Plains Indians, AD 500-1500

Plains Indians, AD 500-1500: The Archaeological Past of Historic Groups

Hardback Published on: 01/07/1994
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The question of how archaeological complexes in North America relate to contemporary American Indian people is a vital one for anthropologists and historians alike - and especially for the Indian nations themselves. For example, who are the Sioux? Who were their forebears? How and why did early cultures grow or blend with others to give rise to the peoples we know today? This study sets out to trace Indian ethnic continuity and cultural diversity in the Great Plains during the millennium preceding European arrival. Specialist contributors use archaeological, ethnographic and linguistic research to connect North American archaeological complexes to present-day Plains peoples. Apachean- (including the Navajos) and Tanoan-speaking Pueblo peoples of the Rio Grande area are included because of their ancestors' Plains affiliation. The contributors summarise the archaeological findings of each region of the Great Plains (including southern Canada and the Rio Grande area) and propose correlations between prehistoric entities and later groups.Beyond archaeological investigation, the collection considers symbolic expressions of ethnicity in religious practice, rituals, myths, objects imbued with scared power, and sacred places used as "territorial markers" - explicitly recognising the American Indians' own sources of historical identity. This volume aims to demonstrate that Plains Indian cultures already had a long, rich and intricate history before the arrival of Europeans. The Indian peoples of the Great Plains were not recent immigrants, as is commonly believed, nor had they become ethnic entities only shortly before contact. One series of maps projects the evolution of pre-conquest Indian nations from the various language groups. The explanations and inquiries of the contributors attempt to bridge persistent scholarly gaps between archaeology, ethnography and Indian traditions, in order to recover the early history of America's native peoples.

  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • ISBN: 9780806125930
  • Number of pages: 512
  • Dimensions: 254 x 164 mm

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