Ter Ellingson

in The Myth of the Noble Savage

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520222687
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925922 | DOI:

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Myths are by nature timeless; and the myth of the Noble Savage will inevitably generate more or less noble and ignoble savages. But as a rhetorical construct, the Noble Savage indeed has a history, one grounded in the dual time points of Lescarbot's invention of the Noble Savage concept in 1609 and Crawfurd's construction of the myth as we know it in 1859. Realizing that the myth of the Noble Savage was a political and polemical fabrication of the racist anthropology movement in nineteenth-century Britain helps to clarify the enigmatic character of its history in the English language.

Keywords: Noble Savage; rhetorical construct; myth; Lescarbot; Crawfurd; racist anthropology movement; Britain

Chapter.  6681 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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