SOAN 55B

THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN………..

Fall Semester 2005

Friday 1:15-4:00, Kohlberg 228

Instructor:  Steve Piker

 

 

 

Logan’s Lament

 

"I appeal  to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan’s cabin hungry,  and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not.  During the course of the last long and bloody war(The French and Indian War, 1755-63), Logan remained idle in his cabin,  an advocate for peace.  Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, ‘Logan is the friend of the white men.’  I had even thought  to have lived with you,  but for the injuries of one man.  Col. Cresap, this last Spring,  in cold blood,  and unprovoked,  murdered all the relations of Logan,  not sparing even  my women and children.  There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature.  This called  on me for revenge.  I have sought it:  I have killed many:  I have fully glutted my vengeance.  For my country,  I rejoice at  the beams of peace.  But do not harbor a thought  that mine is the joy of fear.  Logan never felt fear.  He will not turn on his heel to save his life.  Who is there to mourn for Logan? – Not one."

 

(Logan was born about 1725, son of the renowned Cayuga,  Iroquois,  Chief,  Shikellamy, and grew up on the banks of the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania in a village populated by displaced Indian refugees from a number of Eastern tribes,  to which village Logan’s father  served as emissary from the powerful Iroquois Federation – The Six nations – of upstate New York, centered on the  Finger Lakes region.  Logan knew well Moravian missionaries who lived and worked in the village,  and probably obtained his fluency and literacy in English from them.  Upon his father’s death in 1748, Logan replaced his father as emissary.  The violence and disruption of the French and Indian War and its immediate aftermath displaced Logan and many other Iroquois, some of whom moved westward to the upper Ohio River valley,  down stream from modern day Pittsburgh, where the displaced Iroquois became known as Mingoes.)

 

 

Ethnographic Vignette

 

An Anglo saleswoman is driving toward home late one day in Northern Alberta when she sees a Native American woman thumbing a ride by the side of the road.  She stops the car,  and the Native American woman gets in.  After a bit of small talk, the native American woman notices a brown paper bag on the front seat.

 

"What’s in the bag?"  she asks.

 

"It’s a bottle of wine," responds the saleswoman.  "I got it for my husband."

 

The Native American woman is silent for a moment,   then says,  "Good trade"

 

 

.Literary Fragment

 

"It’s probably fair to say that welfare dependency,   alcoholism,   glue sniffing, infant mortality,  the highest suicide rate among any of our ethnic groups,  recidivism,  xenophobia,   and a general aversion to capitalistic monetary concepts are but a few of the problems that American Indians have.  The list goes on.  Unfortunately,   their problems are of a kind that most white people don’t want  to dwell  on,  primarily,  I suspect,  because Indians were a happy people before their encounter with the white  race.

 

The irony is,  except  for a few political  opportunists,  Indians seldom if ever make a claim  on victimhood.   Individually,  they’re reticent  about  their  hardships,  do their time in county bags and mainline joints without complaint,   and systematically go about  dismantling  their lives and inflicting pain on themselves in ways a medieval  flagellant  couldn’t dream up.

 

…(Many Indians) don’t belong in the twenty-first century…  (Many live)on the threadworn edges of an aboriginal  culture,  inside a pantheistic vision of (a) world that(is)…as dead as(their)…ancestor Crazy Horse."

 

 

SYLLABUS

 

This syllabus contains the following sections:

 

I)      A narrative overview of the course

II)     Assigned readings, and how they will be available to you

III)    Schedule of class meetings

IV)    Course requirements

V)     Final exam assignment

VI)    Paper assignment

VII)   Terms and concepts

 

 

I) NARRATIVE OVERVIEW OF THE COURSE

 

The case materials of this course are not organized chronologically.  But  an introductory chronological   narrative, leading into a summary of the course, should provide a useful overview, and also highlight issues that will concern us during the semester.  At the outset, we note that ‘Indian’ or ‘Native American’ or ‘First American’ denote a vast array of diverse cultures and a wealth of languages.

 

It is widely supposed that the first European contact with the New World was made by Norse Vikings in the tenth century A.D., that they established small coastal colonies in what is now Canada’s Maritime Provinces, that they traded with and had other intercourse with their Indian neighbors, that they didn’t go beyond these coastal regions, and that they departed before long, leaving no cultural traces and not to return.  Whether in fact the Vikings were the first Old World people to come to the New World is not known for sure, nor is it known certainly how extensively they may have traveled and perhaps settled in the New world.

 

The great significance of Columbus’ landfall in the Caribbean in 1492 was not that he was another early European ‘discoverer’ of the New World.  Rather, it was that his ‘discovery’ occurred early in a burst of European imperial, economic, religious, cultural, military, demographic and epidemiological expansion that continued for centuries and which, by the 19th century, had encompassed the entire world.  Because of when it happened, Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of the New World – unlike the ‘discovery’ of the New World by the Vikings a few centuries earlier – insured that the entire New World would be overtaken by the centuries long expansion of Europe then beginning, an expansion unprecedented in the history of humankind.

 

The geographical focus of this course is the lower forty eight states and Canada.  For these parts of the New World, the advent and establishment of Europeans occurred in three distinct patterns:  1)  That of the Spanish(Florida, gulf Coast, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California).  2)  That of the French(Canada  west to the Rockies, the Great Lakes region, much of the middle region of the U.S. in the Mississippi River drainage.  And, 3)  That of the British(Atlantic coast from New England to Georgia, and inland to the crest of the Appalachian Mountains).

 

The British purpose was to colonize, to make their part of the New World  a cultural and economic and political and demographic extension of Great Britain.  Great Britain sent, in the 17th and 18th centuries, vast numbers of people who, in the British colonies, systematically dispossessed the Indians of their land and, sooner or later, removed them from their land.

 

Spanish and French imperialisms in the New World were alike in that their main initial purposes, beyond annexation of territory, were extraction of wealth and harvesting of souls.  The Spaniards, however, once they had looted all of the portable precious metals that they could find, subjugated Indians in a feudal system which forced them to produce extractable wealth in the fields and mines by awarding their labor to Spaniards(encomiendas), and they converted Indians to Christianity, by force if necessary.  Throughout Spanish America, those Indians who survived the conquest and its subsequent ravages were in the main allowed to inhabit at least some of the lands of their ancestors.  But the price was the assumption by the Indians of the status of serfs(with, however, the partial exception of California, this system was much more extensively implemented in the Spanish domains in Mexico, Central America, and S. America than in the Spanish domains in the forty eight states).   In today’s Spanish America, only vestiges of the feudal system remain.  But, almost without exceptions in these lands, the culturally marked descendants of pre-Hispanic Indians are at the bottoms of the societies, economically and politically and socially. The French, more benignly, came in small numbers and were content to trade with the Indians for furs, the treasure that they mainly sought, and fish the coastal waters without seeking either to displace the Indians or fundamentally remake their traditional cultures; and they prosyletized with  modest results.  Thus, both the Spaniards and the French left the Indian populations substantially in place, and the French also left traditional lifeways substantially intact.  But French imperialism in North America all but ended in 1763, with their defeat at the hands of the British in the French and Indian War.  And French New World domains passed into the hands of the British; and much of them, subsequently, into the hands of the Americans.

 

In the long run, however, if not always in the short, the advent of Europeans was almost always disastrous for Indians, and especially so in the forty eight states.  First, and for the most part unknowingly, Europeans brought with them infectious diseases previously unseen in the New World, to which Europeans had some immunity and Indians none.  One devastating epidemic followed upon another, continuing through the 19th century, literally decimating Indian populations.  Second, especially the British – and, following the Revolutionary War, the Americans – brought vast, endless streams of people, whose aggregate land hunger harnessed to the economic, political, and military policies of, first, the British colonial administration and, later, the American government insured that Indians would, eventually, be dispossessed of all but undesirable fragments of the lands they had occupied and made use of before 1492.  Sometimes dispossession of Indians involved wars, which the Indians could not win, notwithstanding some notable military successes on their parts(sometimes with the help of European allies, sometimes not).  But the decisive factor was Euro-American population/land pressure – always growing, never ending, always government abetted – which in the long run insured that the traditional lifeways and subsistence modes of Indians would be rendered no longer viable; and that surviving Indians would be displaced from their lands and homes.The inescapable sequel for most Indians was the enforced dependency and demoralization of reservation life which, in its several flavors and textures, embodied – and continues to do so – a cruel contradiction:  the inescapability of tradition along with the impossibility of tradition.  ‘Inescapable' in the sense that traditional meanings and customs and beliefs and identities remained compelling and salient and integral to Indians.  ‘Impossible’ in the sense that the lifeways which once gave life to and enshrined these traditions could no longer be enacted.

 

Especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, in a number of regions – e.g., the American Southeast, the Iroquois domains centered in western New York, the western Great Lakes region, and the lower Mississippi River drainage – durable multi cultural accommodations emerged which to a significant extent worked for all parties.  In addition to Indians, these mutual accommodations variably included British, French,  Spanish, and African Americans.  This historical circumstance suggests, to some, the intriguing possibility that the tragic denouement which, for the Indians, materialized just about everywhere was perhaps not inevitable.

 

Not quite all North American Indians have been so meanly treated by the last five hundred years.  Especially in Alaska and the northern reaches of Canada, some have fared better.  In these regions, until recently, there were few EuroAmericans, because the latter found these regions to be inhospitable and they(and their governments)didn’t much want for themselves what resources the regions were, earlier on, known to contain.  EuroAmericans, of course, have in the 20th century come to covet the natural resources of these regions.  But so also have the Indians of these regions, especially Canada, latterly developed facility with national and provincial legal institutions, which facility they often use effectively to conserve  tradition.

 

With this as background, then, our course unfolds as follows………

 

Pre contact Indian tradition, in anything like its entirety, is not directly accessible to us.  Much of this tradition, however, survived contact and played a vital role in the often multi generational, sometimes centuries long, mutual accommodations that developed locally between Indian groups and EuroAmericans.  Since these mutual accommodations were of considerable practical importance to Euroamericans, they were written about – sometimes copiously – in the myriad documentation of itself that. first, the colonies and then the American nation produced.  And, especially for Western tribes which succumbed last, vestiges of tradition, or at least living memory of same, persisted into the late 19th and even early 20th centuries, and was studied extensively by communities of modern scholars, e.g., anthropologists and historians.  We look into just such a mutual accommodation situation in the Ameican southeast in the 18th century, with the help of visiting Professor of History from the University of Oklahoma, Joshua Piker, whose book,  OKFUSKEE,  explores with much attention to Creek local life the enduring Creek/EuroAmerican interface of this period.  Coming north, we will follow this up by looking at a comparable, but longer lasting EuroAmerican/Indian mutual accommodation involving the Iroquois and both the French and the British.  And we will look as well at the disintegration of this mutual accommodation, and what followed.   A major part of what followed was reservation life for the Iroquois, and the emergence of a new pattern of reciprocal perceptions and expectations on the part of the Iroquois and their new American neighbors.  Many of whom, as it happened, were Quakers, who wrote thoughtfully and at length about their associations with the Iroquois.  With the help of Christopher Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore, and  primary documents from the Library’s collection, we will take a close look at this emerging situation.   So also will we consult published work on two major Iroquois leaders of the late 18th and early 19th centuries:  Chris Densmore's book on the career of the noted  orator,  Red Jacket(RED JACKET:  IROQUOIS ORATOR AND DIPLOMAT); and Anthony Wallace's DEATH AND REBIRTH OF THE SENECA, which treats the Iroquois prophet Handsome Lake and the revitalization movement he founded.  And this, along with the Creek materials, will frame for us a central issue of the course, viz., evolving mutual perceptions and expectations among Indians and EuroAmericans.   

 

Acculturation refers to the situation in which  culture contact  renders the traditional culture and lifeways  of one of the contacting cultures no longer viable.  Almost all American Indian groups underwent acculturation following the advent of EuroAmericans.  And the Indians  endured, and endeavored to accommodate somehow to the inescapable tragedy that had befallen them.  Often, especially early on, the endeavors conspicuously included what Wallace calls revitalization movements, self conscious attempts somehow to fashion a more satisfying cultural situation.   Wallace’s DEATH AND REBIRTH OF THE SENECA provides us with a classic study of the Handsome Lake revitalization movement.  Almost always, these movement fail to produce a viable and satisfying cultural rejoinder to the dilemmas at hand(although, interestingly, the  Handsome Lake Movement had some success  with this; and we will want to see if we can figure out, why and how so?)  Yet life, grounded in distinctive tribal Indian identities, goes on.  And it comprises myriad local explorations and innovations in the service at once of remaining faithful to traditional identities and evolving lifeways that work in the post acculturation milieu.    For us, the paradigm example of this process is the Comanche of the Llano Estacado of West Texas, rendered for us by Morris Foster’s volume BEING COMANCHE, from their 17th century high plains horse bound buffalo hunting and warrior culture to their circumstances at the end of the 20th century.  We follow the Comanche with a look at parallel processes among  the Cherokee of the American southeast, whose cultural transformation from the colonial period to the present is is evoked by Sarah Hill’s treatment(WEAVING NEW WORLDS:  SOUTHEAST CHEROKEE WOMEN AND THEIR BASKETRY)of the evolution of Cherokee women’s weaving practices.

 

Reconstruction of Indian lifeways, albeit fragmentarily, in the aftermath of acculturation is evoked by, e.g., Wallace and Foster and Hill.  But destruction, of individuals and communities, has been just as much a part of the ftermath of acculturation.  Especially from Wallace, we get a glimpse of the human ravages of acculturation.  From Anastasia Shkilnyk(A POISON STRONGER THAN LOVE)we get a snoot full of it, a graphic,  anguished depiction of how far acculturated people can sink,  of the personal and social tragedies that can overtake them.

 

Finally, in the here and now, what is to be done?  We’ll come at this from two different directions.  First, Hugh Brody(MAPS AND DREAMS)presents us with a case(the Athabaskans of northwest Canada)that is probably as much of a success story as one can find in the tragic annals of American Indians:  ‘success’ in the sense that these Athabaskans have evolved lifeways which at once are continuous with traditional identities and which have soime viability in the modern situation; and ‘success’ also in the sense that the Athabaskans and the EuroAmerican Canadians have made some progress in attaining realistic understandings of each other., albeit their respective world views remain leagues apart.  Second, Michael Brown’s volume, WHO OWNS NATIVE CULTURES?,  superbly phrases the key issues that must be faced, now, in the emerging accommodations of native cultures to the modern world, and vice versa.

 

Alice Kehoe’s, NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS.  A COMPREHENSIVE ACCOUNT, is just that.  We will consult it throughout  the semester for contextualization of the individual cultural cases that we look at in depth.

 

II) ASSIGNED READINGS

 

Members of the class are expected to read the following books and articles.

 

A.F.C.  Wallace.  THE DEATH AND REBIRTH OF THE SENECA

Alice Kehoe. NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS.  A COMPREHENSIVE ACCOUNT

Hugh Brody.  MAPS AND DREAMS

Morris Foster.  BEING COMANCHE

Anastasia Shkilnyk.  A POISON STRONGER THAN LOVE

Sarah Hill.  WEAVING NEW WORLDS:  SOUTHEAST CHEROKEE WOMEN

AND THEIR BASKETRY

Michael Brown.  WHO OWNS NATIVE CULTURES

Christopher Densmore.  RED JACKET:  IROQUOIS ORATOR AND DIPLOMAT

Joshua Piker.  OKFUSKEE

A.F.C. Wallace.  "Revitalization movements"

Clifford Geertz.  "The impact of the concept of culture on the concept of man"

________  "From the native’s point of view"

Edward Sapir.  "Culture, genuine and spurious"

Steven Piker.    Review essay of, CHRONICLING CULTURES: LONG-TERM

FIELD RESEARCH IN ANTHROPOLOGY, and,  SNEAKY KID AND ITS

AFTERMATH: ETHICS AND INTIMACY IN FIELD WORK

Primary documents  from the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College

 

The  first eight books are available for purchase in the College book store, and copies of each will be on general reserve at McCabe.  The ninth will be distributed to you by yours truly.  The remainder of the readings  will be made available to all members of the class in Xerox copies.  Members of the class are not required to purchase any books, and it should be possible to do all of the assigned reading on time without doing so.

 

 

 

III) SCHEDULE OF CLASS MEETINGS

 

The class will meet Friday afternoons, 1:15 to 4:00, in Kohlberg 228.  Since our class meeting is at the end of the week, it is expected that the assigned reading for each week will be completed by you  before coming to the class meeting for that week.

 

2 September.  INTRODUCTION

 

Buzz group exercise.  The class will be divided into discussion groups of four students each,  The groups will be asked to discuss the following issue:   The advent of Europeans was, for virtually all American Indian groups, a disaster, sooner or later.  Often, in the aftermath of the disaster and as a rejoinder to it, revitalization movements arose among American Indian groups.  The buzz groups are asked to:  1)  identify the elements of the cultural catastrophe; 2) identify the rejoinders framed by the movements; and, 3) discuss the prospects for success on the part of the movements in fashioning viable cultural  resyntheses.  The relevant  reading is Wallace’s paper, "Revitalization movements."

 

Issues:  Introduction to the subject matter of the course; connection of the subject matter of the course to the field of anthropology; review of course procedures.

 

Readings: Articles by Wallace, Geertz, Sapir, and S. Piker; Kehoe(chs. 1.2)

 

9 September.  THE CREEK AND THE ENGLISH LEARN TO LIVE WITH EACH OTHER IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHEAST, 18TH CENTURY

 

Professor Joshua Piker, Department of History of the University of Oklahoma, will lead the class this week.

 

Issues:  In the immediate post-contact period, often Indians and EuroAmericans worked out more or less durable mutual accommodations to which both sides assigned importance, in which there was considerable communication and exchange across the cultural boundaries, and during which traditional Indian lifeways remained substantially intact.    Attendance to the details of local  life in the Indian communities  reveals much that was vital to the working of these accomodations.

 

Reading:  Joshua Piker.  OKFUSKIE; Kehoe(ch. 4)

 

 

16 September.  RECIPROCAL PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS:  QUAKERS, MISSIONARIES, AND THE ALLEGHANY SENECA IN 1805

 

This week and next the class will be led by Chris Densmore,  Curator,  Friends Historical Library(McCabe)

 

Issues:  Throughout  the 17th and most of the 18th centuries the Six Nations of the iroquois Confederacy controlled vast territories and c onducted and independent foreign policy in the conflicts between British and French interests for the contgrol of the trade and territories of much of what is now the American Midwest and Canada.  Following the American Revolution, and the partial defeat of the Iroquois by American forces, the Iroquois confronted  loss of both territory and political power.  This session concerns internal and external conflict of the Seneca, paticularly those living on the Alleghany River in what is now Western New York,  immediately after the period described by Wallace in DEATH AND REBIRTH OF THE SENECA as missionaries and others sought to influence the development of the Seneca.  We will focus on contemporary documents of Quakers and missionaries who visited or lived among the Seneca and how those documents reflect the "voice" of Native Americans and Euro-Americans, how "hearing" is filtered through cultural assumptions, the silences of documents, and the role of documents in scholarly interpretations of reality.

 

Readings:

 

Primary documents from the Friends Historical Library

 

Christopher Densmore.  RED JACKET:  IROQUOIS ORATOR AND DIPLOMAT.  pg. 135-40("Red Jacket's  reply to Reverend Cram, 1805")

 

 

23 September.  FACTIONALISM, ACCOMODATION AND ACCULTURATION:  RED JACKET'S BATTLE TO MAINTAIN SENECA INDEPENDENCE.

 

Issues:  this session follows the story of the Iroquois, specifically the career of the Seneca Orator Red jacket, as the Iroquois relationship with the Euro-Americans changes from a relationship with powerful but distant enemies and/or allies to the era of reservations  in which Euro-Americans are near and contant  neighbors and exercise potentially  dominan t  political and military power.  Through Red jacket's career, we will examine Seneca and  Euro-American attitudes toward accommodation and acculturization as well as differing strategies to achieve or resist accommodation  and acculturization.  The session will also include a brief examination  of the political and legal relationship between the Seneca nation and the United States.

 

Readings:

 

RED JACKET......, pgs. 60-124, 131-134, 141-145

 

 

30 September.  MUTUAL INDIAN/EUROAMERICAN ACCOMODATION, ITS DISINTEGRATION, ACCULTURATION, REVITALIZATION.

 

Group report.  The Handsome Lake Movement.

 

Issues:  The oft-occurring mutual accommodations of Indians and EuroAmericans eventually fail, to the disastrous disadvantage of the Indians.  Acculturation ensues, and in its wake often come revitalization movements, religiously inspired attempts to fashion a viable cultural resynthesis.

 

Reading:  A.F.C. Wallace.  THE DEATH AND REBIRTH OF THE SENECA; Kehoe(ch. 5)

 

And, in class this week some time will be devoted to discussion of the final exam and poster session/paper assignments.  By this afternoon, class members should have signed up for a poster session book.

 

 

7 October.

 

No class meeting this week.  In lieu of class meeting, members of the class will have individual scheduled appointments with SP to get squared away of their respective poster session/paper assignments.

 

 

14 October.  FALL BREAK

 

 

21 October.  THE RECONFIGURATION OF INDIAN IDENTITY:  THE COMANCHE

 

Group report:  Changing but distinctive Comanche identity,  from tradition through the vicissitudes of reservation life

 

Issues:  The traditional culture of the Comanches of the 17th and 18th centuries became impossible for them in the last half of the 19th century.  Yet, following this cultural catastrophe and through the 20th century, the Comanche by their own lights have remained distinctively Comanche.  Of what does this process, and this distinctiveness,  consist?

 

Reading:  Morris Foster.  BEING COMANCHE;  Kehoe(ch. 6)

 

 

28 October.  THE RECONFIGURATION OF INDIAN IDENTITY:  THE CHEROKEE

 

Group report.  Changing but distinctive Cherokee identity,  from the colonial period into the 20th century

 

Issues:  Same as week of 21 October,  substitute ‘Cherokee’ for ‘Comanche’ and adjust  historical dates.

 

Reading:  Sarah Hill.  WEAVING NEW WORLDS:  SOUTHEAST CHEROKEE WOMEN AND THEIR BASKETRY; Kehoe(ch,  4)

 

 

 

4 November.    THE FULLEST HUMAN COSTS OF ACCULTURATION:  OJIBWA

 

Group report:  The Grassy Narrows Ojibwa:  What finally pushed them over the edge?

 

Issues:  Acculturation is usually profoundly demoralizing for those who undergo it.  The personal and social pathologies – such as the cruel  ravages of alcohol among the Grassy Narrows Ojibwa – that so often accompany acculturation express demoralization.  These are the facts.  To understand the facts, we need to see – contextually, and in narrative fashion – how and why acculturation breeds demoralization.

 

Reading:  Anastasia Shkilnyk.  A POISON STRONGER THAN LOVE:  Kehoe, chs. 5,6)

 

 

11 November.  GROPING TOWARD A VIABLE MUTUAL ACCOMODATION FOR MODERN TIMES:  THE NORTHERN ATHABASKAN AND THEIR ANGLO CANADIAN NEIGHBORS

 

Group report.  For Brody, the meaning of ‘maps’ and ‘dreams’, and the importance of the distinction for his case study

 

Issues:  How if at all can a modern Indian identity at once connect historically with and partake of tradition, and be viable and compelling in modern times?

 

Reading:  Hugh Brody.  MAPS AND DREAMS; Kehoe(ch. 9)

 

 

18 November. KEY ISSUES IN THE EMERGING ACCOMODATIONS OF NATIVE CULTURES TO THE MODERN WORLD, AND VICE VERSA..

 

Buzz group exercise:  the class will be divided into buzz groups, and each group will be presented with one of the issues that Brown  phrases, and invited to discuss and evaluate the line of reasoning that Brown develops re the issue.  As with week 1 buzz group exercise,   each group will summarize for the class as a whole the gist of its discussion,  and the class as a whole will discuss these issues with the help of the buzz group inputs.  Unlike the week 1 buzz group exercise, following our class meeting each buzz group will be asked to reconvene briefly at a time and place of its choosing, further review its issue, and prepare a brief written report on the issue to be mailed out to the entire class before our final class meeting of the semester .

 

Reading:  Michael Brown.  WHO OWNS NATIVE CULTURES? and,  Kehoe(ch. 9)

 

 

25 November.  THANKSGIVING BREAK.  No class meeting.

 

 

2 December.  Poster sessions.

 

 

5 December.  make up class meeting for Thanksgiving break Friday.  Wrap up, discussion of final exam.

 

 

 

IV)    COURSE REQUIREMENTS

 

Attendance at each class meeting is required of every member of the class.  Grade penalties for unexcused absences.    Extra curricular activities will  not  provide bases for excused absences.  The reason for this is:  The course is designed with the expectation that class members will help each other with the comprehension of course materials and the production of required work.  A main way in which we help each other is through the informal exchange of ideas, observations, questions, interpretations…….you name it.  Our scheduled class meetings are the main venue for such exchanges among ourselves.

 

Group report(ungraded).  Ech member of the class will be required to participate in the preparation and oral presentation in class of one group report.  The scheduling and topics of the group reports are set forth in SCHEDULE OF CLASS MEETINGS(III, above).  The upcoming report will be assigned in class the previous week, so that the entire class – and not just the reporting group – will know what’s coming.  Two students per report,  each report will be based on the assigned reading for that week,  no extra reading for the reports.  For each group,  about an hour of out of class time should be required for preparation of the report, the oral presentation of which should take 20-30 minutes.

 

Buzz groups,  2 September, 18 November

 

Final Exam.  Assigned in (V), below.

 

Poster Session/Paper.  Assigned in (VI), below.

 

Final exam and poster session/paper assignments will be discussed in class  on 2 and 30 September.

And………..i)  For your course grade,  exam and paper will weigh equally.  ii)  Class participation will be taken into account in determining course grade, but only to your advantage:  if as I hope you participate extensively in class discussions, it can only help your grade,  not hurt it.  iii)  For the poster session/paper and the final exam,  I am glad to review your preparation with you,  but only if and when  you bring me some work(e.g., draft, detailed outline)that you have already produced.  If you come to me with, ‘I don’t understand what you’re looking for here…’ or any whole or part paraphrase of this,  it’s going to be a real brief conversation.  All of the assignments – buzz groups and group reports as well as poster/paper and final – call upon you to construct the issue(s) in the assignment, and identify course materials germane to the issue(s)as per your construction, and to organize these materials into a line of reasoning that intelligently addresses the issue(s).  The FIRST and MAIN thing that I want YOU to do with the assignment is to put a construction on it, and produce some work from your construction.    And please N.B., the buzz group and group report assignments will involve you just in the initial, tentative, exploratory stages of  the production of academic work.  For the poster session/paper and the final, you will of course start at these stages, but you will carry your work forward to the presentation of a polished final product.  iv)  What letter grades mean:  ‘B’ means good work,  important points well handled, well organized and good writing mechanics; ‘C’ means satisfactory work,  some important points well handled,  but some important material is not well handled or omitted; ‘D’ means poor but barely passing,  almost nothing that’s important  is  done well and/or a lot of important stuff is mishandled; ‘E’ means that essentially nothing of real academic worth is there; ‘A’ includes everything for ‘B’  and, in addition, you have made an original and intelligent and important contribution.

 

And.........from time to time, I will send e-mails around to everybody,  containing, e.g., commentary on what transpired in class meetings or course procedure matters or assignments.  You are responsible for being familiar with the content of the e-mails that I send around.  And....... each of you is encouraged to use e-mail to communicate with the class about, e.g., questions, thoughts, references to books or articles or movies or events that you think will be of interest to us all.....you name it.  To do this, if you so request, I will provide you with an e-mail  address directory for the class; or, if you prefer, just send y our e-mail to yours truly, and I'll beam it out to the class.

 

 

 

V)  FINAL EXAM ASSIGNMENT

 

At the beginning of the three hour period, scheduled for our final exam  in December,  three questions from the list of questions, below, will be specified for you to answer.  Your completed exam essays will be due at the end of the three hour period.  About three double spaced pages per essay, open book, open notes.  Further:  a)  If you submit more than three essays, and the quality of the extra essays is at least as good as the quality of the three required essays, this will help your grade.  b)  You are encouraged to work in small groups in preparing your exam essays.  If a group(four students max)works together on all of the essays, the group may with my permission submit one collective exam.  c)  I will be glad to review your preparation with you prior to the scheduled exam time.

 

Please N.B., for each essay, the main things that are expected of you are, first, clear statement of the issue(s) that the essay addresses; second, identification of course materials(e.g., from readings, in-class proceedings)that are relevant to the issue(s); and, third, the organization of these materials into an essay built around a line of reasoning which intelligently addresses the issue(s).  Following each question, below, important relevant readings are identified for you.

 

1) This course includes material on a number of Indian cultures that have undergone acculturation, and its aftermath.  Pre-acculturation, these cultures differed from one another.  With reference to any two of the cultures that we have learned about this semester, you re asked to consider:  Do specific pre-acculturation features of cultures influence how, for each, the acculturation process and its aftermath unfold(Hill, Wallace,  Densmore, Foster, Shkilnyk)

 

2) For extended periods of time, both the Iroquois and the Creek co-existed with EuroAmericans in ways that made possible substantial continuation of the traditional cultures of the two Indian groups.  What enabled this co-existence, while it lasted?  Why did it end?  Can you imagine any plausible scenario(s), in the respective times and places, by which the co-existence might have continued, perhaps indefinitely?(J. Piker, Wallace,  Densmore, Kehoe)

 

3) Return to traditional, pre-contact lifeways is impossible for American Indians.  For at least some enduring Indian groups, however, a distinctively Indian identity which is historically continuous with traditional cultures may be  possible.  For this situation to emerge, Indian groups must innovate practices that are at once meaningful to them on their own cultural terms and workable in the broader white man’s world that Indians inescapably inhabit.  You are asked to find a couple of examples of this process from our case materials, and show how it works(Hill, Foster, Brody)

 

4) Among the myriad difficulties and misunderstandings that arose among Indians and EuroAmericans in their dealings with each other, a major and frequent misunderstanding on the part of Euroamericans was the supposition that specific Indian groups(e.g., Comanche, Creek)could be dealt with as entities, sort of as mini nations, if you will.  Almost without exception, this was not so.  For any one of the Indian cultures that we have studied, you are asked to show why this was not so.  And…….a striking exception to this generalization was the Iroquois.  What was it about the Iroquois that made this supposition valid for them, at least for a long time?(J. Piker, Foster, Wallace,  Densmore,  Kehoe)

 

5) The advent of EuroAmericans insured that they and Indians would newly live in close proximity to each other, and that each would newly be of practical importance to the other in myriad ways.  Such situations breed, among the newly comingled cultural groups, reciprocal perceptions and misperceptions, which themselves influence the evolving relationships between the cultural groups.  You are asked to compare and contrast the patterns of reciprocal perceptions among the Creek and the English(pre-acculturation), and the Seneca and the Quakers(post-acculturation); and to indicate how the reciprocal perceptions influenced emerging relationships between the respective cultural pairs.(J. Piker, Chris Densmore’s documentary materials, Wallace, Kehoe)

 

6) What does it mean to consider the traditional cultural heritage of a people to be a protected resource, such as private property?   Is it feasible to do so?  Is it desirable to do so?

 

7) We have looked at examples of American Indian groups which, arguably, have had some success in fashioning lifeways which at once are continuous with distinctive traditional identities and which are workable in the inescapable broader EuroAmerican world(e.g., Athabaskan, Comanche, Cherokee).  Each of these cultures is an example of what Brown calls ‘native cultures.’  Brown also summarizes a viewpoint, ‘total heritage protection,’ which is espoused by, e.g., some advocacy groups which purport to act on behalf of native cultures.   You are asked to use the experiences of some or all of these American Indian groups to evaluate the worth and practicality of the ‘total heritage protection’ program for native cultures.(Brown, Hill, Brody, Foster)

 

8) You are asked to make up a question  which frames an issue which is important to what this course is all about, and then to answer it.

 

 

VI)  POSTER SESSION/PAPER ASSIGNMENT

 

  Here's how this works.  Each  of you will be required to submit a ten page paper at the end of exam period.  The paper should be produced in the following manner:

 

1)  The paper will be based on a book, to be selected from the list of books, below.  These books include ethnographic studies, historical accounts,   biography,  and novels.  The  books treat the issues of conflict and adjustment issues entailed for Indians by the advent of EuroAmericans.

 

2)  You should be matched up with a book by the class meeting  of week 5(30 September).  More than one student can use the same book.  You are invited to select a book on your own, but you don't have much to go on for this and if, because of this, you prefer not to pick a book,  I will do the matchmaking for  you.  If you think that it may be of use to you, I'll be glad to meet with you out of class and chat with you briefly about books in which you think you may be interested...........And, you may propose for yourself a book that is off list.  If so, it should  deal with issues of conflict and adjustment entailed for Indians by the advent of EuroAmericans.  If you are going to go off list for your book, please be sure to clear it with me. 

 

3)  During the week of Monday 7 October(no class meeting this week)each member of the class will have a scheduled paper conference with yours truly,  to get you squared away on how you will be executing this assignment.  This week is our reading week, and my hope is that each member of the class will read his or her poster session/paper book during this week, so the contents of your book will be known to you as we move through our course materials.  This will help you mightily in producing your poster and paper,  and will enrich this experience for you.  Depending, however, on how early in the week your paper conference with yours truly falls, there is no expectation that you will have read the book before we meet.  Please N.B., it is your responsibility to see to the availability of your book.  If, for any reason, the book you select is not available, switch to another book.  Unavailability of a book will not comprise a valid excuse for late work.

 

5)  Posters will be presented at the class meeting of 2 December.    Expectations for poster preparation will be discussed in class.  Final draft of the paper is due on the last day of exam period.  Between poster day and submission of final draft, you are expected to take advantage of  the feedback you received during the poster session, as well as otherwise from yours truly if you have sought it, to finalize your paper.

 

6)  Format:  Final draft of the paper should include a title page, abstract,  main body, conclusion, footnotes of reference, bibliography.  At your discretion, you may also include, e.g., maps, charts, tables, picture........you name it.

 

 

CONFLICT AND ADJUSTMENT

 

1)    Hugh Brody.  THE OTHER SIDE OF EDEN

2)    James Mooney.  THE GHOST DANCE RELIGION AND WOUNDED KNEE

3)    Fred Voget.   THE SHOSHONE-CROW SUN DANCE

4)    Frederick E. Hoxie.  THE FINAL PROMISE:  THE CAMPAIGN TO ASSIMILATE THE INDIANS, 1880-1920.

5)   Clarissa Plummer.  NARRATIVE OF THE CAPTIVITY OF CLARISSA PLUMMER

6)   John  Demos.  THE UNREDEEMED CAPTIVE

7)    Deborah Larsen.  THE WHITE(novel)

8)    Edward  Spicer.  CYCLES OF CONQUEST:  THE IMPACT OF SPAIN, MEXICO, AND THE UNITED STATES ON THE INDIANS OF THE SOUTHWEST, 1533-1960

9)    Ramon Gutierrez.  WHEN JESUS CAME, THE CORN MOTHERS WENT AWAY

10)  James Welch.  FOOLS CROW, and DEATH OF JIM LONELY(novels)

11)  Dee Brown.  CREEK MARY'S BLOOD(novel)

12)  John Snyden.  TECUMSEH.  A LIFE

13)  Joanne Nagel.  AMERICAN INDIAN ETHNIC REVIVAL.  RED POWER AND THE RESURGENCE OF IDENTITY

14)  Richard White.  THE MIDDLE GROUND.  INDIANS, EMPIRES, AND REPUBLICS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION, 1650-1815

15)  Daniel Usner.  INDIANS, SETTLERS, AND SLAVES IN A FRONTIER EXCHANGE ECONOMY.  THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BEFORE 1783

16)  Gregory Evans Dowd.   A SPIRITED RESISTANCE.  THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN STRUGGLE FOR UNITY, 1745-1815

17)  Esther Goldfrank.  CHANGING CONFIGURATION IN THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF A BLACKFOOT TRIBE DURING THE RESERVATION PERIOD

18)  Howard Prins.  THE MI'CMAQ:  RESISTANCE, ACCOMODATION, AND CULTURAL SURVIVAL

19)  Alice Kehoe.  THE GHOST DANCE.  ETHNOHISTORY AND REVITALIZATION

20)  Selected Tony Hillerman novels.

21)  David Aberle.  THE PEYOTE RELIGION AMONG THE NAVAJO

22)  Peter Iverson.  THE NAVAJO NATION

 

 

VII)  TERMS AND CONCEPTS

 

  The following terms and concepts will be important to us during the semester.

 

1)  Indian, first American,  native American .  These terms refer to the people who were in the new world before 1492, and their descendants.  None of these terms is pejorative, we may use them interchangeably.     '...and their descendants' entails  the kind of ambiguity that  the cultural identity  issue often poses these days in the United States, and elsewhere.  Is cultural identity determined by heredity?  Or by chosen affiliation and life style?  Or.............?  Is it inescapable?  Or is it voluntary?  This ambiguity arises from the mixing of populations and the diffusion of culture traits.  Thus, it was clear  to everyone  in 1492 who was and was not an Indian.  It is by no means so clear today, for generally the same kinds of reasons that it is not always clear,  in the U.S., who is, e.g.,  African American  or  Jewish or Italian or  Christian or Chinese.

 

2)  Culture.  Anthropologists use the word 'culture' in( at least) the following two ways:

 

A)  General and evolutionarily.  Culture is the mode of adaptation of the human species., and it importantly comprises, e.g.,  speech, technology, learned social relationships, and religion, all of which presuppose capacity for symbolization.   All human groups, now and in the past, are fully cultural.  In cross species perspective,   it is evident that culture,  in this sense, is not an all or none thing.  Many species - extant and extinct - other than the human species are, or were, cultural in different ways and to significant  extents.

 

B)  Specific and contemporary.  A specific culture - e.g., Iroquois, Creek, Comanche, Thai - is the lifeway of a particular human group.  Human cultures are highly diverse.   Please N.B., this does not imply  that any specific culture is a neatly bounded, self contained entity; and in fact it is often unclear, geographically and demographically, where one culture leaves off and another begins.  i.  Distinct cultures often share traits.  ii.  Cultural boundaries are permeable:  both people and traits cross them.  iii)  Many 'named' cultures - e.g., Creek Indian, American - are actually historically recent amalgams of people and culture traits from several  different cultures.  iv)  All cultures, by virtue of diffusion of culture traits, adopt and incorporate exogenous traits.  v)  An individual's identity may be multi cultural.

 

And..........Culture(B) is roughly the same as  'ethnolinguistic group,' a group of people who share a language and a culture.  Please N.B.,  shared culture by itself implies nothing about the political and social organization of the group doing the sharing.   Thus, 'Thai' is a culture,  and there is the nation 'Thailand.'  But millions of culturally Thai people live in, e.g., Burma, Laos, Vietnam, and China.  And, the !Kung, of whom there are tens of thousands,  of the Kalihari  desert in southern Africa share a culture.  But the most inclusive socially organ ized  group among the !Kung is the band, which numbers 25-75 people, counting both adults and children.  Institutions of the Thai nation can make binding decisions for and speak on behalf of its citizens.  Traditionally, no institutions, and no persons, can make decisions for or speak on behalf of  individual !Kung.

 

3)  Diffusion of culture traits.  A timeless  and ubiquitous feature of human history.  Traits characteristic of all domains of culture - e.g., kinship., social organization, language, religion, technology and material culture, art, education, recreation, politics - migrate from culture to culture.  Sometimes this occurs in association with population movements, sometimes not.  Occsionally this occurs as the result of conquest, but more often not.  Over the past five centuries, there has been much diffusion across Indian/EuroAmerican cultural boundaries, and there has always been diffusion among Indian cultures.  Sometimes a trait(or trait complex)newly acquired by a culture radically transforms the lifeways of the recipient culture,  e.g., the Plains Indians acquisition of the domesticated horse from the Spaniards, which acquisition led to a burst of cultural creativity and development;   or Indians acquisition of alcohol from  EuroAmericans, which was profoundly destructive of lifeways.   Sometimes acquired traits are integrated into established lifeways, perhaps enhancing them, without basically changing them,  e.g., acquisition by many American Indian groups of EuroAmerican cloth, metal ware, and fire arms.  A conquering culture often acquires much from the vanquished.

 

4)  Imperialism.  When one group invades and assumes control over another group and its resources, including land, e.g., what Europeans did to Indians in the new world, what Germany did to many countries in Europe and Japan to many countries in Asia during World War II, what the Zulus did in SE Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries, what Russia did in most of Siberia during the 17th to the 19th centuries, what Germany and Austria-Hungary and Russia did to Poland in the 19th century.

 

5)  Colonialism.  When the imperial group populates the territory of the invaded group, e.g., what in the 17th and 18th centuries the British did on a large scale in their part of North America, and what during the same period the French did very little of in their part of North America.   Please see, in the Terms and Concepts section of the syllabus, entry 11, "settler society."

 

6)  Raiding.  Sometimes members of one culture mount  armed expeditions into neighboring cultures to appropriate resources and/or people, but without either imperialist or colonialist designs, e.g., what for centuries the Vikings did all up and down the sea coasts of Europe, and what over here was customarily done by, e.g., Iroquois, Sioux, Comanche, and Apache.  Such raiding can inflict large scale death and destruction  upon the raided populations, as it often did in each of the five just named cases.  Almost all of the victims of, e.g., Iroquois, Sioux, Comanche, and Apache raiding were other Indians.

 

7)  Acculturation.  One outcome of culture contact.  There are many kinds of culture contact, and many possible outcomes.  Acculturation refers to the outcome in which the traditional lifeways of one of the cultures in contact are rendered no longer viable; in other words, the group has undergone acculturation.  Almost all Indian groups in the new world underwent   acculturation, sooner or later, as a result of the advent of EuroAmericans.

 

8)  Revitalization movement.  A self conscious attempt  by members of a culture to fashion a more satisfying culture.  A revitalization movement involves a sustained attempt at  thoroughgoing cultural change.  Most intentional cultural change is nowhere near thoroughgoing enough, nowhere near systemic enough,  to qualify as a revitalization movement.  Revitalization movements, typically religious in inspiration and led by a prophets, often occur in the wake of acculturation and as rejoinders to acculturation.  They almost always fail to establish  viable cultural resyntheses.

 

9)  Tribe.  Anthropologists use the term 'tribe' in(at least)the following two ways:

 

A)  To refer to a particular American Indian culture, e.g., an Indian 'tribe,' e.g.,  the Ojibwa  tribe,  the Creek tribe, the Aztec tribe.

 

B)  To refer to a type,  or level,  of sociopolitical complexity,  as in the typology:  band/tribe/chiefdom/state.

 

'Tribes' in the sense of (A) can and do fall into any of the categories set forth in (B)

 

10)  Field work(or ethnography,  or  participant  observation).   From the first week's  readings,  please see the book review article by Steven Piker, first two pages of same,  for a few definitional paragraphs on field work.

 

11)  Settler society.  "...a mass European migration where people settled on land appropriated by conquest,  treaty,  or simple dispossession from indigenous groups....(and)massive changes in land use and introduction of new diseases by settlers that...pushed indigenous populations to the margins of viability,  and frequently beyond"(Tim Murray.  THE ARCHEOLOGY OF CONTACT IN SETTLER SOCIETIES).  In varying degrees, this phenomenon often accompanied the world wide European expansion of the 15th through the 19th centuries.  Nowhere, however, did the settler society phenomenon more fully and clearly manifest itself than in the United States, Canada, Australia,  and New Zealand.  Interestingly, in all four of these cases,  the settler society impetus came from the same source:  17th and 18th century Great Britain.  Inevitably, settler societies engender durable issues of mutual accommodation between the settlers(and the states and societies they newly found)and whatever  remains of the indigenous populations.   The settler society phenomenon, and the issues of mutual accomodation engendered thereby, is substantially what this course is all about.  The course could, sensibly, be renamed:  "Settler societies:  a case study."

 

12)  Native.   We are all natives.  We differ from one another according to what culture(s) we are natives of.