Cultivating a Landscape of Peace: Iroquois-European Encounters in Seventeenth-Century America

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This book examines the peculiar new worlds of the Five Nations of the Iroquois, the Dutch, and the French, who shared cultural frontiers in seventeenth century North America. Matthew Dennis employs methods and materials from a range of disciplines, including archaeology, ethnology, folklore, literary criticism, and history, to reconstruct those worlds and analyze the consequences of their mingling with one another. Dennis likens his book to a cubist painting that describes and orders multiple elements on canvas ...
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Overview

This book examines the peculiar new worlds of the Five Nations of the Iroquois, the Dutch, and the French, who shared cultural frontiers in seventeenth century North America. Matthew Dennis employs methods and materials from a range of disciplines, including archaeology, ethnology, folklore, literary criticism, and history, to reconstruct those worlds and analyze the consequences of their mingling with one another. Dennis likens his book to a cubist painting that describes and orders multiple elements on canvas but consciously avoids dissolving them into a single angle of vision. Viewing early America from the different perspectives of the diverse people who coexisted uneasily during the colonial encounter between Europeans and Indians, he explains a long-standing paradox: the apparent belligerence of the Five Nations, a people who saw themselves as promoters of universal peace. In a radically new interpretation of the Iroquois, Dennis argues that the Five Nations sought to incorporate their new European neighbors as kinspeople into their Longhouse, the physical and symbolic embodiment of Iroquois domesticity and peace. He offers a close, original reading of the fundamental political myth of the Five Nations, the Deganawidah Epic and situates it historically and ideologically in Iroquois life. Detailing the particular nature of Iroquois peace, he describes the Five Nations' diligent efforts to establish peace on their own terms and the frustrations and hostilities that stemmed from the fundamental contrast between Iroquois and European goals, expectations, and perceptions of human relationships.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An examination of the peculiar new worlds of the Five Nations of the Iroquois, the Dutch, and the French, who shared cultural frontiers in 17th-century North America. Dennis (history, U. of Oregon) employs methods and materials from a range of disciplines, including archaeology, ethnology, folklore, literary criticism, and history, to reconstruct those worlds and analyze the consequences of their mingling with one another. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801421716
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/1993
  • Series: 2/1/2005
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Representations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I Landscape, History, and Representation: The Construction of the Iroquois
1 Iroquoia: Land, World View, and Landscape 13
2 Owasco into Iroquois: War, Peace, and the Social Construction of the Five Nations 43
3 Deganawidah and the Cultivation of Peace: Iroquois Ideology, Political Culture, and Representation 76
Pt. II New Worlds
4 Settlement and Unsettlement: New Netherland, Beverwyck, and the Dutch Frontier 119
5 Commerce, Kinship, and the Transaction of Peace 154
6 False Starts and Failed Promises: New France and the French Frontier 180
7 Kinship, Conversion, Conquest, and the French-Iroquois Discourse of Frustration 213
Epilogue: Iroquois Reconstruction 257
Index 273
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