Synopses & Reviews
In the Pacific Northwest, the river of dominance is the Columbia, and in ways both profound and mundane its history is the history of the region. In Great River of the West historians and anthropologists consider a range of topics about the river, from Indian rock art, Chinook Jargon, and ethnobotany on the Columbia to literary and family history, the creation of an engineered river, and the inherent mythic power of place.
Since first contact between Euro-Americans and Native peoples during the late 18th century, the river's history has been characterized by dramatic demographic, social, and economic changes. The remarkable set of essays in Great River of the West investigate these changes by highlighting important episodes in the history of the river. Readers meet mariners who challenge the Columbia River bar, a family torn by insanity, Native people who preserve fishing traditions, and dam-builders who radically change the Columbia.
Table of Contents
A resurgent Columbia River: an introduction / William L. Lang and Robert C. Carriker -- What ever happened to the first peoples of the Columbia? / Eugene S. Hunn -- "Dr. McKay's Chinook address May 11 1892": a commemoration in Chinook jargon of the first Columbia River centennial / Henry Zenk -- Riverplaces as sacred geography: the pictographs and petroglyphs of the Mid-Columbia River / William D. Layman -- On the Columbia: the ruling presence of this place / James P. Ronda -- "This perilous situation between hope and despair": meetings along the great river of the west / Patricia Nelson Limerick -- "They have no father, and they will not mind me": families and the river / Lillian Schlissel -- Changing cultural inventions of the Columbia / Richard W. Etulain -- What has happened to the Columbia? a great river's fate in the twentieth century / William L. Lang.