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University of Nebraska Press

Native American Freemasonry: Associationalism and Performance in America

Native American Freemasonry: Associationalism and Performance in America

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Freemasonry has played a significant role in the history of Native Americans since the colonial era--a role whose extent and meaning are fully explored for the first time in this book. The work's overarching concern is with how Masonry met specific social and personal needs, a theme developed across three significant periods of membership: the revolutionary era, the last third of the nineteenth century, and the years following the First World War. Joy Porter places Freemasonry into historical context, revealing its social and political impact as a transatlantic phenomenon at the heart of the colonizing process. She then explores its meaning for many of the key Native leaders over time, for the ethnic groups who sought to make connections with it, and for the bulk of its American membership--the white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant middle class.

Porter contends that Freemasonry offered special access to Native Americans through its performance of ritual, an assertion borne out by a wealth of contemporary manuscripts, newspapers, pamphlets, Masonic sermons, orations, and lodge records and writings by Masonic historians and antiquarians gleaned from archives in New York, Philadelphia, Oklahoma, California, and London. Through these documents, she demonstrates that over time, Freemasonry became a significant avenue for the exchange, and perhaps even cocreation, of cultural forms by Indians and non-Indians.

Joy Porter is an associate dean and senior lecturer at Swansea University in Wales. She is the coauthor of Competing Voices from Native America: Fighting Words and the coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature.

Author: Joy Porter
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 11/01/2011
Pages: 368
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.30lbs
Size: 8.60h x 5.50w x 1.30d
ISBN: 9780803225473

About the Author
Joy Porter is a professor of Indigenous history at the University of Hull, UK. She is the author of Native American Environmentalism (Nebraska, 2014) and To Be Indian: Indian Identity and the Life of Arthur Caswell Parker, the coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature, and the editor of Competing Voices from Native America and Place and Native American Indian History and Culture.

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