Thursday, November 17, 2011

History Book List Addition: Oratory in Native North America

In Euroamerican annals of contact with Native Americans, Indians have consistently been portrayed as master orators who demonstrate natural eloquence during treaty negotiations, councils, and religious ceremonies. Esteemed by early European commentators more than indigenous storytelling, oratory was in fact a way of establishing self-worth among Native Americans, and might even be viewed as their supreme literary achievement.

William Clements now explores the reasons for the acclaim given to Native oratory.
He examines in detail a wide range of source material representing cultures throughout North America, analyzing speeches made by Natives as recorded by whites, such as observations of treaty negotiations, accounts by travelers, missionaries' reports, captivity narratives, and soldiers' memoirs.

by William M. Clements
University of Arizona Press, 2002