When DeSoto (in 1540) and later Juan Pardo (in 1567) marched through what was known as the province of Cofitachequi (which covered the southern part of today's North Carolina and most of South Carolina), the native population was estimated at well over 18,000. Most shared a common Catawba language, enabling this confederation of tribes to practice advanced political and social methods, cooperate and support each other, and meet their common enemy. The footprint of the Cofitachequi is the footprint of this book. The contemporary Catawba, Midland, Santee, Natchez-Kusso, Varnertown, Waccamaw, Pee Dee, and Lumbee Indians of North and South Carolina, have roots in pre-contact Cofitachequi. Names have changed through the years; tribes split and blended as the forces of nature, the influx of Europeans, and the imposition of federal government authority altered their lives.For a few of these tribes, the system has worked well - or is working well now. For others, the challenge continues to try to work with and within the federal government's system for tribal recognition - a system governing Indians but not created by them. Through interviews and a generous photograph montage stretching over two decades, Gene Crediford reveals the commonality and diversity among these people of Indian identity; their heritage, culture, frustrations with the system, joys in success of the younger generation, and hope for the future of those who come after them. This book is the story of those who remain.
Publisher: The University of Alabama Press
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 23 mm
"Crediford (emer., art, Univ. of South Carolina) has compiled a visual treasure of the indigenous people of South Carolina and Natives from other states who have made it their home. The author had a very specific reason: Indians of the Carolinas sometimes face skepticism from other Natives and non-Natives alike with the often heard 'You don't look ....' The question of identity is at the heart of this work. South Carolina's Indians face a struggle for recognition, literally and socially. With the exception of the Catawba (whose modest reservation has legitimized them in the public's view), most have lived in the aftermath of Jim Crow, their Indian status fragile. State laws once accepted Indian-white intermarriage, but Indian-black intermarriage conferred the status of the latter to the former. In addition to meeting some fascinating people through Crediford's travelogue, readers will appreciate the accompanying CD of some 157 photos, which would have been more user-friendly in PowerPoint format. Perplexing also, Crediford's narrative reads more like a diary than academic writing, which is surprising, given his emeritus status at the university.Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries."
The sole published source on contemporary Indians in South Carolina, this unique volume usesphotographs taken over many years and their own words to bring the people and their history to light and is expected to foster much discussion on the difficult issues of race and identity, politics and history, especially in the southeastern US. Alice Bee Kasakoff, University of South Carolina