On Zion's Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape

On Zion's Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape

by Jared Farmer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674047435

ISBN-13: 9780674047433

Pub. Date: 04/10/2010

Publisher: Harvard

Shrouded in the lore of legendary Indians, Mt. Timpanogos beckons the urban populace of Utah. And yet, no “Indian” legend graced the mount until Mormon settlers conjured it—once they had displaced the local Indians, the Utes, from their actual landmark, Utah Lake. On Zion’s Mount tells the story of this curious shift. It is a

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Overview

Shrouded in the lore of legendary Indians, Mt. Timpanogos beckons the urban populace of Utah. And yet, no “Indian” legend graced the mount until Mormon settlers conjured it—once they had displaced the local Indians, the Utes, from their actual landmark, Utah Lake. On Zion’s Mount tells the story of this curious shift. It is a quintessentially American story about the fraught process of making oneself “native” in a strange land. But it is also a complex tale of how cultures confer meaning on the environment—how they create homelands.

Only in Utah did Euro-American settlers conceive of having a homeland in the Native American sense—an endemic spiritual geography. They called it “Zion.” Mormonism, a religion indigenous to the United States, originally embraced Indians as “Lamanites,” or spiritual kin. On Zion’s Mount shows how, paradoxically, the Mormons created their homeland at the expense of the local Indians—and how they expressed their sense of belonging by investing Timpanogos with “Indian” meaning.

This same pattern was repeated across the United States. Jared Farmer reveals how settlers and their descendants (the new natives) bestowed “Indian” place names and recited pseudo-Indian legends about those places—cultural acts that still affect the way we think about American Indians and American landscapes.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674047433
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
04/10/2010
Pages:
472
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

The Great Basin

The eastern Great Basin in the 1850s

The southern Wasatch Front in the twentieth century

Introduction

Part I. Liquid Antecedents

1. Ute Genesis, Mormon Exodus

2. Brigham Young and the Famine of the Fish-Eaters

3. The Desertification of Zion

Part II. Making a Mountain: Alpine Play

4. Rocky Mountain Saints

5. Hiking into Modern Times

6. Sundance and Suburbia

Part III. Marking a Mountain: Indian Play

7. Renaming the Land

8. The Rise and Fall of a Lover's Leap

9. Performing a Remembered Past

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

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