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The Study of Indigenous Political Economies and Colonialism in Native California: Implications for Contemporary Tribal Groups and Federal Recognition

  • Kent G. Lightfoot (a1), Lee M. Panich (a2), Tsim D. Schneider (a3), Sara L. Gonzalez (a4), Matthew A. Russell (a3), Darren Modzelewski (a3), Theresa Molino (a3) and Elliot H. Blair (a3)...

Abstract

This article advocates for a comparative approach to archaeological studies of colonialism that considers how Native American societies with divergent political economies may have influenced various kinds of processes and outcomes in their encounters with European colonists. Three dimensions of indigenous political economies (polity size, polity structure, and landscape management practices) are identified as critical variables in colonial research. The importance of considering these dimensions is exemplified in a case study from California, which shows how small-sized polities, weak to moderate political hierarchies, and regionally oriented pyrodiversity economies played significant roles in the kinds of colonial relationships that unfolded. The case study illustrates how the colonial experiences of Native Californians differed from those of other tribal groups that confronted similar kinds of colonial programs involving Franciscan missionaries elsewhere in North America. The article stresses that the archaeology of colonialism is not simply an arcane academic exercise but, rather, has real-life relevancy for people who remain haunted by the legacies of colonialism, such as those petitioning for federal recognition in California.

Resumen

Este artículo aboga por un enfoque comparativo en el estudio de colonialismo que considera cómo sociedades indígenas de America, con economías políticas y divergentes, han contribuido a los procesos variados y a los resultados en sus encuentros con los colonizadores Europeos. Tres dimensiones en las economías políticas de las indígenas (el tamaño de su gobierno, la estructura de su gobierno, y sus prácticas de direcciones recursos) son identificados como variables críticos en la investigación colonial. La importancia de considerar estés dimensiones es ilustrado en un estudio de casos prácticos en California, que demuestra cómo gobiernos pequeños en tamaño con débiles a moderadas jerarquías políticas y economías pyro-diversidades (que son orientados por región) ayudaron en ser un papel significado en los tipos de relaciones coloniales que revelaron. El estudio de caso acentúa cómo las experiencias coloniales de los nativos en California distinguieron de otros grupos tribales que también se enfrentaban con similares programas coloniales involucrados con los misionarios Franciscos en otras partes de Norte America. El artículo insiste que la arqueología de colonialismo no simple es un arcano de ejercicios acadé- micos pero que tiene relevancia en la vida real para la gente que todavía quedan encantada por las legados de colonialismo, tanto como la gente que está peticionando por reconocimiento federal en California.

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The Study of Indigenous Political Economies and Colonialism in Native California: Implications for Contemporary Tribal Groups and Federal Recognition

  • Kent G. Lightfoot (a1), Lee M. Panich (a2), Tsim D. Schneider (a3), Sara L. Gonzalez (a4), Matthew A. Russell (a3), Darren Modzelewski (a3), Theresa Molino (a3) and Elliot H. Blair (a3)...

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