Will the Meskwaki Culture Survive? Essay

Pages: 2 (827 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Anthropology

¶ … Mesquaki culture will survive in spite of all the changes brought by the forces of modernization and global capitalism. Your answer should draw on specific examples or incidents reported in the Foley book (Heartland Chronicles). The best answers will also draw on concepts discussed in the Haines book (Cultural Anthropology: Adaptations Structures Meanings).

Will the Mesquaki culture survive?

Douglas Foley's The Heartland Chronicles portrays the society of the Native American Mesquaki as in a state of profound social change, wrought by the influence of a number of new developments in the external economic environment of the tribe. The Native American tribe has garnered new power because of the wealth generated by a casino; there are also representatives of the Indian rights movement that have been agitating for recognition of tribal identity. Tribal members are gaining some empowerment by virtue of this new business which is both enriching the tribe but which may be eroding many of their organic traditions. Foley suggests that ultimately, the Mesquaki tribe will survive despite the many years of white oppression they have faced but they have had to resort to creative adaptive economic, cultural, and political responses to do so that have fundamentally altered some of the cohesive values of the tribe.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Will the Meskwaki Culture Survive? Assignment

The Iowa community in which the Mesquaki reside is torn apart by racial tensions between whites and natives. Members of the Indian tribe are becoming forcibly more integrated into white society because of the lack of available housing and job opportunities. Despite this, tribal members still have a sense of collective cultural awareness. They are extremely resistant to being subjected to the scrutiny of anthropologists such as himself, which they view as essentializing their culture. The members of the Mesquaki tribe are richly immersed in the academic discourse as Foley notes of one member named Claude: "with great solemnity, he began drawing a diagram of Mesquaki culture -- the naming, ghost feasts, adoptions, mourning, and burial ceremonies. He wielded white anthropological discourse about the 'Mesquaki core ritual complex'" (Foley 6). However, Claude uses this to identify who he regards as an assimilationist or a traditionalist in the community, i.e. For his "very practical purposes" (Foley 6). Even someone who is a traditionalist is affected by the outside discourses about 'Indianness.'

The Mesquaki culture has clearly been profoundly affected by its interactions with white culture, as is typical of all native tribes. Many tribal members have adopted Christianity, no longer speak the tribal language, and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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