples of Montana with the United States and with the state of Montana, yet the Sámi and the Natives of Montana have struggled against both the ideology and the subsequent assimilation policy of the savagery-versus-civilization model. The authors attempt to increase understanding of how these two sets of Indigenous peoples share important ontological roots and postcolonial legacies, and how research may be used for their own self-determination and future directions.
Tongans, the native people of the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific, are a highly mobile indigenous group. Like their seafaring ancestors, they are constantly on the move across tā (time) and vā (space). Carrying their traditions with them, Tongans living in Maui, Hawai‘i, actively mediate those dimensions by extending the time-space structure of certain activities and places in order to practice tauhi vā—the marking of time to sustain harmonious relations and create beautiful sociospatial relations.
In Marking Indigeneity, Tevita O. Ka‘ili examines the conflicts and reconciliation of indigenous time-space within the Tongan community in Maui, as well as within the time-space of capitalism. Using indigenous theory, he provides an ethnography of the social relations of the highly mobile Tongans.
Focusing on tauhi vā, Ka‘ili notes certain examples of this time marking: the faikava gatherings that last from sunset to sunrise, long eating gatherings, long conversations (talanoa), the all-night funeral wakes, and the early arrival to and late departure from meetings and celebrations. Ka‘ili also describes the performing art of tauhi vā, which creates symmetry through the performance of social duties (fatongia). This gives rise to powerful feelings of warmth, elation, and honor among the performers. Marking Indigeneity offers an ethnography of the extension of time-space that is rooted in ancient Moana oral traditions, thoughtfully illustrating the continuation of these traditions.
The more than two dozen islands that make up southern Chile’s Chiloé Archipelago present a unique case of culture change and rapid industrialization in the twentieth century. Since the arrival of the first European settlers in the late 1500s, Chiloé was given scant attention by colonial and national governments on mainland Chile. Islanders developed a way of life heavily dependent on marine resources, native crops like the potato, and the cooperative labor practice known as the minga.
Starting in the 1980s, Chiloé emerged as a key player in the global seafood market as major companies moved into the region to extract wild stocks of fish and to grow salmon and shellfish for export. The region’s economy shifted abruptly from one of subsistence farming and fishing to wage labor in export industries. Local knowledge, traditions, memories, and identities similarly shifted, with younger islanders expressing a more critical view of the rural past than their elders.
This book recounts the unique history of this region, emphasizing the generational tensions, disconnects, and continuities of the last half century. Drawing on interviews, field observations, and historical documents, Anton Daughters brings to life one of the most culturally distinct regions of South America.
Winner, 2018 ASFS (Association for the Study of Food and Society) Book Award, Edited Volume
This collection of new essays offers groundbreaking perspectives on the ways that food and foodways serve as an element of decolonization in Mexican-origin communities.
The writers here take us from multigenerational acequia farmers, who trace their ancestry to Indigenous families in place well before the Oñate Entrada of 1598, to tomorrow’s transborder travelers who will be negotiating entry into the United States. Throughout, we witness the shifting mosaic of Mexican-origin foods and foodways in the fields, gardens, and kitchen tables from Chiapas to Alaska.
Global food systems are also considered from a critical agroecological perspective, including the ways colonialism affects native biocultural diversity, ecosystem resilience, and equality across species, human groups, and generations.
Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements is a major contribution to the understanding of the ways that Mexican-origin peoples have resisted and transformed food systems. It will animate scholarship on global food studies for years to come.
The first of a two-volume series, Moquis and Kastiilam tells the story of the encounter between the Hopis, who the Spaniards called Moquis, and the Spaniards, who the Hopis called Kastiilam, from the first encounter in 1540 until the eve of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. By comparing and contrasting Spanish documents with Hopi oral traditions, the editors portray a balanced presentation of their shared past. Translations of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century documents written by Spanish explorers, colonial officials, and Franciscan missionaries tell the perspectives of the European visitors, and oral traditions recounted by Hopi elders reveal the Indigenous experience.
The editors argue that the Spanish record is incomplete, and only the Hopi perspective can balance the story. The Spanish documentary record (and by extension the documentary record of any European or Euro-American colonial power) is biased and distorted, according to the editors, who assert there are enormous silences about Hopi responses to Spanish missionization and colonization. The only hope of correcting those weaknesses is to record and analyze Hopi oral traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation, and give voice to Hopi values and Hopi social memories of what was a traumatic period in their past.
Spanish abuses during missionization—which the editors address specifically and directly as the sexual exploitation of Hopi women, suppression of Hopi ceremonies, and forced labor of Hopis—drove Hopis to the breaking point, inspiring a Hopi revitalization that led them to participate in the Pueblo Revolt. Those abuses, the revolt, and the resistance that followed remain as open wounds in Hopi society today.
The last two decades have witnessed two political transformations that have deeply affected the lives of the indigenous peoples of Latin America. First, a discourse on indigeneity has emerged that links local struggles across the continent with transnational movements whose core issues are racism and political and cultural rights. Second, recent constitutional reforms in several countries recognize the multicultural character of Latin American countries and the legal pluralism that necessarily follows.
Multiple InJustices synthesizes R. Aída Hernández Castillo’s twenty-four years of activism and research among indigenous women’s organizations in Latin America. As both feminist and critical anthropologist, Hernández Castillo analyzes the context of legal pluralism wherein the indigenous women of Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia struggle for justice. Through ethnographical research in community, state, and international justice, she reflects on the possibilities and limitations of customary, national, and international law for indigenous women.
Colonialism, racism, and patriarchal violence have been fundamental elements for the reproduction of capitalism, Hernández Castillo asserts. Only a social policy that offers economic alternatives based on distribution of wealth and a real recognition of cultural and political rights of indigenous peoples can counter the damage of outside forces such as drug cartels on indigenous lands.
She concludes that the theories of indigenous women on culture, tradition, and gender equity—as expressed in political documents, event reports, public discourse, and their intellectual writings—are key factors in the decolonization of Latin American feminisms and social justice for all.
Louis Kenoyer, born in 1868 at Grand Ronde reservation, Oregon, was the last known native speaker of Tualatin Northern Kalapuya. His autobiographical narrative was recorded in 1928 and 1936 and is archived in the Special Collections of the University of Washington Library. Kenoyer's autobiography is a rare, first-person narrative by a Native American discussing life on an Oregon reservation. To bring his compelling story to contemporary readers, Henry Zenk and Jedd Schrock have completed a translation of the original Tualatin narrative and prepared extensive annotations and commentary to supplement the text. The original Tualatin is presented alongside the English translation.
Native Space explores how indigenous communities and individuals sustain and create geographies through place-naming, everyday cultural practices, and artistic activism, within the boundaries of the settler colonial nation of the United States. Diverging from scholarship that tends to treat indigenous geography as an analytical concept, Natchee Blu Barnd instead draws attention to the subtle manifestations of everyday cultural practices—the concrete and often mundane activities involved in the creation of indigenous space.
What are the limits and potentials of indigenous acts of spatial production? Native Space argues that control over the notion of “Indianness” still sits at the center of how space is produced in a neocolonial nation, and shows how non-indigenous communities uniquely deploy Native identities in the direct construction of colonial geographies. In short, “the Indian” serves to create White space in concrete ways. Yet, Native geographies effectively reclaim indigenous identities, assert ongoing relations to the land, and refuse the claims of settler colonialism.
Barnd creatively and persuasively uses original cartographic research and demographic data, a series of interrelated stories set in the Midwestern Plains states of Kansas and Oklahoma, an examination of visual art by contemporary indigenous artists, and discussions of several forms of indigenous activism to support his argument. With its highly original, interdisciplinary approach, Native Space makes a significant contribution to the literature in cultural and critical geography, comparative ethnic studies, indigenous studies, cultural studies, American Studies, and related fields.
The last few decades have given rise to an electrifying movement of Native American activism, scholarship, and creative work challenging five hundred years of U.S. colonization of Native lands. Indigenous communities are envisioning and building their nations and are making decolonial strides toward regaining power from colonial forces.
The Navajo Nation is among the many Native nations in the United States pushing back. In this new book, Diné author Lloyd L. Lee asks fellow Navajo scholars, writers, and community members to envision sovereignty for the Navajo Nation. He asks, (1) what is Navajo sovereignty, (2) how do various Navajo institutions exercise sovereignty, (3) what challenges does Navajo sovereignty face in the coming generations, and (4) how did individual Diné envision sovereignty?
Contributors expand from the questions Lee lays before them to touch on how Navajo sovereignty is understood in Western law, how various institutions of the Navajo Nation exercise sovereignty, what challenges it faces in coming generations, and how individual Diné envision power, authority, and autonomy for the people.
A companion to Diné Perspectives: Revitalizing and Reclaiming Navajo Thought, each chapter offers the contributors’ individual perspectives. The book, which is organized into four parts, discusses Western law’s view of Diné sovereignty, research, activism, creativity, and community, and Navajo sovereignty in traditional education. Above all, Lee and the contributing scholars and community members call for the rethinking of Navajo sovereignty in a way more rooted in Navajo beliefs, culture, and values.
When Christianity was imposed on Native peoples in the Andes, visual images played a fundamental role, yet few scholars have written about this significant aspect. Object and Apparition proposes that Christianity took root in the region only when both Spanish colonizers and native Andeans actively envisioned the principal deities of the new religion in two- and three-dimensional forms. The book explores principal works of art involved in this process, outlines early strategies for envisioning the Christian divine, and examines later, more effective approaches.
Maya Stanfield-Mazzi demonstrates that among images of the divine there was constant interplay between concrete material objects and ephemeral visions or apparitions. Three-dimensional works of art, specifically large-scale statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary, were key to envisioning the Christian divine, the author contends. She presents in-depth analysis of three surviving statues: the Virgins of Pomata and Copacabana (Lake Titicaca region) and Christ of the Earthquakes from Cusco.
Two-dimensional painted images of those statues emerged later. Such paintings depicted the miracle-working potential of specific statues and thus helped to spread the statues’ fame and attract devotees. “Statue paintings” that depict the statues enshrined on their altars also served the purpose of presenting images of local Andean divinities to believers outside church settings.
Stanfield-Mazzi describes the unique features of Andean Catholicism while illustrating its connections to both Spanish and Andean cultural traditions. Based on thorough archival research combined with stunning visual analysis, Object and Apparition analyzes the range of artworks that gave visual form to Christianity in the Andes and ultimately caused the new religion to flourish.
The environmental diversity of North America is astounding—from the circumpolar tundra with few plants more than a few centimeters tall to the lush, semitropical forests of the southeastern United States and Caribbean Basin. No less remarkable is the record of plants usage by the various indigenous people who have been living there for more than twelve millennia. For the vast majority of this time, their livelihood—food, shelter, fuel, and medicine—depended on their knowledge and use of the environment.
The most comprehensive overview in more than half a century about the interconnectedness of prehistoric Native Americans and their botanical world, this book and its forthcoming companion volume, People and Plants in Ancient Western North America, present the latest information on three major topics: the use of native plants, the history of crops and their uses, and how humans affected their environment. In this volume, expert scholars summarize the prehistoric ethnobotany of four regions: the Eastern Woodlands (W. Cowan, K. Gremillion, M. Scarry, B. Smith, and G. Wagner), Northeast (G. Crawford and D. Smith), Plains (M. Adair), and Caribbean (L. Newsom and D. Pearsall).
This volume contributes significantly to our understanding of the lives of prehistoric people as well as the forces that influenced their communities, their ingenuity, and their ecological impact. It also serves as a guide for designing environmentally sustainable lives today.
The environmental diversity of North America is astounding—from circumpolar tundra with a small number of plants more than a few centimeters tall to the lush semitropical forests of the southeastern United States and the Caribbean Basin. No less remarkable is the record of plant usage by the various indigenous peoples who have been living here for more than 12,000 years. For the vast majority of this time, their livelihood—food, shelter, fuel, and medicine—depended on their knowledge and use of the plants that surrounded them.
The most comprehensive overview in more than half a century on the interconnectedness of people and plants, this book and its companion volume, People and Plants in Ancient Eastern North America, present the latest information on three major topics: the uses of native plants, the history of crops and their uses, and the impact of humans on their environment. They not only contribute to our understanding of the lives of prehistoric people but also serve as guides for designing sustainable living today.
"People of the Desert and Sea is one of those books that should not have to wait a generation or two to be considered a classic. A feast for the eye as well as the mind, this ethnobotany of the Seri Indians of Sonora represents the most detailed exploration of plant use by a hunting-and-gathering people to date. . . . Scholarship in the best sense of the term—precise without being pedantic, exhaustive without exhausting its readers."—Journal of Arizona History
"To read and gaze through this elegantly illustrated book is to be exposed, as if through a work of science fiction, to an astonishing and unknown cultural world."—North Dakota Quarterly
Piman shamanism is based on the belief that morality and some forms of sickness are interrelated. The shaman, or medicine man, has a dual role in the Piman Indian culture. He is the guardian of the Pimans’ health and their consciousness of cultural identity.
This definitive study of shamanic theory and practice was developed through a four-person collaboration: three Tohono O’odham Indians—a shaman, a translator, and a trained linguist—and a non-Indian explicator. It provides an in-depth examination of the Piman philosophy of sickness as well as an introduction to the world view of an entire people.
Using the most highly developed techniques of modern ethnolinguistics, anthropologist Bahr investigates the culturally based concept of staying sickness. He conducted extensive discussions in the Piman language with shaman Gregorio. The native informant theorized at length about the cause of staying sickness, the dúajida (divination), and ritual prayers. The translator and the linguist analyzed the content and style of Gregorio’s discussions. Texts in the Piman language of Gregorio’s discussions are included, as well as literal and idiomatic English translations.
American Anthropologist cites “the infinite care with which each utterance has been analyzed” and “the richness of cultural expression captured in the texts themselves and in their explanation. To read Piman Shamanism and Staying Sickness is to become familiar with the unique properties of Piman thinking and modes of expression: abstract, elliptical, contracted, and yet filled with a rich and natural imagery.”
Bringing fresh insight to a century of writing by Native Americans
The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History challenges conventional views of the past one hundred years of Native American writing, bringing Native American Renaissance and post-Renaissance writers into conversation with their predecessors. Addressing the political positions such writers have adopted, explored, and debated in their work, James H. Cox counters what he considers a “flattening” of the politics of American Indian literary expression and sets forth a new method of reading Native literature in a vexingly politicized context.
Examining both canonical and lesser-known writers, Cox proposes that scholars approach these texts as “political arrays”: confounding but also generative collisions of conservative, moderate, and progressive ideas that together constitute the rich political landscape of American Indian literary history. Reviewing a broad range of genres including journalism, short fiction, drama, screenplays, personal letters, and detective fiction—by Lynn Riggs, Will Rogers, Sherman Alexie, Thomas King, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Winona LaDuke, Carole laFavor, and N. Scott Momaday—he demonstrates that Native texts resist efforts to be read as advocating a particular set of politics
Meticulously researched, The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History represents a compelling case for reconceptualizing the Native American Renaissance as a literary–historical constellation. By focusing on post-1968 Native writers and texts, argues Cox, critics have often missed how earlier writers were similarly entangled, hopeful, frustrated, contradictory, and unpredictable in their political engagements.
How were indigenous social practices deemed queer and aberrant by colonial forces?
In Queering Colonial Natal, T.J. Tallie travels to colonial Natalestablished by the British in 1843, today South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal provinceto show how settler regimes “queered” indigenous practices. Defining them as threats to the normative order they sought to impose, they did so by delimiting Zulu polygamy; restricting alcohol access, clothing, and even friendship; and assigning only Europeans to government schools.
Using queer and critical indigenous theory, this book critically assesses Natal (where settlers were to remain a minority) in the context of the global settler colonial project in the nineteenth century to yield a new and engaging synthesis. Tallie explores the settler colonial history of Natal’s white settlers and how they sought to establish laws and rules for both whites and Africans based on European mores of sexuality and gender. At the same time, colonial archives reveal that many African and Indian people challenged such civilizational claims.
Ultimately Tallie argues that the violent collisions between Africans, Indians, and Europeans in Natal shaped the conceptions of race and gender that bolstered each group’s claim to authority.
Race and Nation in Puerto Rican Folklore: Franz Boas and John Alden Mason in Porto Rico, 1915 explores the founding father of American anthropology’s historic trip to Puerto Rico in 1915. As a component of the Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Boas intended to perform field research in the areas of anthropology and ethnography there while other scientists explored the island’s natural resources. Native Puerto Rican cultural practices were also heavily explored through documentation of the island’s oral folklore. A young anthropologist working under Boas, John Alden Mason, rescued hundreds of oral folklore samples, ranging from popular songs, poetry, conundrums, sayings, and, most particularly, folktales. Through extensive excursions, Mason came in touch with the rural practices of Puerto Rican peasants, the Jíbaros, who served as both his cultural informants and writers of the folklore samples. These stories, many of which are still part of the island’s literary traditions, reflect a strong Puerto Rican identity coalescing in the face of the U.S. political intervention on the island. A fascinating slice of Puerto Rican history and culture sure to delight any reader!
While the population of Indigenous peoples living in Mexico’s cities has steadily increased over the past four decades, both the state and broader society have failed to recognize this geographic heterogeneity by continuing to expect Indigenous peoples to live in rural landscapes that are anathema to a modern Mexico.
This book examines the legacy of the racial imaginary in Mexico with a focus on the Wixarika (Huichol) Indigenous peoples of the western Sierra Madre from the colonial period to the present. Through an examination of the politics of identity, space, and activism among Wixarika university students living and working in the western Mexican cities of Tepic and Guadalajara, geographer Diana Negrín analyzes the production of racialized urban geographies and reveals how Wixarika youth are making claims to a more heterogeneous citizenship that challenges these deep-seated discourses and practices. Through the weaving together of historical material, critical interdisciplinary scholarship, and rich ethnography, this book sheds light on the racialized history, urban transformation, and contemporary Indigenous activism of a region of Mexico that has remained at the margins of scholarship.
Popol Wujis considered one of the oldest books in the Americas. Various elements of Popol Wuj have appeared in different written forms over the last two millennia and several parts of Popol Wuj likely coalesced in hieroglyphic book form a few centuries before contact with Europeans. Popol Wuj offers a unique interpretation of the Maya world and ways of being from a Maya perspective. However, that perspective is often occluded since the extant Popol Wuj is likely a copy of a copy of a precontact Indigenous text that has been translated many times since the fifteenth century.
Reading Popol Wujoffers readers a path to look beyond Western constructions of literature to engage with this text through the philosophical foundation of Maya thought and culture. This guide deconstructs various translations to ask readers to break out of the colonial mold in approaching this seminal Maya text.
Popol Wuj, or Popol Vuh, in its modern form, can be divided thematically into three parts: cosmogony (the formation of the world), tales of the beings who inhabited the Earth before the coming of people, and chronicles of different ethnic Maya groups in the Guatemala area. Examining thirteen translations of the K’iche’ text, Henne offers a decolonial framework to read between what translations offer via specific practice exercises for reading, studying, and teaching. Each chapter provides a close reading and analysis of a different critical scene based on a comparison of several translations (English and Spanish) of a key K’iche’ word or phrase in order to uncover important philosophical elements of Maya worldviews that resist precise expression in Indo-European languages.
Charts and passages are frontloaded in each chapter so the reader engages in the comparative process before reading any leading arguments. This approach challenges traditional Western reading practices and enables scholars and students to read Popol Wuj—and other Indigenous texts—from within the worldview that created them.
Reclaiming Indigenous Governance examines the efforts of Indigenous peoples in four important countries to reclaim their right to self-govern. Showcasing Native nations, this timely book presents diverse perspectives of both practitioners and researchers involved in Indigenous governance in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (the CANZUS states).
Indigenous governance is dynamic, an ongoing relationship between Indigenous peoples and settler-states. The relationship may be vigorously contested, but it is often fragile—one that ebbs and flows, where hard-won gains can be swiftly lost by the policy reversals of central governments. The legacy of colonial relationships continues to limit advances in self-government.
Yet Indigenous peoples in the CANZUS countries are no strangers to setbacks, and their growing movement provides ample evidence of resilience, resourcefulness, and determination to take back control of their own destiny. Demonstrating the struggles and achievements of Indigenous peoples, the chapter authors draw on the wisdom of Indigenous leaders and others involved in rebuilding institutions for governance, strategic issues, and managing lands and resources.
This volume brings together the experiences, reflections, and insights of practitioners confronting the challenges of governing, as well as researchers seeking to learn what Indigenous governing involves in these contexts. Three things emerge: the enormity of the Indigenous governance task, the creative agency of Indigenous peoples determined to pursue their own objectives, and the diverse paths they choose to reach their goal.
Winner of the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize
We are nearly all intrigued by the petroglyphs and pictographs of the American Southwest, and we commonly ask what they “mean”. Religion on the Rocks redirects our attention to the equally important matter of what compelled ancient peoples to craft rock art in the first place. To examine this question, Aaron Wright presents a case study from Arizona's South Mountains, an area once flanked by several densely populated Hohokam villages. Synthesizing results from recent archaeological surveys, he explores how the mountains' petroglyphs were woven into the broader cultural landscape and argues that the petroglyphs are relics of a bygone ritual system in which people vied for prestige and power by controlling religious knowledge. The features and strategic placement of the rock art suggest this dimension of Hohokam ritual was participatory and prominent in village life. Around AD 1100, however, petroglyph creation and other ritual practices began to wane, denoting a broad transformation of the Hohokam social world. Wright’s examination of the South Mountains petroglyphs offers a novel narrative of how Hohokam villagers negotiated a concentration of politico-religious authority around platform mounds. Readers will come away with a better understanding of the Hohokam legacy and a greater appreciation for rock art's value to anthropology.
From the rise of the Pan-Maya Movement in Guatemala and the Zapatista uprising in Mexico to the Water and Gas Wars in Bolivia and the Idle No More movement in Canada, the turn of the twenty-first century has witnessed a notable surge in Indigenous political action as well as an outpouring of texts produced by Native authors and poets. Throughout the Americas—Abiayala, or the “Land of Plenitude and Maturity” in the Guna language of Panama—Indigenous people are raising their voices and reclaiming the right to represent themselves in politics as well as in creative writing.
Revealing Rebellion in Abiayala explores the intersections between Indigenous literature and social movements over the past thirty years through the lens of insurgent poetics. Author Hannah Burdette is interested in how Indigenous literature and social movements are intertwined and why these phenomena arise almost simultaneously in disparate contexts across the Americas.
Literature constitutes a key weapon in political struggles as it provides a means to render subjugated knowledge visible and to envision alternatives to modernity and coloniality. The surge in Indigenous literature and social movements is arguably one of the most significant occurrences of the twenty-first century, and yet it remains understudied. Revealing Rebellion in Abiayala bridges that gap by using the concept of Abiayala as a powerful starting point for rethinking inter-American studies through the lens of Indigenous sovereignty.
In a linguistic climate that is hyperaware of so-called language death, dictionaries have been touted as stalwarts for language preservation. When wielded by communities undertaking language revitalization, dictionaries can be designed to facilitate reversing language shift and fostering linguistic innovation. Indeed, dictionaries’ reputation as multifunctional reference materials make them adaptable to a wide variety of community needs.
Revitalization Lexicography provides a detailed account of creating a dictionary meant to move a once-sleeping language into a language of active daily use. This unique look under the hood of lexicography in a small community highlights the ways in which the dictionary was intentionally leveraged to shape the Tunica language as it inevitably changes throughout revitalization. Tunica, one of the heritage languages of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Marksville, Louisiana, has been undergoing active revitalization since 2010. The current generation of speakers began learning Tunica, a once-sleeping language, through written documentation. Now enough Tunica speakers to confer amongst themselves when questionable language use arises.
Marrying both the theoretical and the practical aspects that contributed to the Tunica dictionary, this book discusses complex lexicographic tasks in a manner accessible to both academic and community readers. This work is firmly backdropped in a fieldwork approach that centers the community as owners of all aspects of their revitalization project. This book provides concrete and practical considerations for anyone attempting to create a dictionary. Contrasting examples from Tunica and English dictionaries, this book challenges readers to rethink their relationship to dictionaries in general. A must-read for anyone who has ever touched a dictionary.
Since time before memory, large numbers of salmon have made their way up and down the Klamath River. Indigenous management enabled the ecological abundance that formed the basis of capitalist wealth across North America. These activities on the landscape continue today, although they are often the site of intense political struggle. Not only has the magnitude of Native American genocide been of remarkable little sociological focus, the fact that this genocide has been coupled with a reorganization of the natural world represents a substantial theoretical void. Whereas much attention has (rightfully) focused on the structuring of capitalism, racism and patriarchy, few sociologists have attended to the ongoing process of North American colonialism. Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People draws upon nearly two decades of examples and insight from Karuk experiences on the Klamath River to illustrate how the ecological dynamics of settler-colonialism are essential for theorizing gender, race and social power today.
In this provocative new book, Margaret M. Bruchac, an Indigenous anthropologist, turns the word savage on its head. Savage Kin explores the nature of the relationships between Indigenous informants, such as Gladys Tantaquidgeon (Mohegan), Jesse Cornplanter (Seneca), and George Hunt (Tlingit), and early twentieth-century anthropological collectors, such as Frank Speck, Arthur C. Parker, William N. Fenton, and Franz Boas.
This book reconceptualizes the intimate details of encounters with Native interlocutors who by turns inspired, facilitated, and resisted the anthropological enterprise. Like other texts focused on this era, Savage Kin features some of the elite white men credited with salvaging material that might otherwise have been lost. Unlike other texts, this book highlights the intellectual contributions and cultural strategies of unsung Indigenous informants without whom this research could never have taken place.
These bicultural partnerships transgressed social divides and blurred the roles of anthropologist/informant, relative/stranger, and collector/collected. Yet these stories were obscured by collecting practices that separated people from objects, objects from communities, and communities from stories. Bruchac’s decolonizing efforts include “reverse ethnography”—painstakingly tracking seemingly unidentifiable objects, misconstrued social relations, unpublished correspondence, and unattributed field notes—to recover this evidence. Those early encounters generated foundational knowledges that still affect Indigenous communities today.
Savage Kin also contains unexpected narratives of human and other-than-human encounters—brilliant discoveries, lessons from ancestral spirits, prophetic warnings, powerful gifts, and personal tragedies—that will move Native and non-Native readers alike.
In 1990, when Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship ended, democratic rule returned to Chile. Since then, Indigenous organizations have mobilized to demand restitution of their ancestral territories seized over the past 150 years.
Sentient Lands is a historically grounded ethnography of the Mapuche people’s engagement with state-run reconciliation and land-restitution efforts. Piergiorgio Di Giminiani analyzes environmental relations, property, state power, market forces, and indigeneity to illustrate how land connections are articulated, in both landscape experiences and land claims. Rather than viewing land claims as simply bureaucratic procedures imposed on local understandings and experiences of land connections, Di Giminiani reveals these processes to be disputed practices of world making.
Ancestral land formation is set in motion by the entangled principles of Indigenous and legal land ontologies, two very different and sometimes conflicting processes. Indigenous land ontologies are based on a relation between two subjects—land and people—both endowed with sentient abilities. By contrast, legal land ontologies are founded on the principles of property theory, wherein land is an object of possession that can be standardized within a regime of value. Governments also use land claims to domesticate Indigenous geographies into spatial constructs consistent with political and market configurations.
Exploring the unexpected effects on political activism and state reparation policies caused by this entanglement of Indigenous and legal land ontologies, Di Giminiani offers a new analytical angle on Indigenous land politics.
While the sovereign nation-state is considered the world’s political norm, millions of colonial subjects, immigrants, refugees, and native peoples appear to be without sovereignty. What claims have they to sovereignty? If they cannot ever constitute themselves into sovereign nation-states, are they out of the political game? Can a framework like sovereignty—used historically to exploit, dispossess, and even exterminate people—be a part of a struggle for political freedom?
Editor Frances Negrón-Muntaner and the contributors to Sovereign Acts engage in a debate around these questions with surprising results. Moving the idea of sovereignty beyond the narrow confines of the nation-state, beyond the concept of a power that one either has or lacks, this paradigm-shifting work examines the multiple ways that Indigenous nations and U.S. territorial peoples act as sovereign and the possible limits of such sovereign acts within the current globalized context. A valuable contribution to the debate around indigenous and other conceptions of sovereignty, Sovereign Acts goes further than legal frameworks to investigate the relationships among sovereignty, gender, sexuality, representation, and the body.
From activist style and choreography to the politics of recognition, the scholars and artists featured in this unique volume map out how people disrupt modern notions of sovereignty, attempt to redefine what being sovereign means, or seek alternative political vocabularies. Sovereignty is not only, after all, a kingdom and a crown.
Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Jennifer Nez Denetdale
Adriana María Garriga-López
Jessica A. F. Harkins
Davianna Pomaika‘i McGregor
Stephanie Nohelani Teves
Fa‘anofo Lisaclaire Uperesa
All communities are teeming with energy, spirit, and knowledge, and Spiral to the Stars taps into and activates this dynamism to discuss Indigenous community planning from a Mvskoke perspective. This book poses questions about what community is, how to reclaim community, and how to embark on the process of envisioning what and where the community can be.
Geographer Laura Harjo demonstrates that Mvskoke communities have what they need to dream, imagine, speculate, and activate the wishes of ancestors, contemporary kin, and future relatives—all in a present temporality—which is Indigenous futurity.
Organized around four methodologies—radical sovereignty, community knowledge, collective power, and emergence geographies—Spiral to the Stars provides a path that departs from traditional community-making strategies, which are often extensions of the settler state. Readers are provided a set of methodologies to build genuine community relationships, knowledge, power, and spaces for themselves. Communities don’t have to wait on experts because this book helps them activate their own possibilities and expertise. A detailed final chapter provides participatory tools that can be used in workshop settings or one on one.
This book offers a critical and concrete map for community making that leverages Indigenous way-finding tools. Mvskoke narratives thread throughout the text, vividly demonstrating that theories come from lived and felt experiences. This is a must-have book for community organizers, radical pedagogists, and anyone wishing to empower and advocate for their community.
In the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Hawai‘i exists at a global crosscurrent of indigeneity and race, homeland and diaspora, nation and globalization, sovereignty and imperialism. In order to better understand how settler colonialism works and thus move decolonization efforts forward, Staking Claim analyzes competing claims of identity, belonging, and political status in Hawai‘i.
Author Judy Rohrer brings together an analysis of racial formation and colonization in the islands through a study of legal cases, contemporary public discourse (local media and literature), and Hawai‘i scholarship. Her analysis exposes how racialization works to obscure—with the ultimate goal of eliminating—native Hawaiian indigeneity, homeland, nation, and sovereignty.
Staking Claim argues that the dual settler colonial processes of racializing native Hawaiians (erasing their indigeneity), and indigenizing non-Hawaiians, enable the staking of non-Hawaiian claims to Hawai‘i. It encourages us to think beyond a settler-native binary by analyzing the ways racializations of Hawaiians and various non-Hawaiian settlers and arrivants bolster settler colonial claims, structures, and white supremacist ideologies.
In 1975 a watershed moment captivated Mexico as indigenous peoples from across the country came together on the Island of Janitzio for the First National Congress of Indigenous Peoples. The congress was a federal government initiative intended to preempt an independent indigenous movement. But indigenous groups circumvented the intended containment policies of the congress and made bold demands for political self-determination.
Using previously unavailable documents, María L. O. Muñoz examines the events that led to the congress, the meeting itself, and developments after the assembly. Muñoz shows how indigenous leaders working within Mexico’s Department of Colonization and Agrarian Affairs (DAAC) sidestepped state attempts to control indigenous communities, and how they made bold demands that redefined the ways federal and state governments engaged with pueblos indígenas.
Through research in previously untapped archives, Muñoz is able to trace the political history of the indigenous leaders and government officials who redefined the ways indigenous peoples engaged with governments. She illustrates the fluid and evolving power relationships of the key players with a focus on the twelve years of populism in the last decades of the twentieth century.
This book challenges the discourse of unquestioned power and hegemony of the national ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and it illustrates how indigenous communities in Mexico reimagined their roles in the social, political, and economic life of the nation.
Grounded in existing understandings of Yup’ik cosmology and worldview, this work is the first to look at how a Yup’ik community uses stories of place in social life. On the Bering coast of southwest Alaska, Cusack-McVeigh accompanied storytellers during their daily activities. Hearing many narratives repeatedly over a span of years, she came to understand how stories reflected interactions of people and places.
For the Yup’ik people, places are also social actors that react to human actions and emotions. Stories tell how people learn about each other through encounters on the land, and thereby places also learn about people. Places comment on human behavior through the land's responses to specific actions. Stories variously reveal ideas about human associations and relationships between humans and nonhuman beings. Pointing to a systematic correlation between places and narrative elements that has not been previously explored, this volume makes a unique contribution to the literature on place.
Winner of the Brian McConnell Book Award from the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.
Surviving the Americas is an intersectional analysis of Garifuna communities in the Americas, with an emphasis on those in Nicaragua and the United States. Serena Cosgrove and José Idiáquez provide a platform for the voices of indigenous peoples through participatory and ethnographic research, highlighting the strategies for Garifuna persistence in the face of a myriad of oppressions.
Through performance and the spoken word, Yucatec Maya storytellers have maintained the vitality of their literary traditions for more than five hundred years. Telling and Being Told presents the figure of the storyteller as a symbol of indigenous cultural control in contemporary Yucatec Maya literatures. Analyzing the storyteller as the embodiment of indigenous knowledge in written and oral texts, this book highlights how Yucatec Maya literatures play a vital role in imaginings of Maya culture and its relationships with Mexican and global cultures.
Through performance, storytellers place the past in dynamic relationship with the present, each continually evolving as it is reevaluated and reinterpreted. Yet non-indigenous actors often manipulate the storyteller in their firsthand accounts of the indigenous world. Moreover, by limiting the field of literary study to written texts, Worley argues, critics frequently ignore an important component of Latin America’s history of conquest and colonization: The fact that Europeans consciously set out to destroy indigenous writing systems, making orality a key means of indigenous resistance and cultural continuity.
Given these historical factors, outsiders must approach Yucatec Maya and other indigenous literatures on their own terms rather than applying Western models. Although oral literature has been excluded from many literary studies, Worley persuasively demonstrates that it must be included in contemporary analyses of indigenous literatures as oral texts form a key component of contemporary indigenous literatures, and storytellers and storytelling remain vibrant cultural forces in both Yucatec communities and contemporary Yucatec writing.
Transcontinental Dialogues brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous anthropologists from Mexico, Canada, and Australia who work at the intersections of Indigenous rights, advocacy, and action research. These engaged anthropologists explore how obligations manifest in differently situated alliances, how they respond to such obligations, and the consequences for anthropological practice and action.
This volume presents a set of pieces that do not take the usual political or geographic paradigms as their starting point; instead, the particular dialogues from the margins presented in this book arise from a rejection of the geographic hierarchization of knowledge in which the Global South continues to be the space for fieldwork while the Global North is the place for its systematization and theorization. Instead, contributors in Transcontinental Dialogues delve into the interactions between anthropologists and the people they work with in Canada, Australia, and Mexico. This framework allows the contributors to explore the often unintended but sometimes devastating impacts of government policies (such as land rights legislation or justice initiatives for women) on Indigenous people’s lives.
Each chapter’s author reflects critically on their own work as activist-scholars. They offer examples of the efforts and challenges that anthropologists—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—confront when producing knowledge in alliances with Indigenous peoples. Mi’kmaq land rights, pan-Maya social movements, and Aboriginal title claims in rural and urban areas are just some of the cases that provide useful ground for reflection on and critique of challenges and opportunities for scholars, policy-makers, activists, allies, and community members.
This volume is timely and innovative for using the disparate anthropological traditions of three regions to explore how the interactions between anthropologists and Indigenous peoples in supporting Indigenous activism have the potential to transform the production of knowledge within the historical colonial traditions of anthropology.
In Unsustainable Empire Dean Itsuji Saranillio offers a bold challenge to conventional understandings of Hawai‘i’s admission as a U.S. state. Hawai‘i statehood is popularly remembered as a civil rights victory against racist claims that Hawai‘i was undeserving of statehood because it was a largely non-white territory. Yet Native Hawaiian opposition to statehood has been all but forgotten. Saranillio tracks these disparate stories by marshaling a variety of unexpected genres and archives: exhibits at world's fairs, political cartoons, propaganda films, a multimillion-dollar hoax on Hawai‘i’s tourism industry, water struggles, and stories of hauntings, among others. Saranillio shows that statehood was neither the expansion of U.S. democracy nor a strong nation swallowing a weak and feeble island nation, but the result of a U.S. nation whose economy was unsustainable without enacting a more aggressive policy of imperialism. With clarity and persuasive force about historically and ethically complex issues, Unsustainable Empire provides a more complicated understanding of Hawai‘i’s admission as the fiftieth state and why Native Hawaiian place-based alternatives to U.S. empire are urgently needed.
In this story of one man’s encounter with an indigenous people of Peru, Michael Brown guides his readers upriver into a contested zone of the Amazonian frontier, where more than 50,000 Awajún—renowned for pugnacity and fierce independence—use hard-won political savvy, literacy, and digital skills to live life on their own terms, against long odds.
Jade, stone tools, honey and wax, ceramics, rum, land. What gave these commodities value in the Maya world, and how were those values determined? What factors influenced the rise and fall of a commodity’s value? The Value of Things examines the social and ritual value of commodities in Mesoamerica, providing a new and dynamic temporal view of the roles of trade of commodities and elite goods from the prehistoric Maya to the present.
Editors Jennifer P. Mathews and Thomas H. Guderjan begin the volume with a review of the theoretical literature related to the “value of things.” Throughout the volume, well-known scholars offer chapters that examine the value of specific commodities in a broad time frame—from prehistoric, colonial, and historic times to the present. Using cases from the Maya world on both the local level and the macro-regional, contributors look at jade, agricultural products (ancient and contemporary), stone tools, salt, cacao (chocolate), honey and wax, henequen, sugarcane and rum, land, ceramic (ancient and contemporary), and contemporary tourist handicrafts.
Each chapter author looks into what made their specific commodity valuable to ancient, historic, and contemporary peoples in the Maya region. Often a commodity’s worth goes far beyond its financial value; indeed, in some cases, it may not even be viewed as something that can be sold. Other themes include the rise and fall in commodity values based on perceived need, rarity or overproduction, and change in available raw materials; the domestic labor side of commodities, including daily life of the laborers; and relationships between elites and nonelites in production.
Examining, explaining, and theorizing how people ascribe value to what they trade, this scholarly volume provides a rich look at local and regional Maya case studies through centuries of time.
Rani T. Alexander
Dean E. Arnold
Tiffany C. Cain
Scott L. Fedick
Thomas H. Guderjan
Joshua J. Kwoka
Richard M. Leventhal
Jennifer P. Mathews
Allan D. Meyers
Mary Katherine Scott
E. Cory Sills
Indigenous women are rarely accounted for in world politics. Imagined as passive subjects at the margins of political decision-making, they often epitomize the antithesis of international relations. Yet from their positions of marginality they are shaping sovereignty.
In Vernacular Sovereignties, Manuela Lavinas Picq shows that Indigenous women have long been dynamic political actors who have partaken in international politics and have shaped state practices carrying different forms of resistance. Her research on Ecuador shows that although Kichwa women face overlapping oppressions from socioeconomic exclusions to sexual violence, they are achieving rights unparalleled in the world. They successfully advocated for women’s participation in the administration of Indigenous justice during the 2008 constitutional reform, creating the first constitution in Latin America to explicitly guarantee the rights of Indigenous women and the first constitution worldwide to require gender parity in the administration of justice.
Picq argues that Indigenous women are among the important forces reshaping states in Latin America. She offers empirical research that shows the significance of Indigenous women in international politics and the sophistication of their activism. Indigenous women strategically use international norms to shape legal authority locally, defying Western practices of authority as they build what the author calls vernacular sovereignties. Weaving feminist perspectives with Indigenous studies, this interdisciplinary work expands conceptual debates on state sovereignty.
Picq persuasively suggests that the invisibility of Indigenous women in high politics is more a consequence of our failure to recognize their agency than a result of their de facto absence. It is an invitation not merely to recognize their achievements but also to understand why they matter to world politics.
It is common to think of the Arctic as remote, perched at the farthest reaches of the world—a simple and harmonious, isolated utopia. But the reality, as Janne Flora shows us, is anything but. In Wandering Spirits, Flora reveals how deeply connected the Arctic is to the rest of the world and how it has been affected by the social, political, economic, and environmental shifts that ushered in the modern age.
In this innovative study, Flora focuses on Inuit communities in Greenland and addresses a central puzzle: their alarmingly high suicide rate. She explores the deep connections between loneliness and modernity in the Arctic, tracing the history of Greenland and analyzing the social dynamics that shaped it. Flora’s thorough, sensitive engagement with the families that make up these communities uncovers the complex interplay between loneliness and a host of economic and environmental practices, including the widespread local tradition of hunting. Wandering Spirits offers a vivid portrait of a largely overlooked world, in all its fragility and nuance, while engaging with core anthropological concerns of kinship and the structure of social relations.
As a mythical creature, the whale has been responsible for many transformations in the world. It is an enchanting being that humans have long felt a connection to. In the contemporary environmental imagination, whales are charismatic megafauna feeding our environmentalism and aspirations for a better and more sustainable future.
Using multispecies ethnography, Whale Snow explores how everyday the relatedness of the Iñupiat of Arctic Alaska and the bowhead whale forms and transforms “the human” through their encounters with modernity. Whale Snow shows how the people live in the world that intersects with other beings, how these connections came into being, and, most importantly, how such intimate and intense relations help humans survive the social challenges incurred by climate change. In this time of ecological transition, exploring multispecies relatedness is crucial as it keeps social capacities to adapt relational, elastic, and resilient.
In the Arctic, climate, culture, and human resilience are connected through bowhead whaling. In Whale Snow we see how climate change disrupts this ancient practice and, in the process, affects a vital expression of Indigenous sovereignty. Ultimately, though, this book offers a story of hope grounded in multispecies resilience.
Paloma Martinez-Cruz argues that the medicine traditions of Mesoamerican women constitute a hemispheric intellectual lineage that continues to thrive despite the legacy of colonization. Martinez-Cruz asserts that indigenous and mestiza women healers are custodians of a knowledge base that remains virtually uncharted.
The few works looking at the knowledge of women in Mesoamerica generally examine only the written—even academic—world, accessible only to the most elite segments of (customarily male) society. These works have consistently excluded the essential repertoire and performed knowledge of women who think and work in ways other than the textual. And while two of the book’s chapters critique contemporary novels, Martinez-Cruz also calls for the exploration of non-textual knowledge transmission. In this regard, the book's goals and methods are close to those of performance scholarship and anthropology, and these methods reveal Mesoamerican women to be public intellectuals. In Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica, fieldwork and ethnography combine to reveal women healers as models of agency.
Her multidisciplinary approach allows Martinez-Cruz to disrupt Euro-based intellectual hegemony and to make a case for the epistemic authority of Native women. Written from a Chicana perspective, this study is learned, personal, and engaging for anyone who is interested in the wisdom that prevailing analytical cultures have deemed “unintelligible.” As it turns out, those who are unacquainted with the sometimes surprising extent and depth of wisdom of indigenous women healers simply haven’t been looking in the right places—outside the texts from which they have been consistently excluded.
The Yaqui warrior is a persistent trope of the Mexican nation. But using fresh eyes to examine Yoeme indigeneity constructs, appropriations, and efforts at reclamation in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Mexican and Chicana/o literature provides important and vivid new opportunities for understanding. In Yaqui Indigeneity, Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga offers an interdisciplinary approach to examining representations of the transborder Yaqui nation as interpreted through the Mexican and Chicana/o imaginary.
Tumbaga examines colonial documents and nineteenth-century political literature that produce a Yaqui warrior mystique and reexamines the Mexican Revolution through indigenous culture. He delves into literary depictions of Yaqui battalions by writers like Martín Luis Guzmán and Carlos Fuentes and concludes that they conceal Yaqui politics and stigmatize Yaqui warriorhood, as well as misrepresent frequently performed deer dances as isolated exotic events.
Yaqui Indigeneity draws attention to a community of Chicana/o writers of Yaqui descent: Chicano-Yaqui authors such as Luis Valdez, Alma Luz Villanueva, Miguel Méndez, Alfredo Véa Jr., and Michael Nava, who possess a diaspora-based indigenous identity. Their writings rebut prior colonial and Mexican depictions of Yaquis—in particular, Véa’s La Maravilla exemplifies the new literary tradition that looks to indigenous oral tradition, religion, and history to address questions of cultural memory and immigration.
Using indigenous forms of knowledge, Tumbaga shows the important and growing body of literary work on Yaqui culture and history that demonstrates the historical and contemporary importance of the Yaqui nation in Mexican and Chicana/o history, politics, and culture.
Hokulani K. Aikau
Vicente M. Diaz
Noelani Goodyear Kaopua
Daniel Heath Justice
Jean M. O'Brien