By Nancy Shoemaker
The connection among American Indians and Europeans on America's frontiers is sometimes characterised as a sequence of cultural conflicts and misunderstandings according to an enormous gulf of distinction. Nancy Shoemaker turns this thought on its head, displaying that Indians and Europeans shared universal ideals approximately their so much primary realities--land as nationwide territory, govt, record-keeping, overseas alliances, gender, and the human physique. ahead of they even met, Europeans and Indians shared perceptions of a panorama marked by means of mountains and rivers, a actual international within which the sunlight rose and set on a daily basis, and a human physique with its personal detailed form. in addition they shared of their skill to make feel of all of it and to invent new, summary principles in keeping with the tangible and visual studies of lifestyle. targeting japanese North the US up during the finish of the Seven Years battle, Shoemaker heavily reads incidents, letters, and recorded speeches from the Iroquois and Creek confederacies, the Cherokee country, and different local teams along British and French resources, paying specific recognition to the language utilized in cross-cultural dialog. mockingly, the extra American Indians and Europeans got here to understand one another, the extra they got here to determine one another as varied. by way of the tip of the 18th century, Shoemaker argues, they deserted an preliminary willingness to acknowledge in one another a typical humanity and as an alternative built new principles rooted within the conviction that, via customized and maybe even through nature, local americans and Europeans have been peoples essentially at odds. In her research, Shoemaker unearths the 18th century roots of putting up with stereotypes Indians built approximately Europeans, in addition to stereotypes Europeans created approximately Indians. This robust and eloquent interpretation questions long-standing assumptions, revealing the unusual likenesses one of the population of colonial North the USA.
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Additional info for A Strange Likeness: Becoming Red and White in Eighteenth-Century North America
European travelers who happened upon a stone heap could only speculate as to its mean ing. ”68 The reverent silence Indians adopted in a heap’s vicinity made Eu ropeans even more aware that Indians regarded them as sacred. Bland and his party were lucky. Even if Indian guides were at hand, they had to be voluble enough, as Oyeocker apparently was, to entrust the story of that grave site to strangers. 69 When Europeans successfully prodded Indian companions to give an explanation, they most often heard about a military victory or defeat that marked that particular spot.
72 What the Mahicans and Mohegans actually thought about these heaps is mired in vehement British legal defenses resting on the premise that Indians were the original owners of lands transferred into British hands. So, were marked trees, painted posts, and stone heaps Indian claims to ter ritory? Implicitly they were, for they carried intensely felt meanings and thereby 28 A STRANGE LIKENESS connected people emotionally to that place. Warriors and hunters who left behind pictographic records of their deeds claimed the land by writing their personal histories on it.
2 Kings I n the summer of 1734, the elderly Tomochichi—with his wife Senauki, nephew Tooanahowi, several other Yamacraw men, and an interpreter—traveled to England. Stopping first at the Isle of Wight, they proceeded by ship to Gravesend and by carriage to London. ”1 The rest of the Yamacraws’ four-month stay in England was bittersweet. 3 The highlight of their trip was a meeting with King George II, who held court from his throne, promised friend ship between their peoples, and offered the Indian delegation use of one of his carriages so as not to be outdone by Queen Anne’s royal treatment of the “four Indian kings” two decades earlier.