Item Details

The Gods of Indian Country: Religion and the Struggle for the American West

Jennifer Graber
Format
Book
Published
[New York, NY] : Oxford University Press, [2018]
Language
English
ISBN
9780190279615, 0190279613, 9780190279639 (epub), 9780190279646, 0190279648
Summary
"During the nineteenth century, white Americans sought the cultural transformation and physical displacement of Native people. Though this process was certainly a clash of rival economic systems and racial ideologies, it was also a profound spiritual struggle. The fight over Indian Country sparked religious crises among both Natives and Americans. In The Gods of Indian Country, Jennifer Graber tells the story of the Kiowa Indians during Anglo-Americans' hundred-year effort to seize their homeland. Like Native people across the American West, Kiowas had known struggle and dislocation before. But the forces bearing down on them-soldiers, missionaries, and government officials-were unrelenting. With pressure mounting, Kiowas adapted their ritual practices in the hope that they could use sacred power to save their lands and community. Against the Kiowas stood Protestant and Catholic leaders, missionaries, and reformers who hoped to remake Indian Country. These activists saw themselves as the Indians' friends, teachers, and protectors. They also asserted the primacy of white Christian civilization and the need to transform the spiritual and material lives of Native people. When Kiowas and other Native people resisted their designs, these Christians supported policies that broke treaties and appropriated Indian lands. They argued that the gifts bestowed by Christianity and civilization outweighed the pains that accompanied the denial of freedoms, the destruction of communities, and the theft of resources. In order to secure Indian Country and control indigenous populations, Christian activists sanctified the economic and racial hierarchies of their day. The Gods of Indian Country tells a complex, fascinating-and ultimately heartbreaking-tale of the struggle for the American West."--
Contents
  • Machine generated contents note: pt. ONE OPEN LANDS
  • 1. 1803 to 1837
  • 2. 1838 to 1867
  • pt. TWO CLOSED LANDS
  • 3. 1868 to 1872
  • 4. 1872 to 1875
  • 5. 1875 to 1881
  • pt. THREE DIVIDED LANDS
  • 6. 1882 to 1892
  • 7. 1893 to 1903
  • Epilogue.
Description
xxii, 288 pages, 8 pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 255- 275) and index.
Technical Details

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    a| "During the nineteenth century, white Americans sought the cultural transformation and physical displacement of Native people. Though this process was certainly a clash of rival economic systems and racial ideologies, it was also a profound spiritual struggle. The fight over Indian Country sparked religious crises among both Natives and Americans. In The Gods of Indian Country, Jennifer Graber tells the story of the Kiowa Indians during Anglo-Americans' hundred-year effort to seize their homeland. Like Native people across the American West, Kiowas had known struggle and dislocation before. But the forces bearing down on them-soldiers, missionaries, and government officials-were unrelenting. With pressure mounting, Kiowas adapted their ritual practices in the hope that they could use sacred power to save their lands and community. Against the Kiowas stood Protestant and Catholic leaders, missionaries, and reformers who hoped to remake Indian Country. These activists saw themselves as the Indians' friends, teachers, and protectors. They also asserted the primacy of white Christian civilization and the need to transform the spiritual and material lives of Native people. When Kiowas and other Native people resisted their designs, these Christians supported policies that broke treaties and appropriated Indian lands. They argued that the gifts bestowed by Christianity and civilization outweighed the pains that accompanied the denial of freedoms, the destruction of communities, and the theft of resources. In order to secure Indian Country and control indigenous populations, Christian activists sanctified the economic and racial hierarchies of their day. The Gods of Indian Country tells a complex, fascinating-and ultimately heartbreaking-tale of the struggle for the American West."-- c| Provided by publisher.
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