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Moravian Travels through the "spirit’s nest": Archaeology of Colonialism at Madame Montour’s Otstonwakin

Author(s): Mary Ann Levine

Year: 2017

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In 1741, Moravians, a sect of German pietists established a settlement in Pennsylvania which became the principal religious and administrative center for the Moravian Church in North America. Moravian missionaries soon traveled to nearby Native American communities including Otstonwakin, a 18th century multinational village along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Madame Montour served as a frontier diplomat and go-between at Otstonwakin and hosted a succession of visitors into her home including several Moravian missionaries. Moravians sought to have Otstonwakin become an important part of the mission structure in the region and describe it as the "spirit’s nest", a place where evil spirits were thought to be present. This paper examines 18th century colonial encounters through the maps, diaries, and travel accounts left by Moravians who sought to proselytize to Native Americans at Otstonwakin.

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Moravian Travels through the "spirit’s nest": Archaeology of Colonialism at Madame Montour’s Otstonwakin. Mary Ann Levine. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429648)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17529

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