Tackling Identity from Anthropological and Archaeological Perspectives: A Case Study of the Ethnic Identity of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians
Author(s): Mariane Gaudreau
Cultural anthropologists’ and archaeologists’ interest in theorizing identity has a long history. Cultural anthropologists have generally focused on emic perspectives to gain insight into contemporary individual and group identity. In contrast, archaeologists have necessarily mainly relied on material culture to discern identity in the past, with relatively little attention paid to the views of contemporary peoples. Unfortunately, archaeological interpretations can conflict with those of contemporary peoples. As a result, First Nations groups today may claim to be the descendants of certain archaeological cultures that the archaeologists have attributed to someone else, and are thus denied what they consider as their cultural heritage. In this paper, I review ways in which identity has been theorized by cultural anthropologists and archaeologists in the 20th century, especially in the last 30 years. I then consider the implications of identity and ethnicity theories in contemporary contexts (e.g., tribal and inter-tribal relations, land claims, heritage management) using the case study of the ethnic identity of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians.
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Tackling Identity from Anthropological and Archaeological Perspectives: A Case Study of the Ethnic Identity of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians. Mariane Gaudreau. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437019)
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