Download e-book for kindle: One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis by Colin G. Calloway

By Colin G. Calloway

ISBN-10: 0803215304

ISBN-13: 9780803215306

This exceptional, sweeping paintings strains the histories of the local peoples of the yankee West from their arrival hundreds of thousands of years in the past to the early years of the 19th century. Emphasizing clash and alter, One tremendous wintry weather count number bargains a brand new examine the early historical past of the area by way of mixing ethnohistory, colonial historical past, and frontier background. Drawing on a variety of oral and archival resources from around the West, Colin G. Calloway deals an unprecedented glimpse on the lives of generations of local peoples in a western land quickly to be overrun.

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First Man stood on the eastern side of the First World. He represented the Dawn and was the Life Giver. First Woman stood opposite in the West. ” First Man burned a crystal, and First Woman went to live with him. The beings in the First World were Mist People, with no definite form. In each world they fought, squabbled, and behaved badly, causing a breakdown of hozoho (harmony). Each time, they fled to a higher world, where they met new people. Antisocial behavior and conflict produced misfortune; proper relationships between the sexes, with other peoples, and with other living things were crucial to social harmony.

But the nets rarely sink very deep in time. The keys to understanding the meanings of the West, it seems, are still to be found in the histories that occurred after 1800, rarely in the those before 1800, before 1500, or before 1000. 48 The vast majority of books on western history and of panels at meetings of the Western History Association focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Richard White, a preeminent ethnohistorian, devoted only about fifty pages in the first edition of his sixhundred-page history of the American West to the period before 1821; Walter Nugent’s Into the West, touted by its dust jacket as “a full scale history of the American West,” skips “From Time Immemorial to 1848,” in thirtyfive pages.

44 But aridity hardly describes the climate of the Pacific Northwest Coast or the trans-Appalachian West, lands that receive ample rainfall and, before Euro-American axes cut into them, were characterized by forests. For many Europeans and perhaps for easterners, space—vast distances and enormous skies—rather than aridity characterizes the West. For others, it may be the volatility of the climate: extreme swings in temperature (Spearfish, South Dakota, holds the record, jumping from two degrees below zero to thirty-eight degrees above in two minutes), tornadoes (90 percent of the world’s tornadoes occur in North America, most originating between the Mississippi and the Rockies), parching summers, and freezing winters are common.

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One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark by Colin G. Calloway


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