Sacred Sites, Sacred Places explores the concept of 'sacred' and what it means and implies to people in differing cultures. It looks at why people regard some parts of the land as special and why this ascription remains constant in some cultures and changes in others. Archaeologists, legislators and those involved in heritage management sometimes encounter conflict with local populations over sacred sites. With the aid of over 70 illustrations the book examines the extreme importance of such sacred places in all cultures and the necessity of accommodating those intimate beliefs which are such a vital part of ongoing cultural identity. Sacred Sites, Sacred Places therefore will be of help to those who wish to be non-destructive in their conservation and excavation practices. This book is unique in attempting to describe the belief systems surrounding the existence of sacred sites, and at the same time bringing such beliefs and practices into relationship with the practical problems of everyday heritage management. The geographical coverage of the book is exceptionally wide and its variety of contributors, including indigenous peoples, archaeologists and heritage professionals, is unrivalled in any other publication.
The authors aim to show that traditional Blackfoot ceremonies provide a specific framework for decision-making that can be used as a model for present day health service delivery and offer other potential applications of the model in decision-making and mediation processes.
In 2010, five magnificent Blackfoot shirts, now owned by the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, were brought to Alberta to be exhibited at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary, and the Galt Museum, in Lethbridge. The shirts had not returned to Blackfoot territory since 1841, when officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company acquired them. The shirts were later transported to England, where they had remained ever since. Exhibiting the shirts at the museums was, however, only one part of the project undertaken by Laura Peers and Alison Brown. Prior to the installation of the exhibits, groups of Blackfoot people—hundreds altogether—participated in special “handling sessions,” in which they were able to touch the shirts and examine them up close. The shirts, some painted with mineral pigments and adorned with porcupine quillwork, others decorated with locks of human and horse hair, took the breath away of those who saw, smelled, and touched them. Long-dormant memories were awakened, and many of the participants described a powerful sense of connection and familiarity with the shirts, which still house the spirit of the ancestors who wore them. In the pages of this beautifully illustrated volume is the story of an effort to build a bridge between museums and source communities, in hopes of establishing stronger, more sustaining relationships between the two and spurring change in prevailing museum policies. Negotiating the tension between a museum’s institutional protocol and Blackfoot cultural protocol was challenging, but the experience described both by the authors and by Blackfoot contributors to the volume was transformative. Museums seek to preserve objects for posterity. This volume demonstrates that the emotional and spiritual power of objects does not vanish with the death of those who created them. For Blackfoot people today, these shirts are a living presence, one that evokes a sense of continuity and inspires pride in Blackfoot cultural heritage.
This book, in two volumes, breathes fresh air empirically, methodologically, and theoretically into understanding the rich ceremonial lives, the philosophical-religious knowledge, and the impressive material feats and labor organization that distinguish Hopewell Indians of central Ohio and neighboring regions during the first centuries CE. The first volume defines cross-culturally, for the first time, the "ritual drama" as a genre of social performance. It reconstructs and compares parts of 14 such dramas that Hopewellian and other Woodland-period peoples performed in their ceremonial centers to help the soul-like essences of their deceased make the journey to an afterlife. The second volume builds and critiques ten formal cross-cultural models of "personhood" and the "self" and infers the nature of Scioto Hopewell peoples ontology. Two facets of their ontology are found to have been instrumental in their creating the intercommunity alliances and cooperation and gathering the labor required to construct their huge, multicommunity ceremonial centers: a relational, collective concept of the self defined by the ethical quality of the relationships one has with other beings, and a concept of multiple soul-like essences that compose a human being and can be harnessed strategically to create familial-like ethical bonds of cooperation among individuals and communities. The archaeological reconstructions of Hopewellian ritual dramas and concepts of personhood and the self, and of Hopewell peoples strategic uses of these, are informed by three large surveys of historic Woodland and Plains Indians narratives, ideas, and rites about journeys to afterlives, the creatures who inhabit the cosmos, and the nature and functions of soul-like essences, coupled with rich contextual archaeological and bioarchaeological-taphonomic analyses. The bioarchaeological-taphonomic method of lanthropologie de terrain, new to North American archaeology, is introduced and applied. In all, the research in this book vitalizes a vision of an anthropology committed to native logic and motivation and skeptical of the imposition of Western world views and categories onto native peoples.
This important work has been completely revised and expanded with the addition of online databases, Web sites and CD-ROM titles. It identifies and describes hundreds of reference books that pertain to American history; entries offer thorough annotations that are both descriptive and evaluative. Arranged topically, chapters cover U.S. history in terms of politics and government; diplomatic history and foreign affairs; military history; social, cultural, and intellectual history; regional history; and economic history. Introductory scope notes provide valuable expository information and suggested search strategies in such areas as automation, government documents, and genealogy. Includes works published through 2002.