Catalogue


Living in the Land of Death : the Choctaw Nation, 1830-1860 /
Donna Akers.
imprint
East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, 2004.
description
xxvii, 202 p.
ISBN
0870136844 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
series title
imprint
East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, 2004.
isbn
0870136844 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
5201078
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Oklahoma Book Award, USA, 2005 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-03-01:
Akers (Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln) proposes to provide the story of the Choctaw in Indian Territory from the Choctaw perspective, providing history "processed through the eyes of native people." Once she expands her narrative to the Choctaw western experience, she maintains her focus. One wishes she had given even more extensive Choctaw views and less criticism of earlier historians. There seems little point in the extended attention given to the failings of Angie Debo and Grant Foreman, without whose pioneering work even Akers admits we would not be where we are today. This critique is especially ironic in light of her bibliographical compliment to Foreman as an "eminent Indian historian." Regarding the bibliography, it is somewhat puzzling (given her intentions) that she included no tribal interviews. It should also be pointed out, regarding the alcohol problem the Choctaw Lighthorse police force battled so creatively, that alcoholism was not new in 1800. Rivers of rum had flowed into the Choctaw villages via British traders through Mobile in the 1770s, long before liquor lubricated US Indian policy. Akers deserves credit for attempting to bring a tribal perspective to this story. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. H. O'Donnell III Marietta College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2005
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Summaries
Main Description
With the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Choctaw people began their journey over the Trail of Tears from their homelands in Mississippi to the new lands of the Choctaw Nation. Suffering a death rate of nearly 20 percent due to exposure, disease, mismanagement, and fraud, they limped into Indian Territory, or, as they knew it, the Land of the Dead (the route taken by the souls of Choctaw people after death on their way to the Choctaw afterlife). Their first few years in the new nation affirmed their name for the land, as hundreds more died from whooping cough, floods, starvation, cholera, and smallpox. Living in the Land of the Deaddepicts the story of Choctaw survival, and the evolution of the Choctaw people in their new environment. Culturally, over time, their adaptation was one of homesteads and agriculture, eventually making them self-sufficient in the rich new lands of Indian Territory. Along the Red River and other major waterways several Choctaw families of mixed heritage built plantations, and imported large crews of slave labor to work cotton fields. They developed a sub-economy based on interaction with the world market. However, the vast majority of Choctaws continued with their traditional subsistence economy that was easily adapted to their new environment. The immigrant Choctaws did not, however, move into land that was vacant. The U.S. government, through many questionable and some outright corrupt extralegal maneuvers, chose to believe it had gained title through negotiations with some of the peoples whose homelands and hunting grounds formed Indian Territory. Many of these indigenous peoples reacted furiously to the incursion of the Choctaws onto their rightful lands. They threatened and attacked the Choctaws and other immigrant Indian Nations for years. Intruding on others' rightful homelands, the farming-based Choctaws, through occupation and economics, disrupted the traditional hunting economy practiced by the Southern Plains Indians, and contributed to the demise of the Plains ways of life.
Unpaid Annotation
Living in the Land of Death depicts the story of Choctaw survival, and the evolution of the Choctaw people in their new environment. Culturally, over time, their adaptation was one of homesteads and agriculture, eventually making them self-sufficient in the rich new lands of Indian Territory. Along the Red River and other major waterways several Choctaw families of mixed heritage built plantations, and imported large crews of slave labor to work cotton fields. They developed a sub-economy based on interaction with the world market. However, the vast majority of Choctaws continued with their traditional subsistence economy that was easily adapted to their new environment. The immigrant Choctaws did not, however, move into land that was vacant. The U.S. government, through many questionable and some outright corrupt extralegal maneuvers, chose to believe it had gained title through negotiations with some of the peoples whose homelands and hunting grounds formed Indian Territory. Many of these indigenous peoples reacted furiously to the incursion of the Choctaws onto their rightful lands. They threatened and attacked the Choctaws and other immigrant Indian Nations for years. Intruding on others' rightful homelands, the farming-based Choctaws, through occupation and economics, disrupted the traditional hunting economy practiced by the Southern Plains Indians, and contributed to the demise of the Plains ways of life.
Table of Contents
A brief history of the Choctaw people to 1817p. 1
History, change, and traditionp. 21
The physical and spiritual world of the Choctaw peoplep. 41
After Doak's stand : Indian Territory in the 1820sp. 67
A perfect picture of chaosp. 87
A new life in the land of death : decade of despairp. 103
Marking death literalp. 117
Cultural continuity and changep. 133
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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