Published in 1997 by University of Oklahoma Press.
As the earliest "ethnographic" accounts of the Native peoples of northern North America, fur-trade records have long been mined for data by legal researchers, historians, and anthropologists. Traders' Tales provides the first sustained critical analysis of these fascinating historical documents.
Drawing on the latest techniques in ethnohistory and cultural and literary theory, Elizabeth Vibert unpacks the assumptions behind traders' views - assumptions shaped by culture, gender, social class, and race.
At the same time the author explores the responses of the Native Americans of the Plateau region to the pressures and changes wrought by this early colonial incursion into latter-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. The cultural perceptions of these white men in Indian country were open to inventive refashioning, and Native peoples played a central role in the encounter and in the way it was portrayed. Traders' Tales is both an analysis of fur-trader writings as a form of colonial discourse and a meticulous historical narrative providing significant new insights into early Native-white relations in a little-studied region of the West.
A broadly comparative perspective and finely tuned critical skills enable Vibert to shed new light on the nature of colonial cultural relations, and to illuminate the ways in which racism and ethnocentrism are constructed historically.
Includes 3 illustrations and five maps and an extensive index. A fascinating story of a bygone era..
Complete with original dust jacket, slightly faded on the spine. In excellent clean condition throughout.