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

By David Rich Lewis | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Long before contact with Europeans, Native Americans developed elaborate cultural systems to help them order their physical and metaphysical world. They maintained diversified subsistence systems of their own design. They were hunters, gatherers, horticulturists. They inhabited varied environments and had different ways of explaining, using, regulating, and altering their surroundings as necessary or desirable. In turn the land shaped them, prescribing certain physical realities as well as opportunities for human action. It gave them a sense of place and identity. Euro-Americans, however, saw only wilderness and savagism and set about civilizing the land and people of the New World. Epidemic diseases, trade, the introduction of market values, and the appropriation of Indian land and resources all contributed to the transformation of native cultures. American policy makers sought to facilitate that evolutionary process through an agrarian-based program for Indian settlement and civilization. Indians were to become self-supporting yeomen farmers and farm families and then disappear into mainstream American society.

Reality is never as neat and clean as theory, and rarely meets simplistic expectations. The reality is that Native Americans did not disappear, culturally or biologically. They have persisted, in some cases against overwhelming odds, through adaptive change and a historical consciousness of their identity as separate peoples. This is a study about Native American responses to directed culture change, particularly the social and environmental consequences of directed subsistence change. Three western groups--the Northern Utes, Hupas, and Tohono O'odhams--serve as case studies. Each experienced and weighed the federal

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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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