Interpretations of Native North American Life: Material Contributions to Ethnohistory
"A thoughtful, disciplined, and useful work. . . . The issue of how to interpret North American Native cultures, in all their complexity and diversity, is one that historians, archaeologists, and other behavioral scientists have wrestled with for a long time. This volume is an interesting indicator of where that struggle currently stands."--James W. Bradley, director, Robert S. Peabody Museum, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts
"A useful, interesting, and up-to-date introduction to how scholars are using material culture to better understand Native American life. Nassaney and Johnson have done a fine job of bringing together a useful edited reader on material culture and the lives of Native Americans."--American Antiquity
"Nassaney and Johnson's volume reminds scholars of the considerable benefits of combining the fruits of archaeological, ethno-historic, and material culture data sources into fuller richer understanding of Native societies of the Contact period."--Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology
"A thoughtful, disciplined, and useful work. . . . The issue of how to interpret North American native cultures, in all their complexity and diversity, is one that historians, archaeologists, and other behavioral scientists have wrestled with for a long time. This volume is an interesting indicator of where that struggle currently stands."--James W. Bradley, Robert S. Peabody Museum
Bringing together the perspectives of archaeologists, ethnohistorians, and art historians, these tightly integrated case studies highlight the significance of material objects to the study and interpretation of Native North American culture, history, and identity. The authors contend that archaeological remains and ethnographic specimens can, and indeed should, be analyzed in tandem with other souces of historical data (e.g., written texts, oral accounts) to expand our understanding of Native culture change and continuity from the pre-Columbian era through the present.
The essays in this collection begin with concrete, tangible expressions of Native American culture which, in most cases, were made and used to meet basic human needs or to participate in social and religious life. Material objects invite interdis-ciplinary study because they are a rich source of information about how human societies and social identities were created, reproduced, and transformed. While this volume serves to complement and enhance our historical and cultural understanding of native peoples throughout North America, the theoretical approaches and research methodologies showcased here have implications for studies anywhere people left material traces of their activities, identities, and lives.
Part I. Ethnogenesis: The Creation, Maintenance, and Transformation of Ethnic Identity
1. Ritual and Material Culture as Keys to Cultural Continuity: Native American Interaction with Europeans in Eastern Arkansas, 1541-1682, by Kathleen H. Cande
2. The Identity of Stadacona and Hochelaga: Comprehension and Conflict, by James F. Pendergast
3. Echoing the Past: Reconciling Ethnohistorical and Archaeological Views of Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Ethnogenesis, by John P. Staeck
4. The Politics of Pottery: Material Culture and Political Process among Algonquians of 17th-Century Southern New England, by Eric S. Johnson
5. Emblems of Ethnicity: Ribbonwork Garments from the Great Lakes Region, by Susan M. Neill
Part II. Change and Continuity in Daily Life
6. François' House, a Significant Pedlars' Post on the Saskatchewan, by Alice Beck Kehoe
7. Improving Our Understanding of Native American Acculturation through the Archaeological Record: An Example from the Mono Basin of Eastern California, by Brooke S. Arkush
8. Cache Pits: Ethnohistory, Archaeology, and the Continuity of Tradition, by Sean B. Dunham
9. Maple Sugaring in Prehistory: Tapping the Sources, by Carol I. Mason and Margaret B. Holman
10. Archaeology of a Contact-Period Plateau Salishan Village at Thompson's River Post, Kamloops, British Columbia, by Catherine C. Carlson
11. Obtaining Information via Defective Documents: A Search for the Mandan in George Catlin's Paintings, by Mark S. Parker Miller
Part III. Ritual, Iconography, and Ideology
12. Images of Women in Native American Iconography, by Larissa A. Thomas
13. Tlingit Human Masks as Documents of Culture Change and Continuity, by Barbara Brotherton
14. One Island, Two Places: Archaeology, Memory, and Meaning in a Rhode Island Town, by Paul A. Robinson
15. Archaeology and Oral Tradition in Tandem: Interpreting Native American Ritual, Ideology, and Gender Relations in Contact-Period Southeastern New England, by Michael S. Nassaney
This title is published in conjunction with the Society for Historical Archaeology
Michael S. Nassaney, associate professor of anthropology at Western Michigan University, is the editor or coeditor of four books, including The Archaeological Northeast.
Eric S. Johnson, a preservation planner at the Massachusetts Historical Commission, has written numerous articles and monographs on New England archaeology and ethnohistory.
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