Native Grounds

Native Grounds

 

Iroquoia (think upstate New York) and the Arkansas Valley may seem an unlikely pairing, but having spent previous weeks talking about native North America and early contacts with Europeans, this week we are moving into a colonial era in which Europeans constitute a presence largely confined to the peripheries of Native American worlds/communities/territories–these are native worlds more than joint creations or European colonial settings, shaped by diverse Native American actors. I realized yesterday at the end of class that I’d forgotten to take Richter with me–that’s how much time I’ve spent with an incredible classic, the details of which are always refreshed on rereading but the larger framework of which is persistently in the back of my mind. DuVal is a newer discovering, but presents a fascinating look at the contrasting goals and strategies of Osage and Quapaw politics and cultures. I found this particular copy of Richter at The Bookstore in Chico on a visit home, not long after Chico State’s early Americanist retired, and I like to think it has moved between historians; the DuVal found its way onto the grad lounge bookshelf at Irvine, from where I claimed it.

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