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Title Rifles, blankets, and beads : identity, history, and the northern Athapaskan potlatch / by William E. Simeone.
Imprint Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, ©1995.


 Internet  Electronic Book    AVAILABLE
Description 1 online resource (xxii, 191 pages) : illustrations, maps.
Series The civilization of the American Indian series ; [v. 216]
Civilization of the American Indian series ; v. 216.
Bibliog. Includes bibliographical references (pages 179-186) and index.
Note Available only to authorized UTEP users.
Print version record.
Subject Athapascan Indians -- Social life and customs.
Genre Electronic books.
Contents The village and its setting -- Invasion: traders, missionaries, and government men in the Upper Tanana -- The native response: the integration of trade goods into the potlatch -- The tradition bearers: leadership as a reflection of the social order -- Images of native and non-native: components of contemporary identity -- Funerals and preparations for an Upper Tanana River potlatch -- Rituals of the Upper Tanana River potlatch -- Conclusion.
Summary The potlatch is the most significant cultural event in the life of the Tanacross people, an Athapaskan group in the Upper Tanana Region of east-central Alaska. A public occasion marked by the distribution of gifts, the potlatch commemorates a particular event in the person's life or heals a tear in the social fabric. Today it is an anchor to the past, to the traditional values of kinship, sharing, reciprocity, love and respect, and competence. By submerging competition, a symbol for the white man, and stressing the ideal of cooperation as expressed in the potlatch, Native people attempt to create and maintain their view of what is decent and acceptable human behavior. In Rifles, Blankets, and Beads, William E. Simeone explores the dynamic between competition and cooperation in Northern Athapaskan culture by examining four interrelated topics: the introduction of trade goods into Athapaskan culture, leadership, the problem of cultural identity, and the potlatch.
The potlatch has survived despite numerous changes in the lives of the Tanacross people. Viewed as a distinctly Athapaskan ritual, it legitimates Native culture through a display of tradition that counteracts outward signs of change and non-Native racist stereotypes. Moreover, in encouraging and seeking participation of non-Natives, Native people attempt to re-create a relationship with non-Natives based on equality and reciprocity. Simeone has offered new insights into the historical and modern life of Northern Athapaskan people. His research and fieldwork in the village of Tanacross has opened a path to new understanding of the relationships within Native society and between Natives and non-Natives.
Other Title Print version: Simeone, William E. Rifles, blankets, and beads. Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, ©1995 0806127139
Other Title Rifles, blankets & beads