CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Potawatomi ethnohistory records tribe's historical, cultural, social
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The history of the Potawatomi Indians' migration
across the Midwest, their settling across the United States, and their
cultural and social changes have been preserved in James Clifton's expanded
anthology "The Prairie People," published by the University of
A "tour de forceA significant feature of his absorbing account
of the prairie band is that Clifton has virtually written a history of
the clashes between French, British and American interests," says
Originally published in 1977, "The Prairie People: Continuity and
Change in Potawatomi Culture, 1665-1965," includes stories from the
author's personal 36 years of encounters with the tribe that moved to the
Iowa Territory in 1838, now most popularly located in the Kansas prairie.
Clifton presents the Potawatomi tribal experience through the centuries
based on scholarly history and research of more than 300 treaties the tribe
negotiated since it originally migrated from the Great Lakes area. The
anthology, or ethnohistory, is also based on personal interviews and records
maintained at various state historical archives and records kept at several
Clifton uses time frame narratives to detail events throughout the tribe's
history, including its origination and subsequent migrations as they were
ushered west of the Mississippi River during the 12-year Indian Removal
Period. Clifton painstakingly records the tribe's struggle to maintain
cohesiveness amid internal divisiveness, the tribe's reservation experience
and their entry into what Clifton calls "the modern world."
"The Prairie People" is regarded as the most comprehensively
written anthology about the country's indigenous peoples.
The 528-page expanded edition of "The Prairie People: Continuity
and Change in Potawatomi Indian Culture, 1665-1965," ISBN 0-87745-644-5,
is available in bookstores or for $24.95 or by calling the UI Press (773)-568-1550.