Culture and Customs of the Choctaw Indians

Culture and Customs of the Choctaw Indians

Culture and Customs of the Choctaw Indians

Culture and Customs of the Choctaw Indians

Synopsis

This complete overview of the Choctaw people, from ancient times to the present, includes sections on history, cuisine, music and dance, current issues, oral traditions and language, social relationships, and traditional world view.

Excerpt

Since the 1960s, native and nonnative scholars have diligently sought to disassemble and understand the false and, frankly, harmful stereotypes and images of Native American peoples. Many Americans have recognized that stereotypes of indigenous people are not only often wrong, but have actually fostered adverse political and legal decisions and even sporadic and arbitrary attempts to have whole Native American communities eradicated. the steep and steady decline of the indigenous population, the dissolution of native governments, and the loss of culture and lands stem from an almost perverse lack of knowledge about Native American peoples.

Despite the dispossession of lands and many, many cultural features, Native American peoples have been astonishingly resilient. White Earth Anishinaabe author Gerald Vizenor, a word craftsman of no mean abilities and talents, coined the term “survivance” from the words “survival” and “resistance” to capture the twofold nature of why indigenous customs and cultures are still alive. the Greenwood Press series Culture and Customs of Native Peoples in America attempts not to cast aspersions on the motives, desires, and policies of the Europeans and Euro-Americans who colonized North America, but to highlight, especially to young people and a general audience, the beauty, knowledge, pride, and resiliency of the indigenous peoples of this land. “Survivance” is very real. Native Americans, as our authors show, are not extinct; nor have they become a single, relatively small U.S. ethnic group.

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