The Road on Which We Came : Po'i Pentun Tammen Kimmappeh: a History of the Western Shoshone

The Road on Which We Came : Po'i Pentun Tammen Kimmappeh: a History of the Western Shoshone

The Road on Which We Came : Po'i Pentun Tammen Kimmappeh: a History of the Western Shoshone

The Road on Which We Came : Po'i Pentun Tammen Kimmappeh: a History of the Western Shoshone

Synopsis

"A hundred fifty years ago, the Western Shoshone occupied a vast area of present-day Nevada - from Idaho in the north to Death Valley in the south. Today, the Newe hold a fraction of their former territory, still practicing native lifeways while accepting many aspects of American culture. Their story deserves telling. The Road on Which We Came is the first comprehensive history of the Great Basin Shoshone. Written by historian Steven Crum, an enrolled tribal member, this book presents the Shoshone as an active force in their own history, effectively adapting to a harsh physical environment, defending their territory in the nineteenth century, and working to modify or reject assimilationist policy in the present. Noting that Native American history did not end with Wounded Knee, Crum pays substantial attention to twentieth-century events up to 1990 and emphasizes that in every period tribal actions can be characterized by a plurality of voices and opinions." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This history of the Western Shoshone people of the Great Basin is the result of fourteen years of research, an undertaking begun in 1978 when I was a graduate student in history at the University of Utah. My doctoral dissertation, which focused upon the impact of the New Deal on the Basin Shoshones, reflected an early phase of my deep interest in tribal history. Upon completing the dissertation in 1983, I kept alive the idea of writing a comprehensive history of the Western Shoshone. This study represents the culmination of that drive.

In writing this general history of the Western Shoshone people of the Great Basin, I was influenced by recent scholarship in western American history. I was deeply affected by Patricia Limerick Legacy of Conquest (1984). She accurately points out that historians have too often portrayed Indians as "passive," relegating them to the role of "supporting actors." Limerick refutes this old frame of reference by showing that tribal people for centuries have been an active force in shaping their history, even after European contact. She writes that Indians played an "active role...in shaping history" and notes that they also represent the "power of cultural persistence," since they have sought to preserve their cultural heritage.

I was also moved by two other works. One of these is Todd Benson 1991 article, The Consequence of Reservation Life: Native Californians on the Round Valley Reservation, 1871-1884. He too concludes that Indians have actively shaped their own history. Benson provides ample evidence that the tribes that settled on the Round Valley Reservation in northern California determined their own course of action to varying degrees, despite their subjection to the paternalistic policies of the federal government. The second work is Robert Berkhofer "Cultural Pluralism versus Ethnocentrism in the New Indian History" (1987). Berkhofer maintains that historians must place the "Indian actors in the forefront of . . .

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