Arts of Diplomacy: Lewis and Clark's Indian Collection

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9780295983608: Arts of Diplomacy: Lewis and Clark's Indian Collection

When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led the Corps of Discovery on their epic journey across the American West, they were acting not only as explorers but also as diplomatic emissaries from Jefferson's U.S. government to the Indian peoples they encountered.
In Arts of Diplomacy, anthropologist Castle McLaughlin demonstrates that Native Americans were active participants in these historic encounters. Selecting objects of significance to bestow as gifts or use in trade, they skillfully negotiated their own strategic interests in their dealings with the exploring party. McLaughlin and her team of researchers tell a story of Native peoples who were sophisticated traders and cultural brokers already engaged in a global exchange of goods and materials decades before the captains' arrival on the scene.
The vehicle for this analysis is the extraordinary collection of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Native American objects from the Prairie, Plains, and Pacific Northwest that is housed at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. Long thought to represent the only remaining ethnographic items acquired by Lewis and Clark, some of the pieces are shown to belong to a newly identified collection of early Native American material that was assembled in the 1820s by Lt. George C. Hunter, Clark's nephew by marriage.

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Book Description:

A lavishly illustrated book showcasing the Native artifacts collected by Lewis and Clark during their epic exploration of North America from 1804-1806.

About the Author:

Castle McLaughlin is associate curator of Native American ethnography at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

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