Catalogue

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Indian blues : American Indians and the politics of music, 1879-1934 /
John W. Troutman.
imprint
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2009.
description
xvi, 323 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0806140194 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780806140193 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2009.
isbn
0806140194 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780806140193 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
The citizenship of dance : politics of music in the reservation environment -- The "dance evil" : cultural performance, the press, and federal Indian policy -- The sounds of "civilization" : music and the assimilation campaign in federal Indian boarding schools -- Learning the music of Indianness -- Hitting the road : professional native musicians in the early twentieth century -- Epilogue.
catalogue key
6835118
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 305-314) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-10-01:
While it is incredibly rare for an author's to first published work to be of great significance, Troutman (Univ. of Louisiana, Lafayette) has done exactly that with this most imaginative and intellectually original book, which explores the historic roles of Native American music and dance in Indian culture from the Progressive Era to the dawn of the New Deal. Covering topics that include 19th-century reservation ceremonies, Indian brass bands at boarding schools, and professional Indian traveling performance shows, the author enlightens and engages readers with great storytelling buttressed by a masterful command of subject. There are many impressive features about this stimulating book that readers will appreciate. Troutman delivers a riveting analysis of the interplay between the complex politics of powwows and the powerful forms of performance art that are the centerpieces of the gatherings. Additionally, throughout the book he presents the relationship between the expressive arts and Native American resistance in a most persuasive manner. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. T. Maxwell-Long California State University, San Bernardino
Reviews
Review Quotes
For Troutman, music is more than sound; it is contested cultural terrain, the discursive product of a 'cacophony of voices' that 'encompasses not only singers, dancers, and musicians but audience members,' including the policymakers who attempt to regulate performances...[W]hat Troutman offers is a way to reconceive U.S. politics. Despite being largely excluded from congress, the courts, or the media, Native Americans were and are a part of U.S. political discourse and fully capable of steering this discourse in their favor.- American Quarterly
For Troutman, music is more than sound; it is contested cultural terrain, the discursive product of a ‘cacophony of voices’ that ‘encompasses not only singers, dancers, and musicians but audience members,’ including the policymakers who attempt to regulate performances...[W]hat Troutman offers is a way to reconceive U.S. politics. Despite being largely excluded from congress, the courts, or the media, Native Americans were and are a part of U.S. political discourse and fully capable of steering this discourse in their favor.- American Quarterly
John Troutman provides much-needed illumination into an area of Native American studies that has been largely under-researched. In tracing the historical trajectory of how and why Native peoples utilized music and dance, both "traditional" and contemporary, Troutman gives us insight into the ways American Indians resist oppression and hold fast to their heritage, even as traditions evolve. In concentrating on the most-forced assimilative reservation period, Troutman shows us that music and dance became, for many groups and individuals, a mode of survivance.--- American Indian Culture and Research Journal
John Troutman provides much-needed illumination into an area of Native American studies that has been largely under-researched. In tracing the historical trajectory of how and why Native peoples utilized music and dance, both “traditional” and contemporary, Troutman gives us insight into the ways American Indians resist oppression and hold fast to their heritage, even as traditions evolve. In concentrating on the most-forced assimilative reservation period, Troutman shows us that music and dance became, for many groups and individuals, a mode of survivance.--- American Indian Culture and Research Journal
John Troutman's Indian Bluesis a thoroughly engaging and masterfully researched book that considers the myriad ways in which music and dance operate as expressions of resistance...It opens a new window onto how music practice tied into the politics of race, citizenship, and cultural agency in a period when Native Americans were being written out of history by politicians, composers and historians. Indian Bluesattests to the moral and logical failure of that narrative, and sets a high standard for future scholarship on the historical study of Native American music in the early twentieth century.- Notes
John W. Troutman argues in Indian Bluesthat historians 'have traditionally . . . ignored the relationship of music to change over time'. Troutman ably challenges this deficiency with a well-researched, accessible book that "explores how the deployment of musical practice, by American Indians, OIA officials, and the non-Indian public alike, shaped the implementation of federal Indian policy" ... Indian Bluesis a key work for readers interested in Native American history and the complex relationship between politics and culture.- Western Historical Quarterly
John W. Troutman argues in Indian Bluesthat historians ‘have traditionally . . . ignored the relationship of music to change over time’. Troutman ably challenges this deficiency with a well-researched, accessible book that “explores how the deployment of musical practice, by American Indians, OIA officials, and the non-Indian public alike, shaped the implementation of federal Indian policy" ... Indian Bluesis a key work for readers interested in Native American history and the complex relationship between politics and culture.- Western Historical Quarterly
John W. Troutman's Indian Bluesis an in-depth exploration of a period too often neglected in Native American histories: from the beginnings of the reservation system through the early twentieth century and the 1934 Wheeler-Howard Act (often known as the Indian Reorganization Act or the Indian New Deal). It also focuses on a form of cultural expression that is too often unexamined by historians who feel they lack the technical expertise to engage in a sophisticated discussion: musical and choreographic expression. The result is a lovely volume that adds important insights about the new forms of community building and intercultural communication that emerged under the bureaucracy of administrative regimentation.- The Journal of American History
Many historians have tackled the question of American Indian relations with the federal government and the associated issues of ethnic identity and educational policies but John Troutman has the distinction of being the first to do so from the perspective of music. His study is at once innovative, informative, and significant for offering a new way of assessing old problems with a fresh eye. While it is well understood that music and dance were (and still are) important in American Indian cultures, they are usually relegated to insignificance in reconstructing history. This volume therefore rectifies an important oversight.- Journal of Folklore Research
The major contribution of this text is that, by bringing together in a single narrative all of the different elements of federal and Euro-American cultural control and repression and then juxtaposing them with Native actions of resistance, accommodation, creativity, and agency, Troutman has illuminated how disparate aspects of governmental, political, and social influence over Native musical lives actually interconnected over a period of fifty-five years. And in doing this, he has brought a unified historical vision to the subject matter, allowing it to be conceptualized and theorized in new ways. Troutman also has created an engaging account accessible to non-specialists, which fulfills one of the primary aims of Applied Native Studies in making this history available to the larger indigenous American community.- American Historical Review
While it is incredibly rare for an author's first published work to be of great significance, Troutman (Univ. of Louisiana, Lafayette) has done exactly that with this most imaginative and intellectually original book...[Troutman] enlightens and engages readers with great storytelling buttressed by a masterful command of subject... [He] delivers a riveting analysis of the interplay between the complex politics of powwows and the powerful forms of performance art that are the centerpieces of the gatherings...Summing Up: Highly recommended.- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 2009
Choice, October 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Explores the relationship between Native musical practices and federal Indian policy
Main Description
Explores the relationship between Native musical practices and federal Indian policy From the late nineteenth century through the 1920s, the U.S. government sought to control practices of music on reservations and in Indian boarding schools. At the same time, Native singers, dancers, and musicians created new opportunities through musical performance to resist and manipulate those same policy initiatives. Why did the practice of music generate fear among government officials and opportunity for Native peoples? In this innovative study, John W. Troutman explores the politics of music at the turn of the twentieth century in three spheres: reservations, off-reservation boarding schools, and public venues such as concert halls and Chautauqua circuits. On their reservations, the Lakotas manipulated concepts of U.S. citizenship and patriotism to reinvigorate and adapt social dances, even while the federal government stepped up efforts to suppress them. At Carlisle Indian School, teachers and bandmasters taught music in hopes of imposing their "civilization" agenda, but students made their own meaning of their music. Finally, many former students, armed with saxophones, violins, or operatic vocal training, formed their own "all-Indian" and tribal bands and quartets and traversed the country, engaging the market economy and federal Indian policy initiatives on their own terms. While recent scholarship has offered new insights into the experiences of "show Indians" and evolving powwow traditions, Indian Bluesis the first book to explore the polyphony of Native musical practices and their relationship to federal Indian policy in this important period of American Indian history.
Main Description
From the late nineteenth century through the 1920s, the U.S. government sought to control practices of music on reservations and in Indian boarding schools. At the same time, Native singers, dancers, and musicians created new opportunities through musical performance to resist and manipulate those same policy initiatives. Why did the practice of music generate fear among government officials and opportunity for Native peoples? In this innovative study, John W. Troutman explores the politics of music at the turn of the twentieth century in three spheres: reservations, off-reservation boarding schools, and public venues such as concert halls and Chautauqua circuits. On their reservations, the Lakotas manipulated concepts of U.S. citizenship and patriotism to reinvigorate and adapt social dances, even while the federal government stepped up efforts to suppress them. At Carlisle Indian School, teachers and bandmasters taught music in hopes of imposing their “civilization” agenda, but students made their own meaning of their music. Finally, many former students, armed with saxophones, violins, or operatic vocal training, formed their own “all-Indian” and tribal bands and quartets and traversed the country, engaging the market economy and federal Indian policy initiatives on their own terms. While recent scholarship has offered new insights into the experiences of “show Indians” and evolving powwow traditions, Indian Bluesis the first book to explore the polyphony of Native musical practices and their relationship to federal Indian policy in this important period of American Indian history.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
The Citizenship of Dance: Politics of Music in the Reservation Environmentp. 19
The "Dance Evil": Cultural Performance, the Press, and Federal Indian Policyp. 66
The Sounds of "Civilization": Music and the Assimilation Campaign in Federal Indian Boarding Schoolsp. 108
Learning the Music of Indiannessp. 151
Hitting the Road: Professional Native Musicians in the Early Twentieth Centuryp. 201
Epiloguep. 253
Archives and Abbreviationsp. 260
Notesp. 263
Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 315
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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