Across a Great Divide: Continuity and Change in Native North American Societies, 1400-1900

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Laura L. Scheiber, Mark D. Mitchell
University of Arizona Press, Feb 15, 2010 - Social Science - 342 pages
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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 bookÕs 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 changeÑand play a major role in decolonizing knowledge about native peoples.
 

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Contents

Archaeology as LongTerm History
1
2 Agency and Practice in Apalachee Province
23
Does Rethinking Indigenous History Reframe the Jamestown Colony?
42
Creek Factionalism and the Colonial Southeastern Frontier
61
Seneca Iroquois Intercommunity Connections and Autonomy 15501779
79
The Archaeology of Nativism among the NineteenthCentury Algonquin Peoples of Illinois
107
7 Mountain Shoshone Technological Transitions across the Great Divide
128
French Impact on Wichita Technology and Society
149
Navajo Ethnogenesis in the Northern Southwest 15001750
192
11 A CrossCultural Study of Colonialism and Indigenous Foodways in Western North America
212
12 Identity Collectives and Religious Colonialism in Coastal Western Alaska
239
13 Crossing Bridging and Transgressing Divides in the Study of Native North America
258
References Cited
277
About the Contributors
329
Index
337
Copyright

Pueblo Mobility and Demography before 1825
174

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About the author (2010)

Laura L. Scheiber is an assistant professor of anthropology at Indiana University and co-editor of Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains. Mark D. Mitchell is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Colorado.

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