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A Praying People

Massachusett Acculturation and the Failure of the Puritan Mission, 1600-1690

Dane A. Morrison

This is the first book-length history of the «remnants» of the Massachusett and Wampanoag tribes, documenting their struggle to survive devastating epidemics and Puritan colonization. Morrison incorporates insights from anthropology and organization studies to show how the adoption of Puritan beliefs and practices by bands of «praying Indians» constituted a viable, if defensive, strategy of acculturation. The emergent institution of Praying Town became both the organization and the process through which these groups of Native Americans hoped to achieve cultural revitalization. Tragically, as the remnant peoples looked to Puritan ways for guidance in redefining their identiy, profound changes within colonial society were leading a new generation of colonists to subsume their own spiritual mission under more commercial concerns. In linking their destiny to weakening elements in Puritan culture, the Praying Indians were left unprotected when King Philip's War recast the framework of relations between colonists and Native Americans.
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American Indian Studies

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Contemporary Issues

Dane A. Morrison

This collection of essays brings to college students and the general public a scholarly, yet accessible and provocative text in Native American Studies. The contributors draw upon their expertise in such diverse disciplines as economics, education, film studies, history, linguistics, literature, museum studies, popular culture, and religion. Each essay highlights a particular aspect of Native American experience, from the oppressive indoctrination of boarding schools to the successful strategic planning of Indian casinos to the exciting creativity of Native American literature. In addition, many of the essays introduce the reader to the disciplines through which we can approach this important and fascinating topic, engagingly taking the reader through the process of how historians or economists or literary scholars go about their work.