In Web of Kinship, anthropologist Christina Gish Hill explains how the origin and expansion of the Northern Cheyenne reservation was the product of mobilized kinship relations, privileging the welfare of the family group, including ancestors and descendants. She “theorizes(s) kinship as a primary political mechanism within the Cheyenne nation” (9). Challenging narratives that frame the Northern Cheyenne exodus from Indian Territory and the establishment of a reservation along the Tongue River as an outcome of men’s military prowess, or of leaders’ acceptance of new geographical boundaries and successful articulation of Euromerican ideas about the nation-state, or the US government’s merciful benevolence in an era of romantic nationalism, Hill instead describes Cheyenne history as emanating from the web of relationships uniting Northern Cheyenne people with each other and with their shared homelands. Hill based her conclusions on archival research undertaken in US government records, fieldwork conducted between 2004 and 2008,...
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Book Review| April 01 2019
Web of Kinship: Family in Northern Cheyenne Nationhood
Web of Kinship: Family in Northern Cheyenne Nationhood. By Gish Hill, Christina. (
University of Oklahoma Press,
2017. xii +382 pp., illustrations, maps, acknowledgments, appendix, notes, bibliography, index, $34.95 hardcover.)
Ethnohistory (2019) 66 (2): 389–390.
Rose Stremlau; Web of Kinship: Family in Northern Cheyenne Nationhood. Ethnohistory 1 April 2019; 66 (2): 389–390. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-7300168
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