Book Reviews appears to disagree that "American indians are of course free to conceive their histories any way they see fit" (p. 240). That each of these histories is in conflict with all other native histories, or with those reconstructed though scholarly processes, is irrelevant so long as they do not impinge on the rights of individuals or groups. natives and claimants alike, however, increasingly see entitlements as "rights." i have few other comments on mason's excellent study. i do not believe in early catawba population loss due to epidemic diseases (p. 37). mason himself notes that the exaggerated claims to native de-populations are contradicted by the carefully researched findings of David henige (p. 108). yet mason speaks of tribal amalgamations (p. 228) in a manner that suggests that he accepts the idea of diseasebased cultural disorganization and loss of cultural boundaries. i find no evidence for loss of social boundaries prior to the last phases of acculturation in each tribe, when language loss was nearly complete. This deceptively low-key volume provides a tour de force that is far more erudite than suggested by my brief review. his careful exploration of varied aspects of each of these important
Journal of American Folklore – American Folklore Society
Published: Oct 26, 2011
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