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Pan-Indianism

The term 'Pan-Indianism' has been applied to social movements among both Asian Indians and North American First Nations peoples. In both contexts Pan-Indianism refers to a social movement and a political philosophy that asserts a peoples' common identity and unity across political or state boundaries and tribal divisions.

Howard defined the concept of ‘pan-Indianism’ as follows:
By pan-Indianism is meant the process by which sociocultural entities such as the Seneca, Delaware, Creek, Yuchi, Ponca, and Comanche are losing their tribal distinctiveness and in its place are developing a nontribal “Indian“ culture. Some of the elements in this culture are modifications of old tribal customs. Others seem to be innovations peculiar to pan-Indianism. (Howard 1955:214)

Pan-Indianism is, in my opinion, one of the final stages of progressive acculturation, just prior to complete assimilation. It may best be explained as a final attempt to preserve aboriginal culture patterns through intertribal unity. How long this pan-Indian culture will continue is dependent on a number of largely unpredictable factors, such as economic conditions, population shifts, and future miscegenation. (Howard 1955:220)

Robert Thomas (1965) summarizes the essential ‘new’ ideas with regard to the concept ‘pan-Indianism’ as follows:

One can legitimately define Pan-Indianism as the expression of a new identity and the institutions and symbols which are both an expression of that new identity and a fostering of it. It is the attempt to create a new ethnic group, the American Indian; it is also a vital social movement which is forever changing and growing (Thomas 1965:75)

Pan-Indian institutions such as Indian centers in cities, Pow Wow committees and so forth are institutions through which Indians can have some productive relationship to the general society. (Thomas 1965:81)

Pan-Indianism is the creation of a new identity, a new ethnic group, if you will, a new “nationality“ in America. (Thomas 1965:82)

I guess to a lot of people powwow means celebration, bringing people together, enjoying the festivities that are there. Today the powwow system has changed. It´s more competitive. ...Now, there is another situation there too, where the Crees on the northern plains treat the powwow almost as a spiritual atmosphere. - Wade Baker, a Hidatsa Grass Dancer and singer.

My working definition of the term ‘powwow’ is a social gathering of people who are celebrating various aspects of Indian culture, be they religious, social, or, in many cases, both. (Lita Mathews)

Pan-Indianism and Indigenous Organizations in Ecuador
Prepared for delivery at Indigenous Peoples: An International Symposium, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, April 8-9, 1997.
Abstract: As in the rest of Latin America, Ecuadorians have viewed the aboriginal inhabitants of their country as simply "Indians." The presence of ten distinct ethnic groups which remain in Ecuador and the fact that the sense of place has been local rather than regional or national, however, challenges this label. Nevertheless, recent organizational actions in Ecuador have relied on a sense of group identity that transcended narrow tribal categories. There has been, however, little study of the historical development of this pan-Indian consciousness. Pan-Indian organizations, such as the early twentieth-century Society of American Indians, emerged out of urban, elite Indian professionals who had largely become separated from their tribal roots. Arguably, similar factors are also at work in Ecuador. Often pan-Indian organizations in Ecuador are directed by people who went to Quito to study or otherwise had extensive contact with the dominant Spanish culture. Understanding these roots of inter-tribal contacts and a pan-ethnic identity is important because it indicates whether Indian nationalism is a function of contact with western notions of state formation, or whether it grows out of Indigenous forms of social organization.

Early Pan-Indianism: Tecumseh's Tour of the Indian Country, 1811-1812. - Sugden, John 
Abstract: Tecumseh's tour of 1811-1812 was a remarkable effort involving 3,000 miles and contacts with 8-12 of the present American Indian tribes. Tecumseh's success owed much to standing grievances of the Indians and the disposition of the British, but depended also upon timely occurrences such as Harrison's engagement on the Tippecanoe. - eric.ed.gov

The ‘Contest Powwow’ - a cultural expression of ‘Pan-Indianism’? - Dr. Rainer Hatoum
Abstract: As will be demonstrated, the terms ‘powwow’ and ‘pan-Indianism’ and their meanings are a disadvantageous starting point to answer the central question stated in heading.
On one hand, we have the term ‘powwow.’ Because of the historical evolution of this term, and its plethora of everyday connotations, the term is in and of itself nondescript. Thus, I have limited my interests to the more concrete notion of ‘contest powwow’ to be used as a prototype concept of ‘powwow’ in this article.
On the other hand, two extreme positions exemplify different theoretical traditions of thought in respect to the concept of ‘pan-Indianism.’ The concept went through a parallel theoretical reorientation as it was taking place in the general American anthropology at that time. With a changing interest from acculturation and assimilation processes towards topics related to and centered around the term ‘ethnic identity’, not only the general meaning of the concept ‘pan-Indianism’ changed. Both theoretical traditions left, even beyond the academic context, basic assumptions concerning the general relations between the two phenomena ‘contest powwow’ and ‘pan-Indianism.’ At both of their cores is the thought that the phenomenon ‘powwow’ represents a cultural expression of ‘pan-Indianism.’
Starting point of the assumptions centering around the term ‘ethnic identity’ was the implication that the phenomenon ‘powwow’ is an expression of a new identity as Native Americans. This notion is caught in the characterization of the ‘powwow’ as a ‘vehicle of pan-Indianism.’ I will argue that the phenomenon ‘powwow’ is not so much an expression of a new ‘ethnic identity’, even though it is definitely producing a new quality of an existing identity as Native Americans. Rather, I will stress the point that ‘powwows’ as a field of action and interaction as well as a stage offer the opportunity to meet new needs in a state of drastically changing social conditions.
The question whether one can consider the ‘powwow’ as a cultural expression of ‘pan-Indianism’ or not, relates therefore to a discourse in anthropology based on theoretical grounds, which goes beyond specific examples. The discussion on the concepts and phenomena ‘pan-Indianism’ and ‘powwow’ demonstrate, therefore, results of anthropological work on a regional basis. In this context it is interesting to note that the specific theoretical foundations of the concept ‘pan-Indianism’ were laid mainly in the course of a period of about twenty years. The 60s and early 70s witnessed in this respect the most intensive period of theoretical discussion on this concept.

The Acculturation of American Indians 
Evon Z. Vogt, Harvard University 
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 311, No. 1, 137-146 (1957)
Despite all the pressures for changing the ways of American Indians into those of the white man, there are still basically Indian systems of social structure and culture persisting with variable vigor within conservative nuclei of Indian population. The author outlines a conceptual framework for the analysis of American Indian acculturation in different areas of the United States, provides a brief synoptic review of the degree of acculturation in such areas, and discusses the limiting factors to full acculturation by comparing the situation of the United States with that of Mexico, and considers the development of "Pan- Indianism" as an emerging stage in the acculturation process.

Ablon, Joan
1964 Relocated American Indians in the San Francisco Bay Area: Social Interaction and Indian Identity. Human Organization 24:296-304.
Ashworth, Kenneth
1986 The Contemporary Oklahoma Pow-Wow (Native American). Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. The University of Oklahoma.
Blundell, Valda
1985 Une Approche Sémiologique du Powwow Canadien Contemporain. Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec 15(4):53-66.
Campisi, Jack
1975 Powwow: A Study of Ethnic Bourndary Maintenance. Man in the Northeast 9:33-46.
Duncan, Jimmy W.
1997 Hethushka Zani`: An Ethnohistory of the War Dance Complex. Unpublished M.A. thesis. Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Foster, Morris W.
1991 Being Comanche: A Social History of an American Indian Community. Tucson-London: The University of Arizona Press.
Eggan, Fred
1966 The American Indian: Perspectives for the Study of Social Change. Chicago: Aldine.
Hagan, William T.
1961 American Indians. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hertzberg, Hazel W.
1971 The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-Indian Movements. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
Hiribayashi, James, William Willard, and Luis Kemnitzer
1972 Pan-Indianism in the Urban Setting. In: Thomas Weaver and Douglas White (eds.); The Anthropology of Urban Environments. Society for Applied Anthropology, Monograph 11, pp. 77-87.
Howard, James H.
1955 The Pan-Indian Culture of Okalhoma. Southwest Journal of Anthropology 8(5):215-220.
1995 The Ponca Tribe. [1965]. Lincoln-London: University of Nebraska Press.
1976 The Plains Gourd Dance as a Revitalization Movement. American Ethnologist 3(2):243- 259.
Lassiter, Luke E.
1998 The Power of Kiowa Song. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.
Josephy, Alvin M., Jr.
1968 The Indian Heritage of America. New York: Bantam Books.
Kracht, Benjamin R.
1994 Kiowa Powwows: Continuity in Ritual Practice. American Indian Quarterly 18(3):321- 348.
Laudin, Harvey G.
1973 The Shinnecock Powwow: A Study of Culture Change; A Study of the Process of Acculturation. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation; School of Education of New York University.
Lerch, Patricia B., and Susan Bullers
1996 Powwows as Identity Markers: Traditional or Pan-Indian? Human Organization 55(4):390-395.
Lurie, Nancy O.
1965 An American Indian Renascence? Midcontinent American Studies Journal 6(2):25-50.
1971 The Contemporary American Indian Scene. In: Eleanor B. Leacock and Nancy O. Lurie (eds.); North American Indians in Historical Perspective. New York: Random House.
Mathews, Lita
1999 The Native American Powwow: A Contemporary Authentication of a Cultural Artifact. Unpublished Ph.D Dissertation. University of New Mexico.
Newcomb, W. W. Jr.
1955 A Note on Cherokee-Delaware Pan-Indianism. American Anthropologist (57):1041-1045.
1956 The Culture and Acculturation of the Delaware Indians. Papers of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan (10).
Petrullo, Vincenzo
1934 The Diabolic Root: A Study of Peyotism. Philadelphia: Universtiy of Pennsylvania Press.
Powers, William K.
1966 Feathers Costume. Powwow Trails 3(7-8):4-14, 19.
1968 Contemporary Oglala Music and Dance: Pan-Indianism Versus Pan-Tetonism. Ethnomusicology 12(3):352-372.
1990 War Dance: Plains Indian Musical Performance. Tucson-London: The University of Arizona Press.
Price, John A.
1968 The Migration and Adaptation of American Indians to Los Angeles. Human Organization (27):168-175.
Sanford, Margaret
1971 Pan-Indianism, Acculturation, and the American Ideal. Plains Anthropologist 16(53):222- 227.
Thomas, Robert K.
1965 Pan-Indianism. Midcontinent American Studies Journal 6(2):75-83.
Vogt, Evon Z.
1957 The Acculturation of the American Indians. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (311):137-46.
Wissler, Clark
1916 General Discussion of Shamanistic and Dancing Societies. American Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Papers 11(12):853-876.
Young, Gloria A.
1981 Powwow Power: Perspectives on Historic and Contemporary Intertribalism. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Indiana University.

Pan-Indian organizations.