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The Routledge Handbook of North American Indigenous Modernisms
 9781003030485

Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Series Information
Title Page
Copyright Page
Dedication
Table of Contents
Contributors
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introductory Conversation
Notes
Part Geographies
1 When a Mound Isn’t a Mound, But Is: Figuring (And Fissuring) Earthworks in Lynn Riggs’s The Cherokee Night
Picnics With the Dead
The Feel of Flint
Sterile Fissure
Notes
References
2 Modernist Activities and Native Acts in and Around Northern New Mexico
Modernization and Indigeneity in Northern New Mexico
Maria Montoya Martínez (1887–1980)
Antonio (Tony) Luján (1879–1963)
Rollie Lynn Riggs (1899–1954)
Keywords for Southwestern Indigenous Modernisms
References
3 “God Gave Us the Seals”: Makah Relational Modernity and the Consequences of Settler Conservation
Crafting a Relational Modernity
Conservation and Settler Modernity
Notes
References
4 Geographies of Allotment Modernisms
Notes
References
5 Beyond the Bureau of American Ethnology: Remembering the Alaska Native Brotherhood/Sisterhood as a Co-National Network …
Notes
References
6 The Unsettling Times of Zitkála-Šá and Grazia Deledda
Different Politics, Different Forms
A Modern Woman
From Is Also Beyond
Coda: Expand to Fill, Shrink to Fit
Notes
References
Part Temporalities
7 John Joseph Mathews, Francis La Flesche, and the Indigenous World of the North American Midcontinent
Francis La Flesche and The Scene of History
John Joseph Mathews and the Middle Waters
Conclusion: Movement, Water, Earth, Sky
References
8 Corporate Tribalism: Indigeneity, Modernity, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
Life On the Land
“Hunger Knows No Law:” The Beginnings of Alaska Native Land Claims
Indigenous Land Claims in Alaska
Notes
References
9 Indigeneity and the Caribbean: Some Periodical Perspectives
Introduction
Indigeneity: A Widened Definition
Indigenous Peoples in Bim and Kyk-Over-Al
Indigeneity and Modernist Experiment
Conclusions
Note
References
10 Native/Black Birds: Voicing the Ruptures of Modernity Through Joy Harjo’s Indigenous Jazz Poetics
Indigenous Ways of Listening to a Blackbird
From the Sound of the Indian to Tribal Jazz
Paying Tribute
Conclusion
Notes
References
11 Casualties of Modernism: The Affects and Afterlives of Kent Monkman’s Automobiles
Monkman and Modernism
Automobiles
When Wastelands Are Homelands
Notes
References
Part Genres and Forms
12 The Form(s) of Allotment
Rolls
Blood
Business
Notes
References
13 Fugitive Indigeneity in Paul Green’s The Last of the Lowries and Lynn Riggs’s The Cherokee Night
Notes
References
14 Minor Characters, Modernity, and the Indigenous Modernist Novel: John Joseph Mathews, D’Arcy McNickle, and ...
The Politics of Minor Characters
Paredes’s and Hurston’s Indigenous Minor Characters
The Politics of Characterization in Indigenous Modernist Fiction
Conclusion
Notes
References
15 Indigenous Modernity On Celluloid at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
The Indians of the American Imagination
Documenting the “Vanishing Indian”: The Romance of a Vanishing Race (1916)
A Different Kind of “Indian Drama”: The Daughter of Dawn (1920)
Acknowledgments
Notes
References
16 Henry Starr’s Outlaw Modernism
The Modernist and Assimilationist Period(s)
Henry G. Starr (1873–1921)
Thrilling Events: Henry Starr’s Outlaw Modernism
“You’re Not the Indian I Had in Mind”
Notes
References
Part Venues
17 False Idols: Totemism, Reification, and Anishinaabe Culture in Modernist Thought
Notes
References
18 Performance Circuits, Vaudeville Bits, and Indigenous Resilience
Gathering Places and Sites of Power
Vaudeville Bits and Indigenous Mobilities
Mass Culture and Modernities
Notes
References
19 Indigenous Cinema and the Studio System: The Case of Edwin Carewe’s The Snowbird (1916)
Edwin Carewe On and Off Stage
Reading The Snowbird
Place and Setting
Gender, Race and Genre
Conclusion
Notes
References
20 Syncretic Modernism and The Chemawa American
Transcoloniality
Intertribality
Intertextuality
Intertemporality
The Chemawa American and Syncretic Modernism
Notes
References
21 The Five Moons: Ballet’s Modernist Indigenous Starscape
Rosella Hightower: The International Icon
Moscelyne Larkin: The Soubrette and the “Cowgirl”
The Tallchiefs: America’s First Prima Ballerina and America’s First Premiére Danseuse Étoile
Yvonne Chouteau: The “Tall-Shoe” and the “Silverheel”
Notes
References
Afterword: Troubling the Indigenous Modern
Reference
Index

Citation preview

THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS MODERNISMS

The Routledge Handbook of North American Indigenous Modernisms provides a powerful suite of innovative contributions by both leading thinkers and emerging scholars in the field. Incorporating an international scope of essays, this volume reaches beyond traditional national or euroamerican boundaries to locate North American Indigenous modernities and modernisms in a hemispheric context. Covering key theoretical approaches and topics, this volume includes: • Diverse explorations of Indigenous cultural and intellectual production in treatments of dance, poetry, vaudeville, autobiography, radio, cinema, and more. • Investigation of how we think about Indigenous lives, literatures, and cultural productions in North America from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. • Surveys of critical geographies of Indigenous literary and cultural studies, including refocused and reframed exploration of the diverse cultures, knowledges, traditions, geographies, experiences, and formal innovations that inform Indigenous literary, intellectual, and cultural productions. The Routledge Handbook of North American Indigenous Modernisms presents fresh insight to modernist studies, acknowledging and reconciling the occluded histories of Indigenous erasure, and inviting both students and scholars to expand their understanding of the field. Kirby Brown is an Associate Professor of Native American Literatures in the Department of English and the Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Oregon. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Stephen Ross is a Professor of English and Cultural, Social, and Political Thought at the University of Victoria. Alana Sayers is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of Victoria specializing in Indigenous literatures and Native American and Indigenous Studies. She is Hupačasath (Nuu-​chah-​nulth) and Kipohtakaw (Cree, Treaty 6) First Nations.

ROUTLEDGE LITERATURE HANDBOOKS

Also available in this series: The Routledge Handbook of International Beat Literature Edited by A. Robert Lee The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Global Appropriation Edited by Christy Desmet, Sujata Iyengar and Miriam Jacobson The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animals Edited by Karen Raber and Holly Dugan The Routledge Handbook of Literary Translingualism Edited by Steven G. Kellman and Natasha Lvovich The Routledge Handbook of Star Trek Edited by Leimar Garcia-​Siino, Sabrina Mittermeier, and Stefan Rabitsch The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Interface Edited by Clifford Werier and Paul Budra The Routledge Handbook of Ecofeminism and Literature Edited by Douglas A.Vakoch The Routledge Handbook of North American Indigenous Modernisms Edited by Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers For more information about this series, please visit: www.routle​dge.com/​Routle​dge-​Lit​erat​ure-​ Handbo​oks/​book-​ser​ies/​RLHB

THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIGENOUS MODERNISMS

Edited by Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers

Cover image: Image used with permission of the artist. (c) Kata Winkler-​Autobee 2018. All rights reserved. First published 2023 by Routledge 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 and by Routledge 4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2023 selection and editorial matter, Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross and Alana Sayers; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross and Alana Sayers to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication Data A catalog record for this title has been requested ISBN: 978-​0-​367-​46644-​2 (hbk) ISBN: 978-​0-​367-​46699-​2 (pbk) ISBN: 978-​1-​003-​03048-​5 (ebk) DOI: 10.4324/​9781003030485 Typeset in Bembo by Newgen Publishing UK

To the many thousands of Indigenous children who were torn from their families and cultures and sent to residential schools, never to return; and to the thousands who did return forever changed by the brutality they experienced. To the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls who will never be forgotten. They are our sisters and we miss them—​all of us miss all of them—​every day, in the silence where their voices should rise, the care they should receive and give, and the wisdom that endures despite the attempt to crush it. To all the land and water defenders, language warriors, and culture and knowledge keepers past, present, and future whose energy, dignity, and ongoing resistance inspire the incredible resurgence taking place in Indigenous nations and communities across the continent and around the world. And to Taryn Jude Edwin Sayers: you are the future your ancestors imagined! Our hands are up for you—​now and always.

CONTENTS

List of Contributors Preface by Philip J. Deloria Acknowledgements

x xvii xx

Introductory Conversation Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers

1

Geographies

15

1 When a Mound Isn’t a Mound, But Is: Figuring (and Fissuring) Earthworks in Lynn Riggs’s The Cherokee Night Chadwick Allen

17

2 Modernist Activities and Native Acts in and around Northern New Mexico Geneva M. Gano 3 “God Gave Us the Seals”: Makah Relational Modernity and the Consequences of Settler Conservation Joshua Reid 4 Geographies of Allotment Modernisms Jonathan Radocay

29

44 62

5 Beyond the Bureau of American Ethnology: Remembering the Alaska Native Brotherhood/​Sisterhood as a Co-​National Network of Indigenous Writers Michael P. Taylor

vii

76

Contents

6 The Unsettling Times of Zitkála-​Šá and Grazia Deledda Sonita Sarker Temporalities

87

101

7 John Joseph Mathews, Francis La Flesche, and the Indigenous World of the North American Midcontinent Angela Calcaterra

103

8 Corporate Tribalism: Indigeneity, Modernity, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Shari M. Huhndorf

116

9 Indigeneity and the Caribbean: Some Periodical Perspectives Louise Kane

128

10 Native/​Black Birds:Voicing the Ruptures of Modernity through Joy Harjo’s Indigenous Jazz Poetics Audrey Goodman

139

11 Casualties of Modernism: The Affects and Afterlives of Kent Monkman’s Automobiles Deena Rymhs

154

Genres and Forms

167

12 The Form(s) of Allotment Mark Rifkin

169

13 Fugitive Indigeneity in Paul Green’s The Last of the Lowries and Lynn Riggs’s The Cherokee Night James H. Cox and Alexander Pettit

182

14 Minor Characters, Modernity, and the Indigenous Modernist Novel: John Joseph Mathews, D’Arcy McNickle, and John Milton Oskison Leif Sorensen

191

15 Indigenous Modernity on Celluloid at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Cristina Stanciu

204

16 Henry Starr’s Outlaw Modernism Jenna Hunnef

216

viii

Contents

Venues

229

17 False Idols: Totemism, Reification, and Anishinaabe Culture in Modernist Thought Adam Spry

231

18 Performance Circuits,Vaudeville Bits, and Indigenous Resilience Christine Bold 19 Indigenous Cinema and the Studio System: The Case of Edwin Carewe’s The Snowbird (1916) Joanna Hearne

244

258

20 Syncretic Modernism and The Chemawa American Amanda J. Zink

272

21 The Five Moons: Ballet’s Modernist Indigenous Starscape Shannon Toll

285

Afterword: Troubling the Indigenous Modern Daniel Heath Justice Index

295

299

ix

CONTRIBUTORS

Chadwick Allen is Professor of English and Adjunct Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington, where he holds the Russell F. Stark University Professorship and serves as Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement. Author of the books Blood Narrative: Indigenous Identity in American Indian and Maori Literary and Activist Texts (Duke University Press, 2002), Trans-​ Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), and Earthworks Rising: Mound Building in Native Literature and Arts (University of Minnesota Press, 2022), he is co-​editor, with Beth Piatote, of The Society of American Indians and Its Legacies (2013), a former editor of the journal Studies in American Indian Literatures, and a past president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). Christine Bold is a Professor Emerita and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She is also a Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Scholar and Smithsonian Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, DC, and the National Museum of American History 2021–​2. She has authored and edited six books—​two of them multiple-​award winners—​as well as numerous articles, chapters, and editorial projects. Her newest book, “Vaudeville Indians” on Global Circuits, 1880s–​1930s is in press with Yale University Press in The Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity (forthcoming 2022). Kirby Brown is an Associate Professor of Native American Literatures in the Department of English and the Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Oregon. His book, Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907–​1970 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018), examines how four Cherokee writers variously remembered, imagined, and enacted Cherokee nationhood in the period between Oklahoma statehood in 1907 and tribal reorganization in the early 1970s. Essays in contemporary Indigenous critical theory, constitutional criticism in Native literatures, and Native interventions in the Western and in Modernist Studies have appeared in a variety of venues including Studies in American Indian Literatures, Texas Studies in Language and Literatures, Western American Literature, Modernism/​modernity, and The Routledge Companion to Gender and the American West. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Angela Calcaterra is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of English at the University of North Texas. She specializes in pre-​1900 American literature, Native

x

List of Contributors

American literatures, and Indigenous Studies. Her first book, Literary Indians: Aesthetics and Encounter in American Literature to 1920 (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), centers Indigenous aesthetic practices in early and nineteenth-​century American literary history. Her scholarly articles have appeared or are forthcoming in PMLA, Early American Literature, Studies in American Indian Literatures, and A Question of Time: American Literature from Colonial Encounter to Contemporary Fiction, edited by Cindy Weinstein (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She is currently at work on a second book project, Bearing Arms: Indigenous People and Stories of Gun Violence in America’s Settler Colonial History, a literary and cultural archeology of American gun culture and Indigenous peoples’ relationships to weapons and alternative technologies. James H. Cox holds the Jane and Roland Blumberg Centennial Professorship in English at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published three single-​authored books on Native American literature from 1920–​present, most recently The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History (2019), and he co-​edited The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (2014) with Daniel Heath Justice. His recent essays on modern drama, written with Alexander Pettit, have appeared in Studies in American Indian Literatures and Comparative Drama. Philip J. Deloria (Dakota descent) is the Levertt Saltonstall Professor of History at Harvard University and the author of Indians in Unexpected Places, Playing Indian, and Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract. He also co-authored, with Alexander I. Olson, American Studies: A User’s Guide. He is a trustee of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, where he chaired the Repatriation Committee; a former president of the Organization of American Historians and the American Studies Association; and an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academic of Arts and Sciences. Geneva M. Gano is the Jones Professor of Southwestern Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Texas State University. She received her PhD in English from the University of California-​Los Angeles in 2007 and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Bill Lane Center for the American West from 2007 to 2008. She is the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, chapters, book reviews, and papers presented at national and international meetings. Her first book, The Little Art Colony and US Modernism: Carmel, Provincetown,Taos (Edinburgh University Press, 2020), investigates the relationship between modernist aesthetics, social networks, and emergent tourism and real estate industries. Her second book project, The Mexican Vogue and U.S. Modernism: Revolutionary Literature and Art across Borders, extends the concerns of her first book into a transnational context. She is also co-​editing, with Dr. Sonia Saldívar-​Hull (UTSA), the first major collection of scholarly essays on Sandra Cisneros, ‘Ay Tú!’: Critical Essays on the Work and Career of Sandra Cisneros. Audrey Goodman is Professor of English and Department Chair at Georgia State University in Atlanta and currently co-​President of the Western Literature Association (2021–​2). She has published three books on the history of literature and photography in the US Southwest and US-​Mexico borderlands: Translating Southwestern Landscapes (University of Arizona Press, 2002), Lost Homelands (University of Arizona Press, 2012), and A Planetary Lens (University of Nebraska Press, 2021). Fellowships from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center and the Huntington Library have supported additional research projects, including essays published in Blackwell’s Companion to the Literatures and Cultures of the American West, Cambridge’s History of Western American Literature, and the journals Arizona Quarterly, Five Points, Western American Literature, Transatlantica, Miranda, and Ácoma. Joanna Hearne is the Jeanne Hoffman Smith Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Her research and teaching are centered on Native American and global Indigenous

xi

List of Contributors

film and media studies, including Indigenous film history from early cinema to the present; digital Indigenous studies and digital storytelling; and screen genre histories with a special focus on westerns, documentary, and animation. She has published articles in journals such as Screen and is the author of Native Recognition: Indigenous Cinema and the Western and Smoke Signals: Native Cinema Rising. Shari M. Huhndorf received her PhD in Comparative Literature from New York University and is currently Class of 1938 Professor of Native American Studies in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California-​Berkeley. Her research and teaching focus on the areas of interdisciplinary Native American studies, Alaska Native studies, contemporary literary and visual culture, cultural studies, gender studies, and American studies. Huhndorf is the author of two books, Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination (Cornell University Press, 2001) and Mapping the Americas: The Transnational Politics of Contemporary Native Culture (Cornell University Press, 2009), and a co-​editor of Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture (University of British Columbia Press, 2010), winner of the Canadian Women’s Studies Association prize for Outstanding Scholarship. Another co-​edited work, Sovereignty, Indigeneity, and the Law (Duke University Press, 2011), a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, won the Council of Editors of Learned Journals award for best special issue of a journal as well as the award for outstanding Indigenous scholarship from the American Indian and Alaska Native Professors Association for 2011. Her work has also appeared in journals including Critical Inquiry, PMLA, American Quarterly, American Anthropologist, South Atlantic Quarterly, Social Identities, Annals of Scholarship, and Signs. She has received major fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Association of University Women. Currently she is working on two book projects: a manuscript titled “Indigeneity and the Politics of Space: Gender, Geography, Culture,” and, with Roy Huhndorf, a community history of Alaska Native land claims. Jenna Hunnef is a settler scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 territory and the Homeland of the Métis. Her past and current research focuses on late nineteenth-​and early twentieth-​century Indigenous literatures in the former Indian Territory, Indigenous genre fiction, and outlaw narratives. Her work has appeared in Studies in American Indian Literatures, Western American Literature, and Canadian Review of American Studies, among others. Daniel Heath Justice is a Colorado-​born citizen of the Cherokee Nation and Professor of Critical Indigenous Studies and English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia. Daniel’s work in Indigenous literary studies takes up questions and issues of kinship, belonging, sexuality, personhood, and nationhood, with increasing attention to the intersections between Indigenous literatures, speculative fiction, and other-​than-​human peoples. His published work includes the literary studies Why Indigenous Literatures Matter and Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History, the animal cultural histories Raccoon and Badger, the Indigenous epic fantasy The Way of Thorn and Thunder, and various edited and co-​edited works, including The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (with James H. Cox), and Allotment Stories: Indigenous Land Relations Under Settler Siege (with Jean M. O’Brien). Louise Kane is Assistant Professor of Global Modernisms at the University of Central Florida. She has published widely on global periodical cultures, a topic her current book project The Little Magazine and the Global Avantgarde explores in detail. She is the Editor of Re-​Reading the Age of Innovation:Victorians, Moderns, and Literary Newness (Routledge, 2022). Alexander Pettit is Professor of English at the University of North Texas. His recent essays on modern drama, written singly and with James H. Cox, have appeared in Studies in American Indian xii

List of Contributors

Literatures, Modern Drama, Comparative Drama,Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Modern Language Quarterly, Philological Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is editor of the Eugene O’Neill Review. Jonathan Radocay is a PhD candidate in English Literature, with a Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies, and a citizen of Cherokee Nation. His research explores the intersection of critical Indigenous geographies, modernities, and literary form in Native literatures, print cultures, and storytelling practices. Radocay’s dissertation,“Stories in Severalty: Allotment and Indigenous Modernisms,” reconsiders the historical framing of allotment through an interdisciplinary, community-​based study of literary and non-​literary Indigenous texts that navigate allotment’s past, present, and future. He has also published in Modernism/​modernity Print Plus on the lyric poetry of early twentieth-​century Winnemem Wintu poet Alfred Gillis and the contemporary geospatial narratives of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s annual Run4Salmon event in what is now called Northern California. Joshua Reid (registered member of the Snohomish Indian Nation) is an Associate Professor of American Indian Studies and the John Calhoun Smith Memorial Endowed Professor of History at the University of Washington. He holds degrees from Yale University and the University of California, Davis, and is a three-​time Ford Foundation Fellow. Yale University Press published his first book, The Sea Is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs (2015) in the Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity. It has received awards and acknowledgements from the Organization for American Historians, American Society for Ethnohistory, the Western History Association, and the North American Society for Oceanic History. Reid currently directs the university’s Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest and edits the Emil and Kathleen Sick Series on Western History and Biography with University of Washington Press and the Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity. He serves on the editorial advisory board of the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, is a Distinguished Speaker for the Western History Association, and is a member of the board of the National Council for History Education. He has also chaired program committees for the American Historical Association and the Western History Association. Reid currently researches Indigenous explorers in the Pacific, from the late eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century, and is completing an edited volume on Indigenous communities and violence. Mark Rifkin is Linda Arnold Carlisle Distinguished Excellence Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of English at the University of North Carolina-​Greensboro. His research primarily focuses on Native American writing and politics from the eighteenth century onward, exploring the ways that Indigenous peoples have negotiated US racial and imperial formations. More broadly, Rifkin’s work explores the roles of gender, sexuality, affect, and eroticism in those processes, addressing legal and administrative frameworks, textual representations, and forms of everyday experience. He is a past president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and is the author of seven books, including Beyond Settler Time: Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-​Determination (2017); Fictions of Land and Flesh: Blackness, Indigeneity, Speculation (2019); and Speaking for the People: Native Writing and the Question of Political Form (2021), all from Duke University Press. Stephen Ross is a Professor of English and Cultural, Social, and Political Thought at the University of Victoria. He received his PhD from Queen’s University at Kingston in 2001. He is author of Conrad and Empire (Missouri, 2004) and Youth Culture and the Post-​war British Novel (Bloomsbury, 2018); editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (Routledge, 2012); and co-​editor of The Modernist World (Routledge, 2014) and The Handbook to the Bloomsbury Group (Bloomsbury, 2018). He is Past President of the Modernist Studies Association.

xiii

List of Contributors

Deena Rymhs is an Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-​Champaign. Her research and teaching of Indigenous literature are informed by the environmental humanities, gendered histories of colonization, and theories of biopower. She is the author of From the Iron House (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008) and Roads, Mobility, and Violence in Indigenous Literature and Art from North America (Routledge, 2019). Sonita Sarker is Professor in the English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, a private, liberal arts college that is located on the homelands of the Sisseton and Wahpeton peoples. She has published widely in literary Anglophone Modernist Studies and in theories/​practices of subalternity. Her edited collections, Trans-​Status Subjects: Gender in the Globalization of South and Southeast Asia and Sustainable Feminisms, showcase her interest in collective as well as individual contributions to decolonial knowledge-​making. She has published essays on Antonio Gramsci,Virginia Woolf, Ravinder Randhawa, Cornelia Sorabji, Michel Foucault, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Victoria Ocampo, and on Cold War transnational feminisms as well as the current state of literary Anglophone transnational Modernist Studies. The basis of her work is in anti-​colonial, counter-​hegemonic, post-​modern literary and cultural practices in the context of early and late twentieth-​century globalization. Her monograph, in which Zitkála-​Šá and Grazia Deledda are included, Women Writing Race, Nation, and History: N/​native is forthcoming from Oxford UP this year. Her introduction to a cluster of essays on Whiteness is forthcoming from Modernism/​modernity and she is currently writing a monograph on Whiteness in literary post/​modernist literature and in modernist theory. Alana Sayers is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of Victoria specializing in Indigenous literatures and Native American and Indigenous Studies. She is Hupačasath (Nuu-​chah-​nulth) and Kipohtakaw (Cree, Treaty 6) First Nations. Leif Sorensen is Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University where he teaches courses in twentieth and twenty-​first century multiethnic literatures of the US. He is the author of Ethnic Modernism and the Making of US Literary Multiculturalism (Palgrave 2016). Recent articles have appeared in ASAP/​Journal, The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, Modernism/​modernity, Contemporary Literature, and MELUS. He is currently completing a monograph on race and speculative worldbuilding titled Worldbreaking:The Racial Politics of Speculative Worldbuilding. Adam Spry (White Earth Anishinaabe) is an Assistant Professor of Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. He is the author of Our War Paint is Writers’ Ink: Anishinaabe Literary Transnationalism. Cristina Stanciu is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Research Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is author of The Makings and Unmakings of Americans: Indians and Immigrants in American Literature and Culture, 1879–​1924 (forthcoming, Yale University Press, 2022) and is co-​editor, with Kristina Ackley, of Laura Cornelius Kellogg: Our Democracy and the American Indian and Other Works (Syracuse University Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in multiple venues including American Indian Quarterly, MELUS, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Native American and Indigenous Studies Journal, College English, Wicazo Sa Review, Intertexts, Film & History, and edited collections. Michael P. Taylor is an Assistant Professor of English and associate director of American Indian studies at Brigham Young University. He is the co-​author of Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Indian School from University of Arizona Press. His research engages Indigenous archives to expand Indigenous literary histories and support community-​ centered efforts of xiv

List of Contributors

resurgence. He is currently working on a monograph that brings together the literary activism of the Alaska Native Brotherhood/​Sisterhood, the National Council of American Indians, and the Hui Aloha ‘Āina to reposition American modernity as an era of expansive Indigenous solidarity. His work has appeared in such venues as American Quarterly, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Modernism/​modernity. Shannon Toll is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Literatures and Cultures of North America at the University of Dayton. Her research interests include Native literary studies and theory, gender studies, performance studies, and film studies. Her work on Indigenous literature and film has been featured in journals such as Canadian Literature, Studies in American Indian Literatures, and American Indian Culture and Research Journal. She is currently working on a monograph that examines the impact of Indigenous Oklahoman women who shaped the modernist stage as opera singers, dancers, and storytellers in the early to mid-​twentieth century. Amanda J. Zink is Associate Professor of English at Idaho State University where she teaches courses in ethnicity, indigeneity, gender, and intersectionality in literature. Her research and teaching focuses on American literatures from the margins, with particular emphasis on American Indian literature from the late-nineteenth century to the present. Her essays have appeared in Studies in American Indian Literatures, Western American Literature, Studies in American Fiction, Body Studies Journal, and in a book collection on modernist American women writers. Her first book, Fictions of Western American Domesticity: Indian, Mexican, and Anglo Women in Print Culture, 1850–​1950, was published in 2018 by the University of New Mexico Press. She is currently under contract with Texas Tech University Press to publish an anthology of literature written by students at the Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon.

xv

PREFACE Philip J. Deloria

My first effort to understand modernity and modernism came in graduate school, when I saw a poster advertising something called “the Early Modern Lunch.” I knew very little about history and its periodization, and the meaning flew completely over my head. Deciphering the poster through my own understanding of “modern,” a period that I associated with the fin de siècle, I assumed that the luncheon group planned to chat about the early to mid-​nineteenth century. Imagine my surprise to find myself in the fifteenth. I’ve been disoriented ever since. There is an inevitable slipperiness attached to “modern,” burdened as it is with its proliferation of linked but distinct forms: modernity, modernism, modernization, post-​modernism, and anti-​ modernism. We can barely make sense of a concept so fungible that it demands simultaneous recognition as a category, a process, a chronological moment, an aesthetic, an object of resistance, and a philosophical stance. Modernity is simultaneously unfixed—​for one can locate “modern” in all manner of times and places—​and utterly coherent, for no matter where it is situated, the word quickly claims a universalizing, global identity. Modernity demands a peculiarly self-​referential consciousness: one aspect of being modern is to reflexively observe that one lives in a modern condition. Just what that condition might be often proves secondary to one’s awareness that it is a condition. Post-​modernism only made things worse. Of course, these are Western obsessions. As complex as they are, the quavering uncertainties of this culturally narcissistic modernity pale in comparison to the complications that unfolded following a shift in linguistic meaning, that moment when the antonym opposed to “modern” shifted from “ancient” (in which the Classical “then” was superior to the degraded “now”) to “primitive” (in which a future-​focused modern “now” seemed existentially better). This new modern erupted from the long painful moment of global imperialism, Atlantic racial capitalism, the settler colonialism of Indigenous space, and the development of migratory Coolie labor systems. This history shaped the modern as a great divide: on one side, the excitement of the new; on the other, the hurts of subjugation. To the excited ones, the people occupying the painful side of this transformed modernity appeared more inclined to the archaic than to the ancient. They had nothing of the ancient Classical world about them. “Pre-​modern,” “backward,” even “prehistoric”: these seemed like better descriptors. As this new modern staked and naturalized its claim to superiority—​and even as it embraced racial hierarchies and social evolution—​it also established the grounds for a binary opposition: the Indigenous. It made the relationship clear: those non-​moderns—​of Africa, the Americas, Oceania, Asia—​existed outside the boundaries of the here and the now. They were stuck in the “there” and “then.” Their

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primitivism was either to be valued and appropriated as a source of inspiration and (self) critique, or to be rejected in disgust. And if those primitives refused to accept their anomalous temporality, the moderns would simply do it for them. So was born the self-​reflexive quality of the modern, as its inhabitants began to ponder their status as people with and of the future, living in the now, but surrounded by human remnants of the past. Of course, those people the moderns defined as “primitive” absolutely refused to accept the self-​ indulgent premises of modernity. Why should someone else’s heuristic define them? They just went about living lives, as human beings do. And yet, as the subjects of conquest, enslavement, violence, and domination, all wrapped up in “the modern,” how could they escape? The essays in this Handbook track the myriad of possibilities that followed. Its authors recognize an opening premise: that the modern rests upon a foundational act of definitional, categorical, and heuristic violence, a naming of the Indigenous as a marker of lack. The ideological and discursive work of the category “modern” was then materialized in oppressions, exclusions, and marginalization that had consequences for the nurture of Indigenous life. At the same time, however, the ongoing existence of Native peoples necessarily called modernity into question. Native life itself constantly revealed “the modern” to be a fiction, for those with eyes to see it. Sometimes, that included moderns themselves. Even more interesting, though, the non-​Native idea of the modern offered Native people opportunities. They recognized a suite of ideas dear to American (and European) moderns. They grabbed the dark energy of those ideas, reworked them, and channeled them to their own uses: wage labor survival, aesthetic engagement, popular culture representation, literary opportunity. These are the tricks and traps Gerald Vizenor famously named survivance: Indian and post-​Indian, self-​reflective and self-​reliant, cagey and courageous, representational simulacrum and autochthonous original. And we might imagine something beyond: even as it served to colonize Indian people, “modern” (and especially the aesthetics of “modernism”) also offered opportunities to indigenize—​to take modern forms and styles and recraft them as interventions and transformations, to make the modern one’s own. We should not be surprised, then, to find that Native people also offered a critique, not simply of modernism, or the modern world, but of the whole infrastructure of colonial modernity that weighed on their shoulders. For scholars looking back at the modernist past, we can now recognize and consolidate several critical insights, which linger into the present. We know that Indigenous people were important shapers of modernity, in material and ideological forms. We know that significant numbers of them engaged in this work, spread across all manner of social and cultural locations. We understand that it is important to follow the threads of the local and specific, and to add up those stories into a category all its own. Call it Indigenous Modernism, if you like. My own request to modernist scholars is threefold (shared, I sense, with some of the authors in this Handbook). Yes, we would like more inclusion of Indigenous Modernism (of all sorts) in the canon of the modern. No, we don’t see inclusion in that canon as the final word.We’d prefer to avoid tokenism, or even an “expanded canon.” Instead, let us imagine together all the ways Indigenous Modernism transformed the modern itself. Given the term’s already fluid nature, such transformation seems like low hanging, but critically important fruit. Finally, even following such a welcome transformation, we need to maintain the category of the Indigenous Modern as a heuristic of our own, connected to Native literary, cultural, and historical studies, informed by Indigenous questions, methods, and epistemological stances. We stand at a curious juncture when it comes to temporality in Native American and Indigenous Studies. On one side, the projects of Deep History and Vast Early America, bolstered by archeological work, have truly threatened the dividing line between history and pre-​history so persistently part of the modern. In Australia, we know, Aboriginal peoples occupied the continent for 65,000 years; in North America, the dating has been pushed back to some 20,000 years ago, blowing straight past the old Clovis-​First theories and demanding a new “Classical” history of the continent. On the other side,

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the very category of the modern has itself been shaken up, reshaped by critiques, new periodization, and growing recognition of multiplicities, limitations, and internal contradictions. We’ve benefited from the critique of “settler time,” such that both the oldest and the newest temporalities—​archaism and modernity—​have been fractured and transformed. Just as the Indigenous must be situated within, against, and in dialogue with modernism and modernity itself, so too do the essays found within the Routledge Handbook to North American Indigenous Modernisms succeed in shaking up and reshaping the field of modernist studies. They help question and undo the entire project, from the Early Modern Lunch to Post-​Post-​Modern self-​reflexivity. They reframe the coherence linked to the global project of the West’s five-​century domination, the unevenness of and resistances to that domination, and the internal critiques and psychic uneasiness that accompanied the whole thing. This book follows an imperative to take what we think we know and to make it new. And what could possibly be more modern—​or Indigenously modern—​than that?

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

When we began conceiving this project in the winter of 2019 and secured contributors in early 2020, we had no idea how disruptive, chaotic, and life-​altering the ensuing months and years would be. The emergence of the COVID-​19 pandemic and the unprecedented contexts of isolation and remote access to healthcare, education, employment, and other social institutions radically impacted our individual and collective experiences of illness, loss, grief, and general anxiety, which continue to touch all our lives in one way or another. It also intensified already existing inequities in virtually all our social structures, political systems, and educational institutions, with particularly devastating impacts for Indigenous peoples, Black communities, communities of color, and others, such as those with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and poverty, who were already living in precarity. During this time, multiple social and racial justice movements have had enormous impacts on what it means to imagine more just futures for all our relations and what it means to do the work we’re trying to do in this volume. In May 2020, George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, the video of which amplified longstanding movements by Black communities to address state-​sanctioned violence against Black bodies into global mass protests and demands for action and accountability. Floyd’s death and the movements that followed forced the world to confront the daily realities of systemic racial violence faced by Black communities as well as the ongoing need for continuous, broad social and political resistance to push for the structural change necessary to ensure accountability and to envision a future that truly values and honors Black life and love. We not only stand in solidarity with Black communities and Afro-​Indigenous relatives, but also actively seek to combat anti-​Blackness in this collection and the communities and spaces in which we live. The consequences of global pandemics and systemic racial and settler-​colonial violence had particularly devastating impacts on Indigenous communities leading to unimaginable losses of elders, family, and friends who were not only beloved relatives but also language keepers, knowledge holders, mentors, and leaders in our communities. Combined with ongoing state and corporate assaults on Indigenous sovereignty and the health, safety, and security of Indigenous lands, intensified demands for meaningful action by US and Canadian settler governments to address Missing and Mudered Indigenous Women and Girls and the discovery of the bodies of 251 Indigenous children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation reserve in British Columbia—​and the thousands more uncovered across the Americas in the ensuing months—​afforded stark reminders of the violence and trauma that structures settler-​colonial relationships with Indigenous peoples.

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Acknowledgements

Though the last two years have proven to be some of the most difficult in recent memory, they have also galvanized mass social movements to bring truth, healing, accountability, and resurgence across Turtle Island. Indigenous communities have emerged as leaders in the global effort to bring the pandemic under control, not only seeking to protect our own communities but also the wider communities in which we live. As we note in the dedication, Indigenous peoples continue to fight for the rights of the land and our other-​than-​human relations, to insist on gaining justice for the missing and murdered, and to return home those precious young ones who perished in residential schools far from home. Put differently, and to paraphrase Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe writer Leanne Simpson, Indigenous peoples, with our allies and extended kin, continue to do as we have always done. It is in these circumstances and with this spirit that we offer this collection and honor all who have worked to bring it to fruition. First and foremost, we want to thank the contributors to the volume who have offered us not only their brilliance but also their generosity, patience, empathy, and compassion as we struggled to hold the collection together. We know how difficult these past two years have been for you and your families and we’ve done our level best to reciprocate in kind. We also want to honor those who were unable to continue with the project; know that your work, writing, and visions for what relational and accountable scholarship can and should be is all over this volume. This project also couldn’t have gotten off the ground without the guidance, commitment, patience, and flexibility of our editors and production specialists at Routledge Press and Newgen who stood by us through multiple starts and stops along the way. To Bryony Reece and Michelle Salyga—​we can’t express our gratitude enough for sticking with us as we navigated such unprecedented circumstances; you’re a model of what compassion and relationality in publishing can be.Thanks also to Paul Martin for your sharp copy-​editing and to Deborah Ogilvie for your good-​natured editing, formatting, and indexing of the volume; it is a stronger collection because of your work. Our hands go up to all of you, to our families and communities who keep us upright and grounded, to our ancestors who protect and guide us, and to our extended kin and future relatives for whom we live, laugh, love, fight, write, and imagine. I would like to thank first and foremost my co-​editors for their patience, generosity, and intelligence; this is work I would never have been brave enough to engage without them. Christopher Teuton taught me more than he can know simply by being my friend. This boy from Chilliwack, descendant of frontline settlers, is still on a journey to understand What It All Means, and I am constantly grateful to my Indigenous colleagues at the University of Victoria—​especially Jeff Corntassel, Christine O’Bonsawin, Robina Thomas, and waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy—​for their indulgence and good will. [SR] I also want to thank my fellow co-​editors for fighting to carve out space for these conversations, for keeping me accountable to the work we do and to the communities we serve, and for standing beside me and holding me up across an unimaginably difficult and challenging time. It is not an understatement to say that this project wouldn’t have held together without y’all. To my colleague and friend, Alice Te Punga Somerville, who once asked the most important question about these conversations—​“But what’s in it for us?”—​I’m not sure I have an answer just yet, but know that your work, intellect, and fierce commitment to community are all over this book.To Jim Cox, who got me thinking about the questions that animate this volume, and to his incredible family that I now call my own—​y’all mean more to me than you’ll ever know. To all the Cherokee scholars, teachers, language warriors, knowledge holders, and culture keepers—​I’m so grateful for the work you do in the world. To my Starr, Parris, Bell, Harlan, and Adair ancestors and relatives—​we’re still here, still fighting, still arguing, still loving, still together. To my Starr cousins—​I can’t wait until we’re able to gather safely again in our homelands and share music, tell lies, and make ourselves sore with laughter. To my mom, dad, sisters, nieces, nephews, and great-​nephews—​you are the center of my world and my reason for

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being; know that you’re always with me and I am always sending you light, laughter, and love. And to Katharine (in my best Sam Elliott voice): I can’t imagine being on this journey without you, sweet girl; thanks for always having my back, making me giggle, and gently reminding me to slow down and breathe. [KB] I am extremely grateful to my co-​editors Kirby and Stephen for inviting me to join them as an editor in this collection as an Indigenous graduate student and working with me to create a team environment that I hoped was possible. This involved the two of them providing me with so many forms of mentorship on the editing and publishing process but also allowing me to figure how best to fulfill all my responsibilities as an Indigenous graduate student inside and outside of the academy. Being a part of this team has shown me that spaces can be created with a humanness that allows different approaches, kindnesses, and understandings throughout this process that aren’t common to academic and capitalist spaces. This has been one of the first times in my academic career that I have felt like my voice was not only sought after but heard, valued, and uplifted, which has allowed me to discover new ways that I can exist within academe. I share these experiences in the hope that it encourages others to include Indigenous graduates in these types of roles and to allow them to discover and acquire invaluable experiences and knowledges. Kleco kleco (thank you) to Kirby, Stephen, all of our contributors, our partners at Routledge Press, and all those who have been a part of making this happen. As I write this, I am weeks away from giving birth to my first child. All the work I do in the academy is to carry on the legacy, work, and knowledge of my ancestors through all that I am able to create here to pass onto my son and the future generations yet to come. [AS] The cover image, “Oil for Blood” was created during the height of environmental activism in retaliation of the DAPL, Keystone XL, and Trans Mountain pipeline. This painting depicts a Northwest-​ style mask embellished by a salmon skeleton and a black snake, which is symbolic of the pipelines themselves and the inherent destruction that drilling and fracking bring. The mask is coated in a dripping layer of wax in expression of the crude oil that has poisoned the areas surrounding these pipelines. Parchment, watercolor, and acrylic paint, wax. The artist, Kata Winkler-​ Autobee (Tiwa, Mexica/​ Nahua, Tribes of Cheyenne and Arapaho, Chicana), is a 2021 University of Oregon alumna with a BA in Sociology and a Minor in Native American Studies. A longtime Oregon resident originally from Colorado, Kata is an activist and an educator working toward diversifying institutions through historical accuracy, advocacy, and art. She focuses on creating space for feminist and Two-​Spirit liberation within global academic spheres for the advancement and empowerment of tribal communities.

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INTRODUCTORY CONVERSATION Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers

Rather than composing a conventional introduction to the volume, we decided instead to offer an informal introductory conversation that outlines the genesis of the collection, some of the central questions that organize it, and our hopes for the contributions it might make to ongoing conversations about Indigeneity, modernity, and literary/​cultural production.We also thought it important to reflect on what it meant—​and means—​to do this kind of intellectual work amid an ongoing global pandemic, widespread movements for racial and social justice, and an intensifying environmental crisis. As we note in the acknowledgements and in the discussion that follows, these contexts have touched every contributor to this volume in one way or another, and we think it important to honor these impacts and to reflect honestly and organically on what it means to do intellectual work and how we do it in ways that acknowledge the full humanity—​and relationality—​of those involved. Where relevant, we’ve gestured to how specific contributions in the volume speak to these questions and have attempted to situate them within larger critical conversations across modernist studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, US and Canadian literary and cultural studies, and other fields. By way of situating the collection, and to avoid re-​presenting questions and arguments we’ve advanced in other venues,1 we offer a short synopsis of the volume below and invite readers to consult the works mentioned throughout the introduction for further study. ​ The Routledge Handbook to North American Indigenous Modernisms explores how we think about Indigenous lives, literatures, and cultural productions in North America from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Often positioned in their own time and in scholarly conversations afterward as the antithesis to both modernity and modernism, Indigenous peoples had in fact been engaged with modernity since it first arrived on the shores of Turtle Island 500+​years ago. By the period conventionally known as “modernist” (late 1890s through the mid-​1940s) they were full participants in the politics, aesthetics, and cultural productions of modernity as and where it manifested across the land. While many continued to work locally to defend their lifeways and homelands from ongoing settler-​colonial violence and expropriation, others organized regionally, nationally, and internationally to challenge popular attitudes about Indigenous people and to effect substantive changes in federal policy, education reform, land management, and other consequences of modernity impacting their communities and families. Questions of self-​representation and conscious engagements with discourses of modernity and progress were central to these projects, and Indigenous writers, artists, intellectuals, and activists approached these questions across multiple geographies, venues, genres, and DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-1

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Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers

forms. From conventional literary forms of autobiography, narrative, poetry, and drama; to public speeches, editorials, legal arguments, and Congressional testimonies; to emerging forms of performance, music, cinema, and radio, Indigenous peoples adopted and adapted to their own ends the modes of representation and discourse through which their lives, lands, and futures were being decided.They did so not as modernist primitives, romantically vanishing Indians, or tragic victims of civilization and progress, but as central contributors to and active co-​creators of some of the most important political currents, aesthetic movements, and intellectual conversations of their time. While the project we’re advancing in this collection might strike some readers as a new “turn” toward “Indigenous modernities and modernisms,” it is grounded at once in longstanding histories of Indigenous innovation, adaptation, agency, and survivance on Turtle Island and in a growing body of Indigenous studies scholarship that has been engaging these questions for quite some time. Hazel Hertzberg’s influential early study, The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-​ Indian Movements (1971), brought attention to the early twentieth-​century work of the Society of American Indians (SAI) and its “Red Progressives,” connecting the organization’s more nationally oriented political activism and discursive work to the emergence of the Peyote religion and Native American Church, which operated in more localized, rhizomatic contexts. Subsequent studies such as Robert Allen Warrior’s Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions (1995), Thomas W. Cowger’s National Congress of American Indians: The Founding Years (1999), Frederick E. Hoxie’s Talking Back to Civilization: Indian Voices from the Progressive Era (2001), Philip J. Deloria’s Indians in Unexpected Places (2004), Lucy Maddox’s Citizen Indians: Native American Intellectuals, Race & Reform (2005), Tom Holm’s The Great Confusion in Indian Affairs: Native Americans & Whites in the Progressive Era (2005), and John Troutman’s Indian Blues: American Indians and the Politics of Music, 1879–​1934 (2009) (among others) have recovered the multiple contexts and strategies through which many Indigenous peoples navigated the challenges of US and Canadian settler-​colonial modernity as it moved unevenly across their communities at the end of the nineteenth and throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Recent critical texts in Indigenous literary studies—​from Shari M. Huhndorf ’s Mapping the Americas:The Transnational Politics of Contemporary Native Culture (2009), James H. Cox’s The Red Land to the South: American Indian Writers and Indigenous Mexico (2012) and The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History (2019), Beth Piatote’s Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (2013), and Kiara M. Vigil’s Indigenous Intellectuals: Sovereignty, Citizenship, and the American Imagination, 1880–​1930 (2015) to Adam Spry’s Our War Paint is Writer’s Ink: Anishinaabe Literary Transnationalism (2018), Christopher Pexa’s Translated Nation: Rewriting the Dakhóta Oyáte, Kirby Brown’s Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907–​1970 (2018), and Philip J. Deloria’s Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract (2019)—​employ both tribally specific and Indigenous transnational frameworks to make sense of the diverse politics, formal devices, literary strategies, and networks of influence—​both Indigenous and non-​Indigenous—​that inform Indigenous literary and cultural production from this period. Work by Huhndorf on Indigenous-​ settler relationships in Alaska, by Noenoe Silva on late nineteenth-​and early twentieth-​century Kānaka Maoli literary resistance, and by Joyce Pualani Warren on Indigenous modernities across the Pacific makes visible a transnational array of “modern” Indigenous networks at once aligned with, but also distinct from, the settler-​colonial contexts of the US and Canada.2 In addition to these individually authored studies, this collection is also indebted to others that have come before, which model similar ethics and intellectual pursuits. Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird’s Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America (1998) not only centered women writers and the communities and networks that joined them together, but also highlighted questions of tribal specificity, sovereignty, and citizenship; complicated relationships between Indigenous and settler languages; and the critical need to honor the multiple genres and forms through which Indigenous women practice self-​representation. Craig Womack, Christopher Teuton, and Daniel Justice’s Reasoning Together: The Native Critics’ Collective (2008) brought Native 2

Introductory Conversation

literary scholars and theorists together across a wide array of disciplinary and theoretical questions impacting Native literary studies, while also modeling what collective, community-​centered scholarship could look like. Building on Hertzberg’s and Warrior’s work on the SAI, Chadwick Allen and Beth Piatote’s edited special issue on the 100th anniversary of the formation of the SAI jointly published by Studies in American Indian Literatures and American Indian Quarterly (2013) productively complicated what we thought we knew about familiar authors, texts, and contexts while also introducing new figures and critical questions for understanding the increasingly complex intellectual, cultural, and literary politics of the organization and its legacy. Combining tribally specific, hemispheric, transnational, and global critical frameworks, Robert Warrior’s The World of Indigenous North America (2014), James Cox and Daniel Justice’s The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (2014), Deborah Madsen’s Routledge Companion to Native American Literature (2016), Scott Lyons’ The World, the Text, and the Indian: Global Dimensions of Native American Literature (2017), and James Hayward and Maebh Long’s New Oceania: Modernisms and Modernities in the Pacific (2020) usefully expand the legal, historical, social, cultural, geographic, and formal contexts that have always informed Indigenous intellectual, literary, and cultural production from time immemorial to the present. As a result of these recuperative and revisionist efforts, our understandings of the politics and possibilities of late nineteenth-​and early twentieth-​century Indigenous intellectual, literary, and cultural productions have expanded dramatically. Where once stood a handful of figures from this period, we now know of hundreds of others from all across Indian Country working in a diverse array of venues ranging from public policy, education, journalism, anthropology, and international politics to social commentary, art, literature, philosophy, music, and popular culture. As the scope of the archive has expanded, our understandings of the politics of this period have also been rendered more nuanced and complex. Where scholars once understood this moment on a narrow spectrum between assimilationist resignation and accommodationist ambivalence, we now identify a diverse array of political commitments at work throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Indeed, just as recent scholarship in modernist studies has argued for multiple modernisms responding to multiple modernities articulated by a diverse array of writers within both popular and “high” aesthetic forms, so might we now identify multiple Indigenous modernities, and their attending aesthetic modernisms, operating in tribally specific, trans-​Indigenous, cosmopolitan, transnational, and global contexts across a wide spectrum of expressive forms. The Routledge Handbook to North American Indigenous Modernisms extends and amplifies this growing body of scholarship by focusing on the specific analytic relationships between Indigeneity, modernity, and literary/​cultural modernism on one hand, and continuing the important recovery work of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for Native American and Indigenous Studies on the other. Exploring diverse aspects of these dynamics in both US-​and Canadian-​Indigenous contexts, contributors to this cluster take up the following questions: • How are we to understand the relationships between Indigenous literary, intellectual, and cultural production from this period and the multiple modernities it variously engages, embraces, resists, or critiques? • What ideas, understandings, and expressions of modernism, modernity, and “the modern” have emerged from the 500-​year maelstrom of chaos, change, dislocation, resistance, resilience, and resurgence wrought by settler colonialism? • Through what formal strategies or aesthetic techniques do Indigenous writers, artists, performers, intellectuals, cultural producers, and others appropriate, resist, rearticulate, or refuse modernist (or other) aesthetics on their own terms and from their own communities and experiences? • What might tribal-​specific, intertribal, regional, trans-​Indigenous, or global Indigenous modernism, or modernist studies, look like? • What is the relationship of this work to other aesthetic responses to modernity broadly “captured” under the rubric of modernism? 3

Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers

• If the history of modernity and aesthetic responses to it is also at least partially the history of imperialism and settler colonialism, how might an extended engagement with this energetic and ever-​g rowing archive, and with Native American and Indigenous studies more broadly, productively complicate the organizing terms and frameworks of the field? • By extension, in what ways might attention to modernist studies scholarship amplify and inform ongoing work from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Native American and Indigenous studies? As we’ve argued elsewhere, extending modernist studies into the critical geographies of Indigenous literary and cultural studies isn’t simply about centering Indigenous writing and performance within existing analytic frameworks, however. At its most provocative, we think, it’s about refocusing and reframing modernist studies through the diverse cultures, knowledges, traditions, geographies, experiences, and formal innovations that inform Indigenous literary, intellectual, and cultural productions as well as what constitutes Indigenous engagements with “modernity”—​ however understood—​more broadly. For example, when looking east from Indian Country, both modernity and modernism in North America possess multiple points of origin aligned not simply with Euro-​ American political and cultural dynamics but also with major shifts in US and Canadian settler-​ Indigenous relations extending backward, perhaps, even to contact or before. Further, in its critical attention to the settler-​colonial contexts of dispossession and violence at the heart of what many have termed the “modern condition,” Indigenous cultural production from this period reminds us that the destruction underwriting the anxieties expressed in metropolitan modernisms took root long before the stench of blood and death filled the trenches of western Europe. Indeed, if we understand “modernity” at least partially as an explicitly racialized (settler) colonialist project predicated on eliminating Indigenous lives, lands, and relationships, then it is impossible to understand either modernity or modernism in North America without engaging deeply with the literatures, histories, and cultural productions of the First Peoples of these lands and waters. This volume is one attempt to create space to ask these questions and to encourage these conversations. What follows is just a snippet—​lightly edited for length, clarity, and concision—​of our most recent conversation about the volume from December 2021. We offer it not only to frame the collection, but also as an opportunity to reflect on our own relationships throughout the process, to express our gratitude to our contributors and all those who have influenced its production, and to extend a hospitable invitation to those who might pick up the collection and leaf through its pages to join the conversation. Kirby Brown [KB]:  So, we’ve been thinking about and working on this project for quite some time—​from the questions posed in the Texas Studies in Language and Literature (TSLL) special issue in 2017 and the panel on Indigenous modernisms at the 2019 MSA conference in Columbus, Ohio to the stream of panels at the 2020 MSA and the cluster of essays emerging from that gathering in Modernism/​modernity. I’d like to hear about each of your investments in this project, what interventions and contributions you see it making, and what you’re most excited about. Stephen Ross [SR]:  I’ve got to track this by rewinding to that panel on Indigenous modernisms at the MSA conference in Columbus in 2019 with Alana, Robert Dale Parker, Deena Rymhs, and Jonathan Radocay. As Alana was delivering her talk on Canadian modernism, settler colonialism, and Indigeneity, it occurred to me that scholars in modernist studies had little idea what she was speaking about.They knew very little, if anything, about Indigeneity, period. At first, I thought,“Oh man, this might actually come across as a little condescending” because of the detailed contexts Alana was walking us through, contexts which should be familiar to everyone in the field, especially those of us working on Indigenous lands in settler institutions. But everybody was riveted by her

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Introductory Conversation

talk and I realized not only that they weren’t familiar with what she was relaying but that until this panel they didn’t even know what they didn’t know, like it was all news to them. I mean, I don’t think I’m particularly well versed in these contexts and histories, and I’m certainly no authority, but I was at least familiar with most of what Alana was talking about, due in large part to what Alana has shared with me and what I’ve learned from her—​and you and Chris Teuton and Cheryl Suzack and others—​over the last few years. So, I think what this volume will do, and the work that each contribution does in its own way, is to normalize Indigenous presences in modernism in ways that a lot of modernist studies scholars still are completely ignorant of. For example, I was reading Joanna Hearne’s piece on Chickasaw filmmaker Edwin Carewe and it occurred to me that maybe five percent of modernist scholars know anything about figures like Carewe or the influence of Indigenous actors, producers, and creators on American cinema. And so that’s a big part of what this volume is going to do in terms of modernist studies—​to make visible the extent to which folks like Carewe, or the vaudeville performers Christine Bold writes about, or the Indigenous ballet superstars Shannon Toll discusses, have always been right here in front of us. KB:  I was thinking along similar lines of how I hope this volume continues the work of making absences of Indigeneity at conferences, on course syllabi, and in journals, edited collections, and monographs a thing of the past. I like to imagine a day in five, ten, or fifteen years when scholars or students look at a syllabus or review a collection and they expect to see Indigeneity and Indigenous Studies scholarship, because the assumption will be, of course, that it should be there. Rather than being invisibilized through erasure and exclusion on one hand, or romanticized, marginalized, or tokenized on the other, we’ll actually be marking and demanding presences that were always already there to begin with. SR: Yeah, and it’ll be doing that crucial work of making the field more accurately represent the objects of study. Modernism and the modernist period—​however and whenever we define it—​had Indigenous cultural producers and participants and critics and so on. Not to acknowledge them and write about them is actually to misrepresent the field—​it’s bad scholarship at the very least. KB: To paraphrase Leech Lake Ojibwe scholar Scott Lyons, Indigenous literary and cultural productions have always been global, have always been “modern,” and to not tell that story is to get it fundamentally wrong.3 Alana Sayers [AS]: Yeah, bringing Indigenous writers, texts, and cultural productions into modernist studies will hopefully do that work of normalizing Indigeneity not simply as an object of study but as a central analytic alongside race, class, gender, sexuality, coloniality, and others. From the TSLL special issue, to our edited cluster in Modernism/​modernity, and this volume, what has really occurred to me is this ongoing question of absence and presence. Specifically, how academic fields produce and perpetuate absences, erasures, and misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples, as Indigenous scholars like Linda Tuhiwai-​Smith, Jean O’Brien, and, in this volume, Adam Spry, have written about.4 And it’s not just in the scholarship but also in classrooms and pedagogical practice. If you don’t know about an entire body of knowledge and experience, it’ll never wind up on your syllabus and you’ll never expose students to this “other take” on modernity and modernism. So, I think this collection could have pedagogical implications as well, encouraging scholars and teachers to engage this material, to work it into their classrooms, and to do the work to come to terms with their own relationships and responsibilities to it. KB:  Yeah, and part of that work is to not only recognize a presence where an absence used to be, but also to come to terms with the incredible diversity in geographies, temporalities, periodicities, genres, forms, and venues in which Indigenous peoples were actively embracing, cautiously navigating, or refusing setter modernity in all its complexities and contradictions.

5

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AS:  Yes! This collection really captures that diversity and complexity, both in the larger structure of the volume into thematic/​methodological sections and in the depth and breadth of the individual contributions themselves. So many different areas of literature, different genres, different forms, similar to what Choctaw writer and scholar LeAnne Howe theorizes as “tribalography.” High art and popular culture, film and radio, drama and performance, newspapers and periodicals, social commentary and political theory—​Indigenous peoples were active in virtually every venue in modernist literary and cultural production, you know.5 KB: And not just in terms of art and aesthetics, but also—​as Geneva Gano, Joshua Reid, Michael Taylor, Shari Huhndorf, and Mark Rifkin discuss—​influencing the structure and reach of emerging Indigenous art markets, strategically redirecting private property regimes to protect lands and resources, and navigating settler policies, legal systems, organizational structures, and conceptual forms in ways that prioritize customary cultural practices and relationships and that advance Indigenous economic, political, cultural, and literary priorities. SR: It’s not just presence, then, but the expansive breadth and depth of Indigenous engagements with modernity—​which at times also include explicitly anti-​modern refusals and resistances—​ happening alongside the more conventional story of modernism and modernity that we’re all familiar with. From the allotment geographies of Indian Territory that Jonathan Radocay explores, to the deep histories of mound cultures and Osage geologic imaginaries articulated by Chad Allen and Angela Calcaterra, to the intercultural, transnational contexts of coloniality and Indigeneity that Sonita Sarker and Louise Kane examine, there are multiple entry points for Indigenous and non-​Indigenous scholars to enter the conversation and take it in new directions. KB:  I like the idea of thinking of this collection as an invitation of sorts for scholars from across disciplines not just to take up new objects of study but also to engage with Native American and Indigenous Studies theories, frameworks, and methodologies. I’m reminded of Abenaki scholar Lisa Brooks’s metaphor of scholarly work as a kitchen table where relatives come together to live, laugh, love, argue, fight, and disagree, but always in a spirit of hospitality and relationality to ensure that we leave the table sustained in some way by the effort.6 SR: As you know, I’ve always been pretty cautious about wanting to act like I’m an authority, and that it’s even my place to take up space and speak about these things. I think that’s an important conflict for settler scholars to contend with—​to reckon with our appropriate responsibilities to these conversations and how best to engage them. At the same time, one of the things that I’ve sort of taken heart from is seeing how settler scholars—​like many in this collection—​do this work, how they work on Indigeneity, Indigenous cultural production, and intense contexts of settler coloniality respectfully and collaboratively, and that it’s not off limits to me provided I do it in the right way with humility and respect. I’ve learned from Indigenous and settler scholars alike that it’s less a matter of what you do than how you go about that work in a way that doesn’t treat your objects of study exclusively as objects. Like you said earlier, Alana, it’s about owning our relationships to the communities, histories, and circumstances that inform Indigenous literary, intellectual, cultural, and political work. We don’t all have to write about it, but we absolutely need to know it and to realize how it shapes how we write, the questions we bring to a text, and the kinds of knowledge we’re able to produce about them. All of which makes me a better, more careful, more responsible scholar. And that’s open to all of us in different ways and to different ends. AS: Yes, and how, as with the three of us and our contributors, we’re learning collaboratively from one another, teaching one another, coming into relationship with one another and with the work that structures this collection. KB: For me, I think that’s why it’s so important that this volume is firmly grounded in Native American and Indigenous Studies scholarship and its political and methodological commitments to sovereignty and self-​determination, as well as principles of respect, reciprocity, responsibility, and relationship at the center of the research process. I’m reminded of the central questions Daniel 6

Introductory Conversation

Justice poses in his book Why Indigenous Literatures Matter: How do we learn to be human? How do we behave as good relatives? How do we become good ancestors? How do we learn to live together? What I really appreciate about every one of these essays is how they’re each attempting to come into relationship with their subjects in fundamental ways, and how they approach their work from an ethical space of care. Each of these essays is careful—​not in the sense of being hesitant to engage complicated questions or contexts, but in the sense of bringing care to the work they do and the ways they write and speak about their subjects.7 AS:  Exactly. I think too, you know, like with each of us as co-​editors, throughout this process across the pandemic we’ve all been really open about different experiences that we’re going through with our own responsibilities to our families, to different communities, to our own mental and emotional health. That has been part of this process for me as well that has been so much more important than the nuts and bolts of editing a collection. Because, I mean, I feel like that isn’t brought into a lot of academic processes at all, which can be very dehumanizing when we’re not accounting for our full personhood. We’re scholars and writers and editors and teachers, yes; but we’re also sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, aunties and uncles, mothers and fathers, and we’ve all been juggling so much over the past couple of years just to try and hold things together. And when you combine all we’ve been navigating with events like the Chantel Moore shooting and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), with residential schools, with ongoing assaults on our lands, waters, foods, and sacred spaces, it’s a lot. It’s emotional work, an emotional and spiritual process, and I feel like that’s evident—​either explicitly or implicitly—​in a lot of the essays in this volume. KB: Yeah, and even in the process of working with each other, with our contributors, and with our editors to seek extensions, to ask for flexibility, and to practice empathy and generosity as much as possible to account for illness and loss, for child and elder care, for the need to drop what we’re doing to go home and be in relationship with our families and communities.These dynamics have touched all of us in one way or another and to be in a project that honors that, that recognizes that, has been a real gift, at least for me. AS:  Like when you’re involved in the community, you drop things to go and be there for your people. And this applies not only to Indigenous people but for all of us over the past couple of years. Being a graduate student and getting insight into the editorial and publication process with both of you during the pandemic has really been eye opening for me about finding that balance between professional/​academic and community life. I’m not giving up my community responsibilities to get to this class or that seminar or this conference. I’m going to bring what I can when I can to those spaces while also making sure to care for my family and community. I want to be able to do it all. KB: Yes, and thinking about the personal, communal, and professional not in the sense of those tired tropes of “living in multiple worlds” but, as Daniel Justice writes in the afterword, in the sense of creating space and finding ways to honor the fact of those experiences and responsibilities as fundamental to who we are and the work we all want to do with/​in our own communities. AS:  And I think part of honoring that full personhood is having honest conversations about our own positionalities as Indigenous and non-​Indigenous folks doing work on Indigenous lands within largely settler institutions. How did these relationships come to be? What are my relationships and responsibilities as an Indigenous scholar, a settler scholar, an international scholar, etc. to the lands, peoples, and histories in which I’m embedded? How am I accountable and in what ways might my work express that accountability? SR: Which means that mistakes are going to be made. Lord knows I’ve made a few throughout this process. (Laughter.) But you figure it out.You work to make things right and you continue to do things differently based upon those interactions. AS: I think that’s modeled really well in an article by Jeff Corntassel, Corey Snelgrove and Rita Dhamoon entitled, “Unsettling settler colonialism: The discourse and politics of settlers, and 7

Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers

solidarity with Indigenous nations,” where they’re talking about their different positionalities as Indigenous and non-​Indigenous settlers living and working on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territories: Jeff as a citizen of Cherokee Nation, Corey as a white settler from Ontario, and Rita as a woman of color of Sikh origin. Explicitly acknowledging the multiple histories and experiences that bring folks into Indigenous spaces provides transparency about things we don’t often speak about explicitly. In doing so, it implies a level of accountability to each other and to the Indigenous lands and peoples where we live.8 KB:  I really appreciate the nuanced complexity that you bring to your discussion in the Modernism/​ modernity cluster of Canadian settler modernity and its inextricable relationships to legal, political, and cultural discourses that work to degrade and devalue Indigenous relationships to place as a rationale for dispossession and removal. Or how Stephen and Christine Bold openly discuss what’s productively unsettling for settler scholars about engaging Indigenous modernisms and modernities, and the responsibilities and obligations NAIS scholarship demands from us as scholars. Those commitments are all over this volume.9 SR:  I think what we’re getting at is how working on this collection through a pandemic and global Indigenous and social justice movements is the question of what does or should intellectual work look like in such times—​and maybe in all times? And not just the work itself, but also what do intellectual relationships look like and the processes that constitute them? KB:  I just keep coming back to this ethic of care. This ethic of responsibility. This ethic of generosity, right? Being generous with one another, and having others extend that generosity and flexibility with us as editors, has been one of the more important experiences for me about this process. It’s made it clear to me that academic work doesn’t have to just be about productivity, deadlines, items on a CV. I mean, we need those things to finish projects, but it’s also about relationships and acknowledging the humanity at the center of the work we do. And certainly the humanity at the center of the actors, communities, histories, and investments of those we’re writing about. AS:  And the fact that we did this in a pandemic at the same time that we had the residential schools happening, at the same time that the MMIWG movement has come to global consciousness, at the same time that resistance to extractive industries is exploding around the world. These are really important contexts in which the contributions to this volume were produced and that most, if not all, of them are directly or indirectly responding to. As an early career Indigenous academic, it’s been important for me to see that it is possible to do this right, to do it in a good way. SR: Yeah, I mean for me it’s been a process of learning, being willing to learn, you know. One of the things I have hated for twenty years about being a professor is that you have to fight for chances to learn all of a sudden once you finish grad school. Like after decades of being a student, where you’re expected to learn, all of a sudden, you’re just expected to teach or to publish. Every year I used to say, “That’s it. This year, I’m just going to take the summer and read,” and I never did because I always had to write something for some reason. But even beyond that, you know, I’ve learned a lot just in terms of how the pandemic has changed how I viewed my students and their struggles. Working on this volume has done that as well. I mean, being humane is the sovereign virtue, right? To not treat others—​whether colleagues or our objects of study—​as a means to an end. Everyone should be an end in themselves.That kind of ethics really is paramount. And it actually overcomes the need to get words on paper. KB:  I’m hearing you speak about what Indigenous studies scholars refer to as ethics of relationality, responsibility, reciprocity, hospitality, and care at the center of the research process.10 SR: And it’s especially hard if you have been born and bred to be productive and oriented toward productivity rather than community, valuing the product rather than the person or the relationship. I haven’t done a lot of collaborative projects before, but those that I have worked on were really focused on getting the product out there. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that approach, but this collaboration has taught me that such approaches have costs, and they’re often hidden costs 8

Introductory Conversation

because people don’t feel like they can say, “Hey, I’m having a hard time meeting the deadline,” or “I’ve just suffered a loss in the family,” or “I’m not doing well,” for whatever reason. Instead, this product-​oriented approach we’re all socialized into forces us to compartmentalize and repress things that are affecting us in other areas of our lives. So, people might get the product to you, the article or chapter, but it’s often at the expense of their well-​being and of our relationships with one another. And while we might be coming to terms with these dynamics in theoretical perspectives like post-​critique, the hermeneutics of suspicion, or materialist relationalities, my own education and engagement with Native American and Indigenous Studies has shown me that folks have been doing this work and working in these ways for a long, long time. So, as proud as I am of the content of this volume—​and these essays are brilliant—​it’s the relationships and the ethic behind those essays, the real work of relationship building that has happened behind the scenes, that I think I’m most proud of. KB: Yeah. Working on this collection with you two, our editors, and our contributors has shown me that you can get a collection to the finish line and do so with kindness, compassion, and care. AS:  Just my own experience, is that if I don’t feel safe in a space—​including the space of the editorial process—​I’m not going to produce my best work because I’m going to be over-​thinking, over-​worrying, not sleeping, ignoring relationships to make time for writing rather than giving sufficient attention to both. Within the process for this volume, it was so great to engage deeply and empathetically with the contributors collaboratively as a team to create space for the contributors to fully realize what they’re most invested in exploring. In this sense, we’re here to provide structure, logistical support, and intellectual feedback, but mostly we’re here to create that space. That’s a different—​ and rewarding—​experience than being the primary author or co-​author of a piece. KB: Yes! I had as much fun interacting with you two in the comments on chapter draft as I did interacting with the ideas and arguments of the essays themselves. I also have had a few contributors reach out to say how enjoyable (and funny!) it was to see us conversing with one another about their work and sharing those organic conversations with them in our feedback. I’m not sure if that’s standard process, but it was really rewarding on my end. (Laughter.) AS: And it gets back to that idea of not just working collaboratively with each other as editors but learning from each other and our contributors as writers, scholars, and students in our own right! SR: Yes, and this strikes me as a novel methodology for modernist studies, one that attends to relationships and subject positions and the contexts that impact all our lives both inside and outside academia. Thinking of scholars, works, and producers as a kind of vast, intergenerational, interrelational ecology, a generative positive ethic that structures the work the scholars in this volume are doing. KB:  We’ve spent a lot of time speaking about how the volume intervenes in and contributes to modernist studies. During these conversations I keep coming back to a question my Māori colleague and friend Alice Te Punga Sommerville posed to me over lunch at the 2019 NAISA conference in Aotearoa: “But what’s in it for us, Kirby? How does it help us do the work we want to do?” That’s a more difficult question for me to answer, so I’d be interested to hear from both of you how you see this volume contributing to Native American and Indigenous literary and cultural studies and to the production of knowledge in/​about our communities? AS:  That’s actually a really good question. For me, I think it goes back to the origins of the collection at the Toronto Modernist Studies Association conference and the multiple panels we co-​organized to begin to address some of the questions that structure this volume. For me it was about coming into a place and creating space to build community and to create space for these conversations in fields that have historically been older, whiter, and settler-​oriented. Like Stephen said earlier, creating such spaces not only makes visible all the incredible work that Indigenous scholars, intellectuals, organizers, activists, writers, artists, performers, and cultural producers were doing, 9

Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers

but also highlights how central Indigenous peoples were to settler imaginings of modernity and to how the conditions of modernity were variously experienced, understood, and represented within Indigenous contexts. I’m not a modernist—​ SR: Yes, you are! AS:  (Laughs). Well, I didn’t start out as a modernist, but it’s been really useful for me intellectually to focus on work from this period and to get to know it in more comprehensive ways. Expanding my own literary and cultural archives within the historical parameters of Indigenous modernities has provided me a more complicated understanding of how Indigenous folks were variously responding to the multiple modernities that were arriving on our doorsteps. We’re still living with the impacts of that period—​and of settler colonialism more broadly, itself a crucial expression of modernity—​and so coming to know this period and these archives has been really useful to my own understanding of those relationships. KB:  Me too! AS:  And I think the collection might open up questions into other areas. What might looking at this work from Indigenous feminist or Queer/​Two-​Spirit perspectives offer NAIS scholarship on this period? How might we combine the tribally specific, regional, international, hemispheric, trans-​ Indigenous, and other approaches to understand a specific writer or text—​or network of writers and texts—​in more complicated ways? How do we account for the complicated politics of individuals, communities, organizations, etc. that don’t easily align with our own contemporary politics or intellectual commitments? KB:  That’s right, and there’s been a lot of great scholarship over the last 25–​30 years that’s been instrumental in attempting to address these questions, but there’s still so much to be done to give us a more sophisticated sense of what James Cox calls the diverse “political arrays” that define this body of work.11 AS: And the ways this body of intellectual, literary, and cultural production anticipate by decades some really important contemporary critical conversations in Indigenous studies around questions of identity, community, race, blood, belonging, place, culture, and futurity in a moment of intense attacks on Indigenous lives and lands. Reading and working with the volume has shown me how much continuity exists across history, how much we’re still very much engaged in similar struggles that the writers, texts, and communities discussed in this volume were dealing with. KB: Yeah, we often acknowledge the ongoing resonances of historical violence and dispossession in our contemporary moment but digging into this material in a focused way really makes those relationships more concrete and visible. The complicated dynamics of oppression and agency evident in the films Cristina Stanciu analyzes are still at work in contemporary cinema and television, though we’ve made enormous strides over the last 40 years in terms of Indigenous representation. Jenna Hunnef ’s exploration of Henry Starr’s complex embrace and refusal of criminality and James Cox and Alexander Pettit’s interrogation of fugitivity in the plays of Lynn Riggs and Paul Green speak forward and backward to questions of racial profiling, state-​sanctioned violence, and the criminalization of legitimate political resistance in the past and in our own moment. To borrow a popular phrase, “We are the future—​and living the future—​our ancestors fought for,” and a collection like this puts that intergenerational ethic into action in important ways, I think. SR:  So, what about you, Kirby? What work do you hope this collection does? To recall Alice’s question, “What’s in it for you/​us?” KB:  Hmmm. There’s a lot of ways to answer that question, I think. Most immediately, a collection like this helps me to understand my grandfather, Henry Starr, and his generation a bit better. He was born in 1906 in Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory and lived through the allotment and assimilation policies of the Oklahoma statehood era that resulted in some incredible hardships for many Cherokee families and communities, including his own. At the same time, it afforded him a degree of mobility and opportunity that led him to the oil fields of West Texas where he met 10

Introductory Conversation

my grandmother and began a family. He also found jobs for all his brothers and sisters’ husbands and so was able to bring family with him on that journey, including a short stint in the wartime shipyards of San Francisco as one of a number of Oklahoma Indians that made that trek in the early to mid-​twentieth century. He lived a hard life and wasn’t always someone you wanted to be around, but by the time I knew him he was the funniest, warmest, most generous, most interesting grandpa I could have wished for. And a wonderful storyteller—​man, could he spin a yarn, and a lot of them were about Cherokee Nation or Oklahoma! He died when I was six, so I only knew him for a short time and only a small fraction of the life he lived. But it’s through him, and my great aunties and great uncles, and my mom and her siblings, and our extended relations in Oklahoma that connect me to Cherokee Nation. So, focusing on this period over the last ten to fifteen years has really allowed the opportunity to keep him close to me and to get to know the times in which he lived a bit better. AS:  Academic work that keeps our ancestors close, that makes us recognizable to them as descendants and relatives while also doing justice to the complicated, beautiful lives they lived and the futures they gifted to us. KB: Yeah, I think so. It speaks to a kind of scholarship that is capable of accounting account for what Scott Lyons has termed the “actually existing Indian nations” we all come from—​the diverse, complicated, at times contradictory ways Indigenous folks have engaged and represented ourselves and the multiple worlds in which we move. The stories we tell—​and the stories told in this volume—​have a responsibility to account for multiplicities and complexities of “actually existing” Indigenous lives and experiences on this continent. To come back to your framework of claiming and creating space, Alana, I think the collection attempts to create a space where we can hold multiple things in the same space at the same time, that engaging these figures and these texts and these contexts doesn’t have to be an either/​or proposition. It doesn’t have to be assimilation or resistance, individuality or community, modernity or tradition, capitalism or communalism, the global or the local. To borrow from one of LeAnne Howe’s characters, I’ve always been a both/​and kinda fella and I think this collection very much takes a both/​and approach to its content. So, while by no means comprehensive, I think the volume provides a representative range of what such work might look like and offers a variety of potential directions where it might go in the future. AS: And that’s really important … but I’ve always been a bit troubled by the analytic categories of modernity and modernism themselves, particularly as both have been defined within a Canadian settler context as legally, politically, and culturally in opposition to or as a radical break from Indigenous lands, languages, cultures, lifeways, sovereignties, and futures. On the one hand, I think modernity is useful to think through historically-​specific social, political, economic, and material conditions that arrived with coloniality and the various ways Indigenous peoples have understood and engaged them. On the other hand, I don’t want to reinscribe the epistemic privilege that’s embedded in the term itself.12 KB: Ah, there’s the rub. I think these are really important questions to consider and there’s been a ton of critical ink spilled within both modernist studies and Indigenous studies on precisely these debates. SR:  The problem is that for me, personally, I’ve such a love-​hate relationship with these terms. I mean, I keep using them, but I don’t mean anything by them really anymore. Because, I agree on the one hand, they’ve expanded so much now that they don’t mean anything in particular; everything is modernism! On the other hand, I think they’re still useful to refer to a general historical moment or period, or a specific set of aesthetic commitments, or a cohort of writers, artists, and culture producers working self-​consciously within those contexts. And so, in all honesty, I don’t really know what to do instead except to more generally acknowledge that what I do is twentieth-​and twenty-​first-​century literature and culture that sometimes overlaps with specific understandings of modernity and modernism. 11

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KB:  I feel the same way. For me, I’ve always been attracted to how Phil Deloria writes about modernity and modernism. In his introduction to his more recent monograph Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an Indigenous Modernist Aesthetic, Deloria acknowledges these critiques, but defines modernism and modernity as useful heuristics to address specific questions about contexts that informed his aunt’s life and work, the particular communities in which she moved, and the aesthetic and formal choices she was making as an artist in tune with some of the modernist currents of her time.That’s how I understand and use both terms—​as useful frameworks to ask certain kinds of questions and to pursue certain kinds of readings about specific authors/​texts in specifically situated contexts. SR: Yeah, and I think that’s the most useful kind of definition for me that, at least in my own scholarship, makes the most sense. It’s an analytic tool rather than a totalizing explanatory framework to understand all Indians and all textual/​cultural productions and all contexts/​experiences. And once you start to think of modernism in those terms—​and of modernity in a multiplicity of ways—​the conversation shifts from questions about what was or wasn’t modernism, or who was or wasn’t modernist, to more interesting questions about the relationships between social and material conditions and aesthetic form. It’s more like, “Here’s a handy term I’m going to pick up and use to move this thing around to see it differently, and then I’m going to put it down and use another tool to ask different questions and address different circumstances.” KB: Yes, because “modernity” is not just the industrial revolution, or the World War, or the Armory Show of 1912, or the annus mirabilis of 1922, or whatever. It’s also disease, the arrival of the Church and State, of discourses of nationhood and state sovereignty, of private property regimes and capitalism, of total war campaigns and genocidal assimilationist policies, and of new epistemic forms and relationships such as those documented by Rifkin and Radocay in this collection. At the same time, it’s about the appropriation of the social formation of nationhood, legal principles of sovereignty, and the genre of treaties; the development of writing systems and print culture; the adaptation of new technologies and economies; continued traditions of global travel/​mobility and the entrance into mass popular/​public spheres; and the leveraging of collective social and political organization to serve Indigenous ends. In these terms, we can continue to rethink questions of periodicity and the concepts and critical frameworks through which we structure our fields and disciplines. AS: Yes, I mean, why privilege 1912 or 1922 rather than 1876 or 1887, the passage of the Indian Act in Canada and the Dawes Act in the US? Or 1879, as the foundation of the residential school system and assimilationist education in the US that spread across the continent? Or the Métis Red River Resistance in 1869–​70? Or the passage of the Removal Act in the US in 1832? Or the signing of the first treaty between the US and the Lenape Nation in 1778, thus ushering both the young settler state and Indigenous nations into the norms of international law? Or the Seven Years War of 1754–​63? Or the Pueblo Uprising against Spanish colonialism in 1680 and the political solidarities that emerged as a result? Or, as Anishinaabe writer Gerald Vizenor has imagined, the multiple exchanges, adaptations, and relations documented since contact in 1492 and in Indigenous oral traditions and cultural practices since before that! SR:  What you’re getting at, I think, is extending Lyons’ challenge of “actually existing Indian nations” to accounting for the “actually existing” Indigenous modernities that each essay explores in one way or another, a move that if taken seriously explodes any preconceived idea of Indianness or Indigeneity readers might bring to the volume. What some might have seen as anomalous or “unexpected” Indians are variously refigured here as omnipresent across virtually every context and venue imaginable. AS:  So that what’s rendered “anomalous” in this collection are the images, discourses, ideologies, and critical frameworks/​methodologies that produce “Indian” absences out of Indigenous presences, or that collapse the complexities of Indigenous lives and their relationships to modernity (or modernism) into reductive, singular images of Indianness.

12

Introductory Conversation

SR: Which is not just a matter of saying well, we have to pay closer attention to these figures and contexts for how they speak to modernism or modernist studies. It’s about how we can no longer not attend to these contexts because they are, and have always been, in the foreground. Centering Indigeneity; Indigenous actors, texts, and contexts; and Indigenous studies is no longer an option. To do rigorous, responsible work on North American modernisms and modernities we will necessarily need to engage this work in one way or another. AS: And within Indigenous studies, it’s going to force us to continue to nuance our conversations around residential schools; extractive and industrial capitalism; questions of gender, sexuality, and patriarchy; discourses and policies of race, blood, and belonging; relationships between Indigeneity and (anti)Blackness; and other pressing issues that we’re only beginning to confront in honest and open ways. So many of these issues for many of our communities have roots in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and are often dealt with explicitly in the work represented here.

Notes 1 See for example Kirby Brown, “American Indian Modernities and the New Modernist Studies’ ‘Indian Problem.’ ” Texas Studies in Languages and Literatures, vol. 59, no. 3, Fall 2017, pp. 287–​318, and the print-​plus cluster on Indigenous Modernities for Modernism/​modernity journal: https://​mod​erni​smmo​dern​ity.org/​for​ ums/​ind​igen​ous-​mode​r nit​ies. 2 Shari M. Huhndorf, Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination (Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2001); Noenoe K. Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Durham: Duke UP, 2011) and “Hawaiian Literature in Hawaiian: An Overview” in Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature, ed. Daniel Heath Justice and James H. Cox (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014), 102–​17; and Joyce Pualani Warren, “Embodied Cosmogony: Genealogy and the Racial Production of the State in Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl’s ‘Hoʻoulu Lāhui,’ ” ed. Paul Lyons and Ty P. Kawika Tengan, special issue, American Quarterly, vol. 67, no. 3, 2015, pp. 937–​58 and “Theorizing Pō: Embodied Cosmogony and Polynesian National Narratives” (PhD Diss., UCLA, 2017). 3 Scott Richard Lyons, “Introduction: Globalizing the Word,” The World, the Text, and the Indian: Global Dimensions of Native American Literature, ed. Scott Richard Lyons (Albany: SUNY P, 2017), 1–​16. 4 Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, 3rd ed. (London: Zed Books, 2021), Jeanne O’Brien, Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010). 5 Howe defines “tribalography” as an Indigenous narrative framework that integrates “oral traditions, histories, and experiences” across a diverse array of genres and forms into narratives that expand our identity, that “pull all the elements together of the storyteller’s tribe, meaning the people, the land, and multiple characters and all their manifestations and revelations, and connect these in past, present, and future milieus.” This method isn’t simply about narrating Indigenous history and experience, but rather reflects “the Native propensity for bringing things together, for making consensus, and for symbiotically connecting one thing to another.” See “The Story of America: A Tribalography,” in Clearing a Path:Theorizing the Past in Native American Studies, ed. Nancy Shoemaker (New York: Routledge, 2002), 29–​48; “Tribalography: The Power of Native Stories,” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism vol. 14, no. 1, 1999, pp. 117–​25; and the special issue on Tribalography in Studies in American Indian Literatures, vol. 26, no. 2, 2014. 6 See “Afterword: At the Gathering Place,” American Indian Literary Nationalism, ed. Craig Womack, Jace Weaver, and Robert Warrior (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2006), 225–​52. 7 Daniel Health Justice, Why Indigenous Literatures Matter (Waterlook, Ontario: Wilfred Laurier UP, 2018). 8 Corey Snelgrove, Rita Dhamoon, and Jeff Corntassel, “Unsettling Settler Colonialism: The Discourse and Politics of Settlers, and Solidarity with Indigenous Nations,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society, vol. 3, no. 2, 2014. https://​jps.libr​ary.utoro​nto.ca/​index.php/​des/​arti​cle/​view/​21166. 9 See Alana Sayers, “Canadian Indian Act Modernism,” Christine Bold, “Vaudeville, Indigeneity, Modernity,” and Stephen Ross, “Afterword: Unsettling Modernist Studies,” edited cluster on Indigenous Modernities, Modernism/​modernity print-​plus platform, vol. 5, cycle 4, March 23, 2021. https://​mod​erni​smmo​dern​ity.org/​ for​ums/​ind​igen​ous-​mode​r nit​ies#_​edn5. 10 See for example, Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods (Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2008); Jennifer O’Neal,“Respect, Recognition, and Reciprocity:The Protocols for Native American Archival Materials,” Identity Palimpsests: Archiving Ethnicity in the US and Canada, eds. Dominique Daniel and Amalia Levi (Sacramento: Litwin Press, 2014), 125–​42; Jeff Corntassel, ed. Everyday

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Kirby Brown, Stephen Ross, and Alana Sayers Acts of Resurgence: People, Places, Practices (Olympia, WA: Daykeeper Press, 2018); Margaret Kovach, Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts, 2nd ed. (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2021). 11 See James H. Cox, The Political Arrays of American Indian Literature (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019), which documents the dynamic, complicated, and ever-​shifting politics of American Indian literature across a variety of genres, forms, venues, and relationships from the nineteenth century to the present. 12 For a discussion of these questions in Indigenous studies, see Philip J. Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places (Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2004); Scott Richard Lyons, X-​Marks: Native Signatures of Assent (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010); Mark Rifkin, Beyond Settler Time:Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-​Determination (Durham: Duke UP, 2017); Phillip J. Deloria, Becoming Mary Sully:Toward an American Indian Abstract (Seattle: U of Washington P, 2019); Alice Te Punga Sommerville,“ ‘[Modernism] in Māori Life’:Te Ao Hou,” New Oceania. Modernisms and Modernities in the Pacific, ed. Matthew Long and Maebh Hayward (London: Routledge, 2020), 156–​67; Madeleine Reddon, “Indigenous Modernism: Dehabituating Reading Practices,” Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies, vol. 8, 2019, pp. 10–​20.

14

Geographies

1 WHEN A MOUND ISN’T A MOUND, BUT IS Figuring (and Fissuring) Earthworks in Lynn Riggs’s The Cherokee Night Chadwick Allen

In his “Introduction” to the 2003 republication of The Cherokee Night, Lynn Riggs’s enigmatic drama first performed in 1932, Jace Weaver notes that, although a primary setting for the play, “the high mound outside of Claremore, Oklahoma,” is a “natural” feature of the landscape, “it feels as haunted and strange as an ancient burial ground” (107).1 Weaver and other scholars describe how the distinctive landform provides a stable location for the play’s seven nonchronological vignettes set between 1895 and 1931, a period of devastating change for the Cherokee and other Indigenous peoples who, in the 1830s, had been forcibly removed from Southeastern homelands to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi.2 But more than an immovable anchor for the modernist play’s nonlinear scenes of emblematic encounters and traumatic events, the “high mound” functions as a barometer of the evolving pressures to which the Cherokee and other Indigenous nations were subjected under a US settler colonialism that was aggressively expanding and transforming. Such pressures included the 1898 passage of the Curtis Act, with its reification of the delegitimizing system of blood quantum and its imposition on the Five Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee Creek, and Seminole) of the alienating system of land allotment, and the further loss of tribal sovereignties as the newly divided Indian Territory was formally dissolved and combined with the adjacent Oklahoma Territory to become the US state of Oklahoma in 1907. Within these volatile political and social contexts Claremore Mound functions as a barometer as well for the Cherokee playwright’s evocation of the volatile moods of his play’s multigenerational and multiply affiliated mixed-​blood characters, who confront a sense of fractured personal identity and diminished tribal belonging. These scholars argue, moreover, that Claremore Mound functions as an active presence in the drama. In stage directions that are both poetic and precise, they point out, Riggs indicates how, depending on the dominant themes of each vignette, the landform’s projected image should appear sometimes more distinct and sometimes less, and how it should seem to move sometimes closer to the action on stage and sometimes farther away.3 Theater audiences should sense how the mound exerts an agentive force on the characters and events. And, in line with Choctaw writer LeAnne Howe’s work, they should sense how the mound functions as a site for acts of Indigenous return.4 Early in the first vignette, set in the summer of 1915, audiences learn that Claremore Mound is also a site of historical trauma: a century earlier, in October 1817, Old Settler Cherokees who had migrated from the Southeast prior to forced Removal massacred an Osage village of women, children, and elders near its base.5 Indeed, the landform’s name marks the burial site for the slain Osage Chief known in DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-3

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English as Claremore.6 The mound thus looms over the play as an irrepressible memory of intertribal violence under pressure—​and with the implicit permission if not the explicit encouragement—​of the US settler nation-​state.7 In the current scholarly consensus on The Cherokee Night, Claremore Mound evokes the compounding effects of settler-​colonial violence not only for the Cherokees who are Riggs’s primary concern but for all Indigenous nations. The present chapter builds from these prior accounts, although its analysis is motivated by additional observations about Claremore Mound’s performance within Riggs’s modernist dramaturgy. Most scholars direct attention either to the fraught identity issues and historical contexts with which the play’s mixed-​blood characters must contend, including both the haunting legacy of intertribal violence and the ongoing repercussions of African slavery, or to the fraught identity issues and historical contexts the playwright himself faced as a queer and mixed-​blood man living in the early twentieth century; these scholars treat the landform’s dynamic presence as playing an important but largely supporting role.8 In contrast, my approach moves Riggs’s projected backdrop to the foreground of analysis, directing attention to the landform itself, its function as embodied signifier, and its role—​or roles—​as agentive force on and off stage. I ask: What is Claremore Mound’s potential for multiple signification, both within the play’s original developmental, performance, and publication contexts of the early twentieth century and within current interpretive contexts of the early twenty-​first? My analysis begins with three observations. First, that in setting The Cherokee Night near his childhood home of Claremore, the seat of Rogers County in northeastern Oklahoma, Riggs was contributing to an established literary tradition.9 At least two local (presumably non-​Native) poets published works titled “Claremore Mound” prior to the premiere of Riggs’s play in 1932 and first publication in 1936. Although Riggs does not refer explicitly to these poems from 1916 and 1930, in his alignment of the eponymous landform with Indigenous presence that is transhistorical and ongoing he complicates the simplistic framing of these prior representations of the mound, its history, and its contemporary significance, and he repurposes salient details of their dominant accounts toward his own artistic and political ends.10 Second, that Riggs exploits not only the location and celebrated history of the “natural formation of rock and shale” that looms behind the seven vignettes of his play, but also its fortuitous naming: that the landform is known as Claremore Mound rather than Claremore Mountain or Hill. Unlike the poems from 1916 and 1930, which create conventional scenes centered on settler experiences of a static landform, Riggs creates a highly experimental drama centered on distinctly Indigenous experiences of a landform that is mutable and agentive. Moreover, Riggs’s drama powerfully evokes not only local history stemming from the nineteenth century but also the temporally and physically distant histories of the burial mounds and other Indigenous earthworks constructed, maintained, and contemplated for thousands of years in the homelands of the Cherokee and other Southeastern nations. In this way, Riggs’s depiction engages Indigenous histories that are potentially sacred (constructed mounds as conduits between worlds) as well as explicitly profane (the natural landform as site of massacre). And third, related to the second observation, that a map of Rogers County reveals how Claremore Mound stands not as a toponymic isolate, as scholarship on The Cherokee Night can seem to suggest, but rather as one of the region’s several prominent landforms designated a “mound.” Riggs’s chosen site for staging multigenerational Indigenous return thus stands not as distinct from but in relation to other similarly designated locations, including Long Mound, Round Mound, Lipe Mound, Brush Mound, and Twin Mounds.11 Like the earthworks the ancestors of the Cherokee and other Southeastern peoples constructed as components within elaborate complexes and expansive cities, the naturally occurring Claremore Mound, located in what the Cherokee first encounter as the Indian Territory and later endure as the State of Oklahoma, can be understood as but one node within a larger system of relations.12 Read within these contexts, Weaver’s terms for the play’s setting become especially provocative: haunted, strange, ancient, burial. Moreover, the formula suggested by Weaver’s sequence—​that ancient burials necessarily feel haunted and strange—​itself feels inevitable.13 After all, haunted sites 18

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of Indian massacre and burial are foundational tropes within US settler literatures across genre and media. For the remainder of this brief chapter, I linger with Riggs at this site of haunted strangeness to imagine the ways in which his evocations of Claremore Mound resonate not only as ephemeral mnemonic for the dramatic action on stage, or as an agentive force guiding the characters. I imagine, as well, how Riggs’s repurposing of dominant representations of the landform evoke the presence of Indigenous earthworks. Constructed mounds can be understood as markers of highly structured Southeastern civilizations and as locations of concentrated political, social, and spiritual power. They can be understood as portals that enable contact—​and sometimes passage—​between upper, surface, and lower worlds (sky, earth, and water), between ancestors and descendants, between the living and the dead. In this way, constructed mounds can be understood as multimodal forms of Indigenous technology that enable multiple forms of Indigenous renewal. Earthworks can be understood, that is, as sites of creation, emergence, and arrival—​where the land itself was first created (as in the many localized versions of the story of the Earth Diver); where the people emerged from within the earth (as at the Nanih Waiya in what is now northeastern Mississippi, which Choctaw and other Southeastern peoples consider the Mother Mound); or where the people arrived after long migrations (again, as at the Mother Mound, but also at other sites).14 Although Riggs’s post-​Removal characters no longer dwell among the ancient earthen structures built by their own ancestors or by those of other Southeastern peoples, the presence of Claremore Mound, which looms over the play’s “dark,” “anguished,” and “traumatic” story action across all seven vignettes, is highly evocative of the ongoing presence of a point of access to the Indigenous past despite Removal, Allotment, blood quantum, Oklahoma statehood, and other changes wrought by US settler colonialism.

Picnics with the Dead “Sixty-​seven Arrowheads”—​the scene that opens Riggs’s nonchronological composite drama—​ has drawn attention for its staging of intergenerational encounter among Cherokee and for its extended commentary on “blood politics” and what descendants do and do not “owe” to the memory of their ancestors, including those ancestors involved in the infamous “battle” against the Osage that resulted in massacre and those ancestors who either enslaved or benefited from the enslavement of Africans and African Americans.15 Riggs sets this opening vignette at dusk in the summer of 1915, not “near” or “before” the landform, as some scholars suggest, but more precisely on “a flinty and shaly slope near the top of Claremore Mound.” A group of six mixed-​bloods, young women and men on an evening picnic, experience a surprise encounter with Old Man Talbert, a psychologically unstable elder, whom they discover digging for arrowheads buried in a “fissure in the cliff ” below a “gnarly cedar tree” (Riggs 120, 122). During their tense exchange, the elder admonishes the young people for having become “lost” and “dead” to their “birthright” as Cherokee, for their absorption into dominant blood and culture, and for their lack of connection to Indigenous traditions (125, 129). Cherokee scholar Kirby Brown argues that Talbert’s dialogue demonstrates that he “holds blood quantum as a romantic signifier of Cherokee cultural authenticity,” a “misguided” attitude, Brown contends, that audiences are ultimately meant to reject (Brown 131, 135). Most significant, after the initial admonitions, the elder recounts the “vision” he experienced at the mound a decade earlier, when he himself was admonished by the spirits of the Cherokee warriors responsible for the Osage massacre for being “sunk already to the white man’s way” (Riggs 128). Brown’s investigation of Riggs’s discourse on “blood politics” is compelling, but it does not fully account for the vignette’s details, a number of which respond to prior literary evocations of Claremore Mound—​or, if not to these works exclusively, to the pervasive local discourse these works epitomize. In 1916, the year before Riggs graduated from Claremore’s Eastern University Preparatory School, C.S. Wortman’s poem “Claremore Mound” was selected as the 19

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winning entry in a contest sponsored by the Claremore Commercial Club and published on the back cover of its promotional booklet Souvenir, Claremore, Oklahoma, Home of Radium Water. The foul-​smelling and futuristic-​sounding “radium water” had been discovered during Riggs’s childhood: in 1903, in the course of prospecting for oil and natural gas, drillers struck “artesian wells” far underground. Aided by Claremore’s location as a railroad junction, a tourist industry had quickly grown up around both drinking and bathing in the mineral water, which the Souvenir touted “as a panacea for Rheumatism, Malaria, Stomach Trouble, Eczema and all skin and Blood diseases and a number of other ailments too numerous to mention in this small book” (1).16 Beyond publication in the Souvenir, Wortman’s poem appears to have circulated among Claremore’s civic leaders and social elites.17 Divided evenly into four four-​line stanzas and following a regular rhyme scheme, the poem begins at the mound’s very beginning, “Far back in the chaotic ages of time,” when earth rose from the “molten abyss” and the landform “slowly came into view.” The second stanza then moves rapidly forward in time to “One bright sunny morn on that fair mountain side,” when “Two tribes met in deadly array /​The Cherokees brave and the Osages bold, /​‘To conquer or die’ in the fray.”Wortman’s highly condensed account tilts toward the perspective of the Cherokee. The third stanza’s opening lines relate: “A Victory complete crowned the Cherokee band, /​And slain was Chief Claremore, Osage.” The final lines again move forward in time, now to the present of 1916, nearly a century after the so-​called battle, when “Peace and plenty now reign in the valley below, /​Deeply buried lies old tribal rage.” The final stanza gestures toward the circumstance of the poem’s publication and its alignment with the goals of the Commercial Club. “Near this historical mound, Claremore city now stands,” Wortman’s prize-​winning lines assert, “To both tourists flock year by year.” Wortman closes her promotional poem with the settler’s conventional juxtaposition of the rapaciously commercial (those natural resources, like radium water, just waiting to be “discovered”) and the disarmingly affective (“Concealed in the mountain are treasures no doubt, /​But ’tis memories enshrined, which endear”). In August 1930, about the time Riggs began actively working on The Cherokee Night, Paul Thompson’s “Claremore Mound” was published in the prestigious literary journal Poetry.18 Riggs was on friendly terms with Poetry’s editor Harriet Monroe, who had published a number of Riggs’s own poems in the previous decade.19 It seems likely the playwright would have been aware of Thompson’s work. Composed of twenty lines divided into five four-​line stanzas,Thompson’s poem does not reach back to the landform’s geological beginnings but, similar to Wortman’s poem, it juxtaposes the historical “battle” between the Cherokees and the Osage with contemporary tourism and commercialized leisure. The contrast is established in the first stanza, along with the conceit of unknowing a history that is actually widely known and regularly evoked in dominant media.20 Although “Claremore Mound is a picnic place /​For people all around—​,” these seekers of simple pleasures “never think of the battle /​Fought on that sacred ground.” Unlike Wortman, Thompson develops this contrast across the entire poem. Stanzas four and five become repetitive and move toward clichés about the Indian dead and “Their Happy Hunting Ground,” but stanzas two and three offer amplifying details that align with those Riggs emphasizes in his play’s opening vignette: They eat there in that haunted spot, They throw tin cans about, And more than one has tried his luck At digging a skeleton out. Skeletons with the skull crushed in, And arrows through their breasts, Have been dug out of the burial place, Disturbed in their last rest. Thompson 25421 20

When a Mound Isn’t a Mound, But Is

Figure 1.1  Souvenir, Claremore, Oklahoma, Home of Radium Water, Claremore Commercial Club, circa 1916.

“Sixty-​seven Arrowheads” repurposes Thompson’s image of picnicking on the graves of the Osage dead and actively refutes Wortman’s celebratory assertion of “peace and plenty” for all now that the “old tribal rage” has been “deeply buried” at the site. Before the action begins on stage, Riggs’s extended directions stipulate that the characters have gathered specifically to eat “their picnic supper” (Riggs 112). The detail is then emphasized in the scene’s dialogue. When the moody Art Osburn 21

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returns to the group after exploring the large fissure in the mound, where he discovers Old Man Talbert digging in a grave, he asks “strangely, venomously,”“Ain’t you all finished eatin’ yit?,” frustrated that the others are not ready to pick up and leave (122). Picnicking is emphasized again after Talbert’s unsettling appearance, when the “half-​breed” Gar Breeden speaks directly to the old man, trying to establish their connection to each other as well as to their present location: “Why, I’ve come on picnics here at Claremore Mound ever since I was knee-​high” (124). More significantly, Riggs sets “Sixty-​seven Arrowheads” in 1915, the year immediately prior to the publication of the Souvenir. The booklet features photographs of commercial and agricultural accomplishments that took place in and around Claremore in 1915, including images of where Riggs attended school. Its back cover, however, presents a juxtaposition that is compelling both visually and discursively: Wortman’s prize-​winning poem set beneath a composed photograph of Claremore Mound (see Figure 1.1). In the tinted photograph, two Plains-​style teepees with protruding lodge poles stand before the landform’s distinctive summit. Arrayed among the unadorned, white canvas teepees are seven American Indian men, one on horseback, all dressed in classic Plains-​style attire of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including several feathered headdresses. No caption identifies the men, who may or may not have been “local” to northeastern Oklahoma, and no rationale justifies the selection of this photograph over another, although its imagery appears to align with Wortman’s evocation of a stereotypical “tribal rage” from the past.22 If such caricatured animosity were in fact “deeply buried” at the site by 1915, Riggs’s vignette enacts its disinterment in the action of Talbert’s grave digging for the “concealed treasure” of flint arrowheads and in the recounting of the elder’s vision of Cherokee ancestors “painted for war,” “feathers scrapin’ together,” “a row of Osage scalps” adorning each ancestor’s “belt” (Riggs 126). Riggs’s atmospheric opening can be read, as well, as revising Wortman’s account of how Claremore Mound “slowly came into view” during the “chaotic ages of time.” The stage directions begin “From a place of darkness,” but rather than “molten” earth that comes into “the light of the day,” it is “a gigantic teepee” that “thrusts itself up into the light—​white and glistening,” a repurposing of the white canvas teepees from the back cover of the Souvenir (Riggs 112). Wortman foregrounds the earth’s “natural” processes and relegates Indian presence to a brief historical period—​juxtaposing the transience of “one bright sunny morn” with the enduring stereotype of an inherent “tribal rage”—​which the Souvenir epitomizes in its imagery of teepees and Plains Indian men wearing “war” bonnets. The tinted photograph’s view of the summit, similar to views featured in commercial postcards and other touristic images of Claremore Mound from the period, highlights rows of white boulders exposed in the grass, evocative of rows of stark gravestones.23 Riggs repurposes this dominant literary and visual imagery in his opening vignette by having his stereotypical Plains Indian teepee appear but briefly under the spotlight and then literally transform into Claremore Mound. Before the action begins on stage, Riggs’s directions indicate that the “teepee vanishes” and “the land, a flinty and shaly slope near the top of Claremore Mound, appears” (112).24 Riggs describes the briefly visible “gigantic teepee,” however, not as unadorned but as covered in “pictographs” that tell “the story of a man’s life” (112). Some scholars of the play, attempting to make sense of the incongruous teepee and its evocative “story” images, argue that the dwelling represents “a nomadic home” and therefore indexes forced Removal and the Trail of Tears.25 It appears more likely, though, that Riggs repurposes the kind of emblematic juxtaposition favored by the dominant culture of his era—​still favored in our own—​as epitomized on the back cover of the Souvenir. His stage directions note: “The shining buffalo skin sides, once stretched and taut ... lie slack on the poles as if the inner structure had withdrawn a little, had crept inward toward the center, inching along the earth” (112, emphasis added). Rather than indexing Removal, Riggs exposes the “inner structure” through which Indians are permitted to enter dominant discourses. He evokes and then quickly dispenses with highly stylized images and enigmatic pictographs of prehistoric scenes, clearing the way for his characters to confront the complex political and social realities imposed by US settler modernity. 22

When a Mound Isn’t a Mound, But Is

The Feel of Flint Riggs’s vignette of an evening picnic at Claremore Mound is most striking in its repurposing of Thompson’s graphic details of “digging a skeleton out” and finding “arrows through their breast.” Scholars typically focus attention on Talbert’s vision of Cherokee warriors from the past, which concludes with the poetic admonition from the “biggest” warrior that because the younger generations have forgotten the culture and exploits of their ancestors, “Night—​night—​has come to our people” (Riggs 126–​8). At the end of his account, which is also the climax of his confrontation with the group of younger mixed-​bloods,Talbert reveals exactly what he has been digging out of the ground: “(Madly, drawing something out of his pocket and holding it up.) ... Arrowheads! Two more! That makes sixty-​seven I got! Sixty-​seven arrowheads!” (128).26 Why is Talbert frantically collecting these arrowheads? He tells the young people: “The sperrits is pleased with me now, proud of me! Nobody cain’t stop me now! I’ll go on and on till I drop, I’ll dig up the whole mountain, I’ll find thousands and thousands! I’ll give ’em to all the Cherokees. When they touch ’em, they’ll remember. The feel of flint in their hands! Take ’em, you! Take ’em!” (128–​9). It is tempting to link Talbert’s revelation of flint arrowheads to the final “pictograph” painted on the giant teepee at the scene’s opening: “across a deep chasm a warrior leaps, and in his hands are curious fetishes carved from granite” (Riggs 112).27 Riggs’s details, however, emphasize careful contrast rather than simple alignment—​“curious fetishes” rather than “arrowheads,”“carved from granite” rather than “the feel of flint.” In the anthropological literature, what are designated “fetishes” can take the form of arrowheads but often depict emblematic animals or other cultural icons; most importantly, their uses are typically ceremonial rather than practical. And unlike fetishes fashioned from granite or other workable materials, flint arrowheads are not “carved,” as with a chisel, but chipped or knapped with a hammerstone or other rock. In his precise descriptions, Riggs does not conflate or align but rather distinguishes the granite fetishes represented in the pictograph from the flint arrowheads dug from the site of Osage massacre. Moreover, Talbert’s revelation subtly invokes the presence of Chief Claremore, whose Osage name, often rendered Gra-​mo’n, translates into English as Arrow Going Home.28 In the opening vignette set on a high slope of Claremore Mound, both stage directions and character dialogue emphasize how hard “flint” emerges from fragile, stratified “shale.” These details suggest Riggs’s familiarity with local geology, but also that the playwright may have read the work of contemporary experts on constructed mounds prior to his play’s premiere in 1932, since this literature strongly associates the availability of flint for making tools and weapons with the building of earthworks.Among the experts Riggs could have read is Henry Shetrone, director of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society between 1928 and 1947. In 1930, Shetrone published his massive, 508-​page study The Mound-​Builders to broad acclaim. The archaeologist devotes a section of c­ hapter 4, “Agriculture, Commerce, and Industry,” to “The Quarrying of Flint and Other Materials,” noting that “A leading industry of Mound-​builders and other prehistoric peoples was the quarrying and working of flint” (Shetrone 66). Shetrone repeatedly deploys the suggestive adjective flinty, of which Riggs is similarly fond in his play. Moreover, the archaeologist offers an origin story for the use of flint in the manufacture of weapons and tools that appears to align with the details of Riggs’s opening vignette: It is assumed that man’s first use of a tool—​in fact, the first mechanical act of man—​was to pick up a convenient water-​worn stone for use as a weapon or for pounding or breaking something. Sooner or later some aborigine made such use of a stone that happened to be of a flinty nature and, accidentally breaking it, discovered that the broken fragments were possessed of sharp cutting edges. Shetrone 66 In “Sixty-​seven Arrowheads,” when the picnickers hear strange noises issuing from the primal “fissure” cut like a “corridor” into the “flinty slope” of Claremore Mound, the moody Art Osburn 23

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leaves the others to investigate, carrying a flashlight and a large rock he lifts from the ground. The stage directions read: “He starts out, stops, picks up a rock.” Art then says: “I’ll ram this rock down his th’oat” (Riggs 119). Similar to Shetrone’s “scientific” just-​so story, Riggs’s scene transforms available “flinty rock” first into a crude weapon, then into the highly crafted tool of “arrowheads,” seemingly by “accident.” And although it is likely only a coincidence, it is worth noting the title of another section in Shetrone’s chapter: “The Art of Flint-​Chipping” (Shetrone 73, emphasis added). Brandishing his crude weapon, it is Art who discovers and confronts Old Man Talbert on behalf of the group and who threatens the elder. The stage directions read: “He lifts the rock threateningly” (Riggs 124). And it is Art who articulates the accusation: “(Brutally, rapidly.) Whut was you diggin’ in there fer, you grave robber? Whut’d you expect to find but some rotten buckskin and the skull of a dead man! Answer me that, you loony old Indian, you half-​witted old ghoul!” (125). Later in the encounter, when Talbert offers the arrowheads he has dug out of the fissure to the six young people, it is Art who “steps forward menacingly,” still brandishing the rock as a weapon (129). Riggs’s version of Shetrone’s account takes the story a step further, though, by effecting a second transformation. After the crude “rock” is transformed into the sophisticated tool of “arrowheads,” it is further transformed into the affective and spiritual force of “the feel of flint.” Although a number of scholars grapple with the symbolism of Talbert’s gesture, often likening the arrowheads to talismanic fetishes, none engages the gender dynamics of Riggs’s carefully orchestrated scene of intergenerational encounter. The details of Talbert’s vision of Cherokee warriors, as well as the elder’s foregrounded interactions with the young men Art and Gar, have diverted attention from the presence of the three young women, and particularly from Riggs’s suggestion that the preferred recipient of Talbert’s offered gift is the troubled young woman, Bee, whom Talbert singles out as the only member of the group he doesn’t recognize (125). A half-​sibling to the “half-​breed” Gar, Bee is the only woman in the group who steps “forward” to engage Talbert during the climactic encounter. With “danger” in her voice, she confronts the elder’s nostalgia for blood purity and past martial glory with the abjection of her current gendered condition, telling him, “I’m a whore, old man! ... Part Cherokee, too!” then immediately breaks down. Completing the scene’s multiple transformations of flint, Riggs’s stage directions indicate not that Bee falls to the ground, but rather that she “drops to a rock” (129). Enthralled by his misguided vision, Talbert is unable to comprehend the significance of either Bee’s flinty words or her equally flinty gesture.

Sterile Fissure Calling attention to the gender dynamics of this failed intergenerational exchange brings us back to Claremore Mound’s potential to function not only as a mnemonic for past trauma but also as a constructed earthwork. One indication of that potential is evident in Riggs’s opening stage directions. The playwright situates the revealed landform as a conduit between upper and lower worlds, complete with an explicit axis mundi, a “world axis” or world tree, a central connecting pole or hollow tube.29 After the emblematic teepee vanishes and the local landform appears, Riggs juxtaposes “a fissure like a trench,” suggesting access to the lower world, with the “many stars [that] have come out in the darkening sky,” suggesting the watchful presence of the upper world. Stretching between these representations is the “gnarled cedar tree” that “clings to the edge” of the slope—​a version of the axis mundi. “From its high stance” this world tree “looks two ways—​forward down the flinty slope, and backward down another cliff and the unseen riverbed hundreds of feet below,” reinforcing the presence of the “unseen” lower world that is associated with water and creativity, but also drawing a distinction between the sterility of the “flinty slope” and the fertility of the “riverbed” (Riggs 112). Another sign of the landform’s ability to evoke a constructed earthwork is its function as a site of Indigenous return. But although Riggs emphasizes some version of return across all seven vignettes of The Cherokee Night, he does not figure the mound he constructs as productive. Claremore Mound 24

When a Mound Isn’t a Mound, But Is

is fissured, providing a potential entrance to the watery lower world or portal to the past, but the “flinty” landform repeatedly fails to serve as a conduit for significant passage, renewal or, perhaps especially, rebirth. Bee’s gendered assertion and actions at the end of the opening vignette are but one indication of this failure: both literally and figuratively, the young mixed-​blood asserts a misuse of her reproductive power. In these details Riggs appears to invoke the biblical Parable of the Sower. Rather than “seeds” representing the Christian “Word,”Talbert attempts to sow his dug-​up arrowheads upon Art’s menacing violence and Bee’s degraded sexuality, rocky and barren “soils” where there will be little chance of yielding the “memory” of the “pure” Cherokee past that Talbert so desperately longs to revive in the young mixed-​bloods.30 The repeated failure of the landform to serve as an effective conduit is signaled in Riggs’s opening vignette when Talbert fails to exchange and transform flint, and thus fails to create community, with his younger relations. We can contrast Riggs’s figuring of the fissured Claremore Mound as predominantly male-​focused and violently unproductive in The Cherokee Night with how Choctaw writer LeAnne Howe figures the Nanih Waiya as predominantly female-​focused and as multiply productive in Shell Shaker, her novel published nearly seven decades later in 2001. Similar to Riggs’s modernist play, Howe’s contemporary novel is anchored in emblematic landscape but moves back-​and-​forth across time. Also similar to Riggs’s play, Howe’s novel centers an elder’s vision of the community’s significant past. At a critical juncture in the plot, it is a female Choctaw elder, positioned not on a historic battlefield but in the domestic space of a family kitchen, who experiences and then recounts the prophetic vision. Moreover, the ancestral scene she witnesses is not one of violent conflict but rather of generative cooperation.31 Indeed, the female elder witnesses the construction of the Nanih Waiya, the large earthen platform the Choctaw and other Southeastern peoples consider the Mother Mound, as a collaboration among ancestors, descendants, and the Earth herself. Multiple generations from the distant past to the present “open Mother Earth’s beautiful body”; in response, “Mother Earth turns herself inside out and a gigantic platform mound emerges out of the ground” (Howe 159). Employing a wide range of tools and technologies, the multigenerational human community and the active Earth work together to produce a “sacred ovulation,” a “gift” to build the present and sustain the future—​ the Nanih Waiya (159). But the vision is only one component of Howe’s remarkable scene. When the elder returns to the kitchen in southeastern Oklahoma, generative wet mud from the Mother Mound in Mississippi literally bubbles up from the bowl of bread dough she had been kneading. The transubstantiation of dough into mud is a sign from the ancestors that the time has come for the elder and her younger relations to restore the unity of their Indigenous nation. And unlike in Riggs’s play, where Talbert’s vision of the Cherokee past is contained within the opening vignette, in Howe’s novel the elder’s vision and the subsequent appearance of bubbling mud propels action across the chapters that follow, including the novel’s conclusion, in which the Choctaw community in Oklahoma reunites with their relations in Mississippi, restoring their colonially severed Indigenous nation and provoking previously unimagined futures. In The Cherokee Night, Riggs stages Claremore Mound as an agentive formation that is not actually a constructed mound but simultaneously is—​or longs to be. In the 1930s, in the ongoing aftermath of Removal, Allotment, and the reification of an imposed system of blood quantum, it appears Riggs could not yet imagine a full transposition of this form of Indigenous power from the Southeast to Oklahoma. Seven decades later, Howe transforms Riggs’s flinty, sterile fissure into a generative bread bowl, a microcosm of the Choctaw nation and a conduit both to the significant Indigenous past and to a future of renewed Indigenous sustenance. Part of Howe’s intervention is a subtle but explicit interruption of the Dawes Rolls, forcibly recorded during the era of Riggs’s childhood, which reduced Indigenous identities to imposed fractions and which worked to embed post-​Removal Indigenous sovereignties even more fully within settler-​colonial systems. Prior to her vision, Howe’s female elder kneads dough with the intention of forming not a loaf of bread but rather a number of rolls. But she is unable to complete this task. Mud bubbling from the Nanih Waiya, the Mother Mound, asserts its 25

Chadwick Allen

active and productive presence, not only filling but overfilling the microcosm of the elder’s suddenly fertile bowl.

Notes 1 Riggs began writing The Cherokee Night by 1930; it was first published in 1936. In That the People Might Live, Weaver describes Claremore Mound as “a character that looms broodingly over the drama enacted before it” (101). Other scholars have followed Weaver’s lead; see Womack (288), Justice (106), and Brown (129). 2 Riggs’s nonlinear chronology runs Scene 1: 1915; Scene 2: 1927; Scene 3: 1931; Scene 4: 1906; Scene 5: 1913; Scene 6: 1919; Scene 7: 1895. 3 Witham notes that in the original production at the Hedgerow theater in New York, a “cyclorama” was used “to project and establish the presence of the Claremore Mound hovering over each of the individual scenes” (84). 4 See Howe and Wilson. 5 I am following Brown’s overview of the conflict between the Cherokee and the Osage (see especially 129, 133), as well as non-​Native historian Jon May’s account in The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. The Battle of Claremore Mound is also known as the Battle of Strawberry Moon. 6 Claremore’s name, sometimes rendered Claremont or Clermont, is derived through the French from the Osage Gra-​mo’n, typically translated into English as Arrow Going Home. 7 Although I am primarily following Weaver, Justice, and Brown here, I am also drawing on the work of Womack, Stanlake, Darby, and Driskill. 8 See, for example, Brown 117–​67. 9 Rogers County is named for Clement Rogers, father of the famous Cherokee cowboy, humorist, stage and film actor, vaudeville performer, and newspaper columnist Will Rogers (1879–​1935). 10 Although Wortman’s and Thompson’s poems are the most obviously “literary” local representations of Claremore Mound from the period, they are in conversation with more mundane representations, such as those that regularly circulated in local newspapers during the years of Riggs’s childhood and young adulthood, including The Claremore Messenger (see, for instance, “Claremore Mound” from 1908 and “Noted Scientist” from 1913), The Claremore Progress and Rogers County Democrat, and The Rogers County Leader. 11 One of the early names for the town of Claremore was Clermont’s Mounds. 12 Similar to constructed earthworks, Claremore Mound is sited near water, since it is located near the south bank of the Verdigris River. 13 See also Brown 129. 14 Here I paraphrase observations and condense arguments I make in detail in Earthworks Rising: Mound Building in Native Literature and Arts. I also allude to contemporary accounts of Cherokee migration as recorded by Cherokee scholar Christopher Teuton in Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars’ Club. 15 Brown 135. 16 The booklet’s account also states: “Nature’s remedy prepared in her own laboratory centuries ago for our use, but until recently undiscovered” (1). For a more objective overview of the discovery, see Thomas. 17 I have been unable to locate detailed biographical information for Wortman. On 16 November 1916, however, The Claremore Progress reported a live performance of Wortman’s prize-​winning poem by “Miss Mendenhall” at a meeting of the local Quest Club, of which “Mrs. Wortman”—​“our club poet”—​was also a member (“Quest Club”). 18 Under the heading “Oklahoma Poems,” Thompson’s “Claremore Mound” was published alongside a companion poem titled “The Silver Stallion” (255). Thompson published a number of poems in the 1930s and is often listed among “Oklahoma poets” from this period (see, for example, the list included in Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State [92]). The October 1930 issue of Southwest Review, which published Thompson’s poem “Horse Thief,” states: “Paul Thompson lives at Claremore, Oklahoma” (“In This Issue,” ii). 19 Monroe published poems by Riggs in 1925 and 1928, and then again in the early 1940s. 20 Claremore and Rogers County newspapers published from the 1890s through the 1920s, available online through gateway.okhistory.org, demonstrate that the “battle” of Claremore Mound was regularly evoked in local discourses. 21 The fourth and fifth stanzas read: “’Twas the Indians’ last battle, /​’Twas the warriors’ last ride; /​They all were buried on Claremore Mound, /​They were buried side by side. //​Better they rest in their last sleep, /​Their Happy Hunting Ground—​/​They died in a great battle, /​So let their sleep be sound” (254). 22 The seven men in the photograph can be aligned with the seven scenes of the play and the seven characters in the opening vignette. The front cover of the Souvenir features a central image of a gushing outdoor fountain of “radium water” with surrounding captioned images of an Oil Derrick, Silo, City Hall, Eastern University Preparatory School, and two additional uncaptioned outdoor scenes.

26

When a Mound Isn’t a Mound, But Is 23 In 1915 this imagery may have evoked both the historic massacre and the mounting graves of World War I. 24 Riggs’s details of the “flinty and shaly slope” may refer to another popular touristic view, captured in an undated one-​cent postcard titled “Summit of Claremore Mound, Six Miles North West of Claremore, Okla.” and captioned “Summit of Claremore Mound showing the entrance to a cave or secret hiding place used by the Indians. The Battle of Claremore Mound, 1818 [sic], between the Cherokees and Osages was fought at the foot of this Mound and Claremont, the romantic Chief of the Osages and good friend of the white people was killed. Claremore was named in his honor.” 25 See, for instance, Stanlake (47) and Darby (13). 26 It is interesting to note that Riggs originally titled the vignette sixty-​three rather than sixty-​seven arrowheads (see Braunlich 80). The shift moves from a composite number (63 factors as 21 x 3, 7 x 9, or 7 x 3 x 3) to a prime number (67 is the 19th prime), potentially signaling an emphasis on “primality” in the scene’s examination of intergenerational Cherokee identity. 27 See, for instance, Stanlake (48). 28 See Thomas and May. 29 The concept of the axis mundi is often associated with the generative scholarship of the Romanian historian of religion and celebrated University of Chicago professor Mircea Eliade (1907–​86). See, for example, The Sacred and The Profane. 30 The Parable of the Sower is related in Matthew 13:1–​23, Mark 4:1–​20, and Luke 8:4–​15. 31 Space does not allow a full discussion, but it is important to note the play’s complex discourse on female identity and agency across the seven vignettes.

References Allen, Chadwick. Earthworks Rising: Mound Building in Native Literature and Arts. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2022. Braunlich, Phyllis Cole. Haunted by Home:The Life and Letters of Lynn Riggs. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1988. Brown, Kirby. Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907–​1970. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2018. “Claremore Mound.” The Claremore Messenger 13.6 (7 February 1908): 1. Online. Gateway.okhistory.org. Darby, Jaye T. “Broadway (Un)Bound: Lynn Riggs’s The Cherokee Night.” Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance 4.1 (Spring 2007): 7–​23. Driskill, Qwo-​Li. “Ha’nts: The Booger Dance Rhetorics of Lynn Riggs’s The Cherokee Night.” American Indian Performing Arts: Critical Directions. Ed. Hanay Geiogamah and Jaye T. Darby. Los Angeles: UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2010. 179–​96. Eliade, Mircea. 1957. The Sacred and The Profane:The Nature of Religion. New York: Harcourt, 1959. Howe, LeAnne. Shell Shaker. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2001. Howe, LeAnne, and Jim Wilson. “Life in a 21st Century Mound City.” The World of Indigenous North America. Ed. Robert Warrior. New York: Routledge, 2015. 3–​26. “In This Issue.” Southwest Review, vol. 16, no 1 (October 1930): ii. Justice, Daniel Heath. Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2006. May, Jon D.“Claremore Mound, Battle of.” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Online. www.okhist​ory.org/​publi​cati​ons/​enc/​entry.php?entry=​CL003. “Noted Scientist To Penetrate Historic Spot for Aged Records.” The Claremore Messenger, vol. 18, no. 19 (11 April 1913): 1. Online. Gateway.okhistory.org. Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State. Writers’ Program of the Works Progress Administration in the State of Oklahoma. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1941. “Quest Club.” Claremore Progress and Rogers County Democrat 24.42 (16 November 1916): 5. Online. Gateway. okhistory.org. Riggs, Lynn. The Cherokee Night and Other Plays. Ed. Jace Weaver. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2003. Shetrone, Henry Clyde.The Mound-​Builders:A Reconstruction of the Life of a Prehistoric American Race, through Exploration and Interpretation of their Earth Mounds, their Burials, and their Cultural Remains. New York: Appleton, 1930. Stanlake, Christy. Native American Drama: A Critical Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Teuton, Christopher B. Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars’ Club. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2012. Thomas, Sarah C. “Rogers County.” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society, 2009. Online. www.okhist​ory.org/​publi​cati​ons/​enc/​entry.php?entry=​RO019. Thompson, Paul. “Claremore Mound.” Poetry, vol. 36, no. 5 (August 1930): 254. Weaver, Jace. “Introduction.” In Riggs, The Cherokee Night and Other Plays. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2003. 107-​08.

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Chadwick Allen ———​. That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. Witham, Barry B. “The Cherokee Night: Riggs and the Power of Place.” A Sustainable Theatre: Jasper Deeter at Hedgerow. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 73–​86. Womack, Craig S. Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1999. Wortman, C.S. “Claremore Mound.” Souvenir, Claremore, Oklahoma, Home of Radium Water (11 May 1916). Claremore, Oklahoma: Claremore Commercial Club, n. d. Online: exploreclaremorehistory.wordpress.com, 23 September 2016.

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2 MODERNIST ACTIVITIES AND NATIVE ACTS IN AND AROUND NORTHERN NEW MEXICO Geneva M. Gano

Philip J. Deloria (Dakota) has observed that Indians “often simply vanish from the historical narrative” of the early twentieth-​century US (Deloria 225).This is true even in the Southwest, where Indigenous presence substantially shaped the local timeline and orientation of political and technological modernity and critically defined the regional articulation of social and aesthetic modernisms. The early twentieth-​century “Indian Craze,” a considerably durable, international trend of white fascination with Indigenous others, undoubtedly contributed to the modernist interest in the Southwest’s Native peoples (Hutchinson); thanks to mass advertising campaigns by the rapidly developing Southwestern tourism and real estate industry, many moderns thought of Northern New Mexico’s Puebloan peoples as the nation’s quintessential “primitives” (Jacobs, Engendered 18). Many of these moderns admired the Puebloans’ resilient social, religious, and political systems, which to them seemed impervious to the massive philosophical, economic, social, and technological changes of modernity. They were also impressed by the Puebloans’ continued occupation of their ancestral homelands, which they viewed as evidence of an unshakable dedication to tradition. These crazed moderns’ enthusiasm for the Southwest’s Native peoples prompted a burst of ethnographic and archeological interest in Puebloan lifeways, extensive collections of their arts and crafts, and a booming ethnic tourism industry centered in and around Santa Fe (Rodríguez, “Art, Tourism” 77). By 1920, white modernist identity was so closely connected to an attraction to Native American arts and culture—​especially that of the Puebloans—​that the painter Marsden Hartley, who was one of the first of many important modernist movers and shakers to visit and work in Northern New Mexico between World War I and World War II, declared that a passion for Indians served as “a sign of modernism in us” (Hartley, “Red Man Ceremonials” 13). Hartley’s “us,” the Anglo-​European modernists whose primitivist interest in Indigenous peoples is well-​known within modernist studies, form this chapter’s background. At its center are the frequently glossed over—​indeed, often “vanished”—​Native people who responded to and participated vitally in the social, political, economic, and aesthetic practices characteristic of modernism as it appeared in and around Northern New Mexico. This chapter explores how Indigenous people’s modern and modernist activities—​which ranged from making and selling art that circulated across wide-​flung modernist networks to brokering strategic property and land transactions for white settler modernists including Mabel Dodge Sterne, D.H. Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, and others—​substantially shaped

DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-4

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Geneva M. Gano

the influential strain of modernism that developed in the US Southwest. This modernism was not limited to the aesthetic and the social but was crucially imbricated with the political and economic struggle faced by modern Native peoples in the US Southwest to maintain tribal sovereignty and restore longstanding tribal land claims that were increasingly threatened by rapidly shifting federal, state, and local government policies. This chapter argues that the modernist activities detailed here—​ including but not limited to those involving art and aesthetics—​functioned as what Joanne Barker has described as strategic “Native acts”: by deploying dominant Anglo-​American notions of “authentic” Indianness, these modern Natives helped secure their communities’ legal rights to land and sovereignty at a crucial historical moment. The three individuals whose lives are at the center of this chapter, Maria Martínez (San Ildefonso Pueblo), Tony Luján (Taos Pueblo), and Lynn Riggs (Cherokee), represent a diversity among Indigenous people in the US Southwest whose experiences of modernity and engagements with modernism differed considerably from one another due to their ages, genders, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, and tribal affiliations. All three worked and lived in Northern New Mexico during the period that coincided with the emergence and dominance of an internationalized, European-​dominated modernism. These years also spanned what Deloria has described as one of the “lowest of historical low points” for Native peoples in US history: the period between the implementation of the General Allotment Act of 1887, which broke up tribal communities and reservation landholdings by granting land parcels to individuals, and the Indian New Deal of 1934, which attempted to reverse those policies (Deloria 225). In New Mexico, these turbulent years coincided with the uneven and drawn-​out transition to statehood in 1912, a process that resulted in the substantial, rapid loss—​primarily to Anglo settlers and their federal and state governments—​of lands long held by Indigenous people. Martínez, Luján, and Riggs not only lived through all of these changes, they were vitally involved in the early twentieth-​century development of Northern New Mexico’s modernist little art communities in and around Santa Fe and Taos (Gano). As such, they may be thought of as important “culture brokers” who, as Margaret Szasz has argued, served as “go-​betweens” or “intermediaries” who bridged “fragile” and clearly demarcated Native and white “worlds” (Szasz ix). However, as this chapter shows, Martínez, Luján, and Riggs moved with considerable fluidity through and actively participated within the multiple and overlapping communities to which they belonged: a much more dynamic and complicated lived experience of modernity than Szasz’s influential conceptualization appears to admit. Moreover, their modernist activities enabled them not only to achieve individual successes but to deliberately and tangibly contribute to the survivance of their tribal communities as they were under the intense pressures of modern settler colonialism.

Modernization and Indigeneity in Northern New Mexico Indigenous modernisms in Northern New Mexico were fundamentally conditioned by substantial and imminent threats to Native land claims and social and political sovereignty.Within settler-​colonial contexts, threats to Native-​held lands and tribal sovereignty comprise perennial issues of struggle and concern for Indigenous peoples (Harris; Jacobs,“Habit”; Rifkin;Wolfe). In the Southwest, as in the US more broadly, Native land claims were assaulted by a battery of assimilation policies. These included the establishment of a military-​style education system for Native children, aggressive missionary campaigns to Christianize Indians, and the attempted dissolution of Native political and social communities through the implementation of the Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887 (Adams; Hoxie; Jacobs, Engendered). In early twentieth-​century Northern New Mexico, these struggles were intensified by a radical reshuffling of the region’s social, legal, and economic systems after the US–Mexico War (1845–​8). The protracted incorporation of this territory into the US spanned 64 years from the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-​Hidalgo until statehood in 1912. Throughout this period and for decades beyond—​indeed, ongoing today—​land and sovereignty remained urgent sites of destabilization and struggle for the region’s Indigenous peoples. 30

Modernist Activities & Native Acts in New Mexico

New Mexican statehood marked the culmination of political and economic dominance by Anglo-​ Americans in what had been, throughout the preceding century, a radically unstable region. Under Spanish, then Mexican, then US territorial rule, the peoples of the Rio Grande Pueblos had largely maintained their territorial claims and cultural and political sovereignty. Unlike the Southwest’s Apache and Navajo peoples, the region’s Puebloan peoples were formally characterized as “civilized” Indians who had been guaranteed certain legal protections under the Treaty of Guadalupe–​Hidalgo. As such, they were alternately denied tribal protections by the federal Office of Indian Affairs and also denied full US citizenship rights as individuals. As allotment was implemented in the territory at the end of the nineteenth century, those Pueblos that had heretofore successfully resisted settler encroachment became much more vulnerable to outside speculation (Baca; Ebright and Hendricks). Allotment was ended for Puebloans in 1913, but by then sizable portions of Native lands had been sold off against tribal wishes and without tribal permission (Ebright and Hendricks). After statehood, one of the most pressing priorities facing Puebloans involved clawing back these lands by way of lawsuits, private purchases, and coordinated public relations campaigns aimed at the court of popular opinion. These historical and political dynamics contributed significantly to the Southwest’s rapid modernization. In Northern New Mexico, modernity meant massive and readily apparent changes across many realms. In the decades preceding the First World War, the railroad came to Santa Fe and Albuquerque; linguists, anthropologists, and archaeologists had identified the region as a key excavation site; modern warfare and social upheavals were taking place across the border during the Mexican Revolution; tourism was well on its way to becoming the state’s primary industry; and artists were putting the region on the international map. Northern New Mexico’s first resident Anglo-​American artists settled there before the turn of the century and by the mid-​teens were sending group exhibitions of artwork to New York City, Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Shanghai, and Sydney (Gano 176). Most of the art produced in this early period worked the realist “Western” line that prominently featured cowboys and Indians; this art was used to widely promote the region’s rail-​ based tourism market (Weigle and Babcock). The automobile expanded this market exponentially, making previously less-​accessible real estate properties located at and near the Rio Grande Pueblos much more attractive to the wealthy Anglo-​American newcomers. In response, local land values skyrocketed. This intensified pressure on the Puebloans’ longstanding political and territorial rights, both as individuals and as tribal peoples. These rights were repeatedly contested and redefined in local, state, and federal courts. Martínez and Luján came to maturity just as the little art colonies in Santa Fe and Taos developed. Not only did they witness these changes firsthand, they successfully participated in and actively shaped them. Riggs, part of a younger generation, was drawn to the area by its reputation as a hotbed of modernist activity. As the following pages reveal, Martínez, Luján, and Riggs manipulated and modernized traditional artistic forms, strategically presented themselves as purveyors of either tradition or innovation or both, adeptly navigated a complex, modern marketplace, and capitalized on the technological and social opportunities afforded by the region’s modern tourism and real estate industry. In so doing, they engaged the key technologies and ideals of modernity as they made the innovative social and aesthetic practices of modernism serve themselves personally and their people collectively.

Maria Montoya Martínez (1887–​1980) Arguably the most famous Native American artist of the twentieth century, potter Maria Montoya Martínez was photographed, interviewed, researched, and celebrated across the world during her lifetime (Babcock; Marriott; Spivey). Her famous black-​on-​black pottery received numerous prizes, has been collected by numerous museums, and has brought fantastic prices at auction (Sando, 177–​85). 31

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Her reputation as a skilled craftsperson whose work was grounded in but not determined by her people’s long-​established arts practices—​recognizable to moderns as a compelling marriage of tradition and individual talent—​was already beginning to circulate internationally by the end of the First World War. By the end of the Second World War, she was well-​known not only within her home pueblo of San Ildefonso but across the modern world-​system. Her complex responses to modernity as it appeared in early twentieth-​century Northern New Mexico are evident not only in her market-​ minded innovations to traditional pottery-​making techniques and processes but in her particularly modern business savvy, which has been widely credited with opening up an extremely lucrative industry for Indians when few other enterprises offered similar economic opportunities. In addition, her willingness to utilize modern transportation and media to promote her personal brand—​unusual for Puebloan women, who were supposed to live a retiring, domestic life—​may be considered a particularly modern response to the opportunities available to her. These modernist activities were also historically, geographically, and culturally specific tools that Martínez deployed as she and other Puebloans from San Ildefonso attempted to secure land and sovereignty in early twentieth-​century New Mexico. Maria Montoya was born in 1887 to formally educated, progressive parents at San Ildefonso Pueblo, a small village located about 20 miles northwest of Santa Fe. In 1901, Maria and her younger sister were selected by the pueblo’s leaders to attend St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe to advance their education, which had begun at the San Ildefonso day school (Marriott 81, 84). In cosmopolitan, turn-​of-​the-​century Santa Fe, Maria was exposed at an early age to diverse ideas and people, which perhaps suggested new possibilities for her own life. As Maria recalled in 1948, when she left boarding school at age 15 she was uninterested in taking on the traditional roles of wife and mother, instead intending to become a career woman, a schoolteacher.Within San Ildefonso, teaching was an occupation that “was all right for white people” but unprecedented, even “disgust[ing]” for Indian women (Marriott 97). Though Maria Montoya might not have been a typical (white) “New Woman” of the new century, her ambition and eventual career trajectory aligned with those of New Women of Color, including Native women Mourning Dove (Okanogan and Arrow Lakes), Ella Deloria (Yankton Dakota), Ruth Muskrat Bronson (Cherokee), and Angel De Cora (Winnebago) (Brown; Finn; Honey; Hutchinson). When she married Julián Martínez in 1904, Maria gave up her plans to become a teacher, but she did not settle quietly into a traditional, pueblo-​based life. On their wedding night, the unconventional couple took the train to St. Louis, where they were paid to perform traditional dances as part of the “Old Indian” exhibit of Native American life at the 1904 World’s Fair; Maria also demonstrated her pueblo’s pottery making, which she had learned from female relatives as a girl. The pottery booth was situated next to that of Apache leader Geronimo, who made money signing his name on promotional postcards bearing his image (Moses 159); his fame and substantial earnings may have offered a suggestion to Martínez, who acknowledged that she had wanted to “have a trading post of [her] own and sell things all the time” since girlhood (Marriott 19). As Martínez practiced it, pottery quickly became much more than a domestic craft at which she was especially skilled. It served as an entrée to her engagement with the modern world-​system as a businesswoman, a role that afforded her substantial mobility, economic independence, social and political power in and beyond her pueblo, and international renown. Over the coming decades, Martínez capitalized on the “singular alliance” that developed between San Ildefonso Pueblo and the two men who founded Santa Fe’s Museum of New Mexico and Laboratory of Anthropology, Director Edgar Lee Hewett and Curator Kenneth Chapman (Bernstein). In this time, Maria’s pottery as well as paintings by Crescencio Martínez, Awa Tsireh, and Tonita Peña, all from San Ildefonso, physically circulated in modern arts markets and galleries in the US and internationally; they also received individual attention in a wide variety of modern media. This alliance began blooming when cousins Crescencio and Julián Martínez, along with other young men from the pueblo, were recruited by Hewett to help excavate ancient sites at nearby Pajarito Plateau 32

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between 1907 and 1909.While her husband labored on the dig, Martínez began attempting to reproduce old forms of pottery based on shards found at the site. Hewett and others praised her work and encouraged it through purchases. Maria thought of this decorative pottery as “the new old kind,” “the kind white people want,” “the pretty kind that will sell” (Marriott 167, 174); she created it specifically for the Anglo-​European tourist and collector’s market. When the Museum of New Mexico opened in 1910, Julián agreed to work and live there as a janitor; Maria and her children joined him, demonstrating pottery making to the public at the Museum while establishing contacts with shopkeepers in Santa Fe who promoted and sold her work (Marriott 197). Demand for Maria’s pots grew quickly. Within a few years, the family was able to live on the pottery sales alone, permitting Julián to quit his job as janitor and the family to move back to the pueblo. Because San Ildefonso was close to Santa Fe and connected by a good road, it was fairly easy to fill the standing orders for her work in what had become the Southwest’s premiere tourist town. Soon, in order to meet demand, Julián and other family members were actively involved in the production of the distinctive pottery that made Maria famous. In 1915, Maria, Julián, and others from San Ildefonso and the Rio Grande Pueblos were recruited by Hewett to go to San Diego as part of the Southwest Indian exhibit at the Pan-​ California Exposition. There, the Puebloans demonstrated pottery making, talked and joked with tourists, and sold their work. Although Maria insisted that “Pueblo Indian people don’t think about [becoming well-​known],” traveling near and far to demonstrate pottery making and personally meet potential buyers helped to expand and strengthen her market and increase sales. She went on to demonstrate pottery making at every World’s Fair until World War II. Martínez’s proceeds from the Pan-​California Exposition allowed her to purchase San Ildefonso’s first stove and sewing machine, mechanical symbols of Maria’s partial “liberation”—​one celebrated by Alice Mariott, her first biographer—​from the time-​consuming, traditional women’s work of cooking and sewing. Eventually, in order to devote themselves to pottery making and selling, Maria and Julián departed from other customary work obligations by hiring Puebloan and Hispanic laborers to farm their family’s plot of land and do the household chores (Marriott 200, 205). The key modernist activity that made the couple so immensely successful as purveyors of what was seen as a “traditional” Puebloan craft was not so much the craftwork itself, but rather their facile navigation of the complex, dynamic, capitalist world-​system in which they sold their wares. On one hand, their successes in the modern marketplace may be seen as enabling Maria and Julián to evade some of the physically demanding work that they were expected to perform as male and female members of the pueblo. On the other hand, their successes within that marketplace might also be understood as requiring or demanding that they devote increasing proportions of their energy and time to the production and promotion of their products: one of the salient components of the “modern condition” of life under capitalism across the globe. Aesthetically, Maria and Julián experimented with different colors and designs from within and outside of their own pueblo, finding by the end of the decade that a “special,” limited edition, jet-​ black pottery commanded a premium amongst their modern connoisseurs. They innovated further by painting the glossy black ware with matte black designs, a unique kind of decoration that not only commanded exceptionally high prices but amplified Maria’s reputation for high-​quality work that simultaneously drew from traditional Puebloan craft forms as well as white-​defined, modernist aesthetics. Rather than being sold to relic-​hunting tourists who sought “authentic” or “traditional” looking pots, Maria’s work was marketed to white buyers of taste and distinction who intended to treat it as “high art” for display in a modern home. As Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant affirmed in The Saturday Review, the gleaming black pots “could be fitted into any white home without a violation of aesthetics” (Sergeant qtd. in Babcock 135). Maria tacitly acknowledged that her pots were created for this particular market, commenting drily that, “[white] people think that black goes with everything” (qtd. in Peterson, 97). What this class of white people desired—​what brought the best prices in an expanded modernist marketplace—​was what she created. 33

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As the tourism and real estate industry in Northern New Mexico boomed in the interwar period, Maria opened a store in her home and invited her sisters and cousins, whom she taught to make the special black ware, to sell their pottery alongside her own. As they realized that items with her name fetched higher prices, she agreed to sign her name to their work as well; the brand was worth good money, even if Maria and her family held little interest in preserving the aura of authenticity that the autographed item had in the modern marketplace. The Otowi suspension bridge, constructed in 1924, helped to facilitate tourist travel to the village, where her store became a regular stop on the Harvey House’s famous Indian Detours. In addition to the sales at the pueblo, the Museum of New Mexico, and regional stores, Maria developed a brisk mail-​order business, selling her distinctive work as far away as New York and California. The most visible sign of the family’s new wealth and prestige was their purchase of the pueblo’s first car in 1924. According to Maria, it was a shiny black Model-​T that Julián painted with matte black designs so that it looked “just like the pots” that made them famous (qtd. in Peterson 85). By driving around in the new car with the stylized image of the sacred water snake, the avanyu, that he had popularized, Julián not only advertised both their “new old kind” of artisan-​made pottery, he advertised their success as well. It was a fitting, if ironic emblem. For Hewett and other promoters of Maria’s work and the region’s arts and culture more generally, the pottery represented the ancient traditions of a romantic, Indigenous people who were virtually unchanged by modernity. At the same time, the automobile was recognized widely by Indians and non-​Indians alike as a symbol of technological modernity (Deloria); locally, it served as material evidence of Maria’s successful aesthetic and entrepreneurial adaptations to and innovations within a rapidly changing economy. Within San Ildefonso Pueblo, Maria’s successes had complicated responses. Some Puebloans blamed her modern business savvy and wealth for unwelcome disruptions to social, economic, and political aspects of pueblo life (Whitman). In contrast, her Anglo admirers, such as Marriott, tended to celebrate the traditional aspects of her work and her life. Less flashy but perhaps more significant for the pueblo were the land purchases made by Maria and her sister, Ramona, with the profits from their work. According to Whitman, San Ildefonso Pueblo saw substantial erosions of their tribal land holdings over the preceding decades: “possibly more than any other of the pueblos” (393). Some pueblos had successfully undertaken a campaign to repurchase lands adjacent to their recognized boundaries with the intent of returning them to pueblo control (Ebright and Hendricks 6). For instance, Pablo Abeita, a leading voice of “progressive” Puebloans who generally aligned themselves with a Christian, capitalist modernity and who believed that the best path forward for Indigenous peoples involved accommodation and assimilation to US cultural values, advocated and implemented the repurchase and reintegration of land at Isleta Pueblo, resulting in the restoration of thousands of acres to the pueblo (Deloria; Jacobs, Engendered; Sando). Even though Abeita was considered by some “traditional” Puebloans to be overly accommodating to many elements of modern US settler colonialism, this pragmatic strategy for counter-​dispossession was undeniably effective in practice. Although Maria and her sister Ramona refrained from making their political views known in public, they employed an individual-​scale form of this strategy at San Ildefonso (Nichols). Ramona, who had accompanied Maria and Julián to San Diego to demonstrate pottery making, used her earnings from the exposition to purchase a five-​acre field, once part of the pueblo’s landholdings, that had been sold to a non-​Puebloan, Hispanic neighbor; a decade later, after the defeat of the Bursum Bill and implementation of the Pueblo Lands Board, Maria purchased his house, which was next door to hers (Marriott 215, 256). Objecting to his business of selling alcohol to Puebloans—​her husband Julián struggled with alcoholism—​she bought the property outright, using cash earnings from pottery sales. As Babcock, Marriott, and Whitman have shown, Maria’s recognized successes in the modern arts marketplace not only amplified her individual name and her autographed pieces across modernist networks, they crucially boosted San Ildefonso’s regional, national, and international reputation as an “artistic” pueblo, bringing with it significant economic growth. Seeing Maria’s modernist activities as 34

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being delimited by her or her pueblo’s relative position within a white-​dominated and -​defined modernist field, however, fails to account for how her work simultaneously—​perhaps even primarily—​ responded to the collectively-​defined needs of her own Native community. While we might simply think of Maria’s and Ramona’s land purchases as private economic actions that advanced their own family’s wealth and prestige, when considered within the historical context of pueblo land loss and the ongoing struggle to recapture and preserve it, we arrive at a different perspective, one that prioritizes communal rather than individual achievement. Under the US’s newly consolidated economic and legal systems, private real estate transactions like these were the most immediate and certain way to secure the people’s land as well as the “right to control … what can and should happen on it” (Ebright and Hendricks xi). In this light, we may see that, as a modern business woman, Maria responded powerfully to the pressing pueblo imperative of recapturing, little by little if need be, what had been their people’s land. Her own view, expressed in an interview with Alice Marriott, emphasized the way in which pride in her work is bound up with responsibility to all: “if [pottery] helps one family, it can help all the families” (qtd. in Mariott 223–​4).

Antonio (Tony) Luján (1879–​1963) Like Maria Martínez, Tony Luján was an object of modernist fascination across broad, transnational modernist networks in the early twentieth century. Known to many as the full-​blooded “Indian Chief ” husband of “Bohemia’s Queen,” the white cosmopolitan socialite and arts patron Mabel Dodge Sterne Luhan, he was the subject of numerous written and pictorial representations, most of which depicted him as a wise spiritual teacher and proponent of traditional “Indian ways” (“Why Bohemia’s Queen”). He was photographed by Ansel Adams, transformed into fiction by Willa Cather and D.H. Lawrence, and gossiped about by Georgia O’Keeffe, among others. Within modernist studies, his life is largely considered through the obscuring, primitivist lenses of a white, bohemian elite who portrayed him as either a veritable noble savage or a naïve, vulnerable pawn of his ambitious wife’s designs to impress her radical friends and put the remote village of Taos, New Mexico, on the international map. However, as a model and musician, real estate broker and landlord, political activist and tribal representative,Tony played an integral role in shaping the physical development and metaphysical mystique of Taos’s modern little art colony between World War I and World War II. His many roles served him well as he anchored the Taos Indians’ decades-​long, ultimately successful fight to regain control over the pueblo’s sacred Blue Lake. Even though Tony Luján’s image was widely circulated and he was written about extensively, his biography is incomplete. Public records show that he was born into a large and locally powerful Taos Pueblo family in 1879. Although he spoke at least three languages, he was functionally illiterate and left no written accounts of his own. The many Anglo-​European modernists who wrote about him or captured his image on film—​including his wife, Mabel—​tended to portray him in self-​serving ways such that his presence functions primarily to reveal his non-​Native beholders’ epiphanies about their own, profound spiritual sensitivity, their progressive or radical cross-​cultural tolerance, or their cosmopolitan aesthetics. For that reason, we must look beyond those outsider portraits and instead consider Tony’s most significant, self-​authored statements about his interactions with modernity and modernism: those that he wrote through his relationships with the white modernists onto and into the land. Over the course of the first half of Luján’s life, more than two-​thirds of the land held under “aboriginal title”—​that is, recognized as belonging to the Taos people since before colonial contact—​was taken out of their control either by the US government, as in the case of Carson National Forest, or through contested, private transfers of tribal land. This dispossession amounted to some 200,000 acres. For the Taos Indians, arresting this devastating loss and regaining the ancestral lands was a critical imperative. When Tony met Mabel in 1918, he had accumulated a number of farm and ranching 35

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properties across the Taos Valley, both on and off recognized Taoseño lands. He had achieved some local prominence as a savvy and amiable businessman who worked with and between the area’s three main population groups: the Taos Indians, who had an ancient claim to the lands and waterways; the numerically and politically predominant Hispanos; and the newly arrived Anglos, who came to Taos with money and powerful, transregional political and business connections. It was at a party in the predominantly Anglo village of Don Fernando de Taos (it did not incorporate as Taos until the 1930s) where Luján—​very likely one of the few Indians present—​persuaded the English painter, John Young-​Hunter, and the New York socialite, Mabel Dodge Sterne, both of whom were newly arrived visitors, to go with him to look at some very choice properties adjoining the pueblo boundaries. Both properties, which were owned by Manuel Trujillo, a Hispanic man, included modest adobe houses; the one Tony had chosen for Mabel had mature fruit trees that indicated its fertility (Rodríguez, “Over Behind”). Though they had passed into Trujillo’s hands, they were located squarely within the recognized boundaries of the Taos Pueblo Grant (Baca 266). More importantly, the Acequia Madre del Pueblo—​linked to the oldest water rights in New Mexico—​ran through it. Whoever owned it would be strategically positioned between the pueblo and the town: a serious consideration any time, but particularly so when the pueblo’s land and water rights were being challenged. Having well-​connected, wealthy, white landowners at the pueblo’s boundaries who proclaimed themselves Indian enthusiasts and allies promised to benefit the pueblo. In the spring of 1918,Young-​Hunter and Sterne purchased the lands Luján showed them—​Mabel paid the fabulous sum of $1500 for her larger property—​and Luján served as the contractor for extensive remodeling projects for each, recruiting Hispanic and Indian laborers to do the heavy construction work while he also managed his other properties (Rodríguez, “Over Behind” 382). According to artist Marsden Hartley, who was one of Mabel’s first guests in Taos, “It was that summer that Mabel had begun buying houses and making them over—​the large one for herself and the small ones all around her she eventually bought so that she might have only friends for neighbors” (Hartley, “Somehow” 96). In pointing to Mabel, Hartley called attention to her use of her wealth to shore up her social aspirations, but he seems not to have considered how materially valuable it was for Tony and Taos Pueblo to have “only friends for neighbors.” Over the next four years, Tony transformed and expanded the modest, four-​room house Mabel purchased; it became a 12-​acre estate that included a three-​story, 22-​room Big House, five guest houses, and a 1200-​foot gate house for servants, making it Taos’s largest home. Tony planted an alfalfa field and built himself a separate home on Indian land just steps away, work that fortified the pueblo boundary line on both sides. After Tony completed the expansion project on the house, he and Mabel married, further substantiating a link between the pueblo and Taos’s powerful Anglo-​European modernist community. This union was a tricky business, not least because they were both already married to others. Mabel’s romance with Tony would result in her second divorce, and Tony would be her fourth husband. The interracial marriage was sensationalized by the white supremacist press as an outrageous, attention-​ seeking stunt, and Mabel feared the potential social and financial effects of the interracial marriage on her personally. For Tony, the marriage meant a divorce from his wife Candelaria, an act that violated pueblo norms and resulted in his exclusion from important pueblo activities, including his religious duties. According to Mabel, this was a particularly significant loss for him, and it was not until he was reinstated to his Kiva society in the mid-​thirties that he felt whole again. For many at Taos Pueblo and beyond, Tony’s move off the pueblo and into Mabel’s house symbolically indicated his shift away from an Indian-​centered life. His wife’s home was a special case, but Tony also brokered land deals with a number of Mabel’s visitors, friends, and allies. His many drives with them across the Taos Valley, recorded in their diaries and letters, were sightseeing tours as well as prospective sales to “friends of the Indian;” the stories and “secrets” Luján chose to share with them appealed to what they believed was the region’s special, mystical spirit of place (Rodríguez, “Art, Tourism” 77). His intriguing stories were not just entertaining, they also aided in recruiting these influential outsiders as invested caretakers of local, 36

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Indigenous history who, in turn, bore some obligation to help preserve it. Some, like Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, fantasized to friends about leaving behind their lives in Greenwich Village to move into a picturesque adobe in New Mexico; others, like Andrew Dasburg, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Rebecca Strand, actually made the move and bought in. Tony’s touring and brokering helped ensure that he—​and by extension, Taoseños and the Pueblo Indians more generally—​could count on having “friends for neighbors” across the region. He would call on them to become active allies in the legal and political fight to retain and restore Indigenous land that escalated sharply in the interwar period. Tony made strategic land purchases off and on Indian land on his own behalf as well, which helped to make him known as “the richest Indian in the pueblo” (qtd. in Rudnick 326). These purchases, facilitated by his wealthy wife’s money and political connections, were controversial at the time; years later, his descendants argued—​against ambivalent memories of Tony’s accumulation and expenditures of wealth-​by-​marriage—​that “he helped the tribe and he helped himself at the same time” (qtd. in Rudnick 326). As a landowner and boss, Tony hired, fired, and determined the wages and working conditions of Indian and Hispanic laborers more or less in alignment with modern—​that is, Anglo-​ European determined—​standards. This position, and his wealth more generally, distinguished him from other Taos Puebloans in the interwar era who, according to New York journalist Mike Gold, lived in “slum” conditions rife with “extreme poverty, ignorance, and disease” (Gold 13). Some Taos Indians testified publicly that Tony’s marriage and elevated social status had resulted in his “los[ing] all his religion” and becoming an “undesirable person” (United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, 18215). Like Maria Martínez, Tony Luján’s unique financial, social, and political relationships with non-​Puebloan “friends” significantly impacted his standing within the pueblo. For some Taos Indians, Tony’s way of living was not only unacceptable, it served as evidence that he may not have the pueblo’s best interests at heart. As a “rich Indian,” Luján was also scrutinized beyond the pueblo (Harmon). His reputed love of luxury, evident in the fine boots he wore and the expensive cars he drove, insinuated a divergence from the immaterial primitive mysteries that were prized by the Anglo-​European modernists with whom he was associated. The drum he carried at all times and his apparent willingness to sing and play for his Anglo-​European admirers may have been perceived as markers of his traditionalism, but it also fueled rumors that he was nothing more than a “no-​good show Indian” whose performances for the modernist elite were no more “authentic” and disinterested than those that took place at Coney Island (Smith 192). Such accusations stung Mabel, if not Tony: she worried privately about “spoiling” him, as an Indian and as a man, by making him overly comfortable in a modern white woman’s world (Rudnick 207). As she understood it, and perhaps as he also understood it, the approbation of their influential friends and allies depended on a romantic vision of him as a traditional (that is, “pure” and undesigning) Indian. To use Barker’s terms, ensuring that Tony’s white friends recognized him as a culturally authentic representative of his people—​even if their understanding of what that meant was deeply skewed—​was essential to piquing and maintaining their interest in assisting him and the Puebloans in their struggles to maintain sovereignty and regain their land. The pressure to perform Native traditionalism even as he engaged in modern political and economic struggle and modernist social practices was surely palpable to Luján, if not to all. Ultimately, Tony’s marriage and land deals must be understood as inseparable from his efforts to maintain and enlarge Puebloan land and power in the local area. During the years that the Luhan estate was being constructed, Tony and Mabel collaborated to work along parallel tracks to defeat the pending Bursum Bill, which would have undermined the pueblos’ cultural sovereignty and eviscerated Native land holdings in Northern New Mexico (Wegner). For her part, Mabel enticed her well-​connected friends to visit New Mexico in order to observe the beauty of Native lifeways firsthand and act politically on the Puebloans’ behalf. Most important of these was the sociologist and nascent activist, John Collier, who would become Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs 37

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under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933 and institute the Indian New Deal. Tony worked tirelessly within established Native networks to alert the Rio Grande Puebloans about the Bursum Bill’s dangers. The All-​Pueblo Council, an intertribal body that convened infrequently to discuss matters of common defense, issued a joint statement of condemnation and sent a delegation to New York and Washington DC in January 1923 to testify against the pending legislation. Tony, without Mabel, accompanied the group as a delegate from Taos Pueblo. The bill was “killed” that month. Tony and Mabel continued to advocate for Indian rights throughout their marriage, keeping alive the fight to regain the sacred Blue Lake lands, which the US government had taken in 1907. After years of protest and litigation, this land was restored to the Taos people in 1970, shortly after both Tony and Mabel had died. It was the first time that land was returned by the US government to Indigenous peoples.

Rollie Lynn Riggs (1899–​1954) Pulitzer Prize-​nominated playwright and poet Lynn Riggs had a different relationship to Northern New Mexico’s Indigenous peoples and to its modern little art colonies than Puebloans Martínez and Luján. Riggs was enrolled in the Cherokee Nation as an infant and raised in Indian Territory near Claremore, Oklahoma. As a child and young man, he heard stories of his Native ancestors whose bodies lay in the family grave plot and whose struggles had shaped local history. However, his mother’s death when he was two years old severed his most direct ties to his Cherokee family; as Phyllis Braunlich has shown, he struggled with this loss throughout his life. He was raised primarily by his white father’s extended family and was educated as a white child in predominantly white schools. Publicly, he identified “his people” as “small ranchers or pioneer farmers”—​presumably white—​although he seems to have revealed his Native heritage privately to friends (Vestal 65; also Barnett 93). The blond-​haired, blue-​eyed, university-​educated Riggs experienced modernism and modernity distinctly from either the Puebloans who were the region’s Native peoples or the white art colonists amongst whom he settled. Riggs first arrived in Santa Fe in the Fall of 1923 at the invitation of the accomplished poet Witter Bynner, who had himself recently relocated there. Before the move, Riggs had been a student at the University of Oklahoma, where he was involved in a host of social, literary, musical, and theatrical clubs, including the Sooner Quartet, drama and literary fraternities, the yearbook, and University of Oklahoma Magazine (Braunlich). The ambitious young man aspired above all to become a poet and had some success in placing poems in Smart Set and Poetry. However, as he wrote to Bynner, he was being overworked and underpaid as an instructor for freshman English: a thankless, toilsome, and unremunerative job. In order to finance the next phase of his career, Riggs mortgaged his allotted land, resigned mid-​term from his grinding teaching position, took the train to Santa Fe, and checked himself into the renowned Sunmount Sanatorium. There, fresh air, good food, and a vibrant social and intellectual life helped him make a speedy recovery from a suspected case of tuberculosis and certain case of exhaustion. Once in Santa Fe, Riggs was quickly initiated into the life of its vibrant little art colony. As a gay man who had been closeted in Oklahoma, Riggs was revitalized by the free and accepting community anchored by the older Bynner and his younger lover, poet and magazine editor Willard “Spud” Johnson. In addition to dinners and teas at the couple’s home, he attended poetry readings and art shows; joined a writing group that included Alice Corbin Henderson, who co-​edited the Chicago magazine, Poetry; contributed regularly to the Santa Fe-​based little magazine Laughing Horse; and was recruited by former Provincetown Player Ida Rauh to write a one-​act play for the Santa Fe Players, an amateur theater group that she had helped to found. Riggs worked odd and irregular jobs in Santa Fe as a chicken tender, bit actor, part-​time store clerk, musician and singer, fiction and play writer, but mostly lived the life of a poet. Over the next two decades, as his playwriting career took off and he commuted to work in the metropolises of New York City and Los Angeles, Riggs continued to consider himself a resident of Santa Fe. Indeed, he was tethered to it by the tract of land he’d purchased 38

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shortly after moving there. It was located in the heart of the nascent art colony, a neighborhood that would come to be known as the Camino de Monte Sol Historic District. In 1934, he built himself and his partner a Pueblo Revival-​style home there; he sold the home after their breakup in 1940. For the moderns, one of the formative, foundational rites of incorporation into the little art colony’s social scene was a visit to an Indian pueblo—​ideally more than one—​to watch a ceremonial dance (Gano 181–​203). Within the first few weeks of his sojourn in New Mexico, Riggs visited San Felipe and Kewa Pueblo (formerly Santo Domingo Pueblo) and responded in the typical, if not prescribed, fashion by rhapsodizing over the Indians’ exotic mystique and testifying to a concern for their welfare in letters to friends back home. To University of Oklahoma English professor Walter Campbell, Riggs reported learning how to “speak the lingo of the pueblo enthusiasts” by praising the “wonderful” “communal” pueblo life and bewailing its “contaminat[ion] by the damned whites and the stinking Mexicans!” (qtd. in Braunlich 9). Riggs’s knowing irony here is telling: it registers both a genuine feeling of admiration for—​if not solidarity with—​the Puebloans’ evident cultural survivance and a conscious discomfort with the hyperbolic racializations that rolled so easily off the tongues of the Anglo-​European art colonists. Riggs recorded his initial and most direct aesthetic response to Northern New Mexico’s Indigenous peoples in “Santo Domingo Corn Dance,” which was first published in The Nation in 1926. This early poem stands out as the only one of his published works in any genre to center on Puebloans and pueblo culture, even though a number of his poems, a film, and a play were set in and around Santa Fe. Among Riggs’s poems, it is singular for its formal experimentalism. It was hardly exceptional, though, among the creative outputs by Santa Fe’s moderns, for whom free portrayals of pueblo ceremonial song and dance—​which they sometimes called “re-​expressions” or “translations”—​were de rigueur. Like poet and painter Marsden Hartley’s earlier poem “The Festival of the Corn” (1920), Riggs’s poem offers the reader fragmented, colorful, kinetic images of the dance that break up any impulse toward full, expository knowledge. Like the cubist paintings of Santa Fe that his friend Andrew Dasburg was creating around the same time, Riggs’s poem presents his subject from multiple perspectives. Unlike the works by either Dasburg or Hartley, though, Riggs’s poem features speaking, feeling, Native peoples and a dynamic, animate land. While depictions of the Northern New Mexican landscape by Hartley, Dasburg, and other Anglo-​ European modernists of the interwar era such as Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe tended to evacuate it of living humanity or reduce it to a static and timeless set piece, Riggs reinvests the region’s most recognizable subject matter—​the Indians and the land that Anglo-​Europeans had “discovered” and claimed as theirs—​with presence, voice, and action. These key elements, which distinguish Riggs’s poem from the work of his fellow modernist artists in Santa Fe, constitute crucial components of what Indigenous Studies scholar Gerald Vizenor terms survivance. Riggs shared this specifically Indigenous strategy of survival and resistance across tribal differences with the Puebloans, including Luján, Martínez, and others, who lived and worked in this particularly dynamic site of modern and modernist Indigenous activity. In such terms, Riggs’s poetic inscription of the vitality of the Puebloan peoples, their religious practices, and their relationship to the living land suggest a resistant, anti-​colonial critique of white modernists’ silencing objectifications, something that James Cox has identified in Riggs’s 1930 film, “A Day in Santa Fe” (Cox). However, both the film and the poem unironically deploy the familiar linguistic and visual primitivist “lingo” of the predominantly white art colonists in Santa Fe. Although Riggs may have resented the colonists’ primitivism (as his private correspondence suggests), his published poetry and publicly viewed film nonetheless participated in its circulation across modernist networks. “Santo Domingo Corn Dance” and “A Day in Santa Fe” may thus be seen as expressing complex, sometimes contradictory, attitudes toward Native American identity and its relationship to modernity, something that scholars have identified in Riggs’s other works, including the only one of his plays—​also a fragmented, particularly experimental text—​to explicitly focus on the topic, The Cherokee Night (1936) (Brown; Cox; Weaver; Womack). 39

Geneva M. Gano

Riggs’s writing, we might say, was not unlike Martínez’s pottery or Luján’s singing performances, in that his representations of Puebloan people largely aligned with those expectations that dominated the white modernist imaginary. Unlike the Puebloans who fascinated the Anglo-​European modernists, however, Riggs was incorporated into the Santa Fe art colony alongside the colonizers, not as one of their Indigenous subjects. While, as other scholars have argued, Riggs’s Cherokee heritage likely shaped his representations of the Indigenous peoples who had occupied the land in Northern New Mexico before him, he did not face the same kinds of pressure to personally inhabit and express a primitive or “authentic” or inscrutable Indianness to either patrons and customers or friends and lovers as Luján or Martínez. In other words, Riggs was not bound by a pressing imperative to “play Indian” as he circulated within modern and modernist networks, affording him an expanded spectrum of possibility for modernist Indigenous expression (Deloria). In his art, he alternately deployed and resisted conventional modernist representations of the “Indian”; in his life, he was not only known within international modernist networks as cosmopolitan, college-​educated intellectual, an experimental aesthete, an out, gay man, and a Hollywood scenester but also as a serious, successful writer—​and, among his friends, as a man of Cherokee descent. Riggs’s occupation of a modern position of Indigenous multiplicity—​one that he may, to no small degree, be credited with helping to forge in the early twentieth century—​was neither simple nor straightforward. When his mentor Bynner bought up scads of quality turquoise jewelry and wore it around Santa Fe—​or to the pueblos—​we may wonder what Riggs thought of the flamboyant sartorial statement, but we cannot know: he left no comment on that.We might wonder, too, what personal conflicts he may have felt when, as an emerging young poet, he was hired to clerk behind the counter at the Spanish-​Indian Trading Company, where the Anglo-​European proprietors (a number of Riggs’s art colonist friends) profited by buying Native arts cheap and selling them dear. We might search for his responses to such complicated situations in his art and theorize that the “sculpturesque” “austerity” and “clean and cool” modernity that contemporary reviewers found in much of this poetry served as a stylistic gesture of resistance to the overdetermined, romanticized representations of Indians and their art that was so integral to modernism in Northern New Mexico (Gano; Gregory 22; Lowe 348). Finally, we well might wonder if his simultaneously modernist and Native acts—​lived and written—​“freed [Riggs] to be something new entirely” (Green 50)? These questions are perhaps unanswerable, but they are critical ones to ask when thinking about how Indigeneity informed modernist activity in the interwar period generally and, more specifically, in the US Southwest.

Keywords for Southwestern Indigenous Modernisms As hardworking artists and as central objects of aesthetic and touristic interest, Martínez, Luján, and Riggs negotiated recognizable, if still-​emergent, modernist conventions across complicated aesthetic, social, political, and economic realms.The products of these engagements ranged from making “pretty,” salable pots for the white collectors’ market, to brokering land deals in order to place “friends” in strategic locations, to writing modernist poetry that both revises and reinstates overdetermined, Anglo-​European representations of Indians. The material items and immaterial practices that they produced were then redeployed across wide-​flung modernist networks, where alongside the paintings of Velino Shije Herrera (Zia) and Fred Kaboti (Hopi), pottery of Nampeyo (Hopi-​Tewa), and musical performances of Tsianina Redfeather Blackstone (Creek/​Cherokee), they helped to shape new ways of what it might mean to be Native and modern—​or to even hold those two possibilities together in the same time and space—​in the Southwest. These individuals’ modernist activities were not limited to either embracing or resisting Anglo-​ Europeans’ projections of them as exotic or romantic “primitives” in the effort to “gain a degree of control over their own representations in the new intercultural spaces of modernity” (Anthes 4). Indeed, in the urgent context of Native land loss and the struggle to retain sovereignty, concern about predominantly white, elite artists’ perceptions of them was arguably not the most pressing issue 40

Modernist Activities & Native Acts in New Mexico

that they (or other Natives) faced. Nor were Martínez, Luján, and Riggs neutral and disinterested translators, bridges, or intermediaries between Indian and White worlds (Szasz); they were dynamic historical actors whose goals and intentions distinguished their activities as not only modernist, but adamantly Native acts (Barker; Bellin and Mielke 10). The various strategies that they employed as they negotiated the shifting conditions they faced on the ground enabled them to advance discrete, Native priorities and goals that had little to do with the widely received,Western-​defined motivations for modernist activity across the globe. Modernist activities and practices served them as essential tools by which they could access social, legal, and economic power in the region and beyond for personal and collective ends. Among the most prominent and urgent priorities and goals facing modern Native peoples in Northern New Mexico were the restoration of tribal land and lifeways that had been stolen or imperiled during the allotment and assimilation period. These concerns were not entirely unique to the region’s Puebloans nor to this historical moment, although they were especially pressing in this place and time. Indeed, the persistence of these issues suggest productive continuities between nineteenth-​, twentieth-​, and twenty-​first-​century Native acts of survivance under settler colonialism that—​as James Cox and Kirby Brown, among others, have argued—​have often been overlooked within modernist and Indigenous studies (Brown; Cox). As Martínez, Luján, and Riggs confronted a modern nation-​state that explicitly sought their individual assimilation and collective (tribal) termination, they strategically maneuvered within the constraints of these intense pressures and new opportunities to persist and, at times, thrive. For instance, Martínez, Luján, and Riggs used the profits from their modernist activities to purchase land that had once been held tribally in common but that had passed into non-​Native hands. Understood within the context of national (US) allotment policies of the time, these purchases can appear as private acts of accumulation and personal gain. However, these purchases—​particularly those made and facilitated by Tony Luján—​may also be fruitfully reconceived as direct and pragmatic moves to retain Indigenous control over land by the most secure means possible in this place and time. Situated within a longer genealogy of private (non-​governmental) transactions intended to restore Native lands through the capitalist marketplace—​a genealogy that includes nineteenth-​century purchases of ancestral lands by Isleta Pueblo as well as those very recent, twenty-​first-​century ones by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the Esselen Tribe—​the purchases made by Martínez, Luján, and Riggs may be fruitfully seen as Native acts of individual and collective survivance. By redirecting modernist studies in Northern New Mexico through the lives and careers of Indigenous peoples we are able to perceive motivations for and expressions of modernist activity that differ from those that conditioned the dominant, contemporaneous Anglo-​European modernisms in the region. Although the examples here by no means encompass the vast diversity of strategic engagements by Indigenous peoples with the conditions of settler modernity, thinking through these case studies allows us to re-​evaluate the field of modernist studies’ well-​established keywords and concepts such as tradition and primitivism; revise and redefine broad terms including tourism and market; and generate new ones like land, sovereignty, and relationality that may have been heretofore considered insignificant. A richer and more sensitive modernist studies emerges.

References Adams, David Wallace. Education for Extinction: American Indians and Boarding School Experience, 1875–​1928. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1995. Anthes, Bill. Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940–​1960. Durham: Duke UP, 2008. Babcock, Barbara A. “Marketing Maria: The Tribal Artist in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Looking High and Low: Art and Cultural Identity. Eds. Brenda Jo Bright and Liza Bakewell. Tuscon: U of Arizona P, 1995. 124–​50. Baca, Jacobo. “Somos Indígena: Ethnic Politics and Land Tenure in New Mexico, 1694–​1965,” Dissertation, University of New Mexico, 2015. https://​digita​lrep​osit​ory.unm.edu/​hist_​e​tds/​2 Barker, Joanne. Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity. Durham: Duke UP, 2011.

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Geneva M. Gano Barnett, Elizabeth S. Aboriginal Issues: Indianism and the Modernist Literary Field, Dissertation,Vanderbilt University, August 2013. Bellin, Joshua David and Laura L. Mielke, eds. Native Acts: Indian Performance, 1603–​1832. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2011. Bernstein, Bruce. “Vessels of a Truth Obscured,” El Palacio, vol. 124, no. 3 (Fall 2019): 54–​61. Braunlich, Phyllis Cole. Haunted by Home:The Life and Letters of Lynn Riggs. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2002. Brown, Kirby. Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907–​1970. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2018. Cox, James H. The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019. Deloria, Philip J. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2004. Ebright, Malcolm and Rick Hendricks. Pueblo Sovereignty: Indian Land and Water in New Mexico and Texas. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2019. Finn, Janet L. “Walls and Bridges: Cultural Mediation and the Legacy of Ella Deloria,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, vol. 21, no. 3 (2000) 158–​82. Gano, Geneva M. The Little Art Colony and U.S. Modernism: Carmel, Provincetown, Taos. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2020. Gold, Michael. “Mabel Luhan’s Slums,” New Masses (1 September 1936): 11–​13, 24. Green, Rayna. “The Tribe Called Wannabee: Playing Indian in America and Europe,” Folklore 99.1 (1988): 30–​55. Gregory, Horace. “Lynn Riggs as Poet,” Nation 132.3418 (7 January 1931): 22. Harmon, Alexandra. Rich Indians: Native People and the Problem of Wealth in American History. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2013. Harris, Cole. “How Did Colonialism Dispossess? Comments from the Edge of Empire,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 94, no. 1 (March 2004): 165–​82. Hartley, Marsden. “The Festival of the Corn,” Poetry, vol. 16, no. 2 (May 1920): 59–​65. ———​. “Red Man Ceremonials: An American Plea for American Esthetics,” Art and Archaeology, vol. 9, no. 1 (January 1920): 7–​14. ———​. Somehow a Past:The Autobiography of Marsden Hartley. Cambridge: MIT P, 1998. Honey, Maureen. “ ‘So Far Away from Home’: Minority Women Writers and the New Woman,” Women’s Studies International Forum, vol. 15, no. 4 (July 1992): 473–​85. Hoxie, Frederick E. A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880–​1920. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2001. Hutchinson, Elizabeth. The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism, and Transculturation in American Art, 1890–​1915. Durham: Duke UP, 2009. Jacobs, Margaret D. Engendered Encounters: Feminism and Pueblo Cultures, 1879–​1934. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1999. ———. “The Habit of Elimination: Indigenous Child Removal in Settler Colonial Nations in the Twentieth Century.” Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America. Eds. Alexander Laban Hinton, Andrew Woolford, Jeff Benvenuto. Durham: Duke UP, 2014. Lowe, Robert Liddell. “The Lyrics of Lynn Riggs,” Poetry, vol. 37, no. 1 (March 1931): 347–​49. Marriott, Alice. Maria:The Potter of San Ildefonso. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1948. Moses, L.G. Wild West Shows and the Images of American Indians, 1883–​1933. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1999. Nichols, Robert. Theft is Property! Dispossession and Critical Theory. Durham: Duke UP, 2020. Peterson, Susan. The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1977. Rifkin, Mark. Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in the American Renaissance. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2014. Riggs, Lynn. “Santo Domingo Corn Dance,” Nation (14 April 1926): 407. Rodríguez, Sylvia. “Art, Tourism, and Race Relations in Taos: Toward a Sociology of the Art Colony,” Journal of Anthropological Research, vol. 45, no. 1 (Spring 1989): 77–​99. ———​. “Over Behind Mabel’s on Indian Land: Utopia and Thirdspace in Taos,” Journal of the Southwest, vol. 53, nos. 3–4 (Autumn–​Winter 2011): 379–​402. Rudnick, Lois Palkin. Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan House and the American Counterculture. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico Press, 1998. Sando, Joe S. Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers, 1992. Smith, Sherry. Reimagining Indians: Native Americans through Anglo Eyes, 1880–​1940. New York: Oxford UP, 2000. Szasz, Margaret Connell, ed., Between Indian and White Worlds: The Cultural Broker. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2001. United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Survey of the Conditions of the Indians in the United States, Vol. 14. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1927. Vestal, Stanley. “Lynn Riggs: Poet and Dramatist,” Southwest Review, vol. 15, no. 1 (Autumn 1929): 64-​71.

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Modernist Activities & Native Acts in New Mexico Vizenor, Gerald. Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1999. Weaver, Jace. That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. Wegner, Tisa. We Have a Religion: The 1920s Pueblo Indian Dance Controversy and American Religious Freedom. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2009. Weigle, Marta and Barbara A. Babcock, Eds. The Great Southwest of the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railway. Phoenix: Heard Museum, 1996. Whitman, William. “The San Ildefonso of New Mexico.” Acculturation in Seven Indian Tribes. Ed. Ralph Linton. Glouster, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1963. 390–​460. Wolfe, Patrick. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocidal Research, vol. 8, no. 4 (December 2006): 387–​409. Womack, Craig. Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1999. “Why Bohemia’s Queen Married an Indian Chief,” Pittsburgh Post, 19 June 1923, Scrapbook vol. 17, Mabel Dodge Luhan Papers, Beinecke Library,Yale University.

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3 “GOD GAVE US THE SEALS” Makah Relational Modernity and the Consequences of Settler Conservation Joshua Reid

One December day in 1897, six Makahs assembled to discuss how the tribal nation should respond to impending US legislation that would prohibit hunting fur seals for commercial purposes. The tribal council had appointed James Claplanhoo, his father Captain John Claplanhoo, Peter Brown, Albert Irving, and Clohosth to this ad hoc committee; a sixth—​Chestoqua Peterson, son of Peter Brown and son-​in-​law of James Claplanhoo—​typed the formal petition that they composed. They then sent the document to Congress through the federal Indian agent stationed at Neah Bay (Claplanhoo et al.). The petitioners were respected authorities among the Makah villages clustered around Cape Flattery at the most northwestern point of the contiguous United States, and each owned one or more expensive schooners that their people used while hunting fur seals. Ranging from 15 to 42 tons and used as floating tenders, these vessels allowed Makahs in their canoes to pursue seals across thousands of miles of the Pacific Ocean, from California to the Bering Sea and off the coast of Japan on voyages lasting from weeks to months. As Peterson recalled several years later, many Makah families were “very well-​to-​do… [and] during these good times [of the 1880s and 1890s] the Indian babies played on the floor with $20 gold pieces, and individual Indians have been known to receive at one time for their seals more than $20,000” (Reel). Alongside other customary Makah maritime practices, such as whaling and fishing, sealing sustained their prosperity and economic autonomy. Analyzed in detail later in this chapter, the petition expressed the concerns of these Indigenous entrepreneurs that the proposed law would impoverish them. Through their labor in the North Pacific and capital investments in this extractive industry, these sealers shaped a Makah modernity with deep roots in the past. For thousands of years, the Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ (“kwi-​dihch-​chuh-​aht,” meaning “the People of the Cape”)—​more commonly known today as the Makah Nation—​fashioned their identity around a rich livelihood from the sea (Reid). Hunting sea mammals and fishing had long made the People of the Cape wealthy and powerful in this region, and they incorporated new technologies and commercial opportunities into customary practices. During the last three decades of the nineteenth century, harpooning fur seals from canoes in the open ocean became the mainstay of the Makah economy while enabling the Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ to engage in a modern extractive industry on their terms. By combining hunting methods used by generations of Makah sealers with more recent technological and market innovations, the People of the Cape crafted their version of modernity that drew from adaptable, not static, past practices and values. Makah modernity included many of the usual characteristics of Euro-​American, settler modernity,1 such as new technologies, industrialization, commoditization of natural resources, engagement 44

DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-5

Makah Relationality & Settler Conservation

with capitalism, and a reflective self-​determination (Gaonkar; Lauzon). Their labor and investments illustrate that Makahs were similar to other modern Indigenous peoples, who “not only survived the onslaught that settler modernity wrought on their [nation,] but [also] actively negotiated, if not openly embraced, the circumstances, technologies, and expressive forms of modernity … [in] an increasingly complicated, rapidly changing, thoroughly modern world” (Brown 297). Benefiting from efforts and policies to eliminate Indigenous peoples from their homelands and waters, settler modernity’s success depended on exploiting Native resources, such as fish, fur-​bearing mammals, minerals, timber, water for irrigation and power, and land. Yet Makah modernity expressed through pelagic (open-​ocean) sealing differed in important ways from what we normally ascribe as settler modernity. This latter form of modernity emerged from Enlightenment thinking that valorized the individual unfettered from the corrupt and limiting traditions of the past, such as religion and European social traditions. Settler modernity would be free from “irrational” structures and beliefs, thereby enabling self-​determined individuals to live modern lives (Feenberg; Quijano). As this chapter demonstrates, Makahs eschewed this hyper-​individualism, and sealing reflected a form of what I conceptualize as relational modernity across several registers. First, these Indigenous hunters understood that they were in respectful and ongoing reciprocal relations with k̓iładu·s (“kih-​lthuh-​doos,” fur seals), non-​human people2 whom Makahs considered as part of their extended community. Second, sealing done by the People of the Cape depended on and maintained extended family relations and community-​centered economies instead of focusing exclusively on individual prosperity.3 Third, Makah hunters related to preceding generations of sealers by combining a customary practice they had been doing for thousands of years with modern technologies and markets.4 This relational modernity reflected Makah values and enabled them to strengthen their economic autonomy while mitigating federal assimilation efforts. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, modern Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ success through sealing ran aground on the shoals of federal conservation policies shaped by settler modernist values. Makahs were a small part of a larger North Pacific extractive industry in which many more non-​Native hunters took millions of fur seals at sea and in the breeding grounds on the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. Overhunting triggered the collapse of the fur seal population in the late nineteenth century. The US federal government found these smaller, independent, and often foreign pelagic sealing operations, including those of the People of the Cape, harder to regulate for conservation purposes and taxation, especially because they sold their furs to any buyer across the North Pacific. This prompted Congress to enact conservation legislation at the end of 1897 that attempted to enclose the fur seal resource by prohibiting pelagic sealing, while allowing hunting to continue on land through a corporate monopoly, which politicians deemed more efficiently modern and manageable (Act, 30 Stat. 226). The 1897 act eliminated a key commercial activity of Makah families and undercut their efforts at maintaining relations with k̓iładu·s and each other. Yet, as this chapter notes, Congress and non-​Native corporate monopolies were not the only ones who thought they were acting along modern values. The 1897 petition that the Claplanhoos and other Makah sealers sent to Congress represented a genre used by Indigenous peoples to assert modern claims in ways legible to non-​Natives. Capturing Makah concerns about the erasure of their economic autonomy, the petition also represented their hopes at the turn of the century for an inclusive US citizenship that also accommodated their distinctly modern Makah identity. While the pelagic sealing prohibition passed at the end of 1897 included exemptions for Indigenous hunters such as Makahs, it limited why they could hunt (only for subsistence purposes) and what gear they could use (spears and canoes, no schooners), thereby reflecting a settler modernist tendency to see authentic Indians only as static vestiges of the past.5 Moreover, modernist conservation strategies simultaneously denied, even obstructed, Makah efforts at shaping and practicing their own relational modernity through commercial sealing, thereby impoverishing once prosperous Native families. 45

Joshua Reid

Crafting a Relational Modernity Conceptualizing Indigenous modernities requires us to shift the usual historical agent, from literary European/​Euro-​American elites to Native laborers, entrepreneurs, and leaders who made these modernities work for their present and future prosperity in accordance with specific values and priorities. By 1871, Makah sealers were “ ‘mak[ing]’ themselves modern, as opposed to being made modern by alien and impersonal forces … [and] giv[ing] themselves an identity and a destiny” (Gaonkar 16). In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, American Indians experienced increasing assimilation pressures from federal policies designed to break apart tribal communities, lands and resource bases, economies, governing structures, and values. The settler government sought to replace these with Euro-​American equivalents rooted in the primacy of the individual, nuclear families, fee simple property, agricultural and wage labor, and subordination to Indian agents, all characteristics of US settler modernity (Cahill; Genetin-​Pilawa; Hoxie). The assimilative push to transform the People of the Cape into farmers seemed especially ludicrous to this marine-​oriented Native community who, since the beginning of time, have lived at Cape Flattery, where the mountainous Olympic Peninsula of today’s Washington State slopes down to the Pacific Ocean. But instead of experiencing a singular modernity as a force of assimilation, Makahs reshaped modernity to align with their relationships—​to seals, to each other, to their ancestors, to their larger community and neighboring peoples—​in order to strengthen their tribal nation and to resist federal policies. During the last several decades of the nineteenth century, modern Makahs engaged in pelagic sealing by hunting k̓iładu·s and making capital investments in this industry. The People of the Cape had long hunted these pinnipeds for their flesh, hide, and oil for home consumption and trade with neighboring villages. Embarking as early as 2:00 a.m., a sealing crew consisting of a harpooner and two paddlers arrived at the hunting grounds 10 to 40 miles into the Pacific as dawn broke over the herds of sleeping fur seals. In 24-​foot cedar canoes specially designed to be silent and to ride high in the water so the harpooner could more easily see the prey, the crew aimed to get within 20 feet of the snoring herd. With both hands, the hunter hurled a 15-​foot harpoon shaft mounted with two barbed spearheads; experienced harpooners sometimes only needed one throw to strike two seals sleeping side by side. Attached to lines 60 feet long and to buoys made from inflated skins of hair seals,6 the harpoon heads detached from the shaft when they struck. Then the crew hauled the seal (sometimes two) toward the canoe and clubbed it dead. After loading the canoe with up to 15 seals, the crew paddled home (Reid 143–​4). In the mid-​nineteenth century, the People of the Cape understood fur seals to be something more than just an animal to harvest for utilitarian purposes—​they saw k̓iładu·s as other-​than-​human relatives, another kind of person with whom they interacted through ongoing, reciprocal relationships. Billy Balch, a Makah sealer, once explained that everything—​including trees, animals, birds, and fish—​were “formerly Indians who for their bad conduct were transformed into the shapes that now appear.”7 For example, seal had been a thief, so the brothers Sun and Moon shortened his arms, tied his legs together, and cast him into the ocean to eat only fish. In this new role, seals gave their lives to feed and provide material goods to their kin, Makahs.8 Seals do this not because they are being punished, but because the reciprocal human-​seal relationship represents socio-​cultural and governance principles central to this form of kincentric ecology.9 Through stories elders told, Makahs learned that protocols kept relationships balanced and that violating these laws had consequences, particularly because non-​ human relatives possessed power. In addition to ritual preparations to become a successful hunter and moral teachings that discouraged wasting or disrespecting animal remains, Makah sealers used seal spears in feast performances. For example, Russian Jim (Makah) headed a procession during one such performance in 1878, in which he had a “barbed seal spear thrust through the skin on each side of his waist” (31 Dec. 1878, Swan Diary 23). During these feasts, successful Makah sealers, such as Russian Jim, shared the wealth from their hunts with the rest of the community, satisfying their relational responsibilities to care for their people. 46

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By the late 1860s, the skins of fur seals had become a valuable commodity in global markets. Makahs eagerly engaged in this modern, transnational trade, thereby continuing to secure the tribal nation’s economic autonomy in the face of increasing assimilation efforts. Recognizing the value of this customary product and their labor, Makah sealers quickly went from exchanging sealskins for trade goods to selling them for cash to local traders both on-​and off-​reservation. In 1874, for example, these hunters made $15,000 (over $350,000 in 2021) selling 3000 skins from seals they had hunted from canoes offshore from January to May (ARCIA, 1871 280). Within a few years, Makah sealers began accumulating substantial cash by utilizing white-​owned schooners based out of nearby ports in Washington Territory, British Columbia, and California to expand their hunting grounds. For one-​third of their catch, Native hunters hired these ships to take them and their canoes out to sea and as far south as the mouth of the Columbia River—​and sometimes even California—​for weekslong voyages. In 1880, the Makah-​organized Neah Bay Fur Sealing Company chartered the Lottie, a Port Townsend-​based schooner, and made over $20,000 (over $525,000 in 2021) during four months. Some Makah chiefs also earned fees for brokering labor agreements with ship captains, traders, and Indian agents.10 Participating in this global, cash-​based industry, hiring vessels, organizing companies, and contracting for labor were all recognizably modern activities of the settler economy. Like other capitalists, the People of the Cape invested in the means of production, which enabled a substantial expansion of their sealing and economic autonomy. In this case, it meant purchasing schooners that they crewed with Makah sealers. In 1885, Peter Brown (Makah) purchased the Letitia for $1000. The following year, James Claplanhoo bought the 31-​ton Lottie for $1200 in cash, with another $600 due at the end of the sealing season. That year, two other Makahs, Klahoowik and Haspooey, bought the 26-​ton Sierra from three San Franciscans for $1500; Lighthouse Jim paid over $1000 for the C.C. Perkins. By 1893, the People of the Cape owned more than ten such vessels.11 From these schooners and canoes, Makah sealers continued to make substantial profits (ARCIA, 1892 496). Seeking to earn the most from their investments, Indigenous schooner owners chartered their vessels for other purposes outside the sealing seasons, including hauling goods around the region, salvaging shipwrecks, carrying friends and family to work the hop fields south of Seattle, and hauling cargo across the Pacific Ocean to Honolulu, more than 2200 miles away.12 Similarly, entrepreneurial Makah sealers diversified their assets and engaged in the settler economy. James Claplanhoo bought out the reservation trader for $3000 in 1890 (Adie), and a year later he deposited $5000 in Port Townsend’s Merchants Bank, where his money earned six percent interest (7 Sept. 1891, Swan Diary 55). Another Makah sealer, Koba·li, bought and renovated a motel at Neah Bay (ARCIA, 1892 495; Culin 152). Additionally, Makah families spent sealing profits on a range of modern consumer goods, including homes made from milled lumber, expensive furnishings, and clothing. They also commissioned photographic portraits from traveling photographers, including ones taken in makeshift studios or on the beach with their extended families and a whale, fish, or seals they had caught.13 Schooner ownership also enabled them to expand the geography of their sealing operations across the North Pacific. By 1887, Makah schooners regularly sailed the Bering Sea and off the coast of Japan during the summer months to pursue fur seals (7 Sept. 1887, Swan Diary 41). These voyages brought them the greatest profits because hunters could harvest many more seals, and skins from the Bering Sea fetched the highest prices on the London fur market (Stewart 643). In 1895, one of the best years for Makah sealers, they earned over $44,000 (over $1.4 million in 2021) (ARCIA, 1896 314). To account for the substantial wear and dangers these ships incurred in the North Pacific, Makahs insured their vessels and had them regularly repaired by non-​Native carpenters in nearby ports.14 By working hard, managing financial risks, pooling and investing money, and maintaining their investments, Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ sealers succeeded in this extractive industry. 47

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While acting in ways that settler authorities likely saw as modern, these Indigenous sealers and schooner owners articulated a relational modernity specific to their time, place, and identity as Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌. This exemplifies what modernities scholar Dilip Gaonkar considers a site-​based “alternative modernity” (14–​15) that, in this case, differed from settler modernity and served to strengthen the Makah Nation. Although these hunters embraced select elements of non-​Native technology and business practices, they did not abandon earlier Makah hunting methods, even in the new waters of the Bering Sea. Instead, they strategically adapted while sealing as their ancestors had done, thereby connecting them to past generations of Makahs. Upon arrival in the sealing grounds, the schooners deployed two-​man crews who hunted from canoes. Most continued to use the double-​headed harpoon instead of noisier and less accurate rifles or shotguns that non-​Natives employed and that scared away seals.15 Employing the federally funded reservation blacksmith to fashion metal tips for spears, lances, and harpoons—​and often from farming tools shipped by the federal government to Neah Bay—​Makahs adapted the seal harpoon’s design, replacing mussel shell blades with iron or sheet copper edges (24 Feb. 1880, Swan Diary 10). During important ceremonies conducted in longhouses back home, successful sealers in the community continued using gear that had been passed from one generation to another (31 Dec. 1878, Swan Diary 23), thereby indicating their enduring social value. Successful Makah sealing operations depended on family, even community-​wide, relationships. These incorporated two or more generations, relied on extended kin networks that crossed international boundaries, and included fleets of expensive ships. The Claplanhoo family best exemplified the blending of family and community interests in this uniquely Makah form of relational modernity. For example, James Claplanhoo—​whose father John Claplanhoo had signed the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay in which Makahs reserved for themselves the rights to hunt whales and seals and to fish for salmon and halibut—​borrowed cash from Nuu-​chah-​nulth relatives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia for his initial purchase of the Lottie in 1886. After several successful sealing seasons, James began shopping around for a second schooner, even traveling by steamer to San Francisco to inspect vessels. In 1893, he eventually commissioned a shipwright in Seattle to build a larger, 42-​ton vessel, the Deeahks, named after an ancestor, and purchased the Emmett Felitz, a 30-​ton vessel. Sometime between 1887 and 1893, he bought the 15-​ton Puritan. Family members on both sides of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the international border, worked his vessels. Born in 1877, James’s son Jongie began sealing as a teen, and in 1895 he took the Deaahks and a Makah crew to the Bering Sea for two months. At the beginning of 1897, Jongie commissioned a new schooner for $2500 (about $81,000 in 2021).16 When Chestoqua Peterson estimated in 1900 that some Makahs had previously earned $20,000 annually from sealing, he was likely thinking of the Claplanhoo family with their fleet of at least five schooners. While these profits made the Claplanhoos wealthy in the 1890s, owning and operating sealing schooners opened up new opportunities to maintain status in accordance with Makah values of relationality. As it had been in the past, wealth for modern Makahs equated to social status when used to improve the community. Similar to many other Northwest Coast peoples, the Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ organized their society hierarchically, and a range of ranked leaders—​individuals whom non-​Natives commonly called “chiefs”—​occupied the highest social stratum. Rather than through coercion, chiefs exercised authority relationally, by using their influence to provide opportunities and to care for others. In this way, schooner owners such as the Claplanhoos helped to spread the opportunities to profit from this lucrative industry by recruiting sealers from their extended family, the Cape Flattery villages, and beyond (4 Apr. 1893, Swan Diary 59). In the 1880s and 1890s, sealing was the most important occupation for Makah males. Chestoqua Peterson told James Swan, the first non-​Native teacher at Neah Bay and then the collector of customs stationed there, that 112 Makah males had hunted fur seals in 1892 (15 June 1892, Swan Diary 56)—​this represented about three-​quarters of the community’s hunting-​age males (ARCIA, 1892 496). Schooner owners also helped relatives secure their own vessels. James Claplanhoo, for example, brought in his son-​in-​law Chestoqua Peterson as 48

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part owner of the Lottie in 1889 (1 Mar. 1889, Swan Diary 46) and likely helped him purchase the Anna Beck shortly thereafter (26 Mar. 1889, Swan Diary 47). Similarly, successful Makah sealing families did not simply seek to accumulate cash for individual wealth—​they used their profits from this industry to fulfill chiefly obligations. In the past and until at least the 1920s, the most influential authorities were whalers who provided the most for the people, which they did by redistributing their wealth through potlatches and feasts.17 This kind of relational generosity through potlatches was intrinsic to Makah modernity in the late nineteenth century, and successful sealing families like the Claplanhoos used them to enhance and maintain their status. Potlatches infuriated the Neah Bay Indian agents who sought to limit the extravagant Northwest Coast events because Makah hosts did what these agents saw as a very anti-​modern practice through potlatches—​they gave away individual wealth. For example, James Claplanhoo spent an estimated $3000 on one in 1890 (McGlinn); three years later, the family spent $6000 (nearly $183,000 in 2021) of “American silver dollars” on food, blankets, flannels, and other goods, which they gave away during another potlatch they held just off-​reservation—​and thereby beyond the control of the Indian agent—​on nearby Tatoosh Island (“An Indian Potlatch”). As this example illustrates, Makah financial success in modern capitalist markets helped to mitigate assimilation efforts perpetrated by the federal government. While nearly all agents sought to stamp out Indigenous practices like potlatching, Makah profits from sealing repeatedly impressed Indian agents tasked with transforming the People of the Cape into farmers. In 1873 as the pelagic sealing business began to increase in the Pacific Northwest, Agent E.M. Gibson unsuccessfully lobbied the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to supply the Makahs with a schooner instead of the usual annuity goods oriented toward agriculture (ARCIA, 1873 308). Similarly, after nearly five years stationed at Neah Bay, Agent Charles Willoughby concluded in 1882 that the People of the Cape “have learned that the fruits of their [marine] labors have a market value, these waters are at present a greater source of wealth to them than their land could be, no matter how much pains were taken in its cultivation” (ARCIA, 1882 155). For years, Makahs expressed no interest in allotments for agricultural purposes. One enterprising agent, John P. McGlinn, then proposed ten-​acre plots all fronting the bay, ocean, strait, or a river, noting that this plan was “entirely satisfactory to the Indians, as it insures … what is far more important to them, a fair distribution of the most desirable location on the water front” (ARCIA, 1892 494). In 1893, Makahs began choosing their allotments, but a subsequent agent voided these after removing McGlinn for corruption. The new allotments that were forced upon them a decade later and were divided for the usual agricultural purposes angered many Makahs who had been pleased with their waterfront property (ARCIA, 1903 333). Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ maritime success also blunted assimilating Makah children through education. Agent McGlinn argued to his superiors that teaching Makahs at an on-​reservation industrial school was better than sending them away to a distant boarding school, specifically noting that those educated at the agency school would be more successful at earning a living from fishing (ARCIA, 1892 496). Similarly, in 1893, the superintendent of the on-​reservation Neah Bay School advocated for an education that should support the tribal nation’s maritime industries, writing “the future success and prosperity of the boys that are now being educated here will depend largely upon their efficiency in handling vessels and their knowledge of sealing, whaling, and fishing” (ARCIA, 1893 327). For this reason, he frequently excused older students to go sealing with their fathers. Official assessments like these pegged Makah success and self-​sufficiency to customary Indigenous practices and industries oriented toward the sea, rather than those emerging from federal assimilation policies rooted in farming and terrestrial labor. By hunting the other-​than-​human relations of k̓iładu·s, these Indigenous sealers of the late nineteenth century connected with ancestral values and practices while expressing a unique form of relational modernity that did not reject the past as quaintly irrational or irrelevant.18 Engaging in more expected markers of settler modernity, such as the commoditization of natural resources, involvement 49

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with capitalist and consumer markets, and use of new technologies, the Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ also exercised their own reflective self-​determination by fashioning themselves as modern Makahs according to culturally specific relational values. They combined customary practices, such as hunting fur seals, with new opportunities so as to continue being Makah, which meant supporting extended family and community members and redistributing wealth through potlatches. Pelagic sealing helped the People of the Cape assert their own unique identity in the modern world while maintaining relations across the community, with their marine homelands, and with other-​than-​human kin like seals. Most importantly, these actions allowed them to continue securing their economic autonomy through the 1890s. At a time when the federal government sought to assert more control over American Indian lives, Makahs strengthened their tribal nation through relational modernity.

Conservation and Settler Modernity While Makahs successfully countered US assimilation policies in the late nineteenth century, they experienced more difficulty with the government’s enforcement of conservation laws that sought to manage the fur sealing industry along settler modernist values. During the second half of the nineteenth century, pelagic sealers from Washington State (including Makahs), British Columbia, Russia, and Japan hunted pinnipeds from the Pribilof herd, a once-​massive population of fur seals that migrated along the Northwest Coast to their breeding grounds on the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. Hired hunters also took fur seals terrestrially on the islands themselves. Together, these hunts killed millions of fur seals in about three decades and became a signature example of wastefulness to some of the earliest settler conservationists. For example, shortly before the US purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, George Perkins Marsh had warned in Man and Nature (1864), one of the foundational texts in the conservation movement, that fur seals “are already so reduced in numbers that they seem destined soon to follow the [Steller’s] sea cow [into extinction], unless protected by legislation stringent enough, and a police energetic enough, to repress the ardent cupidity of their pursuers” (119–​20). Marsh’s warning seemed prescient. The unregulated slaughter on the islands in 1868 resulted in the overharvest of 300,000 fur seals and signaled the need for conservation (Jordan 26). Settler conservationists believed that their actions were modern in the sense that Western science would help them rationally and responsibly manage fur seals. They studied the natural history and environment of the Pribilof herd—​most notably with the paired US and British investigations from 1896 to 1897—​in order to precisely count and tax seal units harvested while minimizing waste. Settler conservationists also set quotas that supported an intensive, utilitarian approach to nature, as popularized by Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the US Forest Service: “the greatest good for the greatest number for the longest time” (Pinchot 326).19 But settler-​colonial priorities also guided their management decisions, specifically by cutting out Indigenous peoples as entrepreneurs and by treating fur seals as only commodities and not relations. Native peoples would still be able to hunt seals, but only as low-​paid wage laborers working for a corporation or for subsistence purposes and by employing customary equipment, which did not include the many costly schooners Makahs had bought and maintained. US conservation steps represented a form of settler modernity that impoverished Makahs and disrupted their relations with k̓iładu·s and each other. Through measures that prioritized non-​ Native corporate and government profits, settler conservationists favored terrestrial seal hunts under the supposedly efficient management of a single company. In March 1869, the US government enclosed the Pribilofs by declaring it a government reservation and restricting the hunts on land. One year later, Congress awarded an exclusive lease to a single, purportedly “proper and responsible” corporation—​the Alaska Commercial Company (ACC)—​that would conduct the hunt under supervision of the Treasury Department (Act, 16 Stat. 180). Hired by ACC traders and managed by chiefs operating as labor contractors, gangs of Aleut 50

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sealers did the actual hunting on St. Paul and St. George Islands, two of the five volcanic islands of the Pribilofs, during the months of June and July when skins were in prime condition. Having hunted fur seals sustainably for generations before the non-​Native commercial market intruded, experienced Aleut hunters adeptly managed the entire process and took their own conservation steps, neither hunting in the rookeries nor targeting females. As pinnipeds returned to these islands to breed and whelp their pups, hunters descended on the seashore rookeries, rounding up hundreds of male seals and driving them to designated grassy plains hundreds of yards away. Aleut hunters then cut off smaller groups of 25–​50 seals from the larger pod.They worked out the younger seals, allowing them to return to the sea, and then clubbed dead and skinned the rest, earning 40 cents per skin—​50 cents after 1890—​which the company paid into a community fund for distribution later. Afterward, the skins were loaded onto wagons and taken to the salt house in a nearby village, where they were salted and cured for about two weeks before being loaded onto baidarkas and conveyed to a trading vessel anchored offshore (Jordan 27, 116–​19; Rogers 33, 37–​8, 69). These land-​based hunters killed nearly 2.5 million seals from 1868 to 1897, during the Gilded Age when corporate monopolies like the ACC grew in economic and political power, often at the expense of marginalized laborers and the environment.20 Unsurprisingly, Gilded Age conservation measures prioritized the needs of the ACC monopoly over all others, including Makahs. When putting the Pribilof Islands under ACC management, lawmakers argued that they were promoting the greatest good for the greatest number of people and in a manner that would allow fur sealing to continue indefinitely (Act, 16 Stat. 180). The 20-​year lease allowed the company to harvest just 100,000 male seals annually, a number that the government deemed ecologically sustainable. In return, the corporation paid the federal government $55,000 per year for the lease and additional fees for each skin and gallon of seal oil sold.21 Over the course of the ACC lease, this earned the US over $10 million, which more than covered the initial 1867 purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. Additionally, the ACC generated $22 million in dividends to the corporation’s shareholders, but only $916,000 for the laboring Aleut communities during the lease (Busch 111; Rogers 35–​36). Together, these returns demonstrated that under settler conservationists’ utilitarian maxim only a small slice of non-​Natives truly profited. The initial enclosure of the Pribilof Islands failed to stem the precipitous decline in fur seals, and the ACC and government officials blamed pelagic hunters.22 During the period of the ACC’s lease, pelagic sealing—​not bound by the lease terms because it occurred offshore—​g rew, especially during the 1880s, to include Makahs, white American and Canadian hunters, and increasing numbers of Russian and Japanese sealers. By 1889, the last full year of the ACC lease, the pelagic take had increased to nearly 30,000 fur seals, still far below the terrestrial catch of just over 102,000 (Jordan 211). But settler conservationists worried about the wastefulness of pelagic sealing because firearm-​toting non-​Native hunters regularly lost from half to three-​fifths of what they shot at sea as carcasses often sank before they could be retrieved. More concerning to those seeking to protect the sealing industry, up to 80 percent of the pelagic catch consisted of breeding females, which undercut the herd’s ability to sustain its population and compounded the losses as pups starved with the death of lactating mothers. Additionally, government regulators worried that profits from the pelagic hunt escaped US coffers when these vessels landed at foreign ports across the Pacific to sell skins and avoid any Treasury Department fees—​Makahs commonly sold their sealskins in Victoria, for example (3 June 1879, Swan Diary 25; 14 June 1890, Swan Diary 51). From the perspective of the Treasury Department that administered the Pribilof lease, this was inefficient, costly, and unacceptable. Beginning in 1886, the US Treasury Department deployed its Revenue cutters—​armed customs enforcement—​to seize foreign vessels sealing in the Bering Sea, thereby seeking to extend settler conservation offshore by enclosing this marine space.23 Over the next four years, the Revenue cutters stopped 20 Canadian vessels, turning five out of the Bering Sea and confiscating the rest (“Behring Sea Arbitration Award”). But they also targeted Makah vessels in the Bering Sea. Unlike white American 51

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schooner owners, Native owners suffered prosecution from the federal government (Murray 62). For example, at the end of July 1889, the Revenue cutter Rush seized Chestoqua Peterson’s James G. Swan with 190 sealskins. Knowing that the loss of the schooner and sealskins, along with the summer’s returns, would be a great hardship to him and his extended family, Peterson pled ignorance of the law through W.L. Powell, their Indian agent. Makahs believed that the Revenue cutters were in the Bering Sea to protect US sealing outfits from foreign competitors. Peterson hired attorney James Swan to help settle the case with the government. This was a modern decision, legible under both settler modernity (Swan was a practicing lawyer in US courts) and Makah relational modernity (Peterson’s extended family had close ties to Swan, even naming this schooner after him). But the US district court decided against the Makah owner and ordered him to pay $350 (over $10,000 in 2021) in fines and for court costs, which he did immediately.24 Ostensibly for conservation purposes, US settler modernity’s enclosure efforts at sea also jeopardized Makah entrepreneurs. The US confiscations of Canadian vessels precipitated an international crisis with Great Britain—​ which at that time oversaw Canada’s foreign policy because of its dominion status in the British Empire—​and resulted in substantial payouts to foreign schooner owners but not Makahs. By 1891, the two countries submitted the dispute to an international tribunal in Paris, which decided in 1893 against US claims that they owned the Pribilof herd and had the right to enclose the Bering Sea.This meant that the US had to compensate Canadian owners for the earlier seizure of their vessels and skins. Makah schooner owners keenly followed news of the tribunal hearings, and they urged Agent Powell to ask the Office of Indian Affairs (OIA) how they could file for their share of the compensation. OIA ignored the request, and during the tribunal’s hearings, arbitrators made it clear that they would determine claims to be valid only if British citizens owned these vessels. From the tribunal’s perspective, they were adjudicating an international dispute—​any domestic claims would need to be handled elsewhere. This decision shut out Makah entrepreneurs from compensation, demonstrating yet again how conservation under settler modernity privileged non-​Natives.25 While the Paris tribunal adjudicated the dispute between the US and Great Britain, Congress awarded a new 20-​year lease to the North American Commercial Company (NACC) in 1890, thereby continuing the policy of enclosing the Pribilof Islands themselves. According to the terms of the lease, this company agreed to an annual lease for $60,000 and to substantially steeper fees per sealskin taken and shipped than the previous leaseholder had paid.26 The US Treasury Department dramatically lowered quotas throughout the 1890s, limiting the NACC hunts to 7500 seals annually in 1892 and 1893. In subsequent years, quotas changed annually, and the land catch averaged just under 17,000 seals each year of the NACC’s lease. Over the term of this lease, the company paid to the US just over $3 million and reaped an additional $5.6 million in corporate profits. During this period, the Aleut laboring communities on St. Paul and St. George Islands received nearly $797,000, of which 39% (nearly $311,000) was from government assistance (Rogers 71, 82–​83). The lower returns, along with new expenditures to support Aleut workers, likely encouraged the federal government to take firmer conservation steps against pelagic sealers such as Makahs. One key conservation regulation—​the prohibition on using firearms to hunt fur seals, which emerged from the 1893 Paris tribunal—​initially benefited the People of the Cape because they were proficient in hunting with spears. After learning of this regulation, one local newspaper noted jealously, Ten schooners for sealing voyages are being fitted out by the Makat [sic] Indians of Neah Bay.The fleet will be worth over $20,000, and will be entirely owned, officered and manned by aborigines. As the regulations as laid down in the Paris tribunal forbid the use of firearms in sealing, the Indians will have a decided advantage in the industry, since at handling the spear they are experts. Daily Columbian

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This white Canadian commentator objected to the apparently “special rights” the regulation conferred on Indians. Makah sealers indeed did well, catching more than 2500 seals off the coast of Washington during the first year of the firearms prohibition (ARCIA, 1894 306). In 1895, Jongie Claplanhoo sailed the 42-​ton schooner Deeahks to the Bering Sea and brought back nearly 600 sealskins (7 Oct. 1895, Swan Diary 61). According to the Neah Bay agent, this was one of the best years for Makah sealers (ARCIA, 1896 313). This success demonstrated to the federal government and the NACC that the firearms prohibition was no disadvantage to experienced Indigenous pelagic sealers. Moreover, the US Revenue cutters found it difficult to enforce the firearms prohibition against an increasingly transnational pelagic sealing fleet as more Russian and Japanese outfits began hunting the Bering Sea. From 1891 to 1896, the pelagic returns grew, with annual averages of nearly 50,000 skins harvested—​this number did not include the number of seals shot and lost (Jordan 211). Within this context of plummeting returns from the NACC and continually high ones from pelagic sealers, Congress took further conservation steps in 1897. As the US grappled with the international diplomacy of curtailing pelagic sealing, Congress passed legislation at the end of December to prohibit all US subjects from pelagic sealing in the North Pacific and Bering Sea (Act, 30 Stat. 226). This act reflected settler conservationist values by prioritizing the needs of the corporate NACC, which continued to hunt seals on land, over those of Indigenous entrepreneurs such as the People of the Cape and other small operators. Coming at the end of the Gilded Age and during President McKinley’s administration, which prioritized big businesses at the expense of others, the 1897 act was unsurprising—​Darius Ogden Mills, the principal NACC shareholder, had strong political connections with the Republican Party and likely lobbied hard for this legislation (Busch 123–​25; Paterson 101). By barring US citizens and subjects, such as Makahs, from pelagic sealing, the government sought to further enclose the Pribilof herd. The People of the Cape followed the unfolding conservation developments, and they instituted their own conservation measures emerging from Makah values of relationality. Similar to settler conservationists, Makahs also worried about non-​Native use of firearms during pelagic hunts. Not only did noisy weapons scare seals, but their use also disrespectfully wasted the lives of the other-​than-​ human relations, k̓iładu·s (fur seals). In 1880, the People of the Cape warned white sealers that if they came into Makah waters off Cape Flattery to hunt with firearms, “the Indians would take their guns away” (24 Jan. 1880, Swan Diary 10). In this instance, tribal authorities were likely both protecting their management over Makah marine space and attempting to maintain respectful hunts of k̓iładu·s. As Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ hunters expanded into the Bering Sea, they deplored the wasteful practice of non-​ Natives shooters. Twenty-​one Makah sealers provided depositions to be used during the Paris tribunal hearings, and many noted the superiority of Indigenous techniques. For example, Lighthouse Jim, an accomplished Makah sealer and owner of the schooner C.C. Perkins, complained in 1892 that “the sea is full of them [white hunters] and they are banging away all the time, getting some [seals] but killing and wounding a great many they do not get.” Osly, another Makah sealer, explained that “[We] prefer to use the spear, because in so doing we do not lose so many nor frighten them away.”27 By continuing to hunt with harpoons attached to sturdy lines, Makahs lost few seals and respectfully minimized wasting the lives of their other-​than-​human relations. Makahs also responded in modern ways—​aligned with both settler modernity and relational modernity values and practices—​to the proposed legislation that would prohibit their lucrative sealing industry. Introduced at the beginning of this chapter, they registered their concerns by sending a formal, typed petition to Congress through their Indian agent (Claplanhoo et al.). Since the mid-​ nineteenth century, the People of the Cape had been communicating with the federal government through official channels. For example, their formal requests notified the government about its failures to uphold treaty promises related to punishing people who had harmed or murdered Makahs or about their desire for annuity goods—​such as modern vessels like a steamship—​more appropriate for a marine-​facing community (Reid 160–​3 and 176–​7). Indigenous peoples have a long history of using petitions to advocate for their nations, especially when they believed that their perspectives 53

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had not been heard by those in power. For example, from the 1810s through 1830s, many Cherokee women signed petitions protesting removal from their homelands in the Southeast (Perdue and Green 129–​34).The same year that Makahs were petitioning Congress over the impending fur sealing restrictions, 95 percent of the Kānaka Maoli population in the Kingdom of Hawai‘i signed petitions protesting the illegal US annexation of their nation (Silva). As historian Jean O’Brien (White Earth Band) asserts relative to Southern Algonquian speakers in the mid-​eighteenth-​century New England, “Indian petitioners understood the power of the written word as a weapon in a continuing legacy of Indian resistance” (128). Likewise, Makah sealers saw the petition as a way to assert their voices into the contemporary governing process, particularly on an issue that affected them directly. Makah petitioners sought to represent themselves as modern entrepreneurs and members of society. They drew on assimilationist rhetoric to demonstrate the progress they had made, specifically by investing all their “capital” in schooners and equipment for sealing, a “trade” they understood well and that supported them without government aid. The petitioners also cast themselves as Christians, arguing that “God gave us the Seals for our sustenance.” Finally, they compared themselves to other productive entrepreneurs, noting that “The Misery and want which would come to us would be such as would come to your people if from them were taken at once lands and tools and stock and factories and mines and they were left to face ruin and starvation.” Pelagic sealing defined them not only as Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌, but also as productive members of a modern, US society. The petition reflected Makah values of relational modernity.The petitioners began by connecting their contemporary commercial sealing activities to cultural practices from earlier generations of Makah hunters. They also specifically invoked the reciprocal relationship that they had with k̓iładu·s, noting that “Ever sence [sic] we have been a people the Seal has furnished us clothing and food.”The petitioners reminded Congress that this was a relationship that Makahs had sought to protect through the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay. Additionally, they reminded the government of its own relationship of responsibility to the People of the Cape: “You call us your wards and the care of our interest is in your hands.” Finally, they signaled the reality that sealing allowed Makahs to earn money to care for community relations, especially children, whom they warned would become “hungry and naked” if this industry was prohibited. The 1897 act prohibiting pelagic sealing went into effect, jeopardizing Makah economic autonomy and their ability to engage in relational modernity. Shortly after the law’s passage, Revenue cutters steamed into Neah Bay and confiscated the largest schooners under the assumption that these vessels could only be used for sealing. They towed a dozen Makah ships to the nearby Life-​Saving Service station and beached them there, where they remained until storms and waves destroyed them. This represented a loss of at least $20,000 (over $640,000 in 2021) for these Indigenous entrepreneurs.28 When Makahs learned that the US government was negotiating a buyout of foreign sealing fleets, families sought compensation for these substantial losses. In 1899, Jongie Claplanhoo, one of the petitioners in 1897, wrote to James Swan, seeking information on a government plan to buy out the Victoria sealing fleet at $150 per ton. The owner of several schooners that he witnessed being slowly destroyed, Claplanhoo argued that “we have all the rights to sell our Schooner[s]‌the same” (Claplanhoo). US officials told Makahs that they would be compensated; however, this happened in only one case, which took thousands of dollars to pursue over three decades (Reid 193–​5). The same year the Claplanhoo family sought compensation, the Indian agent at Neah Bay reported that Makahs were “poor” (ARCIA, 1899 356), a profound change from just three years earlier when the previous agent lauded the wealthy and industrious People of the Cape for “hav[ing] money laid away for future use” from their “hard earnings, wrought upon the seas” (ARCIA, 1896 314). The loss of steady sealing income meant that schooner owners and sealers had substantially less cash for supporting their extended families and the community, a key aspect of Makah relational modernity. Moreover, settler modernity and conservation at the dawn of the twentieth century suppressed the Makah relationship with k̓iładu·s by discouraging hunting. These effects made it much harder for the Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ to maintain their economic autonomy. 54

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Additionally, the 1897 prohibition on commercial pelagic sealing reflected settler conservationists’ tendency to frame Indian authenticity as something tied to the static past and in opposition to Western modernity. The legislation extended language from an earlier 1894 act, which codified into US law the sealing regulations agreed to through the 1893 Paris tribunal that adjudicated the US-​British dispute (Act, 28 Stat. 52). One of the tribunal’s articles carved out an exemption for Indigenous sealers, which allowed for Indigenous hunters to continue sealing, but only for subsistence purposes and if using traditional equipment (Jordan 235). It specifically barred the use of schooners—​even if the actual hunting was done from canoes and with spears—​and prohibited the commercial activity and subsequent economic benefits that Makah families had come to rely on for several decades. Analyzing how such policies emerged from the tribunal deliberations and became codified into US law reveals the way that settler modernity used conservation policies to limit Indigenous peoples, practices, and their own forms of modernity. Although the Paris tribunal gathered a wealth of information about Indigenous pelagic sealing along the Northwest Coast, individual tribunal members and commissioners cherry-​picked from the evidence and refracted it through stereotypes of Indigenous peoples to advantage their respective diplomatic positions.Tribunal evidence included reports and letters written by non-​Native traders, sealing schooner owners, Indian agents, and inspectors, alongside depositions collected from Indigenous sealers, such as 21 Makahs, including several sealers who drafted the 1897 petition to Congress. As shown in earlier sections of this chapter, much of this information revealed ways that Makahs engaged with settler modernity and shaped their own relational modernity through the customary practice of sealing. But in laying out the rights for Canadian pelagic sealers, the British commissioners pointed to Indigenous hunters as evidence that British subjects—​in this case, colonized First Nations along the West Coast of Vancouver Island up through Haida Gwaii—​had a long history of taking fur seals from the migrating Pribilof herd.The commissioners classified the Makahs in Washington State as an extension of the “Aht” people, the Nuu-​chah-​nulth of Vancouver Island, noting that the People of the Cape were “great seal-​hunters” who even owned sealing schooners and rarely lost any seals they speared (Bering Sea Tribunal, Report of the Behring Sea Commission 91). Despite acknowledging the capital investments Makahs had made in the industry, these commissioners credited the colonial economy—​ not Indigenous entrepreneurs—​for stimulating this commercial activity among Native peoples. Of the two US tribunal members, Senator John Tyler Morgan—​a Confederate general, six-​term senator from Alabama, white supremacist, and advocate of US empire—​articulated the American position.29 Not uncommon for politicians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the stereotype of American Indians as conquered and wasteful savages shaped his views.30 After claiming that Native peoples of the West Coast were just a “few scattered tribes” (Bering Sea Tribunal, Opinions of Senator Morgan 31), Morgan characterized them as the foil to modern, settler conservation: This right of indiscriminate slaughter of fur-​seals on land and sea can only be traced, and, in this case, has only been traced, as to its origin, to a custom of the savage Indians, who were forced to adopt it as a means of living … Civilized nations that have gained dominion over these savage tribes have … reversed these laws of the savages … and have forbidden them to enjoy this unrestrained privilege. 61 Additionally, he presented Native peoples as needing government welfare if they were forbidden from subsistence sealing. But, in some instances, they [nation-​states] have permitted the savages to continue the practice, because it is confined to short distances from the shores, and is conducted with such weapons and in such manner as is not seriously detrimental to the fur seal species. Moreover, the fur seals are a source of food supply and of raiment, to deprive them of which would 55

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imperil their existence. It is also cheaper to permit their slight raids on the fur seals than it would be to feed and clothe them. 61 Morgan ignored the evidence of the People of the Cape as successful, modern commercial actors who ranged across great distances throughout the North Pacific. Morgan’s views on anti-​modern Indians who only hunted for subsistence purposes and needed government support appeared to shape the tribunal’s exemption for Indigenous sealers. When drafting the initial version of regulations, the neutral members—​Baron de Courcel (French), Marquis Visconti-​Venosta (Italian), and Gregers Gram (Norwegian)—​first proposed the Indian exemption: The regulations contained in the preceding articles shall not apply to Indians dwelling on the coasts of the territory of the United States or of Great Britain, and carrying on in their canoes, at a small distance from the coasts where they dwell, fur seal fishing. Bering Sea Tribunal, Opinions of Mr. Justice Harlan 224 This exempted Indigenous subsistence hunters from the proposed closed season during the month of May and June. The rest of the tribunal members then weighed in, amending the regulations, which included the exact exemption language in the final version that was subsequently codified into US law. In this manner, all efforts to make Makah modernity legible failed in the face of settler conservation and set the stage for shutting the People of the Cape out of this lucrative industry. This example of late nineteenth century Makah sealing reveals that the logics of settler modernity rendered modern Indigenous actors invisible. Living marine-​facing lives based from Cape Flattery, these Indigenous hunters and entrepreneurs were not historical actors that no one expected to see in the North Pacific. Some of the first US officials that the People of the Cape engaged with, such as treaty negotiators in 1855 and subsequent Indian agents, expected them to continue to bring the wealth of the oceans into the national economy.31 In the post-​treaty decades, the Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌ thrived by engaging in customary practices such as hunting fur seals at sea, which enabled them to engage in settler modernity and to shape their own relational modernity.When settler conservationist measures threatened their economic autonomy, Makahs made every effort to make their success legible to domestic and international officials. They wrote letters, lobbied federal officials, provided depositions, and petitioned Congress. However, settler modernists, such as the Paris tribunal members and US Congressmen, refused to move past stereotypes of “savages” who wasted natural resources but whose scattered populations were small enough that they did not imperil fur seal populations. Even with evidence in hand, non-​ Natives denied the existence of modern Indigenous entrepreneurs who succeeded in the commercial world while respectfully conserving k̓iładu·s whom they saw as other-​than-​human relations. At the dawn of the twentieth century, settler modernists relegated Indigenous peoples as either outside modernity—​i.e., authentic Indians who only hunted for subsistence purposes—​or as poorly paid laborers, such as the Aleut hunters working for a corporation. But resilient Makahs persevered, even in the face of a domestic law that ended their lucrative fur sealing industry at the end of the nineteenth century. Much as it had with fur sealing, the Makah form of relational modernity shaped other practices, particularly fishing for salmon and halibut and hunting whales up to 100 miles off Cape Flattery. Similar to sealing, these were customary practices that they combined with market opportunities and technologies brought by settler modernity to thrive as twentieth-​century Makahs. Although they suspended whaling in 1928—​a decision that emerged from their values shaped by relational modernity and decades before modern nation-​states began to seek ways to conserve whales—​the Makah nation today faces whale preservation by settler modernists who racialize these Indigenous hunters as wasteful savages pursuing noble cetaceans (Bowechop; Reid 3). 56

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Similar to what they faced with the 1897 commercial sealing moratorium, Makahs—​along with other tribal nations in the Pacific Northwest—​bore the brunt of settler conservationists in Washington State who sought to curtail any Indian fishing, ostensibly to protect dwindling fish populations overfished by non-​Native commercial and sport fishers. State officials prioritized the needs of non-​ Native fishers over those of Indigenous fishing families and communities from the 1910s through 1970s. Working in collaboration with several other tribal nations in the state, the People of the Cape fought in the courts and on the water to protect their reserved treaty rights, eventually forcing Washington State and others to recognize not just the sovereignty of Native nations but also unique forms of Indigenous relational modernity (Wilkinson; Reid 210–​60). Although there is a very long way to go, a new generation of settler conservationists are beginning to recognize that something resembling the relational values of Makahs and neighboring Coast Salish peoples just might be the best foundation for natural resource management policies and practices in regional waters. Makah efforts to make their form of relational modernity legible may finally be seen.

Notes 1 For more on the concept of “settler modernity,” see Povinelli. 2 For some other examples of animals as other-​than-​human relations, see Claxton; Rule. 3 Not uncommonly, Indigenous economies of this period centered on family and community support. See the case studies in Hosmer and O’Neill, Native Pathways; Hosmer, American Indians in the Marketplace; O’Neill, Working. Yet, as historian Alexandra Harmon demonstrates, Native peoples could be just as oriented toward individual economic success as non-​Natives. 4 This draws from the multigenerational aspect of traditional ecological knowledge that shapes the relationality and success of many Native hunters. For example, see Menzies and Butler; Reo and Whyte. 5 For “authentic Indians,” see Deloria; Raibmon. 6 Hair seals are of the family Phocidae (true seals) and have hair instead of fur. 7 Swan, 4 Dec. 1863, Bound Autograph Manuscript Jour. and Memorandum Book. For the Northwest Coast belief that animals are people and that protocols govern these relationships, see Atleo 59–​64. 8 Ojibwe hunters also conceive of deer this way. See Reo and Whyte 21. For more on human-​animal relations and reciprocity, see Nadasdy. 9 I have adapted this statement from Métis scholar Zoe Todd’s analysis of human-​fish relationships among Inuvialuit of Paulatuuq in Arctic Canada. For kincentric ecology, see Martinez; Salmón. 10 15 Jan. 1879, Swan Diary 23; 29 Jan. 1881, Swan Diary 29; ARCIA, 1880 155–​6; Swan, “Fur Seal Industry”; Murray 16–​17, 155. 11 Euro-​American James Swan, who lived at Neah Bay and nearby Port Townsend, recorded details about Makah ownership and operations of sealing schooners. For example, see 16 Apr. and 17 Oct. 1885, Diary 38; 17 Jan. and 3 and 8 Feb. 1886, Diary 39; 17 Sept. and 18 Oct. 1886, Diary 40; and 9 Dec. 1893, Diary 59. Indian agents at Neah Bay also included information about schooner ownership in their annual reports and letters to the Office of Indian Affairs. See ARCIA, 1885 188; ARCIA, 1886 235; ARCIA, 1887 210; Powell to CIA 1889. The British Colonist, a newspaper based out of nearby Victoria, BC, also tracked Makah-​owned schooners: 10 Apr. 1887; 4 Sept. 1889; 2 Feb. 1893. Makah families today continue to tell oral histories about schooner ownership and sealing. See Claplanhoo-​Martin and Claplanhoo. 12 6 Feb., 13 July, 21 Aug. 1887, Swan Diary 41; 23 June, 5 July, 1890, Swan Diary 51; 1 Dec. 1890, Swan Diary 53; 25 Jan. 1892, Swan Diary 56. 13 Swan described a more complete range of these goods. See Diaries 39–​64, covering the years 1886–​98. 14 For these activities, see 21 Nov. 1886, Swan Diary 40; 22 Feb. 1890, Swan Diary 50; 11 July 1890, Swan Diary 51; 14 May 1891, Swan Diary 55; 7 June 1892, Swan Diary 56. 15 “Testimony Taken among the Makah Indians,” in Bering Sea Tribunal, Fur Seal Arbitration, 376–​99. 16 For the Claplanhoo fleet’s expansion, see British Colonist, 28 Oct. 1892. See also 25 Oct. 1891, Swan Diary 55; 15 Dec. 1892, Swan Diary 58; 22 Jan., 30 Mar., 9 Dec. 1893, Swan Diary 59; 3 Jan. 1897, Swan Diary 63. 17 Coté 22–​3, 35–​41; Goodman and Swan 28–​9; Kirk 36–​69; Swan, “Indians of Cape Flattery” 10–​14. 18 Non-​Europeans have long criticized Western modernity for limiting past cultural practices and values as quaint customs and signs that a society needs to be transformed. For example, see Duara 205–​27. 19 Pinchot adapted this idea from W.J. McGee, the radical social Darwinist and head of the Bureau of Ethnology (1893–​1903). See Cross.

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Joshua Reid 20 Statistics compiled from “United States No. 2 (1898): Joint Statement of Conclusions Signed by the British, Canadian, and United States’ Delegates Respecting the Fur-​Seal Herd Frequenting the Pribyloff Islands in Behring Sea,” in Bering Sea Tribunal, Behring Sea Arbitration Papers, 4; Jordan 208, 211, 222; Tomasevich 74–​6, 89. All subsequent sealing returns—​both on land and at sea—​are from these sources, unless otherwise noted. For Gilded Age exploitation of laborers and nature, see Cronon, especially 148–​50. 21 “Terms of the Original Lease of the Seal Island with the Alaska Commercial Company,” 3 Aug. 1870, in Jordan 236–​8. 22 For more on pelagic sealing, see Jordan 142–​6, 153–​64, 244–​6; Murray. For a more complete discussion on the environmental cost of North Pacific sealing, see Busch 95–​157; Dorsey 105–​64; Reid 177–​96. 23 While this action extended the earlier terrestrial enclosure of the islands themselves out to the sea, it also presaged enclosure efforts that the US would make farther north in the Arctic around the turn of the century as it sought to enclose walruses for similar reasons and in which the Treasury Department’s Revenue Cutter Service played a prominent enforcement role. See Demuth 73–​134. 24 For information on the seizure of and efforts to release the Swan, see 31 July and 21 Sept. 1889, Swan Diary 48; 4 Apr. 1890, Swan Diary 50; 13 and 19 Apr. 1890 Swan Diary 51; Powell to CIA 1889; Shields. 25 18 May 1890, Swan Diary 51; Powell to CIA 1893; Charles H. Tupper to Foster, 26 May 1893, enclosure 1 in no. 65, and John W. Foster to Tupper, 27 May 1893, enclosure 2 in no. 65, “United States, No. 11 (1893): Papers Relating to the Proceedings of the Tribunal of Arbitration,” in Bering Sea Tribunal, Behring Sea Arbitration Papers, 50–​51. 26 “Copy of Contract Between the United States and the North American Commercial Company, Under Which Said Company Is Granted the Exclusive Right of Taking Fur Seals upon the Pribilof Islands in Alaska,” 12 Mar. 1890, in Jordan 238–​40. 27 For Makah attitudes on wasteful sealing practices, see the depositions from sealers interviewed at Neah Bay, WA, on 27 Apr. 1892, in Bering Sea Tribunal, Fur Seal Arbitration, 376–​98 (quotes 389 and 391). 28 I have estimated the schooner investment figure from Swan’s records. See Swan Diaries 39–​63. This figure does not include money spent on canoes, sealing fear, upkeep, moorage, or insurance. 29 Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan was the other US tribunal member, and he only noted Indigenous sealers once, and only to strengthen US claims to property rights over fur seals. See Bering Sea Tribunal, Opinions of Harlan 121. 30 For the application of the stereotype of savage and wasteful Indian hunters, see Jacoby 89–​90; Spence 52–​3, 83–​100; Warren 71–​105, 126–​51. 31 See “Ratified Treaty” 2; and Indian agent reports in the ARCIA, from 1862 onward.

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Makah Relationality & Settler Conservation ———​. Report of the Behring Sea Commission, and Report of British Commissioners of June 21, 1892:With Five Maps and Diagrams, and Appendices. London: Harrison and Sons, 1893. Bowechop [Ledford], Janine. “Contemporary Makah Whaling.” Coming to Shore. Eds. Marie Mauzé et al., Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2000. 407–​19. British Colonist (Victoria, BC). Brown, Kirby. “American Indian Modernities and New Modernist Studies’ ‘Indian Problem’.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 59, no. 3 (2017): 287–​318. Busch, Briton C. The War against the Seals: A History of the North American Seal Fishery. Kingston: McGill-​ Queen’s, 1985. Cahill, Cathleen D. Federal Fathers & Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869–​1933. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2011. Claplanhoo, James, et al. Petition, [December] 1897. No. 53731, Letters Received. [Claplanhoo, Jongie] Jangi James to James Swan, 24 Feb. 1899. Series B.1.2.3, Swan Papers, 1852–​1907. U of British Columbia. Claplanhoo-​Martin, Mary Ann and Charles “Pug” Claplanhoo. Interview by author, digital audio recording, 19 May 2009. Makah Cultural and Research Center, Neah Bay, WA. Claxton, Nick XEMŦOLTW and John Price. “Whose Land Is It? Rethinking Sovereignty in British Columbia.” BC Studies, vol. 204 (2019/​2020): 115–​38. Coté, Charlotte. Spirits of Our Whaling Ancestors: Revitalizing Makah and Nuu-​Chah-​Nulth Traditions. Seattle: U of Washington P, 2010. Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991. Cross,Whitney R.“W J Mcgee and the Idea of Conservation.” The Historian, vol. 15 (1953): 148–​62, doi:10.1111/​ j.1540-​6563.1953.tb00145.x. Culin, Stewart. “A Summer Trip among the Western Indians.” Bulletin [of the] Free Museum of Science and Art, Dept. of Archaeology, U of Pennsylvania, vol. 3, no. 3 (1901): 143–​75. Daily Columbian [New Westminster, BC]. [Clipping, excerpt,] 9 Dec. 1893. West Coast Agency—​Decision of Tribunal of Arbitration Concerning the Bering Sea Award. Dept. of Indian Affairs [Canada], Record Group 10. British Columbia Archives,Victoria. Deloria, Philip J. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2004. Demuth, Bathsheba. Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2019. Dorsey, Kurkpatrick. The Dawn of Conservation Diplomacy: U.S.-​Canadian Wildlife Protection Treaties in the Progressive Era. Seattle: U of Washington P, 1998. Duara, Prasenjit. Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995. Feenberg, Andrew. “Modernity, Technology and the Forms of Rationality.” Philosophy Compass, vol. 6, no. 12 (2011–​2012): 865–​73, doi:10.1111/​j.1747-​9991.2011.00456.x. Gaonkar, Dilip Parameshwar. “On Alternative Modernities.” Public Culture, vol. 11, no. 1 (1999): 1–​18. Genetin-​Pilawa, C. Joseph. Crooked Paths to Allotment:The Fight over Federal Indian Policy after the Civil War. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2012. Goodman, Linda and Helma Swan. Singing the Songs of My Ancestors: The Life and Music of Helma Swan, Makah Elder. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2003. Harmon, Alexandra. Rich Indians: Native People and the Problem of Wealth in American History. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2010. Hosmer, Brian C. American Indians in the Marketplace: Persistence and Innovation among the Menominees and Metlakatlans, 1870–​1920. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1999. Hosmer, Brian C. and Colleen M. O’Neill. Native Pathways: American Indian Culture and Economic Development in the Twentieth Century. Boulder: UP of Colorado, 2004. Hoxie, Frederick E. A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880–​1920. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984. Jacoby, Karl. Crimes against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation. Berkeley: U of California P, 2001. Jordan, David Starr. The Fur Seals and Fur-​Seal Islands of the North Pacific Ocean. Vol. 1, Washington, DC: Gov. Printing Office, 1898. Kirk, Ruth. Tradition and Change on the Northwest Coast: The Makah, Nuu-​Chah-​Nulth, Southern Kwakiutl and Nuxalk. Seattle: U of Washington P, 1986. Lauzon, Matthew J. “Modernity.” Oxford Handbook on World History. Ed. Jerry H. Bentley, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. 72–​88. Letters Received, 1881–​1907, Record Group 75. National Archives and Records Administration,Washington, DC.

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Joshua Reid Marsh, George P. Man and Nature; or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action. New York: C. Scribner, 1864. Martinez, Dennis. “Redefining Sustainability through Kincetnric Ecology: Reclaiming Indigenous Lands, Knowledge, and Ethics.” Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability. Eds. Melissa K. Nelson and Dan Shilling. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2018. 139–​74. McGlinn, John P. to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 25 Jan. 1892. No. 3889, Letters Received. Menzies, Charles R. and Caroline Butler. “Introduction: Understanding Ecological Knowledge.” Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management. Ed. Charles R. Menzies. Norman: U of Nebraska P, 2006. 1–​17. Murray, Peter. The Vagabond Fleet: A Chronicle of the North Pacific Sealing Schooner Trade. Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1988. Nadasdy, Paul. “The Gift in the Animal: The Ontology of Hunting and Human-​Animal Sociality.” American Ethnologist, vol. 34, no. 1 (2007): 25–​43, doi:10.1525/​ae.2007.34.1.25. O’Brien, Jean M. “ ‘Our Old and Valluable Liberty’: A Natick Indian Petition in Defense of Their Fishing Rights, 1748.” Early Native Literacies in New England: A Documentary and Critical Anthology. Eds. Kristina Bross and Hilary E. Wyss. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2008. 123–​9. O’Neill, Colleen M. Working the Navajo Way: Labor and Culture in the Twentieth Century. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2005. Paterson, D.G. “The North Pacific Seal Hunt, 1886–​1910: Rights and Regulations.” Explorations in Economic History, vol. 14, no. 2 (1977): 97–​119. Perdue, Theda and Michael D. Green. The Cherokee Removal: A Brief History with Documents. 2nd edition, Boston: Bedford/​St. Martin’s, 2005. Pinchot, Gifford. Breaking New Ground. Commemorative edition, Island Press, 1998. Povinelli, Elizabeth A. “Settler Modernity and the Quest for an Indigenous Tradition.” Public Culture, vol. 11, no. 1 (1999): 19–​48. Powell, W.L. to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 21 Aug. 1889. No. 24374, Letters Received. ———​, 13 Nov. 1893. No. 43351, Letters Received. Quijano, Aníbal. “Coloniality and Modernity/​Rationality.” Cultural Studies, vol. 21, no. 2–3 (2007): 168–​78, doi:10.1080/​09502380601164353. Raibmon, Paige. Authentic Indians: Episodes of Encounter from the Late-​ Nineteenth-​ Century Northwest Coast. Durham: Duke UP, 2005. “Ratified Treaty No. 286: Documents Relating to the Negotiation of the Treaty of January 31, 1855, with the Makah Indians.” Documents Relating to the Negotiation of Ratified and Unratified Treaties. National Archives and Records Administration, Pacific Northwest Region, Seattle, WA. Reel, Estelle [Superintendent of Indian Schools] to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, [William A. Jones,] 19 May 1900. Estelle Reel Collection. Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture/​Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane. Reid, Joshua L. The Sea Is My Country:The Maritime World of the Makahs. New Haven:Yale UP, 2015. Reo, Nicholas James and Kyle Powys Whyte. “Hunting and Morality as Elements of Traditional Ecological Knowledge.” Human Ecology, vol. 40, no. 1 (2012): 15–​27, doi:10.1007/​s10745-​011-​9448-​1. Rogers, George. “An Economic Analysis of the Pribilof Islands, 1870–​1946.” Institute of Social, Economic and Government Research, U of Alaska, March 1976. pubs.iseralaska.org/​ media/​ 9c9b7511-​ 9f03-​ 4f0f-​ 92a7-​ 7af21adeade9/​1976_​03-​EconomicAnalysisOfThePribilofIslands.pdf. Accessed 5 July 2021. Rule, Elizabeth. “Seals, Selfies, and the Settler State: Indigenous Motherhood and Gendered Violence in Canada.” American Indian Quarterly, vol. 70, no. 4 (2018): 741–​54, doi: 10.1353/​aq.2018.0061. Salmón, Enrique. “Kincentric Ecology: Indigenous Perceptsion of the Human-​Nature Relationship.” Ecological Applications 10.5 (2000): 1327–​32, doi:10.1890/​1051-​0761(2000)010[1327:KEIPOT]2.0.CO2. Shields, George H. (Assistant Attorney General) to Secretary of the Interior, 21 Dec. 1889. Enclosed in letter from Secretary of the Interior to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 21 Dec. 1889. No. 36992, Letters Received. Silva, Noenoe K. Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism. Durham: Duke UP, 2004. Spence, Mark David. Dispossessing theWilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999. Stewart, Mrs. Fitzroy. “Practical Advice on the Choice of Furs No. 3 –​Sealskins.” Every Woman’s Encyclopedia, vol. 1, London: 23–​29 Bouverie Street, 1910. Swan, James. Bound Autograph Manuscript Jour. and Memorandum Book, 1861–​ 71, Folder 191. Stenzel Collection. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Lib.,Yale University, New Haven, CT. Swan, James Gilchrist. Diaries. Swan Papers, 1833–​1909. U of Washington Special Collections, Seattle.

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Makah Relationality & Settler Conservation Swan, James Gilchrist. “The Fur Seal Industry of Cape Flattery and Vicinity,” [ca. 1880], Folder 204. Stenzel Collection. Swan, James Gilchrist. “The Indians of Cape Flattery, at the Entrance to the Strait of Juan De Fuca, Washington Territory.” Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge. Ed. Smithsonian Institution, vol. XVI. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1870. 108. Todd, Zoe. “Fish Pluralities: Human-​Animal Relations and Sites of Engagement in Paulatuuq, Arctic Canada.” Études/​Inuit/​Studies, vol. 38, no. 1–2 (2014): 217–​38. Tomasevich, Jozo. International Agreements on Conservation of Marine Resources, with Special Reference to the North Pacific. Stanford University: Food Research Institute, 1943. Warren, Louis. The Hunter’s Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-​Century America. New Haven: Yale UP, 1997. Wilkinson, Charles F. Messages from Frank’s Landing: A Story of Salmon, Treaties, and the Indian Way. Seattle: U of Washington P, 2000.

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4 GEOGRAPHIES OF ALLOTMENT MODERNISMS Jonathan Radocay

On 29 January 1969, James W. Tyner, a Cherokee field researcher for the Doris Duke Indian Oral History Program, interviewed Ora Layton, a retired Cherokee farmer, railroad section hand, and laborer. Using a handheld tape recorder, Tyner interviewed Layton in his truck while they drove through Layton’s hometown, the Murphy Community in Mayes County, Oklahoma. They discussed the community’s history, the rise and fall of the railroad, and the rich bottomland soil that had once supported the community before the Ft. Gibson Dam project had seized and submerged much of it. Tyner and Layton’s stories feature detailed descriptions of changes to the land and to the relationships that the Murphy Cherokee community had with it. Tyner writes that before the Cherokee Nation was surveyed into a township and range system of section lines starting in 1898, “the main road out of Murphy to the River followed the foot of the hills west and north until about even with the ferry. Then the road went west for about a mile down to the river. Another road wound up east and south over the hills toward Peggs, with a fork going up Spring Creek to Locust Grove” (Tyner). US Geological Survey maps from 1896 confirm Tyner’s descriptions of the land’s contours and road routes, and a comparison to a later USGS map produced in 1954 shows the impact that the section lines of the survey had on the geography of Mayes County (Maps of Murphy Community). Indeed, reading these USGS maps together with Tyner’s description reveal that, before section roads were surveyed, agricultural fields and communities were far more determined by natural features—​in stark contrast to the simplified lines of the township and range system that cut across the hilly riparian features of the Murphy Community and Mayes County. This conversation between two Cherokee men, one of many such conversations between Cherokee people in the Duke Indian Oral History Program archive, reflects on the myriad changes that the allotment of Cherokee Nation lands introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century, when the US government privatized collectively held tribal lands and disestablished tribal governments. The proliferation of railroads, massive hydrological infrastructure projects, and many other environmental changes were part of a broader US policy that profoundly transformed Native relationships to the land, community life, and society. The survey was but one of many colonial processes deployed to administer allotment, whose lines materially and symbolically cut across and reshaped Native communities. Intensifying with the passage of the General Allotment Act of 1887 (commonly known as the Dawes Act), allotment aimed to transform Native homelands and political territories into a racialized, gendered geography of lands in severalty, a landscape of individually owned allotments of land. The 62

DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-6

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Act provisioned for surveying reservations and other Native lands into parcels that could be deeded, after a period of 25 years, to individual reservation Indians. The Act established that each male head of household would be assigned one-​quarter of a surveyed section, or 160 acres; single adults and orphaned minors would receive an eighth; and all other minors a sixteenth of a section. Once allottees received the patent in fee simple for their allotment, they became citizens of the US and subject to the laws of the State or Territory—​no longer exclusively the laws of the federal government—​in which they resided (US Congress). Like the size of the parcel they received, an allottee’s ability to control the patent to their allotment was also measured in fractions: the fraction of racialized “Indian blood,” called blood quantum, determined restrictions on an allottee’s power to transfer title to an allotment (Debo 90). Any unallotted reservation land that remained was deemed as “surplus” and open for predominantly white settlement. In conjunction with other federal policies, allotment and the “surplus” land it magically generated contributed to the transfer of nearly 86 million acres of land into settler hands (McDonnell 87–​102). From the felt experiences of many Native people, including Layton who locates the origin of the Murphy Community on the Murphy family allotments, the beginning of allotment introduced new racialized and gendered geographies that changed the face of the land and the shape of the community. Allotment constitutes a significant, yet under-​researched geography of capitalist settler modernity. For many Native Nations and tribal communities, the intensification of allotment accelerated profound changes to Native life already well underway and presented new challenges to Native placemaking and environmental stewardship vital to the maintenance of Native landscapes and sovereignty. This essay contributes to ongoing scholarly efforts to reframe allotment as an important geography of modernity, as an integral articulation of modernity, and as a settler-​colonial, racial capitalist, and patriarchal project hell bent at eliminating Indigenous lives and relationships to the land. To map out these geographies, this essay examines a few of the many ways Indigenous “moderns” engaged with the complex and multifaceted contours of allotment. This engagement included negotiating racist ideologies that positioned Indigenous peoples outside of modernity itself, as incapable of being “modern” in the first place. The essay reads across a variety of texts, including my own family’s allotment plat maps, Native marginalia on colonial documentation related to the administration of allotment, and a political essay by Cherokee writer John Milton Oskison, to illustrate how Indigenous responses to allotment developed (and continue to develop) in many different spaces of Native life—​not just within Native intellectual and literary circles. Furthermore, I draw from my own family materials to show my own connections as a Cherokee scholar to the ongoing history of allotment and to the Cherokee intellectual tradition that has emerged in response to that history. As Robert Warrior (Osage Nation) demonstrates in his partisan but nonetheless scholarly reading of the Osage Constitution (People 51), showing this kind of personal and political connection in Native scholarship opens up an opportunity to consider the role that Native literary scholars may have in confronting ongoing political concerns, such as allotment, that continue to impact Indigenous communities into the present. The inclusion of family plat maps also follows Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) work on Indigenous, decolonizing research methodologies that reconsiders the traditionally imperial, colonial relationship between researcher and Indigenous communities in the production of academic knowledge and advocates for a research approach that “privileges the indigenous presence […] and that acknowledges our continuing existence” (6) in the context of settler colonialism and imperialism. By including a reading of my own family plat maps, I follow in the footsteps of Smith, Warrior (People, Tribal Secrets), and many other Native scholars who challenge scholarship on Indigenous literatures to re-​examine received notions of what is expected of Native scholarship and what counts as Native texts, aesthetics, and lived experience. This essay also sketches out a conceptual framework and aesthetics I call allotment modernisms. As a term, allotment modernisms not only describes the dynamic ways Indigenous writers and authors remap settler cartography into the very Indigenous geographies and web of relations that allotment 63

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aimed to disrupt, but also highlights the strategies and logics of allotment that are fundamental to settler-​colonial appropriations of Native space, homelands, and political territories. For some time now, developments in new modernist studies have been remapping the geography and periodization of modernity around transnational and other expansive frameworks that decenter the European imperial/​colonial metropole both as an analytic and geographic origin for modernism.These developments have challenged diffusionist and linear notions of modernity that radiate exclusively from Europe and the US. The features of this “new geography of modernism” are polycentric and planetary, and exceed the singular temporal frame of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century that has traditionally been associated with modernism/​modernity.1 Scholars in the field, including Christopher Schedler, Alicia Kent, and others have introduced comparative and critical race frameworks that have increasingly unsettled conventional understandings of race, coloniality, and empire within conventional notions of modernity.2 Their work and others’ have made it possible to read multiple articulations of differently situated modernisms in different regions and locales across the world.3 In evaluating the scholarship of this new geography of modernism, Kirby Brown (Cherokee Nation) points out that from the perspective of Indian Country the nexus of modernist notions of space, time, and literary form “possess multiple points of origin aligned with major shifts in US-​Indian relations extending backward to allotment, removal, revolution, and even to contact” (“American Indian Modernities” 305–​6). The unfolding of this modernist geography, he explains, may intersect and run parallel to other global and imperial geographies. However, despite these new developments and the widening of the field into a new planetary geography of modernism, Brown argues that new modernist studies have not yet paid much attention to American Indian writers or the settler-​colonial geographies that they navigated. Without mapping out the particularities of these geographies, voices, and perspectives in the critical reevaluation of modernity and literary modernism well under way in new modernist studies, any retheorization of the field risks participating in the ongoing erasure of Indigenous peoples from colonial landscapes and in conventional understandings that locate Indigenous peoples outside of modernity itself. My work contributes to Brown’s (and many others’) efforts to call more attention to American Indian writers and settler colonialism in new modernist studies. It extends the field into the critical geographies of allotment and Indigenous studies. By focusing on allotment as an important settler-​colonial geography and technology of elimination and replacement, I recontour and remap American literary modernism through allotment’s interlocking contexts, landforms, and stories.What happens, for example, if we consider allotment modernisms as border modernisms, where allotment modernists engage with new extensions of settler power from the Eastern US and with private property regimes that are built around the disruption and negation of Indigenous relationships to the land? How are allotment technologies and narratives imaginative spaces in which both the “citizen Indian” and new Indigenous futures simultaneously produced?4 And finally, how are American Indian “allotment modernists” navigating, articulating, and contesting, the spatial, temporal, and rhetorical planes of allotment geographies? The below plat map of my family’s allotments (Figure 4.1) in the township of Long in what is now known as Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, expresses the simplifying features of allotment. The names and roll numbers of allottees populate the blank spaces in a checkerboard of parcel lines. The only natural features depicted are Briar, Cedar, and Little Skin Bayou creeks, and they have been reduced to crude marks that cut across property lines. The cartography depicted in the plat remapped much of Indian Country around the colonial fiction of land as commodified object, against relational Indigenous philosophies of land. Rose Stremlau points out that the township and range system was fundamentally a Western system of marking land that abstracted and functioned through an entirely different way of seeing (i.e., more abstract and Cartesian) than Indigenous cartographies (160). The array of property lines, names, and roll numbers belong to a broader cartography of settler-​colonial modernity driven to reorder Indigenous relationships within strict hierarchies of racialized and gendered property ownership. The allotment plat map expresses and enacts the priorities of this modernity: it maps only what is 64

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Figure 4.1  Plat map depicting the author’s family allotments from: Indian Territory Map Co. Cherokee Nation. [Muskogee, Okla.: Indian Territory Map Co, 1909] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/​item/​201​1585​467/​>

important to assigning and transferring land titles and strips away all other features, including natural features important to Indigenous life, such as creeks and waterways. Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca) argues that the transformation of Native lands required “colonial restructuring of spaces at a variety of scales” and that the creation of maps, such as the allotment plat map, played a key role in that restructuring (Mark My Words 33; 35). The increasing enclosure of Native lands accelerated by allotment transformed Native environmental governance, with its basis in stewardship of local and regional ecosystems, that exceed the lines of a plat map and form an important part of Indigenous sovereignty. Clint Carroll (Cherokee Nation) traces the historical roots of the transformation of Cherokee environmental governance and the Cherokee state. He points out that, prior to 1875, only zigzag rail fences, which enclosed small family and community plots, were legal in the Cherokee Nation. The legalization and introduction of different types of fencing on the eve of allotment, such as barbed wire, board, hedge, and stone, enabled white trespassers and elite Cherokee farmers to enclose large tracts of land cheaply, which profoundly transformed the shape of Cherokee sovereignty (Carroll 73–​4). These cartographic restructuring and land enclosures also take aim at Indigenous concepts of land that threaten the orderly administration of property. Goeman points out that settler colonialism disavows the Indigenous notion of land “as a storied site of human interaction” (“Land as Life” 72) in favor of land as a claimed, commodified object, assigned to an individual allottee and roll number. Native Nations, she argues, “claim land through a discursive communal sharing, and land is not only given meaning through consensus of claiming territory but also through narrative practices” (73), such as storytelling that continually invests meaning into the land across generations. Native women in particular play an important role in shaping these narrative practices through writing and other storytelling forms. Goeman explains that the mapping of empire and colonial spatiality attempt to 65

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locate Native bodies and voices—​especially Native women’s—​within a regime of patriarchal property ownership that erases Native women’s role in claiming and maintaining Native landscapes and modes of relationship.5 This regime naturalizes patriarchal features of settler society, including the legal privileging of male titleholders, resource extraction, and military occupation (Mark My Words 16). Carolyn Johnston argues that the codification of Indian men as heads of household, among other patriarchal structures of power introduced by allotment, was a conscious effort by the federal government to undermine Native women’s power (128). Beth Piatote (Ni:mi:pu:/​Colville Confederated Tribes) points out that allotment belonged to a broader shift in federal Indian policy that increasingly targeted “Indian economies, lands, kinship systems, languages, cultural practices, and family relations—​in short, all that constituted the Indian home” (2). Among these were Native familial structures where Native women functioned as heads of household and exercised political authority. For US settler colonialism, allotment was, Piatote argues, an important assimilationist policy and “turn to the domestic front.” It marked a departure from the predominance of military violence during the Indian Wars of the previous century (3). Goeman argues that settler colonialism actively produces gendered constructions of space and place, such as domestic spaces like the Indian home and boarding school, that position Native women at the margins. Such violence belongs to a broader colonial production of space that “must be understood as yet another method to eliminate or eradicate or absorb that which is Native” (emphasis original, Mark My Words 30). As a produced colonial geography, allotment is yet another iteration of the long history of US settler-​colonial land dispossession, but it was not simply a singular event that eroded Native land bases and transformed Native society. Like so many settler-​colonial systems, allotment functions as a colonial power structure. Patrick Wolfe argues that colonial systems of power such as allotment follow a logic of elimination aimed not just at wiping out Native societies and relationships to the land but also at setting up new settler-​colonial societies on newly generated “surplus” land (388). In the US in particular, allotment belongs to ongoing efforts to project a unified national geography despite the ever-​fluctuating legal jurisdiction and political boundaries that the US has had to negotiate as a result of federalism, Indian treaties, and land purchases. Mark Rifkin points out that, ever since its founding as a settler state, the US federal government has attempted to produce through its courts and through legislation “a clearly demarcated political cartography,” an “imagined map of the republic” that “served, and serves, as a cohesive icon through which to give shape to and manage the relations between various institutional discourses and imperatives” (5). The allotment plat is an imagined map of universal yeoman property ownership and attempts to overwrite Native sovereign landscapes and storied places with the clean lines of surveyed property boundaries and the names of newly minted titleholders, conventions that are cornerstone and necessary features of US settler-​colonial society. In its erasure of Native geographies, the map also actively produces what Jean O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) calls the “firsting” and “lasting” origin stories of settler societies set up on Indigenous lands. These collective narratives, O’Brien argues, assert “that non-​Indians held exclusive sway over modernity, denied modernity to Indians, and in the process created a narrative of Indian extinction that has stubbornly remained in the consciousness and unconsciousness of Americans” (xiii). By mapping only the stark cartographic features of allotment—​ the simplifying lines, names, and numbers on a vast field of empty white space—​the map seemingly positions this newly established society on terra nullius, as the first to establish “modern” institutions, such as a system of racialized, gendered property ownership. At the same time, the map also positions Indian allottees as vanishing “reservation Indians,” the last to live on collectively held tribal lands but also simultaneously the first “modern” Indians with US citizenship. The creation of a new society through allotment involved coercing Native peoples into new patriarchal family structures, new relationships with the settler state, including the dissolution of tribal governments, the extension of US citizenship over tribal citizens, the forced assignment of collectively held lands into individual allotments, and a racialized system of restrictions over Indian land transfers. Allotment as a cartographic expression of a settler-​colonial structure of power continues to 66

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exert pressure on Native communities through issues such as land fractionation, the fragmentation (or checkerboarding) of land bases, and conflict between allottees and tribal governments over land use and economic development.6 As much as my family plat map documents the fragmentation of the lands and creeks of the Long community to the simplifying and eliminationist logics of allotment, in the hands of many Cherokee people, the plat map is not simply an artifact of loss. Cherokee and other Native people, then as now, appropriate these maps into hybrid texts of survivance, a term coined by Gerald Vizenor (White Earth Nation) denoting Native narratives and expressions that affirm the continuance of Native stories despite ongoing colonial genocide and domination (vii). Native people fashion plat maps and other colonial cartographic material into what Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) calls cartographic kinscapes that rearticulate the abstract geometry of allotment within relational Native geographies coordinated by kinship and community. Justice describes the way many Cherokee readers, including myself, incorporate plat maps and other artifacts of allotment into narratives of survivance that affirm our enduring connections to the land and to our kin. Although the plat map is an expression of a geography of cutting lines, allottee names, and roll numbers, kinship relations are inscribed across the map overtop of random and irregular parcels to such an exaggerated degree that the map’s artificiality is heightened, while the relationships affirmed by the kinscape are, ironically, rendered more vibrant and real than the vague marks delineating land parcels. Cherokee readers with familial ties to the names marked on those maps engage the texts with varying degrees of relational anticipation; these relations, in turn, connect self and family to specificities of place across time and space. The more you know the relationships, the more the maps reveal about the connections and the fracture points, the obligations and the evasions, the ongoing links and the attenuated ties. 197 The transformation of allotment technologies such as plat maps into cartographic kinscapes, into hybrid texts that integrate settler political cartographies and firsting/​lasting narratives into relational Indigenous geographies, is an example of what Marcel Brousseau calls “allotment knowledges” that form an important part of ongoing Indigenous cultural inheritance and survivance. Expressions of these knowledges, like Justice’s cartographic kinscapes, are “interwoven among and disseminated through heritage techniques like oral storytelling and calendar drawing and through ‘appropriated technolog[ies]’ like the novel and the […] map” (Brousseau 138). Through these appropriated technologies Indigenous peoples make settler geographies sacred and integrate geographic features designed to dispossess into a vast social and intellectual network in a version of what Warrior calls “intellectual trade routes.” Warrior repurposes the metaphor of trade routes commonly used to describe the movement of ideas to explain how the history of Native writing has unfolded along a network of Native intellectual trade routes that travel across time and space and that often pre-​date colonization or contact.7 Examining the impact of allotment in Kiowa communities, geographer Mark H. Palmer (Kiowa Tribe) situates allotment as a shift from a federal Indian policy of forced removal to forced cultural assimilation (39). Palmer maps out the “allotment geographies” (37) that this policy produced: its systematic simplification, breaking up, and fragmentation of older, nineteenth-​century reservation and other collectively held tribal lands. And yet, although allotment geographies are characterized by individual, private land tenure, Kristin T. Ruppel elaborates that allotment land does not resemble other settler modes of private property (6). Rather, allotment is the result of a peculiar legal fiction and colonial invention called “Indian land” that undermines the federal policy’s flimsy pretense of cultural assimilation through the magic of private property and US citizenship. Allottees were not necessarily free to manage land to which they held title, as other US citizens were. An allottee’s ability to sell their 67

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allotment depended on an elaborate system of restrictions based on the amount of “Indian blood” an allottee possessed. The higher the blood quantum, among other factors influenced by a series of legislation, the more restricted an allotment was.8 The restricted status of “Indian land” reinscribes nineteenth-​century notions of inherent racial difference into private property forms and functions as a locus of racialized meaning. Ruppel argues that the invention of “Indian land” is a colonizing and racializing tool with which the “guardianship” of the US government forced Indigenous peoples into a settler regime of private land tenure. In his work on the allotment of the Muscogee Creek Nation, David Chang (Kānaka Maoli/​Native Hawai’ian) argues that allotment entwined race law with property law. It was “a colonial policy that codified tribal and racial categories” and “encouraged a racialized notion of politics and of nationhood” (Chang 83).The enrollment of Native peoples onto a roll, such as the Dawes Roll, prior to the assignment of allotments, permanently fixed Native individuals into rigid racial categories based on blood quantum.This classification system, Chang writes, not only tied the authenticity of Native culture and identity to fractions of blood but also served the racist moral justifications of white reformers who believed that “full-​bloods” needed protection from wealthier, more corrupt “mixed-​bloods” who had accumulated too much land and controlled tribal governments (79–​80). White reformers used the same belief in the vulnerability of “full-​bloods” to justify the system of restrictions that governed the ability of high blood quantum allottees to sell their allotments. Moreover, the allotment of Native Nations with formerly enslaved and Black Native citizens, including the Muscogee Creek Nation, operated by Jim Crow logics of racial apartheid and segregated Black “Freedmen” citizens from non-​Black citizens “by blood” onto separate rolls, disavowing Black Native ancestry and participation in Native kinship networks (Miles 258). Allotment is a significant racial, and racializing, formation through which Indigeneity—​who is Indian and to what degree—​is produced. Aileen Moreton-​Robinson (Goenpul/​Quandamooka Nation) argues that settler-​colonial dispossession of Native lands is inextricable from white supremacy and that settler colonialism operates in and through race. Citing Cheryl Harris’s foundational article, “Whiteness as Property,” she writes that whiteness itself assumes a property form through the theft of Indigenous lands and the enslavement of Black people (Moreton-​Robinson xix). The nation, the land, and the people are coordinated through a logic of white possession. The racial politics of allotment, including the institutionalization of blood quantum, the system of restrictions governing title sale and transfer, and the enrollment of Black Native and formerly enslaved Black people on separate rolls, are not only processes by which Native lands become white possessions but also important means by which the boundaries of whiteness are policed in the midst of incorporating new “citizen” Indians into the nation. Racialized allotment geographies attempted to rearrange, reorganize, and reconstitute what it means to be Native, particularly among Black Native individuals whose Native ancestry was sometimes completely erased.9 Along with the disruption of Indigenous communal land title, the imposition of blood quantum, the extension of the township and range land survey, US citizenship, and the forcing of Native children into boarding schools, the Dawes Act laid the groundwork for a geographic regime that, according to Ruppel, “demarcates property and person alike, subtly erecting boundaries between Indian and non-​Indian, and not only (or necessarily) between distinct individuals, but also between and among the many identities that may be present in any given individual” (9). Allotment has populated legally invented “Indian lands” with other peculiar legal constructs, such as “Indian landowner” and “allottee.” When I peer over my family’s plat map, I see the Cherokee women in my family—​my great-​great-​grandmother Rebecca, her sister Ruth, and her many other Moton aunts and cousins—​refracted through these legal constructs. Their names appear on the plat map amidst a vast checkerboard of other individual Cherokee allottees.This map appears to represent a new society of titleholding, citizen Indians that allotment attempted to create. And yet, in its individuation of Indian landowners, this cartography attempts to erase the diverse forms of Cherokee 68

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identity and kinship, especially Cherokee womanhood and other Cherokee gender spectrums, that my family members and many other Cherokees may have occupied within their pre-​allotment communities. The enrollment card system, another important technology alongside the plat map that the Dawes Commission used to count Native people, recorded only nuclear families on individual cards, creating the illusion of a Cherokee society that resembled the patriarchal nuclear family units of white settler society. Hoping to make white settler patriarchy a reality, this system often failed to represent the extended kinship networks of Cherokee social life and the prominent leadership roles that Cherokee women held in their families and communities (Stremlau 136). Despite allotment’s attempt to reorganize Cherokee families and gender roles along patriarchal lines, many families and communities, led by Cherokee women, resisted the extension of patriarchy and innovatively navigated its colonial forms. Theda Perdue points out that since contact Cherokee men have often served as family representatives and as intermediaries to establish relationships between Cherokee women and a federal government that would not ordinarily recognize Native women as heads of household (131).This practice continued through allotment (Stremlau 140–​1), and Cherokee women would often work through male family members to select allotments in places that didn’t necessarily benefit only their nuclear families indicated on their enrollment cards but instead chose to connect nuclear families with others in a pattern that sustained pre-​allotment extended kinship networks (149; 159). Although my family’s plat map certainly functions as an individualizing cartography of “allottees” and “Indian landowners,” it also works as a cartographic kinscape that registers the enormous lengths that Cherokee women went to sustain kinship networks and communities directly under assault by allotment. In the hands of Cherokee people, a plat map of what may at first appear a random assemblage of allottees may serve as a crucial guide to how Cherokee communities navigated the impacts of allotment. Native Nations have always contested settler-​colonial geographies of elimination through relational and adaptive strategies that extend Indigenous cultural practices, kin networks, sovereign landscapes, and cartographies into the spaces of colonial power. Indigenous knowledges, traditions, and practices have always used pathways and trade routes (to borrow Warrior’s metaphor again) established well before contact or colonization to survive into the present and future. In the face of allotment modernity, “some of these old routes have been forgotten through disuse, while others have been appropriated … In other cases, older trails have become roads, highways, or interstates” (Warrior, People 183). Although Indigenous practices may now travel down modern trade routes shaped by the lines of the township and range survey and the plat map, these practices ultimately derive from earlier traditions, just as allotment geographies were developed on top of earlier Native ones. Indigenous strategies that contest allotment geographies of elimination emerge from a dynamic engagement with a wide range of expressive forms, including with allotment’s technical and cartographic administration, with settler print culture that pushed rhetoric legitimizing allotment, and in the imaginative spaces of fiction and poetry. One such strategy involved engaging with the ways allotment physically marked and divided up the land through the survey process. To impede the already challenging work of surveying Mvskoke Creek land ahead of allotment, Creek Snakes, a group of Creek traditionalists led by Chitto Harjo who opposed allotment, pulled up surveying tools such as measuring stakes and cornerstones that surveyors use to measure out parcels and landforms into a township and range grid pattern (Carter 130). By targeting the cartographic process of the land survey, the Snakes demonstrate that the violence of allotment unfolds not just in the bureaucratic spaces of enrollment or in the legal abstractions of assimilationist legislation, but also on the land itself. While many traditionalist groups like the Snakes impeded the administration of allotment altogether, other allottees used the logics of enclosure central to the allotment process to their own advantage.To bolster their claims to a particular allotment before the Dawes Commission land offices, many Cherokee allottees, for example, would “post” their land by creating fence posts around their improvements and by using an “imprecise” method called “stepping off ” to measure land that they 69

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occupied (Stremlau 159–​60). Prior to allotment, although Cherokee Nation citizens could not hold title to any tribal land, many did make use of tribal laws that gave citizens certain “possessory rights” to enclose and to improve lands on which they lived (Carter 125). In determining allotment selection among multiple claimants, the Dawes Commission took into consideration the size of previously enclosed areas and the number of improvements that claimants had made (127). Cherokee families used fences strategically to protect the integrity of their communities even as fencing was being deployed to enclose and to undermine the communal use of the land (Carroll 158). In addition to cartographic kinscapes that Justice describes, many Native people transformed their land certificates into hybrid texts that articulated not only a forceful rebuke of allotment but also extended Native agency onto the page of a colonial document that was meant to be accepted without question. These certificates included the number of acres and the assessed financial value of the allotment, along with the township and range coordinates and a small plat map indicating the parcel’s location. Thousands of these certificates were returned to the Dawes Commission (Carter 147). Many Nighthawk Keetoowahs, a group of Cherokees opposed to allotment, would write their refusal, in either Cherokee syllabary or English, directly on the certificate itself and then mail the document back to the Dawes Commission land office that had issued them. Along the top half of the plat grid on the certificate issued to Aggie Thompson is annotated, “I don’t want these certificates. If I want them at all I will come myself and get them” (112). Jennie Guess (enrolled as Jennie Ridge) wrote her refusal in Cherokee along the bottom half of her certificate’s plat grid (113). Unlike the allottee names and roll numbers that are carefully contained within the parcel lines on an allotment plat, these English and Cherokee words cut across the Tetris-​like boundaries of Aggie Thompson and Jennie Guess’s forced allotment assignments, across the township and range grid and the x-​axis, and finally off the plat itself. The words disrupt the emptied, abstract void of “Indian land” and its cartography of lands in severalty by literally filling in the blanks with dissent, with refusal powerfully articulated in Cherokee language. Although this Cherokee refusal, written in syllabary, signifies a rejection of allotment modernity and the imposition of US citizenship, it also powerfully inscribes an assertion of prior Cherokee sovereignty within the spaces of the very document designed to extinguish the Cherokee Nation. It evokes a Cherokee nationhood that stretches back nearly 100 years (and beyond) to the creation of the syllabary itself by Sequoyah. As these and a host of other examples from the archives attest, Native peoples strategically engaged with the myriad cartographic and geographic features of allotment designed not only to erode Native land bases but also to transform Native society within a regime of patriarchal white supremacy. In addition to the spaces of the allotment certificate, these engagements took place on the land itself, in the struggle between US field surveyors and Creek traditionalists and in savvy attempts by Cherokee allottees to hold on to family and community homelands. Although their strategies may have differed from one another, these allotment modernists all appropriated the new geographic forms and spaces that allotment introduced to lay the groundwork for cultural, familial, and political trade routes that remain in use today. Although allotment certainly met fierce resistance, a wide array of Indigenous political responses emerged in response to Progressive Era politics. After centuries of treaty-​making, forced removal, and other forms of brutal military violence failed to eliminate Native people and nationhood from the land, federal Indian policy shifted to a more assimilationist, but no less coercive, approach to colonization.This approach manifested in a slew of policies—​including allotment, the extension of US citizenship to Native people, the proliferation of Indian boarding schools, and many others—​designed to separate Native peoples from relational forms of Indigenous kinship, collective land tenure, and political sovereignty. These policies were hotly debated in the rhetorical spaces of magazines, newspapers, and other sources of nonfiction. Some Indigenous writers and public intellectuals saw allotment as another opportunity to “uplift” Indigenous peoples into settler modernity, including Alexander Posey (Mvskoke Creek Nation), Susette La Flesche (Omaha Tribe of Nebraska), and other “Red Progressives,” many of whom belonged to the Society of American Indians (SAI).10 The Progressive 70

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rhetorics of self-​reliance and individual empowerment of citizen Indians resonated with allotment’s pretense of empowering allottees through private property and from breaking up the tribal mass that many white Progressives believed stood in the way of Indigenous uplift into modernity. In the essay, “Making an Individual of the Indian,” published in Everybody’s Magazine in June 1907, John Milton Oskison (Cherokee Nation) paints a “new series of Indian portraits” (380), which he contrasts to the heavily romanticized and stereotyped portraits of vanishing “reservation Indians,” painted by the likes of James Fenimore Cooper, famous for his novel, The Last of the Mohicans (1826), and painter George Catlin. In satirical contrast to these portraits and to other more contemporary anti-​Indigenous sentiment, Oskison colorfully describes several vignettes of citizen Indians successfully improving and cultivating their allotments and winning county fair prizes for “best-​improved and best-​equipped allotment on the reservation” (382). Other depictions show Indians working in trades and professions, as “drillers, quarrymen, and derrickmen” (383). He also holds up many of his fellow professional Red Progressives who would later become active in the SAI, including SAI chairman Charles Dagenett (Peoria), physician and author Charles Eastman (Santee Dakota), anthropologist Francis La Flesche (Omaha), and artist and educator Angel De Cora (Ho-​Chunk), among others. In the essay, Oskison employs a wry, often playful tone to argue that Indigenous people are more than capable of—​and indeed already are—​participating in US modernity and industry. Federal Indian policy, he continues, should support this participation and aid the further “individualization” of Native peoples. Oskison regards the collective tribal estate and the guardian-​ward federal relationship that defines the so-​called reservation Indian as the “last great prop upon which even the most progressive Indian has unconsciously leaned” (387). Once this estate is distributed, in the form of land allotments and per-​capita payments, Native people will finally be free from federal paternalism and free to participate in a shared modernity with white settlers. Oskison’s pro-​allotment position was shared by many Indigenous progressives who regarded allotment as a means of empowering individual Indians against past settler-​colonial violence and who situated allotment among a series of progressive governmental reforms aimed at improving “relations” between white settlers and Native peoples. However, these progressives did not merely peddle the paternalistic rhetoric of other white progressives that focused primarily on Native victimhood. To white progressives, allotment offered a means either to redress the past harms of federal Indian policy by providing financial compensation or to liberate vulnerable reservation Indians from the corruption and graft of their own (often characterized as mixed-​blood) tribal governments.11 Although many pro-​ allotment Red Progressives shared the belief that allotment and other progressive reforms contributed to the racial uplift of Native peoples, they also saw allotment as a strategic means to achieve justice and equality, and nonetheless remained critical of the often fraudulent administration of federal Indian policy and the allotment process. In her 1883 autobiography, for example, Sarah Winnemucca (Paiute) endorses the idea of allotting tribal lands while remaining critical of federal Indian policy. Alexander Posey’s satirical Fus Fixico letters, published in various newspapers throughout Indian Territory from 1902 to 1908, also criticized US policy and sympathized with anti-​allotment arguments shared by many Creek conservatives, even as Posey himself worked for the Dawes Commission and financially benefited from the allotment of Creek lands. Drawing on the primitivist expectations of the white progressive readership of Everybody’s Magazine, Oskison intersperses his Red Progressive polemic with folksy anecdotes and satirical descriptions to overturn the racist paternalism of a white progressivism that positions Native life on the reservation as inherently anti-​modern, or to challenge the persistent belief that the “tragedy” of settler colonialism has already doomed Native people to vanish. Although he accepts the white progressive premise of Native victimhood—​that Native people have tragically fallen into barbarism and need uplifting to modernity—​he redirects the racist cultural essentialism that often follows from that premise to a critique of US settler colonialism and the failure of the guardian-​ward relationship (388–​ 9). Many Native intellectuals strategically deploy primitivism and other anti-​Indigenous sentiment 71

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to position themselves within the spaces of white, non-​Native discourses to redirect them toward Indigenous ends (Maddox 5).12 Oskison writes that, although “the Indian” has been victimized, he is not doomed to vanish: His body is not the thing of steel and sinew it once was. His sense of humor has suffered, and his imagination has taken on a somber tint. But good food, hard work, and a sense of self-​respect that comes from owning a home and seeing a family dependent on its head will restore the tribesman’s efficiency. 389 Oskison satirically plays on primitivist imaginations of Native bodies to carve out a space within white, non-​Native progressive polemics about allotment to redirect them to an allotment politic that prioritizes Native empowerment. In advocating for allotment as a path toward individualization, Oskison imagines a distinctly Red Progressive allotment future. Through the essay’s descriptive vignettes of citizen Indians, Oskison articulates a distinctly Progressive allotment imaginary, which reframes the narrative of victimhood surrounding the theft of land through allotment into a narrative of financialized empowerment. Connecting the dynamic power of capital to land transformation and development, Oskison suggests that Native people can equally participate in the prosperity generated by US settler colonialism on and through their own lands. The power of capital, fixed into the ground and then extracted through the allotment process, allows Native people to “build houses and barns and fences; he will buy cattle and horses; he will open stores; he will send his son away to learn the carpenter’s trade; he will have his daughter trained as a nurse; he will drain his land, or clear a wooded tract of fertile soil” (387). Oskison imagines a post-​allotment future where Native communities, no longer part of a tribal mass, achieve justice and equality—​and join settler modernity—​by fully realizing the assessed capital value of their allotments promised by the federal government. Although Oskison may be advocating for an allotment policy that has proven disastrous for Indian Country, in “Making an Individual of the Indian” and other pro-​allotment essays, he also articulates a Native future in which Native politics, nationhood, and kinship survive, even in the context of allotment capitalism and profound change in Native communities. As Kirby Brown points out in his work on Oskison’s fiction, the preoccupations Oskison had in his writing that appear assimilationist, including modern economic and business landscapes in which allotment unfolded, “were actually deeply embedded in Cherokee life” (Stoking the Fire 36) and emerge from a serious engagement with and investment in questions of Cherokee nationhood beyond the horizon of allotment and the disestablishment of tribal government. Read in this fuller context, Oskison’s allotment politics appear more complicated than his nonfiction essays seemingly suggest. He and other Red Progressive intellectuals view allotment as an opportunity—​not just as a process of dispossession—​for Native peoples to compete fairly with white settlers in a shared capitalist settler modernity. Native people must ironically “enter the lists,” both in the sense of enrolling on a list to receive an allotment and in the sense of entering a jousting arena, to compete on a flattened and level playing field with other US citizens (390). These pro-​allotment positions held by Oskison and other Red Progressives can be read as x-​ marks, a term coined by Scott Richard Lyons (Ojibwe/​Dakota) conceptualizing articulations of Indigenous sovereignty and nationhood in a context of colonial coercion where Native Nations seem to have little choice but to assent, as though making an x-​mark on an unfavorable treaty. Read as x-​marks under the clearly inequitable and often violent power relations of allotment, Oskison and other Red Progressive intellectuals intentionally assented to and participated in allotment modernity with the hope that ultimately something good could come from an x-​mark, that Native people could take advantage of “the prospect of slippage, indeterminacy, unforeseen consequences, or unintended results” (Lyons 3) inherent within the colonial project of allotment. 72

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Native people engaged and continue to engage with allotment geographies in a variety of expressive forms, texts, and venues. This essay reads across these engagements to gesture toward the often-​contradictory array of Indigenous responses to allotment as a particular (and peculiar) geography of capitalist settler modernity. In his study of the literary politics of American Indian literary history, James Cox draws attention to the exchanges, contradictions, and tensions that constitute the varied politics of many different Native authors and periodicals, including political differences among Cherokee writers like Oskison and his childhood friend Will Roger over US intervention in Mexico. Sophia Alice Callahan’s (Mvskoke Creek) novel, Wynema (1891), expresses such complexities by dramatizing conflicting responses to many overlapping political concerns of Callahan’s day, including allotment, women’s rights, the temperance movement, and the Wounded Knee massacre. Native authors, then and now, employed and continue to employ literary strategies that engage with the contradictory and complex political contexts in which they participate, and Cox argues for the importance of historicizing those contexts. Native politics often exceed the common political spectrums of assimilation and resistance in which Native authors and Native texts are often located. By including a wide range of allotment texts, such as plat maps, land certificates, and political essays, I sketch out the political diversity that constitutes Native relationships to allotment and the various strategies that Native peoples have used to navigate various allotment geographies. Reading these texts together with allotment technologies, such as the township and range survey and racialized private property regime, reveals the contours of allotment as an important geography of settler modernity that continues into the present. Such an approach also demonstrates how Native peoples used and continue to use these very same settler-​colonial technologies to sustain our relationships to our kin and to our homelands. Examining tensions and exchanges manifest across these texts provides a starting place for describing a broad set of cartographic, literary, political, and cultural strategies that belongs to what we might call allotment modernisms and modernities. Furthermore, allotment modernisms are themselves situated within a larger framework of Indigenous modernisms and modernities that describe how Native peoples have always produced knowledges and imaginaries using the very mechanisms designed to eliminate Indigenous presence and that continue to transform settler geographies in and through Indigenous places and practices. Read as an allotment and Indigenous modernist text, the plat of my family’s allotments emerges as a map of past, present, and future Native trade routes. This cartographic kinscape continues to guide the kin and relations of the original allottees and to contest settler-​colonial geographies of elimination by extending Indigenous sovereign landscapes and notions of sovereignty into spaces of colonial power.

Notes 1 For a great discussion of the need for a new geography of modernism in new modernist studies see Friedman. Since Fredric Jameson elaborated the notion of a singular hegemonic modernity in literary modernism, it has been consistently challenged as developmentalist, rigidly linear, and diffusionist. For Jameson’s elaboration, see Jameson. For critiques of Jameson, see Chakrabarty 6–​16, Mitchell, Orsini, Ram, and Scott 113–​15. 2 For his work on reconceptualizing modernity through the borderlands and border spaces of empire, see Schedler, and see Kent for a framework of comparative modernity that draws from Black, Indigenous, and Jewish American writers. 3 Especially see Mao and Walkowitz. 4 See Maddox for a detailed study of American Indian public intellectuals during the Progressive Era, which saw the extension of US citizenship over Native peoples. 5 For more on the central role that Native women have in Native narratives of land and placemaking, see Fitzgerald. 6 For a look at the enduring effects of allotment, see Ruppel. 7 See the conclusion in Warrior (People). 8 For a detailed legislative and legal history of the system of restrictions to which allottees were subject, see Debo. 9 For more information on Afro-​Cherokee and Black Native histories see Miles and Naylor.

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Jonathan Radocay 10 Many scholars have explored how Indigenous peoples negotiated the profound, yet unevenly distributed changes of Progressive Era settler modernity. See Hertzburg for his foundational work on the SAI and the rise of Native religious movements. For a study on the emergence of the National Congress of American Indians, see Cowger. For work on the diverse literary, artistic, legal, political, and spatial contexts in which Indigenous peoples contended with settler modernity at the turn of the twentieth century, see Deloria, Holm, Hoxie, Maddox, Troutman, and Warrior (People). 11 The “Friends of the Indian,” a group of white reformers who met annually at Lake Mohonk in upstate New York, exemplify this kind of white progressivism. See Prucha. 12 Also see Shanley 130–​51, 146.

References Brousseau, Marcel. “Allotment Knowledges: Grid Spaces, Home Places, and Storyscapes on the Way to Rainy Mountain.” Native American and Indigenous Studies 5.1 (2018): 136–​67. Brown, Kirby. “American Modernities and New Modernist Studies’ ‘Indian Problem.’ ” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 59.3 (2017): 287–​318. ———​. Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907–​1970. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2018. Callahan, Sophia Alice. Wynema. Philadelphia: H.J. Smith & Company, 1891. Carroll, Clint. Roots of Our Renewal: Ethnobotany and Cherokee Environmental Governance. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2015. Carter, Kent. The Dawes Commission and the Allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893–​1914. Orem: Ancestry. com, 1999. Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2000. Chang, David A. The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832–​1929. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2010. Cowger, Thomas W. National Congress of American Indians:The Founding Years. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1999. Cox, James H. The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019. Debo, Angie. And Still the Waters Run:The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes. 1940. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1972. Deloria, Philip J. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2004. Fitzgerald, Stephanie. Native Women and Land: Narratives of Dispossession and Resurgence. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 2015. Friedman, Susan Stanford. “Periodizing Modernism: Postcolonial Modernities and the Space/​Time Borders of Modernist Studies.” Modernism/​modernity, vol. 13, no. 3 (2006): 425–​43. Goeman, Mishuana. “Land as Life: Unsettling the Logics of Containment.” Native Studies Keywords. Ed. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2015. 71–​89. ———​. Mark My Words: Native Women Mapping Our Nations. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2013. Harris, Cheryl. “Whiteness as Property.” Harvard Law Review, vol. 106, no. 8 (1993): 1707–​91. Hertzburg, Hazel. The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-​Indian Movements. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1971. Holm, Tom. The Great Confusion in Indian Affairs: Native Americans and Whites in the Progressive Era. Austin: U of Texas P, 2005. Hoxie, Frederick E. Talking Back to Civilization: Indian Voices from the Progressive Era. Boston: Bedford/​ St. Martin’s, 2001. Jameson, Fredric. A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present. London:Verso Books, 2002. Johnston, Carolyn. Cherokee Women in Crisis: Trail of Tears, Civil War, and Allotment, 1838–​1907. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2003. Justice, Daniel Heath. Why Indigenous Literatures Matter. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2018. Kent, Alicia. African, Native, and Jewish American Literature and the Reshaping of Modernism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Lyons, Scott Richard. X-​Marks: Native Signatures of Assent. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010. Maddox, Lucy. Citizen Indians: Native American Intellectuals, Race & Reform. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2005. Mao, Douglas, and Rebecca Walkowitz. “The New Modernist Studies.” PMLA, vol. 123, no. 3 (2008): 737–​48. Maps of Murphy Community, Cherokee Nation/​Oklahoma. TopoView, USGS, eds. 1896 and 1954, https://​ ngmdb.usgs.gov/​topov​iew/​vie​wer/​#14/​36.1365/​-​95.2446. McDonnell, Janet A. The Dispossession of the American Indian 1887–​1934. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1991. Miles, Tiya. Ties that Bind: The Story of an Afro-​Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom. 2nd ed., Oakland: U of California P, 2015.

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Geographies of Allotment Modernisms Mitchell, Timothy. “The Stage of Modernity.” Questions of Modernity. Ed. Timothy Mitchell. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2000. 1–​34. Moreton-​Robinson, Aileen. The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2015. Naylor, Celia E. African Cherokees in Indian Territory from Chattel to Citizens. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2008. O’Brien, Jean M. Firsting and Lasting:Writing Indians out of Existence in New England. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010. Orsini, Francesca. “Whose Amnesia? Literary Modernity in Multilingual South Asia.” The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, vol. 2, no. 2 (2015): 266–​72. Oskison, John Milton. Tales of the Old Indian Territory and Essays on the Indian Condition. Ed. Lionel Larre. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2012. Palmer, Mark. “Sold! The Loss of Kiowa Allotments in the Post-​Indian Reorganization Era.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, vol. 35, no. 3 (2011): 37–​57. Perdue, Theda. Cherokee Women: Gender and Cultural Change, 1700–​1835. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1998. Piatote, Beth. Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 2013. Posey, Alexander. The Fus Fixico Letters: A Creek Humorist in Early Oklahoma. Eds. Daniel F. Littlefield Jr. and Carol A. Petty Hunter. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2002. Prucha, Francis Paul. Americanizing the American Indians: Writings by the “Friends of the Indian,” 1880–​1990. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1978. Ram, Harsha. “The Scale of Global Modernisms: Imperial, National, Regional, Local.” PMLA, vol. 131, no. 5 (2016): 1372–​85. Rifkin, Mark. Manifesting America:The Imperial Construction of U.S. National Space. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Ruppel, Kristin T. Unearthing Indian Land: Living with the Legacies of Allotment. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2008. Schedler, Christopher. Border Modernism. London: Routledge, 2003. Scott, David. Conscripts of Modernity:The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment. Durham: Duke UP, 2004. Shanley, Kathryn W. “ ‘Writing Indian’: American Indian Literature and the Future of Native American Studies.” Studying Native America: Problems and Prospects. Ed. Russell Thornton. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1998. 130–​51. Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books Ltd, U of Otago P, 1999. Stremlau, Rose. Sustaining the Cherokee Family: Kinship and the Allotment of an Indigenous Nation. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2011. Troutman, John. Indian Blues: American Indians and the Politics of Music, 1879–​1934. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2009. Tyner, J.W. Interview with Ora Layton. The Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, tape 372–​3, vol. 16, 1969, https://​digi​tal.librar​ies.ou.edu/​cdm/​ref/​col​ lect​ion/​dorisd​uke/​id/​9054. United States, Congress. General Allotment Act of 1887. United States Statutes at Large, vol. 24, 1887, 388–​91. U.S. Government Publishing Office, ​www.ourdo​cume​nts.gov/​doc.php?doc=​50&page=​tra​nscr​ipt. Vizenor, Gerald. Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1999. Warrior, Robert. The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2005. ———​. Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1995. Winnemucca, Sarah. Life Among the Piutes:Their Wrongs and Claims. Boston: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1883. Wolfe, Patrick. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research, vol. 8, no. 4 (2006): 387–​409.

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5 BEYOND THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY Remembering the Alaska Native Brotherhood/​ Sisterhood as a Co-​National Network of Indigenous Writers Michael P. Taylor

Raven (called Ye’l by the Thlingets) the Creator and Benefactor of mankind was walking along the beach with his servant Cormorant (Called Whiskey-​bottle for a nickname because they sit on low rocks and look like whiskey bottles—​but called Yuk by the Natives). They came to town and were told that there was plenty of halibut out in front of the town. So Raven and Yuk decided to go fishing. It seems that Yuk being a real fisherman caught all the halibut and Raven caught nothing. As they were returning, Raven figured a way to hide his disgrace from the townspeople, so he said to Yuk: “My partner, what is on your tongue? Stick out your tongue so that I can look at it.” Yuk obeyed his master and stuck out his tongue. In those days the Cormorant could talk just as well as anybody else. Raven now seized Yuk’s tongue and pulled it out. Then Raven said, “Let me hear you talk.” Yuk tried to talk and was only able to say “Wah-​ h-​h-​h-​-​-​.” Raven then said, “That is fine. You talk much better now than you used to,” and Yuk believed it. Since that day,Yuk has never said more than just “Wah-​h-​h”—​for the Thlingets claim the Cormorant lost his tongue at that time. When they came to town, Raven appropriated all the halibut, taking his time, lifting the halibut out in full view of the crowd of people who had gathered to watch such a successful fisherman.Yuk was frantic and tried to stop him. He called to the people that the halibut was his, but nobody could understand him. Finally, when Raven lifted a great, big halibut up, Yuk made a queer noise which attracted the people’s attention. Raven however explained to the people “This is the one, about which he is telling, this big one. When I hooked it, a very hard time I found.” And thus, it has ever been. The means of speech or the control of the press, has meant that the servant who has indeed caught the halibut is cheated. The person or group of people without the power of telling what they have done can be robbed. Alaska Native Brotherhood, The Alaska Fisherman

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Published in 1926 in their monthly newspaper, The Alaska Fisherman, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood included “A Thlinget Legend: How and Why the Cormorant Lost His Tongue” as part of their broader discussion of US citizenship, Alaska statehood, and a US congressional proposition to attach an English literacy requirement to Alaskan voting rights.1 It had been nearly 60 years since the US had sidestepped Alaska Native communities to purchase territorial claims of Alaska from Russia. It had been just over 40 years since Congress had passed the First Organic Act, thereby unilaterally claiming political authority over Alaska and appointing “a total of thirteen officials who would be responsible for some 586,000 square miles and a population of 32,000 souls, of which 430 were white” (Naske 2). It had been less than 30 years since the Klondike Gold Rush had brought hordes of fortune-​seeking white settlers, alongside Protestant pedagogues, and profiteering politicians to extend the assimilation of Indigenous lands and peoples northward beyond the contiguous US. The US incorporated Alaska as an official territory in April 1912, designating an unelected territorial governor and claiming complete control over the territory’s land, water, and other natural resources. As Tlingit activist and educator Andrew Hope III suggests, “The changes brought on by other foreign cultures were forcing [Alaska Natives] to make many heavy decisions that would affect their people for years to come” (3). On 5 November 1912, at the close of an education conference organized by the US Bureau of Education to coincide with the territorial legislature’s first election, a Tsimshian man, 11 Tlingit men, and a Tlingit woman gathered in Sitka to consider many of the “heavy decisions” that continue to affect Alaska Native communities today. Together, this Tsimshian business owner, Tlingit philosopher, Tlingit Russian Orthodox Deacon, Tlingit writer and survivor of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Tlingit politician, Tlingit opera singer, Tlingit all-​Native orchestra conductor, and master Tlingit carpenter with no formal training or schooling founded the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) (Hope 8–​33). By 1912, Alaska Natives, especially the Tlingit and Haida of Southeast Alaska, had participated as students, teachers, business owners, clergy, and politicians in the broader US social, economic, and political system for nearly 25 years. Many Alaska Natives were already fluent in the Indigenous and non-​Indigenous (English and Russian) languages and legal systems of Alaska and the US. However, they remained disenfranchised from the territorial electorate.Weighing the long-​term limitations and possibilities of adopting English as the primary territorial language, embracing US forms of public education, converting to Christianity, and many of the other requirements to gain US citizenship, the ANB agreed on their collective platform “Alaska for Alaskans” (“Our Platform”).2 This platform decried the unchecked industrial exploitation of Alaska lands and waters, called out discrimination and public segregation against Alaska Natives, and demanded that Alaskans—​not just territorial appointees—​be consulted on all policies that affected Alaska. In 1915, Alaska Native women, who had already been widely active within the Brotherhood, formed their own co-​organization: the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS). Together, the ANB/​ANS reached beyond economic, linguistic, political, and social boundaries to gather Alaska Native communities into a co-​national network of Alaska Native solidarity in the increasing fight to protect Alaska Native lands, waters, and peoples.3 As illustrated by the traditional Tlingit story ofYuk, Indigenous modernism in Alaska involved an expansive effort to reclaim autonomous means of self-​representation, of adapting Alaska Native languages and literatures—​as well as settler legislation—​to publicly maintain cultural, economic, and sociopolitical self-​determination against the expansive settler-​colonial efforts to silence, and thereby exterminate Indigenous claims to modern Alaska. In other words, the ANB/​ANS simultaneously engaged, participated in, and disrupted the sociological structures of settler modernity—​the economic, educational, cultural, and political conditions of Alaska and the ever-​expanding US. At the same time, the collectivist writings of the ANB/​ANS adapted, countered, and expanded the literary, discursive, and representational

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modalities of settler modernism.4 The story of Yuk, then, as a metaphor of Alaska Native modernity/​ modernism, is not an admission of defeat or an excuse for unilateral assimilationism; it is a call to remember the avenues of expression and activism that early twentieth-​century Alaska Native communities utilized to reclaim their land, water, and civil rights in an era of overt settler-​colonial exploitation and erasure. The published retelling of the story of Yuk emphasizes how ANB/​ANS mobilized modernist forms, rhetorics, genres, and representational strategies to claim space for Alaska Native communities to use their stories and knowledges to disrupt settler-​colonial industries and attitudes in modern Alaska. The ANB/​ANS-​led reclamation of both public self-​representation and Alaska Native territorial spaces that the story of Yuk represents responds directly to the simultaneous exploitation of Indigenous stories and spaces that supported most modern US enterprises, including the aesthetics and ethics of American modernist literature. Describing the 1917 self-​claimed “aboriginal” issue of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse—​ one of the foundational venues of modernist literature and thought within the US—​editor Harriet Monroe exclaimed, “Vivid as such work is in its suggestion of racial feeling and rhythm, it gives merely a hint of the deeper resources—​it is a mere outcropping of the mine” (251, emphasis added).What Monroe fails to mention in her celebration of mining Indigenous communities for their “racial feeling and rhythm,” is that not a single poet she featured in the issue was Indigenous. Rather, they were ethnographic poets who were claiming interpretive authority over, and thereby displacing, Indigenous voices from American modernism (Taylor,“Not Primitive” 50). Monroe’s mining metaphor also directly connects the aesthetics and ethics of American modernism to the modern industrial and political enterprise of claiming and commodifying Indigenous lands and waters. The effects of such settler-​colonial exploitation and erasure continues in the academy’s literary record of Native Alaska, which has limited pre-​1980s Alaska Native literature to translations of what James Ruppert describes as the rich “oral literary traditions of Alaska” (608). Such orature, however, like the so-​ called aboriginal poetry of American modernist magazines, was collected largely by non-​Indigenous ethnographers and anthropologists and was archived in the Bureau of American Ethnology. Other archives of oral literature have been the result of various oral history projects conducted throughout the 1970s and 1980s by the Alaska Library Association and other like organizations. When combined with contemporary (post-​1980s) writings, such records present today’s recognized literary history of Native Alaska, one that renders modern Alaska Natives as either illiterate or completely silent. In their 2009 collection, Our Voices, Ruppert and John W. Bernet suggest, “The collection of such material has proceeded for somewhat less than two hundred years, but an exceptional body of written material has been produced during the last twenty-​five years” (1). Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki) celebrates his anthology of contemporary Alaska Native literature, Raven Tells Stories (1991), by suggesting that it “reveals the blossoming of the talent and energy of Alaska Native writers in the late 1980s and serves as a milestone in the development of contemporary Alaska Native literature” (ix). Expressing the importance of a 1999 collection, Alaska Native Writers, Storytellers & Orators, Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe) explains, “Native memories endure in the imagination of storiers; endure in the diverse tease of creation, tradition, and survivance in sound, gesture, and shadows in literature” (xi). Evinced by each of the leading anthologies of Alaska Native literature, the pre-​1980s literary record of Native Alaska has been largely conditioned by the settler-​colonial impulses and institutions of preserving what American modernists, such as Harriet Monroe, described as the “beautiful primitive poetry [that] will perish among the ruins of obliterated states” (251). Despite the importance of orature and the warranted celebration of contemporary “blossoming,” limiting the pre-​1980s literary record of Native Alaska to settler transcriptions and translations of oral stories maintains the oft-​repeated myth that the Indigenous peoples of North America have always been only marginally and recently literate. As Cherokee scholar Jace Weaver argues, “Limiting consideration or admission to the canon to orature is a way of continuing colonialism”

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(23). Building upon Weaver’s call to expand Indigenous literary histories, Robert Warrior (Osage) encourages scholars to study contemporary Indigenous fiction alongside such nonfiction texts as tribal constitutions, newspapers, and other writings that document the “practical as well as creative concerns” of Indigenous communities past and present (The People xvi).5 Recognizing the institutionalized literary colonialism that still limits engagement with Alaska Native literary expression to pre-​1980s orature and post-​1980s fiction, the early twentieth-​century nonfiction writings of ANB/​ANS demonstrate how their collectively produced literature bridges what is often represented as both a literary and ideological gap between pre-​and post-​modern Alaska Native experience and identity. In this current construction of Alaska Native literatures and literacies, orature can easily become equated with primitivism—​a form of expression that only becomes modern if mined and commodified by non-​Indigenous interpreters—​making settler literacy the definitive marker of modernist literary achievement. What such a construction of Alaska Native modernism elides, however, and what the story of Yuk so effectively demonstrates, is how Indigenous writers, artists, activists, and organizations like ANB/​ANS adapted such settler literacies as English for Indigenous purposes. As Craig Womack (Creek-​Cherokee) suggests regarding eighteenth-​century Indigenous English speakers, ANB/​ANS did not allow themselves to become “victims of literacy.” Rather, in mastering the English language, they saw what Womack describes as “some kind of intrinsic tribal merit,” by making “English an Indian language” (404).Yet, ANB/​ANS’s disruption of settler modernity went beyond what Joy Harjo (Muscogee Creek) and Gloria Bird (Spokane) describe as “reinventing the enemy’s language” (19); ANB/​ANS simultaneously asserted a modern strategy of repurposing such technologies, literary forms, discourses, and organizational strategies as mass print culture, newspapers, nationalism, human rights, and collective action committees to make political arguments both for Alaska Native peoples, and through Alaska Native cultural narratives, practices, and ethics. The collectively authored writings of the early ANB/​ANS, many of which survive only in the Special Collections of the Alaska State Library and the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau, include a constitution and by-​laws, annual convention minutes, petitions, and periodicals that were circulated throughout Native and non-​Native Alaskan communities throughout the early twentieth century. For the sake of this essay, I will focus specifically on ANB/​ANS’s newspaper, The Alaska Fisherman. Rather than reducing Alaska Native modernity to an era of unilateral cultural and political assimilation, The Alaska Fisherman documents a dialogic network of self-​conscious Alaska Native communities who collectively adapted various modernist forms and discourses of self-​representation toward protecting and promoting Alaska Native lands, waters, and peoples in perpetuity. Returning to the writings of ANB/​ANS refutes settler-​colonial narratives that locate the beginning of Indigenous intellectual and literary achievement in settler temporalities of US territorial status and statehood, and resituates Alaska Native modernity as an era of collective activism that made possible the ongoing reclamation and resurgence of Alaska Native lands, languages, waters, and peoples. According to the Alaska State Library, the first statewide newspaper committed specifically to Alaska Native issues did not surface until the Tundra Times, edited by Howard Rock (Inupiat), in 1962. And here we see the power of a single word—​statewide—​to erase the important pre-​statehood literary and political histories of Native Alaska.6 As the writings of ANB/​ANS demonstrate, relying on settler temporalities and geographies naturalizes what continue to be longstanding sites of Indigenous resilience and anti-​colonial resistance. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, ANB/​ANS leaders had been actively publishing Alaska Native editorials in the Thlinget (1908–​12) and subsequent Verstovian (1914–​71), both of which were published at the Sheldon Jackson School in Sitka.7 On 15 February 1923, William Paul (Tlingit), serving as ANB secretary, began publishing The Alaska Fisherman as an independent, public paper edited, owned, and published by and for Alaska Native peoples.8

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Priced at ten cents, the debut issue of the Alaska Fisherman (Figure 5.1) began with a large, bold-​printed headline: “Native Fishermen Vigorously Protest Reservations” (ANB, The Alaska Fisherman 1). Throughout this first issue, ANB/​ ANS addressed everything from discrimination, activist efforts, and illegal poaching, to Alaska-​wide politics and policies, salmon reservations, ANB/​ ANS–​specific news, the need to care for aging community members, and wider US and international politics—​all of which constitute modern Alaska Native engagement that simultaneously adapts and disrupts structures of settler-​modernity.9 ANB/​ANS frequently published articles that promoted what Paul printed as “Our Platform: Alaska for Alaskans, Abolishment of All Traps, Full Territorial Government,” and “One Nation, One Language, One Flag” (ANB, The Alaska Fisherman 2). Alluding to the ancient Christian doctrine of communal unification in Christ (Ephesians 4.5), the paper’s platform expressed the strategic balance that ANB/​ANS sought to maintain between their constitutional purpose of “civilized” US statehood and their ongoing fight to maintain Alaska Native self-​determination, civil rights, and claim to Alaskan lands and waters (ANB, “Grand Camp” 165). Despite the limitations to promoting traditional culture and language that resulted from publicly pursuing such a platform, with its resulting English-​only policies and bans on public Indigenous rituals and ceremonies, ANB/​ANS’s fundamental purpose in publishing The Alaska Fisherman was, as Patrick J. Daley and Beverly A. James historicize, to “reclaim [Alaska Natives’] cultural voice and to fight for their fishing rights” (40); it was a strategic reclamation of public self-​representation. This balance became even more apparent when on 15 May 1924, 19 days before US president Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, the ANB/​ANS dropped the homogenizing patriotic platform and exchanged it for “Competent Christian Citizenship” (ANB, The Alaska Fisherman 4), a slogan that allowed for the cultural, linguistic, and tribal diversity that ANB/​ANS had always sought to represent. As Tlingit anthropologist and ANS member Rosita Worl asserts regarding the adaptive strategies of early ANB/​ANS leaders, “They were looking for us to get the tools that we needed to protect ourselves” (n.p., emphasis added). Throughout The Alaska Fisherman, ANB/​ANS articulated this sociopolitical straddling by repurposing the aesthetic, discursive, and generic tools of modernism—​popular Christian discourse, cross-​cultural representations, settler rhetorics of rights and citizenship—​to claim an Indigenous space within the sociopolitical and economic decisions of modernity. As Worl maintains, early ANB/​ANS leaders made the heavy decisions necessary to ensure a more autonomous Alaska Native present and future. By 1924, The Alaska Fisherman had become a consistent, 16-​page monthly paper. As a graduate of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School,Whitworth College, and the LaSalle Extension of the University

Figure 5.1  Alaska Fisherman. 15 February 1923. KETC 10/​1–​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska.

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of Chicago, Paul was soon replaced as ANB/​ANS secretary so that he could more fully commit to his co-​responsibilities as newspaper editor and ANB/​ANS attorney.10 Like Paul, many of ANB/​ANS’s leaders had survived long stints of cultural and pedagogical separation from their homes, families, and communities. Rather than promoting unilateral integration as a model for others to follow—​as many assimilation advocates, policy-​makers, and educators did—​editorials in The Alaska Fisherman described how the same forces that had legislated the separation of Indigenous families also controlled the public narrative of Native Alaska through the Alaskan press.11 In a June 1924 editorial entitled “The Race Problem in Alaska,” Paul condemned the settler press for promoting prejudice and asked, “When did the race problem begin?” He goes on to blame public office holders: Who brought with them certain notions of their superiority over every person whose skin is not white ... who frequently violat[e]‌the constitution of our country, whose breach of the laws is well known to our public officials. ... These are in control of our press. They feed what race prejudice there is because it serves their purpose. n.p. Paul recognized the power that public perception held over the lived realities of Indigenous peoples and he, alongside other ANB/​ANS leaders, employed the discursive strategies of modernism and entered the political arenas of modernity to protect Alaska Natives against anti-​Indigenous prejudice and policies. While Paul and other ANB/​ANS leaders learned to work within and gain respect from US sociopolitical institutions, and while they encouraged fellow Alaska Natives to adapt in order to similarly attain such recognized humanity from their contemporaneous systems of power, ANB/​ ANS leaders also worked to alter those same systems in an effort to secure the livelihoods of their fellow Alaska Natives. As Lisa Emmerich concludes, “Although [Paul’s] life seemed to exemplify the success of contemporary Indian assimilation policies, he remained first, last, and always a Tlingit Indian man who valued his heritage” (277). Paul joined ANB after attending the 1920 annual convention with the encouragement of his brother, Louis, and traditional leader Tlingit Chief Shakes (Daley and James 44). Together, the Paul brothers quickly became some of ANB’s most prominent and influential leaders. By the end of the convention, Louis Paul was elected as president and William Paul as secretary. ANB/​ANS historians, such as Stephen Haycox and Peter Metcalfe, agree that this 1920 convention forever shifted the focus of the organization from the top-​heavy approach of “civilized” Indians—​similar to the US-​based Society of American Indians (1911–​23)—​into a more grassroots, community-​centered political action organization, more like the concurrent National Council of American Indians.12 This new focus helped the organization confront non-​Indigenous politico-​economic and cultural control of the Alaskan territory through bloc voting and commercial boycotting. This fight to reclaim economic and political control of Alaska for Alaskans came with complex cultural compromise.Yet, as ANB’s vice president Peter Simpson (Tsimshian) reported at that 1920 convention in Wrangell, “The Alaska Native Brotherhood was born out of necessity; our necessity” (ANB, Minutes 8). As the story of Yuk suggests, it was a modern necessity to claim public space and voice to represent Alaska Native rights and responsibilities in an increasingly non-​Native Alaska. The Alaska Fisherman was likewise born out of a necessity and an opportunity that leveraged the modern technologies of mass print culture and the modernist representational form of the newspaper to connect ANB/​ANS members and provide them with a collective voice within the public sphere. The newspaper also provided a stream of organizational revenue while making, as Adam Spry (White Earth Anishinaabe) argues regarding Anishinaabe newspapers, “an implicit case for the ability of [Alaska Natives] to adapt to modern forms of social organization and governance without Euro-​American interference” (24). By printing an independent newspaper, ANB/​ ANS claimed a self-​governing space within modern public and political life that proved foundational to reclaiming spaces of self-​determination within modern Alaska. 81

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The Alaska Fisherman came into being through collective action to become “the official voice of the Alaska Native Brotherhood” (Daley and James 44). As such, although Paul served as the initial chief editor, and despite his outstanding individual achievements within settler modernity, he seldom signed editorials as the individual author. Except for republished articles or letters that Paul wrote in his capacity as attorney, and the occasional report signed with the Anglicization of Paul’s Tlingit name, Shquindy, the majority of The Alaska Fisherman articles remained unsigned, as if produced by the ANB/​ANS collective rather than by any individual contributor. Rather than promoting individual newspaper personalities that were becoming widely popular at the time, an example of an emerging culture of celebrity and journalistic self-​fashioning, The Alaska Fisherman functioned through a collectivist ideology. As the final two points of The Alaska Fisherman’s platform declare, ANB/​ANS wrote in order to inform and speak as Alaskans, to bring Alaska Natives and allies together into a co-​national body capable of reclaiming Alaska Native rights, lands, and waters. Although it is difficult to retrace the exact numbers and strategies for The Alaska Fisherman’s distribution, rival newspapers and politicians saw it as a powerful reclamation of Alaska Native political voice and therefore as a serious impediment to their settler-​colonial success. As Haycox reports, “Political opponents of William Paul came to fear him greatly, for he represented the potential to control the outcome of any election in which his influence might be used” (n.p.). Rival newspapers expressed that fear in the form of repeated tirades against Paul and his politics. In 1926, the Petersburg Press asked its readers Will you cast your vote for William L. Paul, organizer of the Native bloc, the breeder of racial hatred; the man who has made the Indians a political question ... The man who has been described as “the most dangerous man in Alaskan politics” because he threatens to dominate Alaska and to rule the territory by and for the Indians who have placed him in power?” qtd. in Atwood and Williams n.p. Other papers described him as an “unscrupulous politician; self-​appointed dictator” and suggested that “he herds the natives ... so that they will vote as directed by the manipulator” (Paul, “War on Womenfolk” 2). Public officials seeking to repress William Paul even went as far as arresting his mother and charging her with “inducing an Indian to vote” (Paul, “War on Womenfolk” 2). Haycox’s history and the public press’s polemic against Paul focus directly on Paul the individual rather than the collective that he had been elected to represent through The Alaska Fisherman. In a responding editorial entitled “War on Womenfolk,” ANB/​ANS reconnects Paul to the collective: “Has the war come to this that the fair name of Paul’s mother, for thirty five years a missionary among her people, a woman who lost her husband in the services of the church, to be dragged into jail merely to humiliate the secretary of the Alaska Native Brotherhood!” The editorial names the ongoing war as Paul’s “warfare on the fish trust and other exploiters” and concludes, “General Custer lost his last fight because he attacked the women and children of the Sioux. To make war on women is to put iron into a man’s soul” (2). The root of this expressed fear and resulting anti-​ANB/​ANS action was not in Paul as an individual, in one “civilized Indian;” rather, settlers feared the co-​national network of Alaska Native solidarity that Paul promoted and represented, an organizational model of collective action that adapted longstanding practices of intertribal exchange into a community that came to resemble such modern settler organizations as the League of Nations, labor unions, and other brother/​sisterhoods. The root of settlers’ fear was that their exploitation of Alaska Native lands and waters would be challenged, that they would be held responsible for their discrimination, and that they would be forced to return or at least to compensate for the stolen rights and resources. The fear was that through ANB/​ANS and its newspaper, Alaska Natives were regaining their ability to speak in modern public and political spheres, and that they were speaking out in solidarity. Rather than shying away from, assimilating into, and thereby becoming absent from Alaska modernity—​as the current literary record seems to suggest—​the expressed settler fear of Paul’s populist rhetoric demonstrates 82

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what Kirby Brown (Cherokee) describes as an “overwhelming presence” in modern Alaska (307). Co-​nationally, Alaska Natives were mobilizing in an organized, collaborative effort, and settlers in power read The Alaska Fisherman with the fear that its platform of restoring Alaska to Alaskans might ultimately be realized. Throughout its nine-​year run, The Alaska Fisherman represented both a discursive network of Alaska Natives and a collective political argument to retain the rights, resources, and responsibilities of modern Alaska Native communities. On 15 October 1924, for example, ANB/​ANS published a list entitled “What the Indians Want.” Speaking through the representational authority of the collective “Indians,” the list includes, in part, the abolishment of all industrial fish traps and hatcheries, direct election of territorial officers, a decent workmen’s compensation, and “no more favoritism to the big mine owner as against the little fellow” (ANB, “What the Indians” 7). In many ways, the complete list of what ANB/​ANS wanted in 1924, expressed through a populist rhetoric of resisting corporate greed, mirrors what Cherokee writer Thomas King describes in response to the same question posed in his 2012 narrative history of North America, The Inconvenient Indian: “After all the years of training, after all the years of having assimilation beaten into us, we still prefer to remain Cree and Comanche, Seminole and Salish, Haida and Hopi, Blackfoot and Bellacoola” (214). By reclaiming Alaska Native presence and participation through such modern technologies as mass print culture and such modernist sentiments as anti-​commercialism, ANB/​ANS entered the sociopolitical arenas of modernity in a calculated campaign to protect the self-​determination of Native Alaska. The title page of The Alaska Fisherman’s final year exemplifies how, although they chose to redirect their limited financial resources away from their monthly newspaper, ANB/​ANS remained consistent in furthering their fundamental four-​point platform. By this time, William Paul was campaigning as an independent for the position of attorney general of Alaska and Louis Paul had been appointed as editor and manager of the newspaper. Rather than beginning with an image of the salmon most frequently featured on the newspaper’s front page, the ANB/​ANS substituted the salmon image for a direct call for non-​Indigenous allies issued by William Paul. Entitled “We Are Doing Our Share,” Paul writes, “We rise at this time to tell the world that we favor the immediate abolishment of the Bureau of Fisheries from Alaska, the turning of the fisheries of Alaska over to the people of Alaska, and the employment of free born American citizens in that service.” Paul continues: The Colonists organized a “Boston tea party” and disguised as Indians boarded a British trader and dumped its cargo overboard in protest against the misrule by King George III. The white citizens of the territory, aside from a few, idle away their efforts in places of congregation and let real Indians organize and protest the encroachments of the Bureau of Fisheries. ... Alaska would be free in a short time if the white people of Alaska would fight for liberty as hard as the Indians are doing. Quit talking around the poolrooms and make a united protest. (“We Are Doing”) In this bold call for allies to act alongside Alaska Natives against the unregulated industrialization of Alaskan lands and waters, Paul summarizes and celebrates the ongoing solidarity of ANB/​ANS while comparing the US Federal Bureau to colonial England. At the same time, he reverses the role of Indians and revolutionaries. Rather than depicting Alaska Natives as impoverished, idle drunks, as popular narratives so frequently do, he describes how Alaska Natives were donning modern colonial costumes and customs as “civilized” Indians to “protest against the misrule” of the Bureau of Fisheries and, by extension, the US federal government. Here Paul recognizes the need for allies but, rather than strategically speaking through an adopted rhetoric of subservience as in some of ANB/​ ANS’s earliest publications, he celebrates Alaska Native aptitude and activism as the model for Alaskan autonomy. 83

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Although The Alaska Fisherman’s foremost platform of self-​ determination—​ “Alaska for Alaskans”—​continues to be contested more than 80 years after ANB/​ANS discontinued their original newspaper, the collective public voice of Alaska Native action that their paper fostered records an era of Alaska Native literary activism that led to otherwise unimaginable modern legislative and political victories. Alongside other Indigenous collaborators and non-​Indigenous allies, ANB/​ANS secured the Tlingit-​Haida Jurisdictional Act (1935), which gave Alaska Natives the right to bring suit against the US. Collectively, ANB/​ANS brought the Indian Reorganization Act (1934) to Alaska in 1941, thereby formalizing US federal recognition of Alaskan Native sovereignty. In solidarity as Alaska Natives, they pushed through the Anti-​Discrimination Act (1945), which ended segregation of public places, including schools in Alaska.13 As such landmark legislative accomplishments attest, Alaska Native modernity was an era of ongoing co-​national organizing held together, in large part, by the collective literary activism of ANB/​ANS. Beyond their legislative victories, The Alaska Fisherman, as but one example within an expansive archive of early twentieth-​century Alaska Native—​and other Indigenous—​writings, offers a literary ligature, binding Alaskan Native peoples together—​their land, stories, fish, and water—​in ways that transcend the discursive apparatus of settler-​modernity. In other words, if we read and listen beyond the Bureau of American Ethnology—​that most modernist of settler enterprises that attempts to speak for and about Indigenous peoples—​we remember that Yuk never surrendered to Raven’s exploitative deceit;Yuk continued to speak. Likewise, despite the modern ethnographic and sociopolitical attempt to pull out Indigenous tongues, Alaska Native modernity was never an era of assimilationist silence. Rather, it was a proactive period of reclaiming the civil rights and cultural responsibilities, as well as the traditional lands, waters, and lifeways that continue to sustain Alaska Native communities today.

Notes 1 The Alaska Fisherman was the official newspaper published by the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood from 1923 to 1932. As far as I can tell, it was the first public newspaper published specifically by and for Alaska Natives. 2 For a discussion of the ANB/​ANS’s co-​commitment to US citizenship and Alaska Native sovereignty, see Emily L. Moore’s “The American Flag and the Alaska Native Brotherhood.” 3 Rather than describing ANB/​ANS’s work as trans/​national, pan-​tribal, inter-​tribal, or trans-​Indigenous, co-​ nationalism “keeps central the localized practices and polities of Indigenous sovereignty while simultaneously sustaining the longstanding networks of Indigenous relations” (Taylor, “Co-​National Networks”). 4 As Susan Stanford Friedman suggests, the definitions of modern/​modernity/​modernism often shift—​even contradict one another—​from one discipline to the next. In this essay, I use the terms modern and modernity to describe the economic, political, social, and technological conditions and contexts of the early twentieth century. On the other hand, I use modernist and modernism to describe the expressive forms, genres, discourses, and representational strategies employed during the same time period. 5 For further scholarship on Indigenous nonfiction, see Lisa Brooks’ (Abenaki) The Common Pot:The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast (2008) and “The Constitution of the White Earth Nation: A New Innovation in a Longstanding Indigenous Literary Tradition” in Studies in American Indian Literatures (2013), James H. Cox’s The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History (2019), and Robert Warrior’s “Indigenous Nonfiction” in The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literatures (2014), among others. 6 The territory of Alaska did not become an official US state until 3 January 1959. 7 After the Verstovian, the Sheldon Jackson School continued to publish a school newspaper (SJC Today and then SJC Adventurers) until the school closed in 2007 (Atwood and Williams n.p.). 8 The Alaska Fisherman was but one of a growing number of nineteenth-​and early twentieth-​ century Indigenous newspapers (English-​language and Indigenous-​language) that participated in a growing formal tradition of Indigenous self-​representation, including the widely recognized Cherokee Phoenix (1828–​34) and at least 14 other Indigenous US newspapers (Littlefield and Parins xii), which does not include the many Native Hawai’ian newspapers, and other Indigenous-​run periodicals and newsletters. 9 Salmon reservations were areas of water established to appease conservationists rather than limit commercial fishing traps, packing, and canning.” 10 Among his many individual accomplishments,William Paul was the first Alaska Native to be called to the bar in Alaska, and the first Alaska Native to be elected into the territorial legislature.

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Beyond the Bureau of American Ethnology 11 In his childhood, William Paul and his family were often used by US educators and Christian pedagogues as the model of successful US assimilation (Daley and James 43). 12 For leading scholarship on the Society of American Indians, see Chadwick Allen (Chickasaw ancestry) and Beth Piatote’s (Ni:mi:pu) co-​edited special combined issue of Studies in American Indian Literatures and American Indian Quarterly: The Society of American Indians and Its Legacies (2013). For analysis of the National Council of American Indians, see P. Jane Hafen’s (Taos Pueblo) article, “ ‘Help Indians Help Themselves’: Gertrude Bonnin, the SAI, and the NCAI,” published in the same combined issue. To read important original writings of the National Council of American Indians, Hafen’s Help Indians Help Themselves: The Later Writings of Gertrude Simmons-​Bonnin (Zitkala-​Ša) (2020). For analysis of the National Council of American Indians’ writings, see Taylor’s 2021 essay, “ ‘Indians MUST Organize’: Reimagining Indigenous Modernities through the Writings of the National Council of American Indians” in Modernism/​Modernity. 13 The Anti-​Discrimination Act preceded the nationwide Civil Rights Act of 1964 by nearly 20 years.

References Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood, The Alaska Fisherman. 15 Feb. 1923. KETC 10/​1-​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. —​—​. The Alaska Fisherman. 15 May 1924. KETC 10/​1–​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. —​—​. “Grand Camp Constitution.” The Native Brotherhoods: Modern Intertribal Organizations in the Northwest Coast. Phillip Drucker. Washington, DC: US Govt. Printing Office: 1958. 165–​8. —​—​. “Our Platform.” The Alaska Fisherman 15 Feb. 1923: 2. KETC 10/​1–​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. —​—​. Minutes of the 1920 Alaska Native Brotherhood Convention. Juneau: Alaska Litho, 1995. —​—​. “A Thlinget Legend: How and Why the Cormorant Lost His Tongue.” The Alaska Fisherman 15 Apr. 1926: 6. KETC 10/​1–​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. —​—​. “What the Indians Want.” The Alaska Fisherman. 15 Oct. 1924. KETC 10/​1-​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. Allen, Chadwick and Beth Piatote, eds. Studies in American Indian Literatures, 25.2, 2013. —​—​. American Indian Quarterly:The Society of American Indians and Its Legacies, 37.3, 2013. Atwood, Evangeline and Lew Williams Jr. Bent Pins to Chains: Alaska and Its Newspapers. Philadelphia, PA: Xlibris Corp, 2006. Brooks, Lisa. The Common Pot:The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2008. —​—​. “The Constitution of the White Earth Nation: A New Innovation in a Longstanding Indigenous Literary Tradition.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 23.4 (2011): 48–​76. Brown, Kirby. “American Indian Modernities and New Modernist Studies’ ‘Indian Problem’.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 59.3 (2017): 287–​318. Bruchac, Joseph. Raven Tells Stories: An Anthology of Alaskan Native Writing. Greenfield Center, NY:The Greenfield Review Press, 1991. Cox, James H. The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019. Daley, Patrick J. and Beverly A. James. Cultural Politics and the Mass Media: Alaska Native Voices. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2004. Emmerich, Lisa E. “Paul, William Lewis, Sr.” Making It in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC CLIO, 2001. 277. Friedman, Susan Stanford. “Definitional Excursions: The Meanings of Modern/​ Modernity/​ Modernism.” Modernism/​modernity 8.3 (2001): 493–​513. Hafen, P. Jane. “ ‘Help Indians Help Themselves’: Gertrude Bonnin, the SAI, and the NCAI.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 25.2 (2013): 199–​218. —​—​. Help Indians Help Themselves: The Later Writings of Gertrude Simmons-​Bonnin (Zitkala-​Ša). Lubbock: Texas Tech UP, 2020. Harjo, Joy and Gloria Bird. Introduction to Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America. Eds. Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird. New York: Norton & Company Inc., 1998. 19–​32. Haycox, Stephen W. “William Paul, Sr., and the Alaska Voters’ Literacy Act of 1925.” Alaska History 2.1, 1986/​87. Accessed 9 March 2020. www.alask​ool.org/​native​_​ed/​artic​les/​liter​acy_​act/​Lite​racy​Txt.html. Hope, Andrew III. Founders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood. Sitka, AK: Andrew Hope III, 1975. King, Thomas. The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2013. Littlefield, Daniel F. and James W. Parins. American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals, 1826–​ 1924. Westport, CT: Greenwood P, 1984.

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Michael P. Taylor Metcalfe, Peter. A Dangerous Idea: The Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Struggle for Indigenous Rights. Fairbanks: U of Alaska P, 2014. Monroe, Harriet. “Editorial Comment: Aboriginal Poetry.” Poetry: A Magazine of Verse 9.5 (1917): 251–​4. Moore, Emily L. “The American Flag and the Alaska Native Brotherhood,” Arts 8.4 (2019): 1–​21. Naske, Claus M. A History of Alaska Statehood. London: UP of America, 1985. Paul,William. “The Race Problem in Alaska.” The Alaska Fisherman June 1924: 6. KETC 10/​1–​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. —​—​. “War on Womenfolk.” The Alaska Fisherman 11 Apr. 1923: 4. KETC 10/​1–​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. —​—​. “We Are Doing Our Share!”. The Alaska Fisherman. 15 May 1932. KETC 10/​1–​10/​3. Alaska State Library. Juneau, Alaska. Ruppert, James. “Native Literatures of Alaska.” The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature. New York: U of Oxford P, 2014. 608–​16. Ruppert, James and John W. Bernet, eds. Our Voices: Native Stories of Alaska and the Yukon. Lincoln, NB: Bison Books, 2009. Spry, Adam. Our War Paint is Writers’ Ink:Anishinaabe Literary Transnationalism. Albany: State University of New York P, 2018. Taylor, Michael P. “Conational Networks: Reconstituting Indigenous Solidarity Through the Works of Gertrude and Raymond Bonnin.” Native American and Indigenous Studies 8. 2 (2021): 125–54. —​—​. “ ‘Indians MUST Organize’: Reimagining Indigenous Modernities through the Writings of the National Council of American Indians.” Modernism/​modernity. —​—​. “Not Primitive Enough to Be Considered Modern: Ethnographers, Editors, and the Indigenous Poets of the American Indian Magazine.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 28.1 (2016): 45–​72. Vizenor, Gerald. Introduction to Alaska Native Writers, Storytellers & Orators. Fairbanks: U of Alaska P, 1999. Warrior, Robert Allen. “Indigenous Nonfiction.” The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature. New York: U of Oxford P, 2014. 187–​201. —​—​. The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012. Weaver, Jace. That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community. New York: U of Oxford P, 1997. Womack, Craig S. “Theorizing American Indian Experience,” Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective. Eds. Craig S. Womack, Daniel Heath Justice, and Christopher B. Teuton. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008. 353–​410. Worl, Rosita Kaaháni. Personal Response and Interview. 7 Aug. 2015.

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6 THE UNSETTLING TIMES OF ZITKÁLA-​ŠÁ AND GRAZIA DELEDDA Sonita Sarker

To write about Zitkála-​Šá (Yankton/​Ihanktonwan Dakota Sioux) and Deledda (Sardinian) is to write uncomfortably. Yet writing about them is possible, indeed is only possible, through un-​comfort and contingency. The many cataclysms of their era create unsettling times; in this discussion, however, unsettlement describes what Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda themselves create, by their presence and in their work, across US settler-​colonial democracy and Italian Fascist statehood, respectively. They unsettle to claim belonging in cultural and political structures that actively seek to exclude or marginalize them and, in that process, redefine how those structures are understood. Each, in her respective realm, negotiates imposed categories (Native, indigenous, woman, nation) to generate new narratologies by disturbing hegemonic logics; new forms emerge not so much in structure and method, but from other logics of being. Emulating their acts of unsettlement, this discussion juxtaposes the two writers to disturb prevailing perceptions, in their times and today, of major and minor modernisms: Zitkála-​Šá’s collaborative opus, The Sun Dance Opera (1913) and Deledda’s entire oeuvre (for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1926) have yet to be perceived as significant exemplars of the field.1 In this discussion, “Native” and “native” indicate the first inhabitants born on lands that are occupied by invasive forces and from which they are dislocated in different ways; while this is true of both women, “Native” applies only to Zitkála-​Šá and is freighted with the histories of settler-​colonial/​genocidal modernity that produce the term itself and pit it against White nativism. This analysis addresses the title of this collection, North American Indigenous Modernisms, by proposing that only in juxtaposition can the particularities of North American indigeneity be understood; it takes its cue from Zitkála-​Šá’s use of American/​Indian, and Deledda’s use of Sardinian, rather than the category of the “indigenous,” to illuminate how both writers contend with imposed terminologies.2 Continuing in this unsettledness, it also draws attention to the distance that both writers hold from contemporary feminisms, while fervently supporting women’s struggles to gain equality, particularly that of minoritized women such as themselves. Juxtaposing them risks homogenizing as well as universalizing indigeneity as a reified transhistorical category; the intention, rather, is to draw out their differently defined otherness. This discussion takes a turn away from categories such as “global” and “transnational” into which Anglophone literary modernist studies habitually slot or grant entry to writers; it offers instead a glimpse into the two writers’ own tactics to unsettle and negotiate categories prevalent in their times, primarily those of the “new” and the “now,” which appeared to be out of reach to the two writers.3 DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-8

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Zitkála-​Šá’s and Deledda’s acts of unsettlement happen in extreme disequilibrium of power, given that the categories of the “new” and “now” that they persist in claiming are founded on discourses about History that situate the Indian and the Sardinian outside its realms. Political and cultural discourses in their times create the matrix in which History is the domain of the national narrative of progress and civilization, where the citizen enjoys rights, responsibilities, and protections, and static or eternal Time is the territory of the “primitive,” which is often made interchangeable with “indigenous.” As Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda encounter, each in their context, the citizen is modeled on a normative gendered, classed, and racialized individual, a model that excludes them. Both writers take on the challenge of being excluded or marginalized, fully aware that those same constructed barriers to belonging in History are also selectively fetishized and celebrated as tradition or heritage. It is worth noting that, in their times, “race” signified not so much differences in skin color but civilizations and cultures; for instance, cultural and political commentators referred to Egypt, China, India, and Persia, to name some, as “races” that belonged to the “classical” past and were situated in a quasi-​Darwinian telos that culminated in White Euro-​American modernity. As this chapter shows, for Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda, the “new” and the “now” are not signifiers of the trendy or the fashionable, of the momentary or of the rejection of the old, but anti-​colonizing strategies of unsettling the categories of History and Time. and shattering the mythologies around their very existence. The territories of political and cultural disenfranchisement become the grounds for their reclamation and redefinition of the “new” and “now.”

Different Politics, Different Forms Early twentieth-​century political rhetoric and other discourses, such as sociology and anthropology, which claimed the status of scientific objectivity, effected the negations and erasures of the “Native” and the “indigenous” from belonging in History and its emblem, the nation-​state.4 On 14 April 1924, U S President Calvin Coolidge addressed the Daughters of the American Revolution, calling them . . . more than the daughters of the mothers of the revolutions that through the centuries of the past have marked the advance of humanity . . . the representatives of another revolution . . . in [their] own time . . . By virtue of it [“a perfected democratic republicanism”] the people were at least assured equality against the tyranny of any despotic executive and the tyranny of any despotic legislature . . . As it was the initiation of America which made manhood suffrage a modern ideal for the world, so we want now the initiation of America to make citizen suffrage a demonstrated success for the world . . . Surely the womanhood of our country, who have lavished upon the sons and daughters of the land such a wealth of affection . . . from the cradle to the grave, with immeasurable devotion, will not hesitate to make sufficient sacrifice to preserve for themselves and those they love ‘the last best hope of the world’ –​American institutions.5 The instantiations of particular women of the nation, American exceptionalism, and suffrage are made possible by multiple erasures and absences, all founded on the linear trajectory from “centuries of the past” to the “advance of humanity” politically, to which the personal tale “from the cradle to the grave” is tied. “American institutions” are presented as distinct from “tyranny” of any one executive or legislature, but are built exactly on the lives of those who are made absent in this nationalist rhetoric of progress—​the victims of genocide and slavery, unthought in this History. Less than two months later, on 2 June 1924, this same US president announced the Citizenship Act that granted the same rights to “Indians;” Zitkála-​Šá herself was instrumental in bringing this Act to pass, citizenship being the only legitimized means to include her peoples into the now of national History. Her career spanned the regimes of five US presidents, and Coolidge would have been one of those whom she addressed as the “Great White Father” (American Indian Stories 177).6 88

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Zitkála-​Šá’s “Americanize the First American: A Plan of Regeneration” (1921) preceded Coolidge’s declaration; written while she was involved in the actions to take the Citizenship Act to success, she had already begun to unsettle the terms by which Native identity was understood as outside the limits of a national narrative of progress and civilization.7 The very title of Zitkála-​Šá’s manifesto establishes the presence of Native identity on the continent before the arrival of those who named it America; it displaces the primacy that so-​called discoverers claim for themselves and transforms them into immigrants.The phrase “the first American,” which implies that national identity and citizenship (American) follows, rather than precedes, Native existence, disturbs the chronology Coolidge relies upon, and casts Native peoples in a new light. She writes between prevailing and self-​defined notions of Native and American, thus living, enacting, and expressing the distinct political and cultural subject positions ascribed to terms that co-​exist as irreconcilables in her time. In the subtitle, “A Plan of Regeneration,” the latter word may signify a new foray into the future but could also imply a cyclical movement through which past and present are re-​fashioned in an ever-​developing now. As with many of Zitkála-​Šá’s other writings, “Americanize the first American” is a retort to the larger matrix of ideas in which political rhetoric was only one node, others being the settler-​nativist cultural idiom that informed the policies and practices of educational and military institutions, and emerging anthropological analyses that situated the Native as part of a static past. “The School Days of an Indian Girl,” “America, Home of the Red Man,” and “Side by Side” all record Zitkála-​Šá’s torturous journey through boarding school, as student and then teacher, and all argue for the legitimacy of Native peoples in History.8 Her earlier schooling was at White’s Manual Labor (or Technical) Institute (1884 –​95), her college experience was at Earlham College in Indiana (1895–​7), and part of her teaching career was at the Carlisle Industrial School (1897). The term “labor” in the name of White’s Institute, a Quaker boarding school in Wabash (Indiana) that her mother had attended in her own youth, indicated clearly that education in this America, for Native peoples, was a handmaiden to an industry that absorbed individuals as raw material and churned out potential laborers for a colonial modernity, while denying them full citizenship.9 Carlisle, which carried the word “industrial” in its name, was run by the same Richard Henry Pratt whose horrific pronouncements, “Kill the Indian in him, and save the man” and “A good Indian is a dead Indian,” trafficked in literal invisibility, signifying physical death and systematic cultural erasure of Native identity.10 To Pratt, Indian identity was an external and dispensable layer of a suspended past (Time) that could be removed and the essential man brought into History to participate in the present and the future. In defiance of his edicts, Zitkála-​Šá proclaims in “Heart to Heart Talk” (1922) that “Indians must organize and work together in one powerful unit” toward citizenship (AIS 263). Writing as Secretary for the Society of American Indians in the 1919 Winter issue of the American Indian Magazine, in the significantly titled “America, Home of the Red Man,” she argues that “the Indian loves . . . [this land, the] . . . Home of Democracy” and asks when the Red Man “shall . . . be emancipated? . . . [and] deemed worthy of full citizenship if not now?” (AIS 195; emphasis added). The repetition of the words “today” and “now” across this essay is part of her sustained strategy to keep Indians’ political relevance firmly in view. She also contended with cultural discourse that was influenced heavily by anthropologists such as Franz Boas, who argued in The Mind of Primitive Man (1911) that “the White race represents the highest type” (4) of physical and intellectual aptitude, and plotted, as part of the title of Chapter 11 of his book indicates, the “progress of culture” (197) on a linear path from savagery to civilization. Zitkála-​Šá’s collection of cultural lore on Iktomi and other Native legends and mythology, while not in direct response to Boas, makes the past relevant to the now, and becomes her counter-​ narrative for claims to citizenship. If destabilizing form characterizes modernist practice, Ziktála-​Šá’s new logics disturb form that, in turn, unsettle the structures of containment that place her outside History and its passport, namely citizenship. Using a tripolar dynamic, she puts citizenship forward in a comparative and competitive 89

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context, underscoring the injustice of the situation—​Native peoples as “First Americans” have been denied a set of rights and responsibilities that have been proffered already to former slaves and to immigrants.11 In “Bureaucracy versus Democracy” (1922), she protests the “campaign of Americanization among the foreign-​born” while those who fought for the country in World War I, the “noble aborigines of America” are left behind (AIS 246).12 Zitkála-​Šá reverses the dichotomy of the civilized-​uncivilized in hegemonic U S narratives to make a point about the dignity of the “Red Man” who practiced the fundamentals of American citizenship even before the arrival of the white man. In “Side by Side” (1896), she describes the “Red Man” living under “the benign influence of the Great Spirit” and invaded “by a paler race” that brings “dismay to the hospitable Indian” (AIS 223). In “America’s Indian Problem,” she contrasts Europeans, who are “the riffraff of the white people from the four corners of the earth . . . the very scum of other races,” with the “ Indian” who is “educated, refined, and patriotic . . . teaching the highest ideals of democracy” and who is full of both astonishment and despair at the rampant “race discrimination . . . akin to the rule of might of the old-​world powers!” (AIS 210).13 Provocative as the reversed narrative is, and simple as the reversal may seem, it is also strategic in calling upon the nobler instincts that white settler colonials pride themselves on possessing, the very instincts on which American democracy is purportedly founded and which Coolidge invokes in his speech. Grazia Deledda is caught in a similar matrix of political rhetoric and cultural as well as anthropological discourses about Sardinia, through which she crafts the form of her discontent. In a speech delivered from the Palazzo della Prefettura at Sassari (in Sardinia) on 10 June 1923, Mussolini proclaimed: I have looked you well in the face, I have recognized that you are superb shoots of this Italian race which was great when other people were not born, of this Italian race which three times gave our civilisation to the barbarian world, of this Italian race which we wish to mould by all the struggles necessary for discipline for work, for faith. (Applause.) I am sure that, as Sardinia has been great in war, so likewise will she be great in peace. I salute you, O magnificent sons of this rugged, ferruginous, and so far forgotten island. Mussolini 321–​2; emphasis in original “Forgotten” reveals the hegemonic gaze of the continental mainland through which Sardinia is rendered absent in History, “so far,” as Mussolini indicates. The island is far from “forgotten” in the eras of Deledda’s adolescence and young womanhood; emerging studies in criminology and sociology as well as literary depictions overdetermined the island in particular ways, erasing or overriding (forgetting) the ways that Deledda sought to retrieve and represent it. Such publications as Cesare Lombroso L’uomo delinquente (The Delinquent Man 1876) and Alfredo Niceforo’s La delinquenza in Sardegna (Delinquency in Sardinia 1897) determined how Sardinians were represented to themselves and to others.14 These treatises, received as objective “truth,” read criminality and delinquency as innate, inherited, and incurable elements in the Sardinian character. Literary portraits such as D.H. Lawrence’s Sea and Sardinia (1921) romanticized the perceived resilience and simplicity of Sardinians, thus essentializing Deledda’s land and people in fictional frames. Both types suspended Sardinians in Time, as inhabitants of a “primitive” life, segregated from modernity. They also served as well as conveyed, implicitly and explicitly, national rhetoric about citizenship, depicting Sardinians as counter-​ figures to the normativized model of the Italian citizen-​subject who was the rightful inhabitant of History, invested in the Fascist rhetoric of a wondrous future.15 As is evident in these narratives, the racialized and ethnicized identities of citizens of Sardinian islanders and Italian mainlanders are hierarchically slotted into Time and History, respectively. Citizenship and belonging thus become temporal discourses. While in her twenties, Deledda herself wrote to Angelo de Gubernatis, the foremost Orientalist anthropologist of her time, pleading with him to allow her to compile traditional folklore, legends, 90

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rituals and other cultural practices that she published in Tradizioni Popolari di Nuoro in Sardegna (1894) and Racconti Sardi (1894). Like Zitkála-​Šá’s collection of cultural lore, these works reside firmly in the historical present as a guide for the future; they make a statement about the continued currency of lived experience in the face of its rejection by Italian mainland (Fascist national) powers.16 Deledda’s declaration—​“I have a single, great dream, and that is to depict an unknown land I love enormously, my Sardinia”—​seems to respond directly to the anthropologists and littérateurs, and unequivocally establish her native-​ness (Scano 287). Mussolini’s “so far forgotten island” translates into Deledda’s “unknown land” as seen by the native inhabitant. The pronoun “my,” however, describes her position between native, citizen, and subject; to her, the three positions are bound together seamlessly, where others designate her as belonging to only one of them. On hearing of the preeminent writer Gabriele d’Annunzio’s visit to Sardinia, she said: “I was really upset and humiliated . . . he could never know us well, especially if he stays for such a short period of time, he would just falsify everything about us” (Di Pilla, 447).This response does not merely claim the space to represent her own island; it is a rejection of the hegemonic gaze, once again claiming the power to represent Sardinia to itself and to the world. Deledda’s own unflinching emphasis on being Sardinian affected her reception as a permanent outsider to the hegemonic Italian literary canon, a status that she bore with pride and commitment, as a native writing in exile—​she left Sardinia for the Italian mainland in 1899, visited intermittently till 1911, and never returned for the subsequent 25 years of her life. As evident in the extracts from Coolidge’s and Mussolini’s speeches above, (non)membership in History is framed in terms of “race,” signifying culture and civilization, rather than skin color only, as markers of difference. An ineffable connection to the land and its people animates Deledda’s entire oeuvre; as she puts it, her work depicts “[a]‌ll the melancholy and irony, the mysticism and often the brutal realism, the practical and sentimental aspirations, the passions and the needs of the race …” (“Ricordi,” 492). Her use of the word “race” appears to be more definitive than Mussolini’s opinion in 1933: “Race! It is a feeling, not a reality: ninety-​five percent, at least, is a feeling. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today. ... National pride has no need of the delirium of race ” (Ludwig 69–​70). In 1938, in the Fascist regime, however, the “Manifesto della razza” disenfranchised and persecuted Jews, as part of Mussolini’s alliance with Hitler and their common belief in Aryan heritage.17 While Mussolini fêted Deledda as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1926) for Italy, Deledda foregrounded elements of hybrid racialized and ethnicized otherness in her native Sardinian identity. The slippage between race as civilization, race as culture, and race as lineage affects both Deledda’s and Zitkála-Šá’s claims to citizenship, in terms of substantive political enfranchisement as well as meaningful cultural belonging. Both authors’ lineages are explicitly cast into racialized hierarchies that undergird US and Italian versions of modernity in the early twentieth century.18 The common feature across these two dissimilar entities is an aspiration that becomes a criterion, namely, that of purity, whether it is White and Other in the US or mainlander and islander in Italy.19 Both Zitkála-​Šá’s and Deledda’s lineages dispute their respective nation-​states’ muddled narratives of democracy, equality, and inclusion. The former’s lineage can be read in more than one way: by blood, by genealogy, by geography, by culture, and by self-​definition. She was the child of a White man and a “full blooded” Sioux, Ellen Simmons (Dakota name, Thate’ Iyóhiwin or She Reaches for the Wind), who later married an Anglo-​French man, John Haysting Simmons. Named Gertrude Simmons, she faced attempts by both Native and White factions to delegitimize her.20 A series of emplacements and displacements crisscrossing large swathes of the US informed Zitkála-​Šá’s sense of being “American” on her own terms; she ultimately self-​fashioned her lineage by renaming herself “Red Bird.” Deledda’s ancestral lineage emerged from a Sardinia that was itself at the crossroads of various forces—​from Romans, Goths, and Saracens to the Byzantines, Aragons, Savoyards, and Piedmontese—​that underlie the identity of an island that is perceived as “backward.” Whether it is from her teenage imagination or a more deeply rooted desire to distance herself from homogeneity, Deledda refers to a blend of origins and cultures, describing herself as “small, pale, and brown, a little 91

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Spanish, a little Arab, a little Latin” (Masini 14). This deliberate invocation of hybridity and otherness, even within Sardinia, which is already othered by Italy, reveals her reluctance to accept or take comfort in racial purity. She chooses to acknowledge, in fact, the colonial history of Sardinia in her successful bid to claim a place in Italian literature.

A Modern Woman A critical inflection in the claims that both Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda make for a place in History is their emphasis on their gendered status, which is co-​constitutive with race, class, and national identity. Most discourses of the New Woman, a significant trope of the early twentieth century, then and after, celebrate the readiness and ability of women to adopt the new and emerging technologies and trends of their times. Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda exemplify a unique kind of New Woman, grounded in relationships to land and in experience with compelled/​forced education that inform their interpretation of “new.” To them, this phrase connotes a certain political and cultural urgency of the claims for visibility, based in resilience and self-​determination, that resist marginalization. Zitkála-​Šá’s and Deledda’s sense of belonging in, and the intimate associations of their identities with, the land can only be more fully understood in relation to the history of displacement as a result of occupation by colonial and hegemonic forces.21 In the US, the 1887 Dawes Severalty Act, or General Allotment Act, broke up tribal lands and gave them to white settlers; the 1906 Burke Act further facilitated White ownership and, at the same time, created obstacles for Native peoples to obtain American citizenship. Zitkála-​Šá’s trajectory is one of mobility, but a mobility defined by disenfranchisement and ambivalence. She inhabited, for brief periods of her life, the Yankton Reservation (1876–​84), and then what she calls “Red Apple Country,” the land of the boarding school described in “School Days of an Indian Girl ” (AIS 87-​103). She attended Santee Normal Training School to be closer to her mother; she then went to Earlham College (also in Indiana, 1895), and the Boston Conservatory of Music in Massachusetts (1899). She worked at the Carlisle Industrial School in Pennsylvania (1889–​1902), at the Uintah and Ouray Reservations (1903–​16), and in Washington, DC (1917–​38). Based on her experience in investigating land mismanagement, she was appointed as adviso r to the 1928 US Meriam Commission, which led to several reforms, including important aspects of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. As is evident in this brief sketch, Zitkála-​Šá’s relationship with land was informed both by enforced assimilationist education and work; this relationship generated her sustained petitions for ownership of territories that were segregated and deemed outside modernity, both materially and ideologically. These petitions were not only for possession of Native lands but about possession as a symbol of citizenship in the same ways that White men enjoyed. For Deledda, as well, the associations of Sardinia with “primitive” and “wild” resonate in the very name given to the area in which she grew up—​Barbagia—​the barbaric that is relegated to static Time. Deledda’s bid for modernity is precisely through an exclusive focus and an unapologetic love for these very lands. The 1820 Editto della chiudende, issued from Rome, turned collective lands into private property, and Deledda’s father benefited from this edict that also “modernized” pasturelands into coal and ash fields. Her native-​ness is an amalgam of secluded moments in her father’s private library, in their house in Nuoro, and her deep knowledge of the surrounding Barbagian landscape. Rome—​which, to her, was a locus of civilization with which she had a love-​hate relationship and where she spent 36 years of her writing career—​was the perfect setting for her dedication to depicting Sardinia. Both Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda traversed urban and rural environments in their quest for citizenship. In their depictions, native lands defy the dichotomies of Time and History imposed upon them; in both writers’ work, narrative is tied to nation through their identification with their native lands. For Zitkála-​Šá, learning how to be an American comes only through a wrenching, visceral experience—​ at the boarding school to which she is lured, her hair is cut, her moccasins and clothes substituted, and her tongue constrained to speak English. Her sense of alienation only grows as she moves through Earlham College and the Boston Conservatory of Music, each a significant achievement in its own 92

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right during her times. Paradoxically, her claims to citizenship and full membership in the US are born of this experience, shuttling between alienation and belonging. At the intersection of her Logudorese lineage, middle-​class, landowning status, and her native language (Sardo), Deledda’s gender became a particular factor in her educational trajectory. She was confined to her father’s private library while her brothers Andrea and Santus went to school; she educated herself at home and learned Italian from a male tutor. Compounding this prejudice was the heavy weight of her native cultural expectations of a woman’s role in which writing was considered scandalous. In receiving the permission of the venerated Orientalist scholar Angelo de Gubernatis to edit her earliest collections of Sardinian folklore, she foregrounded her own native-​ness and intimacy with Sardinian history and culture. Conforming to a language other than her native tongue (Sardo is a language, not an Italian dialect) left marks in her writing that editors of her later works often critiqued as stiff and awkward. In addition, at the intersection of discrimination against Sardinians and against women, Deledda persisted in writing against the grain. By the time Deledda was 26, she had published many short stories, book reviews, sketches, poems, serialized romances, and three novels.22 Paradoxically, while Deledda was perceived as an illegitimate occupant of the territory of writing, she was also expected to write in her corner, so to speak, and thus often is categorized in literary history as a regional writer.The fact that her career culminated in the Nobel Prize in Literature (1926) barely camouflages the pain, self-​doubt, and resilience of a Sardinian claiming a space in Italian literature. Zitkála-​Šá battled directly and uncompromisingly with both Native and White American masculinities in her wide-​ranging cultural and political work. The Sun Dance Opera itself was a statement of resistance since the central focus of the work was on a tradition banned by the Federal Government. The labor that followed was dedicated not only to the missions of the Society of American Indians, as its secretary, and to the National Council of American Indians, as its co-​founder and president, but to working for the objectives of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) while also to advocating for its abolition. Zitkála-​Šá’s words appear to be responding to Coolidge’s address to women, when she says that alongside the men, ‘at home,’ there are “Indian women . . . courageously knitting sweaters, helmets and socks,” much as other American women were doing at the same time (AIS 185). Dedicating a large part of her work to women, she joined the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1921, through which she created the Indian Welfare Committee in 1924. Early in her public career, in her commencement speech, “Progress of Women,” delivered at White’s Manual Labor Institute, she had argued for women’s right to vote, and in “The Achievements of the Red and White Races Compared” given at the Carlisle Industrial School, she focused on women’s accomplishments.23 In “A Year’s Experience in Community Service Work Among the Ute Tribe of Indians,” published in the October–​December 1916 issue of the American Indian Magazine, she describes the work of women’s sewing classes, their music and dance as well as the meals they cook, to combat the culture of dependency and debt caused by the wage of government employees that did not make for sustainable lives (AIS 168–​172). Following up on that, in “Widespread Enigma Concerning Blue-​Star Woman” (1921), Zitkála-​Šá depicts Chief High Flier, “the voiceless man of America,” who is thrown into prison and who sees a vision of a “great galaxy of American women . . . [upon whom smiles] the Statue of Liberty!” (AIS 152). She imagines this latter figure, who had “formerly turned her back upon the American aborigine” now looking upon him “with compassion,” her eyes ranging “across the outspread continent of America, the home of the red man” (AIS 153). While the male persona is most often central to Zitkála-​Šá’s claims, this vivid cinematic fade of the indigenous and mythical Blue-​Star Woman into the modern nation’s Statue of Liberty emphasizes the roles of women as sources of inspiration and as agents of liberation. What does not receive full exposition in discussing the two authors’ forced conformity to imposed hegemonic standards is the relationship between formal and informal education that was intrinsic to their worldviews. At numerous points in their large oeuvres, Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda acknowledge the formative influence of their mother-​tongue and their native culture—​indeed, both maintain a persistent focus on representing Native America and Sardinia, respectively, through the vehicles of 93

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formal education. The other significant facet of their education, distant as they are from each other geographically and culturally, is that the normative (English and Italian) is actually normativized, that is, imposed by hegemonic powers and presented as the norm. In this context, Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda cannot be said to have consented, since an enforcement of a singular norm signifies an absence of choice.They stand as examples of early twentieth-​century modern women who redefined their gendered roles through their acts of unsettling imposed norms of education, language, and voice.

From is also Beyond Zitkála-​Šá’s impressive breadth and depth of labor—​ musical composition, letters, pamphlets, founding of national organizations, fiction, diaries—​manifest one goal: that Native peoples may eventually be granted the full status of native and citizen. The singular goal of Deledda’s equally voluminous work—​letters, diaries, essays, fiction—​is for Sardinia to be recognized as an autonomous cultural identity in the Italian body politic.Yet, both authors gesture at a larger frame beyond the circumscribed ambit to which they are confined, in the ways that they invoke humankind as their ultimate setting, from their positions as cosmopolitan intellectuals.24 In the Preface to “Old Indian Legends,” the former calls upon “the great brotherhood of mankind” (AIS 5–​6) and hopes that the children whom she is describing keep their interest in their native legends as they grow into adulthood, because these stories suggest a “near kinship with the rest of humanity” (5). Deledda also connects the local (Logudorese) to life beyond the island; in her novel Le colpe altrui (1914), America appears as an already iconic symbol of her vision of the now and the new, and in which turbulent change, not static suspension, characterizes Sardinia’s position. The characters in this novel—​Andrea, Vittoria, Mikali—​are described in the novel: The emigrants were waiting for the hour of departure, with sacks, sticks, bundles, like pilgrims dressed in moleskin but with their faces still marked with lines of pride, at times dark with distrust, at times illuminated with hope . . . the striped green velvet dresses reminiscent of the prairies . . . the forests . . . where primitive man ceases to be such to become the modern barbarian . . . It was the old Sardinia that was leaving. 321 Caught at the confluence of the past and the future, Deledda does not throw herself unconditionally into the modern.The phrase “primitive man . . . become the modern barbarian” indicates the author’s objection to the linearity of dominant History where primitive is relegated to the past and separated from civilization.That modern time contains its own uncivilized being runs counter to the prevailing ideas about Sardinia on one side, and Italy and the US on the other. While Deledda’s own world as a female was severely restricted to prescribed roles and contexts, her points of orientation return the reader to wider frames of existence; for instance, she describes her early years in these words: Our life, or rather mine, is a combination of patriarchal and American life. My mother wears the local costume, but my little sisters and I are not completely young Misses . . . we dress according to fashion, but instead of hats we still wear a silk or satin kerchief that we can remove only when we marry—​as my [older] sister has done. Masini 44 Deledda places herself, in slight distinction from her siblings, at the intersection of tradition and modernity. Her mother’s “local costume” represents the former and she, along with her sisters, in their own dress, stand on the verge of the latter. As in her descriptions of her self-​constructed lineage 94

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elsewhere, her horizon is set far beyond the familial; in the paragraph above, “patriarchal” aligns with family/​mother and local (implying that traditions are patriarchal in nature), and “American” aligns with fashion and the future. As with her allusions to Arab and Latin in describing herself, as mentioned above, here “American” increases Deledda’s ambit of representation of her lineage; it becomes an intermixture of the ancient and the new, straddling both the local and the wider world. This is the same “America” of Zitkála-​Šá’s struggles for place and legitimacy during the same era. From her earliest novel, Stella d’oriente (Star of the East 1890), to Fior de Sardegna (Flower of Sardinia 1891) through her mid-​career Nel deserto (In the desert 1911) and Annalena Bilsini (1927) to the mature Il paese del vento (The Country of the Wind 1931) and the posthumous, closely autobiographical Cosima (1937), Deledda’s avowed focus remained largely though not exclusively on Sardinia, but she consistently drew attention to the broader connections between Sardinia and the rest of the world. As she says, Sardinians are “like the rest of the world, with different usages and customs. They don’t know socialism, don’t agitate, don’t complain, but make do in their own way. All of this is reflected in my novel, and is the truth as I see it” (Masini 62). Deledda was one of two prominent Sardinians who drew Mussolini’s attention; her Sardinian contemporary Antonio Gramsci, younger by a decade or so, theorized education and resistance in relation to Socialism; in the very same year that Mussolini celebrated Deledda’s Nobel Prize in Literature (1926), he incarcerated Gramsci, who died in prison nine years later. Based on her knowledge of Russian and French literatures, among others, Deledda pointed again and again to the larger-​than-​parochial relevance of the “pastoral” and “primitive” Sardinia in the modern and cultured world, ultimately invoking a humanity that expressed universal human emotions. Deledda addresses two related aspects of this larger world—​war and women’s status—​to which her voice, now that of a prominent Sardinian figure in Italy, contributes a full-​throated support for global justice and for women’s rights (while not for the feminist movement).25 Beyond participation in narratives of the nation, in which she inserted Sardinian identity, she published in Vienna (Deutsche Rundschau and the Neue Freie Presse), in New York (Henry Holt and Company), in Barcelona’s Labor nova, in London’s The Fortnightly Review, and in the Munich publishing house Süddeutsche Monatshefte. Contrary to evaluations of Deledda as a “regional” writer, her career demonstrates amply her keen awareness of, and ability to negotiate, local and global, island and nation, and “native” and “modern.”

Coda: Expand to Fill, Shrink to Fit The juxtaposition of Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda contests the assumption of indigeneity as a homogenous identity, both within and across nation-​states. The two authors’ own contestations of their respective, differently colonizing nation-​states reveal how they address modernism and modernity in their times, as seen from their positions as cosmopolitan intellectuals. Zitkála-​Šá’s advocacy of indigenous self-​determination and American citizenship within a White, masculinist, settler-​colonial state, and Deledda’s representations of the uniqueness of Sardinian identity in a masculinist, fascist Mussolinian hegemony bear out the similarities and differences in their positions. Zitkála-​Šá’s and Deledda’s modes of tiptoeing purposefully across minefields of signification appear incongruent with practitioners’ and scholars’ fervently held image of normative modernisms as explosive breaches that birth new and unprecedented forms. In the context of the immovably entrenched epistemologies of these two writers whose histories are co-​constituted with those of more prominent modernists, perhaps it is time to reorient, at the very least, if not rephrase the question: “What counts as modernist?” Their lives and careers compel us to think of how our own particular historical era replicates the gendered, ethnicized, classed, and racialized time-​lag between “indigenous” and “modern” on which narratives of Anglo-​American and Western European modernities continue to be based. North American and Western European literary-​cultural modernisms have largely subscribed to the logic of inclusion by addition—​Indigenous is attached to Modernism to demarcate a separate 95

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territory of creative and analytic production that is implicitly subordinate to, or a satellite of, the main body of modernism. Even plurality effects a superficial expansion that is essentially additive. While appearing to be more inclusive, the plural and the global actually maintain demarcations that effectively convey that Zitkála-​Šá’s and Deledda’s are additive to, and not constitutive of, a singular and core modernism, in much the same way the singular nation-​state (the US or Italy) approaches them. A category such as “Indigenous Modernism,” as in the title of this collection, like transnational modernisms, feminist modernisms, queer modernisms, and B lack modernisms, signifies two directions that work in opposite directions—​either expand to fill by addition, or shrink to fit by conforming to the prevailing criteria of what Anglophone modernism (practitioners and analysts) holds as essential and definitive. As is evident in the figures of Zitkála-​Šá and Deledda, every instantiation of “indigenous” renders, in implicit contradistinction, the settler-​colonial as foreign, never native. Settler-​colonial claims to the status of “native,” in their own and subsequent generations, at once re-​collect the stories of violence and attempted erasure, while at the same time denying them. From this perspective, analytic categories such as indigenous are—​like feminist, queer, Black, or trans—​palimpsests of modernism that continue to unsettle it.

Notes 1 The opera was a collaborative work with William F. Hanson who is often credited as the main composer; at a 1938 Broadway performance, only his name was listed. See Zitkála-​Šá’s 1901 essay “A Protest” (American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings, hereafter AIS 235–​8). 2 See Ramirez as one example of a discussion of the fraught history of terminology—​indigenous, native, and aboriginal. In the twenty-​first century, “Indian” is retained or rejected variously; its origin as a historical mistake that Christopher Columbus committed remains as an important inflection. I have not used quotes for the word “Indian,” but retain the implications of its use.Today, NDN marks this history and reclaims the term. 3 See Brown and Reddon for the erasures, blind spots, and occlusions in Anglo-​American modernist studies. 4 Industrial and commercial networks serve this global History by controlling the cycles of Nature; in this sense, Time is subjugated by History. Antonio Gramsci’s “Americanism and Fordism,” written during his incarceration by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime, addresses how the regulation of clock time maximizes organized production in urban industrial societies, and infiltrates into and controls individuals’ intimate lives (see Gramsci). 5 See Coolidge. 6 In “Chipeta, Widow of Chief Ouray with a Word About a Deal in Blankets” (1917); strictly speaking, at the time of this essay, she was addressing President Woodrow Wilson; the phrase was widely used in that period to refer to US presidents. In another speech on 6 June 1924 at Howard University, “The Progress of a People,” Coolidge spoke to the “accomplishments of the colored people in the United States, in the brief historic period since they were brought here from the restrictions of their native continent, [that] can not but make us realize that there is something essential in our civilization which gives it a special power” ( www.coo​lidg​ efou​ndat​ion.org/​resour​ces/​the-​progr​ess-​of-​a-​peo​ple/​). 7 Zitkála-Šá, AIS 242-4. 8 Zitkála-Šá, AIS 87-103, 193–5, and 222–6 respectively. 9 In England and post/​colonial India, boarding schools were for children of the elite or for orphans; their histories are accompanied by anecdotes or records of abuse and surveillance. 10 See Fear-​Segal and Rose; Box 2 Folder 2 in MSS 1704 contains Zitkála-​Šá’s letter to Carlos Montezuma, disagreeing with Pratt about the “great superiority of … reservation schools” (20 Feb. 1901). See more on Pratt: historymatters.gmu.edu/​d/​4929/​. 11 See Newmark for an analysis of the strategies Zitkálá-​Šá uses, pluralism among them, to counter race-​based nativist arguments about citizenship and American-​ness. 12 For a counter-​image where immigrant (Yiddish) identity uses constructions of “ Indian” to claim the categories of modern and American, see Rubinstein. 13 The title of her 1924 work explicitly reflected her views—​Oklahoma’s Poor Rich Indians: An Orgy of Graft and Exploitation of the Five Civilized Tribes – Legalized Robbery. See MacBain for an analysis of whiteness as virus and contagion. What was deemed “ primitive” or “ uncivilized” was nevertheless commodified as tourist attractions; see Oliphant for an analysis of how U S modernism participated in facilitating that. 14 Lombroso was an Italian Jewish positivist criminologist from Verona and Niceforo, a Sicilian sociologist/​ criminologist. See also Paolo Orano’s The Psychology of Sardinia (Psicologia della Sardegna, 1896). The British

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The Unsettling Times of Zitkála-Šá and Grazia Deledda modernist D.H. Lawrence’s Twilight in Italy (1916) and Etruscan Places (1932) stand on either side of Sea and Sardinia as representations of his influential writings on Italy and Sardinia. Lawrence also wrote an introduction to Deledda’s La Madre (The Mother) in 1920. He wrote to the New Zealander Katherine Mansfield, a fellow modernist (Thursday, 12 February? 1919): “Deledda is very interesting—​except the middle bit; in Rome …” (Lawrence 1932, 476) indicating what he though was important (her identity as a Sardinian), not what was important to her (her membership in Italian letters). See Hiller for an argument that Deledda was influenced by criminal anthropologists who presented Sardinians in an extremely negative light, and that she never overcame that influence. 15 Other influential texts in that era were Criminal Sociology (1900) by Enrico Ferri (from the Lombardy region and a supporter of Fascism) and The Jews in Italy (Gli Ebrei in Italia, 1936-​7) by Paolo Orano (a Sardinian). Both texts othered Sardinians and Jews, respectively; both had also initially written for Avanti!, a socialist dissident journal. The title of this journal also indicates the ‘forward’ movement of the narrative of history. See Proust (1913–​1927), Einstein (1916), Weber (1922), Benjamin (1940), and Bergson (1944) for contemporary notions of time. In these same decades, Samuel Alexander, William James, Alfred North Whitehead, Wyndham Lewis, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein also add to these conversations. Fabian delineates how anthropology “makes its object,” as the subtitle of his study puts it, by placing the “primitive” in a category (Time) suspended from modernity. 16 See Masini for an analysis of the letters between Deledda and de Gubernatis. 17 See Schnapp 172–​84 for “The Manifesto of Race” (1938), “Critique of The Manifesto of Race” (1941–​2), and the “New Revised Draft of The Manifesto of Race” (1942). 18 This discussion does not intend to draw or imply equivalencies between Coolidge and Mussolini; it draws only upon the grand metanarratives of modernity, about History, progress, and civilization that they share. 19 I use capital “W” for “White” and capital “O” for “Other” to signify that, as much as they refer to individual people, they are also abstract concepts that are deployed in political and literary rhetoric. Additionally, my intention with capital “W” is to underscore collective racialization and structural responsibility rather than individual white people. 20 See Carpenter (2004) and Carpenter (2005) for Zitkála-​Šá’s own constructions of Indian identity, and Lewandowski for shifting scholarly analyses of Zitkála-​Šá. 21 See Goeman for a discussion of Native women’s relationship to land in literature. 22 Both authors in this discussion share the issue of (un)translatability from native languages to dominant ones, not only in terms of idiom but also in conveying the cultural context or essence of the tales. 23 Box 1, folder 8 in MSS 1704 contains a letter from the National League of American Pen Women, congratulating her on her membership. 24 See Ketchum and Vigil for a discussion of Native women as cosmopolitan/​indigenous intellectuals. 25 See Fabbian for a discussion of Deledda’s subtle strategies to represent women’s sexuality and struggles for autonomy, and Wood on her negotations with dominant Italian modernity. See also Ben-​Ghiat on colonialism and national identity as the larger contexts for Deledda’s position, and Briziarelli on Deledda as “outlaw.”

References Ben-​Ghiat, Ruth. “Modernity is just over there: Colonialism and Italian National Identity.” Interventions, vol. 8, no. 3. (2006): 380–​93. Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” (1936). In Illuminations, transl. Harry Zohn. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968, pp. 219-​253. Bergson, Henri. Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness (1944), transl. F.L. Pogson. New York: Harper and Row, 1960. Boas, Franz. The Mind of Primitive Man. New York: Macmillan, 1938. Briziarelli, Susan. 1995. “Woman as Outlaw: Grazia Deledda and the Politics of Gender.” MLN, vol. 110, no. 1. (1995): 20–​31. Brown, Kirby. “American Indian Modernities and New Modernist Studies’ ‘Indian Problem.’ ” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 59, no. 3 (Fall, 2017): 287–​313. Carpenter, Cari M. “Detecting Indianness: Gertrude Bonnin’s Investigation of Native American Identity.” Wicazo Sa Review, vol 20, no. 1 (Spring, 2005): 139–​59. Carpenter, Ron. “Zitkala-​ Šá and Bicultural Subjectivity.” Studies in American Indian Literatures, vol. 16, no. 3. (2004): 1–​28. Coolidge, Calvin. www.coo​lidg​efou​ndat​ion.org/​resour​ces/​app​eal-​to-​women-​to-​vote-​to-​prot​ect-​the-​nat​ion/​2022 Deledda, Grazia. Annalena Bilsini. Milan: Treves 1927. ———​. Cosima. Milan: Treves, 1937.

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Sonita Sarker ———​. Fior di Sardegna. Rome: Perino, 1891. ———​. Il paese del vento. Milan: Treves, 1931. ———​. Le colpe altrui. Milan: Treves, 1914 (1920). ———​. Nel deserto. Milan: Treves, 1911. ———​. Racconti Sardi. Cagliari: Giuseppe Dessi, 1894. ———​. “Ricordi di Sardegna.” Interview in Rivista Mensile,Touring Club Italiano XXII.1 (January 1916): 487–​93. ———. Stella d’oriente. Cagliari: Racconti Sardi, 1890. ———. Tradizioni Popolari di Nuoro in Sardegna. Newton Compton, 1894 (1995). Di Pilla, Francesco, ed. . Grazia Deledda: Premio Nobel per la letteratura 1926. Fratelli Fabbri, 1966. Einstein, Albert. Relativity:The Special and General Theory—​A Clear Explanation that Anyone Can Understand (1916). London: Methuen, 1988. Fabbian, Chiara. “Embracing the Body: A Woman’s Journey in Il paese del vento by Grazia Deledda.” Lingua Romana, vol. 11, no. 2. (2013): 21–​38. Fabian, Johannes. Time and the Other: How Anthropology makes its Object. Columbia U Press, 1983. Fear-​Segal, Jacqueline and Susan D. Rose, eds. Carlisle Indian Industrial School: Indigenous Histories, Memories, and Reclamations. U of Nebraska Press, 2016. Ferri, Enrico. Criminal Sociology. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1900. Goeman, Mishuana. “(Re)Mapping Indigenous Presence on the Land in Native Women’s Literature.” American Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 2. (2008): 295–​302. Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from The Prison Notebooks. Eds. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. International Publishers. 1971. Hiller, Jonathan R. “The Enduring Vision of Biodeterministic Inferiority in the Works of Grazia Deledda.” Journal of Modern Italian Studies, vol. 17, no. 3. (2012): 271–​87. Ketchum, Shanna. “Native American Cosmopolitan Modernism(s): A Re-​articulation of Presence through Time and Space.” Third Text, vol. 19, no. 4 (2004): 357–​64. Lawrence, D. H. Etruscan Places. London: Secker, 1932. ———​. La Madre (1920). Introd. D. H. Lawrence. Roma: Nova Delphi, 2013. ———​. Sea and Sardinia. New York: T. Seltzer, 1921. ———​. The Letters of D.H. Lawrence. Edited and with an introduction by Aldous Huxley.Viking, 1932. ———​. Twilight in Italy. London: Duckworth and Co., 1916. Lewandowski,Tadeusz. “Changing Scholarly Interpretations of Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkála-​Ša).” Atlantis: Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-​American Studies, vol. 41, no. 1 (2019): 31–​49. Lombroso, Cesare. L’Uomo delinquente. Turin: Bocca, 1897. Ludwig, Emil. Talks with Mussolini. Little, Brown. 1933. MacBain, Tiffany A. “Cont(r)acting Whiteness: The Language of Contagion in the Autobiographical Essays of Zitkála-​Šá.” Arizona Quarterly:A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory, vol. 68 (Autumn 2012): 55–​69. Masini, Roberta. “Ancora nuove e inedite lettere di Grazia Deledda ad Angelo de Gubernatis.” In Di Pilla, 124–​34. Mussolini, Benito. Mussolini, as Revealed in his Political Speeches (November 1914—​August 1923). Ed. & transl. Barone Bernardo Quaranta di San Severino. E. P. Dutton & Co., 1923. Newmark, Julianne. 2012. “Pluralism, Place, and Gertrude Bonnin’s Counternativism from Utah to Washington, DC.” The American Indian Quarterly, vol. 36, no. 3 (Summer): 318–​47. Niceforo, Alfredo. 1897. La delinquenza in Sardegna. Palermo: Sandron. Oliphant, Elizabeth Lloyd. 2017. “Marketing the Southwest: Modernism, the Fred Harvey Company, and the Indian Detour.” American Literature, vol. 89, no.1: 91–​119. Orano, Paolo. 1936-​7. Gli Ebrei in Italia. Roma: Casa Editrice Pinciana. ———. 1896. Psicologia della Sardegna. Roma. Proust, Marcel. 1913-​27. À la recherche du temps perdu. Paris: Grasset. Ramirez, R. 2008. “Learning across Differences: Native and Ethnic Studies Feminisms.” American Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 2: 303–​7. Reddon, Madeleine. 2019. “Indigenous Modernism: Dehabituating Reading Practices.” Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies, vol. 8: 10–​20. Rubinstein, Rachel. 2006. “Going Native, Becoming Modern: American Indians,Walt Whitman, and the Yiddish Poet.” American Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 2: 431–​53. Scano, Antonio, ed. 1938. Versi e prose giovanili. Fratelli Treves. Schnapp, Jeffrey T. 2000. A Primer of Italian Fascism. U of Nebraska Press. Vigil, Kiara. 2015. Indigenous Intellectuals: Sovereignty, Citizenship, and the American Imagination, 1880–​ 1930. Cambridge U Press. Weber, Max. Economy and Society (1922), transl. Keith Tribe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019.

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The Unsettling Times of Zitkála-Šá and Grazia Deledda Wood, Sharon, ed. The Challenge of Modernity: Essays on Grazia Deledda. Troubadour, 2007. Zitkála-​Šá. American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings. Eds. Cathy N. Davidson and Ada Norris. Penguin, 2003. ——— “Progress of Women.” Commencement Speech, Graduation Ceremony at White’s Manual Labor Institute, 1895. ———. “The Achievements of the Red and White Races Compared.” Speech at the Carlisle Industrial School, 1897. ———. The Gertrude and Raymond Bonnin Collection MSS 1704. The L. Tom Perry Collection, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. _​_​_​_​_​_​, Charles H. Fabens, and Matthew K. Sniffen. Oklahoma’s Poor Rich Indians:An Orgy of Graft and Exploitation of Five Civilized Tribes—​Legalized Robbery. Washington, DC: Office of the Indian Rights Association, 1924.

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Temporalities

7 JOHN JOSEPH MATHEWS, FRANCIS LA FLESCHE, AND THE INDIGENOUS WORLD OF THE NORTH AMERICAN MIDCONTINENT Angela Calcaterra

When Osage author John Joseph Mathews picked up The Cambridge Modern History, Vol XII: The Latest Age (1910) in 1943 for reference reading, he encountered the following opening line: “In this period the History of Europe becomes in a sense the History of the world” (Leathes, “Modern Europe,” 1).1 The volume’s author goes on to declare that it is “idle to censure” European colonization, and that the “material” benefits brought by European colonial rule (among them, increased “wealth,” improved “order and security,” and the reclaiming of the “desert”) outweigh its “evils,” even if it is “perhaps too soon” to render judgment (5). Regardless, he argues, “It is enough to note the fact that in the worldwide struggle for life, wealth, and power the Europeans have for the moment proved their indisputable predominance; three-​quarters of the world have come under their sway; and the independence of the remainder is held by a precarious tenure” (5).2 This summation of the “latest age” presents a limited sense of the “world” in the guise of the global. The “world” of the text revolves around human enterprise, governance, and war: its history is political, economic, and military. The volume marginalizes other global matters, such as ecosystems and geological processes. It largely erases the contours and depths of land and water, as well as the myriad ways of being on the planet that are not reducible to human power and control. In its association of “the latest age” with European world dominance following centuries of colonization, the book offers a striking example of what Mark Rifkin calls “settler time—​notions, narratives, and experiences of temporality that de facto normalize non-​native presence, influence, and occupation” (9). It situates the “world” in a narrow European temporality; by implication, Indigenous people must become what Europeans call “modern,” must enter a shared universal time and worldview with Europeans, in order to move toward the future. While we can only speculate about what Mathews gained from reading this volume, it certainly was not this particular angle on the “History of the world.” A scholar of Osage history and a geologist familiar with the depths of the Earth’s timescale,3 Mathews conceived his 823-​page masterwork The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters (1961) as a human history oriented not to European modernity but to the “middle waters”—​the ancient rivers of the North American midcontinent that preceded and were foundational to the thousands of years of human settlement in the region. Informed by DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-10

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oral and written accounts of Osage history as well as by Mathews’ geological consciousness, The Osages centers on the formative relationships between water, earth, sky, and people, relationships that are at once regional and global, tribally specific and planetarily aware. In this way, states of being in place and time in The Osages destabilize the singular temporality and understanding of the “world” presumed by the notion of global modernity. This monumental story makes clear that “ancient history” is ongoing and worldwide, challenging the presumptive dominance of human modernity and its commodifying relationships to place and time (Echo-​Hawk 268).4 Geologist Marcia Bjornerud writes that human “ignorance of planetary history undermines any claims we may make to modernity” (7). Modernity, even when understood in the broadest, planetary sense, is generally associated with the ruptures and accelerated change initiated by human empires (Friedman 337). While it does not deny the significance of human activity on the planet, Mathews’ The Osages defies the limited timeframe of human modernity with attention to duration in place and to geological processes that are at once very slow and intensely formative. Mathews grew up among the sandstone hills of the Osage reservation in Oklahoma; he later studied geology at the University of Oklahoma, attended Oxford, traveled in Europe and elsewhere, and returned home where he studied Osage history, told by tribal elders. His geological studies and global observations were complemented by centuries of Indigenous storytelling that considered the relationship between people and planet in ways not reducible to human domination and settler time. The Osages’ emphasis on midcontinental geology and Osage communal storytelling challenges formal expectations surrounding literary modernism. Although formally innovative, The Osages continues a longstanding Indigenous storytelling tradition focused on the related Dhegian Siouian peoples (the Omaha, Ponca, Kansa (Konza/​Kaw), Quapaw, and Osage) who migrated and settled along the rivers that traverse the North American midcontinent. I consider The Osages alongside the work of Omaha ethnologist Francis La Flesche (1857–​1932) to convey the depth of midcontinental Indigenous literary production, not confined to written texts but encompassing oral narratives that closely tied history to place and kin and involved the community in literary work. La Flesche studied Dhegian Siouian communities for decades and his work on their histories, languages, and kinship connections directly influenced The Osages. La Flesche and Mathews’ narratives of midcontinental Indigenous peoplehood are tied to the formative power and constancy of water, to movements and relations shaped by the rivers, and to Indigenous oral literatures that reveal the depth and duration of Indigenous presence and its ties to this planetary history.5 In this way they trouble the entrenched understanding of the literary in this period and the forms of communal exchange (such as global migration) that produced it.6 As they unsettle distinctions between global modernity and localized primitivity, these texts also invite us to reframe Indigenous participation in cultural anthropology. La Flesche worked for the Bureau of American Ethnology and much of his writing was sanctioned and published by that institution; Mathews’ The Osages has been called an “ethno-​history” (Schedler 48).7 The Cambridge Modern History defines the modern as that which offers a “sense of familiarity,” (Leathes, Ward, and Prothero 1), an explicit contrast with ethnography that developed from the study of human difference with a specific focus on “primitive” cultures. With new vigor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and with the aim of “salvaging” Native cultures supposedly isolated on reservations and untouched by modernity (Bruchac 18; Deloria 139), academics collected Indigenous materials and narratives from specific tribes and lands and placed them in national museums and government-​sponsored anthropological reports.8 Meanwhile, centuries of European occupation in the midcontinent greatly reduced tribal land bases. From the 1880s through the 1950s, US policies of allotment, forced assimilation, and termination further diminished Native land holdings and aimed to eradicate Native cultures and dispel tribal governments. Amidst such disruption and theft, La Flesche and Mathews animated in their work the midcontinental “world,” a place of rivers and peoples formed by the depths and expanses of the planet. By considering “country” and Earth as capacious frames for human history and movement, La Flesche and Mathews’ texts defy stadial and 104

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developmental understandings of human history that supported fragmentation of Indigenous kin networks and dissolution of Indigenous governance and land holdings.

Francis La Flesche and The Scene of History Francis La Flesche writes in the preface to his autobiographical novel The Middle Five: Indian Schoolboys of the Omaha Tribe (1900), The white people speak of the country at this period as ‘a wilderness,’ as though it was an empty tract without human interest or history. To us Indians it was as clearly defined then as it is to-​day; we knew the boundaries of tribal lands, those of our friends and those of our foes; we were familiar with every stream, the contour of every hill, and each peculiar feature of the landscape had its tradition. It was our home, the scene of our history, and we loved it as our country. xx The Middle Five focuses on boyhood life at a mission school located on the Omaha reservation in present-​day Nebraska.This relatively small, recent setting for Omaha boyhood is constantly in tension with the “features” and “contours” of the “landscape” on which it is set, a space of deep “human interest or history” not dominated by “white people.” La Flesche rejects the concept of “wilderness” with its connotations of emptiness and lack—​ what the Cambridge Modern History refers to as “desert”—​in favor of scene, the place where a particular history occurs.

Figure 7.1  Map of Omaha Country reproduced from The Middle Five: Indian Schoolboys of the Omaha Tribe by Frances La Flesche by permission of the University of Nebraska Press.

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The map that La Flesche includes in The Middle Five’s opening chapter (Figure 7.1) makes clear the significant characteristics of this particular scene. In the map, reprinted from La Flesche and Alice C. Fletcher’s jointly-​authored The Omaha Tribe, in the 27th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, we see a comparatively miniscule Omaha reservation along the Missouri River against a backdrop of the larger “country known to the Omaha Indians” (9). That region is dominated by waterways. Anthropologist Susan Vehik has observed that “all of the available oral histories from the Dhegihan Sioux [the Omaha, Ponca, Kansa (Konza/​Kaw), Quapaw, and Osage] center on the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri rivers” (232). These oral histories are particularly concerned with the various groups’ common origins, followed by migrations and separations along rivers and the duration of relations between them. By including a map in which a network of waterways dwarfs the reservation and its boarding school, La Flesche makes clear that these oral histories and the relations they document define the Omaha world.9 In The Middle Five, the Missouri River and other waterways are a consistent presence, evocative of Omaha experience and memory that exceed the confines of the school with its suffocating forms of institutionalized knowledge. At school, Omaha students are forced to memorize and recite details in the European narrative of world history, such as “Who discovered America?”; answer, “Columbus.” (99).This rote learning of global expansionist history is in tension with the history of the surrounding country, its rivers in particular, and their role in human relations, migrations, and discoveries in the region. As the Osage nation cites on its website, before they became known by individual tribal designations such as Osage and Omaha, the related Dhegian Siouan people collectively originated in the Ohio River Valley (Hunter, par. 1). From AD 200 to 400, they migrated down the Ohio River valley to the confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers; here, the Quapaw people chose to separate from the collective group by traveling down the Mississippi and became known as Ugáxpa “the down-​stream people; drifted downstream” (Hunter, par. 1; La Flesche, “Omaha and Osage Traditions of Separation,” 459). From AD 400 to 500, the remaining people migrated up the Mississippi to what is now the St. Louis area. Around 1000, the Omaha and Ponca separated from the group, and soon after the Kaw did so as well, traveling up the Missouri River.The Osage remained in the Cahokia/​St. Louis area for some time. Between 1300 and 1650, they moved westward into what is now central and western Missouri and settled along the Missouri and Osage rivers (Hunter, par. 1). After centuries of interaction with Europeans in this region, these groups were forced by the US government onto reservations. La Flesche’s book indicates that the Missouri’s presence as an Omaha reservation border continued to shape the temporal and spatial awareness of the Omaha people.At times, the Omaha boys play along the Missouri’s banks or swim in its waters. At others, the river’s presence is more subtly conveyed in reference to intertribal relations and the centuries of movement the waterways shaped. At one point in the book, boys from the Omahas’ kindred tribe, the Poncas, who broke off from the Omahas in the early nineteenth century and settled along the Niobara River, come to stare in the windows and jeer at the Omaha boys sitting at their desks, so that “Study became impossible” (107). The Ponca boys continue to watch from the window until eventually they find the Omaha boys’ sleds and try to take them. The Omaha boys convince the teacher to let them go recover their sleds, and “a terrific battle” takes place, during which the Omaha boys are victorious and regain their sleds (110). Although the Omaha boys are “bruised a lot” when they return to school (110), the freedom of this fight in open air with their ancient kin is a welcome departure from desk-​learning, where the boys are frequently subjected to corporeal punishment by shaking or whipping. These beatings are sanctioned by the universalization of European knowledge and suppression of Indigenous ways of being and knowing, whereas the “battle” between Omaha and Ponca boys is authorized by a deep history of kinship. The boys also find freedom in secretly speaking their language and in games that return them to stories and rivers, sources of Omaha knowledge. One night, for instance, the boys stay up late telling tales about “the mishaps of Ish-​te’-​ne-​ke, a comical character that figures in the folk-​tales of the Omahas” (111).They then engage with another gang of boys in a game called “Obeying the Command,” which 106

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“had been sacred to generations of boys who preceded” them (113). This game (similar, it seems, to a game of “dare”) involves a leader who commands the others to do something risky and demonstrate bravery. Drawing on the ritual language of Omaha priests, the “Leader” in the game declares “Wa’-​tha-​ dae shu-​ge’ha” in Omaha, which means “The Word of Command approaches” (113). In the leader’s words, this spectral “word of command,” which will tell the boys what they must do, comes from the head of the Ne-​shu’-​de [the Missouri River] … wrapped in a black cloud, the mantle of thunder, like the mighty whirlwind it comes … On it comes, sweeping over the wide plains; the angry lightnings dart from the cloud; it approaches the village of the Ponkas, at the mouth of the Niobrara, passes it and continues its course down the Ne-​shu’-​de; … it is now at the old Omaha village, at the graves of the little ones; it comes—​it is here! 114 The powerful “command” is given weight as it travels well-​known points along the course of the Missouri, a river that connects the related Ponca and Omaha communities. The leader then delivers the “command,” which is that two of the boys go to one of the Omaha villages along the river and ask a woman there for pemmican, a food made of dried meat, tallow, and berries. The boys sneak out, return with the pemmican, and the leader makes a small offering of a pinch of pemmican to Wakonda (the creator) before the boys “fell to eating, telling stories as we feasted, and had one of the most enjoyable nights of our lives” (118). The boys continue this ritual over many nights until they are eventually caught and beaten by their teacher. This game allows the boys to imaginatively traverse ancient and ongoing tribal connections and settlements along rivers, before actually sneaking to the nearby village on the Missouri to claim the pemmican. Amidst the confines of boarding school life in The Middle Five are these returns to the “scene” of Omaha history—​to rivers in particular as conduits of traditional practice and knowledge, to villages and hunting camps along rivers, to the sense of an expansive Omaha world that transcends the narrow confines of institutionalized European knowledge, and to Omaha stories, their persistent narration of their own lives. This awareness of the broader Omaha “country” is crucial to making sense of the combination of wrenching loss and empowering new relations that characterize the boarding school experience. After one of the worst beatings in the book, of a small boy named Joe who accidentally hits the teacher in the chest with a sling shot, La Flesche cannot shake the incident from his mind. The boys are given a break from school shortly after this because their families have returned home from their annual hunt, during which they camped at designated places along rivers and streams. After spending time with his parents, La Flesche joins his village playmates who sing a victory song for him, followed by “a graphic description of the attack on the [hunting] camp when it was pitched on the Republican River” (142). “Although the enemy was repulsed, and the hunting ground secured to our people,” his friends tell him, “the battle cost many lives, several of the enemy’s warriors were left on the field, and the Omahas lost some of their bravest men” (142).The boys then see a woman nearby with her child, weeping for her lost husband. This wrenching combination of victory and loss characterizes both hunting along rivers, where the community might be subject to attack, and La Flesche’s experience at school. Soon after his return to school, La Flesche learns that Brush, his friend and the leader of the “Middle Five” gang, is very sick. Brush soon dies, and the novel closes with the group slowly walking from his grave back to school, “no longer ‘The Middle Five’ ” (152). The history and ongoing significance of the Omaha world beckoned to La Flesche from the windows years after he left the mission school. After he wrote The Middle Five, La Flesche researched and recorded stories of ancient tribal separations along the midcontinental waterways. His records emphasize the scene of telling, which shows that Osages, Omahas, and others were invested in these stories for various reasons during the early twentieth century. The Osages in particular had carried these stories “down through a long line of generations” (“Omaha and Osage Traditions,” 462). La 107

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Flesche describes “the occasional visits of members of the Omaha tribe to the Osage,” during which the Osages “welcomed the Omaha with their version of the tradition of the separation, which, … never failed to interest the visitors.” He continues The Osage host would say to his Omaha guest,‘You were a part of us, but you went away in an angry mood and never came back, because you were slighted at a distribution of sinew.’Then would follow questionings between host and guests as to the gens to which each belonged, and a … relationship was established that brought about a stronger feeling of friendship. “Omaha and Osage Traditions,” 460 La Flesche reveals the ways stories of the ancient past renew connections between kin in the present. La Flesche himself heard a detailed version of the Osage-​Omaha separation story in September, 1915, when “an Osage of the Tsi’zhu gens visited the Omaha” and related the story “as he stood with a group of men on a high hill looking at a long stretch of the muddy Missouri” (“Omaha and Osage Traditions,” 460).This man, unnamed in La Flesche’s text, heard the story from Páthinwawexta, “one of the few men who knew all the rites and the stories that go with them” (460). Standing on the hill overlooking the Missouri, the man recalled Páthinwawexta’s story, beginning with the customary opening: “This is the Níshudse,10 the river up which you made your way when you parted from us in an angry mood because you were slighted in a distribution of sinew.” He then told of how the Osage arrived long ago at the Mississippi River and its tributary, the Missouri. As the Osage people were exploring this new territory, leaders of these two clans set out with their families and came back with large quantities of meat but did not report the find to the other clan leaders as required by Osage hunting regulations.This slighting of the community for the benefit of the few threatened “disorganization” of the whole tribe, so other leading members of the tribe decided to mete out punishment at the “ceremonial opening of the deer-​hunting season” in the fall. During this season’s ceremony, the two leaders who had deceived the tribe were not given the arrow shafts that signified they could hunt freely throughout the season.The slighted leaders left the tribe, taking their families with them up the Missouri, and they “never came back again” (461). The storyteller continued to tell of another group of families that departed, this time “with the permission of the tribe.” These people had found far down the river, a land where persimmons and other fruits were plentiful. On asking permission of the tribe to absent themselves for a time, they said that they desired to go to this land for the purpose of preserving persimmons and other fruits. They did not make known their intention to remain away, if that was their purpose. These people are said to be the Ugáxpa [Quapaw] tribe, now residing in Oklahoma. 461 In each case, the rivers and surrounding lands initiate sanctioned or unsanctioned separations. The rivers that guided these historic separations remain central to their memory and retelling in the twentieth century and orient listeners to ancient kin in ways that enable future relations. The rivers and other parts of the Dhegian Sioux world will remain places to come together and to remember and reimagine intratribal connections (as happened with the spread of the peyote religion, discussed in the next section). Set in the physical and conceptual geography of Omaha “country” well-​known to Omaha and related Indigenous groups, La Flesche’s stories of movement, migration, settlement, and schooling along the middle waters evoke both consistent presence and the fluctuations of time, challenging the developmental models of human history dominant at the time. His studies and writings are invested not in ethnological distinction between primitivity and modernity, nor in the singular history of a particular nation, but in the Omaha world, with its web of waterways and kinship connections. 108

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Further, they engage in the established knowledge system of storytelling, an Indigenous practice of remembering, sharing, and connecting that recalls the ancient past and brings it into the present.11 Centered on human-​water connections, these stories’ upstream and downstream orientations link the regional and the global in ways that anticipate John Joseph Mathews’ vision of the “middle waters.”

John Joseph Mathews and the Middle Waters Osage author John Joseph Mathews wrote in his diary in 1961, the year his 823-​page masterwork, The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters, was published, “I have always loved rivers.”12 This love reveals itself in an imaginative depiction of the Osage River in the opening paragraphs of The Osages: If a snake were slithering along in definite search for food, and suddenly he became aware of the shadow cast by the wings of a red-​tail hawk, high-​circling, he would draw his head back and retract his body until it formed into a series of half-​loops, then he would freeze, with only his forked tongue darting for messages. He would be like a carelessly dropped rope; like a new rope that had not the kinks stretched out of it. That is the way the Osage River of central Missouri and eastern Kansas looks, as it comes down from the high prairie to flow through the wooded hills. The Osages 3 The Osage River, he continues, “has looked like that ever since the last Ice Age; that period in the earth’s history when an ice sheet crept down from the north and seemed to try an escape down what became the Mississippi valley” (The Osages 3). Mathews goes on to give a history of the central North American rivers since the last Ice Age that highlights the formative sculpting power of ice and water. The ice sheet’s “nose,” he writes, “felt out the terrain for the least resistance as the mass crept down over what is now the modern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, eastern Nebraska, northern and northeastern Missouri, and the extreme tip of northeastern Kansas” (The Osages 3).When the glacier stopped there the nose or wedge remained, until the ice began to recede by melting. Muddy, milky waters ran from its front, and rolled in angry spate as they gathered into streams and tumbled forward into the great central drainage that flowed south, and that later became known as the Mississippi River. The Osages 3–​4 Initiating Osage history with this account of glacial melt and riverine flow during the Pleistocene epoch, Mathews then transitions into the story of the Osage people. Rivers—​in their connections to large-​scale temporalities and geological processes, their flow into tributaries, and their power to sculpt and shape earth—​frame the depth and global significance of Osage history (Figure 7.2). Cecilia Chen writes, “How do the ways in which we think and map with water predetermine, limit, or enable the way we then construct our relations to place, to others, to environments, to shores, and to communities?” (274). For Mathews in The Osages, thinking with water and the Earth is a fitting entrée to the history of a people for whom water is foundational to their sense of peoplehood. Long before and while working on The Osages, Mathews was hearing from Osage elders about how his tribe was formed in the essential relationships between land, water, and sky. Later, as he wrote the book, he read widely about rivers.13 One of his favorite river-​focused books of the time, Emil Ludwig’s The Nile: The Life-​Story of a River, considers the Nile as a living being and focuses on five points along the river to “tell the story of a great life” (ix). Ludwig writes the most wonderful thing I found was the realization that all these phenomena, which reflect the power of nature, the activity of its creatures, the strivings of its human beings, 109

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Figure 7.2  Map of Osage territory drawn by Mathews and published in The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters. Note the attention to “glaciation” and rivers. © 1961 University of Oklahoma Press. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

agriculture and plants, animals and peoples, scenery and history, would not have been what they were and are were it not for the river.” viii Mathews’ book similarly considers the ways rivers animate human activity; it is informed by Osage and other authors’ attempts to narrate and give life to the deep histories of earth and water. In the account of Osage formation as a people, the relationship between land, water, and sky is essential—​these balance one another.The Osages became a tribe,“a unit of men symbolizing the universe,” when the Water People, the Land People, the Sky People, and finally the Isolated Earth People “found kinship” (The Osages, 14). In the beginning, the Osages were all Tzi-​Sho, or Sky People. They came from the sky to the earth, where they made three divisions: the Sky People, Land People (Hunkah), and Water People (Wah-​Sha-​She, whose name later became taken for the whole of the tribe and Europeanized to Osage).The Isolated Earth People were the only group who did not come from the sky; when the rest encountered them, they were living in a village of death, decay, and disorder. They needed the purification of the Water People. Together, the united people sought “homes in a new country,” a promising environment where they would know something “other than death and chaos” (15). Once the four peoples joined, Mathews writes, “they were a tribe and symbolized the universe as they knew it ... the universe of sky and earth and land and water” (17, 15). Later, these groups divided further into clans that incorporated particular elements of these dimensions of the universe, including many non-​human beings. Osage history has always been a process of joining, separating, and becoming among these elements. Like La Flesche, Mathews describes the ancient migrations and separations of the Osage, Omaha, and related groups along the midcontinental rivers (The Osages 87–​93). He then shows that Europeans entered by rivers into this already traversed and settled space. For instance, Mathews titles a chapter 110

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that describes seventeenth-​century European travelers to Osage territory “Flood on the Smoky Waters.” The chapter begins The latter part of June, 1673, the three ultimate forks of the Smoky Waters far to the northwest in the mountains were pouring their snow water into this mad river, and father down, the long river of the Kaw-​Thu-​Wah (the Kiowa Indians), later called Yellowstone, was pouring its snow water into the mad one, and this mad one, the Smoky Waters, was roaring and foaming in frenzy, as if it could remember its frustrations of the Pleistocene times. The Osages, 103 Father Jacques Marquette and the French trader Louis Jolliet floated “into the spew of the mad river” (The Osages, 104). Mathews goes on to detail centuries of European and American incursions into the midcontinent in the book. Yet the attention to rivers alongside the extent of Osage occupation in the region minimizes the sense of rupture. The rivers upon which Europeans enter remember the ancient past: the Pleistocene, which began 2.58 million years ago, precedes the Holocene, or present epoch, in the geologic timescale. Mathews’ geological knowledge offers an expansive temporal frame in which to consider European incursions and Osage duration. Rivers and glaciation set the scene for the slow pace of the narrative, evocative of this duration of Osage life and its articulation in tribal stories. Those Mathews calls the “modern Little Old Men” in The Osages have retained Osage history in stories “handed down” for centuries (The Osages 122). In the book’s introduction, Mathews writes that, when he arrived back to Oklahoma in the 1930s after ten years away and talked with the old men of the tribe, he “became almost at once aware of the importance of oral history” (The Osages ix–​x). In his bibliography, Mathews lists 45 individuals he calls “Oral Sources” for the volume, most of whom are Osage; some were recorded by others, some Mathews interviewed himself.The “tribal memory” of the “modern Little Old Men” is hazy in some places and crystal-​clear in others, such as in the account of the village of the Isolated Earth People. Like La Flesche, Mathews here and in other books draws awareness to the complexity of Osage tribal memory and its ongoing preservation. Mathews’ recent oral sources echo the concerns of Osage storytellers in previous centuries. In his earlier book Talking to the Moon (1945), Mathews describes how he heard the story of Tze Topah or Four Lodges from Fred Lookout and his wife, Mary Lookout. Mary told him: “he [Fred] says the things which he says ought to be in book, so that his words will live” (Talking to the Moon 89). The story’s subject is itself this effort to maintain tribal knowledge. In it, Four Lodges is concerned that a particular group of Osages “living away from the others” will not remember him (The Osages, 704). To remedy this, he travels to their village and sings a song he has created about his life. Mathews concludes the story with: “When Four Lodges rode back to … the new reservation, he was happy in the assurance that long after he had passed on to Spiritland, the people would know who he was. … as long as the Little Osages had tongues and their children had ears to listen, he would live in tribal memory” (The Osages 704–​5). Storytelling and interaction between ancient kin generate Osage futurity. With this emphasis on tribal memory, it is difficult in Mathews’ text to determine exactly when the Osages enter a supposedly “modern” age. His stadial history is geological more than human. It is true that Mathews distinguishes “modern,” current Osages from “Neolithic man,” earlier Osages who were guided in their actions by what he calls “earth-​thinking.” He writes in an early chapter, “The balloon of imagination of the later immigrant Europeans had had its earth placental cable cut long before these whites came in contact with the Little Ones, but that of the Little Ones was still captive, though buffeted by the mysteries of the sky” (The Osages 37). And, later: “The Osages in the mental groove of the Neolithic would continue to protect their ‘brothers’ ” (The Osages 552), the buffalo and other animals essential to their spiritual belief and practice. But Mathews never offers a clear point of when that “earth placental cable” was cut. Temporality in this text is not a clear path from traditional to modern and cannot be understood from a European source or the “world” of global military and 111

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economic history. Instead, it resembles alternatively the rapids of a river or the slow melt of an ice sheet, with an elemental source and the capacity to flow, change course, and endure. This geological view allows Mathews to accommodate Osage orientations that evoke the ancient even on the “modern” Osage reservation. For Robert Warrior, an Osage literary scholar who deftly reads Mathews’ work, the mark of Osage modernity would likely be when the Osage settled on their current reservation in Oklahoma, soon after which they created a constitution and unified the Great and Little Osages into “one body politic, under the style and title of the Osage Nation” in 1881 (qtd. in Warrior, The People 49). Warrior argues that “the principles articulated in that document, imperfect though they may be, provided the basis for Osage civil society in the transition from traditional to modern society” (Warrior, The People 53). Mathews highlights as well other forms of marking time in this period, such as daily sacred practices (The Osages 738) and movement and organization in relation to the earth. He notes that when the Osages moved to the Oklahoma reservation in 1871, they “came directly from their winter hunt to the new reservation among the blackjacks and prairies in January of 1871” (The Osages 697) and “By 1872, the five physical divisions had established their villages on terrain which resembled that to which each group had fled during the great flood far away in dim tribal memory” (The Osages 697–​8). Determining where to settle on the new reservation, the Little Osages, or Down-​Below-​ People, stopped on their way at well-​known camping places on their hunting trails, all located along springs, creeks, or rivers (The Osages 701–​3). The pace of Mathews’ narrative slows to accommodate such places: at one “was a very beautiful spring and a good place to camp. When the rains came, the water did not run off quickly but stayed shining in the sun, and the people on their way to the plains had called this place Ni-​O-​Ta-​Tse, which means Beautiful Water” (The Osages 702). In Mathews’ telling, the people continued to orient themselves in relation to the depths of earth and water, as well as their past relationships to this world. After the move to the Osage reservation, knowledge exchange between ancient kin relations also remained central. Two key developments among the Osage people on the Oklahoma reservation were the in-​losh-​ka dance and the trans-​Indigenous Peyote religion.14 These practices came from or were developed in conversation with their relations, the Poncas and the Quapaws, respectively. Again highlighting the Osages’ investment in practices “created through the centuries,” Mathews writes, “instead of diminishing the number of their dances, they added one about 1885, which they got from their once-​removed splinter, the Poncas” (The Osages 726). The Osages invited Kaws, Poncas, Quapaws, and others to this in-​losh-​ka dance (The Osages 781), so the dance, like storytelling on rivers, was itself a practice of reconstituting longstanding kin relations. Likewise, the trans-​Indigenous Peyote religion brought kin relations together again and again in ceremony during this period. La Flesche wrote of how the Osages Wa-​shó-​she, Gthe-​mon’Zhin-​ga and Mon’-​ge-​ça-​be first witnessed the Peyote ceremony among the Quapaws, after which the Osages sent a delegation “to find out for them selves [sic] the meaning and the object of the Peyote ceremony.” The Quapaws explained that “the ceremony was introduced to them by Wilson, a Delaware Indian,” and the delegation asked the Quapaws to request that Wilson “come to the Osage to instruct them in the New Religion.” Instead, “Wilson came to the Quapaw and held a meeting there to which the Osage visitors were invited, among them members of the delegation who asked Wilson to come to the Osage to instruct them” (La Flesche, untitled). Note the movement and interaction here: the places where the religion was exchanged and the people who shared it are crucial. The “New Religion” travels the ancient routes and reminds the people of their fundamental relatedness.

Conclusion: Movement, Water, Earth, Sky When Mathews and his wife Elizabeth pulled out of a gas station in Thedford, Nebraska on their way to Custer, South Dakota on 5 October 1956, they heard “a loud series of toots” on a car horn. They stopped, and their friends “Les and Margaret Conner came smiling up to” them; the four chatted 112

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while Les and Margaret had their tire changed. Mathews and Elizabeth “then drove on up the Middle Loup River,” which Mathews described later that day in his diary: This is a beautiful ribbon of water winding out of the Sand Hills, clear and blue and swift. It, like many of the rivers of this area have their source in the accumulated waters of the Sand Hills; seeping out and running like a snake among the hills southeasterly (Diary, par. 1) … The Sand Hills … are composed of the fine sand that was left when the wind in Pleistocene times carried away the finer till or loess, and deposited it farther east.These hills are reservoir of water, since the 18 inches of annual rain fall seeps immediately down through the sand to the water table maintained at certain levels by impervious clays. All throughout the Sand Hills we saw evidence of this through the lakes that had their supply from the water table. Diary, par. 2 Geology conveys the depths of time for Mathews, and his car travel enhances this geological perspective. As Bjornerud explains, “geology provides a lens through which we can witness time in a way that transcends the limits of our human experiences” (16).The automobile marks the pace and movement of human modernity; for Mathews, it is also a tool for accessing the Pleistocene. The stories of glacial melt, raging rivers, up-​and down-​r iver peoples, and floods that characterize much of The Osages fall off by its end. What remains, however, is that essential tribal relation between humans, earth, sky, and water. The book closes in the mid-​twentieth century, or, as Mathews puts it, “mid-​century and the Yellow-​Flower Moon,” with the death of Osage chief Fred Lookout. After the funeral mass, Mathews stands “atop the high sandstone hill on his ranch” along with government officials from Washington who have traveled in for the occasion, as well as Osage members of the “Eagle gens, the family, and others” (The Osages 785). A follower of the trans-​Indigenous Peyote religion, Chief Lookout has received both a Catholic funeral mass and a prayer from the “Road Man,” a Peyote representative. Mathews’ final lines are: just as the Road Man finished his prayer, a smoky-​bellied cumulo-​nimbus cloud formed and lay like a whale across the northern mid-​sky in this Yellow-​Flower Moon, when there should have been no such clouds at high noon. By the time we had descended the hill to our cars, it was gone. The people driving back to the village in their long, shiny cars were worried and wondered what it could have meant. The Osages 786 The Osages think on the sky as they move in their “long, shiny cars.” If their “road” is no longer a river but a thoroughfare for automobiles, it continues to enable a certain kind of movement, not away from what is Osage but into the depths of what forms that people.

Notes I thank my writing group—​Travis Foster, Michele Navakas, Greta LaFleur, Wendy Roberts, Kacy Tillman, Abram Van Engen, and Caroline Wigginton—​for their feedback on an early draft of this chapter. I also thank the Osage Nation Traditional Cultural Advisors for their time and input. A Scholarly and Creative Activity Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of North Texas provided research funding for this project. 1 Mathews notes in a diary entry from 1943 that he read the book for reference, and he lists it in the bibliography of The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters, which I discuss at length in this essay. 2 For general accounts of the relationship between the European “Enlightenment,” modernity, and the colonizing of Indigenous peoples and knowledge, see Smith (especially Chapter 3), Mignolo, Chakrabarty, and Wynter. 3 In the early twentieth century, the British physicist Arthur Holmes used radiometric dating to determine the first absolute geologic dates. He first published his findings, the basis for the modern geologic timescale, in his book The Age of the Earth (1911) (Bjornerud 33; Lewis 63–​6).

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Angela Calcaterra 4 Echo-​Hawk advocates for the term “ancient history” over “prehistory” in order to recognize the validity of Indigenous oral traditions as history (268). On the shift in modernity from kin-​based societies with “inalienable relationships to places and things” to industrial societies that frame land and water as “alienable commodities,” see Strang, 315. On setter colonial relationships to land and water, particularly “the collapsing of land to property” in settler colonial contexts, see Goeman, 72. 5 Indigenous Studies scholars have theorized Indigenous peoplehood as an alternative concept to the “modern” nation associated with nation states like the US. For examples of the discussion (and debate) around Indigenous peoplehood, see Lyons 138–​140 and Pexa 14–​16. 6 Appadurai conceptualizes global modernity as the imaginative work at the intersection of mass migration and electronic mediation. 7 For a variety of complex reasons, Indigenous individuals actively participated in anthropological studies, such that “they were arguably co-​creators of the Americanist school of Anthropology” (Bruchac 19). 8 See also Tone Pah-​Hote, 24–​31.This was a continuation and amplification of much older patterns of colonial collecting and unauthorized removal of Indigenous objects: see Delucia. 9 Lisa Brooks’ work to map a “network of relations and waterways” crucial to Indigenous communities in the Northeast has in part shaped my thinking on the significance of waterways to La Flesche and Mathews (3). 10 “Ni-​shó-​dse, Smoky River; the name given the Missouri River because of the smoky or muddy appearance” (La Flesche, Dictionary 110). 11 On Indigenous storytellers’“propensity for bringing things together,” particularly the past, present, and future, see Howe 330–​3. 12 John Joseph Mathews, Diary entry, 7 Sept. 1961. Western History Collection, University of Oklahoma. 13 Books Mathews read that are centered on rivers include: Donald Davidson, The Tennessee (1946); Hodding Carter, Lower Mississippi (1942); Stanley Vestal, The Missouri (1945); and Leonard Hall, Stars Upstream: Life Along an Ozark River (1958). 14 On recent participation in the Osage “in-​losh-​ka” dance, see Warrior, “The Subaltern Can Dance,” 92–​4. I adopt the term “trans-​Indigenous” from Chadwick Allen, who uses it in part to “acknowledge the mobility and multiple interactions of Indigenous peoples, cultures, histories, and texts” (xiv).

References Allen, Chadwick. Trans-​Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012. Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996. Bjornerud, Marcia. Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2018. Brooks, Lisa. The Common Pot:The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2008. Bruchac, Margaret M. Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists.Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2018. Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2000. Chen, Cecilia. “Mapping Waters: Thinking with Watery Places.” Thinking With Water. Eds. Cecilia Chen, Janine MacLeod, and Astrida Neimanis. Montreal: McGill-​Queen’s UP, 2013. Deloria, Philip. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2004. DeLucia, Christine. “Fugitive Collections in New England Indian Country: Indigenous Materials and Early American History Making at Ezra Stiles’s Yale Museum.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 75, no. 1 (2018): 109–​50. Echo-​Hawk, Roger C. “Ancient History in the New World: Integrating Oral Traditions and the Archaeological Record in Deep Time.” American Antiquity, vol. 65, no. 2 (2000): 267–​90. Friedman, Susan Stanford. Planetary Modernisms: Provocations on Modernity Across Time. New York: Columbia UP, 2015. Goeman, Mishuana.“Land as Life: Unsettling the Logics of Containment.” Native Studies Keywords. Eds. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle Raheja. Tucson: U Arizona P, 2015. 71–​89. Howe, Leanne.“Blind Bread and the Business of Theory Making, by Embarrassed Grief, as told by Leanne Howe.” Reasoning Together:The Native Critics Collective. Eds. Craig S.Womack, Daniel Heath Justice, and Christopher B. Teuton. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008. 325–​39. Hunter, Andrea. “Ancestral Osage Geography.” Osage Nation NAGPRA Claim for Human Remains Removed from the Clarksville Mound Group (23PI6), Pike County, Missouri. By Andrea A. Hunter, James Munkres, and Barker Fariss. Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office, Pawhuska, OK, 2013. 1–​60. www.osag​enat​ion-​nsn.gov/​ who-​we-​are/​histo​r ic-​prese​rvat​ion/​osage-​cultu​ral-​hist​ory. La Flesche, Francis. A Dictionary of the Osage Language. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1921.

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Indigenous World of the NA Midcontinent ———​. The Middle Five: Indian Schoolboys of the Omaha Tribe. 1900. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1963. ———​. “Omaha and Osage Traditions of Separation.” Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Congress of Americanists. Ed. F. W. Hodge. Washington, 1915. 459–​62. ———​.Untitled document on Peyote Ceremony. No Date (1915–​17?). MS 4558. Box 23. Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche Papers. Washington, DC: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. Leathes, Stanely. “Modern Europe.” The Cambridge Modern History. Vol. XII: The Latest Age. New York:  The MacMillan Company, 1910. Leathes, Stanley, A.W. Ward, and W. Prothero. “Introductory Note.” The Cambridge Modern History. Vol. 1. Eds. A.W. Ward, W. Prothero, and Stanley Leathes. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1902. 1–​6. Lewis, Cherry. The Dating Game: One Man’s Search for the Age of the Earth. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Ludwig, Emil. The Nile:The Life-​Story of a River. New York:Viking Press, 1937. Lyons, Scott Richard. X-​Marks: Native Signatures of Assent. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010. Mathews, John Joseph. Diary Typescript. October 5, 1956. Box 2. John Joseph Mathews Papers, 1921–​1979. University of Oklahoma Libraries, Western History Collection. ———. The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1961. ———. Talking to the Moon: Wildlife Adventures on the Plains and Prairies of Osage Country. 1945. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1981. Mignolo,Walter. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham: Duke UP, 2011. Pexa, Christopher. Translated Nation: Rewriting the Dakhóta Oyáte. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019. Rifkin, Mark. Beyond Settler Time:Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-​Determination. Durham: Duke UP, 2017. Schedler, Christopher. Border Modernism: Intercultural Readings in American Literary Modernism. New York: Routledge, 2002. Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous People. 2nd ed. London: Zed Books, 2012. First edition 1999. Strang, Veronica. “Water, Land and Territory.” The Sage Handbook of Social Anthropology. Eds. Richard Fardon, Olivia Harris, Trevor H. J. Marchand, Mark Nuttall, Cris Shore, Veronica Strang and Richard A. Wilson London: Sage, 2012. 312–​28. DOI: libproxy.library.unt.edu:2126/​10.4135/​9781446201077.n58. Tone-​Pah-​Hote, Jenny. Crafting an Indigenous Nation: Kiowa Expressive Culture in the Progressive Era. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2019. Vehik, Susan. “Dhegiha Origins and Plains Archaeology.” Plains Anthropologist, vol. 38, no. 146 (1993): 231–​52. Warrior, Robert. The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2005. ———​. “The Subaltern Can Dance, and So Sometimes Can the Intellectual.” Interventions, vol. 13, no. 1 (2011): 85–​94. Wynter, Sylvia. “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/​Power/​Truth/​Freedom:Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation—​An Argument.” CR:The New Centennial Review, vol. 3, no. 3 (2003): 257–​337.

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8 CORPORATE TRIBALISM Indigeneity, Modernity, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Shari M. Huhndorf

In 2020, 18 tribal nations sued the US Department of Treasury to prevent Alaska Native corporations (ANCs) from receiving CARES Act funds, arguing that corporations should not be included with tribal governments that administer social services to Native communities. The CARES Act provides state and local governments, as well as tribal nations, with federal funds to address the public health crises created by COVID-​19. Under the initial legislation, ANCs, which were established under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, counted among the tribal entities eligible to receive funding. For decades, these corporations have provided social services—​including health care, educational and housing assistance, elder benefits, and legal support—​to Native individuals and communities throughout the state, in part by contracting for federal funds under the 1975 Indian Self-​Determination and Education Assistance Act.1 Nonprofit health organizations run by ANCs administer a network of clinics in Native villages along with major medical centers in urban areas. In Alaska, where distance seriously limits access to health care, regional corporations that serve a network of rural villages are arguably uniquely suited to meet community needs. Because the state is nearly one-​quarter as large as the continental US, with many communities accessible only by air or boat, Native people sometimes travel over a thousand miles to receive health care. Organizations run by Native corporations transport residents from rural villages to receive necessary care in Anchorage, where the major Native health care facilities are located, at no cost to them (see, for example, S. Huhndorf, “Native Wisdom Is Revolutionizing Health Care”). Despite their crucial role in health care and other social services, the CARES Act lawsuit sought to disqualify ANCs from receiving COVID relief funding. The lawsuit wound its way through the court system until the US Court of Appeals, reversing a district court decision, ruled that Alaska ANCs should not share in the $8 billion of COVID relief designated for tribal governments because they are not “Indian tribes.” As I write in early 2021, the US Supreme Court has recently agreed to hear an appeal by Alaska Native groups, who argue that Alaska Native people “rely on ANCs for vital health, education and social service programs” and “should not be punished for the unique tribal system that Congress established for the state 50 years ago” (“ARA and ANVCA Welcome Supreme Court’s Decision”). But, in the meantime, the lack of CARES Act funding impairs the ability of Native organizations to serve the Alaska Native community at a time when it is disproportionately affected by COVID. In one sense, the CARES Act lawsuit reflects deep misunderstandings of Alaska Native issues on the part of the tribes in the continental US and the legal establishment. Although the 1971 Alaska 116

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Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) is the largest Indigenous land claims settlement in US history, and the Alaska Native population (the highest Native population per capita of any state) wields significant political and cultural influence, conversations within American Indian political and academic circles typically neglect or misconstrue Alaska Native issues. Symptomatically, the 18 tribal litigants in the CARES Act lawsuit included only six (out of 229) Alaska Native villages; the majority were tribes from the continental US. In ruling that Alaska Native corporations are not “Indian tribes,” the appeals court overlooked the longstanding role of the corporations in administering social services under the Indian Self-​Determination and Education Assistance Act. Misapprehensions about Alaska Natives emerge in part from differences between the histories of tribes in the continental US and those in Alaska. In the continental US, tribes experienced centuries of removals, warfare, and federal policies that gave rise to treaties, reservation systems, and Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) tribal governments.2 For some, these histories and political configurations typify Native experience and even determine what counts, or not, as legitimate forms of Native governance. In Alaska, by contrast, colonization unfolded largely through gradual encroachment centered on resource exploitation, and the absence of full-​scale military conflict means that there are no treaties with Alaska Native communities and no reservation system in the state.3 Moreover, the US Congress authored ANCSA during the termination era, when the federal government unilaterally abolished the status of 109 tribes, and this historical context limited the forms that a settlement with Alaska Natives could take. In its endeavor to diminish the number of tribes, Congress rejected tribal governments as a vehicle for land claims. ANCSA became a landmark in Indigenous politics not only because of its size; it was also the first use of corporations to address Indigenous territorial claims (ANCSA). The settlement extinguished Aboriginal title in Alaska in exchange for $962.5 million and 44 million acres, about one-​ninth of the state and nearly as much land as all Indian reservations in the US combined. Whereas treaties with American Indians had established reservations held in trust by the federal government, ANCSA transferred fee simple title to settlement lands, along with settlement funds, to for-​profit regional and village corporations owned by Alaska Native shareholders. Beyond misunderstanding Alaska Native governance, the CARES Act lawsuit also manifests well-​ founded skepticism about the possibilities of such corporations to serve tribal interests. The inherent contradictions between tribal and corporate interests are embedded in the settlement act itself. The legislation extinguished Native subsistence rights, a crucial problem because many Alaska Native people, especially in rural villages spread across the state, continue to depend on hunting, fishing, and gathering for physical and cultural survival.4 Additionally, ANCSA failed to address the question of Native sovereignty, or the rights of Alaskan tribes to govern themselves, an issue that continues to be fought within and outside of the courts.5 Among its most distinctive features, and one that has elicited extensive criticism from a tribal rights perspective, is the way that the settlement aimed to reduce Alaska Native interests to economic imperatives that align with capitalist development. Through the transformation of collectively held lands to private property held by corporations, the profit imperative, and the imposition of corporate models of governance, the legislation was intended to integrate largely rural, subsistence-​based communities into the mainstream capitalist system. Under the original legislation, only Alaska Native people could hold shares in Alaska Native corporations, but after 20 years, those restrictions would be lifted so that corporate shares—​and with them, Alaska Native lands—​could pass out of Alaska Native hands. Twenty years, the legislation predicted, would provide the necessary time to assimilate Alaska Native peoples into the capitalist economy and obviate the need for Native institutions.6 From the beginning, ANCSA created controversy within Native communities.The notion of land as a resource for exploitation, and the incompatibility of this idea with traditional understandings and uses of land, provided a major point of conflict. Brenda Itta, a political leader from Utqiagvik (Barrow) who was active in the land claims movement, describes the beliefs that emerge from a subsistence lifestyle:

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We took very good care of the land. Our ancestors from generation to generation, passed onto this generation … that these lands are our divine right … They always said that you must be good caretakers of your land and you must be good stewards over your land because that’s where we hunt. Take good care of your waters, make sure they’re clean, don’t abuse it. So when you catch animals to eat, don’t be wasteful, always share what you have with others and feed others. I think the Alaskan Native people and our ancestors were very, very good people and generous people. We never hunted for selfish gain or to make money, we had no cash economy then but we hunted so that we could eat and so we could share our food with other people. Itta The settlement, by contrast, transformed communal lands into corporate assets for exploitation and profit, uses antithetical to the practices described by Itta. In a series of letters published in the Native newspaper The Tundra Times shortly after the settlement, Fred Bigjim, then an Inupiat Harvard graduate student, expressed criticism of ANCSA that spoke for the concerns of many Alaska Native peoples.The corporate structure, he opined, was a colonial imposition that imperiled Native resources, traditions, and communities. The congressional representatives who authored ANCSA saw “the land as something to be measured in terms of profits and losses,” a “vision of Alaska that makes lots of dollars and no sense to the people who live here, especially the Natives.” ANCSA, he concluded, “is really one more step in the plan for termination of the Native way of life in Alaska” (Bigjim and Ito-​Adler 41–​2, 77). By endeavoring to subsume Native lifeways into the corporate economy, ANCSA followed the longstanding colonial logic that locates Native societies in the historical past, defines them as less developed than their Western counterparts, and predicts their inevitable disappearance in the wake of capitalist modernity. This logic finds roots in the nineteenth century, when the notion of social progress—​or the idea that differences among societies can be explained by time, or the level of advancement on the ladder of civilization (defined by the industrial capitalist societies of Europe)—​ underwrote assimilation policies that continued well into the twentieth century.7 According to this logic, eradicating traditional practices and social structures would help Native communities advance by assimilating them into settler society, ostensibly for their own benefit. In this regard, ANCSA extended not only 1950s termination policies but also assimilation programs that began in the nineteenth century. Although these policies were enacted over the course of a century, their aims remained remarkably consistent: to assimilate “traditional” Native people into “modern” society and to make their lands available for exploitation (cast as “development”). Like ANCSA, the 1887 General Allotment (or Dawes) Act broke up collectively held lands and converted them into tracts of private property to encourage individualism and self-​interest, break tribal community bonds, and ultimately integrate Native peoples into the dominant society. “At its core,” writes historian Frederick Hoxie, the General Allotment Act “was an assertion that the gap between the two races [Indian and white] would be overcome and that Indians would be incorporated into American society.They would farm, participate in government, and adopt ‘higher’ standards of behavior. The statute assumed that landownership, citizenship, and education would alter traditional cultures, bringing them into ‘civilization’ ” (Hoxie 77). In the process, allotment caused the loss of 90 million acres, or about two-​thirds, of Native land. Whereas the Dawes Act transformed Native communities’ relationship to land, the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act replaced traditional modes of tribal governance with constitutional forms resembling corporate boards that facilitated resource exploitation on reservation lands. Like ANCSA, the Indian Reorganization Act prompted criticism of the imposition of colonial forms of governance and the significant implications for tribal social organization and relationships to land. But, by the time of the CARES Act, IRA tribal governments had become sufficiently ingrained in tribal life—​in part because of strategic adaptation to meet tribal needs—​so as not to raise widespread objections such as those surrounding Alaska Native corporations.

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Although ANCSA prompted fears about land and cultural losses, many Alaska Native people found in the settlement possibilities for addressing urgent needs within the Native community. When Alaska became a state in 1959, most Native people lived in rural villages without safe drinking water or sanitation. Few homes had running water or electricity.The Parran Report, commissioned by the US Department of Interior, placed infant mortality at more than ten percent of all births and life expectancy at 46 years (The Alaska Health Survey Team). Poverty, the legacy of two centuries of resource exploitation and economic exclusion, worsened the problems. During the 1899 gold rush, laws prevented Native people from owning gold they discovered on their own land. Around the turn of the twentieth century, the territorial government established a formal system of Jim Crow segregation in Alaska (see Cole). The situation of Alaska Native people, observed one World War II correspondent, was “equivalent to that of the Negro in Georgia or Mississippi” (Joseph Driscoll, cited in Cole 315). Signs reading “no dogs or Natives allowed” remained common until the AntiDiscrimination Act of 1945. Even then, discrimination continued. In 1960, in the years leading up to the settlement, Alaska Native personal income was about 25 percent of that of the white population in the US, with two-​thirds of households falling below the poverty line—​a poverty rate more than seven times that of white Alaskans. Settlement resources enabled the Native community to combat poverty, create infrastructure for clean water and electricity, and provide jobs and health care. In an often-​cited example, Inupiat activist Charlie Edwardsen Jr. drew similarities between the opportunities created by Native corporations and innovations required by an Inuit whaling crew, declaring that because of ANCSA “the Eskimo has a new harpoon” (cited in Alaskool, n.p.). Although their roles have been largely overlooked in existing scholarship, Alaska Native people helped to craft the terms of the settlement with the intention of supporting their communities well into the future, and after the settlement was passed, they changed the legislation to address community needs. As a result, Alaska Native corporations have served complex and sometimes-​ contradictory purposes that are in many ways at odds with assimilationist and mainstream corporate agendas. In the pages that follow, I relate the story of ANCSA—​how the settlement was reached and how Alaska Native people have adapted corporations to serve their own communities—​ by drawing on interviews with the Native peoples who fought for land claims in Alaska. These interviews are the basis of a larger history of Alaska Native land claims, currently in progress, that aims to document the settlement from Alaska Native perspectives. As these perspectives bring to light the neglected role that Native people had in influencing the settlement, they complicate dominant understandings of the role that corporations have played in Alaska Native life, showing the limits and possibilities of corporations to meet pressing community needs. People “need to have a better understanding of what ANCs actually are and what they provide to their communities,” says Melissa Burns, a board member of Old Harbor Native Corporation that serves her home community in Kodiak, “ANCs aren’t just about providing a dividend to their shareholders. They’re providing to their communities as a whole. They support housing, they’re an economic driver, they support education. Our ANC set up a food distribution program and provides H.R. support and accounting support and grant management for our tribes” (cited in Elliott, n.p.). These complexities in turn subvert the colonial logic that pits Native traditions against modernity, represented in ANCSA legislation by the idea that establishing corporations would bring about Native assimilation. Instead, the persistence of Alaska Native communities, and the unlikely ways they have adapted a termination policy to address their own needs, belie the colonial prediction of Native disappearance after (often coerced) accommodation to settler institutions and practices. At the same time, the story of ANCSA sheds light on the broader predicament of Native communities as they endeavor to maintain cultural and political distinctiveness against the pressures of the capitalist world.

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Life on the Land Throughout the Indigenous world, Native claims to the land emerge from histories of use and occupancy codified in the common-​law doctrine of Aboriginal title. Although many Native communities globally continue to depend on the land for traditional foods and ceremonial practices, in Alaska the history of life on the land has continued unabated to a greater degree than in most places, in part because contact with Europeans occurred there relatively recently. Russians first set foot on Alaskan shores in the 1740s, and over the next century, they established small settlements in coastal areas. But, unlike the Europeans who came to settle in what are now the lower 48 US states, the Russians came primarily in search of furs rather than land. Throughout the fur trade era, the Russian population remained small, never numbering more than a few hundred people who were mostly confined to modest trading centers along the southern coast.To be sure, the Russians ravaged Native communities in those regions that they did inhabit, enslaving Unangax (Aleut) and Yup’ik people, bringing deadly diseases, and driving many fur-​bearing animals to near extinction. But, despite numerous attempts, they never established a foothold along the north or west coasts, and their presence was little felt throughout Alaska’s vast interior. For decades after Russia sold its interests in Alaska to the US in 1867, life in many Native communities remained much as it had always been. Most Alaska Natives encountered Europeans only after the turn of the twentieth century, and for those living in the interior regions out of reach of the 1899 gold rush, those encounters took place as late as the 1940s or 1950s.8 Throughout this time, most Alaska Native people lived off the land.This remained true in the years leading up to the land claims settlement. Still today, many Native people depend heavily on traditional subsistence practices, so that subsistence rights—​the rights to hunt, fish, and gather on traditional Native territories—​remain a contentious issue in state politics. For Alaska Native people recounting major upheavals of the past 50 years, including the claims settlement, their stories usually begin with life on the land. Marlene Johnson, who began working for a land settlement in the early 1960s on behalf of the Tlingit-​Haida Central Council, describes growing up in the village of Hoonah in southeast Alaska: We did not have electricity, we did not have running water in our houses, and we used outdoor toilets. I did not know I was missing a thing.We lived off the land … I lived off of deer and seal meat and ducks and fish. We ate tons and tons of fish. I was never in need or want. We had lots of berries and fruits and stuff. My folks and my grandma, we raised potatoes and carrots and rutabagas and had our own gardens, plus we had our own Indian rice we could harvest. “The table is set when the tide goes out ....” Clams, crab and I’ll tell you some of the best food in the world is out there when the tide goes out and when the tide comes in, fish come in, so life was good and it still is. I still live primarily off of fish and subsistence type meat: deer meat, seal meat and stuff like that. Johnson Other Native people involved in the settlement tell similar stories. In Utqiagvik (Barrow) on Alaska’s north slope, as Brenda Itta describes, her family ate “polar bear meat, caribou meat, fish of all kinds, walrus and anything that was edible in the Arctic region” (Itta). Many families supplemented their diets with potatoes, cabbage, carrots and other food grown in small gardens. This lifestyle required cooperation among families and entire communities. When the fish were jumping in the river, remembers Frances Degnan of life in Unalakleet, the neighbor would gather the young people in his boat. Because they had no motor, they would pull the boat and use a seine to bring the fish in. Together they would cut fish until three or four in the morning (Degnan). For white settlers in Alaska, Native reliance on the land represented cultural backwardness, a practice that would soon be a thing of the past.This explains in part why ANCSA included no provisions for subsistence rights, implying that the modern corporate economy would inevitably supplant 120

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Native lifeways. For Native people, though, these histories on the land carried different meanings. “My boyhood was one of the most perfect ones I could have imagined,” remembers Roy Huhndorf: Below town was the Nulato river. I remember going down and looking into that crystal-​ clear water and fishing for grayling with a willow pole and an old string and a bone hook that my brothers had made and catching those grayling. I used to love to watch them coming up. The water was so clear that you could see them coming up to the surface in the summertime to get a fly and dive right back down, slowly like a bird in this clear water. It was beautiful, and I missed all that [when I moved to Anchorage]. R. Huhndorf For many Native peoples in rural villages and urban areas alike, as Marlene Johnson describes, subsistence remains a way of life. Not just a means of providing food, traditional subsistence practices also carry cultural meanings, as described by Yup’ik writer John Active: To take care; not to waste, but to share … To remember my elders, those living and dead … To be watchful at all times that I do not offend the spirits of the fish and animals that I take for food … To take from the land only what I can use and to give to the needy if I have enough to share. Active Thus, concludes Active, “our subsistence lifestyle IS our culture. Without subsistence we will not survive as a people.” (Active 186–​7). Beyond their cultural importance, subsistence practices confirmed—​and still confirm—​that “this land already had belonged to us,” in the words of Frances Degnan (Degnan). Similarly, says Willie Hensley, “it was our world and in those days the thought that we would not have control of our own space wasn’t even a thought, right?” (Hensley Interview).

“Hunger Knows No Law:” The Beginnings of Alaska Native Land Claims The sense evident in these and other interviews that Alaska belonged to them had long compelled Native people to fight for their land.9 The question of who controlled the space of Alaska came to the fore in the immediate aftermath of the 1867 Treaty of Cession, when Russia sold Alaska to the US. In southeast Alaska, an area heavily affected by Russia’s fur-​seeking mission,Tlingit people challenged the treaty, arguing that Russia could not sell what it had never owned. Although the Alaska purchase was initially ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox” (after Secretary of State William Seward, who signed the treaty), Americans soon found possibilities for wealth in the territory’s vast resources, bringing additional threats of dispossession for Native communities. After the Alaska purchase, whaling and commercial fishing expanded dramatically, with the canned salmon industry privatizing the fisheries and, in Willie Hensley’s words, “taking food right out of people’s mouths” (Hensley Interview). Meanwhile, fur harvesting expanded in the interior regions of the territory, where few Native people had previously encountered outsiders. The gold rush brought even more dramatic changes. In 1899, miners discovered gold in the western Alaskan city of Nome, attracting around 200,000 prospectors in a frenzy that rivaled the California gold rush. As miners staked claims to Native lands, they brought deadly diseases that decimated entire villages in interior Alaska. Just after the turn of the century, Athabascan chiefs asserted their rights to traditional hunting and fishing areas in interior Alaska against the claims of settlers. In the words of Chief Starr of Tanana: White men are coming out and taking up all the land; they are staking homesteads, cultivating the land raising potatoes and all kinds of crops … [they] are going to keep taking up this land until all the good land is gone, and the Indian people are going to have to move 121

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over … and when all the good land is gone, the white men are going to keep on taking more land. After awhile the Indian will have no land at all. cited in Mitchell 176 The Alaska Native Brotherhood/​Sisterhood, the first Native political organization in the territory, formed in 1912 in southeast Alaska to fight for civil rights for Alaska Native peoples, and by the early 1930s, they had expanded their fight to encompass Indigenous land claims. Until later in the century, though, prospects for a wide-​reaching land claims settlement appeared bleak. Land losses increased after Alaska became a state in 1959 and began selecting lands (over 100 million acres) that included entire Native villages along with traditional hunting and fishing sites. At the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, remembers Brenda Itta, the state sold one square inch of Alaska to fairgoers as a novelty, with some of the land coming from Native gravesites. “Native people were concerned about the loss of land and loss of lifestyle,” she says (Itta). The prospect of massive land loss at the hands of the new state brought a renewed sense of urgency for Native claims. “The moment the State selected a piece of ground and got tentative approval we were never going to get it back because that was the extinguishment of the Indian title,” explains Willie Hensley (Hensley Interview). As a result, in 1966, Alaska Native peoples joined together across boundaries of language and culture to form the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) to advocate for Indigenous land claims. AFN emerged from a network of regional Native associations from across the state. “A lot of the Native leadership had come to Anchorage and were working on the settlement act,” Roy Huhndorf recalls. They met one day and decided to form a state-​wide association and they did. Howard Rock ran a newspaper called The Tundra Times and it became, conveniently, the organ that kind of broadcast this movement across Alaska and people learned about that movement mainly through The Tundra Times and of course radio. R. Huhndorf In this and other contexts, Native people have employed technologies of modernity, such as media, to protect their land and traditional cultures.10 Still, the land claims movement made little headway until later in the decade. Change came from an unlikely source. In 1968, oil was discovered on Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay, now the largest oil field in North America. Because ice makes the Beaufort Sea impassable for oil tankers, transporting the oil south to the port of Valdez would require construction of a pipeline extending 800 miles across traditional Native lands. The discovery of oil prompted fears of land loss on the scale of that brought by the fur trade, gold rush, and statehood. “When Prudhoe Bay was discovered many of our people became so alarmed about the impact that these oil companies would have on our traditional lands,” says Brenda Itta. I remember [Utqiagvik whaler] Sam Taalak … who said ‘hunger knows no law’ and I think that was a perfect example of so many people in the Arctic region that we wanted to communicate that this land is ours. Our survival depends on it.This is my food, this is my land. I think he expressed a very deep fear and a very real concern expressed by the Inupiaq people in the Arctic region when he said that that ‘hunger knows no law’. Itta AFN filed legal suit to halt construction of the pipeline, arguing that Native land claims must be settled first. The courts agreed. The imperative to commence drilling brought political allies among those who had previously opposed a Native settlement.“Native people had no friends in Alaska when we went to make our claim,” says Willie Hensley. 122

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There was nobody here who was non-​Native that was on our side that I could remember. It was almost a lost cause ... [but] when oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay, the lower 48 congressional folks, the delegations from the various states told Alaska they had to do this deal because the nation needed the oil. They had to make a settlement. Hensley Interview The discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay extended a long history of resource exploitation that has made Alaska, in one historian’s words,“an American colony” and a key site for the expansion of global capitalism (Haycox). As the imperative to build the pipeline created pressure for Alaska Native land claims, it also restricted the means by which a settlement could take place. Any agreement, politicians and business leaders agreed, would need to fuel the looming oil bonanza.

Indigenous Land Claims in Alaska Beyond the imperative to develop the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay, the political environment of the time further limited the forms the settlement would take. During the termination era of the 1950s and ‘60s, the recognition of more than 200 Alaska Native villages as tribal entities proved impossible when Congress rejected tribal governments as a vehicle for land claims. Additionally, since the 1946 establishment of the Indian Claims Commission as a means for settling Indigenous land claims against the US government, settlement had nearly always taken shape as monetary payments rather than return of land, a dreaded outcome for Alaska Native people who continue to rely heavily on the land. For their part, Alaska Native people cast a wary eye on the state of affairs in Indian Country at the time and remained apprehensive of the federal government’s continual violations of the trust relationship with Indigenous nations in the lower 48 US states. “Our association with Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies in the past,” says Roy Ewan, “instilled in us hatred for bureaucracy. We started to read and try and be exposed to other Native Americans nationwide and we saw what was going on down there … [and] how they were not getting many of the things that they were needing … We didn’t want to be like the other American reservation Indians” (Ewan). Congress did not solicit a Native vote on the settlement, but it did include a Native delegation on the settlement committee and consult with Native organizations. In advocating for their interests, these representatives found it crucial to minimize conflict with the state and federal governments, who held the power to pass a settlement with minimal resources that excluded land. “If we would have said we wanted 200 governments out there,” explains Willie Hensley, they would’ve said no way. Because they’re like a colonial power and they’re always paranoid about 200 villages out there doing their own thing. So [the establishment of corporations] was sort of the path of least resistance. And also I think in their mind they thought if we form these corporations … we’re going to get all this land back anyway because they’re all going to fail. Hensley Interview For some, this expectation that Alaska Native people would fail at running corporations, along with the settlement provision that Native corporations would be opened to public ownership after 20 years, made it appear certain that settlement land would eventually end up in settler hands. But Native peoples saw possibilities to make the settlement work for them. Fully aware of its shortcomings, most nevertheless believed that ANCSA was the best settlement they could win. Additionally, the mode of the settlement—​a congressional act rather than a treaty—​carried possible advantages. Its terms granted more autonomy from federal intervention than reservation-​style governance, and unlike the treaties that established Indian reservations before Congress terminated the treaty-​making process in 1871, legislation can be changed. Immediately after the passage of ANCSA, 123

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Native groups began to revise its provisions to meet community needs. Amendments to ANCSA extended stock restrictions indefinitely, and to date no corporation has opted to make stock available to non-​Native people. Beyond preventing land loss, this choice demonstrates that Native people see the corporations not as a tool for assimilation, as the original legislation intended, but rather as a means to address community needs and support Native political causes. Whereas reservation tribes in the lower 48 US states leverage historical treaties and IRA-​style tribal governments to administer human services, Alaska Natives have repurposed Native corporations to create nonprofit entities to address social needs such as housing, health, education, job placement, elder services, and legal assistance. The corporations have also worked to address issues that the settlement was designed to render moot, such as creating programs to support traditional cultures and languages. Central to these endeavors is the pursuit of solutions to the problems of sovereignty and subsistence, and some Native corporations have themselves exerted significant political pressure to these ends as they have also supported organizations such as the Alaska Federation of Natives that work primarily in these areas. More than any other issues, subsistence and political sovereignty embody the contradictory relationships between ANCSA corporations and tribes. Corporate ownership diminishes tribal control over ancestral territories, while pressures for profitable development can undermine community uses of land for cultural and subsistence purposes. Such conflicts underlie controversies surrounding timber harvesting in southeast Alaska as well as high-​profile national debates about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has pit Native communities against one another.Yet ANCSA corporations bear more complicated relationships to subsistence rights than these examples suggest. Not only have Native corporations successfully exerted significant political pressure at the state and federal level to protect subsistence rights, but also they support subsistence activities through payment of dividends that fund expensive subsistence provisions. Few villages have self-​sustaining economies, and dividends subsidize household incomes so that many residents can avoid relocation to urban centers for full-​time wage labor. Finally, village corporations provide local employment opportunities that allow many Native peoples to remain in their home communities. The question of sovereignty is similarly vexed.11 Native corporations have usually supported sovereignty endeavors, in part through political advocacy. In 1993 the US Department of the Interior published a list of more than 200 villages that it now counts as federally recognized Alaskan tribes, thus granting tribal recognition denied in ANCSA. As I write, the Calista Corporation in interior Alaska is working to create a regional tribal government in the Yukon-​Kuskokwim Delta, a government in which the corporation itself would have no role in decision-​making processes (see Eurich). On the other hand, some corporations take a more ambivalent approach to tribal sovereignty, fearing that it would enable tribes to impose taxes and restrict access to resources necessary for corporate profits. These contradictions speak to the limits and possibilities of corporations to serve tribal interests in Alaska. As Native corporations provide political power and resources to meet pressing community needs, including those surrounding subsistence and self-​government, the profit imperative requires exploitation of the land in ways that sometimes counters community interests and traditional belief systems. Since the 1970s, the retribalization movement has grown increasingly powerful in Alaska, in part because of political power and resources brought by the settlement. The legal debate surrounding sovereignty in Alaska pivots on the extent to which federal Indian law—​which emerged from interactions between American Indians and settlers under different historical circumstances—​applies to Alaska Native communities. Treaties, reservations, and lengthy legal and political histories that demonstrate distinct status underpin Native sovereignty elsewhere in the US, and Alaska Natives are the only peoples to make sovereignty claims without them.12 “Native villages have secured … legal tribal rights of the village residents,” explains Roy Huhndorf, so that

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in so many words you are gaining back ...The settlement not only avoided termination with the clause that would have caused all stock to be sold so we’ve gotten past that and now the villages are starting to gain back some of their tribal rights through the courts. R. Huhndorf In the absence of definitive sovereignty rights as outlined in US federal law, tribes in Alaska remain remarkably innovative in their endeavors to secure autonomy and collective rights. They continue to function as tribal governments, at times with recognition from state and federal governments. Many rely increasingly heavily on traditional institutions such as tribal councils. In 1998, the Alaska Supreme Court, in a stunning reversal of its previous hostility to Native sovereignty, determined that Indian Country status is not required for tribal jurisdiction. As a result, in 2001 tribes and the state executive branch signed a Millennium Agreement to set the stage for future working relationships among Alaska tribal and state governments. In Alaska, then, the use of corporations as a vehicle to settle Native land claims has had complicated and at times contradictory outcomes. Although Alaska Native corporations have brought possibilities for economic self-​determination, political influence, and solutions to pressing social problems, the failure of ANCSA to address sovereignty and subsistence rights present serious obstacles for Alaska Native peoples. “The corporate structure,” says Roy Huhndorf, “is the reverse of tribal structure” and the “concern about corporations and tribal cohabitation” remains. Yet, in practice, corporations and tribal governments are overlapping entities. “It’s the same people that run both entities,” Huhndorf explains, “tribal members are usually the members that run the corporations” (R. Huhndorf). This overlap accounts for why the corporations, despite the original intentions of Congress, have in many respects served the interests of Native communities that encompass and extend beyond sovereignty and subsistence rights. A “part that I like about the corporations,” says Brenda Itta, “is that we were able to provide, for example, first preference to hire shareholders and other Alaska native people … We could hire our own people.” These economic resources have supported community members in ways beyond employment: “we created an elders’ benefit … [for] elders who didn’t have any kind of income” and provided scholarships to young people. “Some of the things that the corporations are doing,” she concludes, “are based on the traditional Alaska Native values” (Itta). Willie Hensley agrees. In his view, the corporations accomplished “control of that space [Native lands] for people to live their cultures. But in my mind there has to be a solution to this tribal corporate thing. They should not have to be in conflict.” He offers the example of a small village where tribal council and corporate board, many of whom are the same people, work together on community projects. “How do you make it work for the people?” he asks. To me that’s the challenge for the next generation … Don’t get hung up on the entity because they’re all alien entities anyway. Even the IRA tribe was some white man’s idea of how we should be organized. So to me it’s not a holy thing per se, they can change it. Just like the corporation. Hensley Interview This understanding that corporations can be changed to serve the community contradicts the original colonial logic of the settlement. Under the settlement, corporations were profit-​driven political vehicles to assimilate Native people into the modern capitalist economy. This process of assimilation—​itself a defining mandate of US settler modernity—​would render obsolete cultural traditions and lifeways (such as subsistence) along with the need for political autonomy. But, as we have seen, ANCSA has unfolded very differently. The profit imperative and the use of land as resource exist alongside traditional land uses, belief systems, and cultural practices in sometimes

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contradictory, sometimes complementary relationships. Nor have corporations supplanted the need for political autonomy. Indeed, the retribalization movement in Alaska has developed alongside ANCSA and has played out in a political environment reshaped by the settlement. The nature of Alaska’s land claims settlement and the possibilities of corporations moving forward remain subjects of debate among Alaska Native people. In these debates, there remains one point of near-​universal agreement: proponents of corporations and tribal governments alike remain committed to a future for Alaska Native communities as distinct cultural entities with their own territorial claims, a notion antithetical to the assimilationist objectives of the congressional authors of the settlement and one that posits an alternative vision of modernity authored by Alaska Native communities themselves.

Notes 1 The 1975 Indian Self-​Determination and Education Assistance Act authorizes the federal government to contract with Native tribes to provide social services for their members. This legislation enabled tribal communities to take control of social services that include health care and, as a result, dramatically improved quality of and access to services in many communities. Under the Act, Alaska Native corporations explicitly count as tribes for the purpose of administering social programs. The CARES Act legislation directed the treasury secretary to disburse COVID relief funding to governing bodies of tribes as defined in the Indian Self-​Determination and Education Assistance Act. 2 Among other measures, the IRA, or 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, implemented tribal self-​government that entailed governing councils, constitutions, and majority-​rule system. One criticism of the IRA was that it replaced traditional forms of governance with Western forms that facilitated resource exploitation on reservations. 3 Metlakatla Indian Community is the only reservation in the state of Alaska. 4 In the Alaskan context, subsistence denotes the ability to live directly from the land through hunting, fishing, and gathering. Subsistence supports traditional economies, social organizations based on kinship relations, and cultural values such as sharing, respect, and the interconnectedness of all forms of life. 5 In the Alaskan context, the term tribes is usually synonymous with villages, which have traditionally been self-​ governing, autonomous units, and the list of federally recognized tribes in Alaska consists of villages.Villages have social, cultural, and linguistic affiliations with broader entities (Tlingit, Athabaskan, Yup’ik, and so on) that are sometimes also called tribes, especially for purposes of self-​identification. One effect of ANCSA has been to solidify collective affiliations beyond the village, so that Natives now sometimes speak of these broader entities, or sometimes smaller groups of affiliated villages, as “nations” (e.g., the Yup’ik Nation). 6 For a fuller discussion of ANCSA, see Huhndorf and Huhndorf. 7 Key assimilation policies include mandatory boarding schools, the General Allotment Act (1887), and the Indian Citizenship Act (1924). Beginning in the 1950s, policies of termination and relocation, along with the passage of Public Law 280, extend these assimilationist endeavors. 8 For key sources on Alaska Native history, see, for example, Williams as well as Haycox and Mangusso. 9 For a persuasive early argument for Alaska Native Land Claims, see Hensley’s 1969 speech, “Why the Natives Have a Land Claim.” 10 Inuit advocacy for the creation of Nunavut territory constitutes a prominent use of media, including feature films, to advance Indigenous land claims. I have written about this in Mapping the Americas, Chapter Two: “’From the Inside and through Inuit Eyes’: Igloolik Isuma Productions and the Cultural Politics of Inuit Media.” 11 In 1998, the US Supreme Court decided in the case Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, 522 U.S. 520 that Indian Country does not exist in Alaska. Ironically the decision pivoted on the fact that tribal land is not held in trust by the federal government; instead, as a result of ANCSA, tribes hold fee simple title to land. 12 Kanaka Maoli claims to sovereignty appear to represent an analogous case, but those claims are based in part on international recognition of the Hawai’ian Kingdom prior to US annexation (a political history and distinct status that runs parallel to those of some tribes in the lower 48 US states). For a critique of this political strategy, see Kauanui.

References Active, John. “Why Subsistence Is a Matter of Cultural Survival.” Alaska Native Writers, Storytellers, and Orators:The Expanded Edition. Eds. Ronald Spatz, Patricia H. Partnow, and Jeane Breinig. Anchorage: Alaska Review, 1999. Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), Pub. L. No. 92–​203, 43 USC 1601–​1624 (1971).

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Corporate Tribalism, Indigeneity, & ANCSA Alaskool. “Alaska Native Land Claims.” Web. www.alask​ool.org/​proje​cts/​lan​dcla​ims/​LandCl​aims​_​Uni​t5_​C​h23. htm (accessed 1 November 2020). “ARA and ANVCA Welcome Supreme Court’s Decision to Hear CARES Act Case,” 8 January 2021. Web. https://​bering​stra​its.com/​ara-​and-​anvca-​welc​ome-​supr​eme-​cou​r ts-​decis​ion-​to-​hear-​cares-​act-​case/​ (accessed 5 March 2021). Bigjim, Frederick Seagayuk Bigjim and James Ito-​Adler. Letters to Howard: An Interpretation of the Alaska Native Land Claims. Anchorage: Alaska Methodist UP, 1974. Cole, Terrence M. “Jim Crow in Alaska: The Passage of the Alaska Equal Rights Act of 1945.” An Alaska Anthology: Interpreting the Past. Eds. Stephen W. Haycox and Mary Childers Mangusso. Seattle: U of Washington P, 2002. 314–​35. Degnan, Frances. Interview. Conducted by Roy Huhndorf. Alaska Native Land Claims History Project. 21 October 2016. Elliott, Philip. “Why Native Alaskans Missed Out on Washington’s Pandemic Relief Efforts.” Time 1 October 2020. Web. https://​time.com/​5895​207/​why-​nat​ive-​alask​ans-​mis​sed-​out-​on-​wash​ingt​ons-​pande​mic-​rel​ief-​ effo​rts/​ (accessed 1 November 2020). Eurich, Johanna. “Calista Corporation Leads Effort for a Regional Tribal Government.” Web. www.kyuk.org/​ post/​cali​sta-​corp​orat​ion-​leads-​eff​ort-​regio​nal-​tri​bal-​gov​ernm​ent (accessed 5 March 2021). Ewan, Roy. Interview. Conducted by Shari Huhndorf. Alaska Native Land Claims History Project. 20 October 2016. Haycox, Stephen W. Alaska: An American Colony. Seattle: U of Washington P, 2020. Haycox, Stephen W. and Mary Childers Mangusso, eds. An Alaska Anthology: Interpreting the Past. Seattle: U of Washington P, 1996. Hensley, William Iggiagruk. “Why the Natives Have a Land Claim.” The Alaska Native Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Ed. Maria Shaa Tlia Williams. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2009. 192–​201 Hensley, Willie. Interview. Conducted by Shari Huhndorf. Alaska Native Land Claims History Project. 20 October 2016. Hoxie, Frederick E. A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880–​1920. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2001. Huhndorf, Roy M. Interview. Conducted by Shari Huhndorf. Alaska Native Land Claims History Project. October 18, 2017. Huhndorf, Roy M. and Shari M. Huhndorf. “Alaska Native Politics since the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.” South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 110, no. 2 (Spring 2011): 385–​401. Huhndorf, Shari M. “Native Wisdom Is Revolutionizing Health Care.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, vol. 15, no. 3 (Summer 2017): 18–​23. Huhndorf, Shari M. Mapping the Americas:The Transnational Politics of Contemporary Native Culture. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2009. Itta, Brenda. Interview. Conducted by Roy Huhndorf. Alaska Native Land Claims History Project. 6 December 2016. Johnson, Marlene. Interview. Conducted by Roy Huhndorf. Alaska Native Land Claims History Project. 19 October 2017. Kauanui, J. Kehaulani. Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism. Durham: Duke UP, 2018. Mitchell, Donald Craig. Sold American:The Story of Alaska Natives and Their Land, 1867–​1959. Hanover, NH: UP of New England, 1997. The Alaska Health Survey Team, Thomas Parran, Chief. 1954. “Alaska’s Health: A Survey Report.” Web. http://​ dhss.ala​ska.gov/​commi​ssio​ner/​docume​nts/​pdf/​parran​_​rep​ort.pdf (accessed 5 March 2021). Williams, Maria Shaa Tláa, ed. The Alaska Native Reader. Durham: Duke UP, 2009.

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9 INDIGENEITY AND THE CARIBBEAN Some Periodical Perspectives Louise Kane

Introduction This chapter considers representations of Indigeneity in two Caribbean periodicals, Bim (1942–​) and Kyk-​Over-​Al (1945–​). Bim was established as the official organ of the Barbados Young Men’s Progressive Club in December 1942. Edited by the Barbados-​born poet Frank Collymore (subsequent editors included John Wickham and Esther Phillips, the current editor), Bim ran regularly throughout the 1940s to 1970s, intermittently until 1996, and was reestablished in 2007, with the most recent number appearing in May 2021. It has published work by writers such as Derek Walcott, Celeste Dolphin, George Lamming, Dick Stokes, Idris Mills, and Kamau Brathwaite. Kyk-​Over-​Al was published in Guyana (known as “British Guiana” prior to independence in 1966) from December 1945. Kyk—​as it is affectionately known—​was, like Bim, established as the voice of an organ: the British Guiana Writers’ Association (BGWA). It was edited by the Guyanese poet A.J. Seymour until 1961. In 1984, Seymour revived the magazine and in 1989 Ian McDonald assumed editorial duties, with the most recent issue appearing in June 2000. Kyk-​Over-​Al’s contributors include Lamming, Walcott, Helen Taitt, Wilson Harris, and Cecil E. Barker. Both magazines began as monthlies, before switching to biannual and annual periodicities. Bim and Kyk are little magazines that pose big questions about what we mean by ‘Indigenous’ in relation to the Caribbean. These questions intersect with the colonial history of the Caribbean. Barbados and Guyana were declared independent of British rule in 1966, meaning that both Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al straddle the islands’ colonial and postcolonial periods. While this chapter cannot hope to adequately discuss the historical, social, and political contexts that inform representations of Indigenous peoples, it aims to explore the complicated dynamics in which discussions about Indigeneity take place in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al, and to consider how, for both periodicals, Indigeneity is a term that possesses varying definitions and contexts. This task involves larger stakes at play: in an era in which debates about the relationship between modernism and postcolonial writing continue to evolve—​and often in divergent directions—​looking at magazines like Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al demonstrates the significance of Indigeneity in these debates and forces us to think about its meaning not just as a key term but as a nomenclature that functioned in different ways and determined interrelationships between writers living in the Caribbean at a time when debates about the postcolonial were just emerging. Before exploring representations of Indigeneity in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al, it is necessary to outline a working definition of what we mean by “Indigenous.” As Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, 128

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and Michelle H. Raheja note, the question “What exactly makes a group Indigenous?” is a contentious one that serves to “drive debates” (109). Teves, Smith, and Raheja include a definition of the term outlined by The Working Group on Indigenous Populations, which, established in 1982 as a subsidiary body overseen by the United Nations Sub-​Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, aimed to protect the human rights of Indigenous peoples around the globe: Indigenous populations are composed of the existing descendants of the peoples who inhabited the present territory of a country wholly or partially at the time when persons of a different culture or ethnic origin arrived there from other parts of the world, overcame them and, by conquest, settlement or other means, reduced them to a non-​ dominant or colonial condition; who today live more in conformity with their particular social, economic and cultural customs and traditions than with the institutions of the country of which they now form part, under a State structure which incorporates mainly the national, social and cultural characteristics of other segments of the population which are predominant. 109–​10 The “peoples who inhabited the present territory” of the Caribbean are the Arawaks (this label is often used to describe a wide variety of nations and groups, including the Taíno peoples) and Caribs. These groups encountered the first colonial settlers—​those “persons of a different culture or ethnic origin”—​when they began arriving in the Caribbean as part of Christopher Columbus’s voyages across the Atlantic. Between 1492 and the early seventeenth century, colonization of the Caribbean continued rapidly, with European powers including Britain, Spain, France, and the Netherlands forming the first colonies in Bermuda (Britain, 1612), Saint Kitts (Britain and France, 1623), and Barbados (Britain, 1627). Under the above definition, we might expect that in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al “Indigenous” would mean those peoples who descend directly from the Arawak or Carib populations of Barbados and Guyana (and other Caribbean territories, as both magazines encouraged writing from across the Caribbean). Indeed, contemporary descendants of Indigenous peoples remain in various Caribbean territories and continue to work actively to revitalize and reconstitute their cultures and polities. For example, the Santa Rosa Carib Community (SRCC) was incorporated in 1973 to preserve the culture of Carib people in Trinidad and Tobago, and continues to hold an annual Santa Rosa Festival to promote this cause. Assessing both magazines’ attitudes toward questions of Indigeneity and/​or modernism is relatively difficult as the terms are rarely used in their editorials. Bim did not have a regular editorial column, with the first proper introduction to the magazine only occurring in 1955, some 13 years after its inception. Kyk-​Over-​Al issued more regular “Editorial Notes” columns, but explicit references to Indigeneity in these are rare. However, from the references to Indigenous cultures and peoples that do appear, we can see that both magazines operationalize a revised, expanded, and potentially controversial definition of the term in relation to the multiply occupied and colonized spaces of the Caribbean. Exploring how settler, arrivant, and other populations in the Caribbean and across Caribbean literary and cultural production leverage and operationalize Indigeneity allows us to consider how the term has been co-​opted and politicized often to very different ends.

Indigeneity: A Widened Definition Both Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al are part of a wider network of Caribbean little magazines that, following the tradition of Haiti’s La Revue Indigène (1927–​8), “understand forms of indigeneity quite differently”; instead of stressing Indigeneity as an indicator of pre-​colonial or aboriginal occupation and inhabitance, “the assertion is rather that the post-​slavery culture of the nation was itself an Indigenous 129

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culture” (Moody and Ross 69). This is reflected in Oscar Ronald Dathorne’s claim that “indigenous West Indian literature is at least one hundred and fifty years old and goes back to the eighteenth century. The authors at that time were formerly slaves” (3). Dathorne (whose short story, “Dele’s Child,” would later make the shortlist for Kyk-​Over-​Al’s 1987 Guyana Prize for Literature) specifically aligned Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al with this definition of Indigeneity: the forties saw an important development in the growth of our indigenous literature—​ the founding of three periodicals, whose influence in West Indian literature can never be overestimated. Frank Collymore started Bim in 1942 in Barbados, the first issue of Focus came out in 1943, edited by Edna Manley in Jamaica, and Arthur Seymour began Kyk-​over-​al. 5 The label “West Indian” is frequently conflated with Indigeneity in the pages of Bim and Kyk-​Over-​ Al. An article titled “Four West Indian Writers” in the July–​Dec 1957 issue of Bim exemplifies this. Written by Collymore and W. Theorold Barnes (Barnes began assisting with editing Bim in the early 1950s), the piece outlines four new novels by Edgar Mittelholzer, George Lamming, Samuel Selvon, and John Hearne. Each writer is introduced by their place of birth. Mittelholzer is listed as having been “born in 1909 in New Amsterdam, British Guiana. His family came originally from Switzerland, an ancestor emigrating to British Guiana in the eighteenth century.” Lamming is described as having been “born of mixed African and English parentage in Barbados in 1927.” Hearne “is a Jamaican.” Selvon is introduced as having been “born in Trinidad of Indian parents in 1924” (Collymore and Barnes 32–​3). Of course, a white writer like Edgar Mittelholzer who descended from a Dutch colonial family (interestingly, as the above statement about Mittelholzer’s family shows, Bim often referred to colonial populations as migrants) could not claim any sort of Arawak or Carib heritage. However, in Bim, the implication is that these writers are united in some form of bond, with the term “West Indian” used to designate this shared participation in the same discursive and cultural networks. It is important to note here that projects to unite various parts and peoples of the Caribbean through the notion of a shared West Indian literature have been in existence since the late 1950s, with Ken Ramchand’s The West Indian Novel and its Background (1970) emblematizing the general call for unity associated with the notion of “West Indianness” as a shared condition that George Lamming had emphasized in The Pleasures of Exile. For Lamming, the novelist was the first to relate the West Indian experience from the inside. He was the first to chart the West Indian memory as far back as he could go. It is the West Indian novelist—​who had no existence twenty years ago—​that the anthropologists and all other treatises about West Indians have to turn. 38 Similarly, Kyk-​Over-​Al aligns Indigeneity with being “West Indian,” but in more explicit terms. An article by J. Arthur Waites exemplifies this. Several Caribbean writers, Waites argues, have aimed “to create a West Indian culture,” but in doing so “they tend to overstress such indigenous culture-​ traits as they have so far produced” (6). This idea of Indigeneity as denoting anyone born on the Caribbean islands has provoked intense debate. Some scholars have argued for a definition of Caribbean Indigenous peoples that is inclusive of Black post-​slavery populations. Sucharita Sarkar has argued for “a broader interpretation of the legal definition of Indigeneity” that “allows the inclusion of the forced settlers from Africa—​and also those belonging to the Afro-​Caribbean diaspora—​in the category of Caribbean indigeneity, as they share with the Amerindian settlers a common history of colonial exploitation and misrepresentation” (3). In this sense, Indigeneity becomes a question of self-​identification, rather than a historically documented claim to land rights or nativity. In Bim, 130

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this idea of Indigeneity does not just extend to black writers like Selvon, but to white writers like Mittelholzer as well. Several Indigenous Studies scholars have argued that this definition of Indigeneity amounts to an act of negative creolization that sees peoples of white European and/​or African descent who were born in the Caribbean displace Indigenous Caribbean peoples, forging instead “a reformulated subaltern, or settler, Indigeneity” (MacDonald 343).These “new Creole indigeneities articulate the death of indigenous peoples as formative and continue to usurp Indigenous rights” (Jackson Creole 56).This idea of Indigenous literature in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al as a movement including white and Creole writers and Black post-​slavery settlers could be seen as amounting to a sort of “settler colonialism” that aims “to replace indigenous peoples with settlers who are discursively constituted as superior and thus more deserving over these contested lands and resources” (Saranillio 284). References to the concept of nation in both magazines assert a sort of settler nationhood that veers from the definition of nation as Indigenous (“Nation has come to stand in for any grouping of peoples who share a culture that can be traced to a particular tribe, band, or land base” (Teves, Smith, and Raheja 157)). For example, Henrietta Ingham’s “I, Who Was Blind,” published in Bim in 1960, opens with the line, “I, who was born a native to this place” (198). As Chris Andersen has noted, there is a vast difference “between Indigenous and settler claims to nationhood” (182). Here, it seems to be the latter asserted. It is important to note here that some scholars view settlers’ desire to be perceived as native as a sort of “settler guilt” that, however unintentionally, serves to erode the importance of Indigeneity to claims to nationhood. As Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang have argued, “directly and indirectly benefitting from the erasure and assimilation of Indigenous peoples is a difficult reality for settlers to accept. The weight of this reality is uncomfortable; the misery of guilt makes one hurry toward any reprieve” (9). The reprieve is often sought via claims to “settler innocence,” a state of mind that sees settlers attempt “to relieve the settler of feelings of guilt or responsibility without giving up land or power or privilege” (10). However, to view a writer like Henrietta Ingham as a “settler” is a woefully simplistic approach that serves to reinforce the very divisions of nation and race that magazines like Bim sought to overcome. Indeed, to perpetuate settler colonialism in discursive frameworks “requires an obstinate kind of ideological productivity” (Saranillio 284) that does not chime with the democratic tone through which Collymore promotes literature in Bim. His assertion that “Bim is no longer so insular in content […] we have no desire to boast of a West Indian literature” (65) shows his awareness of the potentially negative implications of promoting one type of literary tradition or nationhood over another. Collymore implies that a term like “West Indian” risks promoting a singular literature that could obscure the rich cultural exchanges between Caribbean writers and writers belonging to other geographic spaces. Instead, Bim was designed to function as a magazine that: astonishes the visitor […] by the scope and diversity of its contributions. These have been coming, in recent years, from almost every territory of the Caribbeans—​British, French, and Spanish—​as well as from countries which are not directly involved in the interests and problems of the Caribbean. Writers from Germany and East Africa have sought publication in these pages. Lamming, “Introduction” 66 Indeed, by the time Bim’s 50th anniversary issue appeared in 1992, its contributors hailed from countries and territories including Puerto Rico, the US, and Ireland. Similarly,A.J. Seymour viewed Kyk-​Over-​Al as a conciliatory print object that aimed at “developing island and regional cultures” (“The Little Review” 204) and furthering literary cosmopolitanism by showcasing contributors who were “making the best creative thought from the Caribbean and beyond its borders (“The Little Review” 208). The references to “indigenous Amerindians” and “the indigenous African and Dutch” (“Historical Background” 203) seem designed to foster a sense of 131

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equality between contributors. However, the notion that Indigeneity does not require a claim to “nation”—​the sharing of “culture that can be traced to a particular tribe, band, or land base” (Teves, Smith, and Raheja 157)—​has the potential to decimate claims of Indigenous sovereignty and, by extension, contemporary efforts by Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean to revitalize cultures, reconstitute land bases, and assert rights to sovereignty and self-​determination with the settler states of the West Indies.

Indigenous Peoples in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al Tracing references to Indigenous Arawak and Carib peoples in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al –​or more accurately, the relative lack of references—​demonstrates the extent to which aboriginal Indigeneity is at best blurred and at worst obscured in the magazines. While the term Indigenous is used predominantly as a signpost for the sort of post-​slavery culture of regional cohesion fostered by terms like “West Indian literature,” there are references to Arawaks and Caribs in both periodicals. Some articles present Indigenous peoples almost in mythical terms. For example, J.A Ramsaran’s nonfiction piece on “Creole remedy,” published in Kyk-​Over-​Al, describes “Amerindians” and “Darien Indians” as peoples who know how to utilize the ancient power of “indigenous herbs” (145). Other contributions describe Indigenous Caribbean peoples in a similar sort of observational, detached manner. Take, for example, Richard Alsopp’s article “The Language We Speak,” which, printed in Kyk-​Over-​Al in late 1953, blends descriptive language with an anthropological register: “Two facts apply to the whole Amerindian population: they form 4.3% of the country’s population (1946 census) (b) the bulk of them have only slender contact with the rest of the population” (Alsopp 237).These sorts of accounts of Indigenous peoples perpetuate the framing of Indigeneity through romantic, ethnographic language that stresses cultural alterity, minority political status, and, at times, historical anachronism in relation to the kinds of postcolonial modernities the magazines were attempting to envision. Another nonfiction piece in Kyk-​Over-​Al frames Indigenous peoples in a similarly distanced fashion, almost as if they are being described from the remote perspective of a sociologist. The piece in question, “Chalk Hill,” by Eric Roberts, appeared in 1951 and functions as a travelogue describing a trip taken to Chalk Hill, an Arawak settlement near Guyana’s Essequibo Coast. The account begins as follows: The Supernaam wends its way by a series of curves, ending up in a sort of peninsular shape as it nears its source. From its mouth and for a few miles within are spots of isolated farming, not far from which an Amerindian settlement boasting of a handful of people is the only human habitation to be found for more than thirty miles upstream. Roberts 138 The area is described as “untamed hinterland,” with Roberts reflecting on how he had traveled “with the hope of seeing an Amerindian settlement, and to get a glimpse of those people whom I have learn to reverence [sic] mainly through reading fragments of Guianese history” (138). However, Roberts is forced to realise that the nomadic tradition of the Amerindians had again exerted its influence and that they had now removed to within striking distance from the river’s source. All that remained as proof of their tenure, was the skeleton frame of a bush house. 138 As Roberts ruminates on the Indigenous peoples, he concludes “my thoughts ran upon early Amerindian civilization that probably rose and reigned and fell, while that of Europe’s was yet in the making,” leaving “no descendants … to give in any glowing account that individuality which had given them greatness” (Roberts 139). We know, of course, that Indigenous (or “Amerindian”) 132

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descendants existed then and exist now. However, Roberts perpetuates a commonplace paradigm through which “indigenous peoples are largely considered either extinct or as constituting too small and often too isolated a population to be of significance” (Jackson “Re/​Presentation” 520). The implications of such a paradigm cannot be underestimated: they serve only to undermine the rich and varied nature of Indigenous Caribbean cultural outputs and the lives and histories of the people who created them. In opposition to these anthropological and romantic gestures, “Fugue for Federation,” an “overtly political poem” (Breiner 46) written by the Tobagonian poet Eric Roach and published in Bim in 1958, expresses overt hostility between indigenous peoples and Caribbeans who, like Roach, were descended from African slaves: Frey Bartolomo Fetched me from the Congo Since the Arawak, soft and green As lilies, and the Carib wild As ‘latcho’ would not, could not Yoke, lift, dig, endure Nor suck sweet gold from ground In the tall and succulent cane. 75 The descriptions of “the Arawak” as “soft and green/​As lilies” and the Carib as “wild” people are disparaging, and the implication that they who “would not, could not” undertake slave work on sugar plantations does not accurately represent the largescale “enslavement of Indigenous peoples by Europeans” that “began in the Caribbean” (Rojas et al. 518). This “mass enslavement and trafficking of Indians and Caribs” (Rojas et al. 518) saw an estimated 500,000 Indigenous Caribbeans engaged in slavery by colonial powers in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The list of verbs Roach uses—​“yoke, lift, dig, endure”—​imprints upon the reader’s mind the interminable drudgery of slaves’ work, which the Indigenous Arawaks and Caribs are presented as having avoided, with the word “since” providing a powerful implication: Roach seems to suggest that if Indigenous Caribbeans had submitted to slavery Africans would not have had to be “fetched.” In contrast to this account of tension between Indigenous peoples and African-​descended inhabitants of the Caribbean, other Caribbean writers describe Indigenous Arawaks and Caribs in more positive tones. In Kyk-​Over-​Al, the Guyanese poet Celeste Dolphin recalls a visit that she made as a child to the Waramurie settlement, a Catholic mission that was established in Amerindian territory in Guyana:“the catechist walked over to us and stated that it was necessary to hold services twice weekly as ‘these people’ believed in ‘iniquity’. I wondered what sort of iniquity was peculiar only to Waramurie” (31). As the piece continues, it becomes clear that Dolphin recalls Waramurie peoples through the eyes of an adult who can see the spurious nature of this accusation of iniquity. Dolphin’s implicit criticism of the Catholic mission’s prejudiced characterization of Indigenous people serves to make readers aware of the specter of the distinct type of settler colonialism that saw missionaries arrive in Indigenous territories and seek to subjugate Indigenous peoples under the guise of religious instruction. Reading magazines like Kyk-​Over-​Al and Bim forces us to consider the complex identity politics at play in their pages and in the personal and public lives of the people who wrote for them. Take, for example, Frank Collymore (Bim’s editor). As the Jamaican critic Edward Baugh would later recall in his 2010 Walter Rodney Lecture at the University of Warwick, Colly, as he was known by his friends, was: conservative by temperament and upbringing; some, a few, might even say reactionary. He showed little interest in politics, was hardly overjoyed when Barbados gained independence 133

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from Great Britain. He was of the uninformed view that ‘We in B’dos have no African customs, folk-​lore or anything of the sort,’ and he spoke of ‘the somewhat absurd idea of Mother Africa.’ 1 However, in a reminder of the sometimes-​contradictory nuances that make up anyone’s sense of personal identity, Collymore was, as Baugh also notes, proud of his mixed heritage and “ ‘furious’ at being identified as a white Barbadian” (4). Collymore traced his heritage to a mix of colonial and enslaved settlers; his great-​grandmother, Amaryllis Phillips, had been born into slavery on the island, and emancipated only through marriage to a white man.While his own attitudes to Indigeneity seem hard to pin down, today the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award still exists with its aim “the enhancement of the body of indigenous literature,” with Collymore seen by many as “closely associated with the birth and development of an indigenous literary/​cultural practice” (Gregg 46). As Claire Irving has noted, contradictions and complexity are at the heart of many mid-​twentieth-​ century Caribbean periodicals’ redefinitions of what Indigenous could, or might, mean: although they were clear in their aims of having an indigenous literature, the form this should take, or how this could be achieved, was something that the magazines struggled with over this period. These magazines display a real desire for a West Indian literature, distinct from, but building on that of the colonial power. 78 This desire complicates attempts to classify magazines like Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al not just through the term Indigenous, but also through oft-​associated labels such as colonial and postcolonial and leaves many questions remaining with regards to how we should begin to unpack and frame their representations of Indigeneity.

Indigeneity and Modernist Experiment It is perhaps unsurprising that scholars have turned to modernism—​a term that has itself undergone expansion in “temporal, spatial, and vertical directions” (Mao and Walkowitz 737)—​as a framework through which to study Indigenous literatures, especially as fields such as Native, Indigenous, and Postcolonial Studies continue to evolve in new ways, and as the rapid emergence of new materialist approaches to literary studies continues to uncover new textual objects of study. Susan Stanford Friedman’s assertion that “modern, modernism, and modernity” are “contradictory terms resisting consensual definition” reflects the shift over the last two decades that saw scholars stress increasingly the global, plural aspects of modernism, their terminological probing revealing “more sites for examination with each new meaning spawned” (497). The Caribbean has since received increasing attention as a site of modernist experiment. Mary Lou Emery has described “the significance of the plantation to the emerging concept of the planetary in modernist studies” (51), while Stephen Park has argued that “the hemispheric turn in American studies” shows how “the work of a few Pan-​ American modernists [...] challenged the body of knowledge being produced about Latin America and the Caribbean” (15). These inquiries reflect Emery’s contention that “the emerging field of Caribbean modernist studies opens new narratives of the past and new models for time and space” (51). Against this renewed focus on the Caribbean, the term “Indigenous modernism” has emerged (not just in relation to the Caribbean) to refer “not to art that emulates Western modernisms, but to art that engages with experiences of modernity from an Indigenous perspective—​a notion with profound consequences for how modernism is generally conceived and theorized” (McLean n. p.).1 But do Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al engage with modernity from Indigenous perspectives? The answer is yes, but with the same caveats repeated above: their engagements with Indigeneity and modernism 134

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are frustratingly hard to pin down at points, and often possible to read only through inference. Both magazines rarely use the term modernism. Instead, they tend to skirt around it by referring to experimental writing, which is in turn sometimes elided with a sort of implied, collective Indigeneity that staves off or resists colonial rule. Of course, as with most of the contents in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al, this is not so much said but implied in discussions that are often bound up with issues of identity and, to a degree, the revised definition of Indigeneity as a condition shared by Caribbean-​born (i.e., not necessarily Carib or Arawak) writers seen in both magazines. What “counts” as Indigenous is thus not simply about identity or nationalism but also about legitimizing specific iterations and ideals of identity and nationalism in specific places/​contexts—​literary or otherwise. Take A.J. Seymour’s article,“The Little Review.” Published in 1950, the essay reflects on Kyk-​Over-​ Al’s position in a network of other little magazines. Seymour discusses Trinidad’s The Beacon, which ceased publication in 1936, Barbados’s Forum, and Collymore’s Bim, which he praises for its “dislike” of “mass production” and “preservation of individuality” in its promotion of “significant writing in the West Indies” (“The Little Review” 205). Seymour hints at the unique link between experimental writing and the (post)colonial in Caribbean magazines: it is difficult to over-​estimate the importance of the little reviews appearing in the West Indies because they have been and still are the nursery of literature. Literary and intellectual groups in a colony use them as an outlet for their work and also as a medium for experimental writing; and in their pages we can see how the West Indian writer is creating his poetry, short stories, novels and plays and how he discusses the quality of his social and historical scene, preserving memories of the past, building a public attitude where the local traditions are woven into the pattern of daily living, and generally developing island and regional cultures. “The Little Review” 204 Seymour’s argument—​that “intellectual groups in a colony” use magazines to develop “experimental writing”—​implies that writers who sought publication in magazines like Kyk-​Over-​Al and Bim turn to an Indigenous past of “local traditions” and “memories” almost as a way of combating colonial rule. The act of “developing island and regional cultures” is aligned almost with a defiance of colonial rule: intellectuals living “in a colony” use magazines as vehicles for work which, the implication suggests, would not otherwise be able to “escape” or be “out there.” In some ways, this alignment is typical of what Ernest Gellner termed the “new nationalism”—​a type of nationalism grounded in “shared culture” and a deep interest in “lineage” (83). Here, “low,” local, “folk” cultures are elevated into “high” cultures as a means and mechanism around which to consolidate collective identities from radical differences, to anchor those identities in “shared” histories/​languages/​cultures, and then to use that baseline as a jumping off point for collective futures. We see this promotion of nationalism and regionalism as a vehicle through which to articulate an apparent sense of shared histories and futures in many articles in both Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al. In a special “Anthology of West Indian Poetry” volume of Kyk-​Over-​Al in 1952, Seymour declares that “the purpose of the anthology would be to introduce the poets of the region to the people of the British Caribbean” (“Preface” i). The language used here—​“poets of the region”—​presents contributors as united in an almost countercultural position to “the people of the British Caribbean.” Again, the terms “Indigenous” and “colonial” are not directly used, but the inference is there.Yet, the “poets of the region” do not always privilege Indigenous modernisms—​“art that engages with experiences of modernity from an Indigenous perspective”—​over “Western modernisms.” In the 1960s, for example, several articles in Bim praise the modernisms of writers like Eliot or Hemingway, with John Figueroa’s “Homage à Eliot” reworking several of T.S. Eliot’s phrasings—​the “automatic hand” of the typist in the Waste Land replaced with the “suggestive hand” (100) of the actress. Additionally, the phrase “poets 135

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of the region” is fraught with difficulty. Does Seymour mean Indigenous first inhabitant writers, or writers born in the Caribbean in general? Given that the contributors to the “West Indian Poetry” issue he is introducing include Una Marson, Frank Collymore, E.R. Roach, George Lamming, and Derek Walcott, “poets of the region” seems again to reinforce the revised definition of Indigeneity the magazine always operationalized.

Conclusions In the pages of Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al, Indigeneity operates almost on a two-​fold basis. On the one hand, we see Indigeneity in its original context: as a representation and assertion of the first inhabitants of the Caribbean; on the other, we see attempts to conceptualize Indigeneity as a way to define a postcolonial, post-​slavery sense of identity, community, and belonging in place for Black writers and intellectuals that served specific needs for specific communities in specific contexts. These attempts saw writers as disparate as Frank Collymore, George Lamming, and Derek Walcott grouped under the Indigenous label on account of their birth in the Caribbean. As recently as 1985, a review in Kyk-​Over-​Al refers to Eric Walrond through this definition. Born in Georgetown, Guyana,Walrond is described as “one of the earliest indigenous Caribbean writers” (Benjamin 37). Interestingly, in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al, this notion of a postcolonial, post-​slavery Indigenous collective operates alongside, rather than in mutual exclusion from, aboriginal Indigeneity. As the magazines continued publishing into the 1980s and ‘90s, several contributors appear who explicitly self-​identify or are directly referred to as Indigenous in this sense. In a 1992 issue of Kyk-​Over-​Al, Herbert Innis describes himself as “an Amerindian Guyanese” (“Kyk No 43 Contributors” i). Bim published the work of writers like Jan Carew, who claimed to be of “Carib blood” (Carew 57). This dual Indigeneity places peoples descended from Indigenous Arawaks and Caribs into the same category as writers descended from Black and white settlers.While some may claim this impulse is designed to achieve unity and/​or destabilize barriers of race and nation, this elision remains dangerous. Reading references to Arawaks and Caribs in these periodicals shows how aboriginal Indigeneity inheres, but is often muted, by post-​/​settler-​colonial senses of Indigeneity, and also how the term ‘Indigenous’ itself remains a hotly contested signifier of identity, community, nation, and belonging in multiply occupied and colonized spaces like the Caribbean. It is almost as if Indigeneity became a pluralistic construct in Bim and Kyk-​Over-​Al; as time passed and the Caribbean moved through the colonial era and into its decolonial, post-​Independence phase, terms like “West Indian” or “Caribbean” began to be used to express a cohesion between writers irrespective of race, creed, or island habitation. However, to develop and apply any sort of cultural label—​especially in the case of the newfound promotion of “West Indian” literature—​also runs the risk of invisibilizing collective identities and individual stakes at work in concepts of nation and place. The definition of what it meant to be “West Indian” remained vague in both Bim and Kyk-​ Over-​Al, with little reference made to Indigenous Caribbean peoples and how they might partake, or have already partaken, in the development and evolution of this apparently new West Indian literary movement. Yet, as we have seen with the case of Frank Collymore, to scrutinize writers and their claims to Indigeneity risks enacting a dangerous form of identity politics (or perhaps policing) and, in some cases, perpetuating settler-​colonial dynamics of erasure and dispossession. It is, after all, impossible to know conclusively whether a writer like Eric Walrond, who was born to a Guyanese father and Barbadian mother, could or could not claim any sort of Indigenous Caribbean heritage. However, as much as magazines and their editors sought to revise or expand definitions of Indigeneity that only included first inhabitants of the Caribbean, this sort of redefinition of what it meant to be Indigenous runs the risk of further invisibilizing already under represented and ignored peoples and communities. Kyk-​Over-​Al aimed “to be an instrument to help forge a Guianese people and to make them conscious of their intellectual and spiritual possibilities” (Seymour “Editorial Notes” 7). However, the extent to which “Guianese people” includes Indigenous Guyanese remains unresolved and unclear. 136

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Similarly, Bim aimed to function as a magazine that “has its roots in a particular region,” but the ways in which Indigeneity intersects with this idea of regionalism (and its relationship to nationhood and nationalism) are hard to pin down and at times problematic (Lamming 66). The modernisms of both magazines, like their representations of Indigeneity, are pluralistic, evolving, and difficult to categorize, with frustratingly few references to how Indigenous Arawak and Carib cultures contribute to the kinds of literary experimentation both magazines advanced. Yet perhaps this is the inevitable outcome of looking at two complex, evolving serial print objects emerging from the multiply colonized space of the Caribbean spanning over eight decades and two centuries. Bim and Kyk-​Over-​ Al oscillate between local and regional, regional and international, colonial and postcolonial, and notions of Indigeneity that—​much like the magazines themselves and the Caribbean literatures they represent—​continue to evolve, demanding further study and theorization.

Note 1 Much work has been undertaken recently with regards to definitions and articulations of Indigenous peoples and their literatures. See, for example, Mark Rifkin’s exploration of “Indigenous temporalities” (viv) and the recent “Indigenous Modernities” PrintPlus cluster for Modernism/​modernity https://​mod​erni​smmo​dern​ity. org/​for​ums/​Ind​igen​ous-​mode​r nit​ies.

References Alsopp, Richard. “The Language We Speak-​IV.” Kyk-​Over-​Al 5.17 (Year-​End 1953): 235–​44. Andersen, Chris. “Indigenous Nationhood.” Native Studies Keywords. Eds. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2015. 180–​98. Baugh, Edward. “The Blossoming of Caribbean Literature: the Life and Work of Frank Collymore.” The Walter Rodney Lecture, 18 March 2010, University of Warwick, Warwick, United Kingdom, Lecture. Benjamin, Joel. “The Lesser-​Known Tradition of Guyanese Fiction: a Preliminary Bibliographical Survey.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 31 (June 1985): 37–​46. Breiner, Laurence. “A Casualty of Caribbean Decolonization: The Poet Eric Roach.” Pacific and American Studies, vol. 5 (2005): 53–​62. Carew, Jan. Ghosts in Our Blood: With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean. Chicago: Lawrence Hills Books, 1994. Collymore, Frank. “Notebook.” Bim, vol. 6, no. 22 (1955): 65. Collymore, Frank and Therold Barnes. “Four West Indian Writers.” Bim, vol. 7, no. 25 (July–​Dec. 1957): 32–​3. Dathorne, Oscar Ronald. Caribbean Narrative: an Anthology of West Indian Writing. London: Heinemann, 1965. Dolphin, Celeste. “Waramurie.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 2, no 6 (June 1948): 30–​1. Emery, Mary Lou. “Caribbean Modernism: Plantation to Planetary.” The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms. Eds. Mark Wollaeger and Matt Eatough. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. 48–​77. Figueroa, John. “Homage à Eliot.” Bim, vol. 8, no. 30 (Jan–​June 1960): 100. Friedman, Susan Stanford. “Definitional Excursions: The Meanings of ModernModernityModernism.” Modernism/​modernity 8.3 (2001): 493–​513. Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2008. Gregg,Veronica Marie. Caribbean Women: An Anthology of Caribbean Non-​fiction Writing. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 2005. Ingham, Henrietta. “I, Who Was Blind.” Bim, vol. 8, no. 31 (July–​Dec. 1960): 198–​9. Irving, Claire. Printing the West Indies: Literary magazines and the Anglophone Caribbean 1920s–​ 1950s. 2015. Newcastle U, PhD Dissertation. Jackson, Shona N. Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012. ———​. “The Re/​Presentation of the Indigenous Caribbean in Literature.” The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature. Eds. James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014. 520–​36. “Kyk No. 43 Contributors.” Kyk-​Over-​Al 43 (June 1985): i. Lamming, George. “Introduction to Bim.” Bim, vol. 6, no. 22 (1955): 66–​7. ———​. The Pleasures of Exile (1960). Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1992. MacDonald, Katherine. “Review of Shona N. Jackson, Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean.” New West Indian Guide, vol. 88, no. 3–4 (2014): 343–​45.

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Louise Kane Mao, Douglas and Rebecca Walkowitz. “New Modernist Studies.” PMLA, vol. 123, no. 3 (2008): 737–​48. McLean, Ian. “Indigenous Modernisms.” The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Web. Published 09/​05/​2016. doi: 10.4324/​9781135000356-​REM178-​1 Moody, Alys and Stephen Ross, eds. Global Modernists on Modernism: an Anthology. London: Bloomsbury, 2020. Park, Stephen M. The Pan American Imagination: Contested Visions of the Hemisphere in Twentieth-​Century Literature. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2014. Ramchand, Ken. The West Indian Novel and its Background. London: Faber, 1970. Ramsaran, J.A. “Notes on the Antiquity of Creole Remedy.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 5, no. 16 (Mid-​Year 1953): 145–​7. Rifkin, Mark. Beyond Settler Time: Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-​Determination. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2017. Roach, Eric. “Fugue for Federation.” Bim, vol. 7, no. 26 (Jan–​June 1958): 75–​6. Roberts, Eric. “Chalk Hill.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 3, no. 12 (Mid-​Year 1951): 137–​9. Rojas, Roberto Valcárcel, Jason E. Laffoon, Darlene A. Weston, Menno L.P. Hoogland, and Corinne L. Hofman. “Slavery of Indigenous People in the Caribbean: An Archaeological Perspective.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology, vol. 24 (2020): 517–​45. Saranillio, Dean Itsuji. “Settler Colonialism.” Native Studies Keywords. Eds. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2015. 284–​300. Sarkar, Sucharita.“Indigeneity and the Motherline: Contrasting Two Caribbean Women Writers.” Ruminations: the Andrean Journal of Literature (2017): 3–​17. Seymour, A.J. “Editorial Notes.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 1945): 7. ———​. “Historical Background.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 2, no. 10 (Apr. 1950): 193–​203. ———​. “Preface.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 4, no. 14 (Mid-​Year 1952): i–​v. ———​. “The Little Review.” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 2, no. 10 (Apr. 1950): 204–​8. Teves, Stephanie Nohelani, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja. Native Studies Keywords. Eds.Teves, Smith, and Raheja. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2015. Tuck, Eve and K.Wayne Yang. “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, vol. 1, no. 1 (2012): 1–​40. Waites, J. Arthur. “Is There a West Indian Culture?” Kyk-​Over-​Al, vol. 2, no. 9 (Dec. 1949): 5–8.

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10 NATIVE/​BLACK BIRDS Voicing the Ruptures of Modernity through Joy Harjo’s Indigenous Jazz Poetics Audrey Goodman

I am singing a song that can only be born after losing a country. Joy Harjo (Muscogee), Conflict 7 “We Were There When Jazz Was Invented,” proclaims Muscogee writer, musician, and US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in the title of a poem published in Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, as well as in many other poems and interviews about her music. Harjo’s statement asserts an intertwined creative history for Muscogee Creek citizens and Black creators of jazz music in the Mississippi Delta and suggests that music may have promoted trans-​cultural and trans-​Indigenous alliances in North America. In an earlier interview with poet Eugene Redmund, she speculated on the mutual effects of cultural exchange for Indigenous and Black communities and the potential of recovering their shared histories: I wonder what our music was like before the arrival of European governments (we dealt with Spain, France, England, and now the United States) and Africans. The movement of our stomp dances is around the fire, counterclockwise. I understand that is the direction of dances in some of the West African tribes who were forced here. I can imagine camaraderie between our peoples. We provided a harbor of sense. “A Harbour” 29 Because Muscogee people welcomed others into their territory, she suggests, they had the opportunity to adapt elements from African, Euro-​American, and other Indigenous cultures into their music and ceremonies. As I read Harjo’s claims for Muscogee presence at the place and time when jazz was invented, it means both bearing witness to the emergence of new sounds and participating in a practice of cultural exchange that continues into the present. Taken together, Harjo’s poem and statement foreground the importance of land and place in the process of calling back memory. They acknowledge the locations and sources of Muscogee knowledge while recognizing how dynamic cultural exchange continues to transmute that knowledge into new forms and modes of expression. Like scholars Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland, who seek to discover “what intimate conversations and negotiations took place between blacks and Indians in the long years after their first encounters” (3), in her search for jazz’s origins Harjo voices the ruptures of modernity and explores the languages that could repair them. She invites her audience to locate themselves within intercultural contact DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-13

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zones and hear the sounds that refuse to sustain settler-​colonial power structures and rhetorics. Countering singular and separate histories of enslavement and colonization, as well as modernist rhetorics of race and blood, Harjo maps cultural intersections on Muscogee lands and in the modern world, and she affirms contemporary Native identity through ceremony rather than biological inheritance. She represents through her writing the voices that remember and continue to speak of the ruptures created by settler-​colonial modernity, including breaks in families, dislocations from native lands, and erasures of traditional songs and stories. In response to her expanding awareness of the uneven effects of these ruptures, Harjo creates an Indigenous jazz poetics: one that simultaneously adapts a modernist aesthetics of fragmentation and combines poetry and oral storytelling with elements of traditional and contemporary music. This poetics articulates an understanding of indigeneity as practiced rather than inherited, shared but expressed differently by Native and Black artists in the US. By remapping sites where Indigenous people were removed as places of cultural intersection in the past, present, and future, Harjo sings into being the physical and discursive places where relationships among those who survive can be remade. Taking Harjo’s body of work as a case study, this chapter explores how the creolized practices and forms of Indigenous jazz poetics reconfigure the divisions between past and present and between traditional and contemporary modes of cultural expression that structure colonial modernity. It extends the critical process of “rethinking modernity” that modernist studies scholar Susan Stanford Friedman proposes in Planetary Modernisms as not a single period but as a hybrid temporality that continues into the present as new nations emerge from colonial rule. As Friedman explains, “Declaring the end of modernism by 1950 is like trying to hear one hand clapping. The modernisms of emergent modernities are that other hand that enables us to hear any clapping at all” (91). Friedman’s emphasis on the variety of global modernities complicates an oppositional notion of modernity as constituted by its “hidden face,” or coloniality; it prompts a rethinking of modernity’s cultural locations. Focusing on Native lands as material and imaginary sites of cultural production, as I do in this chapter, decenters colonial maps that privilege urban and cosmopolitan cultures. In addition, this chapter builds on recent scholarship that proposes alternate spatial figures for conceptualizing race and Indigeneity, notably Paul Gilroy’s notion of the Black Atlantic, Tiffany King’s theorization of the Black Shoals, and Shona Jackson’s analysis of creole Indigeneity.1 Acts of naming and writing the violence inflicted on African and Indigenous bodies and cultures and performances of ceremonial practices that reclaim Indigenous lands are essential strategies for resisting the ruptures of colonial modernity, King argues powerfully in The Black Shoals. With its shifting contours and palimpsestic layers, a jazz meeting ground such as Harjo envisions, like the shoal King theorizes, “opens up other kinds of potentialities, materialities, and forms” (8). Unlike the “sound of the Indian” that defined modernist-​era expectations of Indian music in recordings, films, and concert halls (and has been analyzed so perceptively by Philip Deloria), improvised music such as jazz changed with each performance. Thus, it offers what Gilroy calls “stubborn” resistance to a fixed soundtrack of Indian modernity that substituted fantasies of tradition for the creolized music that asserts Indigenous presence and cultural expression.2 Attention to the locations where such creolized forms are produced, as well as to the conditions of their performance, further promotes a rethinking of the colonial power structures that enforced a fixed “Indian” identity in the twentieth century. I focus on how Harjo’s strategies of revising jazz’s sounds and origin stories from a Muscogee-​centered perspective express indigeneity in Jackson’s sense, arguing that as this poet registers the settler-​colonial ruptures that divided her relatives in Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015) and An American Sunrise (2019), she creates literary forms that imagine new networks of relation. To do so, she assembles cultural materials from multiple modernisms: she pays tribute to Black poets and jazz musicians; tells stories of Muscogee origins, removal and return; and incorporates into her free verse African and Indigenous ceremonial rhythms, dances, and songs that carry her speakers toward a more inclusive conception of home.

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Indigenous Ways of Listening to a Blackbird In responding to, synthesizing, and revising traditions of Native and Black music and jazz poetics, Harjo and other contemporary Native artists could be seen as “opening up the concept of formal rupture to a wide array of representational engagements with modernity” and thus as leading the way in the practice Friedman proposes is a “planetary modernist poetics” (71). Such a poetics might be seen as a musical counterpart to the modernist practice of interrogating visual epistemology evident in poet Wallace Stevens’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” published first in Harmonium (1923) and included in his Collected Poems (92). In Friedman’s reading, Stevens’s poem demonstrates that knowledge is contingent upon the viewer’s/reader’s location and perspective. Because “seeing is multifaceted,” one must keep moving around the blackbird in order see its multiplicities. “Resist fixity, finality, single perspectives,” (52) Friedman advises. Harjo, too, has taken Stevens’s poem as a model for figuring the gaps between visual ways of seeing and embodied sources of knowledge. When crows and other blackbirds appear in Harjo’s poetry, both the speaker and the birds remain in motion; Harjo’s speaker serves as witness as she records their sounds, whether as noise, song, or speech. Harjo’s blackbirds thrive not in the upper realms of the physical or imaginative world but in those chaotic, transitional sites on the ground where intersecting histories are not yet fully visible and where identities are still emerging. For example, the early poem “Desire,” published in In Mad Love and War (1990), “which could not have been written without ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,’ ” ponders the mind of the blackbird seeking “to understand /​a pine tree” and then proceeds to multiply the solitary bird into a flock and relocate the flock into an imaginary “heaven.” Rather than coolly appraising the scene, Harjo’s speaker brings desire into her body—​“Say I chew desire and water is an explosion /​of sugar wings in my mouth” (52)—​before she leads her lover into the woods where the blackbird perches.Transforming Stevens’s static and wintry setting into the warmer and familiar Muscogee landscape of the southeastern US, Harjo’s speaker proposes, “Say we enter the pine woods at dawn,” and together they journey toward a future characterized by constant radiant light and plenitude. While the presence of the blackbirds creates an active and compellingly material vision of heaven, it also lures Harjo’s speaker into a liminal space where she can listen to the songs that fill an imaginary homeland and carry her beyond the boundaries of a blackbird-​filled wood. Harjo’s blackbird poetics, which involves countering the silences created by coloniality, re-​storying Native lands with intersectional histories, and playing with the languages of bird songs, human songs, and jazz music, offers insight into recent critical discourses about music as a means of figuring rupture in modernist, Native, and Black studies. As a creolized form improvised in response to encounters with other cultures, whether those of Europeans, Africans, or other Natives, jazz combines traditional musical elements carried from each homeland with new sounds and rhythms. Drawing from Gilroy, Friedman interprets jazz as constituted by the kind of “heightened hybridizations ... [that] both characterize modernity and help bring it into being” (155). Formally marked by repetition, revision, and rhythmic play, jazz can be understood as encompassing “wide-​scale material, psychological, spiritual, representational, and epistemological dislocation” (62). Jazz registers “sharp ruptures from the past” and pursues openings into “new futures,” (154) according to Friedman, and as it does so it produces different affects in Native, Black, and white listeners. Cherokee scholar Daniel Justice elaborates on rupture as a keyword of modernist and Native studies as he considers the damage wrought by settler colonialism on Indigenous people and communities: “In both its noun and verb forms, rupture speaks of violence, violation, fragmentation, pain” (186). Rupture as he deploys the term refers to the severing of bonds between people and places, to the acts of destroying cultures and continuity, and it’s rarely “a good thing,” he admits. Nonetheless, “ruptures, too, can be read,” Justice proposes; “The absences tell stories of their own.” In music, such absences can be expressed as a broken melody or as a fusion of opposing rhythms.

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In Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, Harjo explicitly reflects on the arrival of settlers as a moment of rupture that creates absences repeated over time, absences that might be understood to correspond to the “breaks” in jazz; then she offers songs to begin the imaginative work of healing. She writes, Those who could see into the future predicted the storm long before the first settler stepped on the shores of the Mvskoke story. What was known in both worlds broke. In jazz, a break takes you to the skinned-​down bones.You stop for a moment and bop through the opening, then keep playing to the other side of a dark and heavy history. 105 Set on a single page surrounded by wide margins, this prose poem emerges from deep white space, and it continues to meditate on the notion of “break” introduced in “We Were There.” In both poems, the break interrupts the progression of time and opens a way back toward a prior existence, “[b]‌efore this maverick music was invented” (23). It announces the speaker’s promise to renew and complete a journey. On the next page, “Sunrise Healing Song” envisions a future in English and Muscogee, claiming the arrival of “Shining persons” and advising readers to “Open your being” (106). This is a song “transformed by pressure,” as Harjo writes earlier in this collection, born from “unspeakable need ... a song that can only be born after losing a country” (7). Harjo’s attention to moments of rupture as repeating and echoing through the ongoing history of conquest in her jazz poetry provides a key example for Jodi Byrd in The Transit of Empire, as well as material for exploring the implications of Shona Jackson’s history and theory of Creole indigeneity. In Byrd’s analysis, jazz embodies violence and fragmentation and voices “the cacophonies of colonialism as they are” (xxvii). Byrd emphasizes that enslaved people were forcibly brought to live in the Mississippi Delta, lands occupied by Muscogee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw people that also became the center of African American culture; in retelling this intertwined history, she cites Harjo as an artist who represents forced dislocation from Indigenous lands as she mobilizes cultural memories and moves between Native, white, African, African American, and natural worlds. Focusing on the colonial history of Guyana, Jackson also considers the friction between conceptions and political uses of creolization for those people native to the Caribbean and South America and for those forcibly brought there.While Creole studies has worked to “transform the negative connotations of Creole as loss to Creole as cultural retention for blacks and also Indians,” (74) Jackson advocates for what she calls the “next leap” in understanding: to conceptualize a process of “Creole indigenous becoming” that requires negotiation between Black and Native claims to belonging and to continue a clearing of the ground on which New World (and modern) identities are built. In both Conflict Resolution and An American Sunrise (2019), Harjo offers a Muscogee-​centered perspective on the role of creolization in the process of Indigenous becoming. While she laments and partially recovers the lost voices of generations of dispossessed and enslaved people, she also incorporates the sounds of country music, the voices of urban Indians, and the noise of the contemporary natural world. She invites her readers to listen through the cacophony for songs and sounds that could orient them toward a new future: “[t]‌he shaking of shells, the drumming of feet, the singers /​Singing, all of us, all at once” (Conflict Resolution 95). When Harjo creates historic and imaginary bonds between Native and Black communities and artists who have been forced to lose their countries, she does so from a “deeply Muscogean” perspective: grounded in knowledge of Creek land; defined by her relationships with other beings; engaged in the spiraled process of recovering origins and envisioning the future; and open to contact, improvisation, and transformation. Such attention to relationships with the land is a critical strategy for making the ruptures and violences of coloniality visible, Seneca scholar Mishuana Goeman explains: “By understanding that space is produced and productive, we unbury the generative roots of spatial colonization and lay bare its concealed systems” (89). In reading Harjo’s poetry, I rely on the Indigenous critical frameworks offered by Muscogee writer and musician Craig Womack, as well as those of Goeman and Byrd; all emphasize the significance of the inland location of Muscogee 142

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territory, the rich history of cultural exchange on that land, and the power of the Creek migration story in understanding Harjo’s complex and tribally specific work. If, as Womack explains, a key characteristic of Creek identity is to keep journeying and setting forth, then Harjo’s explorations of jazz’s origins and its expressive potential enact Muscogee identity. Because of their geographic location, history of removal, and foundational stories, as well as the value they place on open systems of knowledge, Muscogee artists such as Harjo may be especially well positioned to articulate many dimensions of rupture and limn the affects of friction between people and cultures forced to share the same space, these critics suggest. Reading Harjo’s work as a settler scholar, I find Harjo’s patterns of repetition alternately expressive of ceremonial structures and disruptive. They suggest that repeated listening can shift cultural and interpretive frameworks. It seems to me that Harjo creates pauses or “breaks” within and between her poems to teach her readers to listen for gaps and silences; these breaks open access to places in the body or to lands where the origins of coloniality/​modernity can be reimagined: “the skinned-​down bones” (Conflict Resolution 105).Then she creates songs that “bop through the opening,” carrying listeners and readers through “a dark and heavy history” and preparing them to listen for a brighter future (105).This jazz poetics is Indigenous because it reimagines beginning again on Muscogee land and through tribally specific stories and other forms of knowledge. However, as I understand Harjo’s dynamic process of representing and traveling through rupture, her conception of indigeneity is also creolized since it combines Native and Black histories and forms of expression and resists the notion of tribal belonging on the basis of blood or race. During the Allotment era and through the early twentieth century, biological inheritance or “blood quantum” served as a means of imposing definitions of identity on Indigenous peoples in the US and restricting the legitimacy of their land claims.“Blood-​quantum laws were deployed to racialize Native peoples, replacing Native senses of belonging and kinship, which varied across tribal communities before the twentieth century,” Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja assert (200). Rejecting blood quantum laws and racial rhetorics, Harjo asserts senses of belonging and kinship through ongoing and creolized cultural practices. As translated onto the page, jazz poetry both borrows from and disrupts modernist forms as it gives voice to Black and Indigenous experiences of coloniality. When Kevin Young gathered a slim collection of jazz poetry for Everyman’s Library, he introduced the volume by saying that, as a New World art, jazz poetry is extraordinarily open to taking risks, adept at playing with language and line, and attuned to the pull of memory. Jazz poetry makes meaning from the struggles of Black life and “challenges us to hear the world anew,” (18) he writes. My reading of Harjo’s jazz poetry suggests that as a creolized “New World” art, it makes meaning both from Indigenous lives and from the lands where Black and Native experience intersect, overlap, and struggle for sovereignty. It functions as a counter-​archive; it riffs on sounds that might otherwise be lost through historical erasure or through the ephemerality of performance. Meta DuEwa Jones articulates this process in terms of the literary traditions of Black jazz poetry in The Muse is Music when she argues that “the multiple socially constituted dimensions of blackness are mediated through a poet’s prism, steeped in a jazz ethos in which riffs, remembrance, and revision are integral to the tradition of artistic creation” (122). The defining features of Black and Indigenous jazz poetry—​ repetition of phrases and forms, accentuation of rhythm and breaks through punctuation, and invocation of the sounds of other artists—​all work to create a blackbird aesthetic that expresses an ethos of remembrance across racial and cultural divides and offers multiple perspectives on identity and belonging.

From the Sound of the Indian to Tribal Jazz In his chapter on music in Indians in Unexpected Places (2004), Philip Deloria explains that music in the US “has been a primary way of evoking, not simply sounds, or even images, but complete worlds of expectation concerning Indian people, rich with narratives and symbolic meanings” (184). 143

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Beginning with a description of the easily caricatured “sound of the Indian” that has persisted in the popular imagination, Deloria proceeds to offer an array of examples of Native musicians trained through Indian school programs to perform classical, jazz, and other popular music for national audiences. Sketching the successful careers of musical groups such as the US Indian Band, the Indian String Quartet, and the Nez Perceans, Deloria documents the locations and institutions that shaped these and other Native musicians who made substantial contributions to a diversifying national culture. He asks why their contributions to “an inclusive American modernity” have been overlooked and speculates on why their music failed to produce a path to social and political power later in the century. Too often, he argues, the creative relocations and formal innovations of these musicians were not recognized, especially when considered in relation to scholarly and public recognition of the political power of Black music. Demographics and geography provide one reason for the differential, since Black Americans without land clams migrated to cities and substantially created urban modernism, including blues and jazz, and made these new forms accessible to white audiences. “Prepped by decades of musical exchange, jazz entered the modernist vocabulary far more easily than Native American musics,” according to Deloria (238). As a result, Black Arts movements took center-​stage in American musical and popular culture. Following the foundational work of Deloria, scholars have continued to explore the performance histories, politics, and cultural significance of many types of music generated from interactions between Black, Caribbean, and Native artists. Notable recent publications include David W. Samuel’s Putting a Song on Top of It: Expression and Identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation (2006), an ethnographic analysis of the role that local adaptations of popular songs and reggae play in expressing contemporary Apache identity. John Troutman’s Indian Blues (2009), which concentrates on the Allotment era (beginning with the opening of the Carlisle Indian School in 1879), focuses on the politics of Indian dance and musical performance, the mechanisms of musical instruction, and the relation between music and federal Indian policies. More recent studies offer fascinating accounts of how Native musicians synthesized traditional, pop, jazz, and contemporary modes and began to create an Indigenous jazz poetics. In the expansive and engaging Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow (2016), Craig Harris explores the migrations and transformations of songs, dances, and rituals from their practices on tribal lands in the nineteenth century through contemporary performances on the pow-​wow circuit, in rock and jazz music, and by reggae and hip-​hop artists. Harris’s chapter on “Tribal Voices” surveys a powerful range of singers and performers, including big band jazz singer Mildred Bailey (Coeur d’Alene/​Irish), mezzo-​soprano Barbara McAlister (Muscogee), country singer Buffy Sainte-​Marie (Cree), country/​folk singer Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida), vocalist and guitarist Pura Fé (Tuscacora/​Taino/​Corsican), and Diné/​African American singer Radmilla Cody, as well as Harjo. This scholarship confirms the hybrid and creolized mixtures that characterize many performances by Native and First Nations musicians from the Allotment era to the present. The diversity of their musical sources and forms definitively refutes the notion of a singular Indian “sound.” The process of creating contemporary Native music from tribally specific sources can be culturally and politically complicated, however. In the process of reclaiming musical forms and traditions, mixed-​race musicians may open themselves to charges of appropriation; or, as Native musicians achieve broader popularity, the tribal origins of their sound may be obscured or unacknowledged. For example, as recounted by Harris and analyzed in greater depth by both Celia Naylor in “ ‘Playing Indian’?” and Kristina Jacobsen in The Sound of Navajo Country, Radmilla Cody’s performance history as a Black/​Native woman reveals the complex racial and cultural challenges contemporary Native performers might need to negotiate as they claim “their” sounds and defy commercial categorization. Raised on reservation lands by her maternal grandmother and crowned as Miss Navajo Nation 1997–​ 8 for her eloquence in the Navajo language, her performance of a traditional skip-​dance song, and her skill at butchering sheep, Cody endured a critical backlash on the basis of her mixed-​race appearance from Orlando Tom, a member of the Navajo Nation.With the support of her grandmother, however, 144

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she fulfilled the responsibilities of her role and began to record songs “at the intersection of Navajo tradition and African American rhythm and blues” (Jacobsen 87), releasing the albums Within the Four Directions in 2000 and Seed of Life: Traditional Songs of the Navajo in 2002. As Harris notes, the first album included both a Navajo version of the US national anthem and songs narrating life on the reservation, while later releases address her experiences in an abusive relationship that led to her arrest and incarceration for drug-related charges in 2004. Cody continues to perform traditional Diné and contemporary songs in recordings that aim to pass on what she has learned to the next generation and to raise awareness about domestic abuse, confirming ethnomusicologist Beverly Diamond’s claim that contemporary Native and Indigenous women artists express their experiences “where the sharp edges of simultaneously different worlds are brought together” and create music that “insists on both their individuality and on an array of solidarities” (33). Combining musical forms in the service of Indigenous activism, Cody’s performance career foregrounds issues of tribal citizenship and the complex sources of friction in Black and Native cultural relations.3 Meanwhile, other musicians working across jazz traditions from tribally specific perspectives are beginning to come to popular attention for their creolized jazz practices, while new experiments with tribally grounded jazz music and with “languages of jazz” that include performed and written poetry continue to emerge. In 2017, directors Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana surveyed the Native origins of many forms of popular music and made explicit connections between Indigenous, African, gospel, blues, and jazz sounds in the Canadian documentary film Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World. Inspired by an exhibit Stevie Salas (Apache) and Tim Johnson (Mohawk) created for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the film highlights the Indigenous influence on many forms of popular American music. In addition to the well-​known performers featured in the film (Buffy Sainte-​Marie, Jimi Hendrix, and George Clinton, among many others), there are lesser-​known musicians also deserving of future study for their play across Black and Native traditions. Consider Diné jazz trumpet player and composer Delbert Anderson. Trained in classic jazz technique, Anderson was born on the reservation and was exposed to traditional Navajo and church music as a child. With the Delbert Anderson Trio, he has performed around the world, at venues ranging from the Jim Pepper Fest in Portland, Oregon to the Giant Steppes of Jazz Festival in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. His compositions now integrate jazz and Diné elements so as to pay tribute to both creolized and Native traditions. In a recent interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Anderson explained that he considers his music, which combines traditional Navajo chants and war songs with swing and funk, to be “Native jazz”: Many people say there’s no tie between jazz and being Indigenous. I find my art form to be very close to Indigenous popular culture in reference to the history we share with the African Americans of this country. When looking into jazz history and its beginnings, we see culture shock and slavery, which led to the birth of America’s music, jazz. When we look at the history of Indigenous peoples, we see the similarities of culture shock and slavery. Zotigh Whereas Anderson arrives at the term “Native jazz” to describe his creolized music, Harjo distinguishes between how her music has been described and the diverse cultural materials that inspired her compositions. She admits that the sound she created with her band Poetic Justice resists classification. “There’s really no place to fit it in when selling it in a music store,” she says. “I mix hip hoppish kinds of loops with native rhythms and sounds. People hear the saxophone, and they say jazz. I love jazz, but I know jazz well enough to know better than to call myself a jazz player” (“Harbor” 30). Only “non-​jazzers” call her music jazz. To get around the problem, she has qualified the label and created a composite term: “tribal jazz.” While not entirely satisfactory, “tribal jazz” does convey the dynamic 145

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juxtaposition of Native traditional and creolized musical forms that structure her performances and her poetry. Harjo refers to the materials of her music and poetry as “the language of jazz,” a language she first heard in night clubs, one characterized by dissonant sounds and disturbing affects. “Night after night I immersed myself in the language of jazz as interpreted by the jazzers of Denver ... The language of jazz kept me up at night or woke me up early in the morning as I wrote in the manner of horn riffs that carried me over the battlefield,” she remembers (How We Became Human xxv). In response to this creative disturbance, she began to write poetry and learned to play saxophone. At first, friends warned her again jeopardizing her poetry career, “muddying it up or ruining it or distracting myself ” (“A Harbor” 28). She took the risk because she was convinced that poetry arrived in the world “with music on one arm and dance on the other. They remain together in our root indigenous cultures, whether we’re from this continent or Africa or South America or Europe,” (28) she insists. Learning to play the saxophone allowed her to sing with a different voice, one that she associates with the Muskogee/​Creek trickster figure of Rabbit, and to “sing my way through the mess, as had Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Jim Pepper, and all the rest of the mostly unknown,” she attests (How We Became Human xxv). Her poem “Rabbit Invents the Saxophone” tells one version of the instrument’s invention: after “one of the last trails of tears wound through New Orleans /​Rabbit, that ragged trickster, decided he wanted /​To be musician,” she begins (Conflict Resolution 75). Although lacking musical talent, Rabbit knew he needed a band; because he was in New Orleans, “So many tribes were jamming there: African, Native, and a few remnant French. /​Making a new music of melody, love and beat” (75). According to this version of the saxophone creation story, Rabbit took a stick and made it into a horn with his bare hands. The sounds he blew through this new horn “made a rip in the sky” and “trouble wherever it sang” (76).This good trouble brought everyone together to dance rather than to fight, even if it distracted them from their political obligations: after dancing all night, no one came out to cast votes for tribal chief; “They were sleeping.” Harjo immediately follows this story with a second account of the instrument’s creation, referring to the official patent granted to Adolf Sax in 1846, a year of Removal when “the Creek Nation was in turmoil” and in the process of “putting our lives back together in new lands” (77). In this version, Harjo reads the invention of the saxophone through another framework of Creek history, following the instrument’s assimilation into brass bands that circulated in the South. These multiple versions of the saxophone’s origin, which might be considered “riffs” on the instrument’s creation story, reveal how Black, Indigenous, and settler histories are layered in Muscogee lands. Telling one version means forgetting another, at least temporarily. Taken together, these intertwined and overlapping accounts of the invention of one of jazz’s main instruments assert the instrument’s complex creolized identity and present it as a fully human vehicle for calling back memory, creating cacophony, and expressing tribal identity across the ruptures of colonial experience.

Paying Tribute The accessibility, mobility, and visibility of Black jazz music and poetry shaped Harjo’s creative identity long before she became aware of the way songs sustained her relatives through removal and of her family’s rich musical history. In both the interview with Redmund and a note provided for the poem “Healing Animal” reprinted in Feinstein and Komunyakaa’s anthology of jazz poetry, The Second Set, Harjo recalls a “revelatory moment” in her childhood that suddenly made her aware of how poetry began. Listening to the car radio while driving at night with her father, she heard a musician make “a startling bridge between familiar and strange lands.” It was Miles Davis playing jazz trumpet. She explains, I don’t know how to say it, with what sounds or words, but in that confluence of the hot southern afternoon, in the breeze of aftershave and humidity, I followed that sound to the 146

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beginning, to the place of the birth of sound. [...] My rite of passage into the world of humanity occurred then, via jazz. Feinstein and Komunyakaa 212–​13 Like the multiple versions Harjo provides of the saxophone’s origin, this account of her own “revelatory moment” is one that she riffs on and revises in other interviews, poems, and footnotes. Moments of revelation, however powerful and transformative, can return and continue the process of transformation. Note how the disruption caused by epiphany and the healing language of transcendence intertwine in this recollection, creating a spiraled pattern of naming, recovering historical knowledge, and moving through rupture that distinguishes Harjo’s Indigenous jazz poetics. Only later did she discover that within her own family there was a deep saxophone-​playing tradition. Her grandmother Naomi Harjo played the instrument at a time when Native women jazz musicians were unexpected. “She was Indian, female, and thus blows away (literally and figuratively) stereotypes of native women and music,” Harjo explains (“A Harbor” 27). As this statement suggests, her sense of relation includes but goes beyond the family, including the work of other Native and Black musicians similarly drawn to synthesize and remake musical traditions. Harjo came to identify many other musical and poetic models, both Black and Native. In Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, Harjo continuously remaps her speaker’s sources of inspiration and her journeys toward the imaginary and geographic origins of jazz, whether in her body’s memory or in the Mississippi Delta. In the book’s very first prose poem, Harjo’s speaker locates herself in the same hotel room where Louis Armstrong slept, creating a space where, “Under the red moon of justice, I dream with the king of jazz” (3). In another prose poem she envisions her saxophone voicing and integrating the sounds of her musical ancestors: When I blow my horn, I depend on the assistance of the winds ... I hear my saxophone ancestors beginning with Lester Young, Ben Webster, John Coltrane to Jim Pepper, and hear the ancient guardian of the grounds calling out in each direction with a conch shell.We are all here, they tell me, still singing about where we have been and where we are going. 27 Later, while listening to the G blues scale, her speaker envisions “ships from Africa and Europe,” as well as “my people dancing in a widening spiral beneath circles of star nebula” (85). As Harjo’s jazz poetics mobilizes and relocates these musical and ceremonial traditions at the intersection of Native and Black territories, it simultaneously pays tribute to Black musicians and revises jazz’s narratives of origin as multiple, relational, and in motion. It invites readers to listen for the presence of her relations, “voices buried in the Mississippi mud,” as in the poem “New Orleans,” through the sounds translated on the page and grounded in Muscogee knowledge and geography. In Womack’s estimate, Harjo’s poetry “is famous for moments of grace when a person sees connections between herself and multiple worlds that cross both spatial and temporal distinctions, as well as many other boundaries” (391). Harjo’s jazz poems create expansive and intersectional alliances by juxtaposing and integrating all of her musical relations.4 Harjo’s musical performances and poetry build from powerful innovations of other Black jazz musicians as well, responding to the ways their sounds create languages of jazz that seem to transcend time and place and mobilize resistance to racism. Miles Davis’ ability to incorporate individual and collective suffering into his sound inspired her: “The trick is using the stuff of failures to construct something beautiful. Miles did that with his horn: took the nastiness of racism and braided it into songs” (“A Harbor” 26). She also found inspiration in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” the writing of Ugandan poet Okot p’Bitek, and the dub poetry of Jamaican writer Linton Kwesi Johnson (How We Became Human 234, 215). As Miles and Holland state, historical relations between African Americans and Native Americans in the US have been “adversarial,” as “Southern Indians owned blacks and slaves and black buffalo soldiers served in the 147

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U.S. military as a unit charged with crushing Native resistance movements and enforcing Native detention on reservations.” Racism has been “part and parcel of the interracial imaginary” (10). And yet, so, too, have dreams of transforming experiences of oppression into expressions of freedom. Claiming promised lands has been part and parcel of the interracial imaginary in the US and, more specifically, in the regions in the South and Southwest most familiar to Harjo, regions where Native and Black people lived in proximity. In an address delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, in 1968, King proclaimed the ethical imperative of recognizing a shared world and learning “to live together as brothers” lest the nation “all perish together as fools.” He defined the challenge ahead as making the world “one in terms of brotherhood” (“Remaining Awake”). In terms of her own life and writing, Harjo speaks of moving “between this outside world and the inside world of my tribal ceremonial grounds” (“A Harbor” 29). Her jazz poems break through these boundaries and keep songs and stories in transit between outer and inner worlds and between musical forms and cultures in order to create an active vision of an interracial community. Further evidence of how Harjo both figures settler-​colonial rupture and creates relations across generations, regions, and races can be found in her encounters with and rewritings of Kaw/​Creek saxophonist Jim Pepper’s music. The popular album Pepper’s Pow Wow combines traditional songs by Pepper’s father and folk singer Peter La Farge with Pepper’s arrangements on saxophone. As Bill Siegal contends, it “has become something of a musical ‘bible’ for Native artists as a vehicle for affirming modern Native American identities and artistic expression” (50). Pepper experimented with many different types of music throughout his career, playing “free jazz” with Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, jazz standards, pop, rhythm and blues, and his own compositions that revised Native Baptist church hymns and paid tribute to Custer’s defeat (Siegel 51–​3). In Harjo’s experience, Pepper’s musical fusions constitute “the language of jazz” that she seeks to translate into poetry and story.The speaker in her poem “We Were There” evokes a “disturbed music” when “the ceremonial fire was /​dissembled, broke and bare, like chord breaks /​forgetting to blossom” (Conflict Resolution 22). This noise first jars her awake and then directs her composition. To counter the disturbance, she dreams a “sweet prophet of sound,” a “Mvskoke acrobat of disruption” (22). In this poem, she works sweetness into the disruption and redefines struggle as vulnerability through her play with rhythm and language. Early in the poem, when the speaker is struggling and lost, she samples a chant from Pepper: “Wey yo hey, wey yo hey yah hey” (21). As her speaker seeks guidance from a bear prophet and he advises her to listen for a saxophone, she revises the chant and slows down the rhythm through breaking the phrases with a period: “Wey ya hah. Wey ya hah. All the way /​down to the jamming /​Flowers and potholes” (22). Through shifting the meaning of the word “bear” and then sustaining the sound while changing the meaning of the word to “bare,” she rewrites her speaker’s history of struggle as a young Native mother in Albuquerque (a period of life characterized as “What a bear”) into a transformational journey. The “bear” of her pain becomes a “bear prophet” who guides her toward a vision of holiness. She sees a woman with a “bare /​Perfect neck” like the curve of a saxophone suddenly emerging “in the break of the phrase,” a woman whose nakedness embodies a “sweet dark love” that “bares /​It all” (23). And just as Harjo plays with the sounds and meanings of “bare” and “bare” in the poem, she also tests the sounds and meanings of “holy:” “It was a holy mess, wholly of our folly, drawn of ashes around the hole /​Of our undoing” (22). The homonyms “holy and wholly,” “whole and hole” mix up fantasies of spiritual transcendence with realities of human error, states of wholeness with evidence of gaps and fragmentation. With the image of love that appears in “this incubation of broken dreams,” Harjo’s speaker both suspends the liminal hour of midnight and imagines the beginning of a new day that will “carry that /​ girl all the way back /​To the stomp grounds where jazz was born. It’s midnight” (22). In another poem that pays direct tribute to Pepper, “The Place the Musician Became a Bear,” Harjo contrasts the steady illumination of the moon and the stars with the instrument’s unpredictable tune: “A saxophone can complicate things” (How We Became Human 114). As Harjo learned through listening to the astonishing virtuosity of Charlie Parker, however, such complications and rash flights from earth can self-​destruct; in the tribute poem she wrote for Parker, “Bird,” she imagines him “born 148

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with nerve endings longer than our bodies” and stunned by pain, following the music to “the place those nerve endings dangle” (73). Parker’s fingers may be “hot from miracles,” but they’re too reckless to remember what it takes to survive. In her poetry Harjo responds to the intoxicating sounds that she hears in Black jazz music such as Parker’s with deep understanding and a determination to resist the lure of self-​destruction. Her jazz poetics emerges in places of contradiction and through affects of friction as it works through the tension between the desire for escape and the necessity of protest in order to survive in the contemporary world. A similarly dangerous horizon emerges in the radical music of John Coltrane, to which Harjo responded unequivocally. “I have always loved John Coltrane because of what I feel in his music,” she claims. “He went directly to the origin of creation” (Harjo, “Sherwin Bitsui”). So powerful was Coltrane’s sound, his relentless effort to transcend the limits of his body, and his discovery of love and of God that he inspired a distinctive literary genre, “the John Coltrane poem.” This genre spans generations, from poets who looked to his sound as the embodiment of Black nationalism in the 1960s to contemporary post-​soul poets who integrate knowledge of the ever-​expanding Coltrane archive (Jones, The Muse 96–​7). Jazz historians and scholars of jazz poetry have provided full and provocative introductions to the genre and to strategies of reading the work of Coltrane-​inspired poets such as Michael Harper, Sonia Sanchez,Yusef Komunyakaa, and Elizabeth Alexander. For many, Coltrane’s sound seems to articulate a specifically Black language of jazz and to embody the voice of racial protest; then and now, the tribute poems amplify Coltrane’s cultural power and his radical restructuring of musical sensibilities (Feinstein and Komunyakaa 121). Jones’s chapter on the genre additionally explores its “gendered contours,” considering how contemporary writers re-​hear the song Coltrane wrote in protest of the church bombing in Birmingham in 1963, “Alabama,” and rework it “as the vehicle for resurrecting black bodies from the deafening, deadening clutches of historical erasure” (The Muse 86). Harjo’s “Coltrane Poem” reworks the musician’s powerful message through Indigenous locations, bodies, and songs. Entitled “Healing Animal,” it was originally published in In Mad Love and War (1990), at the center of a section entitled “Mad Love,” and included in The Second Set (1996). In this poem, which explores the incendiary power of love in a world conceived as “our musical /​ jazzed globe,” the speaker aims to heal the physical aches of her companion, who suffers from what she imagines to be a “pained animal kneading /​your throat” (In Mad Love 38–​9). To counter the suffering caused by inner wildness, extravagant desire, and life’s “bittersweet roots,” she offers the balm of her poem (“the perfect sound /​called up from the best-​told stories /​of benevolent gods”) and a vision of transcendence. She aims to create language that could withstand and be part of the knowledge of love, “Like the way Coltrane knew love in the fluid shape /​of a saxophone.” Coltrane’s music also leads Harjo’s speaker to reflect on the relation between jazz and traditional Native music. In the poem’s second part, she invites the reader to listen from a different location: the O’odham or “Papago center of the world,” where a Native trombone player creates uncannily familiar sounds for listeners accustomed to traditional Papago music. Comparing the process of adapting tribal traditions that she recognized in the trombone performances of “Chief ” Joe Moore, a Pima/​O’odham musician who played in bands with Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, the speaker aligns these jazz sounds with tribal songs and imagines that they enter immediately into a “collected heartbeat.” At the end of the poem, the speaker addresses both Coltrane and her companion, figuring their music as “a crystal wall with a thousand mouths” that voices everything from train noise to sounds that can’t be named in language, before the “breaking light” of dawn closes the curtain on their cacophony. In place of the wild and potentially destructive fire of love and desire that she witnesses and tends in this poem and throughout this section of the book, at the end of the poem Harjo envisions a fire “slowly kindled in the village of your body” and promises her reader that “you will sing forever” (39). By transforming the wildfire to a “homefire,” the poem creates an intimate architecture for protecting the song’s power. The healing fire simultaneously tends to the artist’s suffering body, transforming it into an instrument capable of singing into the future, and activates the power of love and creative ambition within a 149

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newly envisioned, shared homeland. Following this poem, which was dedicated to jazz poet Michael Harper, readers of Mad Love encounter “Rainy Night,” dedicated to Billie Holiday. This poem, too, calls a troubled singer back home: “Billie /​you come home now,” the speaker pleads; “we would hold you closer than /​the pain /​you felt you deserved” (40). The fusions of sound and the affective pathways created in these tribute poems imagine how new listening communities might emerge in zones where Black and Native histories and bodies intersect. In Harjo’s work the figure of “home” functions as a place of refuge, an assertion of Muscogee identity, and a site for creative expression, and the poems that respond directly to the power of Black jazz musicians and writers invite these artists into such intersectional territory. With its emphasis on love, its global vision, and its advocacy of nonviolence, Harjo’s poetics builds as well from Dr. King Jr.’s powerful notion of a “beloved community” that could emerge in the aftermath of nonviolent protest; such a community founded on love could be the foundation for a “great revolution” and allow for the emergence of a new world order that King Jr. envisioned as a replacement for the “old world” defined by colonialism and imperialism.5 In the poem “Goin’ Home,” positioned at the center of Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, Harjo’s singer offers yet another tribute to Coltrane and brings the artist into her own tribal and creative space where nonviolence and love prevail. The lyrics of this transcribed song address many forms of love—​romantic, erotic, familial, cosmic—​ and advise listeners to remember their ancestors and to keep the touch steady and light: “Don’t forget: hold somebody’s hand in the dark” (54). The words at the center of the poem, as well as the jazz rhythms that introduce the performed version, allude to and extend Coltrane’s late masterwork, A Love Supreme. Uttered as a refrain in this new context, its declaration of “a love supreme” surges across generations, cultures, and performance spaces, re-​emerging as an urgent invitation to follow the jazz horn players into new territory. Although the night ends with an ordinary valediction, “Good night, sleep tight,” the singer won’t let sleep efface memory: “Don’t forget: hold somebody’s hand through the dark,” she admonishes. Then she returns to the refrain “Goin’ home goin’ home,” as if enacting return through the repeated utterance. Her choice to conclude the poem with four lines in Muscogee strengthens the effect of calling the reader into Creek lands. Kul-​ku-​ce cv-​na-​kē, hv-​ya-​yi-​cas-​res Kul-​ku-​ce cv-​na-​kē, hv-​ya-​yi-​cas-​res Kul-​ku-​ce cv-​na-​kē, hv-​ya-​yi-​cas-​res Kul-​ke-​kvs, Kul-​ke-​kvs, Kul-​ke-​kvs 54 For non-​Muscogee readers, these words convey ceremonial power through sound, rhythm, and repetition. When translated, the words also communicate faith and determination: they are the lyrics to the gospel-​turned-​protest song “This Little Light of Mine,” an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. In a New Year’s blog posted at the end of 2007, Harjo credits Rosemary McCombs Maxey for the translation and pairs the song with a Hawai’ian story that instructs listeners how to restore the light of their own spirits.6 By translating, embodying, and relocating this song as the poem’s concluding verse, Harjo’s speaker sounds deep resonances between Black, Native, and Kānaka Maoli traditions of spirituality and resistance while integrating these traditions into an expanded conception of “home.” As she voices these lower and intertwined frequencies, she prepares her readers and listeners to hear clearly perhaps for the first time the urgent message she writes on the facing page to mark the Muscogee New Year: “To understand each other is profound beyond human words.This is what I am singing” (55).

Conclusion This chapter has argued for critical attention to an Indigenous jazz poetics created in the breaks between cultures, races, and locations, one that plays across traditions to articulate the affects and 150

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transformative potential of modernity’s violent ruptures. Through reading the work of Joy Harjo, a poet and performer who moves from and within the complex geographies of Black/​Indigenous modernity and continues to explore the power of Muscogee language, knowledge, and story, it has demonstrated how a blackbird aesthetic can work the breaks between silence and song, noise and music, speech and poetry. I’ve proposed that Harjo’s jazz poetry creates spaces and occasions for listening for absent and layered histories of colonial modernity, inviting readers to keep relocating themselves and to keep shifting their perspectives. Recognizing that “conquest exists both within the realm of the visual and ‘sayable’ and outside of it,” (King 49) Harjo’s integration of visual, spoken, and musical languages urges readers to see and to articulate relationships between Black and Native artists in the US in unexpected places. The poems collected in Harjo’s An American Sunrise further echo and amplify the protests against racial injustice voiced by jazz poets associated with the Black Power movement while envisioning future sites of nonviolent protest and empowerment. Linking Black and Indigenous experience, they transcribe and revise songs that “traverse memory” (34) to create new routes toward “home.” In the titular poem, Harjo riffs on the iconic jazz poem by Gwendolyn Brooks “We Real Cool,” carrying forward Brooks’s knowledge of the power and the vulnerability of a Black collective consciousness to reflect on its relevance to contemporary Native lives. As with her riffs on the exhilarating sounds of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, in her revision of Brooks’s poem she counters a self-​destructive outcome (“We Real Cool” ends with the confident pool players dying young) with a declaration of survival. She foregrounds acts of remembrance, including Native involvement “with the origins of blues and jazz,” as well as her knowledge of the value of her relations, and concludes with a defiant assertion of collective presence: “Forty years later and we still want justice. We are still America. We.” (105). In reworking this iconic verse by Brooks (as when rewriting “This Little Light,” writing her own Coltrane poems, and creating what is perhaps the only poem honoring Pepper), Harjo declares the complex sources of her memory and imagination and incorporates the sounds of her artistic ancestors into a Muscogee-​centered prophetic voice. Her poetry articulates shared experiences of oppression, negotiates new understandings of traditional forms and tropes such as “song” and “home” through a creolized aesthetic, and calls multiple communities into being, providing a powerful example of how an Indigenous jazz poetic can follow routes of sound through both traditional forms of expression and the cacophonies of colonial noise. To witness the continued invention of jazz in the present through Harjo’s Indigenous jazz poetics is to listen to the voices of the past and to speak the truths needed for the future.

Notes 1 I will be using the terms Indigenous and Native throughout this chapter to refer to people with pre-​existing sovereignty and communal identity prior to colonization in the US.When discussing the creative work of Joy Harjo, I specify her Muscogee (or Mvskoke) identity and citizenship. When addressing the idea of “the sound of the Indian,” I use the term Indian to indicate the cultural conception of Indigenous and Native people as invented by US settler culture. 2 Gilroy describes black musical forms as “stubborn” in their anti-​modern resistance to categorization as traditional or modern; I borrow his characterization here to extend the notion to Native jazz forms that sustain multiple relations to temporality. 3 Some of the musicians mentioned by Harris receive more detailed analysis in the finely researched chapters assembled by Jeff Berglund, Jan Johnson, and Kimberli Lee for the essay collection Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop (2016). Johnson’s chapter in this book, for example, situates the performances of Peter La Farge and Redbone within the context of the Red Power Era, while Lee argues for hearing Buffy Sainte-​Marie’s songs as protest music for those involved in struggles for Civil Rights and the Indian Rights movement. 4 I leave more detailed analysis of the politics of performance and the contested cultural status Black artists in Indian territory, including those descended from Cherokee Freedman, for a future study. For Harjo’s perspective on the decision to exclude the Freedmen from citizenship, see her column for the Muscogee Nation News in April 2007, included in her blog: joyharjo.blogspot.com/​2007/​05/​.

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Audrey Goodman 5 On King Jr.’s conception of a “beloved community,” see “Nonviolence and Racial Justice.” 6 February 1957. For King Jr.’s vision of a “new world order,” see “The Birth of a New Age,” delivered in Buffalo, New York, 11 August 1956, and “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” delivered at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, 2 June 1959. 6 See Harjo’s blog entry for 23 December 2007: joyharjo.blogspot.com/​2007/​12/​.

References Bainbridge, Catherine and Alfonso Maiorana, directors. Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World. Montreal: Rezolution Pictures, 2017. Berglund, Jeff, Jan Johnson, and Kimberli Lee, eds. Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop. Tuscon: U of Arizona P, 2016. Bitsui, Sherwin. “Sherwin Bitsui by Joy Harjo.” Bomb, vol. 145 (Fall 2018). bombmagazine.org/​articles/​sherwin-​ bitsui/​. Accessed 25 September 2020. Brooks, Gwendolyn. Selected Poems. New York: Harper, 1963. Byrd, Jodi A. Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2011. Deloria, Philip. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2004. Diamond, Beverly. “Native American Contemporary Music: The Women.” The World of Music, vol. 44, no. 1, Indigenous Popular Music in North America: Continuations and Innovations, Verlag fur Wissenschaft und Bildung, 2002, 11–​39. ———​. The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2003. Feinstein, Sasha and Yusef Komunyakaa, eds. The Second Set: The Jazz Poetry Anthology, Volume 2. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1996. Friedman, Susan Stanford. Planetary Modernisms: Provocations on Modernity Across Time. New York: Columbia UP, 2015. Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1993. Goeman, Mishuana. Mark My Words: Native Woman Mapping Our Nations. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2013. Harjo, Joy. An American Sunrise. New York: W.W. Norton, 2019. ———. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings. New York: W.W. Norton, 2015. ———​. “A Harbor of Sense: An Interview with Joy Harjo.” Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds. Eds. Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland. Durham: Duke UP, 2006. 25–​30. ———​. How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002. ———​. In Mad Love and War. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 1990. ———​. “Sherwin Bitsui.” Bomb, 5 December 2018. bombmagazine.org/​articles/​sherwin-​bitsui/​ Harris, Craig. Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2016. Jackson, Shona N. Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012. Jacobson, Kristina. The Sounds of Navajo Country. Durham: U of North Carolina P, 2017. Jones, Meta Du Ewa. The Muse is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to the Spoken Word. Urbana-​ Champaign: U of Illinois P, 2011. Justice, Daniel Heath. Why Indigenous Literatures Matter. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurer UP, 2018. King, Jr., Martin Luther. “The Birth of a New Age.” 11 August 1956. Stanford University Online King Records Archive (OKRA). kinginstitute.stanford.edu/​king-​papers/​documents/​birth-​new-​age-​address-​delivered-​11-​ august-​1956-​fiftieth-​anniversary-​alpha-​phi. Accessed 23 April 2021. ———​. “Nonviolence and Racial Justice.” 6 February 1957. Stanford University Online King Records Archive (OKRA).      https://​kingin​stit​ute.stanf​ord.edu/​king-​pap​ers/​docume​nts/​nonv​iole​nce-​and-​rac​ial-​just​ice. Accessed 10 May 2022. ———​ . “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” 31 March 1968. Stanford University Online King Records Archive (OKRA). kinginstitute.stanford.edu/​king-​papers/​publications/​knock-​midnight-​ inspiration-​g reat-​sermons-​reverend-​martin-​luther-​king-​jr-​10. Accessed 23 April 2021. King, Tiffany Lethabo. The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies. Durham: Duke UP, 2019. Miles, Tiya and Sharon P. Holland, eds. Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country. Durham: Duke UP, 2009. Naylor, Celia. “ ‘Playing Indian’? The Selection of Radmilla Cody as Miss Navajo Nation, 1997-​1998.” Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds. Eds. Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland. Durham: Duke UP, 2006. 145–​63. Samuels, David W. Putting a Song on Top of It: Expression and Identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2006.

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Native/Black Birds, Indigenous Jazz Poetics Siegel, Bill. “Jazz and the Politics of Identity: The Spirit of Jim Pepper.” Indigenous Pop. Eds. Jeff Berglund, Jan Johnson, and Kimberli Lee, Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2016. 47–​60. Stevens, Wallace. The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. Teves, Stephanie Nohelani, Andrea Smith, and Michelle H. Raheja, eds. Native Studies Keywords. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2015. Troutman, John W. Indian Blues: American Indians and the Politics of Music. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2009. Womack, Craig S. “Theorizing American Indian Experience.” Reasoning Together: The Native Critics’ Collective. Eds. Craig S. Womack, Daniel Heath Justice, and Christopher B. Teuton. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008. 353–​410. Young, Kevin, editor. Jazz Poetry. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Zotigh, Dennis. “ ‘The Swing of the Navajo Heartbeat and the Improvisation of Navajo Chants’—​Musician Delbert Anderson.” Smithsonian Magazine, 20 April 2018. www.smi​thso​nian​mag.com/​blogs/​natio​nal-​mus​ eum-​ameri​can-​ind​ian/​2018/​04/​20/​delb​ert-​ander​son-​jazz-​music​ian

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11 CASUALTIES OF MODERNISM The Affects and Afterlives of Kent Monkman’s Automobiles Deena Rymhs

Kent Monkman (maškêko-​ininiw /​Swampy Cree) is a multimedia artist whose work responds critically and playfully to aesthetic movements ranging from early frontier landscape painting to contemporary performance art. A frequently remarked characteristic of Monkman’s oeuvre, whether it be his luminous paintings of colonial landscapes populated with two-​spirits and frontiersmen engaging in acts of sexual pleasure, or his cheeky performances as Miss Chief who bursts through history and its renderings on Western art’s canvases, is the virtuosity with which his work addresses the political and libidinal. Despite the humor of much of his work, Monkman’s art also lands on the more serious struggles facing Indigenous communities today, issues that include generational trauma from residential schools, disproportionate rates of incarceration, industrial contamination of homelands, inadequate living conditions on-​and off-​reserve, and gender and sexual violence. Monkman’s unique engagement with these realities has captured the attention of diverse audiences interested in the counter-​narrative told in his work, a narrative that emphasizes, above all, the resilience and vibrancy of Indigenous life. With many of his paintings revisiting recognizable moments in making the Canadian nation, Monkman’s oeuvre could be characterized by the national and historical specificity of its commentaries. This is particularly true of his Shame and Prejudice exhibition, commissioned for Canada’s sesquicentennial. Monkman explains the genesis of this exhibition: “With Canada celebrating 150 years, most Indigenous people are thinking, what does this mean to us personally? What does it mean for our families and communities to be inside a country that has perpetrated a genocide against us?” (qtd. in Enright 30). Many of the works in Shame and Prejudice are critical responses to the celebration of Canadian nation-​building in a style that is provocative and at times jocose. An example is The Daddies, a work that recreates Robert Harris’s iconic Fathers of the Confederation painting in an obvious rejoinder to national narratives. A reconstruction of the 1864 meeting that ratified the resolutions for Canadian Confederation, Monkman’s representation of this group portrait turns an irreverent eye at the mythmaking performed by Harris’s original painting. The 37 white faces of the delegates (or “daddies,” as Monkman mockingly calls them) are all turned toward Miss Chief, who, lying naked on a Hudson’s Bay Company blanket, directs the scene. The Daddies not only reinserts Indigenous presence into this act of history that established Canadian governance over Indigenous people and lands, but it splices together history and the present. Miss Chief is naked but for the Hudson’s Bay Company blanket draped beneath her and the Christian Louboutin heels on her feet. The Hudson’s Bay Company blanket, today a ubiquitous symbol of Canadiana, invokes for Monkman 154

DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-14

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“the imperial powers that dominated and dispossessed Indigenous people of their land and livelihood” (qtd. in Enright 28). A vestige of the fur trade and early (global) capitalism, the blanket is a symbol of Indigenous labor, ecological degradation, and the disruption of traditional lifeways. As recognizable and iconic as the Hudson’s Bay Company blanket are the Louboutin stilettos worn by Miss Chief. Seemingly anachronistic to the historical scene of the painting, the blood-​heeled shoes are a symbol of accumulation and conspicuous consumption—​a logical fulfilment of the capitalist economies set in place as the British empire mined the New World for resources to fuel its industrialization. While Monkman’s work is known largely for its incisive commentary on Indigenous-​settler relationships in the context of Canadian nation-​building particularly, his painting, performance, and installation art engage with aesthetic movements that transcend the nation. Moving through various periods of art history—​from the Renaissance masters to Romantic landscape artists, from the modernists to recent conceptual art—​Monkman’s art explores the ideologies that shaped their representational styles. His paintings adopt these different aesthetic styles not for sheer visual parody. Rather, they are interested in the assumptions that produced such ways of seeing and the lasting political legacies that continue to diminish Indigenous personhood and political claims. The sublime landscapes of nineteenth-​century North American artists like Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, George Catlin, and Paul Kane rendered Indigenous people a topographical absence. The habits of seeing that informed these works cannot be separated from broader projects of dispossession taking place at the same time. Monkman roundly calls out the luminist painters for seeing the land “as vacant, empty and up for grabs,” a blindness that he corrects by re-​populating their picturesque landscapes with disruptive figures like Miss Chief (qtd. in Enright 37). He further explains the thinking behind his Triumph of Mischief series: A lot of what I was doing was commenting on the ideology behind those paintings. Indigenous people have had relationships to the mountains, the waters, the trees, to everything for thousands of years. Then, within a very short period of time, you have European settler artists rendering the natural landscape as though it were the Garden of Eden. Those landscapes are Indigenous lands that end up being appropriated for a completely different purpose. My initial attraction was that they were being used to promote a Christian ideology and the imperative of colonization. qtd. in Enright 37 If the Romantics were inspired by the spiritual power of the land, they overlooked the power that land held for Indigenous peoples who had lived on it for millennia. Those enduring relationships were brushed over by early settler artists whose images, as Monkman notes, promoted the inevitability of colonization. These frontier landscapes reflected a cultural moment, but they did more than that: their imagery shaped and naturalized ascendant ideologies of the period. While it is easy to recognize the doctrine of terra nullius inflecting the frontier landscapes of the late nineteenth century, less examined has been Monkman’s engagement with periods of art history following the Romantics. The disappearing of Indigenous subjects—​not just from the frame of post-​impressionist landscapes, but also through Indian policy that involved the mass abduction and institutionalization of Indigenous children, theft of lands, indifferent management of infectious diseases, and overt violence—​intensified as the nineteenth century turned over to the early twentieth century. Modernist art of this period produced another Noble Savage, one whose aesthetics, forms, and narratives were worthy of appreciation primarily through their appropriation and rebranding as Primitivist art. Modernist borrowings of Indigenous forms and stylizations represented an incomplete encounter with the tribal-​specific practices, ontologies, historical circumstances, political struggles, and everyday realities of the people behind those material cultures. Informed by the salvage paradigm that dominated anthropology, art collecting, and literary cultures of the early twentieth century, modernist sensibilities rendered Indigenous people absent much like their predecessors had done the 155

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century before. Painted as tragic casualties of history on the brink of extinction, Indigenous people were seen as ceding their knowledge to cultural stewards who would preserve it after they were gone. The early twentieth century continued to be a time of great turbulence and devastation for First Peoples, and this devastation makes it impossible to think about the aesthetic movements that emerged at this moment as separate from the political and economic events that defined the early half of the century—​specifically, the dispossessions and eliminatory practices of settler colonialism that made North America into what it is today.The lasting cultural, political, and psychological effects of this period on Indigenous people are rarely mentioned in relation to modernist literary studies. Robert Dale Parker points out that mainstream modernist studies is only now beginning “to face the indigeneity it has neglected and trampled over” (Parker).1 This silence is especially difficult to reconcile given modernism’s concurrence with the eras of allotment, termination, and relocation in the US, and, in Canada, the intensification of government control over Indigenous peoples through repeated amendments of the Indian Act that banned religious ceremonies and collective gatherings (including potlatches, powwows, and sun dances), mandated Indigenous children’s institutionalization in industrial or residential schools, and restricted Indigenous people’s movement through what was known as the pass system. Monkman’s paintings and installations offer such an intervention from an Indigenous perspective. In what follows, I explore Monkman’s response to the modernists, a response that exposes the misrecognitions and violence of their aesthetics. Curiously, Monkman’s critique of modernism occurs in part through the wrecked automobiles that appear in many of his paintings incorporating modernist aesthetics. Although automobiles appear with striking frequency throughout Monkman’s oeuvre, the cars and trucks in the specific paintings that I will discuss signify something different than, say, the automobiles in Monkman’s installation, The Big Four2 (a title that calls to mind the “Big Four” auto manufacturers but also, more importantly, the Four Directions in reference to the various counter-​mappings performed by the installation). Unlike the rez cars in The Big Four, which thematize the creative adaptations of Indigenous people living, working, and connecting with each other across Indian Country, the wrecked cars in works like Reincarceration and Lamentation spell violence, collision, and denouement. As meditations on the multiple casualties of mobility infrastructures and turbo-​capitalism, these particular paintings invoke what Kristen Simmons calls “settler atmospherics”—​“the normative and necessary violences” of settlement that accrue, adapt, and continue to constrict Indigenous life in the settler state today (Simmons).

Monkman and Modernism Monkman’s critical engagement with modernism offers a clue to understanding the signifying power of automobiles in many of his recent works. Referencing the figurative styles of artists like Ossip Zadkine, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, and Pablo Picasso, his paintings expose the flattening, fragmentation, and objectification of Indigenous people and their vibrant cultures. Reflecting on his performance piece Casualties of Modernity, Monkman remarks that “the cubist figurations look like damaged people, like their bones have been broken, or they’ve been run over by a truck. I’ve been casting these Modernist figurations as casualties of violence or disease” (Nagam and Swanson 33). In that performance work, which Monkman also mounted as an installation, Miss Chief visits the modern wing of a museum, which is also a hospital. Lying on a hospital bed is a Cubist female form resembling one of the figures in Picasso’s Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon. Her human form is reduced to a pile of cut-​out pieces assembled on the bed. The face of the female, also rendered on a flat planar surface, resembles a Fauve mask with its hard angles and lines mimicking Picasso’s appropriation of African and Oceanic sculptural forms. The installation captures the colonial gaze of Cubism and Primitivism, which Monkman in turn treats as “pathology” and “disorder” (Casualties, “Our Casualties”).3 Picasso’s adaptations, along with those of Matisse, Giacometti, and other artists credited with revolutionizing Western art, “perverted the traditions of Oceanic and African art,” 156

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remarks curator Dawn Cain (Casualties, “Our Facility”). For Monkman, this reductiveness and theft serve as a metaphor for the treatment of Indigenous cultures and people. Although modernist aesthetics and their attendant violences were applied to white subjects, Monkman’s work suggests that, for Indigenous people still vulnerable to these violent ways of seeing, the modernist legacy has not merely been a chapter of art history. The Cubist female form appears again in Monkman’s painting, Death of the Female (Figure 11.1). The setting is an urban street in Winnipeg where a group of Indigenous men stand beside a broken Picasso-​esque woman, presumably the victim of a hit-​and-​run. Two Indigenous figures plucked from a George Caitlin painting watch on as bystanders, as does a Titian angel (perhaps representing Christianity as passive, silent witness). Writing about Picasso’s aesthetics, Monkman remarks, “he butchers the female nude” (Enright 32). It is instructive to contrast, for instance, Death of the Female with Monkman’s painting, The Three Graces (Figure 11.2). Celebrating real Indigenous women’s bodies, the figures in The Three Graces are an obvious departure from the flattened, disaggregated geometry of the Picasso female form in Death of the Female. Monkman’s painting, Reincarceration (Figure 11.3), is a further critique of modernist aesthetics. Ghost-​like figures resembling Giacometti’s spiritually-​starved forms appear from the background of the painting. Emaciated and exhausted, the figures have just escaped from Stony Mountain Penitentiary. Reincarceration is a commentary on the cycle of incarceration, beginning with residential schools and continuing through the prison. (Architecturally, the prison structure in the painting resembles the outward appearance of many residential schools.) Further, and more poignantly, this work links these institutions—​and even incarceration itself—​with modernist aesthetic ideologies. The modernist human forms emerge from these structures starved and dehumanized. In this image also appear abandoned, broken-​down cars signaling the violent consequences of the economic and social institutions that accompanied the modernist period, also one of the most brutal eras for Indian policy in Canada. Against the industrial prison structure (which once imprisoned

Figure 11.1  Kent Monkman, Death of the Female. 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 84” x 126”. Image courtesy of the artist.

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Figure 11.2  Kent Monkman, The Three Graces. 2017. Acrylic on canvas. 60” x 48”. Image courtesy of the artist.

Chiefs Big Bear, One Arrow, and Poundmaker after the 1885 Northwest Rebellion) and the broken-​ down cars littering the landscape, Reincarceration foregrounds the power of nature, even in such a traumatized landscape as this.The human subjects become re-​embodied as they engage in a collective and earth-​g iven act of healing. Water, fire, smoke, and grass symbolize the land’s healing capacity to renew the wearied bodies and spirits of the human subjects. The power of these elements gestures toward Indigenous ontologies that recognize trans-​corporeal exchanges between people and their environments.

Automobiles Abandoned and wrecked automobiles appear in so many of Monkman’s paintings that their metaphoricity urges consideration. These automobiles are not just visual details contributing to the 158

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Figure 11.3  Kent Monkman, Reincarceration. 2013. Acrylic on canvas. 48” x 68”. Image courtesy of the artist.

mash-​up of allusions and temporalities in his work, but they are cultural objects indexing a system of capital accumulation and social hegemony. The connection between automotive culture and modernity is elaborated by Enda Duffy who describes the car as “modernist mobile architecture” that offered to the masses “new intensities of sensory perception” (6). By World War I, the automobile was the most coveted commodity of consumers (Duffy 8). Duffy’s consideration of the motorcar and modernity crystallizes a larger point made by other critics about the car’s fungibility as sign and fetish.4 Paul Gilroy ponders “the uniquely intense association of cars and freedom in black culture,” reading back into this history a critique of consumer capitalism (82). While the car has typically been regarded as a democratizing force—​a crucial agent, for instance, in civil rights organizing in rural communities during Jim Crow5—​Gilroy argues that the car re-​entrenched segregation through new racially-​drawn and class-​based geographies. Using post-​war “white flight” from urban areas as his example, Gilroy insists that such migration “was not just accomplished by means of the automobile, it was premised on it” (94). Against the grain of predominant historicizations of the automobile as offering a form of democratic inclusion, Gilroy characterizes cars as “the most destructive and seductive commodities around us” (82). In a further illustration of the relation of mobility infrastructures to structures of power and discipline, Eric Avila’s illuminating work on the US Interstate Highway Program (officially called the National Interstate and Highway Defense Act) examines the racial and class divisions that were entrenched by the construction of highways. Despite its claims of scientific objectivity, highway planning “followed the coordinates of power, money, and ideology” (Avila 50) and ultimately divided American cities into “isolated parcels of race and class” (Avila 1). Avila looks specifically at the material effects of the interstate highway system on cities like Los Angeles, Oakland, Minneapolis, and Chicago, where disenfranchised and racialized urban communities were the most vulnerable to the social and environmental destruction of such projects. Moving outside of Avila’s urban and US focus, one could expand Avila’s analytics to the construction of roads and highways in Canada, 159

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which were also nation-​building projects serving industrial, neocolonial interests today. Far from being neutral spaces, roads evoke histories of political contestation as well as personal and collective experiences of trauma. The disappearance of several Indigenous women along British Columbia’s Highway 16, known as “The Highway of Tears,” and along numerous other roads and highways in Canada creates a topography of violence where roads come to signify, among many things, immobility and necro-​politics. The rise of automobile manufacturing, and the social-​economic moment called Fordism, occurred in tandem with the emergence of modernism. Fordism, which marked the historical transition to monopoly capitalism, shaped and organized modern life and subjectivity. Fordism is shorthand for what was at the time a new regime of accumulation that brought revolutionary changes in production, including the fragmentation of work and crafts into the mechanical system of the assembly line. This organization of modern life led to an estrangement from the elemental in which nature became seen as commodifiable resource. The later twentieth century was shaped by a high modernist confidence in the value of harnessing nature for human purposes. The industrial economies that justified this view of nature not only saw nature as expendable but introduced a host of environmental challenges—​leached fluoride, mercury, heavy metals, and chlorine-​based compounds into lands and waters, in addition to the ecological impact of concrete production. The modernists responded to the dramatically changing social conditions of their time, sometimes as a rejection (through formal adaptations that one finds in Gertrude Stein’s writing, for instance), sometimes as a nostalgic retreat into precapitalist (so-​called primitive) societies, and sometimes as an embrace of fascist ideologies (Ezra Pound’s support of Mussolini and Gertrude Stein’s championing of Marshall Pétain are often cited as such examples). The Fordist model of rationality, functionality, and efficiency was perhaps most apparent in modernist architecture, which became synonymous with centralized corporate power as well as the gentrifying bulldozer. This “functionalist, abstract, technology-​worshipping aesthetic” (Gartman 129) was not only apparent in modernist architectural forms (think of Le Corbusier’s structures), but also in the visual arts (Mondrian’s paintings, for example). Even though some modernists like Yeats and Eliot sought to resolve the dislocations of this new social and economic order by reviving old traditions, the modernist sense of time was still “directional and developmental,” notes David Gartman, inflected by a telos of progress that juxtaposed the modern with the pre-​modern (123–​5). One could think of no more obvious sign of Fordism than the car. The automobile is not only its object of capital, but also of its ideologies. In Death of the Female, the car is the violent vehicle of the hit-​and-​run. Recall Monkman’s description of the “broken bones” of the Cubist forms, looking like “they’ve been run over by a truck” (Nagam and Swanson 33). The automobile, then, is an extension of the aesthetic and economic systems that are part of the modernity that Monkman critiques (Figure 11.4). The crumbling architecture of Winnipeg’s inner city that appears in Death of the Female and other paintings from this same series references the abandoned homes and storefronts that occurred with White flight.The racialized geography of the inner city and suburbs, as Gilroy reminds us, were an outcome of the automobile. In the canon of Indigenous literature and film, cars—​rez cars, specifically—​often figure as central characters: in Smoke Signals, Velma and Lucy’s car that can drive only in reverse; in Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country, the blue Windstar minivan that Louise Erdrich describes as kin; in The Rez Sisters, the van with bald tires that transports the women to the biggest bingo in the world (and breaks down along the way). These are but a few examples of the comedic, yet poignant, stories told through automobiles—​stories of resourcefulness, creative improvisation, survival, and the insistent need to travel. Kelly Greene’s Haldimand Coupe, annie ross’s Forest One, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’s Coppers from the Hood, and Dana Claxton’s Mustang Suite add to this archive of art that leverages the economic, political, and cultural symbolism of the car while re-​encoding it with idiosyncratic meanings reflective of Indigenous life. These relatively recent examples are prefigured by an earlier archive of Indigenous writing, including John Joseph Mathews’ Sundown, John Milton 160

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Figure 11.4  Kent Monkman, Lamentation. 2013. Acrylic on canvas. 48” x 36”. Image courtesy of the artist.

Oskison’s Brothers Three, and Alexander Lawrence Posey’s Fus Fixico Letters, in which automobiles or automobility are of central importance. In Indians in Unexpected Places, Philip Deloria challenges the numerous ways in which Indigenous people are imagined as outside modernity and technology. This view of Indigenous people as suspended between nostalgia and modernity, Deloria argues, revealed more about the longings of post-​industrial settler culture than it reflected the daily realities of Indigenous people. Given the isolation and segregation of many Indigenous reserves and reservations, especially in the early part of the twentieth century, the automobile was a particularly valuable commodity. Its value went further, Deloria points out, in cultivating supra-​tribal affiliations with communities distant and near (153). 161

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The cars that appear in Monkman’s paintings tell a different story, however. The mood that these automobiles evoke is of grief and anger unfolding from the violent collision course of history. In Struggle for Balance, an automobile has been set afire in an image representing familiar moments of protest by Indigenous communities. A conceit for political affect, the cars in these images, as well as in later paintings, reference late capitalism and its discontents. Miss America, from Monkman’s Continental series, depicts cars as the currency of globalism (Figure 11.5). The paintings from his Continental series are awash in clichés and reductionism. Their “contrived depthlessness,” “schizoid” character, and “brutal aesthetics of shock,” to borrow Terry Eagleton’s description of post-​modern art, “embrace the language of commerce and the commodity” in grand spectacle (194). If Monkman’s Continental Series indulges this descent into the bathological, his painting, The Scream, suspends the sensibilities of the modernists and post-​modernists alike. An allusion to Munch’s iconic painting, The Scream abandons abstraction for a style of painting that is demystifyingly direct and realistic. The painting depicts an Indigenous mother having her child ripped from her arms by priests, nuns, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A reference to modernism in its title only, the visual representation of this painting depicts grief from an undeniable source. While “Munch was deliberately obscure about the meaning of his painting,” Monkman remarks, “in my painting there is no question what was happening; there’s nothing mysterious about it” (qtd. in Enright 40). Shown as part of the Shame and Prejudice exhibition, the seven-​by-​eleven-​foot painting appeared in a black room framed by cradleboards as well as haunting outlines of missing cradleboards signifying children stolen from their families. The cradleboards and their outlines stand in for the ghostly absences of children whose ability to return to their homes was severed, and whose movements were regulated by the state from this moment forward. In an interesting development, Monkman later reproduced The Scream on skateboards in collaboration with Colonial Skateboards, owned by Cree-​Saulteaux artist Michael Langan.6 Associated with youth like the victims of the residential school, the medium of the skateboard is also a mode of

Figure 11.5  Kent Monkman, Miss America. 2012. Acrylic on canvas. 84” x 132”. Image courtesy of the artist.

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mobility, and, one might say, political remobilization. With ties to anarchism, punk culture, and urban spaces, the skateboard defies the regulated movement of traffic in concrete infrastructures. In moving this image to the skateboards, Monkman’s work makes a broader movement outside the museum and gallery, disseminating its commentary to communities on the ground and away from the culturally elite spaces associated with modernist art.

When Wastelands are Homelands Skateboards, cradleboards, automobiles: each is an instrument of mobility rife with political signification in Monkman’s work. Monkman’s landscapes are unsettlingly picturesque in their deliberately uncanny representations of Romantic and frontier aesthetics.They interrupt the traditions they mimic because they repopulate these landscapes with histories rendered absent by terra nullius. They further reveal how the colonial picturesque objectified the environment in ways that later became the literal ground for land theft and extractive resourcism. Inflecting Monkman’s paintings is a consciousness of the aftermath of post-​industrial modernity, an estrangement from the environmental and elemental signified by the wrecked automobiles. The broken-​down cars are a reminder of the economic and cultural hegemonies in which modernism inevitably participated. Modernism’s synchronized relationship to a regime of accumulation that was part of the settler-​colonial project in Canada and the US makes it difficult to see it as an innocent witness to the various forms of dispossessions that occurred in the early twentieth century—​dispossessions both artistic (for instance, the fetishization of the “primitive,” which created markets for the appropriation and plunder of the material cultures of people assumed to be disappearing) and material (namely, the expropriation of lands that were the logical extension of this paradigm of disappearance). The capital accumulation and ecological destruction indexed in the sign of the motorcar have much to do with Indigenous lands. Its infrastructures and extractive industries have often been the most devastating for Indigenous communities and homelands.7 In multiple interviews, Monkman has commented on his great-​grandmother’s forced relocation from her ancestral land base in Manitoba and the enduring impact of this removal on successive generations, including himself. Automobiles are not only suggestive of the ways in which colonial policy removed and then imprisoned Indigenous communities; they also point to the destructive practices of settler economies of consumption and fossil fuel dependency. The wrecked cars in Monkman’s paintings could be read as a commentary on the entropy, exhaustion, and expiration of the modernist project. From instruments of violence, the automobiles in Monkman’s paintings metamorphosize into artifacts of grief and ethico-​spiritual contemplation.

Notes 1 These reappraisals were set afoot in art history much earlier, as evidenced in the 1991 Smithsonian “The West as America” exhibition and vigorous scholarly interventions into received histories of modernism. See, for instance, Bill Anthes’ Native Modernisms: American Indian Painting, 1940–​1960 and Allan Antiff ’s “Decolonizing Modernism: Robert Henri’s Portraits of the Tewa Pueblo Peoples of New Mexico.” 2 Commissioned by the Glenbow Museum for the centenary of the Calgary Stampede in 2012, The Big Four thematizes the struggle for mobility with its four rez cars at the center of the installation. I explore the “junker” as archive in an article-​length discussion of The Big Four as well as in a chapter of my book, Roads, Mobility, and Violence in Literature and Art from North America. See Rymhs. 3 Monkman’s Casualties of Modernity installation has a website and digital presence: casualtiesofmodernity.com/​ home.html. 4 Henri Lefebvre identifies the motorcar as the “Leading-​Object” of modern life. The automobile, observes Lefebvre, “directs behavior in various spheres from economics to speech” (100). Lefebvre further emphasizes that the car figures in a system of substitutes where its practical function is but a small part of its wider significance.The car, transformed into a fetish object in which it is “consumed as a sign,” substitutes for other aspects of social experience like economic status, citizenship, eroticism, and freedom (Lefebvre 102; emphasis Lefebvre’s).

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Deena Rymhs Recent critical explorations by Stephanie LeMenager, Mimi Sheller, Eric Avila, Nigel Thrift, John Urry, and Cotten Seiler have contributed foundational insights on the social and affective dimensions of automobility. While the automobile’s complex symbolic power has been the subject of illuminating critical inquiry, there remains even more work to be done in understanding the vernacular practices and forms of ideological resistance developed around cars by disenfranchised communities. My book, Roads, Mobility and Violence in Indigenous Literature and Art from North America, furthers this line of inquiry by acknowledging the place of roads within a wider circuitry of industrial networks and administrative power. 5 Writing about herself as a young woman growing up in Kentucky during Jim Crow, bell hooks describes the car as offering an experience of “racelessness,” a prosthetic sense of democratic equality (47). She recalls riding in “a sleek long white convertible” driven by “the white girl from across the tracks” (47). For hooks, this moment evokes the possibility of intimacy and the formation of social bonds against the logic of segregation. She writes: “Its leather seats, the real wood on the dashboard, the shiny metal so clear it’s like glass—​like a mirror it dares us to move past race to take to the road and find ourselves—​find the secret places within where there is no such things as race” (47).Yet, the imagery of mirrors in this passage, combined with the fact that the car is a “white convertible” driven by a young White woman (rather than by hooks herself), invites a different reading than the transcendence of racial structures. 6 Four Continents was also reproduced on skateboards. 7 Take, for example, the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) reserve of Kahnawà:ke, Québec, located 15 minutes from Montréal. The Mercier Bridge looms imposingly over the town. As a further example of the relationship between technologies of mobility and the making of colonial geographies, one might consider the Akwesasne Mohawk people’s struggle against General Motors, whose automobile manufacturing plant contaminated their water and food supply with PCBs. See Winona LaDuke’s “Akwesasne: PCBs and Mother’s Milk.” For an understanding of Indigenous communities’ struggles against oil and gas extraction, see Warren Cariou’s film, Land of Oil and Water.

References Alexie, Sherman. Smoke Signals: A Screenplay. New York: Hyperion, 1998. Anthes, Bill. Native Modernisms: American Indian Painting, 1940–​1960. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2006. Antiff, Allan. “Decolonizing Modernism: Robert Henri’s Portraits of the Tewa Pueblo Peoples of New Mexico,” The Art Bulletin, vol. 100, no. 4 (2018): 106–​32. Avila, Eric. Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2014. Cariou, Warren, director. Land of Oil and Water: Aboriginal Voices on Life in the Oil Sands. Winnipeg Film Group, 2010. Claxton, Dana. The Mustang Suite. 2008. Dana Claxton, www.dana​clax​ton.com/​artw​ork/​the-​must​ang-​suite. Deloria, Philip. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: Kansas UP, 2004. Duffy, Enda. The Speed Handbook:Velocity, Pleasure, Modernism. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2009. Eagleton, Terry. “Awakening From Modernity.” TLS 4377 (20 February 1987): 194. Enright, Robert. “The Incredible Rightness of Mischief: An interview with Kent Monkman.” Border Crossings, vol. 36, no. 3 (2017): 26–​40. Erdrich, Louise. Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country: Travelling through the Land of my Ancestors. 2003. New York: Harper Perennial, 2014. Gartman, David. “Postmodernism; or, the Cultural Logic of Post-​Fordism?” The Sociological Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 1 (1998): 119–​37. Gilroy, Paul. “Driving While Black.” Automobilities. Eds. Mike Featherstone, Nigel Thrift, and John Urry. London: Sage 2005. 81–​104. Greene, Kelly. The Haldimand Coupe. 2015. Kelly Greene’s Art, kellygreenesart.blogspot.com/​2015/​01/​the-​ haldimand-​coupe.html. Highway, Tomson. The Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1988. hooks, bell. Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. LaDuke, Winona. “Akwesasne: Mohawk Mother’s Milk and PCBs.” Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray! Feminist Visions for a Just World. Fort Bragg: EdgeWork Books, 2003. Lefebvre, Henri. Everyday Life in the Modern World. Trans. Sacha Rabinovitch. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. LeMenager, Stephanie. Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century. New York: Oxford UP, 2014. Mathews, John Joseph. Sundown. Norman: Un of Oklahoma P, 1934. Monkman, Kent. The Big Four. 2013. Glenbow Museum, Calgary. —​—​. Casualties of Modernity, casualtiesofmodernity.com/​our-​casualties.html. —​—​. Death of the Female. 2014. Acrylic on canvas. Kent Monkman, www.kent​monk​man.com/​paint​ing/​2014/​ death-​of-​the-​fem​ale.

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Kent Monkman & the Casualties of Modernism —​—​. Lamentation. 2013. Acrylic on canvas. 48” x 36”. Kent Monkman, www.kent​monk​man.com/​paint​ing/​ 2013/​lame​ntat​ion. —​—​. Miss America. 2012. Kent Monkman, www.kent​monk​man.com/​paint​ing/​2012/​miss-​amer​ica. —​—​. Reincarceration. 2013. Kent Monkman, www.kent​monk​man.com/​paint​ing/​2013/​rein​carc​erat​ion. —​—​. The Scream. 2017. Denver Art Museum, Denver. —​—​. Struggle for Balance. 2013, Kent Monkman, www.kent​monk​man.com/​paint​ing/​2013/​strug​gle-​for-​bala​nce. —​—​.The Three Graces. 2017. Kent Monkman, www.kent​monk​man.com/​paint​ing/​2017/​2/​28/​the-​three-​gra​ces. Nagam, Julie, and Kerry Swanson.“Decolonial Interventions in Performance and New Media Art: In Conversation with Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Kent Monkman.” Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 159 (2014): 30–​37. Oskison, John Milton. Brothers Three. New York: Macmillan, 1935. Parker, Robert Dale. “Modernist Literary Studies and the Aesthetics of American Indian Literatures.” Modernism/​ modernity, vol. 6, no. 2, 2021, modernismmodernity.org/​forums/​posts/​parker-​modernist-​literary-​studies-​ aesthetics-​american-​indian-​literatures. Accessed 12 Sept. 2021. Posey, Alexander Lawrence. The Fus Fixico Letters. Eds. Daniels F. Littlefield Jr, and Carol A. Petty Hunter. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1993. ross, annie. Forest One. 2010. Nash Metropolitan, cedar, plastic, wool, miscellaneous reclaimed materials. Rymhs, Deena. “Kent Monkman’s The Big Four as Automobiography.” a/​b: Auto/​Biography Studies, vol. 31, no. 3 (2016): 465–​85. —​—​. Roads, Mobility, and Violence in Indigenous Literature and Art from North America. New York: Routledge, 2019. Seiler, Cotton. Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2008. Sheller, Mimi. “Automotive Emotions: Feeling the Car.” Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 21, no. 4-5 (2004): 221–​42. Simmons, Kristen. “Settler Atmospherics.” Member Voices, Fieldsights, 20 Nov. 2017, culanth.org/​fieldsights/​ settler-​atmospherics. Thrift, Nigel. “Driving in the City.” Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 21, no. 4–5 (2004): 41–​59. Urry, John. “The ‘System’ of Automobility.” Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 21, no. 4–5 (2004): 25–​39. Yahgulanaas, Michael Nicoll. Coppers from the Hood. 2007-​2017. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, mny.ca/​en/​coppers.

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Genres and Forms

12 THE FORM(S) OF ALLOTMENT Mark Rifkin

Modernism often is understood in terms of particular kinds of formal innovation, but what if we approach Native writing in the early twentieth century less in those terms than with respect to their experiments in registering and engaging with what we might term social forms? The General Allotment Act (1887), or Dawes Act, sought to break up Native territories into property units that would be owned privately by individuals and families; once the land was distributed the tribe would cease to exist and its members would simply be US citizens.1 This process of what was called detribalization, presented as the gift of civilization, lasted through the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act in 1934, which officially brought an end to allotment but did not erase its effects or roll back the divisions and losses that had occurred.2 Allotment policy sought to fracture and foreclose Native modes of peoplehood to make possible the absorption of Indians and their lands into the regular jurisdiction of the US. Doing so involved deploying a series of frames or templates through which to recast the contours and character of personhood, placemaking, and belonging. In this vein, counting and documenting numbers of tribal members, amounts of Indian blood, and available plots of land, for example, seem like straightforward activities, except for the fact that the “tribe,” “Indian blood,” and standardized parcels measured in acres were all colonial inventions/​impositions that effaced extant Indigenous networks of governance and fragmented relational processes into calculable units. We might think of such dynamics of atomization, nominalization, and enumeration as allotment’s form(s).3 To describe allotment in terms of its form(s), though, is not to diminish its invasive and devastating effects, including the loss of over 80 million acres of Native territories.4 Rather, attending to form draws attention to the intellectual, discursive, and institutional procedures of colonial expropriation, foregrounding the material implications of state-​backed modes of representation. Native fiction from this period illustrates how US administrative frameworks reified Indigenous identities, marking the violence of those processes while also illustrating the social formations that such policy aims to carve up and reorder. Allotment did not simply replace other modes of being, philosophies and knowledges, or principles of sociopolitical organization. Rather, the imposition of settler forms meant that Native people(s) were forced to grapple and negotiate with them while seeking to determine for themselves how to move forward amid circumstances of colonial entanglement (see Dennison). Registering the invasive employment of federal categories, Native fiction explores Indigenous efforts to wrangle with those categories and their deformations of Native life, and to envision continuing possibilities for worldmaking that exceed and defy those settler frameworks. DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-16

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Attending to how Native fiction does so, though, involves turning away from an approach to literary studies that privileges textual/​formal innovation. Foregrounding how Native writing engages with allotment deemphasizes the question of what is new or novel in such writing or how these writings intertextually relate to others from before or after. In this sense, this analysis breaks from approaches rooted in literary history, instead drawing on literary studies’s concern with form to explore how fiction theorizes a (set of) social form(s)—​both with regard to settler policy and potentials for Indigenous self-​determination in the context of such policy impositions. Turning to writings by Zitkála-​Šá, Mourning Dove, and John Joseph Mathews, I will address how these texts—​whose formats and styles differ from each other—​explore and critique the work performed by tribal rolls, notions of Indian bloodedness, and the commodification of land. Tracking such dynamics across these varied kinds of fiction in the period, then, offers less an argument about literary style or form than about the ways literary analysis can provide traction in understanding the texture and operation of settler frameworks and the character and contours of Indigenous people’s and peoples’ ways of negotiating them. In this way, these texts might be described as portraying the density of Indigenous peoplehood. In “Critical Indigenous Studies: From Difference to Density,” Chris Andersen observes that “the epistemological aporias of whiteness are a dominant representational source through which Western societies produce and consume Indigeneity” (81), suggesting that, through such settler conceptual frameworks, “Indigenous complexity has been reductively fixed in time and space through apparently objective, logical markers used to bear the discursive weight of our authenticity and legitimacy” (92). Native fiction during the allotment period engages in critical analyses of the dominant forms through which indigeneity institutionally is apprehended and managed while highlighting the complexities of everyday Indigenous life under occupation, thereby refusing reductive non-​native conceptions of Indianness.

Rolls In order to move forward with the fracturing of Indigenous territory into private property, the government needed a record of the people among whom the land base was to be distributed. The rolls generated during the allotment period provided a list of who officially would count as tribal members for the purposes of receiving tribal lands as well as for the disbursement of any funds attached to the sale of what were deemed “excess” lands—​what remained of the tribe’s federally-​recognized territory after all of the allotments had been parceled out to tribal members.5 This bureaucratic designation and collation of the persons who belonged to the tribe further involved defining the entity that would count as “the tribe” while also conceptualizing the tribe’s territory as a quantity of land that could simply be divided into parts. The narration of tribal membership through the rolls, then, occurred against the background of a series of assumptions about governance, land, and personhood that failed to reflect extant Indigenous practices and principles. The creation of a list of members takes part in the dynamics of state recognition for Native (or, more specifically, Indian) identity through which, as Joanne Barker suggests, Indigenous peoples are coerced “to recognize themselves to be under federal power within federal terms” (22), a process that also involves “production of tribal membership as a property right” (83). In her story “The Widespread Enigma of Blue-​Star Woman” (1921), Zitkála-​ Šá addresses the erasures enacted through the creation of tribal rolls and how they position Native people(s) to identity with and through federal forms, often to the detriment of other extant philosophies of care and possibilities for ethical relation.6 The story foregrounds how the exigencies created by allotment have forced Native peoples to understand themselves through the ideology of “tribal” identity administratively enacted by the federal government, including with regard to the matter of who can count as a tribal member. The story centers on Blue-​Star Woman, who “was left an orphan at a tender age” and has no knowledge of her parents (143). To be able to receive legally recognized land, she must provide evidence that she belongs to a particular tribe. The text notes that she seeks “to give proof of her membership in 170

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the Sioux tribe” (143),7 but readers are told, “The unfortunate circumstances of her early childhood, together with the lack of written records of a roving people, placed a formidable barrier between her and her heritage” (144). In foregrounding the question of documentation, Zitkála-​Šá highlights how dynamics of relatedness are mediated by settler archival technologies. For Blue-​Star Woman to count, or rather for her to be counted for the purposes of receiving an allotment, she must manifest a relation to a particular tribe via written records—​literally a series of forms. While the question of to which people(s) she might belong remains open-​ ended, the pressure remains for her to prove connection through administrative modes legible to the federal government—​a dynamic that the text registers and critiques as a colonial imposition as well as a violation of Sioux ethics of care. The “barrier between her and her heritage” is not only the loss of her parents but the absence of a means of triangulating through the records maintained by the Indian office. When she is approached by “two Indian men” who have been “educated in the white men’s ways” (146), Blue-​Star Woman agrees to sign over half of any land she may obtain in exchange for them securing her enrollment and, thus, access to an allotment (148). Their education apparently gives them the ability to manipulate the documentary record, such that Blue-​Star Woman ends up on the Sioux tribal roll even though Chief High Flier knows she is not his relative’s daughter (as she is presented in the doctored government files) (149, 151). If she cannot prove her belonging due to a lack of records, Chief High Flier cannot deny her belonging due to the presence of (falsified) records. Although invented and manipulated, the account of genealogical relation in the records serves as the form through which tribal membership will be federally materialized, regardless of Indigenous people’s perceptions, memories, or modes of collective self-​understanding. As the text observes, the actions of the young men—​called “tricksters” throughout the story—​“were the by-​product of an unwieldy bureaucracy over the nation’s wards” (147). That the legal fact of Indian personhood emerges solely through the administrative structures of the federal bureaucracy mediates and potentially forecloses Native articulations and principles of belonging, demands that there be an administrative record of belonging, and actively invites fraud, creating a market for documentary deceptions.8 Although addressing the falsity of the enrollment, and by extension the problematic processes of legal translation and force in play in officially recognized determinations of membership, the story also emphasizes the exigencies that engender struggle over the rolls and how those struggles reflect the densities produced by ongoing colonial expropriation. Blue-​Star Woman’s inability to make a legally cognizable claim to lands generates conditions of extreme deprivation in which she is often on the brink of starvation, saved only by the actions of an Indian neighbor (144). After signing the agreement with the “tricksters,” she notes that her involvement with them results solely from her “dire need” and the hope that being able to gain an allotment will enable her to provide for herself (149). When Chief High Flier receives the information from the reservation superintendent that Blue-​Star Woman has been added to the rolls, his objections are threefold: the ongoing theft of Indigenous territory through settler administrative mechanisms; the dire effects of such loss on existing tribal members; and the increasing constraints on the possibility for sustaining future generations. Chief High Flier observes, “The Indian’s guardian had got into a way of usurping autocratic power in disposing of the wards’ property” (149), and in a letter he dictates to his granddaughter, he says, This is not right. Lots of little children of my tribe have no land. Why this strange woman get our land which belongs to our children? Go to Washington and ask if our treaties tell him to give our property away without asking us. 150 The ongoing seizure of Sioux territory by federal authorities means that there is insufficient land to distribute allotments to children, or, put another way, not enough for recently added tribal members. 171

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Without such lands, increased pressure is placed on their families, and those children potentially could find themselves in a similar situation as Blue-​Star Woman, lacking the resources to provide sustenance for themselves. Moreover, such colonial intervention and seizure, in ways inconsistent with the kinds of promises and geopolitical subjectivities at play in “our treaties,” means that those born to tribal members (“our children”) will be less able to make any direct claim to the reservation except through increasingly fractionating inheritances.9 Zitkála-​Šá suggests that the legal transformation of Sioux territory into delineated and fungible units, which would have included the sale of “excess” lands as well as the coercive leasing of allotment lands for ranching and grazing at prices well below extant market values, affects the character of Sioux personhood. The “autocratic power” of federal forms converts belonging into an ever-​diminishing property right to an increasingly limited land base. This dynamic is further amplified when Chief High Flier’s son promises half his father’s lands to the “tricksters” to get his father out of jail after he is arrested for attempted arson due to burning a letter in a fire on the prairie. The text thus illustrates how Chief High Flier’s efforts to protest Blue-​Star Woman’s membership are conditioned by the effects of allotment’s forms, even as the story also demonstrates the material significance of Chief High Flier’s concerns given the situation in which such policy has placed (the) Sioux people. In contrast to the individualizing logic of the rolls and its normalization of allotment’s drive toward detribalization and dispossession, though, Zitkála-​Šá also suggests the continuing presence of alternative ethical frameworks. The story contrasts “the white man’s law” with the “unwritten law of heart” in which Blue-​Star Woman says to and of herself, “I am being … A piece of earth is my birthright” (143), and as noted earlier, her Native neighbor shares food with her: “The generosity of her friend had often saved her from starvation” (144). These moments speak to an ethos of connection to place and other persons that is not mediated by documentary records and the administrative forms of Indian policy. Instead, care and an immanent right to recognition of one’s being serve as the criteria for people, Indigenous and otherwise, to engage one another, even as Zitkála-​Šá illustrates how the pressures created by allotment generate the need for more tribally-​circumscribed modes of identification (in terms of defining tribal membership and conceptualizing/​experiencing Native selfhood). Moreover, while lying in jail after his trumped-​up arrest, Chief High Flier dreams that his letter has gone out to a “legion” of American women and animates the Statute of Liberty, who previously having “turned her back upon the American aborigine” now feels a “compassion” that turns her toward Indigenous people(s) so that “[h]‌er light of liberty penetrated Indian reservations” (153). Another kind of relation with settlers, then, appears possible, one guided by empathy and a substantive commitment to Indigenous “liberty” rather than an extractive translation of Native lands into individualized, fungible property. In this way, “The Widespread Enigma of Blue-​Star Woman” foregrounds the violence of the federally-​mandated and managed tribal roll, as both a method of understanding indigeneity and a vehicle for detribalization, while also exploring the density of Indigenous efforts to navigate the legal terrain—​the ethical and practical difficulties for relations among persons and for Native governance created by the translation of Indigenous landscapes and personhood into the terms of Indian policy.

Blood Determinations of amounts of “Indian blood” often serve as the basis for contemporary tribal citizenship (see Barker; Doerfler; Garroutte; Goldberg; TallBear). Within this policy imaginary, such “blood” is calculated through administrative records that indicate one’s biological progenitors were members of a particular tribe and that they possessed a certain quantity of biological Indianness (or of the “blood” from a given tribe)—​rendered bureaucratically as a percentage of that person’s “blood,” which is then procreatively transmitted. Like the rolls discussed in the previous section, this means of verifying indigeneity requires passing through the documentary archive of the state in 172

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ways that measure and attest to one’s Indianness, and amounts of “blood” were, in fact, indicated on the allotment rolls. Native personhood itself was dissected into parts, enabling a supposedly impartial calculation of preparedness for citizenship and full legal/​commercial subjectivity—​often regardless of the wishes of the one who was being so measured and adjudged. For many Native peoples, though, figurations of blood, including use of terms like “full-​blood” and “mixed-​blood” (or, what gets translated into English as those terms), may index ways of speaking about kinship as well as serving “as a reflection of lifestyle choices” with regard to everyday practices such as clothing, subsistence, language use, and interpersonal association.10 As Kim TallBear observes with regard to contemporary notions of Indian blood, the counting of relatives and establishing a genealogical connection to them is also clearly at play in our blood talk. We use the language of blood and blood fractions while keeping in mind a specific world of policy and while bearing in mind that that language is shorthand for what we know is a far more complicated story of our lineages. 64 In Mourning Dove’s Cogewea (1927), we can see this kind of negotiation at play in how the text marks and navigates the densities of allotment.11 While the novel continually returns to the main character’s status as mixed, Mourning Dove explores the ways that figurations of blood mediate complex sets of power-​laden interactions structured by the dynamics of allotment-​era Indian policy and ongoing settler colonialism. Blood, then, emerges in the text as a mobile and multifaceted trope, contesting its apparent straightforwardness as an administrative form registering diminishing Indianness. While often addressing the title character’s status as a “half-​breed” (often shorthanded as “breed”), the novel repeatedly emphasizes that she and other mixed-​bloods are understood by themselves and others as Indians. Set on the Flathead Reservation, the story focuses on the growing relationship between Cogewea, an Okanogan woman who lives and works at the ranch owned by her white brother-​in-​law, and Alfred Densmore, a white man from Ontario who woos Cogewea in order to gain access to what he imagines to be her allotment-​inherited fortune. Readers are told at the outset that she and her two sisters (Julia and Mary) have a white father who abandoned the family for the gold rush in Alaska, had an Okanogan mother who died when they were little, were raised by their maternal grandmother (the Stemteemä) on the Colville Reservation, and that Cogewea is a graduate of the Carlisle Indian School (the most famous of the off-​reservation Indian boarding schools of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century) (15–​16).12 In describing her status as a “breed,” the novel presents mixed-​bloods as “the socially ostracized of two races” (15), being “[r]‌egarded with suspicion by the Indian” and “shunned by the Caucasian” and having difficulty finding a “place in life” (16, 22). Later, speaking to Jim, a fellow ranch-​hand who is also mixed-​blood and who has fallen in love with Cogewea, she observes, “We breeds are half and half … and in a separate corral. We are despised by both of our relatives” (95). In these moments, the novel positions mixed-​bloods as, in the much discussed and critiqued formulation, caught between two worlds—​as suspended between communities and ways of life that themselves implicitly are envisioned as separate, sealed into their own distinct lifeways, and internally homogenous. This supposed middleness indicates how mixed-​bloodedness signifies not simply procreation between persons who legally are designated as belonging to different races but a substantively different kind of personhood. The presumed racial substance of blood is envisioned as bearing within it particular social qualities and orientations that typify the behaviors, attitudes, and principles of each “race.” However, even as the text circulates this popular rhetoric of blood, one increasingly reflected within the administration of allotment over the 1910s (as will be discussed further), Mourning Dove also consistently undermines this sense of difference between “breeds” and “Indians”—​spatialized in the figure of the “separate corral.” In that same exchange with Jim, Cogewea observes,“I often don my war bonnet and go scalp hunting” (95), using these stereotypical images of Indianness to characterize 173

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herself. Similarly, in responding to the portrait of a tragic mixed-​blood hero who abandons his Native mother in the novel she is reading (The Brand, which was an actual novel), Cogewea thinks to herself, “It was apparent that she would never forsake her Indian associates; never turn from her own blood” (96), later insisting that she will never “cast aside my ancestral traditions. I was born to them!” (160). In these moments, Native identity and specific connection to Okanogan “traditions” appear as an inheritance to which Cogewea fully is entitled. This sense of intergenerational passage contrasts with the division and distribution of lands as property through allotment, providing a vision of belonging across time that is not atomizing and fractionating—​one in which “blood” appears as an expression of “genealogical connection,” in TallBear’s terms, rather than as a measure of degrees of Indian authenticity/​backwardness.13 In this vein, Cogewea’s grandmother, Stemteemä, who has been visiting the ranch from her home on the Colville Reservation, insists that Cogewea should “follow after her Okanogan ancestors” (177), and she later says to Jim, who readers learn speaks the same language as Stemteemä (which is “Okanogan” [98]), “You are an Indian,” adding that he is “of my own kind” (216–​17). In the novel, amounts of “Indian blood” do not provide a significant indicator of behavior, principles, or ethical orientation—​as indicated by the fact that Cogewea and her sisters, Julia and Mary, all have varied relations to what might be termed Okanogan “traditions” and make disparate choices about how to live their lives. Even when blood occupies center-​stage in the novel, it tends less to indicate immanent tendencies or genealogical networks than to index the ways settler-​colonial interventions pervade ordinary experience. Perhaps the most dramatic instance of both the social saliency of blood difference and the slipperiness of that very distinction is the scene of the horse races on the Fourth of July.There are two races, one for “ladies” and one for “sq—​ws,”14 and Cogewea participates in and wins them both. As she says, “I’m part Injun and can participate in that as well as in the ladies race” (58), but she also says of her participation, “I am going to pose as both for this day” (59), suggesting that belonging to either category is less a matter of inherent qualities than of a particular assemblage of clothing, attitude, and comportment. The text, then, hints at how “blood,” even in its official function of demarcating kinds of persons, functions less as a measure of some inborn set of qualities than a prism through which to interpret particular kinds of self-​presentation (including dress and language use) as if they were expressive of kinds of ingrained racial orientation. In addition, while Cogewea notes that a Kootenai woman from the Flathead Reservation asserts (after Cogewea’s identity has been revealed once she has won the “sq—​w” race), “You have no right to be here! You are half-​white! This race is for Indians and not for breeds!” (66), the text later offers another potential explanation for this hostility. Given that Cogewea’s “forebears had, in other snows, come from the now state of Washington, to contend with the dominant resident tribes for the privileges of hunting the buffalo for meat and robes” (139), the Kootenai woman may resent Cogewea as an outsider from a people with whom hers historically had antagonistic relations, as well as potentially seeing Cogewea’s relationship with a white rancher who claims lands on the reservation as a source of significant conflict. In other words, charges with regard to blood—​that mobilize the form of blood—​may register other kinds of tensions that have to do with the longstanding geopolitics of the region and the struggles both created and intensified by escalating settler occupation. Along these lines, Stemteemä tells three stories in the novel, two of which are about the dangers of white-​Indian marriage—​her best friend (165–​77) and her aunt (217–​25). The moral of those warnings against intermarriage, though, has less to do with the dangers of compromised blood, or of such supposed taint as an indicator of lessened connection to Okanogan people (the occupation of a kind of middle space between white and Indian), than with the ways white men tend to use Native women as sources of wealth and access only to abandon them. Stemteemä repeatedly expresses fears that Cogewea will be exploited in this way, suggesting that such was her mother’s fate (in being abandoned by her white husband) (247–​8). Mixed-​bloodedness, then, often functions in the text as a condensed way of indicating modes of settler-​Native interaction in which the violence of colonialism shapes intimate relations to preserve the authority and privileging of whiteness. Stemteemä, though, 174

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does not seem to object to Julia’s marriage to John Carter, who appears in the novel as an example of the potential for white decency (even though at times he also is cast as unlikely or unable to understand Okanogan principles and Julia’s alignment with him is sometimes presented as diminishing her own ability to see settler modes of extraction), and the Carter couple does suggest the potential for a form of intermarriage that does not necessarily represent expropriation, one that illustrates how ethical orientations matter more than racial identification per se. Although the racial discourse of relative bloodedness in many ways occupies the novel’s foreground, Mourning Dove also registers the ways the story takes shape against the background of allotment policy. The Dawes Act, though, did not use blood quantum to define membership, land distribution, property title, and citizenship. Due to the vagaries in the original act of precisely when allottees would receive full title to their allotments and would be considered US citizens, almost 20 years later Congress passed the Burke Act (1906), which clarified that during the “trust period” (prior to the issuing of a fee patent for the allotted land) Indians remained entirely under federal jurisdiction and that once a fee patent had been issued for their allotments they would be citizens with equal protection under the law. The Burke Act further enabled the secretary of the interior to issue a fee patent to any Indian deemed “competent,” thereby withdrawing the land from trust, making it subject to all state/​territorial laws and taxes, and enabling it to be sold (which many people did in order to pay the taxes).15 Administrative determinations of competency increasingly came to turn on settler assumptions about the meaning of amounts of Indian blood (itself derived from the percentages indicated on allotment rolls), with the presumption that less indicated a greater readiness to participate in civilization, commerce, and citizenship (see Doerfler; McDonnell; Spruhan; Thorne). The question of such competency is a major element of the novel’s plot. In addition to the fact that the Horseshoe Brand Ranch owned by Cogewea’s brother-​in-​law is built on allotted lands and that the cattle and horses he raises range over leased reservation land (31, 185),16 the relationship between Cogewea and Densmore is set in motion and maintained by his desire to claim property she has gained through the distribution of allotted lands. Densmore initially thinks Cogewea might have access to valuable mines, and then comes to believe that she is in possession of large numbers of cattle and horses (81, 84, 207–​8). In this way, the novel suggests that the discourse of Indian blood gains social traction less as a means of describing innate personal qualities or individual inclinations than as part of the workings of the apparatus of allotment. Cogewea informs Densmore that she has an 80-​acre allotment (157),17 and when Densmore asks her to withdraw money from her bank account to front the expenses for their proposed wedding and trip east, she has an exchange with the bank teller in which she informs him that she is “no longer an ‘incompetent’ ” and, therefore, does not need to heed the investment advice given by the Indian agent when he deposited her funds at that bank (256). While the novel is not explicit on this point, Cogewea would have to have been declared “competent” under the Burke Act and given title to her lands and funds for Densmore to gain access to her supposed wealth. A law passed by Congress in 1888 prevented white men who married Indian women from “acquir[ing] any right to any tribal property, privilege, or interest whatever” (Piatote 95; Spruhan 30). Absent a formal release from federal trust, a Native women’s allotted lands would not actually belong to her and would be inaccessible to her white husband (Berger 633). Official calculations of Indian bloodedness provided the most prominent criterion through which competency was determined, particularly after Cato Sells became Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1913.18 Given the running references to Cogewea’s status as a “half-​blood” or “breed,” the text implies that this racial identification plays a significant role in her being declared competent. Conversely, the thrust of the novel’s plot in its build-​up to Densmore’s attempt to defraud Cogewea of what he believes to be her assets reframes the matter of Indian bloodedness as a bureaucratic means through which Native lands and resources can be made available for individual white possession. If indigeneity lies in calculable amounts of Indianness, then the official declaration that 175

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someone has become de-​Indianized enough to be made “competent” facilitates the privatization of tribal lands and resources, making them fungible. Blood, then, appears in the text less as a marker of innate inclinations than as a form through which the detribalizing project of allotment is materialized in ways that facilitate settler expropriation, including at the level of intimate relationships.

Business The commercialization of Native lands enabled by allotment provided for a range of business interests, including ranching, grazing, logging, and mining. Perhaps the most lucrative among them was the extraction of oil (see Musiol). As a result of the unique form that allotment took among the Osages, they became some of the wealthiest people in the world during the 1910s and 1920s, at the height of oil production on their lands (see Harmon, Rich Indians, 171–​208). Unlike other peoples subjected to allotment, Osage collective possession of subsurface rights to the area beneath their reservation—​what has come to be called “the mineral estate”—​was preserved in the 1906 act providing for the allotment of their territory.19 While lands were divided among persons and families as in other Native nations, a collective interest in any proceeds from underground resource development was maintained; even if the aboveground land rights passed to non-​natives, the funds generated from extraction were distributed among Osage holders of “headrights” (shares of interest in the mineral estate). With regard to the Osage reservation, then, land was fungible in one sense and not in another, highlighting the violence of the conversion of territory into saleable units while also registering the persistence of Osage geographies. In Sundown, John Joseph Mathews explores this duality.20 He illustrates how Osage people were caught within the economic maelstrom of allotment and the rupturing power of extractive capitalism.The novel traces how the social forms of capitalism, imposed via allotment-​era policy, produce disorientation and division as a result of the commodification of territory. Even while the land base remains intact (as the mineral estate), the propulsive force of state-​backed economies—​driven by speculative investments in the land—​generates detribalizing momentum, and Mathews contrasts the forms such pressures take with an ongoing, grounded sense of collective relation to place.21 Mathews depicts how allotment policy pervades everyday life, its orientation toward the capitalization of land, and the kinds of subjectivities that emerge out of such dynamics. The novel is a bildungsroman focused on Challenge (Chal) Windzer, the son of a prominent member of the Osage Tribal Council who is committed to what he envisions as the modernization of the reservation and Osage life.22 While Chal’s father (John) supports allotment as a sign and vehicle of progress (44–​5), he gives his son the name Challenge in order to reflect his own sense that “I live as a challenge,” even though “he didn’t know what he challenged” (3); of his son, John says, “He shall be a challenge to the disinheritors of his people” (4). He implicitly feels caught within a process of dispossession that he cannot quite name, but the text suggests that the policies John endorses are, in fact, key to that compulsion: “In reality the allotment was forced upon the tribe by people outside the reservation” (49). Despite John’s support for what he conceptualizes as development, Chal comes to see “the Government” as “always present, like an atmosphere” whose power “it would be better to avoid” (60), if possible. The ubiquity of government authority and the commercial potentials it breeds, though, become part of the ordinary fabric of life on the reservation. Mathews provides a running sense of the expansion of the oil derricks across Osage territory, as they are “erected almost in the city limits” of Kihekah (a stand-​in for Pawhuska, where the government agency was) (61); “crept toward the west” (62), bringing in new people “in [the] hundreds” who “came in after the allotment” (73); extend “out beyond the blackjacks fringes onto the high prairie,” looking like “sterile forests” (239); and eventually “[t]‌he all-​powerful life that had come with the creeping black derricks began to recede to the east” as oil production diminishes in the late 1920s (303).The exponentially expansive extractive economy made possible by allotment requires forms of capitalist territorialization, the understanding of the 176

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land through a speculative mapping of its potential to generate profit—​a division of it into units for production as suggested by the movement of the derricks. This state-​facilitated remapping of the reservation not only generates a population boom that crowds Osage space, it produces an enveloping sense that engagement in attendant commercial activity is the only means of being in the world. Chal experiences this “activity of Progress” as the desire “to make something of himself ” and to be “doing something” (64, 153, 161). That something itself has to do with the possibility of being “a business man,” which will allow him to “amount to something” (154). Mathews observes how popular praise for “hard headed business men” and “business administration” positions them as the model for what political leadership in the state and nation should look like (280). Characterizing the allotment-​enabled and oil-​driven upheaval as “the Great Frenzy” (266, 304), the novel suggests that this remaking of the landscape and the associated transformations in the organization of sociality on the reservation affect Osage people’s self-​perceptions, creating an anticipation of fracture (a break with the past and with what then appear as backward modes “tradition”) as the basis for having a viable future. In contrast to this drive toward a disjunctive newness, undergirded by the widespread transposition of relations of land into the forms of capital, Mathews draws attention to continuing collective feelings of connection to Osage territory. At various points, Chal notes the prominence of redness in the landscape, due to the color of the soil on and around the Osage reservation. This imagery serves as a way of talking about enduring relations to, as well as impositions on, the territory. On his train ride from Kihekah to attend university, Chal observes “the red of the earth showing along the edges of the ravines” that “was not out of harmony,” a continuity disrupted by farmhouses and their outhouses “that looked like excrescences” although “tinted by the red dust,” which he describes as “ubiquitous” (89). He suggests that the “ugliness” of those intrusions brought by “white men” is due to their “still [being] influenced by an environment thousands of miles across the ocean,” making the buildings “foreign expressions” (90).23 In emphasizing the alienness of the settlers that have arrived as a result of allotment-​inspired economies, the novel presents them as disruptions in the terrain, as “excrescences.” Their disconnected, atomized singularity undermines the “harmony” among other elements—​ including Osage people. At one point, Chal remembers that “his father had said that an Indian was not a wanderer—​that people said they were nomads, but that no one loves his native soil more than Indians” (234). Similarly, in a sweat-​lodge ceremony Chal attends later in the novel, Watching Eagle (the father of Chal’s friend Sun on his Wings) tells White Elk (the father of Running Elk, another of Chal’s friends, who had been murdered for his oil interest),24 “You came out of this earth here. The life of this earth here comes out of ground into your feet and flows all over your body.You are part of earth here like trees, like rabbit, like birds” (274). As opposed to the “ugliness” of the white-​ built environment, the ways such structures fragment the landscape due to their foreignness, Osage people have a sustained relation to the “soil” of Osage territory, having “c[o]‌me out of this earth.” As Mishuana Goeman has argued, “colonialism has meant a translation or too easy collapsing of land to property, a move that perpetuates the logic of containment” (72), and such a transposition of “land as a meaning-​making process” into property as “a claimed object” effaces “the power of land to possess us” (73, 80). Sundown challenges such a collapse, consistently contrasting what it describes as Osage “harmony” with the rupturing and invasive presence of settler mappings and modes of spatial organization organized around the creation of fungible property relations.25 While the novel explores the affective consequences for Osage people of the rapid commodification of their lands, dynamics made possible by the “atmosphere” created and sustained by government policy, Mathews indicates modes of perception that offer a vision of Osage being and becoming beyond the demands of allotment geographies. Amid the tumult of the oil-​driven “frenzy,” Chal notes that “the fullbloods didn’t come into the Agency as often as they had before the allotment, and that they seemed to be resigned and to keep to themselves.” In this way, they remind him of “the blackjacks on the hill that surrounded the valley,” which “seemed to pay no attention 177

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to all the activity of Progress in the valley at their feet” (67). Given laws governing “competency” and the issuing of fee patents to allotted land for Osages, as well as full access to individual oil revenue, “fullblood” came to mean anyone of more than one-​half Indian blood.26 As I noted earlier with respect to other peoples, though, the term also implied choices about ways of living. Chal suggests the ongoingness of Osage practices and philosophies that are not guided by the dictates of allotment-​centered “Progress,” and he notes that when he spends time with these Osages, he is “away from that thrill of the indefinite something” promised by business and is, instead, “relaxed” (67). In such moments, Chal reconnects with what the novel characterizes as “silence” –​collective Osage phenomenologies of place that precede and exceed capitalist geographies. Describing Chal’s childhood play with fullblood friends, Mathews suggests that “these days seemed always to be part of the life he was destined to live; the quieter part of a stream near its source” (12), and in contrast to the “meaningless things” he learned to say in order to create a “veneer” of what he “believed to be civilization,” there is a “silence” that lies “[b]‌ehind the impressions” he has of the world (13). Toward the end of the sweat-​lodge ceremony, “The silence that came over the lodge rang in Chal’s ears. He wasn’t aware of how long the silence lasted, but he was happy and contented, sitting there” (271). This silence provides the unacknowledged, and perhaps largely unconscious, background against which Chal situates himself in the world, a sense of locatedness that evades the capital-​centered drive toward “progress.” In place of the search for “something” defined in financial terms, the novel presents the existence of a way forward guided by Osage people’s relations to each other and their lands. During the sweat-​lodge ceremony Chal attends, Watching Eagle observes, “Long time ago, there was one road and People could follow that road … Now it seems that road is gone, and white man has brought many roads. But that road is still there … We cannot follow this road with our feet now, but we can see this road with our eyes, and our hearts will go along this road forever” (271).27 Here the idea of doing something—​of needing to make something of oneself in ways consistent with the rhythms of production and profit catalyzed by allotment-​era land policy—​g ives way to the image of an unbroken path that outlines a collective direction for Osage people, one that continues to be sensed within and despite the upheaval of commodification, speculation, and trade.28 While Chal and others in the novel certainly feel the imperative to do and be in ways consistent with the commodification of their lands, Mathews illustrates how Osage experience of those federally-​facilitated demands remains cross-​cut by a dense set of grounded relations to their lands and each other that counters allotment’s investment in the rupturing power of fungibility. We might view allotment as an epochal break in Native lifeways and geopolitical formations, the point at which Indigenous peoples coercively are transformed into “modern” subjects. However, allotment-​era policy was not always consistent with itself, and its effects on Native peoples were varied and uneven. Such policies interacted with existing sociopolitical dynamics and everyday modes of worldmaking in complex ways and in circumstances in which Native people(s) continued to enact their own multidimensional kinds of agency, individual and collective. Native fiction in this period (such as those texts by Zitkála-​Šá, Mourning Dove, and John Joseph Mathews that I’ve discussed) registers the impositions and reorganizations enacted through Indian policy and provides insight into the conceptual and discursive mechanisms through which such policy was normalized—​ the translations, transpositions, displacements, and replacements orchestrated by allotment’s form(s). Reading “modernist” fiction in this way pivots away from what might be described as literary historical concerns with innovation or stylistic specificity toward an emphasis on how texts archive, analyze, denaturalize, and contest dominant social forms while also registering and circulating alternative conceptions of sociality. Attending to how Native writings represent the processes through which allotment was materialized allows us to track its violences while also registering the continuing presence of principles, practices, philosophies, and political orientations not organized around allotment’s ideologies and imperatives. Tracing how Indigenous fiction catalogs the character and movement of allotment’s forms and their effects on Indigenous socialities and sovereignties opens the 178

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potential for more fully marking the colonial labor such forms undertake. In performing this vital intellectual work, Native writing provides a textured sense of allotment’s invasive reach as well as its inability to totalize Indigenous being, becoming, and self-​determination.

Notes 1 While many Native Americans became citizens during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, they were not made citizens as a group until the passage of federal legislation doing so in 1924. 2 For overviews of allotment policy, see Hoxie; McDonnell. On the long-​term effects of allotment, both during the era of the Indian Reorganization Act and afterwards, see Biolsi; Doerfler; Ruppel. 3 On the significance and work of “form,” see Latour; Levine. 4 From 1887 to 1934, Native lands went from 138 to 52 million acres (McDonnell vii). 5 Sometimes these censuses are called “Dawes Rolls,” even though that phrase more properly refers to the censuses of the Five Tribes (Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles) conducted by the Congressionally-​mandated Dawes Commission. 6 The story originally was published as part of the collection American Indian Stories. Zitkála-​Šá was the pen-​ name for Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, but since she consistently used it when writing, I will continue to use it to refer to her. For biographical information on Bonnin, see Lewandowski. 7 The story speaks as if there were such a thing as “the Sioux tribe,” later speaking of “the Sioux Indian Reservation” (149). However, “Sioux” refers to seven peoples—​collectively known as the Oceti Sakowin—​ whose longstanding kinship and diplomatic relations connect them to each other. Zitkála-​Šá was Yankton, one of the seven peoples, and the Yankton reservation was established on the Missouri River by treaty in 1858. It’s unclear, though, whether the story means to refer to the Yanktons or to another people. See Estes; Ostler; Sansom-​Flood. The most direct inspiration for the story likely is the case of Ellen C. Bluestone, who sought an allotment on the Yankton Reservation (Lewandowski 241). Given that Sioux is the term the story uses, though, I will continue to use it as well. 8 For discussion of the agency exerted by tribal committees in processes of enrollment, albeit with regard to the Colville Reservation, see Harmon, “Tribal Enrollment.” 9 On the history and contemporary effects of such fractioning, see Ruppel. 10 Doerfler, 11. On such dynamics on the Colville Reservation, see Harmon, “Tribal Enrollment.” 11 Mourning Dove’s official name was Christine Quintasket, but she used Mourning Dove in a variety of instances, including when she published, which is why I will continue to refer to her using this name. She completed a draft of Cogewea by 1914, but it was not published until 15 years later, after significant editing by Lucullus Virgil McWhorter, whom Mourning Dove met in 1914 and worked with the rest of her life. On the complex textual history of Cogewea, see Bernardin; Fisher; Godfrey; Piatote 125–​31. She was raised on the Colville Reservation and described herself as Okanogan. On her life, see Miller. 12 On such boarding schools, see Adams; Child; Hoxie. 13 On the nexus of “cultural-​as-​racial authenticity” with regard to conceptions of Indianness, see Barker. 14 I have chosen to adopt Beth Piatote’s practice of not writing out the full word even in quotations, since it is a virulently misogynistic and racist epithet. See Piatote. 15 See https://​pub​lic.csusm.edu/​nadp/​a1906.htm. 16 On such leasing practices, see McDonnell; Ruppel. 17 This acreage was the size of allotments on the Colville Reservation, including the one that Mourning Dove received in 1905 (Miller, xxx). 18 From 1917 to 1919, Commissioner Cato Sells (the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs) unilaterally fee patented lands for all allottees deemed of less than one-​half Indian blood, adding those of one-​half blood from 1919 until 1921 when the policy of blanket patenting was ended. See McDonnell, 104–​-​112; Spruhan, 44. For Congressional uses of blood as the marker of competency in this period, see Department of the Interior; Doerfler; Spruhan; Thorne. 19 See Dennison; Wilson, The Underground Reservation. On Osage history, see also Burns; Mathews, The Osages; Warrior 49–​94. 20 On John Joseph Mathews’s life, see Snyder; Wilson, “Osage Oxonian.” 21 The novel can be read as offering a vision of “grounded normativity.” See Coulthard. 22 Quotations from the novel will be cited parenthetically. 23 On the symbolic and ceremonial importance of red as both fire and the sun, see Mathews, Osages, 333. 24 In the late-​1910s and 1920s, there were dozens of murders of Osage headright holders by white families into which they’d married in order to gain access to their headright interests, before such transfers of rights to non-​Osages were outlawed. See Department of the Interior; McAuliffe. 25 On the text’s use of the figure of “harmony,” see 69, 89, 299, 303.

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Mark Rifkin 26 Wilson, The Underground Reservation, 180. See also Dennison. 27 The language of the “the road” also is part of the Peyote religion, for which readers are told Watching Eagle is a “Road Man” or ceremonial leader (270). On the Peyote religion, see Mathews, Osages, 31–​51; Stewart. Red and the symbolism of fire are also important figures within the Peyote religion. 28 This continuity, though, is not equivalent to the absence of change, as indicated by the presence of markers of Peyotism (which only emerged as ritual practice in the late nineteenth century) and the mix of styles of habitation and clothing at play in the village.

References Adams, David Wallace. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-​1828. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1995. Andersen, Chris. “From Difference to Density.” Cultural Studies Review, vol. 15, no. 2 (2009): pp. 80–​100. Barker, Joanne. Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity. Durham: Duke UP, 2011. Berger, Bethany R. “Red: Racism and the American Indian.” UCLA Law Review, vol. 56 (2009): pp. 591–​656. Bernardin, Susan K. “Mixed Messages: Authority and Authorship in Mourning Dove’s Cogewea, the Half-​ Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range.” American Literature, vol. 67, no. 3 (1995): pp. 487–​509. Biolsi, Thomas. Organizing the Lakota: The Political Economy of the New Deal on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 1992. Burns, Louis F. A History of the Osage People. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2004. Child, Brenda J. Boarding School Seasons:American Indian Families, 1900–​1940. Rev. ed. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2012. Coulthard, Glen Sean. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2014. Dennison, Jean. Colonial Entanglement: Constituting a Twenty-​First Century Osage Nation. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2012. Department of the Interior, “The Osage People and Their Trust Property.” A Field Report of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Anadarko Area Office, Osage Agency, 1953. Doerfler, Jill. Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship among the White Earth Anishinaabeg. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 2015. Estes, Nick. Our History is Our Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance. New York:Verso, 2019. Fisher, Dexter. “Introduction,” in Cogewea, the Half-​Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range. Mourning Dove. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1981. v–​xxix. Garroutte, Eva Marie. Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America. Berkeley: U of California P, 2003. Godfrey, Laura Gruper. “Mourning Dove’s Textual Frontier.” Arizona Quarterly, vol. 62, no. 1 (2006): 65–​83. Goeman, Mishuana. “Land as Life: Unsettling the Logics of Containment,” in Native Studies Keywords. Eds. Stephanie Nohelani Teves, Andrea Smith, and Michelle Raheja. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2015. 71–​89. Goldberg, Carole. “Members Only?: Designing Citizenship Requirements for Indian Nations,” Kansas Law Review, vol. 50 (2002): pp. 437–​71. Harmon, Alexandra. Rich Indians: Native People and the Problem of Wealth in American History. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2010. —​——​. “Tribal Enrollment Councils: Lessons on Law and Indian Identity.” Western Historical Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 2 (2001): pp. 175–​200. Hoxie, Frederick E. A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880–​ 1920 (1984). Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992. Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-​Network Theory. New York: Oxford UP, 2017. Levine, Caroline. Forms:Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2015. Lewandowski, Tadeusz. Red Bird, Red Power: The Life and Legacy of Zitkala-​Ša. Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma P, 2016. Mathews, John Joseph. The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1961. ——​—​. Sundown (1934). Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1988. McAuliffe, Dennis, Jr. Bloodland: A Family Story of Oil, Greed, and Murder on the Osage Reservation. San Francisco: Council Oak Books, 1999. McDonnell, Janet A. The Dispossession of the American Indian, 1887–​1934. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1991. Miller, Jay (ed.). Mourning Dove: A Salishan Autobiography. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1990. Mourning Dove. Cogewea, the Half-​Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1981. Musiol, Hanna. “Sundown and ‘Liquid Modernity’ in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 46, no. 2 (2012): pp. 357–​73.

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The Form(s) of Allotment Ostler, Jeffrey. The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee. New York: Cambridge UP, 2004. Piatote, Beth H. Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 2013. Ruppel, Kristin T. Unearthing Indian Land: Living with the Legacies of Allotment. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2008. Sansom-​Flood, Renée. Lessons From Chouteau Creek: Yankton Memories of Dakota Territorial Intrigue. Sioux Falls: The Center for Western Studies, 1986. Snyder, Michael. John Joseph Mathews: Life of an Osage Writer. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2017. Spruhan, Paul. “A Legal History of Blood Quantum in Federal Indian Law to 1935.” South Dakota Law Review, vol. 51, no. 1 (2006): pp. 1–​50. Stewart, Omer C. Peyote Religion: A History. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1987. TallBear, Kimberly. Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2013. Thorne, Tanis C. The World’s Richest Indian: The Scandal over Jackson Barnett’s Oil Fortune. New York: Oxford UP, 2003. Warrior, Robert. The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2005. Wilson, Terry P. “Osage Oxonian: The Heritage of John Joseph Mathews.” Chronicles of Oklahoma, vol. 59, no. 3 (1981): pp. 264–​293. —​—​—. The Underground Reservation: Osage Oil. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1985. Zitkála-​Šá. “The Widespread Enigma of Blue-​Star Woman,” in American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings. Eds. Cathy N. Davidson and Ada Norris. New York: Penguin Books, 2003. 143–​54.

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13 FUGITIVE INDIGENEITY IN PAUL GREEN’S THE LAST OF THE LOWRIES AND LYNN RIGGS’S THE CHEROKEE NIGHT James H. Cox and Alexander Pettit

Interwar representations of Indigenous fugitives by dramatists Paul Green and Lynn Riggs (Cherokee) illustrate the challenges of developing a specifically Indigenous modernism, when modernism either defines Indigeneity as incommensurable with modernity or imagines it as an invigorating or debilitating primitivism.1 Green’s The Last of the Lowries (1920) and Riggs’s The Cherokee Night (1932) suggest that an Indigenous modernism would register as a fugitive mode in American literary history, always in flight from authorities who would define, categorize, or impugn it. In both plays, Indigenous fugitives die violently during confrontations with police authorities who have pursued them into Native homes, which became in this era “the primary site of struggle against the foreign force of US national domestication” (Piatote 4).2 The suicide of Green’s Henry Berry Lowrie and the murder of Riggs’s Edgar Spench are crises of Indigenous domestic life, not exempla of justice or assertions of settler-​colonial superiority. These deaths illuminate “the darker side of Western modernity”: unwelcome in economic systems and civil and legal institutions, Indigenes seek sanctuary domestically, only to find Native homes fatally pervious to violent, invasive coloniality.3 In Green’s and Riggs’s domestic scenes, fugitivity defines entire Indigenous families and, by extension, communities. Shared artistic and political sympathies bound Green and Riggs in a long-​term friendship that began in the 1920s. They remained in contact as they rose to prominence, Green by winning a Pulitzer Prize for In Abraham’s Bosom in 1927, and Riggs by contending for that prize in 1931 with Green Grow the Lilacs. A decade later, Rodgers and Hammerstein began their career as collaborators by adapting Lilacs as Oklahoma! In plays that were more (Green’s) or less (Riggs’s) indebted to the burgeoning folk drama movement, the two playwrights expressed a common interest in and admiration for rural Americans, especially people of color from North Carolina and Oklahoma, respectively.4 Yet dramatic form and progressive ideology do not cooperate equally well in The Last of the Lowries and The Cherokee Night. Both plays thematize fugitivity as the Indigenous modern and modernist condition. In its apparent legitimation of Indigenous vanishing, however, The Last of the Lowries struggles formally to accommodate the political energies that shaped Green’s adaptation of his source material. In The Cherokee Night, Riggs radicalizes form to complement ideology but does so inconclusively. Riggs’s 17-​page letter to Green of March 1939 attests to the playwrights’ mutual admiration and to the congruency of their politics. In this epistolary manifesto, Green’s own career becomes an 182

DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-17

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argument for a revolutionary response to a degraded commercial theater: “You yourself—​your vigorous and lyric talent—​have no continuous life in the theatre. It’s a disgrace and a loss” (1‒2). Riggs proposes the Vine Theatre, which he conceives partly as a form of resistance to state violence: “In the world today, forces in opposition to the triumphant, arrogant state are demolished by pogrom, by discriminatory laws—​and the other tools of inhumanity and cruelty. We do not believe that those forces really achieve their ends. We believe that the way to destroy is not to destroy” (4). By the time Riggs wrote this letter, he and Green had already expressed their concerns about state violence against Indigenous people in The Last of the Lowries and The Cherokee Night. Furthermore, Green’s In Abraham’s Bosom concerns itself with white mob violence against African Americans. Riggs’s critique of a “triumphant, arrogant state” does not, therefore, suggest a new activist enterprise so much as it encourages a recommitment to the politics of Riggs’s and Green’s earlier work. The Vine Theatre never materialized, consistent with the “collapse” of leftist theater in the latter part of the decade and its supersession by a wartime theater of “bland consensus politics” (Bigsby 188).Yet the letter evinces both Riggs’s ongoing disdain for state violence and the presumption of Green’s sympathy with this perspective. The contemporary literary and dramatic landscape had not prepared audiences for these playwrights’ efforts to imagine Native homes as political spaces. Ernest Hemingway’s “Indian Camp,” published in 1924 in The Transatlantic Review and in 1925 in the short story collection In Our Time, contains a canonical modernist take on Indigenous domesticity. “Indian Camp” aligns with The Last of the Lowries and The Cherokee Night topically, but not attitudinally, in its representation of a ghastly caesarian birth performed by an under-​prepared white doctor in an Ojibwe “shanty” (56). Though Dr. Adams enters a home to save an Ojibwe woman and her baby, he is a destructive, invasive presence. We do not learn the fate of the woman whom Adams incises with his jackknife or of the baby he delivers, but we do know that the procedure devastates the father, who dies after cutting his throat with a razor. Whether the suicide references the man’s enervated masculinity or responds to the butchery in his home, it conveys the cost of modernity for Indigenous people. Hemingway emphasizes the point by implying that the man had sustained a crippling axe-​wound by working in the logging industry that was fast deforesting the upper Midwest. Hemingway’s tragic domestic scene defaults to two enduring conventions also discernible in the fiction of other writers of the era, such as Cather, Faulkner, and Lawrence: the evanescence of Indigeneity and its remoteness from modernity. The period’s dramatists tend to avoid Indian homes, due presumably to the conventional association of Indigenous people and the natural world and to the difficulty of staging populous scenes in tight spaces. When dramatists do represent these homes, they generally establish them as sites of non-​violence. Three playwrights with different attitudes toward Indigeneity variously exemplify the common tendency. In their representations of Native-​only communities, Hartley Alexander’s Indian “masks” of the 1920s meld dramatic exigency and respect for their subjects. Alexander eschews racial conflict and presumes neither to depict nor to display “intimate” Native spaces.5 George Baird brings an Anglo protagonist close to but not into a Native home in Mirage (1922), set on “the roof of an adobe house” at a Hopi pueblo (9). Baird’s gimmick is expedient but unpleasant: the lost, amnesiac ethnologist Grayson Stone is not the Indian he imagines he is and thus cannot enter the home of the teenager Polaina, who is eager to “let down [the] coils of maidenhood” for him (12). Given the play’s racial dialectic, Stone’s entry into the peaceful monoracial home would trigger an act of violence—​ against him. Baird thus demurs. Stone’s removal at play’s end asserts the inviolability of his bond to the Anglo wife who rescues him. Incidentally, it reboots the dramatic energies that make Native spaces “intimate.” Aaron McGaffey Beede, an Indianophilic missionary and author of the regional drama Heart-​in-​the-​Lodge (1915), also acknowledges the convention at issue. Early in that play, three soldiers enter a Hunk-​pa-​ti tent, seeking information about a massacre in which those Dakotas had not been involved. Evidently anxious about wayward directors, Beede asserts that “no violence was done the men in the tent” (3), even though the soldiers have appeared in the middle of open warfare between 183

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Dakotas and settlers. In these plays, as in most other Indian-​themed plays by Anglo writers, the Indian home is either off-​limits or mythopoetically and conveniently peaceful.6 Violence generally happens out of doors. When it menaces domestically, it menaces Anglo characters.7 Green and Riggs spurn convention by staging violent white incursions into Native domestic space and by thematizing their effects on Native individuals and communities. Their formal choices differ, as does the clarity with which they reject convention. Green’s title situates his play in the pseudo-​tragic tradition that would later prompt the Delaware playwright Daniel David Moses to declare his refusal “to serve up for public consumption yet another image of the defeated wild Indian” (72). Indeed, Green sometimes recalls less progressive writers like Hemingway in his representation of Indigenous vulnerability, notably in his play’s linear movement toward the death of the fugitive Henry Berry Lowrie, in real life “the most popular resistance figure in Lumbee history” (Caison 161).8 But if The Last of the Lowries ends with the resignation that Moses mistrusts and Hemingway sensationalizes, it also critiques the terror that precipitates closure. Green draws on the history of a Lumbee family in Robeson County, North Carolina, that was involved in what historian Malinda Maynor Lowery (Lumbee) describes as a rebellion against the state.9 As free people of color in the decades preceding the Civil War, the Lumbees faced threats to their voting rights and the legality of their marriages. The Confederate government conscripted them during the Civil War. When a member of the Confederate Home Guard murdered several Lumbee men during a furlough, Henry Berry Lowrie retaliated by killing him. After Henry and his brothers joined Union soldiers in raiding farms for food, local men captured family members and murdered Henry’s father, Allen, and his brother, William. The ensuing war lasted for seven years, during which “Lowry and his gang murdered nearly two dozen of the most prominent white men in the county, including former Confederate officials, the sheriff, state militia officers, and the head of the local Ku Klux Klan” (Lowery 16).10 Henry’s fate remains unknown; “the authorities never captured him,” Lowery observes, though they tracked down and killed another brother, Tom (16). Lowery emphasizes the conflict’s significance to the Lumbees: “The Lowry War helps us tie together the foundational aspects of Indian belonging—​reciprocity, kinship, and settlement—​with a political battle over the level of supremacy that white elites should maintain in the presence of an enormous nonwhite and poor-​white electorate” (16). To Lowery, Henry and his “gang” are resistance fighters, not outlaws. Green seems to agree, and his recognition of the moral valences of state brutality make him unique among early twentieth-​century Anglo authors of Indian-​themed plays.11 His adaptation of an important source signals his attitude. Although he copied most of his description of Henry Berry Lowrie (see 132‒3) from Mary C. Norment’s undisguisedly racist Lowrie History (1875), his attitude toward Henry conveys a generosity absent from that account. To Green, Henry was not a “savage” warrior against the “white race” (Norment 11, 22, 141); nor was he given to flashing “[the] smile of a demon” or “talk[ing] like an illiterate man” (Norment 10).12 The Last of the Lowries, rather, relies for its dramatic effect on Henry’s membership in a family unjustly persecuted by state authorities. The play’s expository moments bolster this characterization, as does Green’s decision to set the play in 1874, as Henry is reckoning with the lawmen who pursue him. At rise, Mayno Lowrie, a “full-​ blooded Croatan” with “skin a tan color, almost copper, prominent cheek bones, short flat nose, and black shifty eyes” and “coarse raven hair,” sits at a spinning wheel. The “rude dwelling built of rough-​ hewn timbers” (117) and the focality of the spinning wheel mark this space as pre-​or anti-​modern, as do Mayno’s phenotypes, which uneasily recall Norment’s interest in phrenology (see 10). Mayno’s sister-​in-​law, Jane Lowrie, enters with a package that testifies to the insinuative reach of state violence: the package contains Steve Lowrie’s clothes “slashed and stiff with blood,” the latest evidence of the family’s persecution “for being robbers and cut-​throats” (120‒1). Mayno and Jane hide Steve’s clothes from the matriarch, Cumba, who has already endured the murders by lawmen of her husband and two other sons, one in the family home. This violent history has made Henry—​“the best o’ the Lowries,” says Mayno (122)—​the last male of his line. 184

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State violence defined the lives of the historical Lowrie Gang, and it energizes the plot of The Last of the Lowries, but Green again rejects Norment by representing Henry’s death as a hero’s defiant act. Green’s lawmen track Henry to Cumba’s home, but they remain offstage, a spectral presence that contradicts the realism of the set and dialogue.They corner Henry and prompt his suicide (see 147‒8), but they cannot claim the “honor” of killing him. Contrastingly, Norment imagines the Lowries, “fearful of pursuit” after a night of crime, setting up camp outdoors and, improbably, “buil[ding] up a fire.” Henry drops his gun, which fires, “the load taking effect in [his] face and forehead, tearing away his nose and the greater part of his forehead” (139). A cartoonish Providence acting as a state surrogate kills a clumsy outlaw. In The Last of the Lowries, however, Henry comes home to surrender. Green presents his return as part of an ongoing confrontation between Indigeneity and modernity, defined in this play as a capitalist-​colonialist system to which Henry has unsuccessfully struggled to adapt. Henry had written to Cumba, telling her that he and Steve were in Georgia, “workin’ in a store an’ makin’ good money,” while awaiting a pardon from the governor (128).When Henry arrives back in North Carolina, however, he is dressed not as a modern wage-​worker but as a romanticized outlaw, armed with pistols, a rifle, and a “long-​bladed knife” (133). He has stolen, not earned, the “bag of money” he produces (135). Reunited with his banjo, Henry accedes to Cumba’s request to play “some o’ the ol’ pieces” (139). He selects “The Ballad of John Hardy,” an old folk song about a Black railroad worker who was hanged for murder and who, like Henry Lowrie, carried two guns and visited his mother right before his violent death. The scene—​and the play, per se—​ascribes to Henry a cultural status beyond his fugitivity. He is outside of his time but a hero nonetheless, durable in art. Cumba’s and Henry’s acquiescence in an unjust death binds Green’s play to the literary and dramatic convention of Indigenous defeat, albeit equivocally. When Henry hears an owl hooting, he tells Cumba, “I’m goin’ ” (142). She accepts his augury by saying, “I’ll never see ’im again” (143). Jane protests, but Cumba finds Steve’s bloodied clothes and declares herself “defeated.” “There’s only one left and they’ll git ’im soon,” she adds (145). Cumba and Jane hear a gunshot; Mayno enters and reveals that Henry shot himself when “the sheriffs crope from the thicket at ’im” (148). In her curtain speech, Cumba laments the loss of the Lowery men: “they’re all gone, and what call hev I got to be living more[?]‌” (148). Green leaves an actor to answer Cumba’s question gesturally. Having posed it “shrilly,” Cumba briefly “raises her hands as if in a curse.” But as the curtain falls, “her face softens,” and she begins “blessing” the bloody clothes of the dead (148). Although Cumba’s equanimous acceptance of defeat conforms to stereotypes about Indigenous stoicism and resignation, Green’s investment in the vanishing Indian trope remains modest. His departures from dramatic convention and source material testify to his achievement. He has minutely depicted an Indigenous home, staged an entire play in it, set a climactic death outside it, emphasized the effect of violent deaths on surviving family members, and recorded the horrific actions of a state power that retains coercive force even in its absence. He has dismissed Norment’s gruesome fantasy of Henry’s death. He has dramatized the “last of the Lowries” but not the last of the Lumbees, a tribal nation that has endured its own long history with fugitivity in its fight for recognition. Riggs does not build The Cherokee Night toward the conventional Indigenous vanishment to which Green uneasily defaults. Rather, he experiments with dramatic form in order to evoke a viable if tenuous Indigenous future. As Kirby Brown argues, The Cherokee Night displays “Riggs’s theoretical commitments to formally innovative, politically committed theater” and models an “explicitly modernist, self-​conscious disruption of linear time” (120). The play depicts the fragility of turn-​of-​ the-​century life in the Cherokee Nation and gestures at Cherokee absence; but, as Brown argues, its asynchronous sequencing of scenes “refuses the inevitability and overwhelming sense of doom that run as a thread throughout” (120). Working within the modernist tradition of formal experimentation but in opposition to primitivism and other forms of literary coloniality, Riggs posits a return to Cherokee national autonomy as the best answer to his characters’ efforts to reconcile Indigeneity and modernity. 185

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By consistently thwarting these efforts, the settler-​ colonial state assigns Cherokees a fugitive status.13 Riggs figures this fugitivity across a tribal nation, focusing on the “lost” generation of Cherokees born, like Riggs, Green, and Hemingway, in the 1890s. He emphasizes the disjunction of modernity and Indigeneity by setting scenes, seriatim, in 1915, 1927, 1931, 1906, 1913, 1919, and 1895. The middle scene occurs in the year before the dissolution of the Cherokee Nation’s government in anticipation of Oklahoma statehood. This loss of autonomy presents another challenge to Cherokees, or creates another stage of fugitivity for them, but does not imply their collective demise. Unlike Green’s Lumbees, Riggs’s Cherokees resist their fugitive status. Riggs establishes Cherokee fugitivity as definitional in the former Indian Territory. The play opens in 1915, nine years after the dissolution of the Cherokee Nation. Six young Cherokees of various blood quanta have gathered on a summer day at Claremore Mound, the site of a devastating battle between the Cherokees and Osages in 1817. The group comprises Viney Jones, a teacher; Hutch Morey, an oil field teamster; Audeal Coombs, “who runs a beauty parlor” (113); Art Osburn, a troubled, angry young man; Bee Newcomb, a waitress and prostitute; and Gar Breeden, Bee’s half-​brother. All six characters struggle to cope with traumatic personal and tribal-​national histories and to adapt to settler-​colonial modernity, though Audeal and Viney appear to have adapted more successfully than the others. Their comrades, especially Hutch, exemplify fugitivity. Hutch seems pre-​modern. He stutters and spits on the floor, and Viney ridicules him for his unclean neck and his “filthy dirty” overalls (113).Viney also belittles the “broody” Art, whom she presents as a stereotypical fugitive by declaring that “everybody that trades horses with that Pap of yours says all you Osburns ought to be shot” (114; italics in original). Gar, kicked out of the local agricultural college, becomes a stage Indian in Bee’s mockery of him as “Heap Big Chief ” and “Chief Squat-​in-​the-​Grass” (115). When Gar asks Art to identify their location, Art responds, “in jail,” not “Claremore Mound” (115). Art feels that he has reached the fugitive’s terminus, a premonition realized in the second scene. But he is just one of a cluster of young fugitives from modern political, economic, or educational systems. Riggs’s young Cherokees do not capitulate to fugitivity, as a hostile exchange between them and Old Man Talbert in scene one demonstrates. Talbert, “in rough clothes, with long hair and strange, startled eyes,” emerges from a fissure in Claremore Mound as if from the Cherokee past and threatens to “kill [them] all” (123). His rants about ghouls, poor whites, and African Americans suggest that his own experience of colonial modernity has left him angry, afraid, and unbalanced. In a moment that draws attention to the humanity he has maintained, Gar essays diplomacy. His recollection of Talbert’s gift to him of an eagle feather confirms an attachment between the two that may have been rooted in ceremony. Talbert declines the courtesy and dismisses the young Cherokees as “lost” (125). While their responses are often disrespectful, the young people reject Talbert’s declarations of doom and deny his assertion that a spectral Cherokee warrior had told him that the Cherokees had become “homeless ghosts” by following “the white man’s way” (127‒8). The vision had prompted Talbert “[to] prove my right to be a Cherokee like my fathers ... . Even though I lived in a frame house, and paid taxes, and et my grub out of a tin can” (128). He has been countering these signs of modernity by scouring Claremore Mound for arrowheads, popularly legible markers of Indigeneity. Riggs, however, questions the perceived antagonism of Indigeneity and modernity. Bee confronts Talbert and sarcastically offers herself to him before saying, “go away, go away from here!” (129). She banishes him and his bleak view of Cherokee life from the stage. In the succeeding six scenes, Riggs works through variations on the theme of fugitivity, literal and figurative, Cherokee and non-​Cherokee. Scenes two and three advance chronologically and follow, respectively, Bee and Art, and Viney and her sister, Sarah Pickard. Art’s fugitivity has become literal by the start of scene two, following his murder of his Indian wife and his flight from the authorities who have captured, beaten, and incarcerated him. The sheriff brings Bee to the jail to pose as a prisoner and to elicit a confession from Art. Once Bee arrives, Art expresses his fugitive status by wondering, “How did I get here? What am I doin’ here?” (136). The police incorporate modern technology—​photography and a Dictaphone—​into their plot to force a confession from Art and 186

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ensure his execution. Troubled by her involvement but compromised by poverty, Bee acts with a defeatism that recalls Talbert’s: “Leave me here. Slam the bolts to! What’s the dif? I’m dead. Bury me” (141). The pronouncement, however, aligns better with her own darkly comic view of life than with Talbert’s despair. She exits the cell and tells the sheriff, “Don’t git too clost to a rope yerself ” (142). Bee refuses fugitive status, much as Viney’s sister, Sarah, will retain her proud self-​worth in scene three after losing her allotment to another modern institution, the bank, and suffering from a rheumatism for which she cannot afford medication. To highlight the specificities of Cherokee fugitivity, Riggs in scenes four and five considers the distinct fugitive experiences of African Americans and white religious fanatics. In scene four, set in 1906, Art, Hutch, and Gar search for evidence of a murder and discuss the gossip that has emerged about it, adapting its racist language.The boys embrace the excitement and fear of having the murderer, a Black man, locally at large, and they recall the forcible exile of African Americans from Claremore (see Brown 157). Riggs locates African Americans in a fugitive space as precarious as the Cherokees’, in which they face constant threats to their property and actual or de facto execution. In scene five (1913), Gar flees in anguish from post-​statehood Tahlequah, the politically and socially prostrated capital of the Cherokee Nation, to a small hill-​top church community whose members have been raiding Cherokee farms. In bizarre pronouncements of faith, the cult members have confessed to previous crimes, including their execution of a local sheriff. Their own fugitivity buttresses their religious identity. In the tradition of Pauline extremism, they index their present blessedness to their past depravity, for example by using their imagined saintliness to justify their stockpiling of guns against the possibility of retaliation. The cult members’ whiteness, unavailable to Black and legibly Indian characters, has to this point entitled and protected them even in their fugitive state. Indeed, they view themselves as beyond the reach of human law.The sect’s leader, Jonas, resembles Old Man Talbert with his “strange, fanatic” eyes (171). His fanaticism includes the belief that his people are divinely protected. Jonas tries to bully the chained Gar into converting by telling him not to expect “help” from his fellow Cherokees. “They’re dying out,” he says, heedless of his own people’s dependence on Cherokee labor (181). Though Gar initially sounds despairing—​“We’re all lost. We don’t know where we are” (182‒3; italics in original)—​he ferociously resists Jonas and denounces the church as a “den of cow thieves and madmen” (183). As a posse from Tahlequah approaches the enclave, he screams, “I won’t die this way! ... You won’t kill me. You can’t kill me! I’m going to live. Live!” (186). Like his half-​sister Bee, Gar does not surrender. Both are alive in scene two, fourteen years later. Kate Whiteturkey, a young Osage woman, represents an Indigenous contrast to the play’s Cherokee fugitives. The beneficiary of the discovery of oil on Osage land, she is the play’s most affluent character. Riggs sets scene six in 1919, right after World War I, at Kate’s home, where she lives with her husband, Hutch, better dressed if no more confident than he had been in the first scene. As a veteran, Hutch provides the most explicit link to the global conflict that defined much of American modernist literary production. Though he saved Kate’s brother Clabe’s life on the battlefield, their shared military history is less significant than Hutch’s childhood abuse by his own brother, George, and Kate’s anti-​Cherokee racism. George’s surprise appearance in Osage country triggers discord, announced by Hutch’s immediate expression of hostility. George also argues with Kate and expresses bitterness about the wealth of the Osages.When Clabe enters with a gun and a dead squirrel, he “goes right to George” and aggressively confronts him (196). Riggs shows multiple Indigeneities, modernities, and Indigenous modernities at odds in this scene, with their quick succession telegraphing their instability. After George suggests that Hutch commit to bourgeois, masculinist modernity by working and marrying a “decent woman” (197), the scene ends with Hutch again manifesting his fugitive status by stuttering. Sequentially, the play ends in 1895, in the cabin of John Gray-​Wolf, which stands where the young Cherokees had held their picnic in scene one. After singing a Cherokee hunting song, Gray-​Wolf tells 187

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his eight-​year-​old grandson a story about a Cherokee warrior’s ruse to protect himself during battle. He follows this with another story about Cherokee fugitives. Cherokees convicted of crimes, he says, visit their families, then return for their executions. Gray-​Wolf ’s story reminds him of one Cherokee fugitive, his own son, and conjures another. As they hear two pistol shots, Gray-​Wolf shares some family history with his grandson. “When your pappy was killed it was a cold night just like this,” he remembers;“His family was hungry. He took a side of beef from the smokehouse on Rucker’s Ranch. To him it wasn’t stealin’. To the Indian, food was sump’n to keep you and your family alive, sump’n you had a right to ... But they caught him and killed him” (201). Gray-​Wolf ’s son’s past, which recalls Henry Berry Lowrie’s, in effect repeats as the outlaw Edgar Spench appears, points his pistol at Gray-​ Wolf, and demands entry into his home. Riggs does not imagine Spench as an innocent fugitive like Ned Christie, a Cherokee man wrongly accused of murder and killed by US marshals in 1892 as he emerged from his burning home (see Mihesuah 4). Spench confesses to robbing and killing a storeowner; “in cold blood,” Gray-​Wolf responds, horrified (204). He also admits to “robbery, arson ... wife desertion, rape, [and] murder” (207). He has held respectable jobs, he continues, but “sump’n always drove me on.The bosses! Burned down their barns, rustled their cattle, slept with their wives. Shot the bastards down—​!” (208). Gray-​ Wolf does not condemn Spench but rather urges him to “fight ... fight to live” (208‒9). This message, an articulation of what Piatote calls “the resilience of the tribal-​national domestic” (4), will be Spench’s son Gar’s inheritance. When Sheriff Tinsley arrives and shoots Spench, Gray-​Wolf says, “You can’t do that, can’t do it! In cold blood!” (209). His repetition of “in cold blood” correlates Tinsley’s murder of Spench to the murder that has again made Spench a fugitive. Riggs condemns both. Tinsley sees his crime differently. Like the fanatical Jonas, he uses religion to justify crimes against Indigenous people. He says, “let this be a lesson and a warnin’. Teach your grandson. Tell everybody what it means to oppose the law ... This is God’s country out here—​and God’s a white man” (209). Cherokees are always fugitives in the eyes of white men like Jonas and Tinsley. Unlike Jonas and Tinsley (but like Green), Riggs lets Indigenous mothers speak. Marthy Breeden and Florey Newcomb enter, the former with Gar in her arms, the latter with Bee in her womb. Recognizing the damage that Spench’s serial fugitivity and violent death will inflict on his children, Marthy says, “Someday, the agony will end. Yours has. Ours will. Maybe not in the night of death, the cold dark night, without stars. Maybe in the sun. It’s got to! It’s what we live for” (210). Florey, unconvinced, argues, “But it goes on, it goes on!” (210). Marthy concedes, partially: “In our children, yes. In our children’s children, maybe no” (210). Her and Florey’s children, Marthy prophesizes, will be a lost generation, fugitives from the trauma of this evening, from broader tribal-​national disasters, and from white men like Tinsley. But they will resist, as the first six scenes indicate, and perhaps pass a Cherokee world to their “children’s children.” Considering the play chronologically rather than sequentially produces a complementary reading. This version, ipso facto authorized by Riggs, would open with the last staged scene, which both asserts Cherokee belonging—​“Leave us,” Gray-​Wolf says to Tinsley over Spench’s corpse, “It’s our dead” (211; italics in original)—​and reminds the audience of its tenuousness. Six scenes would then enact the disjunction of modernity and traumatized Indigeneity. Ending the play with the third staged scene, in 1931, would sound an alarm.Viney, Sarah’s sister, is a home-​invader. Having married the mayor of Quapaw, she enjoys the perquisites of official authority: her daughter attends a “fine” boarding school (148), and she feels licensed to dismiss Indians as “ignorant and hungry and crazy in [the] head half the time” (151).14 Sarah angrily expels her and the discord she would insinuate into “the intimate domestic (the Indian home and family)” (Piatote 4). Ironically, this makes the state-​ agent Viney a fugitive from her own Indigeneity while affirming the sanctity, and the Indigeneity, of Sarah’s home. As she exits, Viney throws down the 50 cents Sarah needs for her liniment, and Riggs replaces the previously insistent drumming with the sound of a pump organ, on which Sarah’s daughter plays a Christian hymn of gratitude. Riggs has not posited a life free from humiliation or irony. But he has taken a further step along a path that Green had walked by representing Indigenous 188

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homes—​John Gray-​Wolf ’s, Sarah Pickard’s, Kate Whiteturkey’s—​as sites of resistance to enforced fugitivity. By identifying fugitivity from state aggression as the Indigenous modern and modernist condition, Green and Riggs ushered an anti-​colonial politics onto the US stage. Their effort works against conventions that depoliticize Indigeneity by idealizing Indigenous characters or by evading responsibility for colonial and state violence through the representation of American Indians as pathetic or deracinated survivors of an unnamed catastrophe. Unconventionally, Green and Riggs identify the perpetrators of this catastrophe and reckon with the legacy of colonial and settler-​colonial violence. By locating state violence near or within Indigenous homes, the playwrights also humanize Indigenous people and reject the caricatures of Indigenous people in the work of other US dramatists and, for example, in the fiction of Hemingway, Faulkner, and Lawrence. They do not resolve the tensions between Indigeneity and modernity. Rather, they reset their ostensible conflict as a product of violent anti-​Indigeneity, not of Indigenous inferiority or inevitable incommensurability. For Riggs and Green, until the violence ends, Indigenous people will not be able to resolve the tensions on their own terms and for their own communities.

Notes 1 See Howe (32) for the distinction between these two primary modes of modernist primitivism represented, respectively, by D.H. Lawrence’s short story “The Woman Who Rode Away” and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. 2 Piatote’s study takes the assimilation era from 1879 to 1934 as its purview. 3 We borrow the phrase from Walter Mignolo’s The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (2011). 4 Clark declares Green “an exemplar” of the folk drama movement (766). Riggs “writes as though the small world known to his characters were the only world in the universe” (766). Green was born in North Carolina, Riggs in the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. 5 See the collection Manito Masks (1925), and see Kills-​With-​Her-​Man (1929). 6 Indigenous homes are also off-​limits in, e.g., George Cram Cook’s The Spring (1921), George O’Neil’s American Dream (1933), and Maxwell Anderson’s High Tor (1937). 7 See, in addition to Baird and, implicitly, Beede,Virgil Geddes’ Pocahontas and the Elders (1933), the first act of which is set in Powhatan’s longhouse, where Pocahontas prevents an act of violence against John Smith. 8 Ella Deloria (Dakota) represents Henry Berry Lowrie in The Life-​Story of a People (1940), an Indigenous-​ authored and Indigenous-​produced play commissioned by the Lumbees. See Gardner 47. 9 Our historical summary relies on Lowery 15‒17. Green identifies the family as Croatan, although in 1913, North Carolina recognized the Lumbees as Cherokees (see Lowery 89). 10 Cf. Norment on “these most excellent citizens of Robeson county [who] met their sad fate at the hands of these modern Robeson county Apaches” (21‒2). Malinda Maynor Lowery’s great-​great grandfather, Henderson Oxendine, was in the Lowery gang (see Lowery 16, Norment 108‒9). 11 Earlier Anglo-​authored Indian “tragedies” like Robert Rogers’s Ponteach: or,The Savages of America (1766) ally with later plays like Jack London’s The Acorn-​Planter (1916) by accommodating state violence ideologically. Moses exemplifies the many contemporary Indigenous playwrights who explore this problem. 12 Koch (xxviii) reproduces Green’s acknowledgement of his source, without noting Green’s authorship (see Green, Southern Life 74). 13 Andrew Denson describes the US’s multi-​generational policy of refusing to acknowledge that the Cherokee Nation had successfully modernized. See Demanding the Cherokee Nation: Indian Autonomy and American Culture, 1830‒1900 (U of Nebraska P, 2004). 14 Quapaw is the capital of the Quapaw Nation in northeastern Oklahoma. But Riggs does not give Jack Clepper a tribal nation identification, and Viney’s internalized anti-​Indianism suggests that she has married a white man.

References Baird, George M.P. Mirage. Cincinnati: Stewart Kidd, 1922. Beede, Aaron McGaffey. Heart-​in-​the-​Lodge. Bismarck: Bismarck Tribune Company, [1915]. Bigsby, C.W.E. A Critical Introduction to Twentieth-​Century American Drama.Vol. 1. New York: Cambridge UP, 1982.

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James H. Cox and Alexander Pettit Brown, Kirby. Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907‒1970. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2018. Caison, Gina. Red States: Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Southern Studies. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2018. Clark, Barrett H. “Our New American Folk Drama.” English Journal, vol. 16, no. 10 (1927): 759‒70. Gardner, Susan. “ ‘Weaving an Epic Story’: Ella Cara Deloria’s Pageant for the Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina, 1940‒1941.” Mississippi Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1 (2006‒07): 33‒57. Geddes,Virgil. Pocahontas and the Elders. Chapel Hill, NC: M.A. Abernathy, 1933. Green, Paul. The Last of the Lowries. Carolina Folk-​Plays. Eds. Frederick H. Koch. New York: Henry Holt, 1922. 115‒48. —​—​. A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916‒1981. Ed. Laurence G. Avery. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1994. Hemingway, Ernest. “Indian Camp.” The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Scribner, 2017. 55‒67. Howe, Irving. “The Idea of the Modern.” The Idea of the Modern in Literature and the Arts. Ed. Howe. New York: Horizon, 1967. Koch, Frederick H. “Folk-​Play Making.” Carolina Folk-​Plays. Ed. Koch. New York: Henry Holt, 1922. xi‒xxix. Lowery, Malinda Maynor. Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2010. Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2011. Mihesuah, Devon A. Ned Christie:The Creation of an Outlaw and Cherokee Hero. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2018. Moses, Daniel David. “How My Ghosts Got Pale Faces.” Pursued by a Bear: Talks, Monologues and Tales, by Moses. Toronto: Exile, 2005. 52‒81. [Norment, Mary C]. The Lowrie History (1875). Reprint ed. Lumberton, NC: Lumbee Publishing, 1909. Piatote, Beth H. Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature. New Haven, CT:Yale UP, 2013. Riggs, Lynn. The Cherokee Night. The Cherokee Night and Other Plays. Ed. Jace Weaver. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2003. 109–211. —​—​. Letter to Paul Green. 5 March 1939. Paul Green Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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14 MINOR CHARACTERS, MODERNITY, AND THE INDIGENOUS MODERNIST NOVEL John Joseph Mathews, D’Arcy McNickle, and John Milton Oskison Leif Sorensen

This chapter shows how settler-​colonial discourses of modernity and modernization shape the characterization of Indigenous figures in modernist era novels by Indigenous writers and non-​ indigenous authors of color. The politics of characterization determines which figures can become central protagonists and which occupy the marginalized position of the minor character who aids or challenges the protagonist. This distribution of narrative attention is guided by power dynamics that emerge when settler-​colonial legal and economic institutions impose the temporal framework of modernity on Indigenous peoples and nations. In other words, settler-​colonial ideologies of development, modernization, and progress shape the character spaces of ethnic modernist fiction. The effect is that protagonists frequently are distinguished from Indigenous minor characters by virtue of a temporal orientation, to use Mark Rifkin’s important concept, that aligns with settler colonialism and dominant modernity discourses. In other words, the temporal orientations of Indigenous characters determine which characters are protagonists and which remain on the margins of the plot. My primary contention is that in multiethnic fiction of the modernist era minor Indigenous characters assert temporal sovereignty and stand against the imperative to conform with settler-​colonial modernity in ways that protagonists cannot. These characters are more than foils for the central protagonist. Their collective political and narrative potential exceeds the formal constraints of the modern novel. Consequently, they are powerful responses to settler-​colonial modernity that gesture toward alternative narrative, generic, and political futures. The subgenre of the bildungsroman, or novel of education, which follows the protagonist’s social formation and culminates with their incorporation into society, is surprisingly rich with resistant minor Indigenous characters. The novels discussed in this essay—​Zora Neale Hurston’s (African American) Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Américo Paredes’s (Latinx) George Washington Gómez (written between 1936 and 1940, published in 1990), John Milton Oskison’s (Cherokee) Black Jack DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-18

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Davy (1926), D’Arcy McNickle’s (Salish) The Surrounded (1936), and John Joseph Mathews’s (Osage) Sundown (1934) –​approach the bildungsroman critically. They imagine narrative spaces and trajectories that offer alternatives to coercive and destructive state-​sponsored modernization. Most crucially, they all mobilize Indigenous minor characters to gesture toward speculative political and narrative horizons of sovereignty that challenge settler-​colonial modernity. In the first of the essay’s three parts, I elaborate my theorization of the politics of characterization by bringing contemporary scholarship in Indigenous studies into dialogue with entries from McNickle’s journals, which offer a neglected foundation for understanding the characterological politics of indigeneity in ethnic modernism. The second section analyzes the character spaces of Hurston’s and Paredes’s novels and the third focuses on Mathews’s, Oskison’s, and McNickle’s works. This cross-​ethnic methodology contributes to a growing body of work on ethnic literatures of the US that eschews the common tendency to use white settler writers as mediating figures that enable comparisons among Native writers and non-​Native authors of color. Two exemplary recent books that work across Native and Black studies, Mark Rifkin’s Fictions of Land and Flesh and Tiffany Lethabo King’s The Black Shoals, demonstrate the importance of such work in their careful theorizations of bridges between the approaches of Black and Native studies.1 Such work requires that we think carefully through the different modes of critique and alternatives to settler-​colonial modernity that emerge from different traditions of thought instead of collapsing them into a single model of resistance or treating one tradition as the model by which the others will be measured and judged. Combining these insights with a focus on the politics of characterization can reshape our understanding of Indigenous writing from the modernist era and beyond.

The Politics of Minor Characters Daniel Heath Justice has lucidly described the power of narratives, which he terms shaping stories, to orient indigenous individuals and communities in relation to one another and the world as a whole, for good and for ill. He writes: “sometimes the shaping stories are an empowering blessing, sometimes they’re a disfiguring curse, sometimes they offer a bit of both shadow and light” (Justice 35). My focus is on the way that Indigenous novelists of the modernist era reckon with two ambivalent shaping stories, the bildungsroman and modernity discourse. These are, of course, two radically different versions of a shaping story: a specific subgenre of the realist novel on one side and, on the other, a vast, often contradictory, amalgamation of political, ethnographic, economic, and philosophical approaches to modernity and modernization. In positing modernity discourse as a shaping story, I draw on a long tradition in global and comparative studies of modernity and particularly on Mary Louise Pratt’s invaluable contention that modernity is an identity discourse (Pratt 27–​8). The traditional European bildungsroman of the nineteenth century chronicles a protagonist’s social and cultural education and culminates with the character finding a stable place in society.2 Writers of the modernist era use the bildungsroman to explore how one’s failure to accommodate oneself to modernity might point to systemic social and political failings.3 Attending to the politics of characterization opens up new ways of understanding how Indigenous authors of the modernist era negotiated with the shadow and light cast by these powerful shaping stories. Their novels form an archive in which Indigenous writers begin to experiment with genre and narrative in order to imagine strategies for escaping the hegemony of settler-​colonial modernity. When viewed from this perspective, the incomplete, foreshortened, and seemingly failed narratives of minor characters become future-​oriented gestures toward current emerging creative movements like Indigenous futurism and tribalography.4 As I have argued elsewhere, writers of color in the US during the modernist era engage critically with the bildungsroman to demonstrate how this subgenre enforces a formal version of the kinds of containment that also inhibit attempts to imagine and construct alternatives to settler-​colonial modernity (Sorensen 4–​22). For Indigenous writers of the modernist era, the bildungsroman’s logic 192

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of character is simultaneously attractive and fraught because it situates the triumphant emergence of the protagonist into social significance against a background of minor characters who pursue less successful narrative arcs. My understanding of this fundamental narrative asymmetry is informed by Alex Woloch’s argument that, in the bildungsroman, the protagonist’s journey attracts attention away from minor characters, mimicking the unequal and unjust distribution of resources in the world of capitalist modernity. Moreover, the bildungsroman implicitly justifies this inequality by emphasizing the exceptional nature of the well-​rounded protagonist in contrast with the flat and simplistic minor characters (Woloch 29–​30). Woloch’s analysis, however, has little to say about race and it never addresses Indigenous writing. To consider how Indigenous creators critically rework this form, I link Woloch’s argument with contemporary work in Native Studies on the vexed relationship between North American Indigenous creators of the modernist era and settler-​colonial modernity discourses. Rifkin’s theorization of temporal sovereignty offers one valuable way of bringing Woloch’s account of the politics of character into contact with the concerns of Native Studies. Rifkin outlines his account of the relationship between indigeneity and modernity as follows: The issue I seek to raise is not whether Native peoples can choose to engage in practices that could be characterized as modern, or whether they could characterize their own experiences of time as modern, but what the stakes are of treating such participation or experience as necessarily indicating entry into a singular temporal formation that itself marks the sole possibility for moving toward the future. Rifkin Beyond 15 My focus on the politics of characterization leads me to ask to what degree a character’s status as a protagonist is contingent on that character’s acquiescence to “a singular temporal formation” that claims a monopoly on the passage into futurity (Rifkin Beyond 15).The temporal formation of settlercolonial modernity is the crucial horizon that these authors contest.Writers like McNickle, Mathews, and Oskison work through the narrative asymmetry of the bildungsroman, at times seeming to accept the darkness of this shaping story, which suggests that there is no future for Indigenous characters who will not conform to the demands of settler-​colonial modernity, and at others using minor characters to warp the character space of the bildungsroman and illuminate alternative paths. Attending to the complexity of these novels and their vexed political positions opens up the fullness of their participation in what James H. Cox has called the political arrays of American Indian literature (Cox 1–​3). The tension between the bildungsroman’s standard plot of the reconciliation of the individual protagonist with society and the more resistant stances of the minor characters also brings these texts into dialogue with urgent political theorizations of the importance of political acts of refusal, rejection, and turning away. Glen Sean Coulthard and Audra Simpson have argued that the political logic of recognition that dominates the contemporary moment tends to pathologize stances of resistance or refusal (Coulthard 22–​3, Simpson 10–​11). In the terms of the canonical bildungsroman, refusal and resistance are signs of formal failure. I maintain that the failures of Indigenous minor characters to advance the formal agenda of the bildungsroman are signs of their refusal to conform with modernist aesthetics, temporality, and politics. To clarify the significance of questions of characterization and the refusal of settler-​colonial modernity I turn to a rich passage from D’Arcy McNickle’s diaries, held in the Newberry Library, which details his struggles with the coerciveness of settler-​colonial modernity. I have discussed the importance of McNickle’s journals to our understanding of his revision of The Surrounded, a process which converted a relatively celebratory, assimilationist bildungsroman into a much more critical and fraught variation on the subgenre (Sorensen 206–​9). I return to these journals to argue that they offer a complex theorization of temporal orientation as a characterological concern. Like Kirby Brown, I am working toward a “more expansive sense of the archive” by calling attention to these more ephemeral forms of writing with the goal of “refigur[ing] the politics and 193

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possibilities of Native writing from this period” (Brown Stoking 23). In a series of entries from August 1932, McNickle narrates his loss of faith in the temporal logic of modernization. In the first he concludes that: “it must be better to have the wrong instincts—​wrong in the sense of one’s ability to accommodate oneself to the world—​to which one is faithful, than to attempt to go counter to any instinct, right or wrong” (Diary August 11 1932). This statement registers McNickle’s alienation from the project of accommodating oneself to the world, which is the shared concern of the bildungsroman and of orientation into settler-​colonial modernity. Returning to this theme of non-​ accommodation in the next entry, McNickle provides an exhaustive account of the “wrongness” of his own instincts that connects his “distrust of capitalism” to a range of temporal refusals ranging from his resentment of requirements of the workplace, the US’s fetishization of intellectual instrumentality, and that driver of speculative economic futurity, the employee stock option. The account culminates in an excoriation of the association of “the whole money making machine” with “humanitarian doctrines of progress, betterment, enlightenment” (Diary August 23 1932). Although McNickle’s critique communicates his passionate hatred of these temporal and intellectual constraints, he concludes in despair that those who possess the wrong instincts are doomed to be minor characters in the larger narrative of settler-​colonial modernization: … the rest of us, if we could not die, had our future cut out for us –​which was to fill the roles of poor relations, and bad-​tempered, crabbing, neurotic relations to boot; knowing that we should never be taken seriously and that it was not even possible to rebel, for by our own constitutional infirmities we could never expect to agree with each other long enough to show a united front. Diary August 23 1932 In this despairing vision, dissenters from US settler-​colonial modernity are warped, marginal, insignificant bystanders in a predetermined future that they have not chosen and cannot change.This despairing account is the product of an era in which McNickle questioned the viability of Native projects of political and cultural survival. This lack of a vision of resistant politics is one of the reasons that critics like Robert Allen Warrior have critiqued scholarly accounts of McNickle’s work that present it as the exemplar of Indigenous writing from the modernist era (Warrior 56). My goal here is not to reassert a claim for McNickle’s primacy but to suggest that he theorizes a shared problem of the politics of characterization that he and his contemporaries address through different variations on the bildungsroman and configurations of Native sovereignty, settler-​colonial modernity, and collective Indigenous futurity. The question that McNickle grapples with in his diaries remains central in Native studies because it relates to the grounding for Indigenous political and temporal sovereignty. Focusing on these modes of sovereignty lays bare the coerciveness of settler-​colonial modernity discourse, which leaves no space for those who reject or dissent from its proscriptions. Tiffany Lethabo King shows how these concerns about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and modernity discourses cannot be separated from Eurocentric liberal humanism (King 16). The characterological concerns that animate McNickle’s consideration of his own fate in the economic collapse of the 1930s can be linked with King’s analysis, which draws from Sylvia Wynter’s important critique of colonial humanism to show how the construction of the human “always produces other humans as less than fully human figures” (King 17). Minor characters similarly are diminished to emphasize the well-​rounded character of the protagonist, who consequently deserves a central position in the text. Part of the criteria for deservingness in the bildungsroman is a temporal orientation that aligns with settler-​colonial modernity. The Indigenous minor characters that are the focus of the next two sections of this analysis oppose this orientation. At times their orientations fit explicitly into counter-​formations of Indigenous national sovereignty, as in Oskison’s novel. At others they are rooted in spiritual traditions, ontologies, and epistemologies that reject settler-​colonial modernity. Regardless, these characters, who might seem at first glance to be the insignificant “poor relations” of Native literature in the 194

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modernist era, emerge from this consideration as vital examples of political, ethical, and conceptual refusals of settler-​colonial modernity.

Paredes’s and Hurston’s Indigenous Minor Characters Non-​Native writers of color like Paredes and Hurston tend to use indigeneity as a figural presence that points toward narrative and characterological possibilities that are incompatible with the primary plots of their novels. In Their Eyes Were Watching God and George Washington Gómez Indigenous figures model land-​based practices of sovereignty and entangled dwelling that are not fully available to the protagonists as a consequence of their participation in capitalist real estate markets. My comparative project illustrates the crucial, if exceedingly minor, characterological work performed by Indigenous figures. Because they occupy the space of McNickle’s “poor relations,” they can gesture toward counternarratives to the bildungsroman’s development plot. On the other hand, the form’s narrative asymmetry frequently ensures that they cannot bring this alternative plot to fruition. Near the end of Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, a hurricane washes away the folkloric world of transnational Black cultural ferment that arises in a Florida work camp where the protagonist, Janie, and her husband Tea Cake make their home. Although the significance of this interruption of Janie’s first successful integration into a cultural world has been explored from a range of angles, the fact that this cataclysmic event is heralded by the appearances of the only Indigenous characters in the novel has been less discussed. In the days leading up to the storm, groups of Seminoles, none of whom are named, pass through the camp as they seek higher ground. Their passage through the novel occupies only a paragraph and the few words they offer in response to Janie’s question about the purpose of their journey—​“Going to high ground. Saw-​g rass bloom. Hurricane coming”—​are notably stilted in a novel that has been rightly celebrated for its exploration of the richness of Black orality (Hurston 146). In short, these are exceptionally minor characters. Although the Seminoles quickly exit the novel, their passage unsettles the work camp. Janie’s encounter with them inspires a discussion that night in which the Black migrant laborers convince themselves that “the Indians could be, must be wrong” on the grounds that “You couldn’t have a hurricane when you’re making seven and eight dollars a day picking beans” and “Indians are dumb anyhow, always were” (147). The following day, groups of animals pass through the camp, tracing the same route east followed by the Seminoles. Tea Cake, Janie and their co-​workers disregard these natural signs without any discussion. The narrative sequence of these events implicitly collapses an indigenized version of nature with the nature of non-​human animals. Enacting this conflation places non-​human animals and Indigenous minor characters together in a realm of abjection against which Hurston’s Black primary characters can define themselves as participants in a modernist construction of what Sylvia Wynter calls “the genre of the human” (Wynter 114–​15). The greatest challenge to their desire to remain in place comes when one of their Bahaman friends, Elias, begs them to abandon the camp for the high ground. In his attempt to convince them of the severity of the storm, Elias refers to the departure of the Seminoles as evidence supporting the case for evacuation. Tea Cake’s reply refuses to acknowledge the possibility that the Seminoles possess valuable knowledge about how to survive on their ancestral lands. He responds: “Indians don’t know much uh nothin’, tuh tell de truth. Else dey’d own dis country still. De white folks ain’t gone nowhere. Dey oughta know if it’s dangerous” (148).Tea Cake’s assumption that Indigenous knowledge is invalidated by the evidence of the settler-​colonial expropriation of Indigenous lands gestures toward a logic in which the temporal orientation of modern racial capitalism provides the horizon of common sense. Imagining a land-​based alternative to the settler-​colonial regime of resource extraction that treats the muck and those who labor on it as fungible commodities is beyond the novel’s scope. Doing so would require Hurston to abandon the plot of the bildungsroman, centered on Janie’s struggles to enter a hetero-​patriarchal folk culture that strives to construct an alternative to white supremacist capitalism without fully rejecting its economic model. Even though Hurston’s unnamed Seminoles 195

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could be dismissed as yet another reductive modernist depiction of Indigenous peoples and nations, I suggest that we can read this moment against the grain to open up a horizon of possibility in which the value of non-​instrumental modes of entanglement with the land is asserted against Tea Cake’s misplaced confidence in settler-​colonial modernity. If such a counter-​narrative is to emerge from this moment, however, it can do so only through an act of speculative reading that imagines the emergence of solidarity among minor Afro-​Caribbean and Indigenous characters. A similar, even more ephemeral, thwarted vision of intersectional solidarity arises around figural indigeneity in Paredes’s George Washington Gómez. The novel’s eponymous protagonist, a Tejano from the borderlands, identifies for most of the text as Guálinto. This nickname originates in his grandmother’s mispronunciation of Washington.When Guálinto’s uncle enrolls his nephew in school, he spuriously claims that Guálinto is an Indigenous name.This marker of indigeneity, as María Josefina Saldaña-​Portillo has compellingly shown, haunts Guálinto’s subject formation (Saldaña-​Portillo 149–​ 58).The novel ends with Guálinto’s conversion into George G. Gómez, a clandestine agent of the US Army tasked with border security. To achieve this conventional success as a bildungsroman protagonist, George abandons both his indigenized identity and his previous temporal orientation, which opposed the national time of US modernization. His fantasy of resistant indigeneity, nonetheless, returns as a dream in which his alternate self leads an insurgent multiethnic army of dispossessed peoples against both the US and Mexico, instantiating a new political reality. This is ironic because the real George is tasked with wielding state violence to obliterate agents of temporal and territorial disruption that might threaten settler-​colonial modernity. Although Paredes’s portrayal of Guálinto/​George’s development into a state functionary is worthy of analysis, my concern is with the way that his dreams remove Indigenous resistance from the realm of the political. Although the novel represents the anti-​colonial guerilla war that Guálinto’s uncles take part in at the beginning of the novel as an impractical project led by a craven opportunist, it still challenges US hegemony. In contrast, George refuses to join his former school friends in their attempt to organize an electoral challenge to the local political machine. His recurrent dream of resistance suggests that what might be a political project for others is, for him, merely a psychological symptom. This development mirrors the way that settler-​colonial logic refuses to acknowledge the political validity of assertions of Indigenous sovereignty that defy the legal horizon established by the settler state. Here I am drawing on Rifkin’s account of the way the US framed the Dakota War not as a military action with a sovereign people but instead as a police action. Rifkin concludes that within this discursive frame: Indian violence cannot constitute an act of war, and therefore an expression of Indigenous sovereignty, because, instead, it needs to be explained and adjudicated as crime –​the inappropriate and unmotivated actions of Indian persons (presumed to be subjects of the state) rather than the performance of a collective politics arising from generations of inhabitance and decades of escalating non-​native incursion. Rifkin Beyond 63 Viewed in this light, George’s dream appears to be an effect of his complete acquiescence to the logic of settler-​colonial modernity in which such a project must appear as an irrational, fantastic eruption of violence and not as an actionable political project. I do not offer these analyses to hold Hurston and Paredes up to scorn. Nevertheless, it should not be ignored that the characters they align with land-​based attachment and resistant sovereignty are themselves distorted and stunted. This occurs both because these positions clash with the conceptual and temporal orientation of the form of the bildungsroman and because they are associated with minor characters who are victims of narrative asymmetry. My larger contention is that these undeveloped figures are significant as alternatives to and untimely counterplots for the bildungsroman’s plot of individual modernization. Since both Hurston’s and Paredes’s characters do not achieve triumphant accommodation into society at the ends of their stories, these minor characters provide 196

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compelling examples of political and social plots that remain unwritten. These failed or incomplete ethnic adaptations of the bildungsroman provide cautionary tales of capitalist individualism and, in so doing, critique the racial, gendered, and colonial politics of genre and form.5 A similar dynamic takes place in the works of Indigenous novelists, although their larger casts of Indigenous characters allow for richer and wider-​ranging explorations of different models of Indigenous position taking within and against the horizon of settler-​colonial modernity.

The Politics of Characterization in Indigenous Modernist Fiction John Milton Oskison’s Black Jack Davy initially appears most similar in its deployment of minor Indigenous characters to Paredes’s and Hurston’s novels. Set in the Indian Territory in the years preceding Oklahoma’s statehood, the novel is a frontier romance. The settler protagonist, David “Davy” Dawes, struggles alongside his adoptive family and the Cherokee family whose land they lease to protect Cherokee lands from the depredations of a band of unscrupulous settlers. In approaching Black Jack Davy as a bildungsroman, I call attention to Oskison’s figuration of Indian Territory as a contested site in which Cherokee and US settler models of national formation struggle with one another. Paredes and Hurston treat US hegemony as the necessary horizon for subject formation and narrate the failures of their protagonists to fulfill its demands. In contrast, Oskison innovatively makes Davy’s development contingent on accommodating himself to the Cherokee Nation’s political norms. Although the novel’s most significant Indigenous minor character, Ned Warrior, is continuously shadowed by the figure of the irrationally criminal Indian, he ultimately emerges as a heroic figure. Until recently, Oskison has been a minor character in the historiography of North American Indigenous modernist writing. Even the few critics who have argued for recovering Oskison’s work tend, as Kirby Brown shows, to dismiss Black Jack Davy as a “popular entertainment having little to do with Cherokee or Indian concerns” (Brown Stoking 37). My analysis builds on Brown’s revelatory argument that the novel’s happy ending only seemingly complies with the conventions of the frontier romance because the stability established at the novel’s end owes more to Warrior’s status as a Cherokee citizen than to the pioneer spirit of Davy Dawes (Brown Stoking 55–​6). My primary focus is on the novel’s shifting portrayal of Warrior, a character modeled on the historical Cherokee outlaw Ned Christie.6 Oskison alternates between linking Warrior to the figure of the criminalized Indian who threatens settler peace and presenting him as an enforcer of Cherokee law and order against the rampant criminality of nefarious settlers. Crucially, Ned Warrior provides the grounding for Davy’s frontier bildungsroman. The Dawes family rents their farmstead from Ned, as do Davy’s adopted aunt and uncle, the Keenes. This creates a complex interdependency between the settler project and the Cherokee Nation. Consequently, this frontier romance does not replay the typical narrative in which settlers abrogate Indigenous land claims and convert those who would defend Indigenous sovereignty into irrational criminals. Nevertheless, Ned remains under the shadow of the criminalized Indian. Before the reader or any member of the Dawes family encounters Ned in person, he appears in the duplicitous dialogue of the novel’s primary antagonist, Jerry Boyd, as “a bad Indian” who introduces criminality and disorder into a settler world (4). This initial threat is easily banished. The Dawes family sees through Boyd and Davy concludes that Boyd, not Warrior, is the figure who “didn’t fit in to the picture he had formed of the community” (14). Undaunted, Boyd continues to target Warrior. He ultimately succeeds in precipitating a raid on Warrior’s cabin by settler law enforcement agents. Although this raid does not alter the attitudes of the Dawes and Keene families toward Warrior, it creates the conditions of possibility for a more pressing conflict between Davy’s and Ned’s interests. This conflict emerges when Ned is imprisoned and Davy begins spending time with Rose, the unmarried mother of Ned’s child. By this point in the novel, it is clear that Davy’s proper love interest is his adopted cousin, Mary Keene. Rose emerges in this moment as an even more subordinated minor character, who catalyzes dangerous passions in men and is easily influenced by them. Although 197

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this flirtation ends before either Rose or Davy compromises themselves, it troubles the narrative for multiple reasons. It derails Davy from his proper narrative of development and calls his character into question. Similarly, it seduces Rose away from her role as a mother and partner to Ned. This damage is more enduring. After Davy removes himself from temptation by going to work on a distant farm, Rose engages in an affair with Boyd’s son. Finally, Ned’s awareness of a potential intimacy between Rose and Davy, especially when weaponized by Boyd, threatens the emerging harmonious relations between Cherokees and their settler tenants. While Ned is offstage in jail recovering from the injuries he sustained during the siege of his cabin and nurturing his grievance against Davy and Rose, Davy begins to find his place in the novel’s economy of frontier violence. After Davy participates in a skirmish with Boyd and his followers, he muses with wonder and satisfaction that “he had re-​enacted the old role of the pioneer fighting off torch-​bearing savages to save his home” (Oskison 167). Although it does not seem to register with Davy, it should not escape the contemporary reader that the “savages” of this struggle are Boyd and his gang of settlers, bent on continuing the extrajudicial expropriation of Native lands begun by the US government itself.7 Boyd originally attempted to recruit the Dawes family into a settler plot centered on the task of identifying and eliminating bad Indians. In this moment, Davy finds himself in a war against Boyd’s bad settlers. As Davy becomes assured of his new status as “an enlisted soldier in the battle against outlawry,” the battlelines become more entrenched and the only remaining question concerns Ned Warrior’s allegiance (168). Warrior’s release from jail raises the possibility that he might seek revenge on Davy. Just as Boyd’s efforts to criminalize Ned at the beginning of the novel come to nothing, the possibility of enduring enmity between Ned and the Dawes family fizzles out in an anticlimactic confrontation between Ned and Davy. When the two men happen to encounter one another at a railway station, violence seems inevitable. Ned is in the process of drawing his gun to shoot Davy when Davy’s god-​fearing aunt interrupts by kicking away one of the still convalescent Ned’s crutches.This intervention dispels the threat of immanent violence. Once Ned and Davy exchange a few words it becomes clear that Ned’s distrust was the result of yet another of Jerry Boyd’s plots. The alliance between Warrior and the Dawes and Keene families emerges on solid footing, paving the way for the final action set piece, which pits Ned and the good settlers against Boyd and his men. The standoff provides ample opportunities for the good settlers to prove their mettle and for the bad settlers to establish their venality. Although Warrior fights alongside the good settlers, he does so independently, employing tactics that he develops independently and arranging events to ensure that he has clear opportunities to shoot the villainous Boyd and kill his son, Rose’s true seducer. Despite Davy’s earlier commitment to the battle against settler savagery, Ned is the ultimate vehicle for the enforcement of law and order in Indian Territory. As Brown puts it Warrior’s individual defense of Cherokee lands, the Anglo residents living on them, and the community constituted by those relationships stands as a profoundly symbolic assertion—​ and within the narrative arc of the text, a restoration—​of the collective sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation. Brown Stoking 60 The conclusion of Warrior’s story banishes the figure of the Indian outlaw once and for all. After asserting Cherokee sovereignty by force of arms, Warrior commits himself to domesticity by marrying Rose and to cross-​ethnic solidarity in the form of a cattle ranching partnership with Davy.8 This arc opens up a plot in which Indigenous sovereignty can be asserted as a form of order, instead of being dismissed as chaotic violence as in George Washington Gómez. Nevertheless, this plot emerges in the margins of Davy’s narrative of settler development, raising questions about what might happen if Native figures occupied the narrative’s primary attention, as they do in both McNickle’s and Mathews’s novels, with dramatically different results. 198

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McNickle’s novel is also deeply concerned with the character type of the criminal, but the kind of escape from settler power that pathologizes Indigenous sovereignty that is available to Oskison’s Ned is less forthcoming. The Surrounded’s protagonist, Archilde Leon, seeks to establish his modern temporal orientation by differentiating himself from this figure for most of the novel only to ultimately embody it. At the beginning of the novel, the most threatening figure to US settler modernity is Archilde’s brother, Louis. Louis violates property laws, hunting regulations, and the spatial containment of the Salish people within the reservation. In a different novel, Louis might be the hero who defiantly subverts settler modernity.9 McNickle, however, employs narrative asymmetry to paint Louis as a bad tempered, crabbing relation with whom Archilde and the rest of the Leon family are unfortunate to be saddled. In the first encounter between the brothers, Louis appears to be nothing more than Archilde’s slow-​witted, cowardly, braggadocious foil. This stark opposition between a deserving protagonist and the distorted criminal degrades by the end of the novel, which concludes with Archilde in the position of the outlaw. By the time this reversal takes place, however, McNickle has violently removed Louis from the narrative, suggesting that his overt disregard for settler order, if it were to be fully explored, might also challenge Archilde’s claim to centrality. This system of values is thrown into chaos when Archilde and his mother, Catharine, embark on a deer-​hunting trip. On their trip, they encounter Louis, who has recently abandoned his stolen horses and shot a doe in defiance of game regulations. Soon after, they encounter a game warden. In a rapid sequence of events that leaves Archilde dumbfounded, the warden shoots Louis only for Catharine to kill the warden with her hatchet. With this act, Catharine, previously defined by her devout Christianity and a fear of transgression, replaces Louis as the criminal relative. Catharine, however, is less-​easily constrained to the margins of the text because of her social role in the Salish community. Unlike Louis, who has not maintained strong ties with his relations, Catharine is a respected elder with deep community bonds. Her defiance of Christian doctrine and settler law and order opens up potential paths of Salish social transformation. When she renounces Christianity for Salish religious practices in a communal ritual, she reasserts Salish temporal and cultural sovereignty, throwing a wrench into the gears of settler-​colonial modernity. Where McNickle summarily removes Louis from the narrative, Catharine’s defiance of settler order is persistent. This defiance challenges Archilde’s narrative centrality because it gestures toward a potential collective narrative of Salish temporal sovereignty from which Archilde remains alienated. Furthermore, Catharine’s commitment to tribalist modernity is only one of several minor character arcs that, in the second half of the novel, open up alternatives to Archilde’s narrative.10 The formal constraints of the bildungsroman combine with McNickle’s despairing sense of the lack of political possibilities for Native peoples in the era before the Indian Reorganization Act to ensure that this potential remains contained. Catharine’s narrative ends with her death. Even her final plea that no priests attend her death bed goes unheeded. Moreover, Archilde ends the novel wanted by the police and cut off from tribalist sovereignty. He lacks Catharine’s deep connections with Salish community and consequently sees no way to reorient himself into a form of sovereignty that challenges settler modernity. By the end of the novel, Archilde, who was bent on distinguishing himself from his bad, criminal brother, has come to occupy the same characterological space as Louis. His passage into the space of the criminal reverses Ned Warrior’s redemptive arc. In stark contrast, McNickle’s novel ends when Archilde silently raises his hands to be shackled by the Indian Agent who arrests him.This conclusion suggests that Archilde’s time as the central protagonist of a narrative of development has come screeching to a halt. As Piatote has argued, the last hope for escape from coercive settler-​colonial modernity arises from minor characters like Archilde’s nephews, last seen riding away from the scene when Archilde is arrested.11 Archilde’s only sign of resistance to the plot of tragic victimization that enmeshes him comes when he refuses to respond to the Agent’s vituperative, racist harangue that closes the novel. I see Archilde’s silence as a political refusal, like those theorized by Coulthard and Simpson.12 It indicates that, although Archilde has not completely revised his temporal orientation, he has, for the first time, abandoned his quest for recognition from settler authorities and institutions. 199

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Like The Surrounded, Sundown uses the religious orientation of minor characters to gesture toward an alternative to settler-​colonial modernity. Additionally, and like Black Jack Davy, it is also invested in Indigenous sovereignty as a political and territorial project. Consequently, Mathews goes further than either McNickle or Oskison to bend the modern bildungsroman’s character space to new purposes. His representation of continuing multigenerational efforts among the Osage people to assert temporal sovereignty avoids Oskison’s and McNickle’s heroic or tragic investments in individualism. Sundown validates the centrality of its protagonist, Chal Windzer, by distinguishing him from his two closest Osage friends, Sun on His Wings and Running Elk. Chal’s friends periodically appear to provide contrast to Chal’s narrative, which features such iconic modern achievements as attending a university and becoming a military aviator. Running Elk’s story is tragic. He becomes addicted to narcotics before being murdered in the rash of killings of Osage land-​holders that took place during the oil boom in the 1920s. Sun on His Wings, on the other hand, becomes a devotee of the syncretic Peyote religion, turning away from both the narrative of modernization that Chal pursues in fits and starts and from the despairing arc of Running Elk. As the novel progresses, Chal’s hopes are often thwarted or disappointed.The bust of the Osage oil bubble ultimately leads him to question his internalization of the ideology of progress, development, and success and to grasp for other potential modes of temporal and political orientation. At different moments in the novel Chal finds his desire for modern achievement unsettled by his experience of the aesthetic beauty of the Osage lands, traditional performances of Osage dances, and, most significantly, a syncretic multigenerational peyote ceremony that he takes part in at Sun on His Wings’s invitation. This ceremony is a generator of untimely affects that make the violent imposition of settler-​colonial modernity visible to Chal and the other participants. The ritual is presided over by Watching Eagle, Sun on His Wings’s father, who offers the participants a vision of Osage cultural persistence. The syncretism of the Peyote religion is mirrored by the physical environment of Watching Eagle’s camp. His camp is a crucial site of Osage cultural survivance that features nominal markers of settler modernity like cabins, automobiles, and young people dressed in “citizen” clothes alongside signs of tribalist traditionalism like lodges, horses, and elders wearing regalia. Before Chal enters the sweat lodge for the ceremony, he has already entered a physical environment that confounds and defies settler discourses of indigeneity and modernity. During the ceremony, Watching Eagle describes the situation of the Osage of the modernist era as a struggle to negotiate a territory that has been overlain with a series of conflicting roads. Where once only the Osage road presented itself to the people, the onset of settler modernity has produced a confusing palimpsest in which the Osage road “is still there, but there are many other roads too” (Mathews 271).This road exists, however, not as a concrete alternative but more as a potentiality. According to Watching Eagle “We cannot follow this road with our feet now, but we can see this road with our eyes, and our hearts will go along this road forever” (Mathews 271). The intangibility of the Osage road seems to be linked to the diminished status of Osage political sovereignty, but even here Mathews’s vision is less despairing than McNickle’s. Later, Watching Eagle expounds on the persistence of Osage intellectual and temporal sovereignty as established in land-​based epistemologies. His words culminate in the declaration that “We must have time to keep our place on earth” (275). Although Chal is not converted by this experience, the political power of assertions of Osage temporal sovereignty persists.These assertions complicate the novel’s ending, which superficially seems to capitulate to the demands of settler modernity. By the end of the novel the Osage oil bubble has burst, the murders of Osage people by settlers bent on expropriating their land are being investigated by the newly formed FBI, and Chal develops a new ambition to become a lawyer. This seems to offer the kind of accommodation to settler modernity lacking in The Surrounded and to banish the possibility of modern Indigenous sovereignty that provides the infrastructural support for Black Jack Davy’s happy ending. Such a reading is challenged, however, by Sundown’s penultimate scene. In it, a traditionalist elder, Roan Horse, intervenes to comment on and critique the proceedings of the senatorial investigative committee into the murders. Roan Horse is an exceedingly minor character. He enters the novel for a few paragraphs 200

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and speaks only three sentences. Nevertheless, he incisively disrupts the apparent closure imposed by the presence of federal agents extending their jurisdiction to include Osage lands and peoples. Crucially, he charges the agents of settler law and order of temporal negligence when he tells them “You have come here twenty-​five years too late” (306). This is a direct challenge to the settler logic that represents Indigenous sovereignty and Indigenous people as anachronistic unless they conform to settler modernity. Roan Horse mobilizes Osage temporal sovereignty to charge settler time with temporal lag, anachronism, and belatedness. This refusal of settler modernity recalls Watching Eagle’s insistence that the Osage must have time to assert their place on earth. It also opens up questions about how the reader should understand the novel’s ending with Chal’s sudden decision to attend Harvard law school. Reading with the grain of the bildungsroman, this development seems to fulfill the genre’s demands by confirming Chal’s modernity. Chal’s narrative, however, provides ample support for seeing this as a passing whim that he is destined to abandon. Moreover, a skeptical reader might speculate that if Chal were to follow through on this plan he might end up in a compromised position analogous to George’s at the end of George Washington Gómez. In my view, these readings are insufficient because they suggest that Chal’s individual story is pivotal. If we focus instead on Watching Eagle’s call for the Osage to assert their sovereignty in time and place and the model of Roan Horse’s forceful rejection of settler law and order, Chal’s prospects become less of a weighty proposition. After all, these elders have gained a sophisticated understanding of modernity and have developed strategies for asserting Osage sovereignty without the imprimatur of settler institutions of knowledge production. Consequently, Mathews’s minor characters open up a potentiality that reorients the reader away from the bildungsroman’s fetishization of the protagonist and into a new political and generic horizon.

Conclusion This brief survey shows how a focus on the politics of characterization may contribute to the study of Indigenous writing from the modernist era. This approach is especially valuable because it allows for greater sensitivity to the multiple political positions that are articulated in the Indigenous fiction of this era. As James Cox notes, the historiography of Native writing from the first half of the twentieth century has often been overdetermined by comparisons to the political and aesthetic commitments of the Red Power era (14). As we have seen, minor characters make crucial contributions to the political arrays of Oskison’s, McNickle’s, and Mathews’s works that become illegible if the critic allows the condition of the protagonist to dominate the focus. Additionally, as scholars increasingly seek to address what Brown has called the New Modernist Studies’ “Indian problem,” this approach demonstrates how Indigenous authors of the era grappled with aesthetic and political problems raised by modernity and modernization (Brown “American Indian Modernities” 289). Beyond the historical boundaries of the modernist period, such an approach also opens up new ways of thinking about how narrative forms and modes of characterization reproduce and impose settler-​colonial logics.This larger project might reveal that minor characters and marginal figures are paradoxically crucial to the politics of Indigenous fiction.

Notes 1 For example, Rifkin suggests strategies for working across Native studies theorizations of sovereignty and Black studies accounts of fungibility (Fictions of Land and Flesh 48–​9) and King offers her conceptual formation of the shoal as a fluid analytical space from which the conditions of possibility for intersectional ethics emerge (27–​9). 2 On the characteristics and social function of the nineteenth-​century, European bildungsroman see Moretti. 3 On the critical bildungsroman in the modernist era see Esty. For a reading of The Surrounded as a critical bildungsroman see Lima. For an argument that Sundown “outwaits—​and thus rejects—​the national–​historical time of the bildungsroman and its assimilationist function” see Anson (445).

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Leif Sorensen 4 On Indigenous futurism see Dillon. On tribalography see Howe. 5 Thanks to Kirby Brown for this insight. 6 See Conley 49–​65 on Cherokee outlaws and 149–​50 on Ned Christie as an inspiration for Oskison. Brown shows how this link supports a reading of Warrior as a figure for Cherokee sovereignty in Stoking 56–​8. Hunnef argues that Oskison’s fictional revision of Christie’s death into Warrior’s survival and eventual triumph “is not a ‘subplot’ but rather the novel’s primary concern” 355. 7 Hunnef reads this passage as crucial to Oskison’s effort to “generate an entirely different outcome for the future of the Indian Territory” in the novel (358). 8 Although it is beyond the scope of this essay, a reading of Rose’s trajectory in the novel could productively show how she emerges from, in Beth Piatote’s terms, the “degraded Native American domesticity” characteristic of settler discourse into a form of “tribal-​national domesticity” (Piatote 53). Just as Ned is shadowed by the figure of the pathological criminal, Rose is haunted by this specter of inappropriate domesticity. 9 See Piatote 146–​7 for a reading of Louis as a subversive outlaw. 10 On the alternatives created by subplots focused on Catharine, Archilde’s nephews Mike and Narcisse, and his love interest Elise La Rose see Sorensen 210–​14. For an analysis of the gendered dynamics of Catharine’s and Elise’s subplots see Piatote 157–​70. 11 See Piatote 170. 12 See Simpson 24 and Coultard 154 for theorizations of the importance of turning away from or refusing settler gazes, discourses, and calls for recognition that inform this reading. For an account of the disruptive power of silence in Sundown see Anson 444–​5.

References Anson, April. “Sounding Silence in Sundown: Survivance Ecology and John Joseph Mathews’s Bildungsroman.” Western American Literature, vol. 53, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 439–​67. Brown, Kirby. “American Indian Modernities and New Modernist Studies’ ‘Indian Problem.’ ” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 59, no. 3 (Fall 2017): 287–​318. —​—​. Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907–​1970. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2018. Conley, Robert J. Cherokee Thoughts, Honest and Uncensored. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008. Coulthard, Glen Sean. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2014. Cox, James H. The Political Arrays of American Indian Literary History. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019. Dillon, Grace L. “Imagining Indigenous Futurisms.” Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction. Ed. Grace L. Dillon. Tuscon: U of Arizona P, 2012. 1–​12. Esty, Jed. Unseasonable Youth: Modernism, Colonialism, and the Fictions of Development. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Howe, LeAnne. “Tribalography: The Power of Native Stories.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, vol. 14, no. 1 (Fall 1999): 117–​25. Hunnef, Jenna. “Alternative Histories of the Old Indian Territory: John Milton Oskison’s Outlaw Hypotheses.” Western American Literature, vol. 53, no. 3 (Fall 2018): 339–​71. Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. [1937]. New York: Harper & Row, 1990. Justice, Daniel Heath. Why Indigenous Literatures Matter. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2018. King, Tiffany Lethabo. The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies: Durham: Duke UP, 2019. Lima, Enrique. “The Uneven Development of the Bildungsroman: D’Arcy McNickle and Native American Modernity.” Comparative Literature, vol. 63, no. 3 (Summer 2011): 291–​306. Mathews, John Joseph. Sundown. [1934]. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1988. McNickle, D’Arcy. Diary entry dated August 11, 1932. McNickle Papers, Special Collections, Newberry Library. —​—​. Diary entry dated August 23, 1932. McNickle Papers, Special Collections, Newberry Library. —​—​. The Surrounded. [1936]. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1978. Moretti, Franco. The Way of the World:The Bildungsroman in European Culture. New York:Verso, 2000. Oskison, John Milton. Black Jack Davy. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1926. Paredes, Américo. George Washington Gómez: A Mexicotexan Novel. Houston: Arte Púbilco Press, 1990. Piatote, Beth H. Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 2013. Pratt, Mary Louise. “Modernity and Periphery: Towards a Global and Relational Analysis.” Beyond Dichotomies. Ed. Elisabeth Mudimbe-​Boyi. Albany: SUNY P, 2003. 21–​47. Rikfin, Mark. Beyond Settler Time:Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-​Determination. Durham: Duke UP, 2017. —​—​. Fictions of Land and Flesh: Blackness, Indigeneity, Speculation. Durham: Duke UP, 2019.

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Minor Characters, Modernity, and the Novel Saldaña-​Portillo, María Josefina. “‘Wavering on the Horizon of Social Being’: The Treaty of Guadalupe-​Hidalgo and the Legacy of Its Racial Character in Américo Paredes’s George Washington Gómez.” Radical History Review, vol. 89 (Winter 2004): 135–​64. Simpson, Audra. Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States. Durham: Duke UP, 2014. Sorensen, Leif. Ethnic Modernism and the Making of US Literary Multiculturalism. NewYork: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Warrior, Robert Allen. Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1995. Woloch,Alex. The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2003. Wynter, Sylvia. “On How We Mistook the Map for the Territory, and Reimprisoned Ourselves in Our Unbearable Wrongness of Being, of Desêtre: Black Studies Toward the Human Project.” A Companion to African American Studies. Eds. Lewis R. Gordon and Jane Anna Gordon. Malden: Blackwell, 2006, 107–​18.

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15 INDIGENOUS MODERNITY ON CELLULOID AT THE TURN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY Cristina Stanciu

Throughout the silent film era (1894–​1929), moving pictures helped in the work of imagining the US settler nation; but how did they represent one of the country’s most longstanding objects of fascination, the Indian, a signifier in the American imagination with little connection to lived Indigenous experience it ostensibly signifies?1 From nineteenth-​century Wild West shows to early twentieth-​century westerns, representations of Indians on screen and on stage reproduced episodes of frontier violence and the settler idea of Manifest Destiny in ways that relegated Native people to the periphery of modernity. Such representations dwelt on a primitive, vanishing, or exotic past, and kept Native actors and performers in what Anishinaabe scholar Gerald Vizenor terms “the ruins of representation” (“The Ruins of Representation” 7). As Dakota Sioux historian Philip Deloria asks: After decades of efforts to pacify, civilize, educate, and assimilate Native people into American culture and society, did one have to take Indians seriously as Americans? How was that supposed to work? Were ‘civilized’ Indians really civilized or were they playing the part? Were they truly modern?” Deloria 54 Building on Deloria’s line of questioning, I ask: After the moving pictures arrived in the US, what cultural work did they do in imagining both the US settler nation and the Native nations that silent films attempted to capture on celluloid? And how did Native people participate in such representations? Scholarship in silent film and Native American and Indigenous Studies has established that early films translated settler Americans’ desires, anxieties, and beliefs, at the same time that they helped form and nurture them.2 As Richard Abel has shown, the western, as a white supremacist form of entertainment, played no small part in solidifying, on the screen, the political and social work of assimilation. As Tewa and Diné film critic and filmmaker Beverly R. Singer has argued, the oversaturation of early film (or “the war-​painted years”) with stereotypes ultimately “sacrificed the humanity of Native people” (14). At best, such representations were approximations or simulations, as Gerald Vizenor has put it (Fugitive Poses 35). This simplification followed white audiences’ skepticism and distrust into the twentieth century in the form of what Philip Deloria calls “American myths of modernity” (54). Yet, modernity and Indigeneity coexisted in silent film. From early documentary footage (such as Native school scenes in New Mexico or Pennsylvania) to ethnographic film (lamenting the fate of a 204

DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-19

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“Vanishing Race” or the “Wards of the Nation”) to westerns (including the so-​called “Indian drama,” the western’s precursor), silent film documented Indigenous modernity on celluloid. I start from the premise that not only were Native people engaged in modernity at a time when the settler imaginary still relegated them to the “primitive” margins of “the modern,” but they also shaped modernity by challenging both expectations and anxieties about who could be(come) an American and by participating in national debates on Americanism and American citizenship (Deloria 55). Examining several silent films, as well as archival footage, I argue that the Native actors and extras engaged in the silent film industry played no small part in negotiating modernity on Native terms, even when those terms were uneven.3 In silent feature, documentary, and ethnographic film at the turn into the twentieth century, the Indian on screen was both a racialized reminder of the absence of Indigenous peoples and their histories from the American settler-​colonial imaginary and a visual document of their ongoing presence. Drawing on both Indigenous and non-​Indigenous film historians’ and critics’ work, I demonstrate that silent films performed two simultaneous tasks at the time. On the one hand, they solidified American whiteness and served in the settler-​colonial work of American nationalism, patriotism, and Americanization by offering audiences an ahistorical, idealized, and static version of American Indians. On the other hand, as Indian films became a widely recognizable, albeit problematic, genre, they paved the way for Native representation and self-​representation, and provided opportunities for both upward mobility and a platform for the critique of federal Indian policy.4 Over the last four decades, Native visual media in North America has offered—​in film and photography—​ an antidote to settler colonialist nostalgia through what Joanna Hearne calls “Indigenous revisionism” (8).This revisionism entails a radical act of what Beverly Singer calls “wiping the war paint off the lens,” and a revised understanding of popular early Hollywood representations of Indigenous people in the context of the push toward assimilation during the Progressive Era.5 I build on Hearne’s work of historical recovery, and continue the line of analysis of these films in the context of Indigenous expression, changes in US federal Indian policy, and the pressures of modernity on Indigenous communities at the beginning of the twentieth century. The following sections turn to lesser-​known “reel Indians” on screen and behind the camera, and ask: What are the possibilities and limitations of the cultural work silent film did in representing Native modernity?6 Films such as the recently-​rediscovered The Daughter of Dawn (1920), with an all-​Native cast, resort to melodramatic conventions to depict a Native love triangle, at the same time that they defy both federal Indian policy and census data, which condemned Indigenous people to either extinction or invisibility.7 Early documentary and ethnographic films and film fragments such as Indian Day School (1898), Club Swinging at Carlisle Indian School (1902), The Romance of a Vanishing Race (1916), and Wards of a Nation (1920), while mediating between the demands of the genre and a commitment to tribal specificity, occasionally challenged misconceptions about Native representation in the early twentieth century at the same time that they serve as visual documents of the era. As such, they document Native presence little explored in American film and literature during the Progressive Era and reveal an awareness of the damaging effects of what I call in the next section “the Indians of the American imagination,” as well as glimpses of Native agency on screen.

The Indians of the American Imagination In the first two decades of the twentieth century, American westerns appealed to the settler imaginary through an imagined nation that was white, domestic, and Christian. An influential medium, both documenting and informing modernity, silent film enabled white directors and producers to bring representations of Native people to white audiences, and, in the process, to reinforce white supremacist ideology and perpetuate myths of Indian savagery. Although many images preserved on celluloid were destroyed or lost in the last century, surviving footage of silent film broadens our understanding of the 205

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medium’s role in early twentieth-​century representations of race and Indigeneity.8 Although a few Native performers were employed by major studios in the early twentieth century, white actors continued to play Indian on stage and in front of the camera for many decades, while fewer than 30 Native performers were credited in early twentieth-​century films (Deloria 78). A small group of Indigenous actors playing Indian roles in early film—​from James Young Deer (born James Young Johnson, Nanticoke) and Lillian St. Cyr/​Princess Red Wing (Ho-​Chunk) to Edwin Carewe (Chickasaw), Minnie Ha Ha/​Minnie Devereux (Cheyenne), Molly Spotted Elk (Penobscot), and Luther Standing Bear (Lakota Sioux)—​used their temporary financial security and class mobility to serve their communities. In his first autobiography, My People, The Sioux, author and actor Luther Standing Bear recalled his own frustration with the film industry and the damage of the “Indian pictures” for Native representation: I have seen probably all of the pictures which are supposed to depict Indian life, and not one of them is correctly made.There is not an Indian play on the stage that is put on as it should be. I have gone personally to directors and stage managers and playwrights and explained this to them, telling them that their actors do not play the part as it should be played, and do not even know how to put on an Indian costume and get it right; but the answer is always the same, “The public don’t know the difference, and we should worry!” 285 Standing Bear also recalled his conversations with Thomas Ince, the producer and owner of Indian-​ film studio Inceville: “I told him that none of the Indian pictures were made right. […] We talked for a long time, and when I arose to leave, he said: ‘Standing Bear, some day you and I are going to make some real Indian pictures” (184). Ince and Standing Bear never produced those “Real Indian pictures”—​which would have to wait several more decades to be made—​but early Hollywood cinema had more of what film critic Michelle Raheja calls “Native presences” than the following decades of the studio system (xiii). Occasionally, Native actors and directors were employed by large studios: James Young Deer/​James Young Johnson, for instance, made the topic of mixed-​race romance central to White Fawn’s Devotion (1910). The Daughter of Dawn (1920), although not directed by a Native artist, employed an all-​Native cast. At the same time, such early films conformed to white audiences’ expectations and the industry’s representational politics. Luther Standing Bear was not the only Native person critical of the film industry’s profiting from “the image of the Indian.” The Native critique of Indian misrepresentations became public in 1911, when tribal leaders protested in Washington, DC, demanding that President Taft take action against the industry’s continued visual attack on Native communities. National and local newspapers, as well as boarding school publications, covered the event.9 One film in particular galvanized Native protest: The Curse of the Redman (Selig, 1911).The film told the story of Native man Zarapai, who attended boarding school and returned to his tribe but found that he didn’t belong anywhere; equipped with all the stereotypes, the film makes Zarapai drink, murder a fellow Native man, and commit suicide. In his study of “classic American literature” (1923), D.H. Lawrence diagnosed “a dual feeling about the Indian” in American history: “The desire to extirpate the Indian. And the contradictory desire to glorify him. Both are rampant still, today” (6–​8). Ella Shohat and Robert Stam revisited Lawrence’s idea in their study on representations of race and ethnicity in contemporary media, and argued that “the elimination of the Indian allows for elegiac nostalgia as a way to treat Indians only in the past tense and thus dismiss their claims in the present, while posthumously expressing thanatological tenderness for their memory” (118). Shohat and Stam echoed anthropologist Renato Rosaldo’s influential concept of “imperialist nostalgia,” in response to his “anger at recent films that portray imperialism with nostalgia,” mourning “what one has destroyed” (107). Joanna Hearne has shown how Native filmmakers have “navigated the power structures of Hollywood” and how they have integrated the historical archive of Native (mis)representation into their contemporary work 206

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(6–​8).This glorification of the idea of the Indian found a welcome venue in the new medium of silent film—​first in ethnographic film, and later in short and feature-​length studio films. Native Americans became popular subjects (and objects) of representation in early silent films by both major and pioneering film producers. Their popularity was not accidental. Throughout the nineteenth century, Native people had been central to American popular culture, from captivity narratives, songs, and ballads, to poems and fiction, travel and sketch books, dime novels, plays, paintings, and photographs. The White American gaze was fascinated by a combination of Indian exoticism, mystery, and putative danger. Moreover, the camera loved the action of Indian-​ white combat; stock narrative episodes from dime novels were adapted for the screen. The fetishization of Native regalia and other markers of Indian identity (feathers, moccasins, long hair etc.) in early silent film set the tone for the industry’s dissemination of stereotypes throughout the twentieth century as film became the new medium of both leisure and mass education. One of the most popular genres translating these anxieties was the western, which grew in popularity between the 1890s and the 1920s. Drawing on post-​bellum western romances, cinematic westerns typically depicted violent conflicts between white settlers and Native people. Westerns also validated settler-​colonial ideology: both a nostalgic reminder of the so-​called “vanishing race” and a glorification of the dominant (white, capitalist, Christian) culture. The idea of the “Vanishing Indian” was deeply ingrained in the American psyche at the turn into the twentieth century, the legacy of nineteenth century legal, literary, and dramatic attempts to perpetuate in print and on stage what I call elsewhere “the last Indian syndrome” (26–​7). This ideological formation captured mid-​and late nineteenth century audiences’ fascination with an exotic image of Native people and created panic around issues of whiteness and citizenship.

Documenting the “Vanishing Indian”: The Romance of a Vanishing Race (1916) In recent decades, the National Archives and the Library of Congress collections have made a larger catalog of Native representations on film available to the public than ever before.10 One recently-​ rediscovered film documents part of Joseph K. Dixon’s Citizenship Expedition to the American Indian: The Romance of a Vanishing Race (1916). Dixon’s film offered on celluloid film what settler photographer Edward Curtis had captured through staged photographs and his own version of ethnographic film: an idealized and studied image of Native Americans. Over three different expeditions to Native reservations, Dixon collected at least 11,000 photos and 50 miles of film were brought back from the three expeditions he led into the American West.11 The 29-​minute The Romance of a Vanishing Race was the product of careful editing of 13,000 feet of film. One of the few reviews of the film in 1917—​“American Indian’s History Filmed”—​claimed that Dixon visited “all the extant tribes” to complete the film.12 The descriptions of Native peoples, objects, and landscapes were written in the lexicon of salvage anthropology, with the Navajo described as “child[ren] of the desert” and rows of plains Native people presented on horseback, sinking into the sunset. The Romance of a Vanishing Race did exactly what the title promised: it relegated Native tribes to an ahistoric past, devoid of any signs of modernity—​except for several rifles here and there. Nonetheless, the film attempted to engage in the critique of Indian affairs; although Native tribes served as the background of the story, the film acknowledged admiringly Native warfare in the voice of settler paternalism: “Because he was masterful in fighting a masterful foe—​because he resented broken treaties and gross injustice—​we called him a savage” [my emphasis]. To promote his film and to show off the materials he had collected during his Indian expeditions, Dixon took to the lectern in Philadelphia in 1917. His lectures were accompanied by slideshows of the pictures he and his crew took during the expedition. Ads for his lecture reminded audiences that his endeavor was authorized by the US federal government: “Dr. Dixon visited every Indian tribe in the country, having gone with the sanction and approval of the government.” (“To Show Indian Pictures; Dr. Dixon to Lecture 207

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on Romance of a Vanishing Race.” Evening Star (24 May 1917): 9.) The Romance also reflected on “the Indian of today,” echoing similar questions that Progressive Era Native and non-​Native activists and “Friends of the Indian” were asking in print, lectures, and literature: “Is he happy, prosperous—​has he the full liberty of a free born American—​is he a beneficiary of the advantages of civilization?” Most pressingly, The Romance asked in 1916 what the Wanamaker Campaign for Citizenship to the American Indian had already asked 1913: “Is he a citizen of the United States enjoying all the rights and privileges we do?” The prospect of a Native future was inconceivable to Dixon and his crew, who succumbed to “despair” when faced with the dwindling Census numbers of the Native population in the U.S., as the intertitles reveal: “Prophecy died yesterday and despair—​the despair of tomorrow writes its gloomy headlines upon every advance step of their journey.” One of the film’s last intertitles reinforces the alarmist yet inevitable idea of “a vanishing race” documented by data from the Bureau of Ethnology: “Indisputable figures […] place the decrease of Indian population in the United States, North of Mexico, since the coming of the White Man, at 65%. Three hundred and twenty thousand (320,000) remain out of the early total of one million, two hundred thousand.” (intertitle) At the end of The Romance, Native people vanish into the sunset. The preserved film footage of the Wanamaker Expedition of Citizenship to the American Indian expands the range of Native reaction to the imposition of citizenship, culminating in the Indian Citizenship Act (ICA) in 1924. In the segment filmed at Fort Belknap, Montana, a Native man in traditional regalia spits near the American flag, and the viewer never sees him sign a fake “Declaration of Allegiance of the North American Indian to the United States.” This is a fleeting moment, barely noticeable in the footage, before the film cuts hastily to the next scene. Yet it speaks volumes about the footage we can no longer access and other forms of direct dissent not preserved on camera or in the national newspapers. Like other Native contemporaries, whose refusal or resistance was not captured on film, this Native man’s refusal sanctions the long history of ceremonial and diplomatic encounters whereby Native “actors” embodied the defeat, the passing of land or goods to the settler colonists, and their silent assent to their own dispossession. Although major national newspapers reported on the success of the Wanamaker Expedition, there was also opposition to this fake ceremony (more of a publicity stunt for Dixon); tribal members sometimes refused to sign any papers. The strongest resistance to this type of ceremony was recorded among the Pueblos, Hopis, and Navajos who refused to acknowledge the flag until their land rights were recognized. Pablo Abeita, governor of the Isleta Pueblos in New Mexico, refused to sign the allegiance because his people had been mistreated, and he saw the occasion as another trick played on his people by the federal government: “… until our rights are settled to the satisfaction of the Indians as well as of the Indian Office, I dare not sign” (qtd. in Barsh 106). Native intellectuals of the era, who argued for the recognition of a Native modernity alongside American modernity, also called the expedition “a theatrical affair”; according to Arthur C. Parker, leader of the Society of American Indians, “the very name [of the expedition] smacks of Jingoism and impresses one with the expressions of a circus manager” (qtd. in Barsh 108). The whole expedition was marked by sensationalism and was invested less in Indigenous people’s lives and political rights—​what citizenship would really mean for the tribes—​and more in Dixon’s fleeting fame. Dixon seized the opportunity to advance his own fame rather than Indigenous rights. Other ethnographic footage depicting Native people in a similar vein has survived from the most unexpected sources, such as the Ford Motion Pictures laboratories. As Native intellectuals advocated for Native citizenship and an end to wardship, Ford Motion Pictures distributed widely films like Wards of a Nation (1920). Such an emphasis on wardship called attention to Native legal status—​wards of the federal government in 1920 who wouldn’t be acknowledged as citizens until 1924—​but, in doing so, it obscured the Indigenous sovereign status of tribes even further.13 To film audiences in the 1920s, the “wards of the nation” were targets of their Christian pity, not part of their settler nation. How could they be? The film dwells on the image of a pensive Native man who wears a headdress and looks out into the distance. The intertitles in Wards of a Nation extol Christian virtues: “The Lord is 208

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my shepherd; therefore, I lack nothing.” Scenes of tent life, outdoor feasts, and dances are interspersed throughout this film, with little reference to tribal specificity. Weaving in baptism and conversion to Christianity, the film painted a happy face of Christianity in Native communities, showcasing Native people smiling and embracing white domesticity: “Old warriors now kneel with their white brethren in Christian worship.” The remaining materials on the surviving reel offer an odd juxtaposition of religious pageantry with “Indian Rites of Old,” which capture on celluloid scenes from ceremonial dances for the tribal council in Missoula, Montana, by Blackfeet, Nez Perce, and Flathead Indians. What Dixon and other enthusiasts of Native ethnographic material missed was that performances for white audiences (and the camera) were part of a long history of diplomatic protocol, where Native ceremonies to white diplomats or politicians were mere performances.14 What was playing the docile “Wards of the Nation” in front of the camera other than a survival strategy?15 Two short snippets of early documentary recently recovered and digitized by the Library of Congress, Indian Day School (1898) and Club Swinging at Carlisle Indian School (1902), offer a counterpoint to the “Vanishing Indian” trope of ethnographic film. They both record briefly Native children in spaces of education (the former in New Mexico, the latter in Pennsylvania); yet, the record on celluloid points to a Native future, however uncertain. Although repressive spaces—​in their suppression of Native languages, clothes, and culture more broadly—​the Indian boarding schools were also spaces of Native negotiation of Americanism, citizenship, and modernity. Indian Day School (1898), a short by Thomas Edison, filmed from a single camera position—​one of the earliest footages of Indian boarding schools we have—​shows scenes from the daily lives of students at the Isleta Indian School in New Mexico. We see Native children come out the door, pass in front of the camera, laugh, hold hands, then turn around and reenter the school building as a male Native teacher ushers the students back inside the school. The little boys’ and girls’ laughter looks infectious, humanizing an otherwise oppressive scene of education, and disorienting the gaze that the ethnographic film thrived on. The 30-​second footage of Indian Day School (1898) reveals a fissure in the American educational system’s attempt at controlling children’s affect at the same time that it controlled and regimented their bodies. On-​reservation boarding schools, such as the Isleta Indian School, featured in the footage, were not as notoriously violent and alienating as the off-​reservation schools, which took Native children away from their communities. The children in these images may be among friends or family members. Although the footage fragments reveal the artificiality of the children’s performance as they circle around the camera several times, it also reveals moments of genuine affection among the children, rare in boarding school archival photographic evidence, which points to the regimentation and surveillance of children, as Beth Piatote has shown. Piatote discusses a photograph of three Nez Perce girls from 1892; their eyes are turned away from their camera onto their dolls and little tipis they play with (1). The surviving footage of Indian Day School shows students facing the camera directly, smiling at it, and laughing at each other. As recent evidence from Canadian residential school archives shows, Native children were sometimes photographed in similar candid poses; the Native children’s and parents’ fleeting laughter in those photographs centers their humanity—​which the regimentation of the boarding school education attempted to stifle—​as well as hope for their future.16 Like Indian Day School, Club Swinging at Carlisle Indian School (1902) is an equally powerful visual document of scenes of Native education. In two minutes, it shows Native students at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, an off-​reservation boarding school in Carlisle, PA, engaged in a fitness exercise.The footage also captures the Carlisle barracks in the background, a rare visualization of an otherwise oppressive space in Native education. The students are dressed in dark uniforms; the boys wear white shirts and the girls white collars. Most of the students perform an exercise of highly symmetrical and orchestrated club swinging.When the footage starts, a female student misses a beat in the rhythm and, although she tries to recover her pace, she cannot keep up with the exercise. She looks around, smiles at the students who continue the regimented exercise, and improvises. This fleeting moment of hesitation, of Derridean aporia, captures a fissure, a gap in the Americanization project aimed at turning 209

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Native children into good Americans. The film thus records a moment of Native refusal. Mohawk scholar Audra Simpson has argued that, just as settler colonialism functioned as a structure, there is also an identifiable structure of refusal in Native communities (21). Simpson reads Native refusal as a “a symptom, a practice, a possibility for doing things differently” (29).The Carlisle student’s refusal to conform and comply with the school’s rigid paradigms of education, embodied in the physical exercise she is required to perform, suggests a “possibility for doing things differently.” As such, the scene in Club Swinging anticipates the episode of direct dissent expressed by the Native man who refuses to sign the fake “Declaration of Allegiance” in The Rodman Wanamaker Expedition of Citizenship to the American Indian (1913). Such moments of Indigenous affirmation and presence are rare in early film and require careful mining of the archives, but they do exist even though they have been so far overlooked. Although they do not fulfill fantasies of empire, violence, or westward expansion of what Richard Slotkin has called the “gunfighter nation”—​and even though they were still produced in settler-​colonial contexts—​they disrupt the mythical narrative of the American (settler) nation so widely popularized by the westerns. Captured on celluloid, such moments of Native presence—​at a time when the Native population reached one of its lowest points, if not the lowest, in recent history—​also represent what Ojibwe literary scholar Scott Lyons has called “X-​marks”—​signs of “consent in a context of coercion” and the promise they offer “as they move through time, space, and discourse” (1, 9).17 As such, these moments of Native disruption and resistance captured on celluloid represent instances of hope, of an imagined Indigenous future.18 Although the impact of these moments of disruption of the settler representational logic on early twentieth-​century audiences is difficult to reconstruct and also beyond the purview of this chapter, their existence and survival in film form signal a moment of Indigenous modernity. This celluloid presence also points to further possibilities of Native agency that future filmic representations will achieve almost a century later.

A Different Kind of “Indian Drama”: The Daughter of Dawn (1920) Like most Indian films of the day, The Daughter of Dawn—​written and produced by non-​Natives—​ addressed Hollywood audiences with varying degrees of knowledge about Native communities. Unlike most so-​called “Indian dramas” of the 1920s—​invested in interracial love plot lines and assimilation—​the six-​reel melodrama The Daughter of Dawn (1920) expands and challenges the genre.19 This is one of the first feature films with an all-​Native cast of nonprofessional Kiowa and Comanche actors, including the son of famous Comanche chief Quannah Parker, White Parker.20 When the Oklahoma Historical Society restored the film in 2012, David Yeagley (1951–​2014), a Comanche musician, was commissioned to write the film score and students from Oklahoma City University performed it in 2012. Directed by non-​Native director Norbert A. Myles, a Shakespearean actor and vaudevillian who started in the silent film business around 1914, the film was written by Myles and Richard Banks of the Texas film company and produced by Banks. In Osage Russ Tall Chief ’s words, “Tinseltown audiences watch an all Native American cast from Oklahoma perform Hollywood’s interpretation of an Indian ‘love triangle’ ” (qtd. in Hearne 113). However, Kiowa and Comanche families around Lawton, Oklahoma, where The Daughter of Dawn was filmed, also kept stories about the film. Although historians feared that the film was lost, photo stills from the movie were preserved at the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus, Oklahoma, keeping the story alive. Although the film attempted to portray faithfully the Comanche and Kiowa communities, it was never released beyond a pre-​release screening in Los Angeles in 1920. The Daughter of Dawn attempts to tell the story from a Native point of view, but it ultimately succumbs to telling a romanticized tale of unrequited love and tribal rivalry. An early intertitle names the film’s main conflict, which may be based on a Comanche or an Apache story involving a love triangle, as an intertitle announces: “From time immemorial, the eternal triangle.”21 Comanche White 210

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Eagle (White Parker) wants to marry Dawn (Esther LeBarre), daughter of the chief (Hunting Horse, former US army scout), but the chief wants Dawn to marry Black Wolf (Jack Sankadota), who boasts: “I have many ponies to give.” A fourth character, however, expands “the eternal triangle” into a quadrangle—​or what the film’s score composer called a quartet: Red Wing (Wanada Parker) is in love with Black Wolf and suffers in silence.22 The film points to an intertribal war and rivalry between the Comanches and the Kiowas, and uses action scenes such as the buffalo hunt, Dawn’s capture and rescue, and the contest between Dawn’s two suitors for dramatic effects. Both White Eagle and Black Wolf ’s bravery is tested when the chief asks them both to jump from a cliff; the survivor will marry the Daughter of Dawn. White Eagle plays by the rules and jumps, while Black Wolf cheats and is banished from the tribe; he forms an alliance with the Comanches, who accept him as a tribal member, and instigates a battle between the tribes. In the end, White Eagle kills Black Wolf and saves the Daughter of Dawn (who had been taken prisoner by the Comanches during a raid on the Kiowa camp). Red Wing finds Black Wolf ’s body and takes her own life. In the final scenes,White Eagle and Dawn paddle away in a canoe and fade out into the dusk.23 Why was The Daughter of Dawn erased from public memory for 80 years? Although it resorted to a melodramatic plot and allowed for some playful intertribal exchanges—​such as Kiowa actors playing Comanche characters and vice versa—​a film with an all-​Native cast, where not all Native protagonists die, was ahead of its time. As Myles later documented in “My Adventures with the Oklahoma Indians,” the Native actors he hired were good negotiators, who stood by their demands (qtd. in Kelly, 290, 292). At a time when Native dances were prohibited, along with Native languages and cultural practices, the film insisted on the normalcy of tribal dances, regalia, and location. The film’s buffalo hunt is perhaps not only a nod to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma—​where the film was shot—​and which acquired a buffalo herd in 1907, but also a historical reference to the US government’s systematic killing of the buffalo, which led to the starving of tribes on the Plains. The film references famine from the very beginning: Dawn’s father and chief of the Kiowas asks White Eagle, Dawn’s suitor, whether he has seen “the game we have long been waiting for. Our women and children can go hungry no longer.” Dawn’s other suitor has considerable wealth—​which may account for the father’s contest for the suitors—​but his decision is ultimately cultural, not economic: “If one of you or both fail in this—​you shall no longer be worthy of the name Kiowa and shall be driven from the tribe to live among the coyotes.” The lead actors are Comanche but they play Kiowa characters—​a subtlety which the white audiences at the time would not have picked up on—​a role reversal which allowed for a playful exchange and signification decodable decades later. The rediscovery and restoration of the film has occasioned conversations between Kiowa and Comanche tribal members after screenings of The Daughter of Dawn. Some screenings led to the recognition (and authentication) of material objects in the film by tribal members. One elderly Kiowa audience member, Sammy ‘Tone-​kei’ White, also recognized his young mother in the film, Em-​koy-​ e-​tie, a moment which provoked an intense emotional response. Sammy’s family kept the story of his mother’s performance alive after her passing in 1946. Describing the experience of watching his mother perform in The Daughter of Dawn, White recalled: “’My mother was walking right at me; she was so beautiful. I’m glad the room we were watching it in was dark, because it was emotional seeing her so young” (McQueeney). Film critic Joanna Hearne calls this moment of contemporary reconnecting with this long-​lost film “intergenerational recognition,” as the film circulates back to its original community. As Hearne has argued persuasively, through performance, setting, and mise-​en-​ scène, the film “renews the visual record of generational continuity and aesthetic representations” of Kiowa and Comanche history (114). A film like The Daughter of Dawn, created during a period fascinated with “vanishing Indians” and grotesque violence on screen against Indigenous communities, demonstrates possibilities for Indigenous representation at odds with both census data (on dwindling Native population) and federal Indian policy attempting to erase Native communities from American maps. Settler 211

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directors who reproduced “hostile” Indians on the western frontier in early film included Cecil B. De Mille (The Squ*w Man, 1914), Thomas Ince (The Indian Massacre, 1912, Custer’s Last Fight, 1912), and D.W. Griffith, the director of the notorious Birth of a Nation (1915) and around 30 Indian-​themed films—​including The Red Man and the Child (1908)—​during the industry’s early years. Griffith portrayed Native Americans as villains, noble savages, or vanishing Indians; some of these westerns featured a “noble redskin” as guide or savior to the white hero.24 The Daughter of Dawn showed settler audiences that Native communities made their presence visible in a variety of public forums and media, and sometimes the visibility of that presence included the ephemeral medium of silent film. Even though many silent films have been lost in the last century (due to the medium’s frailty and flammability), recent recoveries of films like The Daughter of Dawn (1920) or documentary and ethnographic films and film fragments such as Indian Day School (1898), Club Swinging at Carlisle Indian School (1902), The Romance of a Vanishing Race (1916), and Wards of a Nation (1920), offer alternative cinematic representations to the “Vanishing Indians” of the westerns and later feature films. If the western thrived as a white supremacist form of entertainment and a source of racist ideology, as film critics such as Richard Abel and Scott Simmon have shown, other silent film genres were invested in Indigenous presence.25 Despite the little room the film industry made for “real Indians” to become “reel Indians”—​to control representation and have agency in the process—​the so-​called Indian dramas offered the medium an opportunity for cross-​racial romance and Native survival to become part of representing Indigenous people on screen. In another silent of the era, Redskin (1929), the character Wing Foot refuses to salute the American flag in the boarding school he was forced to attend; his defiant gesture—​though soon disciplined by the agents of the state—​continues the possibility of Native dissent on celluloid expressed in earlier films. Read alongside the episode filmed by Dixon in the The Romance of a Vanishing Race: The Rodman Wanamaker Expedition of Citizenship to the American Indian (1913)—​when the Native man at Fort Belknap, Montana, pauses to spit near the American flag, then refuses to sign a fake declaration of allegiance to the U.S.—​this scene provides continuity to the arc of Indigenous resistance and the preservation of allegiance to Indigenous, rather than American communities, albeit suggesting the possibility of strategic mutual allegiances. Although silent films did not alter dominant representations of Indians, they offered opportunities for alternative representations, influenced by the work of Native activists, writers, actors, and filmmakers. Used in the service of whiteness and American patriotism, Indian films nonetheless became a widely recognizable genre. As such, they paved the way for Native representation and self-​ representation later in the twentieth century and provided opportunities for both upward mobility and a platform for Native activists and artists to engage federal Indian policy and representation. Ultimately, silent film helped usher in Indigenous celluloid modernity, however uneven the process was at the turn into the twentieth century.

Acknowledgments Sincere thanks to this volume’s editors for an engaging review process and careful editing. Many thanks to the staff at the Library of Congress, the division of MBRS, and to Joanna Hearne and Monika Siebert for reading drafts of this chapter, and to the editors of this volume for their wonderful feedback. Thanks also to Laraine Fletcher and George Scheper, the organizers of the NEH summer institute “On Native Grounds: Studies of Native American Histories and the Land” (June 2017), in Washington, DC, for providing the opportunity to access these archives. Funding for archival research has been provided by an NEH summer stipend and a research grant from the Humanities Research Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. I expand on the ideas in this chapter in The Makings and Unmakings of Americans: Indians and Immigrants in American Literature and Culture, 1879–​1924 (Yale University Press, forthcoming). 212

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Notes 1 I capitalize the term Indian to signify the construction of the idea of Indigeneity informing settler representations. I use several structuralist terms deliberately to suggest how removed the signifier “Indian” was (and still is) from the real conditions and lives of Indigenous peoples from the settler imaginary. Nineteenth-​ century dramatists had offered American audiences “the idea of the Indian,” which Robert F. Berkhoffer identified as a White image or stereotype, an invention, a simplification (3). Anishinaabe writer and critic Gerald Vizenor has also argued that “the simulation of the indian” signifies the absence of the native (Fugitive Poses 35). 2 In this chapter, I build on the work of the following scholars: Joanna Hearne, Beverly Singer, Michelle Raheja, Richard Slotkin, Philip Deloria, Jacqueline Kilpatrick, Linda Waggoner, and Angela Aleiss. 3 I examine these questions in more detail in my forthcoming book. For an analysis of the ways in which the Native intellectuals of the Progressive Era negotiated modernity and Americanization, see Stanciu, “Americanization.” 4 According to historian Linda Waggoner, “Young Deer did not become ‘Indian’ until he paired up with Red Wing after their marriage in 1906. It wasn’t until 1958 that Red Wing finally identified Young Deer to an interviewer as ‘Delaware.’ ” Young Deer was Delaware or Nanticoke on his father’s side and his mother, African American, was born a slave (Waggoner, correspondence with the author). Angela Aleiss, whose work I reference later in this chapter, was the first to write about Young Deer’s origins in “Who Was the Real Young Deer?” For Young Deer’s genealogy, see Joseph A. Romeo’s “The Moors of Delaware.” www.moors-​ delaw​are.com/​gen​dat/​moors.aspx?Mode=​Mem​ber&Membe​rID=​J525J1​876. See Waggoner, Starring Red Wing!:The Incredible Career of Lilian M. St. Cyr, the First Native American Film Star. 5 Recent film scholars who have documented this turn in Indigenous media include, Beverly Singer, Michelle Raheja, Joanna Hearne, Angela Aleiss, Scott Simmon, Andrew Brodie Smith, and others. 6 I borrow the concept of “reel Indian” from the documentary Reel Injun (2009). I understand the term to signify filmic Indians, while also homophonically gesturing at the invisible albeit “real” conditions of Native people. Michelle Raheja also uses this concept in her study, Reservation Reelism. 7 Beth Piatote’s Domestic Subjects offers a model for reading domestic entanglements, federal Indian law, and interracial couples in early twentieth century Native literature. 8 Critics estimate that about 75 percent of all American silent films (and 50 percent of all films before 1950) were lost by deliberate destruction or by accidental fire, as early films were filmed on nitrate film, which was highly flammable. Anthony Slide argues that this data is still unverified. (Slide, Nitrate Won’t Wait, 5–​6). The recent discovery of silent films (believed to have been lost) in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, or France, suggest that the numbers of surviving films could be higher. 9 In 1911, Carlisle Student John Standing Horse was quoted in Moving Picture World: “If the directors of the moving picture companies knew how foolish their women and girls look in the Indian pictures, with from one to three turkey feathers in the top of their heads, they would be more careful.” Qtd. in Raheja, Reservation Reelism 41. 10 Although several films in the collection have been digitized, many of the films referenced or discussed in this chapter are still widely unavailable to audiences outside LOC. 11 The three expeditions were: 1) “Rodman Wanamaker’s Educational Expedition to the Indians” through Yellowstone Park and Crow Reservation; 2) the second looked to bring together representative “chiefs, scouts, and warriors” from the Western tribes for a “Last Great Indian Council”; 3) The Expedition of Citizenship to the North American Indian” in 1913 (Dippie 212). 12 “American Indian’s History is Filmed.” Valdez Daily Prospector (19 February 1917): 2. The review also documented that Dixon had traveled 27,000 miles to gather the images. 13 On the imposition of citizenship on Native communities and other public citizenship ceremonies, see my essay, “Native Acts, Immigrant Acts.” 14 Much of this footage is still only available in archives, but more and more silent films are digitized every year. On early Native performance and diplomacy, see the essays in Bellin and Mielke, especially 145–​68. 15 Native writers at the time were also drawing attention to similar dynamics of performance that were also sites of subversion. The following Native novels are cases in point: Mourning Dove’s Cogewea, John Joseph Mathews’ Sundown, and D’Arcy McNickle’s The Surrounded. 16 See the virtual exhibit “Where Are the Children?,” curated by Jeff Thomas, Mohawk. Legacy of Hope Foundation. https://​legac​yofh​ope.ca/​wher​eare​thec​hild​ren/​about-​watc/​. 17 I am grateful to Kirby Brown for his insight into reading these fleeting moments of Native disruption and resistance as an instance of an imagined Indigenous future. 18 For other instances of Native refusal, including the refusal of American citizenship, see my article,“Native Acts.” 19 According to Karen Shade, the film was found “completely intact in 2004 in North Carolina.” The film (83 minutes) was acquired by the Oklahoma Historical Society and restored in 2012 (1, 8).

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Cristina Stanciu 20 The film had a preview showing in Los Angeles after its completion in 1920, but was never released. The Library of Congress selected it to the National Film Registry in 2013. Leo Kelly documented in 1999 that the film employed 100 extras, but more recent sources cite 300 (Warner 213–​14). 21 Both Linda Sue Warner and John Wooley suggest that the love story originates in “an Old Comanche Legend” but the details of the original story are not available in these sources (Warner 213, Wooley 69). Leo Kelly documents that this idea first appeared in a letter Banks wrote to Myles on 20 August 1919, but he was not sure if it was “an old Comanche legend” or “at least a legend from one of the tribes around there such as the Apache” (Kelly 291). 22 Comanche composer David Yeagley opined: “There are the tribal struggles of a group. There’s an intertribal war between the Comanche and Kiowa. And there’s a buffalo hunt. An intertitle in the film refers to the archetypal love triangle, but that’s a mistake. It’s a quartet. The other girl, Red Wing, is in love with Black Wolf, and she’s like an extended version of Liu in [the Puccini opera] Turandot, who gets the short end of the stick all the way around (qtd. in Wooley 71–​2). 23 According to the original script, preserved at the Library of Congress, the film had 303 scenes. Kelly 292. See also Hearne 112–​14. 24 On racist and reductive representations of Native people in the early silent film, see Aleiss; Buscombe; Simmon; Smith. 25 Scott Simon starts his study by urging readers “to start from acknowledgment of the genre’s racism, rather than arriving at it as if it were a discovery” (xiii). Film critic Richard Abel writes persuasively about the western as “white supremacist entertainment” (“Our Country” 81–​3). The genre, although temporarily relegated to low-​brow status by academics, has received new critical attention since the 1990s, when a new interest in the genre’s ideological potential and its representation of gender norms emerged in scholarly communities. For the genre’s revival, see especially Slotkin.

References Abel, Richard. “Our Country/​Whose Country?” The Americanization Project of the Early Westerns.” Back in the Saddle: Again: New Essays on the Western. Eds. Edward Buscombe and Roberta Pearson. London: BFI, 1998. 77–​95. Aleiss, Angela. Making the White Man’s Indian: Native Americans and Hollywood Movies. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005. “American Indian’s History is Filmed.” Valdez Daily Prospector (19 February 1917): 2. Barsh, Russell Lawrence. “An American Heart of Darkness: The 1913 Expedition for American Indian Citizenship.” Great Plains Quarterly, vol. 13, no. 2 (Spring 1993): 91–​115. Bellin, Joshua David and Laura L. Mielke, eds. Native Acts: Indian Performance, 1603–​1832. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2011. Berkhoffer, Robert F. The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present. New York:Vintage, 1979. Birth of a Nation. Dir. D.W. Griffith. D.W. Griffith Corp., 1915. Buscombe, Edward. ‘Injuns!’: Native Americans in the Movies. London: Reaktion Books, 2006. Club Swinging at Carlisle Indian School (Mutoscope 1902), 1:59 minutes; Cameraman: Arthur W. Marvin; Copyright: American Mutoscope and Biograph Co. Library of Congress. Custer’s Last Fight. Dir. Francis Ford. Mutual Film, 1912. Deloria, Phillip. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: U of Kansas P, 2004. Dippie, Brian. The Vanishing American:White Attitudes and U.S. Indian Policy. Lawrence: U of Kansas P, 1982. Hearne, Joanna. Native Recognition: Indigenous Cinema and the Western. Albany: SUNY P, 2013. Indian Day School, Dir. Thomas A. Edison, 1898. Inc., restored by The Library of Congress in 1999, length: 49 seconds. Accessed 31 August 2018. www.loc.gov/​item/​00564​534/​. Kelly, Leo. “The Daughter of Dawn: An Original Silent Film with an Oklahoma Indian Cast.” The Chronicles of Oklahoma. (Fall 1999): 290–​300. Retrieved August 2018 from www.okhist​ory.org/​pdf/​dodChr​onic​les.pdf. Kilpatrick, Jacqueline. Celluloid Indians: Native Americans and Film. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1999. Lawrence, D.H. Studies in Classic American Literature.Viking, 1923. Lyons, Scott R. X-​Marks: Native Signatures of Assent. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010. McQueeney, Kerry. “Extraordinary 1920 Silent Film with All-​Indian Cast Re-​released after a Painstaking Restoration Project.” Daily Mail 16 July 2012. Accessed 27 August, 2018. www.dailym​ail.co.uk/​news/​arti​ cle-​2174​260/​The-​Daugh​ter-​Of-​Dawn-​Foot​age-​resto​red-​1920-​sil​ent-​film-​Ind​ian-​cast.html. Piatote, Beth. Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 2013. Raheja, Michelle. Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2010. Redskin. Dir.Victor Scherzinger. Paramount, 1929.

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Indigenous Modernity on Celluloid Rosaldo, Renato. “Imperialist Nostalgia.” Representations, vol. 26 (Spring 1989): 107–​22. Shade, Karen. “All Native Silent Film Restored, Screened.” Native American Times 9 November 2012, 1, 8. Shohat, Ella and Robert Stam. Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. New York: Routledge, 1994. Simmon, Scott. The Invention of the Western Film: A Cultural History of the Genre’s First Half-​Century. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge UP, 2003. Simpson, Audra. “The Ruse of Consent and the Anatomy of ‘Refusal’: Cases from Indigenous North America and Australia.” Postcolonial Studies, vol. 20, no. 1 (2017): 18–​33. Singer, Beverly. Wiping the War Paint Off the Lens: Native American Film and Video. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. Slotkin, Richard. Gunfighter Nation:The Myth of the Frontier inTwentieth Century America. NewYork:Atheneum, 1992. Smith, Andrew Brodie. Shooting Cowboys and Indians: Silent Western Films, American Culture, and the Birth of Hollywood. Boulder: UP of Colorado, 2003. Standing Bear, Luther. My People, the Sioux. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2006. [1928] Stanciu, Cristina. “Americanization on Native Terms: The Society of American Indians, Citizenship Debates, and Tropes of ‘Racial Difference.’ ” NAIS: Native American and Indigenous Studies, vol. 6, no. 1 (2019): 111–​48. —​—​. “ ‘The Last Indian’ Syndrome Revisited: Metamora, Take Two.” Intertexts, vol. 10, no. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 25–​49. —​—​. “Native Acts, Immigrant Acts: Citizenship, Naturalization, and the Performance of Civic Identity during the Progressive Era.” JGAPE: Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, vol. 20, no. 2 (April 2021): 1–​25.The Curse of the Redman. Dir. Francis Boggs. Selig, 1911. The Daughter of Dawn. Dir. Norbert A. Myles, Milestone Films, 1920. The Indian Massacre [The Heart of an Indian]. Dir.Thomas H. Ince. Bison Motion Pictures, 1912. The Red Man and the Child. Dir. D.W. Griffith. Biograph, 1908. The Rodman Wanamaker Expedition for Citizenship to the American Indian, 1913. The Romance of a Vanishing Race:The Rodman Wanamaker Expedition of Citizenship to the American Indian, 1913. Rich Heape Films, 2009. “To Show Indian Pictures: Dr. Dixon to Lecture on Romance of a Vanishing Race.” Evening Star (24 May 1917): 9. The Squ*w Man. Dir. Oscar C. Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille. Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, 1914. Vizenor, Gerald. Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1998. Wards of a Nation, 1920. Library of Congress. —​—​. “The Ruins of Representation: Shadow Survivance and the Literature of Dominance.” American Indian Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 1 (Winter 1993): 7–​30. Warner, Linda Sue. “The Daughter of Dawn.” Race in American Film: Voices and Visions that Shaped a Nation. Eds. Daniel Bernardi and Michael Green. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2017. 213–​14. White Fawn’s Devotion: A Play Acted by A Tribe of Red Indians in America (Dir. James Young Deer, Pathé Frères 1910). Wooley, John. Shot in Oklahoma: A Century of Sooner State Cinema. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2011.

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16 HENRY STARR’S OUTLAW MODERNISM Jenna Hunnef

Henry George Starr (1873–​1921) was many things.1 Arguably the least-​known but most successful outlaw in the history of the US (Conley, Cherokee 81), Starr was also a cowboy, a death-​row convict, the recipient of a presidential pardon, an absentee father, a real-​estate agent, a prison memoirist, and a motion-​picture star. He was a self-​professed American and a proud Cherokee. As witnessed in his transition from robbing trains on horseback to absconding in automobiles and starring in a silent film about himself (84), Starr’s criminal career does not merely coincide with the emergence of modernity; it actively dramatizes the rapid changes in technologies and modes of production that inaugurated the modernist period. Like the tensions between “modern/​modernist/​modernity” that Susan Stanford Friedman identifies in her essay on “Definitional Excursions,” Starr is a contradiction in terms, “resisting consensual definition” (497). Moreover, inasmuch as Philip J. Deloria does not mention him in Indians in Unexpected Places, a study of Indigenous engagements with modernity at the turn of the twentieth century, Starr is nonetheless a “Native cultural producer” who appears in and writes himself into contexts both expected and unexpected (12).2 In doing so, Starr’s life and cultural productions embody the contradictions and “definitional dissonance” that hold modern/​ modernism/​ modernity in tension with one another (Friedman, “Definitional” 510). By claiming Starr as a member of Deloria’s “recognizable cohort of Indian people” engaged in the early twentieth century in “the making and remaking of a spectrum of expectations” (Deloria 229), we gain the opportunity to continue to produce new meanings from what James H. Cox identifies as a “productive tension” that exists between “Modernism and Native America” (Cox 270). In turn, those meanings “provid[e]‌ ever more sites for examination” and thus the opportunity to produce new knowledge (Friedman, “Definitional” 497).This essay invokes that same “productive tension” and multiplication of meanings in its analysis of Henry Starr’s Thrilling Events, a memoir written in 1913 while Starr was serving a sentence in the Colorado State Penitentiary for armed robbery. Unlike his contemporary Indigenous cultural producers—​ whether the educated elite whose works figure most prominently in scholarly understandings of early twentieth-​ century Indigenous literary history, or those who rose to fame in the early motion picture industry—​Starr’s productions superimposed themselves uneasily over the simultaneity of his criminal career. The contemporaneousness of Starr’s cultural productions alongside his ongoing potential to produce violence disrupts the “narrative harmony” that Deloria and others have suggested was symbolically 216

DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-20

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forged in the year 1890, in which “the closing of [Frederick Jackson] Turner’s frontier” met “the pacification of Indians” achieved by the US military’s massacre of an encampment of Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota (Deloria 62). This distinction does not render Starr “anomalous,” which, in Deloria’s terms, would “reinforc[e]‌expectations” (11). Rather, his resistance to categorization and refusal to adhere to convention—​literary and otherwise—​both “questio[n] the expectation itself ” (Deloria 11), and, in Friedman’s terms, “highlight the production of meaning possible by attention to what will not be tamed, by what refuses consistency and homogenization” (“Definitional” 497). This renewed attention to the “productive tension” between “Modernism and Native America” that Cox identifies and the forms of new knowledge it has the potential to reveal are all the more pertinent when it comes to Indigenous cultural producers, whose lives and works are situated at the confluence of the assimilationist and modernist periods’ origins in the late nineteenth century. The forms of new knowledge that this essay aspires to produce are threefold. First, it troubles the stability of 1890 and the epochal “pacification” of Indigenous people as the modernist period’s arguable moment of origin in the US by highlighting the coeval nature of the modernist and assimilationist period(s) and blurring the distinctions between them. This discussion is followed by a biographical sketch of Henry Starr in order to locate him within these social, historical, and literary contexts. Second, this essay’s analysis of Thrilling Events considers the textual elements of Starr’s memoir that alternatively support his categorization as a producer of modernist discourse and challenge his identification as such. While I argue that the paratactic tedium of Thrilling Events is the memoir’s most identifiably modernist feature, the enigmatic qualities of Starr’s character nonetheless resist his straightforward inclusion within modernist studies scholarship and his indiscriminate recuperation within Indigenous literary history. By highlighting these competing (or complementary) readings, I suggest that not only do the contradictions in Starr’s life and life-​ writing account for why he has been overlooked in the histories of multiple overlapping genres and institutions, such as outlaw narratives and the silent film era in the US, but they also challenge twenty-​first-​century modernist studies scholars and critics of Indigenous literatures to continue to confront their own expectations about Indigenous cultural productions from this period. In his refusal to observe the laws of racial, national, political, or even narrative consistency, Starr’s outlaw modernism makes visible the collision between disciplinary desires and the meaningful refusal of texts to fulfill them. Far from representing an intellectual impasse, the combustive energy produced by the friction of this conflict fuels the pursuit of new knowledge and the renewal of scholarly responsibilities.

The Modernist and Assimilationist Period(s) I bracket the plural form “period(s)” to draw attention to the constitutive friction that holds the modernist period (ca. 1890–​1939) in “productive tension” with the assimilation era in the US (ca. 1879–​1934).3 There are many conflicting perspectives on the temporal and geographical boundaries of the modern(ist) period as it pertains specifically to the US. For example, both Alicia Kent (23) and Rita Keresztesi (x) point to 1890 as a pivotal year in the emergence of American modernism, apparently for the same reasons that Deloria and others do, which is because of the confluence in that year of the “closing” of the frontier and the massacre at Wounded Knee, an event that “usually signals the end of the military conquest of Native America” (Huhndorf 21). However, in his conclusion, Deloria muses over the reasons why some Indian people ... leapt quickly into modernity. They leapt, I think, because it became painfully clear that they were not distinct from the history that was even then being made. Whether they liked it or not, other people were building a world around, on top of, and

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through Native American people. That world took as its material base the accumulation of capital ripped from indigenous lands, resources, and labor over the course of centuries. 231 Deloria’s musing anticipates Walter Mignolo’s argument that modernity was a material effect of the European colonization of the Americas during the so-​called “Age of Discovery,” and that, therefore, “[c]‌oloniality ... is constitutive of modernity—​there is no modernity without coloniality” (Mignolo 3). Crucially, Deloria qualifies the significance of 1890—​“[t]‌he final moment of conquest, pacification, and incorporation of Indian people”—​not as the moment in which modernity emerged in America, or the moment of its emergence for all Americans, but rather as “one of the many critical instants in which the United States became aware of its own modernity” (232, emphasis added). In her temporalization of the assimilation period in the US, Beth H. Piatote points to how the massacre at Wounded Knee was both contained within and redistributed through a host of imperial technologies of violence that assumed material and immaterial forms (2–​3).The arguable conclusion of the Indian Wars in the midst of that interval, Piatote argues, “did not mean the end of violence” (2). Instead, she asserts, “The battle, although not the stakes, moved from the indigenous homeland ... to the familial space of the Indian home,” adding, “A turn to the domestic front, even as the last shots at Wounded Knee echoed in America’s collective ear, marked not the end of conquest but rather its renewal” (3). Thrilling Events illustrates Piatote’s claim and further widens the sphere of bureaucratic violence to include the courtroom, the boardroom, and editorial columns in newspapers alongside the “Indian home” as “primary site[s] of struggle” in the modernist and assimilationist period(s) (2). Moreover, Starr’s memoir is eerily prescient of one of the ways conquest continues to “renew” itself in the late twentieth and twenty-​first centuries, that is, in the disproportionate incarceration of Indigenous peoples relative to population in both the US and Canada.

Henry G. Starr (1873–​1921) A crisis was brewing in the Cherokee Nation when Henry George Starr was born on 2 December 1873, near Fort Gibson in the former Indian Territory. Like the other member nations of the so-​ called “Five Civilized Tribes” (including the Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles), the Cherokees had rebuilt their nation in this area west of the Mississippi River bordered by the states of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas, after they were forcibly removed from their southeastern homelands by the US federal government in the 1830s.The policy of Indian Removal and the means by which it was forced upon the Cherokee Nation, the Treaty of New Echota, initiated the first of “two civil wars” within the nation, and as Robert Conley observes, “Civil wars have a way of producing outlaws” (Cherokee 56). The Treaty of New Echota agreed to the relinquishment of Cherokee lands in Georgia in exchange for land in the Indian Territory; it was signed by a small group of elite Cherokee businessmen without the support or consent of the Cherokee Nation or its Principal Chief, John Ross. Soon after the treaty was signed, opponents of removal and those forced to suffer its abuses “began a systematic killing” of the treaty’s architects (Conley, Cherokee 57), one of the earliest victims of which was Henry Starr’s great-​grandfather, James Starr. Retributive killings on both sides of the treaty divide continued for years, some of which were attributed, rightly or wrongly, to James Starr’s son,Tom, thus securing for himself and the Starr family name a reputation for outlawry that his successors inherited, including his son Sam Starr, and Sam’s wife, a white woman named Myra Maybelle Shirley, better known as Belle Starr, the fabled “Bandit Queen” of the Indian Territory. Two decades after it began, this internal conflict within the Cherokee Nation had mostly subsided. However, it resurfaced with the outbreak of the American Civil War when many members of the families who had supported the signing of the Treaty of New Echota joined the Confederate cause despite the Cherokee Nation’s official neutrality. 218

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One might be tempted to conclude from all of these circumstances that Starr was destined by blood to become an outlaw. Conley suggests that the dynastic proportions of Starr’s outlaw lineage meant he was “born with a reputation” and that “[p]‌eople expected [him] to be bad” (Cherokee 82). However, such flights of romantic fancy discount the material influences that US policy decisions, such as Indian Removal, the Treaties of 1866 and, later, Oklahoma statehood, had on the lives of individual tribal citizens and the nations to which they belonged. These policies and their consequences are consolidated across space and time in the figure of Henry Starr who links them together through his genealogy and the evolution of his criminal activities. Like Sam Starr, Henry Starr’s father, George “Hop” Starr, was one of Tom Starr’s sons, but he and his family lived “farther north” than the rest of the Starrs, making his son’s outlaw career “entirely his own” (Conley, Cherokee 58). George Starr and his wife, Mary Ellen Scott, were part of the first generation of Cherokees to be born in the territory following removal; they came of age in an era defined by Cherokee political autonomy and “economic self-​sufficiency” (Miner 4). However, the Indian Territory into which Starr was born was not the same as the one in which his parents grew up. By 1873, a massive sociopolitical transformation occasioned by political fallout from the American Civil War was proceeding apace in the Indian Territory. That fallout witnessed the US government’s opportunistic renegotiation of existing treaties with the territory’s tribal nations as punishment for some citizens’ support of the Confederacy, including the Confederate Cherokees. The renegotiated Treaties of 1866 forced the Five Tribes to cede millions of acres of tribal lands and included provisions “for the introduction of railways” into the territory (Miner 11). In addition to bringing industrialism and market capitalism into the territory, the railroads also brought a foreign criminal element in their wake. Angie Debo observes that the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas railroad (the MK&T)—​one of the first railway lines to push its way through the territory—​brought with it “a dangerous class of intruders, enterprising adventurers who fastened themselves upon the Indian country and were determined to make it a white man’s land” (197). Allen Wright, Principal Chief of the Choctaw Republic from 1866 to 1870, characterized those intruders as the “offscourings of the earth” (qtd. in Miner 53) whose presence in the depot towns that sprang up beside the tracks generated “much violence” (53). Business historian H. Craig Miner credits the “competition between Indian and federal courts about jurisdiction over criminally inclined railroad employees” as the cause of the 1872 Going Snake Massacre (53), in which a posse of armed US marshals disrupted the lawful proceeding of the trial of Ezekiel Proctor, a Cherokee citizen, by a jury of his peers in the Going Snake District of the Cherokee Nation. Shots were fired on all sides, resulting in the deaths of 11 men and forcing Proctor into hiding for several months before the US government finally issued a general amnesty for Proctor and his supporters. This event contributed to the poor reputation the territory acquired in the late nineteenth century as the “outlaw nation,” a reputation that was later wielded by politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen to justify and solicit support for statehood (Littlefield and Parins 36). Starr was born one year after the massacre in the Going Snake District, and in the same year that the MK&T railroad was completed. In 1893, Starr robbed a train on the MK&T line when it was stopped in the town of Pryor Creek (Starr 40). His robbery of the Pryor Creek depot and the numerous other train robberies he committed implicate him in the fallout from the post-​Civil War policy decisions that similarly ensnared the likes of Zeke Proctor and later Cherokee “outlaws,” such as Ned Christie and the Wickliffe brothers. However, unlike his predecessors, most of whom died before or shortly after 1907, Starr’s criminal activities were also influenced by the material consequences of Oklahoma’s statehood. Starr was just 11 years old when his father’s poor health and premature death forced him to quit school to help run the family’s farm (Starr 8). His legal troubles began in 1891 when he was accused of stealing a horse belonging to a citizen of the US.4 Starr was released when his accuser dropped the charges, but only after spending a week behind bars in the federal jail at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Starr was arrested again in 1892, this time on felony bootlegging charges, and detained in Fort Smith until 219

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he agreed to plead guilty and pay a fine. In Thrilling Events, Starr swears his innocence of these first two offenses, but after being falsely imprisoned for the second time, he declares, “I began to think that so long as I had the name of being a ‘bad one’ I might as well have the game” (22); he executed his first premeditated robbery soon after making this resolution. In December 1892, Starr shot and killed Floyd Wilson, a white man tasked with serving a warrant for Starr’s arrest. Despite the testimony of witnesses corroborating Starr’s claim of self-​defense when Wilson failed to identify himself as a lawman, Judge Isaac Parker “instructed the jury that since Starr was a bond-​jumper [at the time he shot and killed Wilson], he could not claim self-​defense” (Kopel 302). The jury found Starr guilty of first-​degree murder, and Parker sentenced him to death. On appeal, the US Supreme Court decided in Starr’s favor and his conviction was reversed. With Parker still presiding, the jury in the second trial handed down another conviction for first-​degree murder and a death penalty. The US Supreme Court reversed Starr’s conviction once again, and under the direction of a different judge, the third and final trial resulted in Starr’s conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter. Starr had served one-​third of his 15-​year sentence when, in January 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt commuted his sentence to time served. Consequently, Starr became “one of the most ardent admirers of the Lion-​Tamer” (Starr 66) and expressed his gratitude for the president’s clemency by naming his son Theodore Q. Roosevelt Starr, who was born in 1904 soon after Starr’s marriage to his first wife, Olive Griffin. Over the next 18 years, Starr’s activities alternated between periods of domestic stability, a transient life on the lam, and the isolated confinement of incarceration. He served two more prison sentences: the second between 1909 and 1913 in the Colorado State Penitentiary, and again from 1915–​19 in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. These were lengthy sentences for armed robbery convictions, but Starr’s “model” behavior secured his early release in both instances (“Debt”). Soon after his release in 1919, Starr played himself in A Debtor to the Law, a silent film about his failed attempt in 1915 to rob two banks in one day in the town of Stroud, Oklahoma—​the very crime for which he had recently been paroled. Despite the film’s “immediate success,” Starr found himself “unable to collect his profits” and unable to pursue a career in the emerging Hollywood film industry due to the threat of extradition to Arkansas on an outstanding warrant from 1893 (Shirley 187).5 Faced with mounting debts and no other source of income, Starr reverted to his former criminal practices. On 18 February 1921, he and three accomplices attempted to rob the People’s State Bank of Harrison, Arkansas, during which Starr was badly wounded when the bank’s former president shot him with a gun concealed in the establishment’s vault; he succumbed to his injuries four days later on 22 February. The physician attending his death later alleged that Starr’s dying words were “I have robbed more banks than any man in the United States” (“Debt”).6

Thrilling Events: Henry Starr’s Outlaw Modernism Despite the existence of Thrilling Events, several authors, including lawman turned historian of the American West, Glenn Shirley, famed cultural historian of the American frontier, Richard Slotkin, and Cherokee writer of pulp westerns and other historical fiction, Robert J. Conley, have supplemented Starr’s story with lengthy and dubiously accurate accounts of his life. These supplementary texts present a stark contrast to Starr’s own slim volume, which, in its original print edition, consists of a mere 51 pages, or less than 23,000 words.7 Conley’s 166-​page The Saga of Henry Starr (1989) hews closely to Thrilling Events, but injects its subject’s life with a pervasive sense of loneliness and isolation, a theme that achieves full realization in the novel’s concluding sentence, “He died as he had lived—​alone and in a crowd” (166). Shirley’s 191-​page biography, Henry Starr: Last of the Real Badmen (1965), draws heavily on contemporary newspaper accounts to flesh out details about Starr’s life that are absent from Thrilling Events, and which transpired in the seven years following its publication up to and including Starr’s death. In the acknowledgements for his heavily fictionalized, 533-​page tome, The 220

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Return of Henry Starr (1988), Slotkin thanks Shirley for his “careful research” and describes Last of the Real Badmen as “the definitive biography of Henry Starr” (535). This description is disconcerting—​ especially coming from Slotkin, a trained historian and cultural critic—​because, as Devon Mihesuah observes in the context of another Cherokee “outlaw,” Ned Christie, Shirley “had a penchant for taking newspapers at their word without cross-​checking facts,” and often demonstrated inconsistent citational practices, despite including notes and references in his reporting of historical events (13). Notwithstanding the efforts of these supplementary texts to speak for, around, and through Starr, no one is better suited to tell his story than the outlaw himself. Like the cohort of Indigenous cultural producers “engaged in ... the making and remaking of a spectrum of expectations” in the early twentieth century, Starr “embraced a different story about [himself] than we are accustomed to hearing” (Deloria 229, 6). With some exceptions, precious few outlaw narratives are written by the outlaws themselves, and some accounts even ventriloquize their subjects’ voices for sensational effect.8 Whether or not Starr was, in fact, the author of his own account is worth due consideration. Although it is possible that Thrilling Events was subjected to editorial intervention prior to publication, it nonetheless contains several elements that insist upon the presence of Starr’s voice, a voice undeniably familiar with the “baffling set of powers” that set the Indian Territory on its collision course with modernity (Miner 206). Conley professes his belief in Starr’s word, asking, “[W]‌hy would he lie? ... [H]e told things on himself that lead me to believe anything he said. He did not make excuses for anything he did” (Cherokee 81). Indeed, following his arrest for his first robbery in 1892, Starr candidly recalls, “I was guilty, but I pleaded ‘not guilty,’ and my bond was fixed at $2,000.00 ... I admit I hadn’t the least intention of going back to stand trial” (23–​4). However, what’s even more convincing than the candidness of Starr’s revelations are his references to demographic shifts in the territory and to the reality of federal Indian policies, both of which, while germane to the interests of the territory’s tribal citizens, received scant notice outside of the territory. The opening paragraphs of Thrilling Events are unremarkable in their content, revealing details about Starr’s early life that one might expect to encounter in any autobiography: his date and place of birth, the names of his parents and siblings, and the limited extent of his formal education (7–​9). However, he soon begins to describe the atmosphere of social unrest fomented by the increasing presence of white settlers in the territory: In the early days there was no provision made for the education of white children in the Indian Territory. The tolerant Indian school directors allowed the white children to attend free. Since statehood, hundreds of full-​blood Indians have quit attending school because they are taunted and insulted about their nationality. The teachers were afraid to take the part of the little red children lest the white parents become miffed. ... White men could not vote or hold office, or be arraigned in court for any offense whatever against the life or property of an Indian citizen. 9 Starr’s comments observe a major demographic shift that took place in the late nineteenth-​century Indian Territory in which the population of non-​tribal citizens tripled between 1890 and 1897 (Maxwell 169). These settlers were part of an impoverished class of Americans who began trickling into the territory after the Civil War, and “flooded” it in the 1880s and 1890s, due, in no small part, to some tribal citizens’ practice of “leasing” their improvements to “people of all sorts from the United States,” especially poor white farmers (Littlefield 21–​2). According to Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., “[T]‌hese people were mainly castoffs of American society, who lived off the Indian resources, let their children grow up in ignorance, and raised the loudest cry for the government to dismantle the Indian nations” (20). The increasing prevalence of this class of settlers was a significant driving force behind the territory’s eventual statehood in 1907. 221

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In Thrilling Events, this settler class is epitomized in the figure of Starr’s stepfather, a white man named C.N.Walker, whom his mother married after his father’s death in 1886.The memoir’s description of Walker’s dubious character reveals far more than Starr’s personal distaste for his stepfather. Starr describes Walker as “a sallow, malarial, green-​eyed reprobate ... who saw a fine chance for exploitation of rich lands, with free range and no taxes” (9). Not only does Starr’s distaste for his stepfather’s rapacious character reflect the sociological reality of white opportunists in the Indian Territory, but the opening paragraphs of his memoir also provide a rare contemporary acknowledgment of the deleterious effects that white immigration into the territory had on its Indigenous citizens: I had always looked upon the Indian as supreme, and the white renters as poor white trash who moved from year to year in covered wagons ... and who, at the very best, made only a starving crop. In the days of my childhood the Indian landowner was looked up to by his white renters, and always treated with courtesy and respect; but the years have brought about a great change; the white man holds power, and the same hypocritical renter has grown arrogant and insulting ... I have more white blood than Indian, and with my knowledge of both races, I fervently wish that every drop in my veins was RED. 9–​10 Starr’s remarks (un)cannily anticipate Littlefield’s comments by more than 70 years, and their specificity makes the presence of his voice even more convincing than tone or “belief ” alone. Similarly, Starr’s reference to the location of his allotment in the final third of his memoir further supports the strong likelihood that his voice is behind this narrative account. After he received his presidential pardon in 1903, Starr returned to Tulsa where, he says, he “engaged in the real estate business” and lived until 1907 when he moved his family to the town of Skiatook, “only six miles from [his] allotment” (Starr 66). Indeed, Starr’s allotment was located approximately six miles south of Skiatook, and very close to the border with the Osage Nation near the town of Sperry, Oklahoma (Indian Territory Map Co.). Few people are likely to have known the precise location of Starr’s allotment apart from his family, his neighbors, or Starr himself. In many ways, Starr’s memoir is an unremarkable telling of an otherwise remarkable life. It does not fulfill the sensational expectations of outlaw narratives, nor does it exactly live up to the “thrilling” promise of its title. However, what makes Thrilling Events a mundane reading experience is also what marks its modernist quality. The most identifiably “modernist” feature of Starr’s narrative is its paratactic structure.9 Friedman identifies parataxis—​“the juxtaposition of things without providing connectives”—​as “a common aesthetic strategy in modernist writing and art, developed to disrupt and fragment conventional sequencing, causality, and perspective” (“Definitional” 494). Furthermore, the pattern of Starr’s outlaw career—​alternating between periods of radical freedom and carceral confinement—​embodies what Friedman calls “[t]‌he logic of modernity,” which she likens to “the hydraulics of pressure and explosive release; containment and then movement” (“Planetarity” 473). The paratactic structure of Thrilling Events reflects that pattern, becoming decidedly more pronounced during the most unstable periods of Starr’s life. The book’s most sustained and coherent narration unfolds within its first 20 pages in which Starr describes his early life up to and including the circumstances of his first two wrongful convictions (7–​26). As if in response to the sudden, irrevocable rupture in his life occasioned by those convictions, Starr’s narrative begins to take on an increasingly episodic structure, beginning with his conscious resolution to break bad (22), and followed by more than 25 pages in which Starr describes a series of train depot robberies and the shooting of Floyd Wilson that resulted in his first prison sentence (26–​ 53).The five years between President Roosevelt’s commutation of Starr’s first prison term in 1903 and his subsequent return to the outlaw trail in 1908 represent Starr’s return to stability, in both a personal and narrative sense, the style of which recalls the book’s first 20 pages. The stability of this period is reflected in the seven whole pages to which Starr devotes a sustained and detailed description of his 222

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life as a married real estate agent in Tulsa (63–​70). In this section, Starr’s description of the inauguration in 1907 of C.N. Haskell, the first Governor of the state of Oklahoma, briefly outlines the hope he possessed in that moment for a brighter future for himself and his fellow Cherokees: [A]‌ll around the Governor and his party were dark-​haired men and women, prima-​facie evidence that the Red-​man intended to help guide the ship of state. I’ll admit I went away feeling rather proud and chesty, for I was living an upright, honest life,—​proud of my home and family, and interested in all things pertaining to the welfare of my fellowman [sic]. 67 Oklahoma’s statehood, to which the territory’s tribal citizens both objected and contributed in a variety of complex and often unacknowledged ways, appears to have promised Starr a chance to start over and make an “honest” man of himself. In contrast, that same five-​year period preceding Oklahoma statehood was the least stable period in the history of the Indian Territory. They were the years in which allotment, tribal dissolution, and single statehood with the white-​majority Oklahoma Territory were forced upon the citizens of the Five Tribes. Those who favored statehood saw it as a solution to the territory’s crime problem; however, Oklahoma’s statehood was directly responsible for Starr’s second eruption of criminal activity, concluding in his four-​year imprisonment in the Colorado State Penitentiary. Notwithstanding Starr’s apparent support of statehood and the hopes he expressed after witnessing Governor Haskell’s inauguration, statehood made it possible for the Governor of Arkansas to request Starr’s extradition in order to try him for the 1893 robbery of the People’s Bank in Bentonville, Arkansas. Starr claims that rumors of the extradition agreement prompted him to return to his former criminal activities in 1908, a decision that landed him in prison the next year (Starr 67–​8). He later discovered that the new Oklahoma state government refused to fulfill the extradition request, but by then it was too late: Oklahoma’s statehood had literally pursued him back into a life of crime. Starr never again enjoyed such a lengthy reprieve from a life of radical freedom on the lam interspersed with years of incarceration. These circumstances illustrate how immediately Oklahoma statehood affected the lives of the Indian Territory’s tribal citizens by making them subject to the rules and regulations of the US without consistent access to the privileges of American citizenship. They also reveal the sheer mendacity of the rationale for allotment and statehood as mechanisms to ensure the safety, security, and prosperity of the territory’s residents by eliminating its criminal elements. In Starr’s case, statehood actually revived his dormant criminal proclivities, which then contributed to the deterioration of his first marriage. In fact, perhaps the most sustained segment of his narrative—​a stretch of 17 pages near its conclusion—​consists almost exclusively of paratactic descriptions of Starr’s life on the lam in Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico in the year before his second incarceration (70–​87). As Starr hopscotches paratactically toward his conclusion, he makes little effort to explain each episode’s significance or relevance, and his migrations become increasingly recursive: In April ’08 I left Oklahoma on horseback in company with a party I shall call Stumpy. Our start was made from near Muskogee, and we rode about 50 miles that day. The next day we stayed in the mountains in the Creek country. ... The second night we made a light ride, and the grass being short, I invaded a farmer’s corn-​bin. The third night put us out of the country where people knew me, and we decided to ride the balance of the trip in daylight. The third morning at sunrise we were about 12 miles north and 10 miles west of Oklahoma City, and close to the little town of Edmond. 70 223

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Starr’s meandering anecdotes look much the same even 13 pages later: The next day I got to a friend’s house within a few miles of Guthrie, Okla., and stayed all through August, 1908, to dodge the heat and rest my horse and self. Later on I went to Eastern Oklahoma for about five weeks and started west again, coming through Tulsa at night about the 5th or 6th of October of the same year. 83 This longest uninterrupted segment of Starr’s memoir depicts a decidedly unromantic and tiresome lifestyle, one that, in its tedium, is emphatically not “thrilling.”

“You’re Not the Indian I Had in Mind” Because Starr authored his memoir years before his criminal career came to an end, Thrilling Events ultimately cannot fulfill the conventional objectives of the standard outlaw narrative: the revelation of its subject’s spectacular death, and the paradoxical eulogization of the hero-​criminal, whose passing represents, on the one hand, a reinstatement of the social order disrupted by the outlaw’s exploits, and on the other, the end of an era. 10 This generic objective bears astonishing parallels to what Deloria describes as “postfrontier” efforts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to contain and pacify Indigenous people, both in reality and in simulated representations: Pacification served as a marker for the new epoch, and it was figured constantly in the most popular entertainment of the era—​Cody’s Wild West, which managed for its audiences the tensions between frontier and postfrontier. For those in modern urban strongholds, Indians quickly became objects of nostalgic desire as they reflected both an earlier, virile time of colonization and an authenticity that modernity seemed to deny. 232 In this passage “outlaws” could easily replace “Indians” without altering the substance of Deloria’s argument. As both an outlaw and an “Indian,” Starr perhaps requires double the amount of containment and pacification, a doubling that corresponds with his two most well-​known cultural productions, Thrilling Events and A Debtor to the Law. However, neither of these productions effectively “contains” or “pacifies” Starr, all contemporary expectations to the contrary. The publication of Starr’s memoir and the premiere of his film each followed Starr’s early parole from a lengthy term in prison. It would appear, then, that each of these cultural productions prioritized their narratives around Starr’s newly reformed nature and his intention to “go straight,” rather than the more likely, albeit banal reality, which is that he needed to earn money. Evidently, neither his book nor his film was successful enough to secure him a steady income. Thrilling Events was published in 1914, but the very next year, Starr was arrested after attempting to rob two banks in one day in the town of Stroud, Oklahoma. He served four years for that crime. Soon after Starr’s early release in 1919, a reporter for the Tulsa World allegedly interviewed him about his time in prison and his decision to make A Debtor to the Law. In that interview, Starr states his intention to use the silver screen not to glamorize his life as an outlaw, but “to show the youth of the present day that it doesn’t pay to do otherwise than ‘to go the straight’ ” (“In Pen”). The reporter cites Starr as saying, “I wouldn’t consent to have a thing to do with the film until I was given the assurance that it would carry its moral lesson with it.” Whether Starr actually said these things is not important; what matters is the expectation that his criminal ways had been “pacified,” which thus legitimized the cinematic depiction of his violence and lawlessness as subordinate to the promotion of a higher morality. If Starr had truly resolved to “go straight,” it did not last long; on 18 February 1921, he got in a car and drove to the site of his final, fatal bank robbery. 224

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Starr’s refusal to fulfill the role of the “pacified Indian” or the “reformed convict” may be one of the reasons why his name and legacy have not found their way into the pantheon of American outlaws alongside the likes of Jesse James, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, or even his fellow Oklahoman Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd. As Deloria demonstrates, many of the Indigenous cultural producers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries “have been named anomalies and buried, in part, precisely because they have failed to accord with familiar and powerful expectations” (231). Starr’s repeated transgressions despite his outward appearance of reform present an inconvenient counter-​ narrative to the story of Indigenous pacification and containment in the late nineteenth century that, as Deloria suggests, marked a pivotal moment in which “the United States became aware of its own modernity” (232). The modernist and assimilationist periods collide in Starr’s embodiment as one of Piatote’s “primary site[s]‌of struggle” in the ongoing renewal of imperial conquest (2). In addition to drawing attention to the nuances and complexities of these sites of struggle, the discrepancy between the appearance of Starr’s pacification in his constructed self-​representations and the reality of his ongoing criminal activities reflects the constitutive role of coloniality in the emergence of American modernity. Starr’s multiple self-​representations not only disrupted his contemporaries’ expectations; they also pose numerous interpretive challenges for twenty-​first century critics, especially those who, like me, are invested in the recovery of Indigenous writers, texts, and contexts from the modernist and assimilationist period(s). In Thrilling Events, Starr claims not to subscribe to any politics (93), which may account for the many contradictory remarks in his memoir that prevent his unqualified inclusion within several subfields of both Indigenous and American literary traditions. In his refusal to choose a side between white and red, Starr confronts his readers and critics with a complex and often uncomfortable negotiation of hybrid identity and divided national allegiances. On the first page of his memoir, Starr describes his ancestry as “Scotch-​Irish-​Indian,” specifies that his father “was a half-​blood Cherokee Indian,” while his mother was “one-​quarter,” and then declares, “I spent my boyhood like thousands of other American boys” (7–​8, emphasis added). Moreover, he confronts critics with a startling declaration of support for contemporary penal reform efforts. At the conclusion of his memoir, Starr devotes nearly 250 words to singing the praises of Thomas J. Tynan, who was warden of the Colorado State Penitentiary while Starr was imprisoned there between 1909 and 1913. In particular, Starr lauds Tynan’s “honor system,” which allowed prisoners “to go many miles ... from the penitentiary without armed guards, to work on the roads” (92).11 These statements complicate efforts to locate Starr within a larger history of prison writing, especially as it pertains to the twentieth-​century US. Moreover, there are several moments in his memoir where Starr passionately condemns the genocidal brutality of American law enforcement, expressing disbelief, for example, at the Texas Rangers’ massacre of a Comanche village at Little Robe Creek in 1858. He asks, “What excuse, what military necessity, required that these Texans march four or five hundred miles to attack a peaceful Indian village?” adding, “If we believe in the law of compensation, then the white folks of these United States are SURE in for some bad luck” (85). However, it is difficult to reconcile statements like these with Starr’s qualified expressions of admiration for European ingenuity (“I admit that the white race is the superior, but oh, the price he pays for his superiority!” [10]), his apparent support for Oklahoma statehood, and his professed admiration for President Theodore Roosevelt.12 I want Starr’s memoir to express anti-​colonial resistance. I want to be able to place it in a larger literary history of activist prison writing by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. I want it to achieve some kind of coherent political commentary that, in its manifold contradictions, it cannot—​or will not—​do.The challenge of working with this text is to put aside one’s own scholarly and critical desires and allow Starr to “tell a different story ... than we are accustomed to hearing” (Deloria 6). Without a doubt, Starr was a thoroughly modern figure who defied convention, but his singularity does not also mark him as anomalous. Despite the many ways in which Starr differed from his Indigenous contemporaries, what his literary and cultural productions share in common with theirs is the way 225

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they “suggest a secret history of the unexpected, of the complex lineaments of personal and cultural identity that can never be captured by dichotomies built around crude notions of difference and assimilation, white and Indian, primitive and advanced” (Deloria 14). By listening to these different stories and histories, we continue to develop a deeper, more nuanced, and more robust understanding of the “productive tensions” between the modernist and assimilationist period(s), between Indigenous cultural producers from this period (along with their non-​Indigenous counterparts), and between “Modernism and Native America.” If the modernist and assimilationist period(s) “marked not the end of conquest but rather its renewal” (Piatote 3), then our return to and recovery of Indigenous cultural productions from this period represent an opportunity to counter the renewal of conquest with the renewal of knowledge in all of its contradictory forms.

Notes 1 I would like to thank the editors of this collection for their thoughtful suggestions and generous feedback on earlier drafts of this essay. It is a far more robust and meaningful contribution because of their interventions. Any errors are my own. 2 Deloria understands “expectation” as “a shorthand for the dense economies of meaning, representation, and act that have inflected both American culture writ large, and individuals, both Indian and non-​Indian;” it is circumscribed by “the colonial and imperial relations of power and domination existing between Indian people and the United States” (11). 3 Beth H. Piatote identifies the opening of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1879 as the beginning of the assimilation period in the US and locates its conclusion in 1934 with the passage of the Wheeler-​ Howard Act, also known as the Indian Reorganization Act. “These events,” Piatote says, “inaugurated and suspended the two most dominant policies of the era: the forced removal of indigenous children from their families to attend government-​funded boarding and day schools and the allotment of reservation lands in severalty” (1). 4 The Indian Territory’s tribal courts only had jurisdiction over crimes involving tribal citizens. The US Western District Court in Fort Smith, Arkansas had jurisdiction over all crimes committed by or against a US citizen in the Indian Territory, and, after 1885, seven major felony crimes irrespective of citizenship. 5 Although Starr was ultimately unable to pursue a career in the fledgling silent film industry, numerous other Indigenous people from around the country were able to fashion careers for themselves out of this new technology, including Will Rogers, Princess Red Wing, James Young Deer, Jim Thorpe, and the Carewe brothers, among many others. See Deloria 52–​108 and Bold. 6 Many journalists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries exercised a great deal of creative license in their reporting on current events. I nonetheless use some of these sources sparingly, knowing that their citation risks perpetuating historical inaccuracy, partly to illustrate how the opacity of history (particularly where marginalized figures are concerned) combines with the tendency of popular culture to romanticize outlaws, and partly because, in the absence of a truly definitive biography of Starr, there are few other sources upon which to draw. 7 The first edition of Thrilling Events (1914) remained the only version of Starr’s memoir that was available in print until 1982 when it was republished in a limited run by the Creative Publishing Company. Because of the poor print quality of the first edition, all page numbers cited herein refer to the 1982 reprint edition. 8 Some of the exceptions include The Life of John Wesley Hardin, As Written by Himself (1896) and The Story of Cole Younger, by Himself (1903). One of the ventriloquist acts includes the National Police Gazette’s appropriation of the voice of Starr’s white aunt-​by-​marriage, Belle Starr, in Bella Starr, the Bandit Queen (1889), in which the author quotes portions of what he claims is Belle Starr’s prison diary. 9 The paratactic quality of Thrilling Events resonates with the work of early modernist innovators in England, such as Dorothy Richardson, whose fourth instalment in the Pilgrimage sequence of novels, The Tunnel (1919), is particularly resonant with the tedious and mundane qualities of Starr’s memoir. 10 “You’re Not the Indian I Had in Mind” is borrowed from the title of Chapter II of Thomas King’s The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative, 31–​60. 11 It is possible that Starr was only permitted to write his memoir while incarcerated on the condition that he praise the leadership of the Colorado State Penitentiary. Since it is impossible to confirm such a claim, it must remain conjectural.

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Henry Starr’s Outlaw Modernism 12 Roosevelt issued the pardon that made Starr a free man, but he also praised allotment as “a mighty pulverizing engine to break up the tribal mass” in his Annual Message to Congress in 1901, and unilaterally decided that the Indian Territory would form a single state with the Oklahoma Territory despite concerted efforts by tribal delegates to secure separate statehood.

References Bold, Christine. “Vaudeville, Indigeneity, Modernity.” Modernism/​modernity Print Plus vol. 5, cycle 4, 2021, doi. org/​10.26597/​mod.0191. Conley, Robert J. Cherokee Thoughts, Honest and Uncensored. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008. —​—​—​. The Saga of Henry Starr. New York: Ballantine, 1989. Cox, James H. “Modernism and Native America.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 59, no. 3 (Fall 2017): 269–​72. Debo, Angie. The Road to Disappearance: A History of the Creek Indians. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1967. “Debt drives Starr to try ‘last coup.’ ” The Morning Tulsa Daily World, 19 Feb. 1921, 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, chroniclingamerica.loc. gov/​lccn/​sn85042345/​1921-​02-​19/​ed-​1/​seq-​1/​. Deloria, Philip J. Indians in Unexpected Places. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 2004. Friedman, Susan Stanford. “Definitional Excursions: The Meanings of Modern/​ Modernity/​Modernism.” Modernism/​modernity, vol. 8, no. 3 (Sept. 2001): 493–​513. —​—​—​. “Planetarity: Musing Modernist Studies.” Modernism/​modernity, vol. 17, no. 3 (Sept. 2010): 471–​99. Huhndorf, Shari M. Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2001. “In Pen with O. Henry.” The Bartlesville Daily Enterprise, 1 May 1919, 8. Newspapers.com. Indian Territory Map Co. “Township 21 North, Range 12 East.” Cherokee Nation. 1909. Library of Congress, hdl. loc.gov/​loc.gmd/​g4021gm.gla00497. Kent, Alicia A. “‘You can’t run away nowadays’: Redefining Modernity in D’Arcy McNickle’s The Surrounded.” Studies in American Indian Literatures, vol. 20, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 22–​46. Keresztesi, Rita. Strangers at Home: American Ethnic Modernism between the World Wars. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2005. King, Thomas. The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. Toronto: House of Anansi P, 2003. Kopel, David B.“The Self-​Defense Cases.” American Journal of Criminal Law, vol. 27. no. 3 (Summer 2000): 293–​327. Littlefield, Daniel F., Jr. Seminole Burning: A Story of Racial Vengeance. Jackson: UP of Mississippi,1996. Littlefield, Daniel F., Jr. and James W. Parins. “Short Fiction Writers of the Indian Territory.” American Studies, vol. 23, no. 1 (Spring 1982): 23–​38. Maxwell, Amos. “The Sequoyah Convention.” Chronicles of Oklahoma, vol. 28, no. 2 (1950): 161–​92; 28.3 (1950): 200–​340. Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham: Duke UP, 2011. Mihesuah, Devon A. Ned Christie:The Creation of an Outlaw and Cherokee Hero. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2018. Miner, H. Craig. The Corporation and the Indian:Tribal Sovereignty and Industrial Civilization in Indian Territory, 1865–​ 1907. 1976. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1989. Piatote, Beth H. Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 2013. Shirley, Glenn. Henry Starr: Last of the Real Badmen. New York: David McKay Co., 1965. Slotkin, Richard. The Return of Henry Starr. New York: Atheneum, 1988. Starr, Henry. Thrilling Events: Life of Henry Starr. 1914. College Station: Creative Publishing Co., 1982. —​—​—​. A Debtor to the Law. Pan American Motion Picture Corp, 1919.

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17 FALSE IDOLS Totemism, Reification, and Anishinaabe Culture in Modernist Thought Adam Spry

Writing to his father from Toulouse in 1919, Ezra Pound described witnessing a procession of local Catholics on their way to venerate a local icon—​a black Madonna, usually housed in the basilica Notre-​Dame de la Daurade. Pound, a man who believed that Christianity was little more than “a bastard faith devised for the purpose of making good Roman citizens, or slaves,” did not like what he saw (Selected Letters 30). Pound wrote: “This worm of the procession had three large antennae … No merely mediaeval but black central African superstitution [sic] and voodoo energy squalling infant, general murk and epileptic religious hog wash with chief totem magnificently swung over the whole” (Terrell 15). In the context of Pound’s history of incendiary pronouncements, the mixture of anti-​Catholic prejudice and explicit racism on display here is to be expected. What is worth noting in this passage, however, is Pound’s use of the term totem. While it may seem unremarkable today, in 1919 the concept of the totem was relatively new, having only recently been introduced into public discourse from the still-​developing field of anthropology. For Pound, invoking the totem offered a way of criticizing the “superstitution” of the Catholics of Toulouse as something not only wrong-​headed, but also fundamentally not modern. By offering devotion to a piece of wood decorated to look like a woman—​a mere totem—​the Catholics of Toulouse had shown themselves to be little better than savages, at least according to Pound. Since the early twentieth century, totem has been a term favored by advertisers, political pundits, and the literati for its ability to express no small degree of elitist disdain for certain groups’ presumed obsession with objects. Unlike fetishism, with its individualistic (and now sexualized) connotations, totemism describes a social pathology: a type of group-​think that transforms often trivial or vulgar things into objects held with an almost religious regard. Initially emerging from anthropological discourse, the totem provided a new way of understanding sacred objects—​one that peered behind their sacral aura to reveal their mundane reality as man-​made things. It was an idea that captured the interest of many of the most influential minds in Europe and America, influencing everything from the sociological theories of Émile Durkheim to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic method. Now used to describe everything from MAGA hats to Oprah, the pejorative use of the term totem is likely familiar to the contemporary lay-​reader. Many would also recognize the term as one vaguely associated with Indigenous peoples—​primarily in the form of the monumental clan-​posts of the Pacific Northwest that have borne the name “totem poles” since the late nineteenth century. Very, very few, I suspect, would recognize the word’s origin lies thousands of miles from the nearest Tlingit kootéeyaa in the Great Lakes region.1 DOI: 10.4324/9781003030485-22

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The term totem is derived from the Anishinaabe2 word odoodeman, although, as the Ojibwe/​ Blackfeet historian Theresa Schenck argues, “The original Ojibwa concept of totem is scarcely recognizable in the more recent use of the word” (29). In Anishinaabemowin (the Anishinaabe language), odoodeman3 roughly translates to relatives, extended family, or clan. Like many indigenous communities, the Anishinaabe were, and in some instances still are, organized into large kinship groups usually (but not always) defined by patrilineal descent, and whose members identified themselves primarily through a shared symbol—​such as the Makwa (Bear), Maang (Loon), or Adik (Caribou) odoodemanag. The familial obligations laid on members of the same odoodeman largely depended on one’s generational cohort, as Cary Miller explains: “When two or more doodem members meet[,]‌ those of the older generation become fathers and those of the same generation brothers and sisters” (39). These familial roles were no mere formality, but obligated members of the same odoodeman to share their resources, defend one another in inter-​clan disputes, and even accept punishment for the transgressions of fellow clan-​members. Because every member of the odoodeman were considered immediate family to one another, sexual relations between members of the same odoodeman were strictly forbidden. Such intimacy was not limited only to those with whom one was already familiar, or even to other Anishinaabe, but expanded to all who could credibly claim membership in the odoodeman. As nineteenth-​century Anishinaabe historian William Whipple Warren explains, even a member of a different tribal community could be considered a “close blood relation” if they had a similar clan name or symbol, “although he be divided from [the odoodeman] by a long vista of years, interminable miles, and know not even of their existence” (17–​18). The odoodeman system was more than just a way of categorizing kin, but an entire philosophy of relation that inflected Anishinaabe understandings of justice, place, and identity, as Anishinaabe culture-​bearer Basil Johnston explains: The bonds that united the Ojibway-​speaking peoples were the totems. The feeling and sense of oneness among people who occupied a vast territory was based not on political considerations or national aspirations or economic advantages; not even upon religion or similarity of view or ceremony; but upon the totemic symbols which made those born under the signs one in function, birth, and purpose. 72 The odoodeman identity was so central to Anishinaabe life that many early accounts of European and American explorers mistook the diversity of Anishinaabe odoodemanag for entirely separate and distinct tribal nations—​albeit ones that had little sense of the territoriality, autonomy, and exclusivity that defined Euro-​American understandings of the term. As Heidi Bohaker argues, the relational-​dynamic embedded in the odoodeman system extended beyond the human world: Anishinaabe use of doodem as a category of kinship is also an articulation of Anishinaabe philosophy and law—​one that places humans in interdependent relationships with other-​ than-​human beings, who are considered persons with a soul and also relatives to whom one owes a duty of care. Doodem, xiv Just as one could be related to a person without a biological connection, one could think of animals, plants, and even landscapes as kin. In short, odoodeman was a word that indicated a vast array of relations, obligations, and norms that shaped every aspect of the Anishinaabe world. So how did a word for complex, interdependent relations come to be used, almost exclusively, to refer to irrationally valued things? Tracing the history of totem’s adoption in Euro-​American discourse reveals a microcosm of colonial history, from the term’s initial appropriation by a fame-​seeking fur trader, subsequent theorization by generations of anthropologists, and ultimate adoption as a term 232

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of abuse. By tracing that history, this essay seeks to understand how the modern totem came to be, as well as how it reveals many of the contradictions and anxieties that define the settler-​colonial logic that gave it birth. Going back to its first usage in English, we find that the idea of the totem was initially put forth by a man with a dubious understanding of, and little respect for, the Anishinaabe people from whom he appropriated it. In the Modernist era, we will see how Long’s misguided ideas about totemism provided a useful means of explaining what social theorists and artists believed to be contemporary society’s pathological relationship with objects—​by blaming it on the lingering effects of a “primitive” mindset. In tracing this history, I argue that the totem has little to do with Anishinaabe culture. Instead it is, and always has been, a projection of Euro-​American anxieties about modernity—​specifically, capitalist commodification—​onto a racialized other. Ultimately, I hope to show how the discourse of the totem (like that of the “fetish” before it) is an attempt to locate the logic of commodification outside of capitalist modernity in order to lay the blame for its destructive and dehumanizing effects on a “primitive” mindset—​one that could only be countered by the development of ever-​more “modern” forms of thought. Fascinatingly, the misprision of odoodeman into totem can be traced back to a single, definitive source: the memoirs of John Long, an eighteenth-​century English fur trader.4 In his 1791 Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, Long recounts his nearly two decades working as a free-​trader in Upper Canada—​including the several winters he spent among the Anishinaabeg. During that time, Long dedicated himself to “obtaining a perfect knowledge of their manners and customs” (173) including, as he describes it, “the religious superstition of the Savages,” which he calls “totamism” (123, ital. orig.). As Long explains, the faith of the Anishinaabeg “consists in each of them having his totam, or favorite spirit, which he believes watches over him. This totam they conceive assumes the shape of some beast or other, and therefore they never kill, hunt, or eat the animal whose form they think this totam bears” (123, emp. orig.). To give an example of “totamism,” Long relates “a curious circumstance” that he witnessed when a group of Anishinaabe hunters stayed with him during a particularly cold winter. According to Long, one night a member of the hunting party had a dream in which he was instructed to “go to a piece of swampy ground, at the foot of a high mountain” where he would find “a large herd of elks, moose, and other animals.” Although the dream warned the hunter “that he must be accompanied by at least ten good hunters,” the rest of his party refused to go with him, “saying it was out of their way, and that their hunting grounds were closer.” Undeterred, the hunter set off on his own—​despite the dream’s warning. Eventually, he came across the herd exactly as he had dreamt of, upon which “he instantly fired, and killed a bear”—​improbably hidden among the game animals. The hunter immediately fell into despair. Because his “totam was a bear,” be believed himself to have incurred “the displeasure of the Master of Life, whom he conceived he had highly offended” by killing the animal. On his way back to Long’s post, the man was supposedly attacked by yet another bear, who “pulled him down, and scratched his face” and demanded to know “what could induce him to kill his totam[?]‌” After the hunter apologized, “the bear suffered him to depart, told him to be more cautious in future, and acquaint all the Indians with the circumstance, that their totams might be safe, and the Master of Life not angry with them.” Once the hunter made it back to Long’s cabin, “he looked at [Long] very earnestly, and pronounced these words; ‘Amik, hunjey ta Kitchee Annascartissey nin, O Totam, cawwicka nee wee geossay sannegat debwoye:’—​or, ‘Beaver, my faith is lost, my totam is angry, I shall never be able to hunt any more’  ” (123–​4). As Theresa Schenck argues, Long’s description of totemism would have “more lasting and far-​ reaching influence than the better-​informed works of numerous other travelers and scholars” (349), despite the fact that Long clearly “understood neither the Algonquin totem nor Algonquin spirituality” (348). Multiple contemporaneous accounts of Anishinaabe culture directly contradict Long’s narrative, including the observations of the early nineteenth-​century explorer, Joseph Nicollet, who wrote that an odoodeman symbol “was not a sacred name, neither is it connected with any favors of the spirits. There is no mystery attached to it. The totem being an institution of a purely civic nature 233

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… is simply a collective name” (qtd. in Pomedli 134). Trying to account for Long’s error, Claude Lévi-​Strauss speculates that he experienced “a confusion between clan-​names (in which the names of animals correspond to collective appellations) and beliefs concerning guardian spirits (which are individual protectors)” (19). While it seems true that Long actually had little understanding of the cultural material he presented, dismissing his formulation of totem-​objects as mere ignorance belies an even more damning critique of the underlying capitalist logic at work. Economics, not kinship, seems to be at the forefront of Long’s mind at the moment he actually defines his understanding of totemism. Immediately after relating the story of the hunter, Long writes, “This idea of destiny, or, if I may be allowed the phrase, ‘totamism,’ however strange is not confined to the Savages,” but could be seen even in “minds above the vulgar and unlearned” (124–​5). To give an example, Long briefly relates the story of “Samuel Bernard, the Jew banker, of the court of France” who was “superstitious as the people of his nation are.” According to Long, Bernard “had a black hen, to which he thought his destiny was attached; he had the greatest care taken of her, and the loss of the fowl was, in fact, the loss of his own life” (125).A paradigmatic example of the growing power of the bourgeoisie in the eighteenth century, Bernard (who actually was protestant) had risen from middle-​class obscurity to become the primary source of funding for the court of Louis XIV. Due to his outsize influence on the (still-​Catholic) French crown as well as his extensive war-​profiteering, Bernard was deeply disliked and distrusted during his lifetime because of his willingness to put his own self-​interest ahead of that of his nation—​leading to a raft of anti-​Semitic rumors that he was secretly a Jew. Long’s story of the black hen works ethnographically to rationalize Bernard’s lack of patriotism as the by-​product not of capitalist self-​interest, but of an ethnic otherness that perversely caused him to improperly value things. As James Gaines argues, Bernard’s reputation among the bourgeoisie of eighteenth-​ century France was predicated upon “the ancien régime prejudice against capitalism,” explaining: [T]‌he goal of virtually every bourgeois was to reclassify himself as an aristocrat, to whom any sort of obvious commercial activity was banned under penalty of dérogeance. … In the early modern period, it was necessary for them to find a scapegoat that could absorb the guilt for interest-​based transaction. They found that scapegoat … [in] the financiers, or tax farmers. Easy targets because they usurped the state’s most dreaded activity, the financiers were from the beginning painted with a Jewish brush … . 201–​2 In classifying ‘bad’ capitalists, like Bernard, as Jewish, such narratives promulgated the assumption that the perceived contradictions of capitalism—​like working against the interests of one’s nation—​are not inherent in its system of exchange, but the result of a racial otherness. In this way, Long can present Bernard’s excessive greed as fundamentally similar to the Anishinaabe hunter’s austerity; both are beholden to inborn, racial prejudices that prevent them from proper participation in capitalism. White, Christian men, conversely, are presented as capitalism’s ideal “rational actors,” whose economic behavior, unperverted by any kind of ethnic or cultural superstition, is nothing more than the expression of fundamental human nature. This, of course, is the basic assumption that has underwritten centuries of white supremacy: that all non-​white peoples are subject to irrational behaviors that must be subdued and controlled by whites through domination, suppression, or elimination. The belief in totems—​whether it be held by French financiers or Anishinaabe hunters—​represented a mutilation of “natural” reason that had to be contained. In this way, Long’s formulation of totemism as an explanation for the irrational economic behavior of non-​whites has much in common with another word weighted with fraught colonial history: the fetish. In his influential study of the term, William Pietz argues that the fetish is “a novel object not proper to any prior discrete society” (1985 5). Instead, the fetish is a name given to “the problematic of the social value of material objects as revealed in situations formed by the encounter of radically heterogenous social systems,” specifically those of mercantilist Europeans 234

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and indigenous West African societies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (1985 7). Derived from the Portugese fetiço (magic or spell), the idea of the fetish, like totem, first gained purchase in the European imagination through the accounts of colonial traders who recounted the exorbitant prices paid by West Africans for their manufactured goods. In these narratives, according to Pietz, “the alleged false religious values of African fetish worshippers were understood to cause the Africans’ false economic valuation of material objects” (1987 36). Such accounts of pagan “fetishism” were central to the emergence of secular, capitalist (and white) modernity, as Pietz explains: In these texts, the truth of material objects came to be viewed in terms of technological and commodifiable use-​value, whose ‘reality’ was proved by their silent ‘translatability’ across alien cultures. All other meanings and values attributed to material objects were understood to be the culture-​specific delusions of peoples lacking ‘reason.’ In the eighteenth century, this materialist attitude was combined with the earlier mechanistic and atheistic materialist ideology of the Epicureans … to form the materialist view characteristic of the Enlightenment. 1987 36 Rather than acknowledge that the value of all commodified objects is inherently socially-​derived, Europeans used the discourse of fetishism to claim that commodities had an inherent and autonomous value—​thereby naturalizing capitalist exchange as the only “objective” system by which such values could be properly recognized. The same sort of mercantile ideology that gave rise to the fetish is easily apprehendable in Long’s memoir, in which he enjoins the reader to “recollect that they are perusing, not the pages of a professed tourist, but such observations as a commercial man flatters himself may be found acceptable to the merchant and philosopher” (30). Long was quite literally a bourgeois, the title given to educated gentlemen who acted as the intermediary between Native trappers, lower-​class voyageurs, and urban fur wholesalers. As the editor of the 1904 reprint of Voyages and Travels admits, Long’s perspective is that of “the free trader, responsible to no authority, exploiting the country and the natives for the largest immediate returns, without reference to the preservation of the hunting grounds or the protection of the hunters” (16). Indeed much of what Long recounts in Voyages and Travels is almost shocking in its amorality, including his advice for negotiating trade with Native people: “[T]‌he Savages … [are] too well acquainted with value of furs and skins to be imposed upon, unless when they are intoxicated, an advantage I must confess too frequently taken” (76). Like a true self-​made man of the eighteenth century, Long rarely misses a chance to aggrandize his ability to make a profit out of hard work, smart investments, and the liberal application of rum, “which is now become an essential requisite in every transaction with the Savages” (47).Taken as a whole, the memoir is a document of not only Long’s bourgeois sensibility, but the extreme form of extractive racial capitalism that dominated the fur trade after the conclusion of the Seven Years War—​a period in which the already light regulation of the French crown gave way to the utter anarchy of Anglo-​American corporations such as the Hudson’s Bay, North West, and American Fur companies. Long, like many fur traders of the time, sought greater access to Native resources by embedding himself in Indigenous kinship practices—​going as far as being adopted into an Anishinaabe odoodeman by the ogimaa Majiikiwis. Long treats his adoption as a kind of speculative investment, describing how he offered some “trifling presents” so that Majiikiwis would “adopt [him] as a brother warrior” (82). Writing about his trepidation about going through the adoption ceremony (which included receiving a large tattoo over the course of several days), Long writes: Though I had not undergone this ceremony, I was not entirely ignorant of the nature of it, having been informed by other traders of the pain they endured in their adoption, though 235

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they declared they were favoured exceedingly; I determined however to submit to it, lest my refusal of the honour intended me should be attributed to fear, and so render me unworthy of the esteem of those from whom I expected to derive great advantages, and with whom I had engaged to continue for a considerable time. 82 While Long’s narrative rarely misses a chance to enumerate the “great advantages” facilitated by his adoption, it never states which odoodeman Long was brought into—​or even uses the term totem to describe his relationship to Majiikiwis (Long, in fact, never once links the term “totam” to kinship at all). Instead, Long represents adoption into an odoodeman according to his own bourgeois logic, as a form of social capital bestowed upon individuals based on merit—​one that would allow him access to more peltry at favorable prices. What Long did not (or refused to) acknowledge was that his inclusion in an odoodeman was as much about placing the obligations of kinship upon him as it was about gaining access to Anishinaabe resources. As Heidi Bohaker explains: [T]‌he Anishinaabek made a fundamental distinction between inawemaagen (relatives) and [m]eyaagizid (foreigners). Relatives were people that Anishinaabe individuals had responsibility for. They were also people with whom one could trade. The Anishinaabek did not deploy a separate semantic category for ally, trading partner or friend. You were either inawemaagen or you were not. If you were not doodem kin, you became inawemaagen through ceremony. Doodem, 26 By making a stranger into a relative, the Anishinaabe sought their own access to Euro-​American resources in the form of reciprocal gift-​giving among members of the odoodeman (what Euro-​ Americans perceived as “trade”). At the same time, adoption into an odoodeman was a way of putting limits on the behavior of fur traders, as odoodeman membership entailed the recognition of intra-​and inter-​clan obligations that needed to be upheld. Whether they did or not, Euro-​American adoptees were expected to respect Anishinaabe laws regarding marriage, mandatory reciprocity, and territorial rights embedded in the odoodeman system, which are important expressions of Anishinaabe sovereignty.5 If we return to examine Long’s story of the hunter and his totem from the perspective of the odoodeman system, we might come to a much different interpretation of how the idea of the totem is being deployed as a set of social and legal norms quite different from those Long assumes. As Long states, the encounter occurred during “the hardest winter [the Anishinaabeg] ever remembered,” a dire period in which both he and many of his trading partners faced starvation. Long recounts that the hunter’s band had traveled to Long’s outpost in order to “trade with [him] for their hunt”—​likely procuring the powder, lead, and other necessary items for the harvest of large game (123). As the Anishinaabe historian Cary Miller explains, the needs of the odoodeman “superseded the reciprocal obligation between hunters and fur traders,” especially in times of “severe hunger, which necessitated concentration of time and resources on large game hunting” (60). Although it isn’t conclusive, Long’s description of the hunting party seems to indicate that they had not set out to hunt for trade, but to feed their families. Embarking on such an expedition during a particularly bad Great Lakes winter (where temperatures can dip far below zero) would have been a dangerous endeavor, taken only at great personal risk to the members of the hunting party—​hinting, perhaps, at the desperate need of those they left behind. In such a context, the hunter’s decision to act alone (against the counsel of both his bandmates and his dream) in pursuing the herd of game was foolhardy, not only because of the obvious danger it posed to him, but because it put his entire clan at risk. 236

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Key to this reading is the band’s reluctance to stray from “their hunting grounds,” a seemingly off-​hand statement with major implications for the story’s relevance to the odoodeman system (123). Cary Miller explains: When families needed to hunt or gather outside their designated areas due to warfare or scarcity, they generally found assistance by utilizing their kin networks to request access to the usufruct resources of another hunting group or village. Anishinaabeg values and kinship networks emphasized the need to share resources with those who lacked them. However, the needy party had to ask the hunting group gichi-​anishinaabe [clan leaders] or village ogimaa for permission to use these resources. 96 If the hunter’s dream led him to trespass on another odoodeman’s territory, he would have risked stoking inter-​clan conflict, possibly even violence, to which the rest of his party would have been subject. Indeed, it may be possible that the totam who accosted the hunter on his way back to Long’s outpost was not a literal bear, but a member of the local Makwa odoodeman who caught him poaching on another village’s territory. If so, the hunter was lucky to have been let off with a few scratches and a stern warning.6 Long’s misrepresentation of these complicated social dynamics is apparent in the way he reports and translates the hunter’s words, “Amik, hunjey ta Kitchee Annascartissey nin, O Totam, cawwicka nee wee geossay sannegat debwoye.”7 Although Long claims Anishinaabemowin to be “a language which, from long habit, is become more familiar to me than my own” (61), his transcription of the hunter’s words is ungrammatical, at best. He not only groups the first-​person prefix “nin” in the same clause as “Kitchee Annascartissey,” but also brackets “O Totam” in commas, as if it were an independent noun. “Annascartissey” (nanishkaadizi) is a third-​person plural verb (meaning “they are angry off and on”); it is also intransitive, meaning that the anger being felt is not directed at anything in particular, but rather the experience of anger generally. Moreover, the first-​person prefix “nin” is not an independent pronoun and “doodem” is only a noun stem. The only way for the sentence to make sense in terms of Anishinaabe grammar is if “nin-​“ modifies “-​doodem” in order to create the word “nindoodem”—​“my clan.”Yet, Long’s use of commas to bracket “nin” in a separate clause from “O Totam” obscures this. By breaking “nin-​“ apart from “-​doodem” with commas Long breaks the relational aspect of nindoodem, artificially introducing space between the hunter and his clan. Rather than being both part of, and subject to, the odoodeman simultaneously, Long’s “O Totam” exists as an abstraction that is fundamentally distinct from the hunter’s own subjectivity. The false independence of “-​doodem” is further reinforced by the way Long renders it as ‘O Totam,’ which cannot help but recall the apostrophic use of the exclamatory “O” in poetry (e.g., “O Rose, thou art sick!”) to address an absent, personified object. In this context, Long’s anti-​Semitic slander against Bernard’s totemism becomes a remarkably revealing moment of like recognizing like, with Long cast in the role of an insurgent racial outsider whose cultural prejudices and lack of ethnic allegiance cause him to behave in ways inimical to the social order. Long’s tendency to reify relationships, both with human and other-​than-​human persons, as a means of gaining greater profits reduces all social relations to a capitalist ideal of individuals pursuing their own self-​interest.Yet the hunter’s lack of willingness to pursue the game animals, despite having ready access to them, presents a challenge to such a view. Not only would the animals have provided his band with much needed food, but their meat and hides could also be sold (to Long) for profit. Long’s transformation of a bear into a totem would have offered a familiar way to resolve the contradiction through the logic of reification. In Long’s interpretation of the hunter’s story, the social relations of the odoodeman are transformed into a thing—​or at least, what he would have thought of as a thing.8 Rather than see the hunter’s choice in light of his social obligations to the odoodeman, Long simply presents the hunter as an individual economic actor whose ignorance of the “objective” exchange-​value of a commodity (the bear and/​or the game animals) must be based on a “primitive,” 237

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and thus irrational, overvaluation of it as an object of religious veneration. Taken in full, Long’s narrative points to a fundamental (if not purposeful) misunderstanding of odoodeman—​culturally, contextually, and linguistically—​as a thing. It is precisely this aspect of Long’s “Totam” that makes it critical to trace its wending (and potentially wiindigo9) influence on Euro-​American thought in the early twentieth century. As Adam Kuper argues, totemism “is arguably the most pervasive and enduring anthropological contribution to the European conception of primitive society,” shaping generations of Euro-​American thinkers’ perception of human origins (121). As early twentieth-​century writers, philosophers, and theorists embraced Long’s formulation of totemism as an Indigenous belief system, they also inherited his suspect notion of the totem as a reified object—​one that carried with it implicit assumptions about the inability of racialized others to recognize the “proper” value of material objects. While John McLennan had cited Long’s definition of totemism as early as the 1860s, it was first introduced to a wide audience by the classicist-​cum-​anthropologist James Frazer in a landmark essay published in the 1888 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Drawing on the work of historians, missionaries, and ethnologists who had documented multiple forms of Indigenous clan systems from around the world, Frazer put forth a single, authoritative theory of “primitive” kinship, which he argued was defined by the near-​universal practices of totem worship and exogamy. A totem, Frazer explains, “is derived from an Ojibway (Chippeway) word, which was first introduced into literature, as far as appears, by J. Long, an Indian interpreter of last century,” defined as “a class of material objects which a savage regards with superstitious respect” (467). According to Frazer, the symbols used to identify clan-​belonging were not metaphors that facilitated kinship, but something akin to gods—​divine progenitors whose favor needed to be cultivated to ensure the survival of the group. As he put it: “The connection between a man and his totem is mutually beneficent: the totem protects the man, and the man shows his respect for the totem … by not killing it if it be an animal, and not cutting or gathering it if it be a plant” (467). Unlike fetish-​idols, the spiritual significance of a totem object was not idiosyncratic, but held in common by large social groups, the members of which “call themselves by the name of their totem, and commonly believe themselves to be actually descended from it” (467). The result was a socio-​religious complex in which “a body of men and women … believe themselves to be of one blood, descendants of a common ancestor, and are bound together by common obligations to each other and by a common faith in the totem” (467). This socio-​religious complex was, according to Frazer, the most “primitive” form of sociality, from which all other kinship systems (and religious practices) evolved. Initially only known among his fellow anthropologists, after the popular success of The Golden Bough (1890), Frazer’s work on totemism gained a much wider audience—​leading to Frazer revising and expanding his essay into a multivolume work entitled Totemism and Exogamy (1910). The same social theorists, psychoanalysts, and artists who had gravitated to The Golden Bough’s colorful account of ancient religious rites found in Frazer’s articulation of totemism a rich new vein of material for theorizing the human condition. For Sigmund Freud, the totemism offered a means of revealing the hidden connection between “the psychology of primitive peoples … and the psychology of neurotics” (4). Meanwhile, Émile Durkheim believed that totemism