Myth and Memory: Stories of Indigenous-European Contact

Overview

The stories that indigenous peoples and Europeans tell about their first encounters with one another are enormously valuable historical records, but their relevance extends beyond the past. Settler populations and indigenous peoples the world over are engaged in negotiations over legitimacy, power, and rights. These struggles cannot be dissociated from written and oral accounts of "contact" moments, which not only shape our collective sense of history but also guide our ...

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Overview

The stories that indigenous peoples and Europeans tell about their first encounters with one another are enormously valuable historical records, but their relevance extends beyond the past. Settler populations and indigenous peoples the world over are engaged in negotiations over legitimacy, power, and rights. These struggles cannot be dissociated from written and oral accounts of "contact" moments, which not only shape our collective sense of history but also guide our understanding of current events.

For all their importance, contact stories have not been systematically or critically evaluated as a genre. Myth and Memory explores the narratives of indigenous and newcomer populations from New Zealand and across North America, from the Lost Colony of Roanoke on the Atlantic seaboard of the United States to the Pacific Northwest and as far as Sitka, Alaska. It illustrates how indigenous and explorer accounts of the same meetings reflect fundamentally different systems of thought, and focuses on the cultural misunderstandings embedded in these stories. The contributors discuss the contemporary relevance, production, and performance of Aboriginal and European contact narratives, and introduce new tools for interpreting the genre. They argue that we are still in the contact zone, striving to understand the meaning of contact and the relationship between indigenous and settler populations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780774812634
  • Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.09 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction: Myth Understandings; or First Contact, Over and Over Again   John Sutton Lutz     1
Close Encounters of the First Kind   J. Edward Chamberlin     15
First Contact as a Spiritual Performance: Encounters on the North American West Coast   John Sutton Lutz     30
Reflections on Indigenous History and Memory: Reconstructing and Reconsidering Contact   Keith Thor Carlson     46
Poking Fun: Humour and Power in Kaska Contact Narratives   Patrick Moore     69
Herbert Spencer, Paul Kane, and the Making of "The Chinook"   I.S. MacLaren     90
Performing Paradox: Narrativity and the Lost Colony of Roanoke   Michael Harkin     103
Stories from the Margins: Toward a More Inclusive British Columbia Historiography   Wendy Wickwire     118
When the White Kawau Flies   Judith Binney     140
The Interpreter as Contact Point: Avoiding Collisions in Tlingit America   Richard Dauenhauer   Nora Marks Dauenhauer     160
Notes     177
Bibliography     207
Contributors     222
Index     226
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