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Becoming Catawba, Becoming Catawba, 0817321438, 0-8173-2143-8, 978-0-8173-2143-7, 9780817321437, , Indians and Southern History, Becoming Catawba, 0817394273, 0-8173-9427-3, 978-0-8173-9427-1, 9780817394271, , Indians and Southern Histor

Becoming Catawba
Catawba Indian Women and Nation-Building, 1540–1840

Trade Cloth
2022. 264 pp.
8 B&W Figures / 6 Maps
Price:  $54.95 s
Expected Availability 11/15/2022
E Book
2022. 264 pp.
6 B&W Figures / 6 Maps
Price:  $54.95 d
Expected Availability 11/15/2022

The story of Catawba women who experienced sweeping changes to their world but held onto traditional customs that helped them create and preserve a Catawba identity and build a nation
Winner of the Anne B. & James B. McMillan Prize in Southern History
Brooke M. Bauer’s Becoming Catawba: Catawba Indian Women and Nation-Building, 1540–1840 is the first book-length study of the role Catawba women played in creating and preserving a cohesive tribal identity over three centuries of colonization and cultural turmoil. Bauer, a citizen of the Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina, weaves ethnohistorical methodologies, family history, cultural context, and the Catawba language together to generate an internal perspective on the Catawbas’ history and heritage in the area now known as the Carolina Piedmont.

This unique and important study examines the lives and legacies of women who executed complex decision-making and diplomacy to navigate shifting frameworks of kinship, land ownership, and cultural production in dealings with colonial encroachments, white settlers, and Euro-American legal systems and governments from the mid-sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century. Personified in the figure of Sally New River, a Catawba cultural leader to whom 500 remaining acres of occupied tribal lands were deeded on behalf of the community in 1796 and which she managed until her death in 1821, Bauer reveals how women worked to ensure the survival of the Catawba people and their Catawba identity, an effort that resulted in a unified nation.

Bauer’s approach is primarily ethnohistorical, although it draws on a number of interdisciplinary strategies. In particular, Bauer uses “upstreaming,” a critical strategy that moves toward the period under study by using present-day community members’ connections to historical knowledge—for example, family histories and oral traditions—to interpret primary-source data. Additionally, Bauer employs archaeological data and material culture as a means of performing feminist recuperation, filling the gaps and silences left by the records, newspapers, and historical accounts as primarily written by and for white men. Ultimately, Becoming Catawba effects a welcome intervention at the intersections of Native, women’s, and Southern history, expanding the diversity and modes of experience in the fraught, multifaceted cultural environment of the early American South.
Brooke M. Bauer is assistant professor in the history department at the University of Tennessee and a citizen of the Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina.

Becoming Catawba makes an original and significant contribution to scholarship on the Native South by unraveling the difficult and complex history of the Catawba people from the tribal point of view, digging deeper into the roles of kinship, land ownership, and maintaining tribal identity over the span of three centuries.”
—Denise E. Bates, author of Basket Diplomacy: Leadership, Alliance-Building, and Resilience among the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, 1884–1984
“Simultaneously a work of human drama and scholarly inquiry, Becoming Catawba connects the past to the present, evoking the intrigue, grief, and joy experienced by Catawba women as they confronted effects of colonial malice and indifference to preserve that which remains most precious. Here we see the history of the Catawba Nation in full color; Bauer has produced a landmark synthesis of documentary analysis, oral history, and archaeological findings.”
—Mary Beth Fitts, author of Fit for War: Sustenance and Order in the Mid-Eighteenth-Century Catawba Nation
“Brooke Bauer accomplishes something uniquely and immanently important in the field of early American history: a community-informed, generations-breathing history of the Catawba people that spans three centuries. Her book is definitive, comprehensive, deeply researched, multidisciplinary, and is a deeply personal love letter to her community and family. This is a book that only she could have written, and we are indebted to the fact that she shares her peoples’ story and language with us.”
—Bryan C. Rindfleisch, author of George Galphin’s Intimate Empire: The Creek Indians, Family, and Colonialism in Early America
“Histories concerning the Catawba Indian Nation, as well as other southeastern Indian tribes, typically present a male perspective due to the nature of the written record and the fact that documented encounters involved mostly men. In Becoming Catawba, Brooke Bauer deftly blends knowledge derived from oral history, ethnohistory, ethnography, archaeology, and her own experience growing up as a Catawba to construct a gendered narrative about Catawba women and the uniquely important roles they played. While Bauer’s book concerns the lives of Catawba women generally, she personifies them in Sally New River, a remarkable woman who lived during the critical period in Catawba history spanning the Seven Years’ War and in her later years was widely regarded as the Catawbas’ matriarch.”
—R. P. Stephen Davis Jr., coauthor of Time before History: The Archaeology of North Carolina
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