Arbitrary Indian: The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990

Arbitrary Indian: The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990

by Gail K. Sheffield

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Retired attorney Sheffield presents here a revised version of her Ph.D. dissertation in cultural anthropology, which was accepted by Tulane University in 1994. It focuses on an act that was supposed to stop trade in counterfeit Native American handicrafts that were being exported to the United States by foreign countries such as the Philippines and China and sold as authentic. The act defines an Indian as a member of a tribe recognized by the federal or state government, which has had the unintended consequence of sanctioning discrimination against Native Americans whose tribal affiliation was not officially recognized. The author shows that this definition has shifted power relationships among tribes and affected how they deal with state and federal authorities. Although difficult to read because of its dense prose and legal jargon, this is an important title. Highly recommended for specialized academic collections.John Burch, Cumberland Coll. Lib., Williamsburg, Ky.

Product Details

University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.69(h) x 0.93(d)

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