The last quarter of the 18th century was a period of extensive political, economic, and social change in North America, as the continent-wide struggle between European superpowers waned. Native groups found themselves enmeshed in the market economy and new state forms of control, among other new threats to their cultural survival. Native populations throughout North America actively engaged the expanding marketplace in a variety of economic and social forms. These actions, often driven by and
expressed through changes in material culture, were supported by a desire to maintain distinctive ethnic identities.
Illustrating the diversity of Native adaptations in an increasingly hostile and marginalized world, this volume is continental in scope--ranging from Connecticut to the Carolinas, and westward through Texas and Colorado. Calling on various theoretical perspectives, the authors provide nuanced perspectives on material culture use as a manipulation of the market economy. A thorough examination of artifacts used by Native Americans, whether of Euro-American or Native origin, this volume provides a clear view of the realities of the economic and social interactions between Native groups and
the expanding Euro-American population and the engagement of these Native groups in determining their own fate.
Lance Greene is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. Mark R. Plane is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.