Overview

Long before the Boston Tea Party, where colonists staged a revolutionary act by masquerading as Indians, people looked to Native Americans for the symbols, imagery, and acts that showed what it meant to be “American.” And for just as long, observers have largely overlooked the role that Native peoples themselves played in creating and enacting the Indian performances appropriated by European Americans. It is precisely this neglected notion of Native Americans “playing Indian” that Native Acts explores. These ...
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Native Acts: Indian Performance, 1603-1832

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Overview

Long before the Boston Tea Party, where colonists staged a revolutionary act by masquerading as Indians, people looked to Native Americans for the symbols, imagery, and acts that showed what it meant to be “American.” And for just as long, observers have largely overlooked the role that Native peoples themselves played in creating and enacting the Indian performances appropriated by European Americans. It is precisely this neglected notion of Native Americans “playing Indian” that Native Acts explores. These essays—by historians, literary critics, anthropologists, and folklorists—provide the first broadly based chronicle of the performance of “Indianness” by Natives in North America from the seventeenth through the early nineteenth century.
The authors’ careful and imaginative analysis of historical documents and performative traditions reveals an intricate history of intercultural exchange. In sum, Native Acts challenges any simple understanding of cultural “authenticity” even as it celebrates the dynamic role of performance in the American Indian pursuit of self-determination. In this collection, Indian peoples emerge as active, vocal, embodied participants in cultural encounters whose performance powerfully shaped the course of early American history.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"This is an excellent collection of essays with a common foundation of recent scholarship and shared geographic and temporal limitations."—S.J. Blackstone, Choice

— S.J. Blackstone

Choice - S.J. Blackstone

"This is an excellent collection of essays with a common foundation of recent scholarship and shared geographic and temporal limitations."—S.J. Blackstone, Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803239890
  • Publisher: UNP - Nebraska Paperback
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 344
  • File size: 441 KB

Meet the Author

Joshua David Bellin is a professor of English at La Roche College. He is the author of several books, most recently, Medicine Bundle: Indian Sacred Performance and American Literature, 1824–1932. Laura L. Mielke is an associate professor of English at the University of Kansas and the author of Moving Encounters: Sympathy and the Indian Question in Antebellum Literature.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Laura L. Mielke i

1 Lying Inventions: Native Dissimulation in Early Colonial New England Matt Cohen 27

2 The Deer Island Indians and Common Law Performance Nan Goodman 53

3 Native Performances of Diplomacy and Religion in Early New France John H. Pollack 81

4 Wendat Song and Carnival Noise in the Jesuit Relations Olivia Bloechl 117

5 "I Wunnatuckquannum, This Is My Hand": Native Performance in Massachusett Language Indian Deeds Stephanie Fitzgerald 145

6 In a Red Petticoat: Coosaponakeesa's Performance of Creek Sovereignty in Colonial Georgia Caroline Wigginton 169

7 Playing John White: John Wompas and Racial Identity in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World Jenny Hale Pulsipher 195

8 "This Wretched Scene of British Curiosity and Savage Debauchery": Performing Indian Kingship in Eighteenth-Century Britain Timothy J. Shannon 221

9 Performing Indian Publics: Two Native Views of Diplomacy to the Western Nations in 1792 Phillip H. Round 249

10 Editing as Indian Performance: Elias Boudinot, Poetry, and the Cherokee Phoenix Theresa Strouth Gaul 281

Afterword Philip J. Deloria 309

Contributors 317

Index 321

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