Native American Studies

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By Nancy Shoemaker

The connection among American Indians and Europeans on America's frontiers is sometimes characterised as a sequence of cultural conflicts and misunderstandings in line with an unlimited gulf of distinction. Nancy Shoemaker turns this idea on its head, displaying that Indians and Europeans shared universal ideals approximately their such a lot primary realities--land as nationwide territory, govt, record-keeping, foreign alliances, gender, and the human physique. sooner than they even met, Europeans and Indians shared perceptions of a panorama marked via mountains and rivers, a actual international within which the solar rose and set each day, and a human physique with its personal certain form. in addition they shared of their skill to make experience of all of it and to invent new, summary principles in accordance with the tangible and visual studies of way of life. targeting japanese North the United States up during the finish of the Seven Years struggle, Shoemaker heavily reads incidents, letters, and recorded speeches from the Iroquois and Creek confederacies, the Cherokee state, and different local teams along British and French resources, paying specific cognizance to the language utilized in cross-cultural dialog. mockingly, the extra American Indians and Europeans got here to grasp one another, the extra they got here to determine one another as assorted. by means of the top of the 18th century, Shoemaker argues, they deserted an preliminary willingness to acknowledge in one another a standard humanity and in its place constructed new principles rooted within the conviction that, by way of customized and maybe even by way of nature, local american citizens and Europeans have been peoples essentially at odds. In her research, Shoemaker unearths the 18th century roots of tolerating stereotypes Indians built approximately Europeans, in addition to stereotypes Europeans created approximately Indians. This robust and eloquent interpretation questions long-standing assumptions, revealing the unusual likenesses one of the population of colonial North the US.

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Additional resources for A Strange Likeness: Becoming Red and White in Eighteenth-Century North America

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Towns and cities—especially those located in the East, where Indians had already been vanquished—celebrated the Indian heritage of their communities by publishing their local histories, building imposing stone memo­ rials, tracing the origins of Indian place-names in the vicinity, and inviting a few Indians, in traditional costumes, to share the stage at Fourth of July celebrations. 32 A STRANGE LIKENESS Even the bones of Indian dead became the stuff of national mythmaking as local, non-Indian community leaders erected gravestones and claimed the bodies of dead Indians as part of their own history.

S. 59 Another artificial mark, painted posts, served a similar function by honor­ ing men’s achievements in war and hunting. 60 Eastern Indians also erected ceremonial posts in preparation for battle. 62 Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had different origins. 63 For Muskogean-speaking people in general, posts planted in the ground probably served a symbolic as well as pragmatic pur­ pose. Most of these peoples reckoned their origins in the Southeast to a longpast migration from ancient homelands located somewhere farther west.

Stopping first at the Isle of Wight, they proceeded by ship to Gravesend and by carriage to London. ”1 The rest of the Yamacraws’ four-month stay in England was bittersweet. 3 The highlight of their trip was a meeting with King George II, who held court from his throne, promised friend­ ship between their peoples, and offered the Indian delegation use of one of his carriages so as not to be outdone by Queen Anne’s royal treatment of the “four Indian kings” two decades earlier. 5 In October, the Yamacraws headed back to Gravesend to board a ship bound for Georgia.

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