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 chain of cultural conflicts and misunderstandings in line with an unlimited gulf of distinction. Nancy Shoemaker turns this concept on its head, exhibiting that Indians and Europeans shared universal ideals approximately their so much primary realities--land as nationwide territory, govt, record-keeping, overseas 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 during which the solar rose and set each day, and a human physique with its personal designated form. additionally they shared of their skill to make experience of all of it and to invent new, summary rules according to the tangible and visual stories of lifestyle. concentrating on japanese North the US up in the course of the finish of the Seven Years struggle, Shoemaker heavily reads incidents, letters, and recorded speeches from the Iroquois and Creek confederacies, the Cherokee country, and different local teams along British and French assets, paying specific recognition 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 diversified. by way of the tip of the 18th century, Shoemaker argues, they deserted an preliminary willingness to acknowledge in one another a standard humanity and as a substitute constructed new principles rooted within the conviction that, by means of customized and even perhaps through 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 strong 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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Eastern Indians usually did not name places after individual people. Examples of such place-names appear to have originated with Indians’ Euro­ pean neighbors who named nearby villages, hollows, valleys, and islands after their most prominent Indian resident. Indians did, however, commonly link places to groups of people. 44 Or the reverse might happen, since residents of a region sometimes acquired their name from characteristics peculiar to their environs. According to oral traditions recounting origins of the Iroquois Confederacy, when the Confederacy’s founder and lawgiver, Deganiwidah, formally named each of the allied nations, he chose place as a distinguishing feature of nationality.

Any distinctive landscape feature could earn itself a name, often purely descriptive. 79 Europeans’ artificial marks identified paths and roads, sometimes in the form of milestones. Travelers carved their initials onto trees and rocks just to say they had been there or, with more deliberation, to claim possession. And marks memorialized events and people, usually in the form of stone slabs or metal plaques carved or imprinted with written inscriptions, the same kind of 30 A STRANGE LIKENESS memorial Europeans erected over graves.

1). 11 Cherokees came again in 1762, only three this time. 1 Isaac Basire engraving of the seven Cherokees who visited London in 1730 with Alexander Cuming. Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution/neg. #01063–H-2. 15 From the 1710 Mohawk dele­ gation up through British victory in the Seven Years War, Indian “kings” in Europe mesmerized a gawking populace while attending the theater, travers­ ing London and Paris streets, and outfitting themselves for presentation at court.

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