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Reading History: Cherokee History through a Cherokee Lens

Reading History: Cherokee History through a Cherokee Lens Reading History Cherokee History through a Cherokee Lens heidi m. altman and thomas n. belt The relationships between language, culture, and thought are dauntingly complex and have been explored primarily in the specialized fields of linguistic anthropology and cognitive linguistics, and then only from time to time as the fashions of academic discourse allow. We propose, however, that a contemplation of such relationships can be productively brought to bear on ethnohistory as well. The field of ethnohistory currently incorporates language, for the most part, only as a part of historical comparisons primarily focused on tracing population movements, discovering names for population centers, or documenting the introduction of various items into particular cultures. By viewing words as simple artifacts of a culture, historians and anthropologists fail to realize the potential that language holds for a deeper understanding of the perspectives and insights on the processes of history that have developed within oral traditions that span many generations and historical periods. Interpretations formed outside the framework of Native language, despite the intent to incorporate Native knowledge, still serve to advance a Western or European perspective on history, which is, in fact, difficult for most practitioners to escape. History in this http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Native South University of Nebraska Press

Reading History: Cherokee History through a Cherokee Lens

Native South , Volume 1 (1) – Jan 27, 2008

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
2152-4025
Publisher site
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Abstract

Reading History Cherokee History through a Cherokee Lens heidi m. altman and thomas n. belt The relationships between language, culture, and thought are dauntingly complex and have been explored primarily in the specialized fields of linguistic anthropology and cognitive linguistics, and then only from time to time as the fashions of academic discourse allow. We propose, however, that a contemplation of such relationships can be productively brought to bear on ethnohistory as well. The field of ethnohistory currently incorporates language, for the most part, only as a part of historical comparisons primarily focused on tracing population movements, discovering names for population centers, or documenting the introduction of various items into particular cultures. By viewing words as simple artifacts of a culture, historians and anthropologists fail to realize the potential that language holds for a deeper understanding of the perspectives and insights on the processes of history that have developed within oral traditions that span many generations and historical periods. Interpretations formed outside the framework of Native language, despite the intent to incorporate Native knowledge, still serve to advance a Western or European perspective on history, which is, in fact, difficult for most practitioners to escape. History in this

Journal

Native SouthUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 27, 2008

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