Sunday, November 29, 2020

Review of "Indian America: A Geography of North American Indians," by Marian Wallace Ney

Review of

Indian America: A Geography of North American Indians, by Marian Wallace Ney 0935741062

Four out of five stars

 Applying geography to tribe location when it is limited in accuracy

 This book contains a state-by-state description of the Native American tribes that were found within them. Canada and Central America are also included. All the while pointing out several times that many of the tribes were in fact pushed out of their original homeland by other tribes that were being pressured by the encroaching Europeans.

 For example, the Lakota of the Dakotas were originally based in the Great Lakes region but were forced westward by the Chippewas, the first tribe to receive guns from the French. Therefore, the Lakota have only lived in the plains region for a few centuries. For this reason, the book is internally stated as being limited in accuracy.

 The best that can be done is to consider it a snapshot of the dwelling places of tribes at particular times as the inexorable movement of the whites decimated and moved the Native Americans to other places. Within that context, this is a good book about many of the tribes. With only a page of text to describe the characteristics of the main tribes within a region, there is a natural limitation. Therefore, this can be at best considered a primer of where they resided.

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