Saturday, May 15, 2010

Amazing but True

On a certain level Native Americans do need to get their history out there. I did go to a huge book in NYC specifically looking for decent readings on the history of the Oneida, but would have taken books on other tribes. I was amazed at how slim the offerings are in comparison to the shelves of books on African Americans and even more on the subject of Jewish history.

Some of this is a function of the local market. Jewish people read a lot of books and have many authors. There is a large Black community in NYC, but much of it is West Indian and African in origin. However, it is disappointing that a better selection of books was not available at such a fine establishment.

I went looking for the works of Kenneth Roberts and struck out. I am somewhat perplexed by the lack of military history books on the subject of the Oriskany battle. It is a very interesting story that most of us should be more familiar with. The half Oneida Patriot Thomas Spencer gave his life in Battle. Oneida Hon Yerry and his wife Two Kettles Together fought bravely and helped the patriots immeasurably.


CM said...


Maybe you will have better luck at the Museum or the Churches. Do you have people like the Daughters of the Republic of Texas or such, this is the group that kept a lot of the info we found in San Antonio at the Alamo Library complex.

Anonymous said...

There are actually a ton of outstanding books over Native people and their histories, you just have to know which ones and where to look. Most book stores do not carry a wide array of them, however. Borders used to be all right, but some of their stores actually placed Native history books under the New Age section, believe it nor not.

I suggest Amazon, as you're right, most stores do not carry a wide array of Native books compared to other groups, although the Great Plains and South likely carry more than the East Coast does.

However, rest assured, there are many, many responsible studies out there, by both Indian and non-Indian scholars. If you're really interested in the Iroquois (northeastern in general) roles in events prior to the American Revolution, including the Great War for Empire (French Indian War), I would suggest Daniel Richter's "The Ordeal of the Longhouse," Richard White's "The Middle Ground," and Fred Anderson's "The Crucible of War."


beakerkin said...


I will be visiting the Museum with the beloved Sprite. She might enjoy the crafts section and get entirely the wrong message from the Museum. She does seem to love arts and crafts type of activities.

I am not certain how proper or respectful it is. Then again crafts
are also part of the traditions and culture on another level. Crafts types are just artists on another plain of existence at times.


Borders is much better than the Strand.

Yeagley, is correct about one thing
albeit for the wrong reasons. Almost any kid can place Crispus Attucks, but few realize he had Native American heritage as well.
His story was politicized by Europeans for various reasons. There should be a similar place in history for Hon Yerry and his wife Two Kettles Together and Thomas Spenser.

The Eastern Tribes are fairly understudied. The story of the French attack on the Iroquois and its long term consequences is not
frequently conveyed. Abenakis are almost invisible on the store shelves.

CM said...

Hey Beak,

The kid crafts section at the Heard Museum in Phoenix was great! I loved the whole place but my sister found me making a bag with tie strings and a canoe!!! I gathered an assortment of ideas for when we may have a kids craft fair. A couple of times I have been asked to help entertain the kids doing crafts. We made dream catchers and doll nite cradles among other traditional things, the stories for kids always have a moral to them. One story I love for the kids is "The Lengend of the Bluebonnet",Tomie DePaola. Its moral is sharing, unselfishness, think of the whole village not just yourself...a very cute story.

Getting back to the adults, a great book I look at when I can is "1491" new revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles Mann, a great book, of course I always like them when they compliment the Indians once in a while!

My Grandaughter is visiting me overnite and now she wants the computor, I have to close here.

beakerkin said...


The Sprite seems drawn to crafts. I don't think she is suited to larger themes like myself. She is a sweet child who prefers crafts and art for their own sake.

She marvels at my world in a mix curiosity and affection. My world of books and relentless type of energy are not her traits.

She is not likely to waste time with big ideas. She is the type that enjoys life and is probably far wiser than I in many respects.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure the northeast has been all that neglected. However, there are historical reasons for why the population is much lower there than, say, on the plains. There was a monumental population loss, coupled with extensive intermarriage. For those eastern tribes that choose not to use blood quantum for citizenship, they suffer some misunderstanding because they "don't look Indian" to non-Indians. If you're interested in one of the more pugnacious studies of the colonial encounter that took place in the northeast, you should check out Francis Jennings' "The Invasion if America." Written in 1974, it still represents a case that's been impossible for scholars to refute, even the most conservative ones.

In any event, those three books I listed are extremely well written and touch upon what you say you're interested. Interestingly enough, they're non-Indian authors, demonstrating that doing good history and anthropology is not race-based so much as it is doing good scholarship.


The_Editrix said...

"In any event, those three books I listed are extremely well written and touch upon what you say you're interested. Interestingly enough, they're non-Indian authors, demonstrating that doing good history and anthropology is not race-based so much as it is doing good scholarship."

Of course it isn't. I'd even go so far as to say that scholars who are doing research in which they (or their ancestors) are involved better refrain from doing so unless they are willing and able to stick to the highest standards of scholarly detachment.

CM said...

That was a topic on the "View" yesterday. In Texas someone re-writing or changing History.

Until we recognized what we left out did wrong or are just still ignoring the facts of the past of any race. Of course being my concern is the Native American History left out and ignored. This is the most un-American thing that can happen to the people that were here first!

Whoopie was getting hot under the collar about the History/Culture.... not any specific Culture just about it being re-written!