Weaving Ourselves Into the Land (Hardcover)

Charles Godfrey Leland, 'indians, ' and the Study of Native American Religions

By Thomas C. Parkhill

State University of New York Press, 9780791434536, 238pp.

Publication Date: July 24, 1997

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (7/24/1997)

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It is now over half a millennium since the first sustained contact between the peoples of Europe and North America, yet Native Americans and especially their religious traditions still fascinate those who are not Native. In Weaving Ourselves into the Land, Thomas Parkhill argues that this fascination draws much more on a stereotype of the "Indian" than on the lives and history of actual Native Americans. This stereotype, whether used approvingly or disparagingly, has informed the work of authors writing about Native American religions for audiences with both general and professional interests. The figure of Charles Godfrey Leland plays an important part in Parkhill's investigation. Leland's 1884 collection of "legends" about the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot culture hero Kluskap becomes the touchstone for reflection on the larger study of Native American religions. The author argues that most scholars of these religions, including himself, continue to be--like Leland over a hundred years ago--bewitched by the stereotype of the "Indian.

About the Author

Thomas C. Parkhill is Professor of Religious Studies at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.