Time Immemorial

Kerwin Lee IZlein

in Frontiers of Historical Imagination

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 1997 | ISBN: 9780520204638
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924185 | DOI:
Time Immemorial

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This chapter discusses the anthropologists and ethnographers' view of the history of the American frontier. Anthropologists such as Franz Boas described the encounter of Europeans and Native Americans as a conflict between incommensurable culture that opened up a national memory divided by ethnicity and plot. Victorian ethnographers told a grand story of social evolution that described Native Americans as representatives of an earlier state of human experience through which Europeans had already passed. By the 1920s, the culture concept of ethnography tended to be cased in language that was at best ahistorical.

Keywords: American frontier; anthropologists; ethnographers; Franz Boas; Native Americans; ethnicity; social evolution; Europeans

Chapter.  34385 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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