In Those Days Indians Thought A Lot of Their Children

Stephen Mopope, "Indian Mother," Anadarko Post Office, 1937.
Stephen Mopope, "Indian Mother," Anadarko Post Office, 1937.
Illustrating the Nation Through Family, 1880-1940
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Towner Fellows Lounge

Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote, University of North Carolina

This paper argues that Kiowas composed their nation through family and kinship relations, and I posit that material culture constituted and illuminated kin ties that formed the foundation of the Kiowa nation. Kiowa individuals and families extended, maintained, and cemented these bonds by making and giving material items such as regalia, which manifested kinship bonds that connected them. While families used expressive culture to represent themselves, they also shaped how material culture was produced.  For example, members of families could share specific beadwork designs, and some silver smiths trained their sons and nephews to do metalwork.  Families also served as bridges into community events, which provided opportunities for making regalia and other items.

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