Designed as a corrective to colonial literary histories that have excluded Native voices, this anthology brings together a variety of primary texts produced by the Algonquian peoples of New England during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and very early nineteenth centuries. Included among these written materials and objects are letters, signatures, journals, baskets, pictographs, confessions, wills, and petitions, each of which represents a form of authorship. Together they demonstrate the continuing use of traditional forms of memory and communication and the lively engagement of Native peoples with alphabetic literacy during the colonial period.Each primary text is accompanied by an essay that places it in context and explores its significance. Written by leading scholars in the field, these readings draw on recent trends in literary analysis, history, and anthropology to provide an excellent overview of the field of early Native studies. They are also intended to provoke discussion and open avenues for further exploration by students and other interested readers. Above all, the texts and commentaries gathered in this volume provide an opportunity to see Native American literature as a continuity of expression that reflects choices made long before contact and colonization, rather than as a nineteenth- or even twentieth-century invention.
KRISTINA BROSS is associate professor of English and American studies at Purdue University and author of Dry Bones and Indian Sermons: Praying Indians in Colonial America. HILARY E. WYSS is associate professor of English at Auburn University and author of Writing Indians: Literacy, Christianity, and Native Community in Early America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000).
University of Massachusetts Press
Date of Publication
Native Americans of the Northeast: Culture, History & the Contemporary S.