Hardy Race of Men

Hardy Race of Men : America's Early Indians

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Product details

  • Hardback | 116 pages
  • 93.98 x 205.74 x 22.86mm | 272.15g
  • United Kingdom
  • Ill.
  • 0152334114
  • 9780152334116

Review Text

From the formation of the continental land mass through dinosaur-domination and the several ice ages (spurring animal migration between the continents) to the appearance of "a new predator," that hardy race of men the Palco-Indians and their successors - whose development in the Northeast, particularly in New York State, is a case study in societal evolution. For all its breadth, it's a small book; for all its perceptions, not in the least abstruse. While the early chapters offer a clear synthesis of evidence and educated guess (always distinguished), it is the close reconstruction of localized cultures that gives this a special fascination and also distinguishes it from such preexisting studies of 'the first comers' as Alice Marriott's book of that name and Silverberg's Home of the Red Men. Drawing heavily (with complete acknowledgement) from the investigations of N. Y. State Archaeologist William A. Ritchie, Miss Callan depicts the small, strategically-situated Lamoka "hunting, fishing and gathering" communities, limited in size by the available supply of food and fighting only to protect it; their subjugation and assimilation by the more aggressive Laurentians, whereupon hierarchies replaced the former equality and warriors assumed prime importance; the period of interdependent "peace, migration and changing culture" - and the first fireproof vessels (replacing hot stones in a wooden bowl) the stone cooking pot and pottery of tempered clay. With the cultivation of corn in the Ohio Valley and the leisure it afforded came the elaborate cult of the dead of the Hopewells; while among the Owascos of New York the same conditions fostered the art of warfare that would lead to the birth of the Five Nations and their alliance in the League of the Iroquois. The legend of Daganoweda and an appreciative examination of their enduring form of government concludes. What one needs to see is illustrated where one needs it, and one needs an index less than in other books in this series (though its continued omission is unfortunate). The bibliography is solid substantiation - of a text that bears its scholarship lightly. (Kirkus Reviews)
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