The Cherokee Kid: Will Rogers, Tribal Identity, and the Making of an American Icon

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-01-18 00:30Z by Steven

The Cherokee Kid: Will Rogers, Tribal Identity, and the Making of an American Icon

University Press of Kansas
June 2015
400 pages
7 illustrations, 6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-2100-2
Ebook ISBN 978-0-7006-2101-9

Amy M. Ware

Early in the twentieth century, the political humorist Will Rogers was arguably the most famous cowboy in America. And though most in his vast audience didn’t know it, he was also the most famous Indian of his time. Those who know of Rogers’s Cherokee heritage and upbringing tend to minimize its importance, or to imagine that Rogers himself did so—notwithstanding his avowal in interviews: “I’m a Cherokee and they’re the finest Indians in the World.” The truth is, throughout his adult life and his work the Oklahoma cowboy made much of his American Indian background. And in doing so, as Amy Ware suggests in this book, he made Cherokee artistry a fundamental part of American popular culture.

Rogers, whose father was a prominent and wealthy Cherokee politician and former Confederate slaveholder, was born into the Paint Clan in the town of Oolagah in 1879 and raised in the Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation. Ware maps out this milieu, illuminating the familial and social networks, as well as the Cherokee ranching practices, educational institutions, popular publications and heated political debates that so firmly grounded Rogers in the culture of the Cherokees. Through his early career, from Wild West and vaudeville performer to Ziegfeld Follies headliner in the late 1910s, she reveals how Rogers embodied the seemingly conflicting roles of cowboy and Indian, in effect enacting the blending of these identities in his art. Rogers’s work in the film industry also reflected complex notions of American Indian identity and history, as Ware demonstrates in her reading of the clearest examples, including Laughing Billy Hyde, in which Rogers, an Indian, portrayed a white prospector married to an Indian woman—who was played by a white actress.

In his work as a columnist for the New York Times, and in his radio performances, Ware continues to trace the Cherokee influence on Rogers’s material—and in turn its impact on his audiences. It is in these largely uncensored performances that we see another side of Rogers’ Cherokee persona—a tribal elitism that elevated the Cherokee above other Indian nations. Ware’s exploration of this distinction exposes still-common assumptions regarding Native authenticity in the history of American culture, even as her in-depth look at Will Rogers’s heritage and legacy reshapes our perspective on the Native presence in that history, and in the life and work of a true American icon.

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A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Métis

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Canada, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation on 2015-01-15 00:59Z by Steven

A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Métis

Oxford University Press
1997-06-05
336 pages
1 linecut, 5 maps
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780195097115
Paperback ISBN: 9780195097122

Peter Bakker, Associate professor
Department of Aesthetics and Communication
Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

The Michif language—spoken by descendants of French Canadian fur traders and Cree Indians in western Canada—is considered an “impossible language” since it uses French for nouns and Cree for verbs, and comprises two different sets of grammatical rules. Bakker uses historical research and fieldwork data to present the first detailed analysis of this language and how it came into being.

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Naia Reborn: See the Surprising Face of a First American

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Mexico, Native Americans/First Nation on 2015-01-10 23:59Z by Steven

Naia Reborn: See the Surprising Face of a First American

NBC News
2015-01-05

Alan Boyle, Digital’s Science Editor


Timothy Archibald / National Geographic

Researchers and artists have reconstructed the face of a teenage girl who lived 12,000 years ago in Mexico, and it’s not the kind of face a person might typically associate with Native Americans.

The remains of the girl, nicknamed Naia (after the Greek term for a water nymph), were recovered from an underwater cave on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Naia is regarded as one of the earliest known residents of the Americas — but her skull has a shape associated with African or South Pacific populations rather than the typical Siberian look.

Despite that different look, researchers say Naia is genetically related to Native Americans who came to America later, from Siberia via the Beringia land bridge

Read the entire article here.

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Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People

Posted in Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-01-04 17:44Z by Steven

Metis and the Medicine Line: Creating a Border and Dividing a People

University of North Carolina Press
April 2015
Approx. 352 pages
6.125 x 9.25
17 halftones, 3 maps, notes, bibl., index
Paper: ISBN 978-1-4696-2105-0

Michel Hogue, Assistant Professor of History
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canadas

Born of encounters between Indigenous women and Euro-American men in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the Plains Metis people occupied contentious geographic and cultural spaces. Living in a disputed area of the northern Plains inhabited by various Indigenous nations and claimed by both the United States and Great Britain, the Metis emerged as a people with distinctive styles of speech, dress, and religious practice, and occupational identities forged in the intense rivalries of the fur and provisions trade. Michel Hogue explores how, as fur trade societies waned and as state officials looked to establish clear lines separating the United States from Canada and Indians from non-Indians, these communities of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry were profoundly affected by the efforts of nation-states to divide and absorb the North American West.

Grounded in extensive research in U.S. and Canadian archives, Hogue’s account recenters historical discussions that have typically been confined within national boundaries and illuminates how Plains Indigenous peoples like the Metis were at the center of both the unexpected accommodations and the hidden history of violence that made the “world’s longest undefended border.”

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Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2015-01-04 17:03Z by Steven

Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South

University of North Carolina Press
February 2015
232 pages
6.125 x 9.25
11 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4696-2187-6

Barbara Krauthamer, Associate Professor of History
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

From the late eighteenth century through the end of the Civil War, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians bought, sold, and owned Africans and African Americans as slaves, a fact that persisted after the tribes’ removal from the Deep South to Indian Territory. The tribes formulated racial and gender ideologies that justified this practice and marginalized free black people in the Indian nations well after the Civil War and slavery had ended. Through the end of the nineteenth century, ongoing conflicts among Choctaw, Chickasaw, and U.S. lawmakers left untold numbers of former slaves and their descendants in the two Indian nations without citizenship in either the Indian nations or the United States. In this groundbreaking study, Barbara Krauthamer rewrites the history of southern slavery, emancipation, race, and citizenship to reveal the centrality of Native American slaveholders and the black people they enslaved.

Krauthamer’s examination of slavery and emancipation highlights the ways Indian women’s gender roles changed with the arrival of slavery and changed again after emancipation and reveals complex dynamics of race that shaped the lives of black people and Indians both before and after removal.

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White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2014-12-24 17:50Z by Steven

White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier

The New York Times
2014-12-24

Carl Zimmer

In 1924, the State of Virginia attempted to define what it means to be white.

The state’s Racial Integrity Act, which barred marriages between whites and people of other races, defined whites as people “whose blood is entirely white, having no known, demonstrable or ascertainable admixture of the blood of another race.”

There was just one problem. As originally written, the law would have classified many of Virginia’s most prominent families as not white, because they claimed to be descended from Pocahontas.

So the Virginia legislature revised the act, establishing what came to be known as the “Pocahontas exception.” Virginians could be up to one-sixteenth Native American and still be white in the eyes of the law.

People who were one-sixteenth black, on the other hand, were still black.

In the United States, there is a long tradition of trying to draw sharp lines between ethnic groups, but our ancestry is a fluid and complex matter. In recent years geneticists have been uncovering new evidence about our shared heritage, and last week a team of scientists published the biggest genetic profile of the United States to date, based on a study of 160,000 people…

Read the entire article here.

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The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2014-12-19 02:12Z by Steven

The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States

The American Journal of Human Genetics
Published online: 2014-12-18
17 pages
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.11.010

Katarzyna Bryc, Research Fellow in Genetics (EXT)
Department of Genetics
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Eric Y. Durand
23andMe, Inc., Mountain View, California

J. Michael Macpherson, Assistant Professor
School of Computational Sciences
Chapman University, Orange, California

David Reich, Professor of Genetics
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Joanna L. Mountain, Senior Director of Research
23andMe, Inc., Mountain View, California

Over the past 500 years, North America has been the site of ongoing mixing of Native Americans, European settlers, and Africans (brought largely by the trans-Atlantic slave trade), shaping the early history of what became the United States. We studied the genetic ancestry of 5,269 self-described African Americans, 8,663 Latinos, and 148,789 European Americans who are 23andMe customers and show that the legacy of these historical interactions is visible in the genetic ancestry of present-day Americans. We document pervasive mixed ancestry and asymmetrical male and female ancestry contributions in all groups studied. We show that regional ancestry differences reflect historical events, such as early Spanish colonization, waves of immigration from many regions of Europe, and forced relocation of Native Americans within the US. This study sheds light on the fine-scale differences in ancestry within and across the United States and informs our understanding of the relationship between racial and ethnic identities and genetic ancestry.

Read the entire article here.

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The corporate institution of mixed race: Indigeneity, discourse, and Orientalism in Aboriginal policy

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania on 2014-11-28 18:10Z by Steven

The corporate institution of mixed race: Indigeneity, discourse, and Orientalism in Aboriginal policy

Critical Race and Whiteness Studies
Volume 10, Number 1, 2014
17 pages

Camie Augustus
Department of History
University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Contradiction in Aboriginal policy, especially the oscillation between assimilation and segregation, is often viewed as inconsequential. The suggestion has been that inconsistency is typical of governments and even expected of administrations that have little time, money, or motivation to be overly concerned with Aboriginal matters. However, I posit that ambiguity has meaning. I propose that utilizing Said’s concept of the corporate institution of Orientalism reveals a ‘mixed-race’ discourse in government records during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that in fact gives meaning to this contradictory nature. I examine the ways in which the texts of Aboriginal law and policy in Canada, the US, and Australia constitute a specific mixed-race discourse of ambivalence and ambiguity, in contrast to a racial discourse of certainty. Based on a discourse analysis of key policy texts, I conclude that ambiguity and ambivalence constitute part of a colonial structure based on racial binarisms where an absence of space for ‘those in between’ reflected the perceived transitional and transient nature of ‘mixed-race’ as a temporary category, and the impetus to eliminate it. This discourse is surprisingly similar and persistent across a broad span of time and space, suggesting that questions about racial mixing and the presence of mixed-ancestry Natives constituted a major determining factor in the shaping of Aboriginal law and policy in these three countries between 1850 and 1950.

Read the entire article here.

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“Western Zombies and Their Killers: Exceptionalism, the Empty West, and Mixed Race Families” a lecture by Dr. Anne Hyde

Posted in History, Live Events, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2014-11-15 17:59Z by Steven

“Western Zombies and Their Killers: Exceptionalism, the Empty West, and Mixed Race Families” a lecture by Dr. Anne Hyde

Colorado State University
Cherokee Park Ballroom, Lory Student Center
Fort Collins, Colorado
2014-12-04, 16:30-18:30 MST (Local Time)

Please join us for a public lecture and book signing/reception by Dr. Anne Hyde, William R. Hochman Professor of History at Colorado College. The title of her talk is drawn from her prize-winning book, Empires, Nations, and Families: The North American West, 1800-1860, which won the 2012 Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for a Pulitzer…

For more information, click here.

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Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Economics, History, Mexico, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science on 2014-11-07 19:07Z by Steven

Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America

University of North Carolina Press
October 2014
320 pages
59 figs., 4 maps, 23 tables, notes, bibl., index
6.125 x 9.25
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4696-1783-1

Edward E. Telles, Professor of Sociology
Princeton University

and

The Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA)
Princeton University

Pigmentocracies—the fruit of the multiyear Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA)—is a richly revealing analysis of contemporary attitudes toward ethnicity and race in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, four of Latin America’s most populous nations. Based on extensive, original sociological and anthropological data generated by PERLA, this landmark study analyzes ethnoracial classification, inequality, and discrimination, as well as public opinion about Afro-descended and indigenous social movements and policies that foster greater social inclusiveness, all set within an ethnoracial history of each country. A once-in-a-generation examination of contemporary ethnicity, this book promises to contribute in significant ways to policymaking and public opinion in Latin America.

Edward Telles, PERLA’s principal investigator, explains that profound historical and political forces, including multiculturalism, have helped to shape the formation of ethnic identities and the nature of social relations within and across nations. One of Pigmentocracies’s many important conclusions is that unequal social and economic status is at least as much a function of skin color as of ethnoracial identification. Investigators also found high rates of discrimination by color and ethnicity widely reported by both targets and witnesses. Still, substantial support across countries was found for multicultural-affirmative policies—a notable result given that in much of modern Latin America race and ethnicity have been downplayed or ignored as key factors despite their importance for earlier nation-building.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. The Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA): Hard Data and What Is at Stake
  • 2. The Different Faces of Mestizaje: Ethnicity and Race in Mexico
  • 3. From Whitened Miscegenation to Triethnic Multiculturalism: Race and Ethnicity in Columbia
  • 4. ¿El pals de todas las sangres? Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Peru
  • 5. Mixed and Unequal: New Perspectives on Brazilian Ethnoracial Relations
  • 6. A Comparative Analysis of Ethnicity, Race, and Color Based on PERLA Findings
  • Notes
  • References
  • About the Authors
  • Index
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