The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca
This book tells the story of the late colonial and early reservation history of the Seneca Indians, and of the prophet Handsome Lake, his visions, and the moral and religious revitalization of an American Indian society that he and his followers achieved in the years around 1800.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 12th 1972 by Vintage
(first published 1969)
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
(showing 1-30 of 73)
In his book Anthony F.C. Wallace traces the foundations of The Old Way of Handsome Lake, an American Indian Religion. Wallace begins by describing Seneca culture and way of life during the 1700’s before the American Revolution, including societal structure (matriarchy), warfare and peace, and rituals and religion. The second part of the book is dedicated to the Iroquois participation in the American Revolution and the shift from neutrality to support of the British, the “doctrine of progress” i...more
Aug 14, 2007 John Wiswell rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: History readers, anthropology readers
Anthony Wallace takes readers along the entire story of the fall of the Seneca tribe in America, from pre-settler times and through the devastation, to recent attempts at cultural revival. He accentuates the story, trying very hard to capture temporal and cultural significance in people and events, trying to bring things more alive than typical history. Wallace succeeds admirably, making his history a very engaging read that infroms about a seriously damaged but beautiful culture, explaining tri...more
Originally published in 1969, this is really well written but really problematic history. Wallace's use of modern psychoanalytic discourse to deconstruct the myths and dreams of the Seneca is (I think) inappropriate and leads to some potentially deep misunderstandings of Seneca culture. Still, highly interesting read.