Download PDF by Lisa K. Neuman: Indian Play: Indigenous Identities at Bacone College

By Lisa K. Neuman

ISBN-10: 0803240996

ISBN-13: 9780803240995

While Indian University—now Bacone College—opened its doorways in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1880, it used to be a small Baptist establishment designed to coach younger local american citizens to be lecturers and Christian missionaries between their very own humans and to behave as brokers of cultural assimilation. From 1927 to 1957, despite the fact that, Bacone university replaced direction and pursued a brand new technique of emphasizing the Indian identities of its scholars and projecting often-romanticized photographs of Indianness to the non-Indian public in its fund-raising campaigns. funds used to be funneled again into the college as directors employed local American school who in flip created cutting edge curricular courses in song and the humanities that inspired their scholars to discover and enhance their local identities. via their common use of humor and creative wordplay to reference Indianness—“Indian play”—students articulated the (often contradictory) implications of being informed Indians in mid-twentieth-century the USA. during this supportive and artistic tradition, Bacone turned an “Indian school,” instead of simply one other “school for Indians.”

In interpreting how and why this alteration happened, Lisa ok. Neuman situates the students’ Indian play inside of better theoretical frameworks of cultural creativity, ideologies of authenticity, and counterhegemonic practices which are significant to the fields of local American and indigenous reviews this day.

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Extra resources for Indian Play: Indigenous Identities at Bacone College

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16 One of the underlying premises of this book is that, in examining the effects of the schools on American Indian identities, we must be mindful of the concepts of culture we use. For example, framing the historical question in terms of de-Indianization can reduce complex neocolonial relationships between Indians and non-Indians to a simplistic notion of cultural loss, rather than the often complex encounters and cultural negotiations that they were. We need to recognize that indigenous identities have been constituted within, as much as outside of, colonial processes.

The Triennial Convention that handled foreign work (including work with Indians) was replaced in 1846 by the American Baptist Missionary Union. Along with the Missionary Union, the American Baptists maintained control over their fledgling American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS), founded in 1832 to oversee domestic mission work. 50 During the Civil War, Indian Territory was bitterly divided. Among members of the Five Tribes, some of whom had owned southernstyle plantations and African slaves prior to and after removal to Indian Territory, personal, political, and economic loyalties were split between the Confederacy and the Union.

Yet, as a sectarian institution, Bacone was not a tribal college, nor was it controlled by Native communities. Its mission was firmly rooted in late-nineteenth-century ideas of providing formal (in Bacone’s case, the then radical notion of higher) education for Indians in order to blur the distinctions between American Indians and their white neighbors and ultimately “win” Indian souls for Christ. In this historical context, understanding how and 13 Introduction why Bacone transformed itself in the mid-twentieth century into an Indian school — and understanding the particular forces that ultimately reined in its momentum and kept Bacone from becoming the more far-reaching Indian-centered university that it might have become — is the task I attempt in the pages that follow.

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Indian Play: Indigenous Identities at Bacone College by Lisa K. Neuman

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