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Encounters at the heart of the world : a history of the Mandan people

Author: Elizabeth A Fenn
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Encounters at the Heart of the World concerns the Mandan Indians, iconic Plains people whose teeming, busy towns on the upper Missouri River were for centuries at the center of the North American universe. We know of them mostly because Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-1805 with them, but why don't we know more? Who were they really? Elizabeth A. Fenn retrieves their history by piecing together important new  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Downloadable books
Downloadable e-Book
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Fenn, Elizabeth A. (Elizabeth Anne), 1959-
Encounters at the heart of the world.
(DLC) 2013032994
(OCoLC)846545690
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Elizabeth A Fenn
ISBN: 9780374711078 0374711070
OCLC Number: 887284954
Awards: Pulitzer Prize for History, 2015
Description: 1 online resource (xix, 456 pages) : illustrations, maps
Contents: Discovering the heart of the world. Migrations: The making of the Mandan people ; Contacts: Villages and newcomers ; Earthwork: The substance of daily life ; Connections: Sustained European contact begins --
Inventions and reinventions. Customs: The spirits of daily life ; Upheavals: Eighteenth-century transformations ; Scourge: The smallpox of 1781 --
At the heart of many worlds. Convergences: Forces beyond the horizon ; Hosts: The Mandans receive Lewis and Clark ; Corn: The fuel of Plains commerce --
New adversities. Sheheke: The metamorphosis of a chief ; Reorientation: The United States and the Upper Missouri ; Visitations: Rats, steamboats, and the Sioux ; Decimation: "The smallpox has broke out".
Responsibility: Elizabeth A. Fenn.

Abstract:

Encounters at the Heart of the World concerns the Mandan Indians, iconic Plains people whose teeming, busy towns on the upper Missouri River were for centuries at the center of the North American universe. We know of them mostly because Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-1805 with them, but why don't we know more? Who were they really? Elizabeth A. Fenn retrieves their history by piecing together important new discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, geology, climatology, epidemiology, and nutritional science. By 1500, more than twelve thousand Mandans were established on the northern Plains, and their commercial prowess, agricultural skills, and reputation for hospitality became famous. Recent archaeological discoveries show how they thrived, and then how they collapsed. The damage wrought by imported diseases like smallpox and the havoc caused by the arrival of horses and steamboats were tragic for the Mandans, yet, as Fenn makes clear, their sense of themselves as a people with distinctive traditions endured.

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