Abstract/Details

The preservation of Iroquois thought: J. N. B. Hewitt's legacy of scholarship for his people


2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Iroquoian philosophy and political thought survived solely in the minds of old men and women at the end of the nineteenth century. These ideas endure today because of ethnographers who patiently transcribed the elder’s oratory. One such ethnographer was a Tuscarora tribal member named John Napoleon Brinton Hewitt (1857-1937). Hewitt was a linguist who worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of American Ethnology for fifty-one years and dedicated himself to preserving Iroquois thought. He was self-educated and became expert while assisting other staff ethnologists. Hewitt’s “Iroquoian Cosmology Parts I & II” (1903, 1928,) sealed his reputation as the leading Iroquois scholar of his day. In spite of this accomplishment, Hewitt’s reputation faded quickly after his death. This dissertation seeks to understand why Hewitt decided to withhold some material from publication, and looks towards Hewitt’s complicated relationship with the Iroquois – for whom he was both a fellow tribal member and a professional ethnographer – for the probable answer. Finally, I re-evaluate Hewitt’s place in the field of Iroquois Studies as the last of a group of notable self-trained ethnographers and examine the lasting impact of his work on contemporary Tuscaroras and other Haudenosaunee people.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Cultural anthropology;
American history;
Native American studies
Classification
0326: Cultural anthropology
0337: American history
0740: Native American studies
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Hewitt, J. N. B., Iroquois, Linguistics, Scholarship, Smithsonian, Tuscarora
Title
The preservation of Iroquois thought: J. N. B. Hewitt's legacy of scholarship for his people
Author
Merriam, Kathryn Lavely
Number of pages
266
Publication year
2010
Degree date
2010
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781124073033
Advisor
Nash, Alice N.
Committee member
Cable, Seth A.; Cox, Robert S.; Hauptman, Laurence M.
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
History
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3409630
ProQuest document ID
650315461
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/650315461
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