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Controlling Acculturation: A Potawatomi Strategy for Avoiding Removal

Elizabeth Bollwerk
Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 31, No. 1 (SPRING 2006), pp. 117-141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41582315
Page Count: 25
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Abstract

It was not until recently that the focus of archaeological and historical studies has taken attention off the disappearance of Native American culture and focused on evidence that demonstrates multiple strategies used by various Native American groups to sustain themselves in Euro-American society during and after initial European contact. These contemporary analyses demonstrate that while the recognition of power relations within contact relationships is critical to interpreting the views of Native Americans towards Euro-American goods, it is also necessary to note that in the effort to avoid assimilation and removal, these goods often took on significance beyond their utilitarian functions. This article draws from these new theories in an attempt to argue how evidence uncovered from archaeological investigations of three Potawatomi sites in the Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois region reveal significant evidence of how varying ways of viewing commodities led to differing forms of resistance among the Potawatomi during the Removal period.

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