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Osprey Men-at-Arms 288 : American Indians of the Southeast

The native peoples of the southeastern United States have often been neglected or ignored in popular imagery of the North American Indian, yet they were prominent in the early history of the continent, being caught in the web of colonial intrigue between Great Britain, France and Spain. Tragically, the coastal tribes diminished rapidly through the introduction of European diseases contracted from the early expeditions of white explorers and Spanish missions. The interior trans-Appalachian south was the home of larger tribes, who had become involved in the mercantile activities and of white traders, and the exchange of deer hides for European technology, including guns, metal objects and domestic animals, saw the development of several important culturally hybrid communities. The southeastern people were the descendants of ancient prehistoric Indian cultures, and were probably on the decline when first known to Europeans. Despite being poorly reported in popular histories, they have been well described by several early European traders and by a number of well-known American ethnologists, including James Mooney and John R. Swanton, who collected and recorded details of surviving native culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The white man's expanding plantation society and the tragic removal of the Indian population to Indian Territory saw the end of this farming, hunting and trading culture. The tribes described and illustrated - in particularly colourful detail - include the Cherokee, Choctaw and Seminole. Michael Johnson examines the absorbing history and culture of the native peoples of the southeastern United States complemented numerous illustrations including eight full page colour plates by Richard Hook.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • The Plates

 

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