The Ceremonialism of a Native Indian Tribe and Its Cultural Background

By James H. Howard

“James H. Howard is one of the most enthusiastic and competent contemporary ethnographers describing the North American Native experience… [Shawnee!] is an enlightening and even exciting picture of a fascinating people.”

The American Indian Quarterly

“Long known for his anthropological reports and cultural studies of native religion, especially the southeastern ceremonial complex, Howard brings seasoned expertise and veteran scholarship to this intricate topic. The result is as close to a definitive treatment as we are likely to get.”

Religious Studies Review

“This valuable edition to the literature on the American Indian will be a useful reference for anthropologists, historians, and Americanists. It is a scholarly work, yet is certainly within the range of the many educated laypersons who pursue American Indian studies.”


“James Howard … has published a classic ethnography on the former eastern Native American group (the Shawnee), focusing on their ceremonialism.”

Plains Anthropologist

In spite of the important role of the Shawnee tribe of American Indians in the Colonial period and the early years of the American republic, they have been virtually ignored by the scholarly world. Anthropologists have paid little attention to the Shawnees, despite the tribe’s rich culture and pivotal position among the other tribes in eastern North America.

In this first comprehensive account of Shawnee culture, Dr. Howard assembled data concerning the tribe by utilizing published accounts, documents, maps, photographs, and paintings; and by visiting present-day Shawnees and participating in their ceremonies, games and everyday activities. The work is embellished with musical notations of Shawnee songs, maps, heirloom photographs and several photographs taken by the author during his fieldwork. Of particular interest is a remarkable series of paintings of Shawnee life by gifted Shawnee artist, Earnest Spybuck.

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Related Subjects

Native American Studies · Ohio · Ohio and Regional · History · Midwest · United States · North America · Americas



Retail price: $34.95, S.
Release date: Jan. 1981
454 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World

Additional Praise for Shawnee!

“An excellent analytical and descriptive treatment of the principle cultural traits of the Shawnees, together with their more important ceremonial expressions.”

Journal of the West

“Although this volume contains much material on ceremonialism, new and old, among the Shawnee, it is more than a book on Shawnee ceremonialism. It is a well-researched monograph on Shawnee culture…. This is a very fine work on a little known but important tribe.”

Ake Hultkrantz, Ethnos

“James H. Howard provides a welcome descriptive ethnography of contemporary Shawnee ceremonialism… Howard’s knowledge of Shawnee rituals based on ethnographic fieldwork is impressive.”

Mary A. Druke, Ethnohistory