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Other titles in the Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians series:
Life Among the Indians: First Fieldwork Among the Sioux and Omahas (Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians)by Alice C. Fletcher
Synopses & Reviews
Alice C. Fletcher (1838and#8211;1923), one of the few women who became anthropologists in the United States during the nineteenth century, was a pioneer in the practice of participant-observation ethnography. She focused her studies over many years among the Native tribes in Nebraska and South Dakota.
Life among the Indians, Fletcherand#8217;s popularized autobiographical memoir written in 1886and#8211;87 about her first fieldwork among the Sioux and the Omahas during 1881and#8211;82, remained unpublished in Fletcherand#8217;s archives at the Smithsonian Institution for more than one hundred years. In it Fletcher depicts the humor and hardships of her field experiences as a middle-aged woman undertaking anthropological fieldwork alone, while showing genuine respect and compassion for Native ways and beliefs that was far ahead of her time. What emerges is a complex and fascinating picture of a woman questioning the cultural and gender expectations of nineteenth-century America while insightfully portraying rapidly changing reservation life.
Fletcherand#8217;s account of her early fieldwork is available here for the first time, accompanied by an essay by the editors that sheds light on Fletcherand#8217;s place in the development of anthropology and the role of women in the discipline.
In this deeply engaging account Michelle H. Raheja offers the first book-length study of the Indigenous actors, directors, and spectators who helped shape Hollywoodand#8217;s representation of Indigenous peoples. Since the era of silent films, Hollywood movies and visual culture generally have provided the primary representational field on which Indigenous images have been displayed to non-Native audiences. These films have been highly influential in shaping perceptions of Indigenous peoples as, for example, a dying race or as inherently unable or unwilling to adapt to change. However, films with Indigenous plots and subplots also signify at least some degree of Native presence in a culture that largely defines Native peoples as absent or separate.
Native actors, directors, and spectators have had a part in creating these cinematic representations and have thus complicated the dominant, and usually negative, messages about Native peoples thatand#160;films portray. In Reservation Reelism Raheja examines the history of these Native actors, directors, and spectators,and#160;reveals their contributions, and attempts to create positive representations in film that reflect the complex and vibrant experiences of Native peoples and communities.
"Among the Indians, music envelopes like an atmosphere every religious, tribal, and social ceremony as well as every personal experience. There is not a phase of life that does not find expression in song," wrote Alice C. Fletcher. The famous anthropologist published A Study of Omaha Indian Music in 1893. With the single exception of an 1882 dissertation, it was the first serious study ever made of American Indian music. And it was the largest collection of non-Occidental music published to date, ninety-two songs, all from a single tribe.
Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, her Omaha coworker and adopted son, divided the songs into three categories: religious ones, to be sung by a certain class either through initiation or inheritance; social ones, involving dances and games, always sung by a group; and ones to be sung singly, including dream songs, love songs, captive songs, prayer songs, death songs, sweat lodge songs, and songs of thanks. John Comfort Fillmore, a professional musician, added a "Report on the Structural Peculiarities of the Music."
Those interested in a vital aspect of Indian culture will want to own this book, which contains the musical scores as well as the native-language words for the songs.
About the Author
Joanna C. Scherer is an emeritus anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institutionand#8217;s National Museum of Natural History. She is the author of the award-winning book, A Danish Photographer of Idaho Indians: Benedicte Wrensted. Raymond J. DeMallie is Chancellorsand#8217; Professor of Anthropology, codirector of the American Indian Studies Research Institute, and curator of North American Ethnology at the Mathers Museum at Indiana University. He is the editor of The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elkand#8217;s Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt, available in a Bison Books edition.
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