The Prairie People

The Prairie People

Continuity and Change in Potawatomi Indian Culture, 1665-1965


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1998
568 pages, 31 photos, 7 drawings
Paper: 
$45.00
0877456445
9780877456445

“This study of the Potawatomi Indians begins in the dim corridors of the prehistoric past and discusses the history and social evolution of these people down to the mid-1960's. In doing so the author includes much that is significant about the history and development of the Midwest and about American-Indian relations…A model of excellence for the ethnohistory of a single tribe…In sum, this book gives the story of the Potawatomi people with accuracy, interest, and feeling.”—Wisconsin Magazine of History

“A tour de force…A significant feature of this absorbing account of the prairie band is that Clifton has virtually written a history of the clashes between French, British, and American interests for control of lands and furs in the northern woodlands. Additionally, as we follow the various migrations of the prairie Potawatomi, we are given a fascinating picture of the federal government's role in 19th-century Indian affairs. Finally, from Clifton's personal experience with the Kansas Potawatomi, we come to appreciate better the complexity of recent circumstances facing these Native Americans.”—Choice

“…a richly documented work which makes revisionist contributions in every chapter. Clifton illuminates the dynamics of French-Potawatomi relations, reexamines the turbulent intertribal politics and religious revitalizations of the thirty years after the American Revolution, and revises our understanding of American treaty diplomacy, removal and reservation policies, and the internal alterations of Potawatomi society. Clifton's approach to the Potawatomi is frankly ethnohistorical, and it generates a cool precision which characterizes the best of recent Indian histories…His book persuades the reader that Potawatomi culture and historical experience are of a single fabric.”—Explorations in Ethnic Studies

In addition to reprinting the full text of Clifton's extraordinary ethnohistory, this expanded edition features a new essay offering a narrative of his continuing professional and personal encounters, since 1962, with this enduring native community.

Table of contents: 

Preface to the 1998 Edition
Preface to the 1977 Edition

1. Introduction
Tribal Names and Identities
Potawatomi Identity
Potawatomi or Mascoutens?
The Tribal Society

2. Before History
The Protohistoric Estate
The Protohistoric Habitat
Linguistic Evidence
Traditional History
Archaeological and Post-Contact Cultural Evidence
Diaspora and Resettlement: 1641-1667

3. The Quebec Connection
Potawatomi Ideology I
Perrot And Allouez: 1668-1671
Leadership and Governance I
External Relations
Territorial Expansion I

4. Chronicles of the French Regime: 1668-1760
Agents And Agencies
Friends and Foes
The Quebec Connection Severed

5. Persistence and Change in the French Era
Ideology II: Names and Identity
Social Organization I: The Clan System
Leadership and Governance II: The Emergent Chief
Religion I
Economy and Technology

6. Contest for Sovereignty: 1761-1795
Revolt in the West
British Ascendancy
The New American Nation
British-American Conflict 1783-1795
The Greenville Treaty, 1795

7. Persistence and Change in the Interregnum
Territorial Expansion II
Leadership and Governance III: A Plethora of Chiefs
Patterns of Feuding and Warfare

8. The Diminishing Estate: 1796-1837
Prelude to Battle
The Potawatomi in the War of 1812
The New Scene: On Treaties and Tribulations

9. Persistence and Change in the Treaty Era
Responses to American Indian Policies
Ideology III: American and Potawatomi
Views on Human Nature
Religion II: Changing Patterns of Myth, Ritual, and Cult
Leadership and Governance IV: Middlemen, Brokers, and Chiefs
Social Orgainization II: Demise of the Tribe

10. Migration and Resettlement: 1835-1847
First Moves: Towards Leavenworth,
Upper Canada, and the Platte
Diaspora—West, East, North
Geographic Dispersion and Cultural Divergence
The Iowa Experience—Emergence of the Prairie People
The Treaty of 1846
Reunion on the Kaw

11. Revervation Experience: 1848-1905
Cultural Character and Sociopolitical Adaptations
Traders, Missionaries, and Economic Adaptations
The Dawes Allotment Act and Its Aftermath

12. The Prairie People in the Modern World
Economic and Political Adaptations
Conflict and Dissensus
The Beleagured Community

13. Postscript, 1975

Appendices
A. The Potawatomi Language
B. Glossary
C. The Baldwin Constitution of 1932
Notes
Bibliography
Index