A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History / Edition 1

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Overview

A Forest of Time is the first introduction for undergraduates and graduates, Western and Indian history buffs, and general readers to the notion that American Indian societies had vital interests in interpreting and transmitting their own ways for themselves. Through separate discussions of legends and oral histories, creation stories and folktales, it illustrates how various Indian peoples related and commented upon their changing times. Drawing upon his own varied research as well as sampling the latest in scholarship from ethnohistory, anthropology, folklore and Indian Studies, Dr. Nabokov offers dramatic examples of how native peoples put rituals and material culture, landscape, prophecies, and even the English language to the urgent task of keeping the past alive and relevant. Throughout these lively chapters, we also witness the American Indian historical imagination deployed as a coping skill and survival strategy. This book surveys the latest integrating ideas while offering a useful bibliography that opens up, and demands that we engage with, alternative chronicles for America's multi-cultural past. Peter Navokov is Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures and American Indian Studies Program at UCLA. He is the author of several books, including Native American Architecture, (Oxford, 1991, co-author Robert Easton) which won the American Institue of Architects honor award and the Bay Area Book Reviewer Association Award. His book Native American Testimony (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1978) was named the American Library Association's Best Book for Young Adults and Library School Journal Best Book 1978 in addition to receiving the Carter G. Woodson Award. His work as a journalist in 1967 earned him prizes from the Albuquerque Press Association and the New Mexico Press Association.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Nabokov] thoroughly weaves his vast experiences among Native Americans into his narrative to illustrate and validate the points he makes. The author also deftly navigates the maze of historical, folkloric, and anthropological literature to build his case. A Forest of Time is an important book that convincingly argues just how differently Indian people conceptualize, interpret, use, and integrate history into individual and group identity. As such, this book will be of general interest to scholars, students, and Native American history buffs." Historian

"Elegantly written, Nabokov's study of American Indians' practice of history is a feast for those interested in the nature of history itself." American Literature

"This multidisciplinary intellectual history describes the many ways that individual Native American groups have defined their histories for their own purposes. By bringing these varying Native perspectives to the fore, Nabokov has performed a service that will only enrich future research into the history of Native American groups. This path-breaking work is highly recommended for all academic libraries and should be strongly considered by public libraries as well." Library Journal

"Nabokov thoroughly and sympathetically surveys the results of [Native American] scholarly endeavors. He is an excellent guide to the diverse and changing trends in the various fields of anthropology as applied to American Indians... Nabokov's evenhanded survey is a useful guide to those who want to look further into American Indians' strange and lovely habits of thought about their past." Los Angeles Times

"This elegant and fascinating study of American Indian forms of historical consciousness will interest any one who has wondered about the varieties of historical experience and the permutations of memory." Arthur Schlesinger

"This elegant and fascinating study of American Indian forms of historical consciousness will interest any one who has wondered about the varieties of historical experience and the permutations of memory." Arthur Schlesinger

"A Forest of Time is a superbly written and essential corrective to that great sea of bad history and bad faith generated about 'Indians' since colonial times. Peter Nabokov writes with brilliance, insight, eloquence, precision, and tact. The result is an extraordinary book, one I wish every reader in America would take to heart." Louis Owens, University of California, Davis

"A Forest of Time is a superbly written and essential corrective to that great sea of bad history and bad faith generated about 'Indians' since colonial times. Peter Nabokov writes with brilliance, insight, eloquence, precision, and tact. The result is an extraordinary book, one I wish every reader in America would take to heart." Louis Owens, University of California, Davis

"[Nabokov] has drawn on decades of his own research and recent findings in ethnohistory, anthropology, folklore, and Indian studies. The result is an impressive work of transdisciplinary scholarship exploring the complex and varied ways in which American Indian societies make sense of the past." Books & Culture

"...the author offers a stimulating catalogue of storytelling. Without compromising the narrative prose, he presents a systematic and scholarly treatment of the subject." Canadian Journal of Archaeology

Library Journal
Native American historiography has been dominated by the writings of non-Natives, who have allowed their preconceived notions and prejudices to color their writings. In recent decades, there has been a concerted effort to balance the literature by providing the "Indian" perspective. The problem is, as brilliantly demonstrated in this work by Nabokov (American Indian studies and world arts and cultures, UCLA; Native American Architecture), there is no monolithic "Indian" perspective. Essentially an expansion of an essay titled "Native Views of History" that was published in The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas. Vol. 1: North America, this multidisciplinary intellectual history describes the many ways that individual Native American groups have defined their histories for their own purposes. By bringing these varying Native perspectives to the fore, Nabokov has performed a service that will only enrich future research into the history of Native American groups. This path-breaking work is highly recommended for all academic libraries and should be strongly considered by public libraries as well. John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521568746
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/25/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: short history of American Indian historicity; 1. Some dynamics of American Indian historicity; 2. Within reach of memory - oral traditions, legends and history; 3. Almost timeless truths - myth and history; 4. Commentaries and subversions - memorates, jokes, tales and history; 5. Anchoring the past in place - geography and history; 6. Memories in things - material culture and Indian histories; 7. Renewing, remembering and resisting - rituals and history; 8. Old stories, new ways - writing, power and Indian histories; 9. Futures of Indian pasts - prophecy and history.

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