Catherine's Reviews > Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers

Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants by Kent G. Lightfoot
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's review
Jul 23, 2012

it was amazing
Read from July 16 to 23, 2012

Very good text on the history of the different contacts with Native Americans in California and how this subsequently affected their perceived legitimacy by the Federal government and their access to lands. The book once again puts into perspective the double edge sword of anthropology, pointing to how early anthropologists contributed to many of the problems now experienced by Native Americans in California through their choices in subject matter and their definitions of what constituted legitimate Native Americans. However, through careful analysis of texts, oral history, and archaeology, Lightfoot shows that even those Indians incorporated into mission settings maintained their heritage, if modified by the material culture of the colonists. Lightfoot's analysis emphasizes the importance of looking further than the mere artifacts, to the patterns of behavior, to see cultural continuity and the adaptiveness of the Indians as an important survival strategy in a time of numerous changes and difficulties.

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