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Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight (review)

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight (review) near the reservation. Graber carefully reads white missionaries’ accounts against the grain, teasing out Kiowas’ range of responses to Christianity and their motives for adopting or adapting it. She makes excellent use of drawings and material culture—Kiowa cradleboards, shields, calendars, buffalo hides, and sacred objects—to piece together Kiowa perspectives. Rejecting old-fashioned frameworks such as “assimilation” and “syncre- tism,” Graber writes instead of religious “affiliation” and “experimenta - tion.” Through all of the hardships of the nineteenth century and all of the attendant religious changes, Kiowas used new and old ritual practices to “cultivate a sense of themselves as a distinct people connected to a particu- lar place” (201). Throughout, Graber situates the Kiowa story within larger historical contexts, including Indian removal debates, slavery and abolition, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and anti-Catholic, anti-Mormon, and anti-Chinese movements. She also makes use of recent scholarship on imperialism, mis- sions, comparative race, and material religion. Graber’s strict chronological approach does make for a fair amount of repetition; a hybrid chronologi- cal/thematic structure may have allowed her to pull together important subjects like Kiowa rectification movements into one chapter rather than scattering them throughout the book. The Gods of Indian Country also would have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 9 (4) – Dec 5, 2019

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

near the reservation. Graber carefully reads white missionaries’ accounts against the grain, teasing out Kiowas’ range of responses to Christianity and their motives for adopting or adapting it. She makes excellent use of drawings and material culture—Kiowa cradleboards, shields, calendars, buffalo hides, and sacred objects—to piece together Kiowa perspectives. Rejecting old-fashioned frameworks such as “assimilation” and “syncre- tism,” Graber writes instead of religious “affiliation” and “experimenta - tion.” Through all of the hardships of the nineteenth century and all of the attendant religious changes, Kiowas used new and old ritual practices to “cultivate a sense of themselves as a distinct people connected to a particu- lar place” (201). Throughout, Graber situates the Kiowa story within larger historical contexts, including Indian removal debates, slavery and abolition, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and anti-Catholic, anti-Mormon, and anti-Chinese movements. She also makes use of recent scholarship on imperialism, mis- sions, comparative race, and material religion. Graber’s strict chronological approach does make for a fair amount of repetition; a hybrid chronologi- cal/thematic structure may have allowed her to pull together important subjects like Kiowa rectification movements into one chapter rather than scattering them throughout the book. The Gods of Indian Country also would have

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 5, 2019

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