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Pestilence and Persistence: Yosemite Indian Demography and Culture in Colonial California

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This innovative examination of the Yosemite Indian experience in California poses broad challenges to our understanding of the complex, destructive encounters that took place between colonists and native peoples across North America. Looking closely at archaeological data, native oral tradition, and historical accounts, Kathleen Hull focuses in particular on the timing, magnitude, and consequences of the introduction of lethal infectious diseases to Native communities. The Yosemite Indian case suggests that epidemic disease penetrated small-scale hunting and gathering groups of the interior of North America prior to face-to-face encounters with colonists. It also suggests, however, that even the catastrophic depopulation that resulted from these diseases was insufficient to undermine the culture and identity of many Native groups. Instead, engagement in colonial economic ventures often proved more destructive to traditional indigenous lifeways. Hull provides further context for these central issues by examining ten additional cases of colonial-era population decline in groups ranging from Iroquoian speakers of the Northeast to complex chiefdoms of the Southeast and Puebloan peoples of the Southwest.

Synopsis:

"This is not just a book about the Yosemite Indians but a landmark contribution to the study of North American historical demography. Kathleen Hull's writing, remarkably lucid and flowing, is a delight to read."--Dean R. Snow, President, Society for American Archaeology

Synopsis:

"This is not just a book about the Yosemite Indians but a landmark contribution to the study of North American historical demography. Kathleen Hull's writing, remarkably lucid and flowing, is a delight to read."—Dean R. Snow, President, Society for American Archaeology

Pestilence and Persistence evaluates competing theories about the effects of introduced diseases on historic Native American communities. Through comparative study of the Yosemite Indians with native groups in ten other regions of North America, Kathleen Hull demonstrates that Native American populations responded to colonial epidemics with flexible strategies that promoted cultural and demographic survival. This empirically rigorous and well-crafted book will be an invaluable resource for historians and anthropologists of North America's colonial era and for any scholar investigating the cultural consequences of epidemic disease.”—Barbara L. Voss, author of The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis

About the Author

Kathleen L. Hull is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Merced.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Acknowledgments

1. Disentangling Colonial Encounters

2. Multiple Perspectives on a Critical Time

3. Colonial Encounters in Yosemite Valley

4. The People of Awahnee

5. Peopling the Past

6. A Tradition of Survival: Archaeological Evidence for Awahnichi Depopulation

7. Daily Practices in a Changing World

8. Hol'-low and He-le'-jah: Cultural Continuity and Change

9. The Colonial Experience:Epidemic Disease and Cultural Outcomes Elsewhere in North America

10. Culture, History, and Colonialism

Appendix: Population Proxy Data

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520258471
Author:
Hull, Kathleen L.
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
United States History.
Subject:
Indians of North America -- History.
Subject:
Archaeology
Subject:
Demography
Subject:
Archaeology-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 b/w photographs, 9 line illustrations,
Pages:
392
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.25 in 1.08 lb

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
History and Social Science » Native American » California
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Pestilence and Persistence: Yosemite Indian Demography and Culture in Colonial California New Hardcover
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Product details 392 pages University of California Press - English 9780520258471 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "This is not just a book about the Yosemite Indians but a landmark contribution to the study of North American historical demography. Kathleen Hull's writing, remarkably lucid and flowing, is a delight to read."--Dean R. Snow, President, Society for American Archaeology
"Synopsis" by ,
"This is not just a book about the Yosemite Indians but a landmark contribution to the study of North American historical demography. Kathleen Hull's writing, remarkably lucid and flowing, is a delight to read."—Dean R. Snow, President, Society for American Archaeology

Pestilence and Persistence evaluates competing theories about the effects of introduced diseases on historic Native American communities. Through comparative study of the Yosemite Indians with native groups in ten other regions of North America, Kathleen Hull demonstrates that Native American populations responded to colonial epidemics with flexible strategies that promoted cultural and demographic survival. This empirically rigorous and well-crafted book will be an invaluable resource for historians and anthropologists of North America's colonial era and for any scholar investigating the cultural consequences of epidemic disease.”—Barbara L. Voss, author of The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis

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