Indians of the Great Plains  book cover
1st Edition

Indians of the Great Plains

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ISBN 9780131773899
Published June 29, 2011 by Routledge
400 Pages

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Book Description

Plains Societies and Cultures
Indians of the Great Plains, written by Daniel J. Gelo of The University of Texas at San Antonio, is a text that emphasizes that Plains societies and cultures are continuing, living entities.
Through a topical exploration, it provides a contemporary view of recent scholarship on the classic Horse Culture Period while also bringing readers up-to-date with historical and cultural developments of the 20th and 21st centuries.  In addition, it contains wide and balanced coverage of the many different tribal groups, including Canadian and southern populations.

Teaching & Learning Experience:

  • Improve Critical Thinking - Indians of the Great Plains provides recent scholarship and up-to-date historical and cultural developments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to see the Plains societies and cultures as continuing, living entities — including charts showing tribal organization and kinship systems.
  • Engage Students — Indians of the Great Plains features excerpts of Native poetry, songs, and ethnographic accounts, as well as Chapter Summaries and End-of-Chapter Review Questions.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Great Plains
            The Plains Landscape
            The Plains Culture Area
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 2: Plains Prehistory
             The Archaeological Record
                        The Paleoindians
                        Origins and Antiquity
                        The Archaic
                        The Late Prehistoric
            The Historic Period
                        The Historic Tribes and their Origins
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 3: Bison, Horse, and Hoe
             The Bison
            Extermination of the Buffalo
            Other Game Animals
            The Horse
            Indian Horsemanship
            The Horse as an Influence on Culture
            Wild and Domestic Plants
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 4: Tribal Organization
             Tribes, Bands, and Clans
                        The Notion of Tribe
                        Descent Groups: Lineages and Clans
                        Phratries and Moieties
                        Native Naming
                        Men’s Associations
                        Women’s Associations
                        Religious Societies
            Crime, Law, and Dispute Settlement
            Examples of Organization: The Crows and Comanches
                        The Crows
                        The Comanches
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 5: Family and Social Life
                        Kin Terms
                        Kin Term Systems
            The Life Cycle
                        Birth, Infancy, and Childhood
                        Courtship and Marriage
                        Absconding and Divorce
                        Old Age
                        Death and Burial
            Gender and Sexuality
                        Gender Roles and Relations
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 6: Material Culture and Decorative Arts
                        The Tipi
                        The Earth Lodge
                        The Grass Lodge
                        The Wigwam
                        Other Structures
            Tools and Weapons
                        Garden Tools
                        Basketry and Pottery
                        Boats and Rafts
                        War and Hunting Gear
            Personal Adornment
            Decorative Arts
                        Quillwork and Beadwork
                        Carving in Wood and Stone
            Painting and Drawing
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 7: Music and Dance
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 8: Oral Traditions
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 9: Religious Fundamentals
            Spiritual Beings
                        Water Monsters
                        Giants and Dwarves
                        Animal Spirits
                        Transcendent Spirits
                        The Great Spirit
            Sacred Symbols
            The Vision Quest
            Medicine Men and Women
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 10: Group Rituals
             The Massaum
            The Okipa
            Medicine Bundle Renewals
            The Skidi Pawnee Morning Star Ceremony
            Sacred Arrow and Pipe Ceremonies
            The Sun Dance
            The Study of Sun Dance Diffusion
            Sun Dance Survival and Revival
            The Ghost Dance
            The Ghost Dance and the Origins of Religion
                        Origins of Plains Peyotism
                        The Peyote Ritual
                        Peyote Symbolism
                        Peyote Politics and Law
                        The Native American Church
                        The Peyote Trade
            Indian Christianity
            Dual Religious Participation
            Religion and Native Identity
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 11: External Relations
                        Scouting and Trailing
                        Signals and Signs
                        The Face of Indian Battle
                        Coup and Scalping
            Trade and Diplomacy
                        The Calumet Ceremony
                        Trade Languages
                        Sign Language
                        Indian Diplomats
                        Intertribal Marriage
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 12: Life through the Twentieth Century
             Conquest of the Plains
                        War in the South
                        War in the North
            Early Reservation Life
                        Boarding Schools
            Period of Reform
                        Indian Reorganization Act
            Period of Termination
            Period of Self-Determination
            Chapter Summary
Chapter 13: Contemporary Plains Indian Life
             Life in Indian Country
                        Work and Play
                        Social Relations
                        The Economic Picture
            Contemporary Issues
                        Tribal Sovereignty
                        Land Claims and Natural Resources
                        Religious Freedom
                        Sacred Sites
                        Graves Protection and Repatriation
                        Media Imagery and Cultural Florescence
            Chapter Summary

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Daniel J. Gelo is Professor of Anthropology and Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he has taught and researched since 1988. Gelo holds Ph.D., M.Phil. M.A., and B.A. degrees in anthropology from Rutgers University. His scholarship concerns cognitive anthropology and the symbolic analysis of expressive forms such as myth, ritual, language, music, and visual materials. He is a recognized authority on the culture of the Plains Indians and has conducted fieldwork with the Comanche people of southwest Oklahoma since 1982. Gelo is also the only anthropologist to have conducted fieldwork in all four main Indian communities in Texas: the Tigua, Kickapoo, and Alabama-Coushatta reservations, and the urban Indian enclave in Dallas.
His publications include Comanche Vocabulary (University of Texas Press, 1995), Comanches in the New West, 1896-1908 (with Stanley Noyes, University of Texas Press, 1999), and Texas Indian Trails (with Wayne L. Pate, Republic of Texas Press, 2003). Other publications include articles, commentary, and reviews for the American Indian Quarterly, Journal of American Folklore, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Visual Anthropology Review, Western Folklore, Ethnohistory, Plains Anthropologist, Current Anthropology, Great Plains Research Ethnomusicology, American Anthropologist, and the Journal of American History, as well as the article on Native North Americans in the Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology and the premier entry on the Comanches in the Human Relations Area Files. Gelo researched and co-wrote three award-winning film documentaries on Texas Indians for public television: Circle of Life: The Alabama-Coushatta Indians (1991); Big City Trail: The Urban Indians of Texas (1992); and People of the Sun: The Tiguas of Ysleta (1992). Gelo is also the only anthropologist to co-author a national elementary textbook series, contributing to six national and state social studies texts for grades 3-6 published by Silver Burdett Ginn in 1997. His work has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc., the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Humanities Texas. Professional affiliations include the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, American Folklore Society, American Society for Ethnohistory, and Plains Anthropological Society. Among his recognitions, Gelo was a Henry Rutgers Scholar and was named Ambassador to the Comanche Nation; he has won the UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Creative Activity and the University of Texas System Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award.