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Readings in Saami history, culture and language. Conference paper Other academic Fur, G. This knowledge is a combination of traditional ways of knowing and being in the world and contemporary adaptations to and struggles against colonialism across a variety of locations, populations, and historical periods. Much of what constitutes indigenous knowledge today has been shared through oral tradition. Thus, oral tradition functions as a largely unrecognized archive or storehouse of Native knowledge and memory.
Oral tradition can include performed works and written transcriptions of performances which are often translated; they differ across communities, families, and individual story-keepers. As Acoma poet Simon J. Ortiz theorizes, oral tradition is meaningful because it continues to express the ongoing struggle of Native peoples against settler colonialism. View all notes While oral tradition connects the present to the past, it is important to understand that indigenous knowledge is not static.
A Short History of the Lenni Lenape
Native knowledge continually grows and changes with the needs of different Native peoples. Adaptations of tradition such as the use of new languages, modes of dress, or the incorporation of Euro—American traditions do not invalidate Native knowledge or practices. View all notes While Ortiz describes the creativity and flexibility of oral tradition as a key feature of its usefulness for Native peoples, many anthropologists and historians question the reliability of oral tradition as historical evidence precisely for these reasons. More recently, though, anthropologists and ethnohistorians encourage readings of oral tradition that are grounded in culturally specific knowledge and attuned to its ideological, symbolic, and metaphorical meanings.
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Scholars such as Jan Vansina, Renato Rosaldo, Judith Binney, Julie Cruikshank, Andrew Newman, and others have considered the differences and similarities between oral narratives of history and written records, creating nuanced accounts of the problems and risks associated with oversimplified, positivistic comparisons of oral and written histories.
View all notes Indigenous oral history narratives are more than just alternate legal or historical sources or even alternate perspectives; they fundamentally shift the ground of historical narratives by questioning whose story counts as legitimate history, which events are worth including, and what and how a particular place conveys meaning.
View all notes Thus, oral narratives not only carry forward traditional cultural knowledge and memories of historical resistance to European colonization, each contemporary reiteration or adaptation of oral tradition is a living expression of resistance to present-day settler colonialism and a reassertion of Native autonomy.
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Nowhere is this insistence on Native peoples' legitimate forms and expressions of knowledge more charged than in land claims hearings and cases of Native people exercising treaty rights. View all notes or simply discounted as inadmissible legal and historical evidence. Adams-Campbell reads the ICC trials as an important stage on which the Sauk and Mesquakie sought to introduce Native knowledge as legitimate historical evidence and to decolonize the prevailing settler-colonial historical narrative with a powerful, contesting primary source.
She is the author of New World Courtships: Transatlantic Alternatives to Companionate Marriage forthcoming, Dartmouth College Press and is currently at work on a second project on oral traditions as archives of indigenous knowledge. Her current research is grounded in her experiences as a member of the language and culture committee of the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana and centers on the social impact of the stories of Frances Slocum — , the most popular historical figure of the Miami despite the fact that she was born to a white Quaker family in Rhode Island.
By tracing how her life story is transformed into a popular captivity narrative and then eventually taken up by the Miami as a significant historical figure, Falzetti reveals some of the ways in which violent epistemes of belonging are maintained across generations, simultaneously reifying and obscuring Native presence and racial otherness in the US. Her research centers on investigating the rhetorical construction of archives and material collections.
After working with the Pointe-au-Chien and Biloxi-Chitmacha Confederation of Muskogees during their case for federal recognition, Rivard has turned her attention to the role archives play in creating both conceptual notions and evidentiary materials that are used in Native American cases for US federal recognition as Indian Tribes.
Skip to Main Content. Search in: This Journal Anywhere. Advanced search. Submit an article Journal homepage. Pages Published online: 20 Oct In this article Close Archival access Archival content Legitimating indigenous knowledge. Special Feature: Settler Archives.
Introduction: Indigeneity and the work of settler archives. Archival access In January over tribal leaders gathered at Arizona State University to share stories and strategies of their fight to gain federal recognition from the US government.
As Native scholar Malea Powell explains, access requires knowledge of a very specialized type: how to find and identify documents within catalogs and holdings lists and finding guides, and to do so in such a way that your simple request would pass unimpeded through the system's many gatekeepers; how to fill out forms, pay for things, use the physical space of the archive—all of these an elaborate maze each time I visited someplace new, all designed to keep the knowledge safe, protected, away from the prying eyes of the uninitiated and the uninformed.
Archival content While state-sponsored archives vary in scale, scope, and mission, there are certain types of archives that seem particular to settler-colonial contexts. Legitimating indigenous knowledge Although much has been lost, indigenous knowledge is vibrantly alive today; it exists in many forms, including rituals, ceremonies, verbal and material cultural expressions, and lived experiences.
View all notes More recently, though, anthropologists and ethnohistorians encourage readings of oral tradition that are grounded in culturally specific knowledge and attuned to its ideological, symbolic, and metaphorical meanings.
On Records by Andrew Newman (ebook)
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