The Children's Frontier: The Relationship Between the American Frontier Perspective and the Material Culture of Children

Author(s): Delfin A. Weis

Year: 2016

Summary

The cultural perspective that developed out of the American West during the expansionary period (1850-1900) is viewed as the product of adults. Characteristics of independence, self-reliance, and gender-role relaxation defined the western individual and group. While the physical and social frontier impacted the adult, their cultural perspective was closely linked to the eastern United States. In contrast, children of the frontier matured in an environment that was at odds with eastern ideologies. Recent analysis of childhood artifacts at Fort Garland (5CT46) and Teller (5ML29) in Colorado demonstrates that children negotiated the tension between the eastern ideologies of their parents and the realities of the frontier. Despite the efforts of parents to instill eastern culture in their children, the children of the West were products of their environment. Rather than passive recipients of culture, children actively contributed to the development of the frontier cultural perspective. 

Cite this Record

The Children's Frontier: The Relationship Between the American Frontier Perspective and the Material Culture of Children. Delfin A. Weis. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434518)

Keywords

Temporal Keywords
1850-1900

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 954