The Archaeology of Playing Indian: Boy Scout Camps as Colonial Imaginaries

Author(s): Craig N. Cipolla

Year: 2016


Over the last 20 years archaeologists have come to pay close attention to the complexities of indigenous agency, cultural continuity and change, and survivance in colonial contexts. In their focus on materiality and everyday life, in their use of multiple lines of evidence, and in their connections to contemporary indigenous communities, archaeologists have the ability to challenge colonial narratives. In contrast, the ways in which these narratives (e.g., notions of savagery, authenticity, and vanishing Indians) came to have purchase among non-indigenous publics remains underexplored in archaeological circles. This paper builds upon Philip Deloria’s writings on "playing Indian" to consider the ways in which Boy Scout camps in New England served as colonial imaginaries, influencing specific types of remembering and forgetting. I use an archaeological lens to examine the ways in which these imaginaries "re-member" colonial and indigenous history. 

Cite this Record

The Archaeology of Playing Indian: Boy Scout Camps as Colonial Imaginaries. Craig N. Cipolla. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434937)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 205