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Crafting 'The Indian'
Knowledge, Desire, and Play in Indianist Reenactment
Petra Tjitske Kalshoven
272 pages, 17 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-344-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2012)
eISBN 978-0-85745-345-7 eBook
“With her exploration of Indianism Kalshoven combines research areas such as Cultural Anthropology with History and Performance Studies in an impressive manner. In the face of growing scholarly interest in popular use of historical practices like ‘Reenactmen’t, resp.’ Living History’, her readable und successful analysis offers not only interesting but also numerous complementary findings concerning performative practices in historical culture. This book is a genuine mine of new discoveries.” · H-Soz-u-Kult
“…[O]ne of the most exciting works I have read in a long time… As a multi-sited ethnography it does an excellent job of covering the Indianist phenomenon in at least six European countries, with nuanced attention to differences and relating those differences to specific historic conditions or events.” · Nelson Graburn, University of California, Berkeley
“The author has engaged in unprecedented and truly groundbreaking research. She has both a unique perspective and an unparalleled collection of source materials… Kalshoven's research and training have positioned her to make significant interventions in a range of fields: performance studies, ethnology/anthropology, history, and colonial studies.” · Glenn Penny, University of Iowa
In Europe, Indian hobbyism, or Indianism, has developed out of a strong fascination with Native American life in the 18th and 19th centuries. “Indian hobbyists” dress in homemade replicas of clothing, craft museum-quality replicas of artifacts, meet in fields dotted with tepees and reenact aspects of North American Indian lifeworlds, using ethnographies, travel diaries, and museum collections as resources. Grounded in fieldwork set among networks of Indian hobbyists in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the Czech Republic, this ethnography analyzes this contemporary practice of serious leisure with respect to the general human desire for play, metaphor, and allusion. It provides insights into the increasing popularity of reenactment practices as they relate to a deeper understanding of human perception, imagination, and creativity.
Petra Tjitske Kalshovenis a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. She has taught in McGill University’s interdisciplinary Arts Legacy program and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Aberdeen from 2007–2009.