The treatment of American Indian place-names provides a window into the growth of American nationalism since 1776 and attitudes towards Indians by the new settler society. Originally ignored or erased by European colonists, Indian place-names became a subject of fascination and scholarship from the late-nineteenth century, at the same time that Indians themselves were marginalized to reservations. A large body of literature produced by non-Natives sometimes frames these place names as "romantic," and other times as distinctly unromantic. In the voluminous literature on this topic, the treatment of Indians and their place-names reflects diverse and shifting attitudes towards American Indians in United States culture, as elaborated by Philip Deloria and Robert Berkhofer. Drawing on approximately 120 texts on Indian place-names, this study uses the lens of romance, a polyvalent term with various implications, to examine how non-Native writings on these toponyms reveals attitudes towards Indians themselves and their place in the American nationalist imagination.
"Something Savage and Luxuriant": American Identity and the Indian Place-Name Literature
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
R Herman; "Something Savage and Luxuriant": American Identity and the Indian Place-Name Literature. American Indian Culture and Research Journal 1 January 2015; 39 (1): 25–46. doi: https://doi.org/10.17953/aicr.39.1.u435154w2j7n2112
Download citation file: