The Potlatch Papers: A Colonial Case History

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9780226069876: The Potlatch Papers: A Colonial Case History

Variously described as an exchange of gifts, a destruction of property, a system of banking, and a struggle for prestige, the potlatch is one of the founding concepts of anthropology. Some researchers even claim to have discovered traces of the potlatch in all the economies of the world.

However, as Christopher Bracken shows in this elegantly argued work, the potlatch was in fact invented by the nineteenth-century Canadian law that sought to destroy it. In addition to giving the world its own potlatch, the law also generated a random collection of "potlatch papers" dating from the 1860s to the 1930s. Bracken meticulously analyzes these documents—some canonical, like Franz Boas's ethnographies, others unpublished and little known—to catch a colonialist discourse in the act of constructing fictions about certain First Nations and then deploying those fictions against them. Rather than referring to objects that already exist, the "potlatch papers" instead gave themselves something to refer to; a mirror in which to observe not "the Indian," but "the European."

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Christopher Bracken is assistant professor of English at the University of Alberta.

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Christopher Bracken
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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Variously described as an exchange of gifts, a destruction of property, a system of banking, and a struggle for prestige, the potlatch is one of the founding concepts of anthropology. Some researchers even claim to have discovered traces of the potlatch in all the economies of the world. However, as the author of this text shows in this closely-argued work, the potlatch was in fact invented by the 19th-century Canadian law that sought to destroy it. In addition to giving the world its own potlatch, the law also generated a random collection of potlatch papers dating from the 1860s to the 1930s. Bracken analyzes these documents - some canonical, like Franz Boas s ethnographies, others unpublished and little known - to catch a colonialist discourse in the act of constructing fictions about certain first nations and then deploying those fictions against them. Rather than referring to objects that already exist, the potlatch papers instead gave themselves something to refer to: a mirror in which to observe not the Indian, but the European. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226069876

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Variously described as an exchange of gifts, a destruction of property, a system of banking, and a struggle for prestige, the potlatch is one of the founding concepts of anthropology. Some researchers even claim to have discovered traces of the potlatch in all the economies of the world. However, as the author of this text shows in this closely-argued work, the potlatch was in fact invented by the 19th-century Canadian law that sought to destroy it. In addition to giving the world its own potlatch, the law also generated a random collection of potlatch papers dating from the 1860s to the 1930s. Bracken analyzes these documents - some canonical, like Franz Boas s ethnographies, others unpublished and little known - to catch a colonialist discourse in the act of constructing fictions about certain first nations and then deploying those fictions against them. Rather than referring to objects that already exist, the potlatch papers instead gave themselves something to refer to: a mirror in which to observe not the Indian, but the European. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226069876

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Variously described as an exchange of gifts, a destruction of property, a system of banking, and a struggle for prestige, the potlatch is one of the founding concepts of anthropology. Some researchers even claim to have discovered traces of the potlatch in all the economies of the world. However, as the author of this text shows in this closely-argued work, the potlatch was in fact invented by the 19th-century Canadian law that sought to destroy it. In addition to giving the world its own potlatch, the law also generated a random collection of potlatch papers dating from the 1860s to the 1930s. Bracken analyzes these documents - some canonical, like Franz Boas s ethnographies, others unpublished and little known - to catch a colonialist discourse in the act of constructing fictions about certain first nations and then deploying those fictions against them. Rather than referring to objects that already exist, the potlatch papers instead gave themselves something to refer to: a mirror in which to observe not the Indian, but the European. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780226069876

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