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The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast

The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast

Kathleen J. Bragdon
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    The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast
    Book Description:

    Descriptions of Indian peoples of the Northeast date to the Norse sagas, centuries before permanent European settlement, and the region has been the setting for a long history of contact, conflict, and accommodation between natives and newcomers. The focus of an extraordinarily vital field of scholarship, the Northeast is important both historically and theoretically: patterns of Indian-white relations that developed there would be replicated time and again over the course of American history. Today the Northeast remains the locus of cultural negotiation and controversy, with such subjects as federal recognition, gaming, land claims, and repatriation programs giving rise to debates directly informed by archeological and historical research of the region.

    The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast is a concise and authoritative reference resource to the history and culture of the varied indigenous peoples of the region. Encompassing the very latest scholarship, this multifaceted volume is divided into four parts. Part I presents an overview of the cultures and histories of Northeastern Indian people and surveys the key scholarly questions and debates that shape this field. Part II serves as an encyclopedia, alphabetically listing important individuals and places of significant cultural or historic meaning. Part III is a chronology of the major events in the history of American Indians in the Northeast. The expertly selected resources in Part IV include annotated lists of tribes, bibliographies, museums and sites, published sources, Internet sites, and films that can be easily accessed by those wishing to learn more.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50435-5
    Subjects: Sociology, History, Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xv)

    The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast is an introduction to the broad field of scholarship concerning the Eastern Woodlands region and its indigenous peoples, as well as a guide to research on a number of more specialized topics within the same field. Many different native communities and polities have lived in this vast area, both now and in the past; their histories and cultures well repay closer investigation.

    Since scholars from several disciplines have written about the native peoples of the Northeast, especially historians and the practitioners of an interdisciplinary approach known as ethnohistory, this volume also...

  5. Maps
    (pp. xvi-xx)
  6. Part I. The Northeast:: An Overview

    • 1 Overview of the Northeast Culture Area
      (pp. 3-36)

      The Northeast is home to native peoples of many languages and cultures and, as a region, is defined more by tradition than by commonalities of speech, technology, or worldview (with exceptions—see below). The Handbook of North American Indians defines the Northeast as that region bordered on the north by the lower edge of the boreal forests that extend from Alaska to eastern Canada, with its western border following the line between the woodlands and its people and the prairies, occupied traditionally by the mounted bison hunters of the historic period and their semisedentary forebears (Trigger 1978a,1). The northeastern culture...

    • 2 The Northeast During the Period of European Exploration and Colonization
      (pp. 37-61)

      Ted Brasser’s label for the people of the Northeast—“people of the first frontier” (1971, 64)—is an apt characterization. Although Spanish and French explorations and outposts in the Southeast and Southwest greatly impacted Indian lives in those regions, the natives of the Northeast were the first to endure the sustained multiple shocks of disease, colonization, and military defeat that native peoples of North America elsewhere experienced only much later (Wolf 1982). Because of this long period of sustained interaction between Indians and non-Indians, the Northeast has developed a distinctive character. At the same time, policies and patterns of interaction...

    • 3 The Expanding Frontier
      (pp. 62-73)

      Just as the period of initial contact had its themes and patterns, so too did the period of colonial expansion, beginning in the early eighteenth century and continuing throughout the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The displacement of Indian communities in the interior that grew more severe as coastal dwellers were themselves pushed westward; the intertribal hostilities engendered by the fur trade; the inexorable spread of disease—all these factors made this period in Indian history a very complex one. Many native communities either disappear from the historical record at this time, are reformed into different polities, or join...

    • 4 The Northeast: 1850 to the Present
      (pp. 74-85)

      The recent history of the native peoples of the Northeast is, in some ways, the least well known. The literal disappearance of some native peoples from the region, particularly the Beothuk, and the emigration or “removal” of many others (the majority of Unami and Munsee Delaware, many of the Mahicans, the native peoples of interior New England, and several of the native groups of the Illinois and Ohio valleys and upper Great Lakes) means that their histories became associated with other regions, especially “Indian Territory” in Kansas and Oklahoma, or with the many refugee communities and reservations in southern Canada....

  7. References for Part I
    (pp. 86-106)
  8. Part II People, Places, and Events in Northeast Native History
    (pp. 107-160)

    Originally claiming the territories extending between the Saco and Penobscot rivers, the numerous Eastern Abenaki were a foraging people who participated actively in the colonial fur trade and the French-English rivalry that ensued in that region. Throughout the colonial era, European epidemics ravaged the numerous Abenaki. Although the Abenaki resisted any alliance with either the English or the French, they maintained a better relationship with the French, partly because of the greater land encroachment perpetrated by English settlers. As the colonial wars intensified in North America, the Abenaki were increasingly drawn into the conflict as French allies, and they participated...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. Part III Historical Timeline for the Northeast
    (pp. 161-168)

    Following are significant events in the history of the Northeast, listed in chronological order.

    Cabot’s voyages marked the first contacts between Europeans and the native peoples of the northern maritime provinces.

    Fishermen began a pattern of seasonal trading visits to native people of the Northeast, and provided some of the earliest European loanwords in native languages.

    Verrazano’s descriptions indicated that complex political organization was already a feature of southern New England native groups.

    Cartier’s voyages in the Bay of Gaspé and the St. Lawrence brought him into contact with the Iroquoians and Huron, and paved the way for the establishment...

  11. Part IV Resource Guide to Research and Theory
    (pp. 169-276)

    The Northeast culture area has attracted the attention of numerous scholars since the seventeenth century. Archaeologists, linguists, historians, anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and cultural critics have produced a rich body of literature and represent many different points of view concerning the region, its people, and its history. This section discusses a number of topics of current or enduring interest as they are reflected in the scholarly literature, with an annotated discussion of sources for the beginning or experienced student. In general, only the most comprehensive and/or most recent publications concerning each research subject are included. Exceptions are the “classics” in the literature...

  12. Index
    (pp. 277-292)