In honor of Indigenous People's Day, which occurred this week, this Reading List will focus on the individuals, tribes, and populations that were native to North America before western cultures arrived. These texts will offer a look into the history and diversity of indigenous tribes in America, and how their cultures and lifestyles affected the world that they lived in.
Indigenous Beauty : Masterworks of American Indian Art From the Diker Collection
By, David Penney
Accompanying a major exhibition, this stunning volume serves as an introduction to North American Indian art and a rare opportunity to see this comprehensive and superb private collection. A glorious testament to the infinite beauty, diversity, and historical significance of Native American culture, Indigenous Beauty presents outstanding examples of art made by tribes across the North American continent. This aesthetically rich and inclusive collection offers a broad view of American Indian art, including sculpture from the Northwest Coast; ancient ivories from the Bering Strait region; Yup’ik and Alutiiq masks from the Western Arctic; Katsina dolls from the Southwest Pueblos; Southwest pottery; sculptural objects from the Eastern Woodlands; Eastern regalia; Plains regalia and pictographic arts; and Western baskets. David Penney’s introduction and texts by other renowned experts offer insight into the visual and material diversity of the collection, providing a greater understanding of the social and cultural worlds from which these works came. This magnificent survey is both an invaluable resource and a visual pleasure.
By, Coll Thrush
London is famed both as the ancient center of a former empire and as a modern metropolis of bewildering complexity and diversity. In Indigenous London, historian Coll Thrush offers an imaginative vision of the city's past crafted from an almost entirely new perspective: that of Indigenous children, women, and men who traveled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, beginning in the sixteenth century. They included captives and diplomats, missionaries and shamans, poets and performers. Some, like the Powhatan noblewoman Pocahontas, are familiar; others, like an Odawa boy held as a prisoner of war, have almost been lost to history. In drawing together their stories and their diverse experiences with a changing urban culture, Thrush also illustrates how London learned to be a global, imperial city and how Indigenous people were central to that process.
By Robert J. Moore
The work of Charles Bird King, George Catlin, and Karl Bodmer looms large in the field of history, ethnology, and anthropology. No serious study of American Indian people can be undertaken without reference to it, and yet the names of these three men are largely unknown to the general public. Although King, Catlin, and Bodmer worked independently of one another, they were united in a singular vision: all were dedicated to preserving the various cultures of American Indian people through their artwork and writings. Native Americans: A Portrait presents for the first time in one volume a major selection of the original drawings, paintings, and lithographs by these three artists. More than 300 striking full-color reproductions take the reader to the American frontier to experience Indians in their original environment - performing religious ceremonies, hunting buffalo, engaging in bloody battles, and simply living their lives. Also included are dozens of magnificent portraits of the most prominent Indian leaders of the day. The accompanying text by noted scholar Robert J. Moore, Jr., describes the powerful political currents of the 1830s that led to the forced removal of the Indian tribes, while original quotes from the artists themselves offer invaluable insights into nineteenth-century white American culture.
By, Jon E Lewis
Native Americans make up less than one per cent of the total US population but represent half the nation's languages and cultures. This title presents the story of Native American society, culture and religion. It offers a chronological history of America's indigenous peoples. It covers their dramatic early entry into North America.
By, Edward Curtis
This stunning collection selects 110 striking photographs taken by Curtis (1868-1952) in his nearly 30-year effort, begun at the turn of the century, to create what Cardozo, a Curtis specialist and photograph dealer, calls "an irreplaceable photographic and ethnographic record" of Native Americans. The photographs, reproduced using a new printing technology, are arresting. Portraits like those of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce and of a Mohave woman potter show the dignity and endurance of these Americans. Landscape pictures of tepees in winter or a canoe-with-hunter suggest the shadings of a charcoal master and demonstrate Curtis's artistry. The photographs also range over pottery, masked dancers and various ritual objects and are accompanied by Curtis's detailed, stately captions. Some Native Americans have criticized Curtis for stereotypical, stylized images, notes former museum curator Horse Capture, but to him, they are images of beauty, power and pride. Indeed, the portrait of Horse Capture's great-grandfather is another moving epitaph for a lost world.
By, Julie Flett
A book demonstrating colors in English as well as in Cree, along with the pronunciation.
By, Daniel K. Richter
In the beginning, North America was Indian country. But only in the beginning. After the opening act of the great national drama, Native Americans yielded to the westward rush of European settlers.
Or so the story usually goes. Yet, for three centuries after Columbus, Native people controlled most of eastern North America and profoundly shaped its destiny. In Facing East from Indian Country, Daniel K. Richter keeps Native people center-stage throughout the story of the origins of the United States.
Viewed from Indian country, the sixteenth century was an era in which Native people discovered Europeans and struggled to make sense of a new world. Well into the seventeenth century, the most profound challenges to Indian life came less from the arrival of a relative handful of European colonists than from the biological, economic, and environmental forces the newcomers unleashed. Drawing upon their own traditions, Indian communities reinvented themselves and carved out a place in a world dominated by transatlantic European empires. In 1776, however, when some of Britain's colonists rebelled against that imperial world, they overturned the system that had made Euro-American and Native coexistence possible. Eastern North America only ceased to be an Indian country because the revolutionaries denied the continent's first peoples a place in the nation they were creating.
In rediscovering early America as Indian country, Richter employs the historian's craft to challenge cherished assumptions about times and places we thought we knew well, revealing Native American experiences at the core of the nation's birth and identity.
By, Daniel Mandell
Tribe, Race, History examines American Indian communities in southern New England between the Revolution and Reconstruction, when Indians lived in the region’s socioeconomic margins, moved between semiautonomous communities and towns, and intermarried extensively with blacks and whites.
Drawing from a wealth of primary documentation, Daniel R. Mandell centers his study on ethnic boundaries, particularly how those boundaries were constructed, perceived, and crossed. He analyzes connections and distinctions between Indians and their non-Indian neighbors with regard to labor, landholding, government, and religion; examines how emerging romantic depictions of Indians (living and dead) helped shape a unique New England identity; and looks closely at the causes and results of tribal termination in the region after the Civil War.
Shedding new light on regional developments in class, race, and culture, this groundbreaking study is the first to consider all Native Americans throughout southern New England.
By, Helen C. Rountree
Pocahontas may be the most famous Native American who ever lived, but during the settlement of Jamestown, and for two centuries afterward, the great chiefs Powhatan and Opechancanough were the subjects of considerably more interest and historical documentation than the young woman. It was Opechancanough who captured the foreign captain "Chawnzmit"—John Smith. Smith gave Opechancanough a compass, described to him a spherical earth that revolved around the sun, and wondered if his captor was a cannibal. Opechancanough, who was no cannibal and knew the world was flat, presented Smith to his elder brother, the paramount chief Powhatan. The chief, who took the name of his tribe as his throne name (his personal name was Wahunsenacawh), negotiated with Smith over a lavish feast and opened the town to him, leading Smith to meet, among others, Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas. Thinking he had made an ally, the chief finally released Smith. Within a few decades, and against their will, his people would be subjects of the British Crown.
Despite their roles as senior politicians in these watershed events, no biography of either Powhatan or Opechancanough exists. And while there are other "biographies" of Pocahontas, they have for the most part elaborated on her legend more than they have addressed the known facts of her remarkable life. As the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding approaches, nationally renowned scholar of Native Americans, Helen Rountree, provides in a single book the definitive biographies of these three important figures. In their lives we see the whole arc of Indian experience with the English settlers – from the wary initial encounters presided over by Powhatan, to the uneasy diplomacy characterized by the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, to the warfare and eventual loss of native sovereignty that came during Opechancanough’s reign.
Writing from an ethnohistorical perspective that looks as much to anthropology as the written records, Rountree draws a rich portrait of Powhatan life in which the land and the seasons governed life and the English were seen not as heroes but as Tassantassas (strangers), as invaders, even as squatters. The Powhatans were a nonliterate people, so we have had to rely until now on the white settlers for our conceptions of the Jamestown experiment. This important book at last reconstructs the other side of the story.
By, Ethan A Schmidt
This valuable book provides a succinct, readable account of an oft-neglected topic in the historiography of the American Revolution: the role of Native Americans in the Revolution's outbreak, progress, and conclusion.
• Adds the Native American perspective to the reader's understanding of the American Revolution, a critical aspect of this period in history that is rarely covered
• Supplies a synthesis of the best current and past work on the topic of Native Americans in the American Revolution that will be accessible to general readers as well as undergraduate and graduate-level students
• Shows how the struggle over the definition and utilization of Native American identity―an issue that was initiated with the American Revolution―is still ongoing for American Indians
By, Robert A Geake
Before Roger Williams set foot in the New World, the Narragansett farmed corn and squash, hunted beaver and deer, and harvested clams and oysters throughout what would become Rhode Island. They also obtained wealth in the form of wampum, a carved shell that was used as currency along the eastern coast. As tensions with the English rose, the Narragansett leaders fought to maintain autonomy. While the elder Sachem Canonicus lived long enough to welcome both Verrazzano and Williams, his nephew Miatonomo was executed for his attempts to preserve their way of life and circumvent English control. Historian Robert A. Geake explores the captivating story of these Native Rhode Islanders as he chronicles a history of the Narragansett from their early European encounters to the tribes return to sovereignty in the 20th Century.
By, Michael Leroy Oberg
Many know the name Uncas only from James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, but the historical Uncas flourished as an important leader of the Mohegan people in seventeenth-century Connecticut. In Uncas: First of the Mohegans, Michael Leroy Oberg integrates the life story of an important Native American sachem into the broader story of European settlement in America. The arrival of the English in Connecticut in the 1630s upset the established balance among the region's native groups and brought rapid economic and social change. Oberg argues that Uncas's methodical and sustained strategies for adapting to these changes made him the most influential Native American leader in colonial New England.Emerging from the damage wrought by epidemic disease and English violence, Uncas transformed the Mohegans from a small community along the banks of the Thames River in Connecticut into a regional power in southern New England. Uncas learned quickly how to negotiate between cultures in the conflicts that developed as natives and newcomers, Indians and English, maneuvered for access to and control of frontier resources. With English assistance, Uncas survived numerous assaults and plots hatched by his native rivals.Unique among Indian leaders in early America, Uncas maintained his power over large numbers of tributary and other native communities in the region, lived a long life, and died a peaceful death (without converting to Christianity) in his people's traditional homeland. Oberg finds that although the colonists considered Uncas "a friend to the English," he was first and foremost an assertive guardian of Mohegan interests.
By, Paula Mitchell Marks
Award-winning historian Paula Mitchell Marks reconfirms her status as one of the foremost contemporary chroniclers of the American West with this often appalling, yet always engrossing, account of American Indian cultures under siege from 1607 to the present. In a dazzling synthesis of the latest research with masterful storytelling, Marks portrays the systematic dispossession of America's original inhabitants over centuries of broken promises and bloody persecutions. Well-known events and personalities -- the Battle of Little Big Horn, the Trail of Tears, Geronimo, to name a few -- are juxtaposed with lesser-known but equally pivotal episodes such as the Navajos' Long Walk, the Snake Indian resistance, and more.