Neither Wolf nor Dog: American Indians, Environment, and Agrarian Change

By David Rich Lewis | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Scholarly histories tend to grow out of and benefit from the questions generated by previous works and scholars. This study is no exception. In some ways this study is an elaboration of the themes set forward by Richard White in his path-breaking work The Roots of Dependency, for it takes up the issues of environment, subsistence, and social change where he leaves off--during the longer period of directed culture change and peripheral dependency. It is also a response to calls, by both anthropologists and historians, for comparative studies of the subsistence systems of Native Americans, of the processes and nature of subsistence change, and of the practical application of agrarian policies on the reservation level. As such, it is part of a small but growing body of scholarship on Native Americans and agriculture. 1 Finally, it is a work in ethnohistory, an interdisciplinary method combining the diachronic sources and perspectives of history with the synchronic sensitivity of ethnology and ethnography "to gain knowledge of the nature and causes of change in a culture defined by ethnological concepts and categories." 2

Chapter One begins with an outline of the intellectual milieu that shaped the agrarian bent of American Indian policy, followed by a general description of how those policies took shape. Three case studies follow, each consisting of two chapters. The first provides ethnographic and environmental background for the second, which describes each group's experiences with and responses to settled reservation and allotted agriculture. Each of these chapters stands by itself, but they are better read as paired units. Ethnographic and environmental information discussed in the first will be referred to in the second without extended discussion. The chronological narrative of native culture and environmental change cannot be understood without a knowledge of the precontact status. This is particularly important for understanding native responses and the reproduction of cultural features.

Case studies can be subject-specific or stand as synedoche, the bit that reveals the universe, but there is always the question of typicality.

-vii-

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Neither Wolf nor Dog: American Indians, Environment, and Agrarian Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Agriculture, Civilization, and American Indian Policy 7
  • Conclusion 20
  • 2 - NêC + ̆iu, the Northern Ute People 22
  • 3 - Agriculture and the Northern Utes 34
  • 4 - Hupa, the People of Natinook 71
  • 5 - Farming and the Changing Harvest Economy in Hoopa Valley 84
  • 6 - Tohono O'Odham, the Desert People 118
  • 7 - The Tohono O'Odham and Agricultural Change 133
  • Conclusion 168
  • Abbreviations 177
  • Notes 179
  • Index 231
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