320 pages, 6 x 9
23 illus., 4 tables
Release Date:06 Dec 2012

Decolonizing Indigenous Histories

Exploring Prehistoric/Colonial Transitions in Archaeology

The University of Arizona Press
Decolonizing Indigenous Histories makes a vital contribution to the decolonization of archaeology by recasting colonialism within long-term indigenous histories. Showcasing case studies from Africa, Australia, Mesoamerica, and North and South America, this edited volume highlights the work of archaeologists who study indigenous peoples and histories at multiple scales.

The contributors explore how the inclusion of indigenous histories, and collaboration with contemporary communities and scholars across the subfields of anthropology, can reframe archaeologies of colonialism. The cross-cultural case studies employ a broad range of methodological strategies—archaeology, ethnohistory, archival research, oral histories, and descendant perspectives—to better appreciate processes of colonialism. The authors argue that these more complicated histories of colonialism contribute not only to understandings of past contexts but also to contemporary social justice projects.

In each chapter, authors move beyond an academic artifice of “prehistoric” and “colonial” and instead focus on longer sequences of indigenous histories to better understand colonial contexts. Throughout, each author explores and clarifies the complexities of indigenous daily practices that shape, and are shaped by, long-term indigenous and local histories by employing an array of theoretical tools, including theories of practice, agency, materiality, and temporality.

Included are larger integrative chapters by Kent Lightfoot and Patricia Rubertone, foremost North American colonialism scholars who argue that an expanded global perspective is essential to understanding processes of indigenous-colonial interactions and transitions.
This book amply illustrates archaeology's vital role in the decolonization of Indigenous pasts, and will be required reading for students of post-colonial studies, modern Historical archaeology, and Indigenous archaeology."—Cambridge Archaeological Journal

"The essays in this collection make major contributions to the archaeology of colonialism, the interpretation of the colonial experience, and the decolonizing of anthropology."—Choice Magazine
The theoretical exploration offers a fine-grained view of history that moves beyond written texts for understanding and complicates our view of Native cultures’ responses to colonial incursions.”—Western American Literature Book Reviews

“These integrative essays emphasize the usefulness of global perspectives in understanding complex processes of cultural interaction and transformation over time, while also suggesting that archaeology can (and should) contribute to contemporary efforts toward social justice.”—Collaborative Anthropologies
Maxine Oland is a visiting lecturer in anthropology at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Siobhan M. Hart is an assistant professor of anthropology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. Liam Frink is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the co-editor of the University of Arizona Press book series The Archaeology of Colonialism in Native North America.
1. Finding Transitions: Global Pathways to Decolonizing Indigenous Histories in Archaeology
Siobhan M. Hart, Maxine Oland, and Liam Frink

Part I. Beyond Dichotomies and Colonial Categories
2. The Rest Is History: Devaluing the Recent Past in the Archaeology of the Pueblo Southwest
Matthew Liebmann
3. The Discovery and Decolonization of Xaltocan, Mexico
Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría
4. Rock Art as Historical Sources in Colonial Contexts
Alistair Paterson
5. Decolonizing through Heritage Work in the Pocumtuck Homeland of Northeastern North America
Siobhan M. Hart
Part II. Scales of Transitions
6. Between the Longue Durée and the Short Purée: Postcolonial Archaeologies of Indigenous History in Colonial North America
Stephen W. Silliman
7. Lost in Tradition, Found in Transition: Scales of Indigenous History in Siin, Senegal
François G. Richard
8. When Does History Begin? Material Continuity and Change in West Africa
Ann B. Stahl
9. Lost among the Colonial Maya: Engaging Indigenous Maya History at Progresso Lagoon, Belize
Maxine Oland
10. Andean Households in Transition: The Politics of Domestic Space at an Early Colonial Doctrina in the Peruvian Highlands
Steven A. Wernke
11. Hidden Transcripts, Contested Landscapes, and Long-Term Indigenous History in Oaxaca, Mexico
Stacie M. King

Part III. Reflections: Found in Transitions
12. Archaeologies of Colonialism in Unexpected Times and Unexpected Places
Patricia E. Rubertone
13. Lost in Transition: A Retrospective
Kent G. Lightfoot

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