Weaving Ourselves into the Land: Charles Godfrey Leland, Indians, and the Study of Native American Religions

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Overview

It is now over half a millennium since the first sustained contact between the peoples of Europe and North America, yet Native Americans and especially their religious traditions still fascinate those who are not Native. In Weaving Ourselves in to the Land, Thomas Parkhill argues that this fascination draws much more on a stereotype of the "Indian" than on the lives and history of actual Native Americans. This stereotype, whether used approvingly or disparagingly, has informed the work of authors writing about Native American religions for audiences with both general or professional interest. The figure of Charles Godfrey Leland plays an important part in Parkhill's investigation. Leland's 1884 collection of "legends" about the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot culture hero Kluskap becomes the touchstone for reflection on the larger study of Native American religions. The author argues that most scholars of these religions, including himself, continue to be - like Leland over a hundred years ago - bewitched by the stereotype of the "Indian."
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Argues that scholars of Native American religions, and both academic and general audiences of their studies, have been subject to a stereotype of The Indian that bears little resemblance to actual people or their lives. Focuses on Leland's 1884 collection of legends concerning the culture hero Kluskap to show how he both inherited and perpetuated the stereotype. Three versions of the Kluskap-Malsum story are appended. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 An Introduction to the Conversation: Charles G. Leland, and Naming 1
2 The Story of Kluskap and Malsum 17
3 The Making of "the Real Gospel of Manliness" 33
4 Raw Data and Cooked: Rendering "Indians" into Aryans 49
5 Of Conversations: Savagism, Primitivism, and the Use of the "Indian" Stereotype 67
6 Weaving Himself Into the Landscape: Charles Leland's Use of the "Indian" Stereotype 89
7 In the Absence of the Wisdom of the Elders: The Contemporary Use of the "Indian" Stereotype 109
8 Reworking the "Indian" for Place: Scholars and Native Americans 131
Appendix 149
Notes 159
Bibliography 207
Index 229
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