People of The Dalles: The Indians of Wascopam Mission

Overview

People of The Dalles is the story of the Chinookan (Wasco-Wishram) and Sahaptin peoples of The Dalles area of the Columbia River, who encountered the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1805–6. The early history and culture of these communities is reconstructed from the accounts of explorers, travelers, and the early writings of the Methodist missionaries at Wascopam, in particular the papers of Reverend Henry Perkins. Boyd covers early nineteenth century cultural geography, subsistence, economy, social ...
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Overview

People of The Dalles is the story of the Chinookan (Wasco-Wishram) and Sahaptin peoples of The Dalles area of the Columbia River, who encountered the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1805–6. The early history and culture of these communities is reconstructed from the accounts of explorers, travelers, and the early writings of the Methodist missionaries at Wascopam, in particular the papers of Reverend Henry Perkins. Boyd covers early nineteenth century cultural geography, subsistence, economy, social structure, life-cycle rituals, and religion. People of The Dalles also details the changes that occurred to these people's traditional life-ways, including their relationship with Methodism following the devastating epidemics of the early 1830s. Today, descendants of the Chinookan and Sahaptin peoples are enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Yakama Nation.
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Editorial Reviews

The Journal of American History - Michael Harkin
"Boyd provides a sensitive portrayal of the Methodist missionaries, whose letters and diaries he has mined."—Michael Harkin, The Journal of American History
Walla Walla Union Bulletin - Annie Charnley Eveland
“Readers will get a living, breathing sense of the religion, economy, and other aspects of the early 19th century culture.”—Annie Charnley Eveland, Walla Walla Union Bulletin
The Journal of American History

"Boyd provides a sensitive portrayal of the Methodist missionaries, whose letters and diaries he has mined."—Michael Harkin, The Journal of American History

— Michael Harkin

Walla Walla Union Bulletin

“Readers will get a living, breathing sense of the religion, economy, and other aspects of the early 19th century culture.”—Annie Charnley Eveland, Walla Walla Union Bulletin

— Annie Charnley Eveland

Canadian Journal of Native Studies
“A commendable, thought-provoking, and extremely well-written book.”—Canadian Journal of Native Studies
Canadian Journal of Native Studies

“A commendable, thought-provoking, and extremely well-written book.”—Canadian Journal of Native Studies

CHOICE
"This highly recommended work is a fine example of ethnographic and historic investigation, providing a compelling methodological lesson for students of historical ethnography, anthropology, Native American studies, and the Columbia River plateau region."—Choice
Ethnohistory
"This is a major contribution to Plateau ethnography and culture history, especially the history of its religions."—Ethnohistory
Oregon Historical Quarterly
"A significant contribution to the literature of the people of the Columbia River . . . an extremely interesting book."—Oregon Historical Quarterl
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Robert Boyd is an adjunct associate professor of anthropology at Portland State University and the author of The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Decline among Northwest Coast Indians, 1774–1874.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Historical Context 12
2 Human Geography 27
3 Subsistence and Economics 52
4 Social Structures 72
5 Ritual Behavior: Life-Cycle Ceremonies 93
6 Ritual Behavior: Spirit Beliefs and Ceremonies 114
7 Culture Change at Wascopam 140
8 Imposed Culture Change: Elijah White's Law Code 159
9 Religious Change before the Missions 172
10 Methodist Missionary Methods and Effects 186
Appendix 1. Original Documents 221
Appendix 2. Oregon Mission Manuscript Sources and Locations 304
Appendix 3. Biographical Sketches 309
Notes 349
References 359
Index 383
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