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
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 and tradition 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. Pan-Indianism is the creation of a
new identity, a new ethnic group, if you will, a new nationality in America.
Pan-Indianism and Indigenous Organizations in Ecuador
Prepared for delivery at Indigenous Peoples: An International Symposium, University of
There has been little study of the historical development of pan-Indian consciousness.
Pan-Indian organizations, emerged out of urban, who had largely become separated from
their tribal roots. Often pan-Indian organizations in Ecuador are directed by people who
went to Quito to study. 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. -
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.
The Contest Powwow - a cultural expression of Pan-Indianism? - Dr. Rainer
The terms 'powwow' and 'pan-Indianism' and their meanings are a disadvantageous starting
point. Two extreme positions exemplify different theoretical traditions of thought in
respect to the concept of pan-Indianism. Both theoretical traditions left, basic
assumptions concerning the general relations between the two phenomena contest
powwow and pan-Indianism. That the phenomenon powwow represents a
cultural expression of pan-Indianism. The discussion on the concepts and phenomena
pan-Indianism and powwow demonstrate results of anthropological work on a
regional basis. Specific theoretical foundations of the concept pan-Indianism were laid in
the course of a period of about twenty years.
The Acculturation of American Indians
Evon Z. Vogt, Harvard University
Despite pressures for changing the ways of American Indians into those of the white man,
there are still Indian systems of social structure and
culture persisting. The author considers the development of Pan-Indianism as an emerging
stage in the acculturation process.
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.
Howard, James H.
1955 The Pan-Indian Culture of Okalhoma. Southwest Journal of Anthropology 8(5):215-220.
1996 Powwows as Identity Markers: Traditional or Pan-Indian? Human Organization
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).
1966 Feathers Costume. Powwow Trails 3(7-8):4-14, 19.
1968 Contemporary Oglala Music and Dance: Pan-Indianism Versus Pan-Tetonism.
1971 Pan-Indianism, Acculturation, and the American Ideal. Plains Anthropologist
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.
1916 General Discussion of Shamanistic and Dancing Societies. American Museum of Natural
History, Anthropological Papers 11(12):853-876.
Young, Gloria A.