The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory

The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory

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The exodus of the Northern Cheyennes in 1878 and 1879, an attempt to flee from Indian Territory to their Montana homeland, is an important event in American Indian history. It is equally important in the history of towns like Oberlin, Kansas, where Cheyenne warriors killed more than forty settlers. The Cheyennes, in turn, suffered losses through violent encounters with the U.S. Army. More than a century later, the story remains familiar because it has been told by historians and novelists, and on film. In The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory, James N. Leiker and Ramon Powers explore how the event has been remembered, told, and retold. They examine the recollections of Indians and settlers and their descendants, and they consider local history, mass-media treatments, and literature to draw thought-provoking conclusions about how this story has changed over time. The Cheyennesa€™ journey has always been recounted in melodramatic stereotypes, and for the last fifty years most versions have featured a€œnoble savagesa€ trying to reclaim their birthright. Here, Leiker and Powers deconstruct those stereotypes and transcend them, pointing out that history is never so simple. a€œThe Cheyennesa€™ flight, a€ they write, a€œhad left white and Indian bones alike scattered along its route from Oklahoma to Montana.a€ In this view, the descendants of the Cheyennes and the settlers they encountered are all westerners who need history as a a€œway of explaining the bones and arrowheadsa€ that littered the plains. Leiker and Powers depict a rural West whose diverse peoplesa€”Euro-American and Native American alikea€”seek to preserve their heritage through memory and history. Anyone who lives in the contemporary Great Plains or who wants to understand the West as a whole will find this book compelling.Studying Native America: Problems and Prospects. Madison: ... Cattle Ranching South of Dodge City: The Early Years ... Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. ... North Dakota Historical Society Quarterly 27, no.2 (Spring 1960): 3a€”15.

Title:The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory
Author:James N. Leiker, Ramon Powers
Publisher:University of Oklahoma Press - 2012-11-09


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