Across a Great Divide
352 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2015
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Across a Great Divide

Continuity and Change in Native North American Societies, 1400–1900

The University of Arizona Press
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.
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.
Foreword by John Ware
1 Crossing Divides: Archaeology as Long-Term History
Mark D. Mitchell and Laura L. Scheiber
2 Agency and Practice in Apalachee Province
John F. Scarry
3 Long-Term History, Positionality, Contingency, Hybridity: Does Rethinking Indigenous History Reframe the Jamestown Colony?
Jeffrey L. Hantman
4 When Moral Economies and Capitalism Meet: Creek Factionalism and the Colonial Southeastern Frontier
Cameron B. Wesson
5 Not Just “One Site Against the World”: Seneca Iroquois Intercommunity Connections and Autonomy, 1550–1779
Kurt A. Jordan
6 A Prophet Has Arisen: The Archaeology of Nativism among the Nineteenth-Century Algonquin Peoples of Illinois
Mark J. Wagner
7 Mountain Shoshone Technological Transitions across the Great Divide
Laura L. Scheiber and Judson Byrd Finley
8 The Plains Hide Trade: French Impact on Wichita Technology and Society
Susan C. Vehik, Lauren M. Cleeland, Richard R. Drass, StephenM. Perkins, and Liz Leith
9 “Like Butterflies on a Mounting Board”: Pueblo Mobility and Demography before 1825
Jeremy Kulisheck
10 The Diné at the Edge of History: Navajo Ethnogenesis in the Northern Southwest, 1500–1750
Richard H. Wilshusen
11 A Cross-Cultural Study of Colonialism and Indigenous Foodways in Western North America
Anthony P. Graesch, Julienne Bernard, and Anna C. Noah
12 Identity Collectives and Religious Colonialism in Coastal Western Alaska
Liam Frink
13 Crossing, Bridging, and Transgressing Divides in the Study of Native North America
Stephen W. Silliman
References Cited
About the Contributors
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