“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.”
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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Traditionally, the legends, myth-cycles, tales, rituals, songs and poems of Native Americans (both North and South) have been treated as ethnological data or as curious objects. William Brandon believes that the songs and poems in this volume will, in time, be accepted as representatives of one of the world’s great literatures.
Toward the close of the eighteenth century, the land west of the Alleghenies and north of the Ohio River was an unbroken sea of trees. Beneath them the forest trails were dark, silent, and lonely, brightened only by a few lost beams of sunlight. Here, in the first novel of Conrad Richter’s Awakening Land trilogy, the Lucketts, a wild, woods-faring family, lived their roaming life, pushing ever westward as the frontier advanced and as new settlements threatened their isolation.
Masked Gods is a vast book, a challenging and profoundly original account of the history, legends, and ceremonialism of the Navaho and Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. Following a brief but vivid history of the two tribes through the centuries of conquest, the book turns inward to the meaning of Indian legends and ritual—Navaho songs, Pueblo dances, Zuni kachina ceremonies.
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