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Crafting History in the Northern Plains
A Political Economy of the Heart River Region, 1400–1750
By Mark D. Mitchell
288 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / 2012
Cloth (978-0-8165-2129-6) [s]
  - Archaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interactions in the Americas

Related Interest
  - Indigenous and Native American Studies
  - Archaeology

The histories of post-1500 American Indian and First Nations societies reflect a dynamic interplay of forces. Europeans introduced new technologies, new economic systems, and new social forms, but
Only through the efforts of researchers who dedicate their careers to elucidating the artifacts, features, and sites that survive from ancient and not-so-ancient times do we gain an appreciation for the nuances of human activity.

—Eldon Yellowhorn, co-author of First Peoples in Canada

Mitchell's work demonstrates sensitivity to his data while maintaining a commitment to post-colonial theory to represent the very best of the current trend in North American archaeology.

—Cameron B. Wesson, author of Households and Hegemony: Early Creek Prestige Goods, Symbolic Capital, and Social Power

those novelties were appropriated, resisted, modified, or ignored according to indigenous meanings, relationships, and practices that originated long before Europeans came to the Americas. A comprehensive understanding of the changes colonialism wrought must therefore be rooted in trans-Columbian native histories that span the centuries before and after the advent of the colonists.

In Crafting History in the Northern Plains Mark D. Mitchell illustrates the crucial role archaeological methods and archaeological data can play in producing trans-Columbian histories. Combining an in-depth analysis of the organization of stone tool and pottery production with ethnographic and historical data, Mitchell synthesizes the social and economic histories of the native communities located at the confluence of the Heart and Missouri rivers, home for more than five centuries to the Mandan people.

Mitchell is the first researcher to examine the impact of Mandan history on the developing colonial economy of the Northern Plains. In Crafting History in the Northern Plains, he demonstrates the special importance of native history in the 1400s and 1500s to the course of European colonization.

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