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Rethinking Colonialism: Indigenous Innovation, Colonial Inevitability and the Struggle for Dignity, Past and Present

Author(s): Stephen Mrozowski

Year: 2013

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Summary

This paper argues for a rethinking of colonialism as an historical process in which overwhelming European power resulted in the extinction of indigenous peoples. Instead this suggests that a different history unfolded in which indigenous peoples demonstrated great innovation and cultural perseverance in not succumbing to the inevitability inherent in the political discourse of the past two hundred years. Colonialism clearly resulted in struggles over territory, sovereignty and cultural identity, but the archaeological evidence points to a narrative different than that underlying much of colonial and postcolonial discourse. Struggles were not conceptualized as European versus Indigenous identity or measured by comparison to some mythical prehistoric past, but rather as generational choices involving older practices and new practices. This narrative attempts to move beyond the notion of indigenous resistance to a new understanding of the role innovation played and continues to play in the production of contemporary indigenous society.


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Rethinking Colonialism: Indigenous Innovation, Colonial Inevitability and the Struggle for Dignity, Past and Present. Stephen Mrozowski. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428355)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 224

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America