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Medicine bundle; Indian sacred performance and American literature, 1824-1932.


Medicine bundle; Indian sacred performance and American literature, 1824-1932.

Bellin, Joshua David.

U. of Pennsylvania Pr.


264 pages




During the 19th and early-20th centuries, at the same time that Christian missionaries and federal agents were suppressing the religious practices of Native peoples as part of their transformation into American citizens, some whites were exploring and promoting Native sacred traditions and rituals as a source of power for their own societies. Bellin (La Roche College) argues that this encounter of Indian and non-Indian traditions of performance played a central role in producing American identities, culture, and literature. As evidence, he traces the forms, sources, and uses of Indian performance in American literature and culture, including analyses of works by Euro-Americans and Native Americans. These include the paintings, writings, and performances of George Catlin (1796-1872); Cherokee convert Catharine Brown's jointly authored Memoir; and two interconnected spaces of Indian performative revitalization--Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and the Plains Ghost Dance movement.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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