Native people of southern New England, 1500-1650 /
by Kathleen J. Bragdon.
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1996.
xxvi, 301 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
0806128038 (alk. paper)
More Details
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1996.
0806128038 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 255-290) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-10-01:
In this useful ethnography, Bragdon uses the indigenous term Ninnimissinouk, roughly translated as "people," to refer collectively to the natives of southern New England, in an effort to avoid artificial tribal labels and categorizations while recognizing the "complex variety of communities" and groupings that existed. Bragdon introduces a "tripartite settlement model" as the foundation for New England native cultural development. This model incorporates the three ecosystems of estuarine, riverine, and upland regions, which played a large role in determining not only settlement patterns, but also such dynamics as adoption of horticulture, social and political organization, and long-distance trade. Drawing heavily on archaeological data and written in a very clinical, scientific style, the first half of the book presents a wealth of facts and theories but less interpretation. The second half, devoted to ethnographic descriptions of native cultural and social patterns, is more rooted in the people themselves and reads much more smoothly. Bragdon concludes with an archaeological analysis of 17th-century burial practices, asserting that the "Ninnimissinouk were in fact a people whose post-contact history was in large part independent of that of the English settlers who attempted to subdue, marginalize, and reinvent them." This conclusion is not supported by the evidence offered and is less convincing than the argument presented in Dane Morrison's A Praying People (CH, Feb'96) that the dynamics of contact, particularly disease, drew the natives to accept acculturation. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. J. Puglisi Marian College of Fond du Lac
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1996
Reference & Research Book News, December 1996
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Main Description
In this first comprehensive study of American Indians of southern New England from 1500 to 1650, Kathleen J. Bragdon discusses common features and significant differences among the Pawtucket, Massachusett, Nipmuck, Pocumtuck, Narragansett, Pokanoket, Niantic, Mohegan, and Pequot Indians. Her complex portrait, which employs both the perspective of European observers and important new evidence from archaeology and linguistics, shows that internally developed customs and values were primary determinants in the development of Native culture.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introductionp. 3
A Tripartite Settlement Modelp. 55
Maize, Trade, Territoriality, and Wampum: The Archaeological and Linguistic Evidencep. 80
The Quotidian World: Work, Gender, Time, and Spacep. 102
Metaphors and Models of Livelihoodp. 130
The Sachemship and Its Defendersp. 140
Kinship As Ideologyp. 156
Social Relations and Gender Differencesp. 169
Cosmologyp. 184
Religious Specialists Among the Ninnimissinuokp. 200
Ritualp. 217
Conclusionsp. 231
Notesp. 249
Referencesp. 255
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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