Anishinaabe peoples of the Great Lakes region consistently signed treaties, petitions, and other paper documents from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries with pictographic representations of their nindoodem (clan) identities. Close study of these pictographs reveals a wealth of information about Anishinaabe cultural and political priorities, their struggles to maintain control of land in specific locations, and their extensive ecological knowledge, opening rich interpretative doors for future research. Perhaps most important, the pictographs, in contrast to ever-changing European names for “Indian nations” that give an impression of near constant ethnogenesis, provide evidence of political continuity over time.
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American Society for Ethnohistory