Extinction or Survival?: The Remarkable Story of the Tigua, an Urban American Urban Tribe

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2010-01-30
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book tells the story of how the Tigua, a small, urban American Indian community, has persevered through generations of poverty and persecution. The contemporary issue of 'œIndian gaming' is explored, and the politics behind the tribe's gaming rise and eventual fall is detailed within the context of what has become a modern-day power struggle. Using ethnographic and ethnohistoric methods, this research details the specific cultural mechanisms employed by the Tigua to resist forced enculturation and survive into the twenty-first century as a distinct and proud community. The Tigua Indians of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, El Paso, Texas, arrived around the time of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Stripped of their landholdings by the early 1900s, the tribe was forgotten by the state and federal governments and was described by researchers as moribund if not extinct. In the mid-1960s, on the verge of losing their homes, tribe members petitioned for government recognition as an American Indian community. Though recognized as 'œlegitimate' American Indians by the state of Texas in 1968 and the federal government in 1987, questions about their cultural 'œauthenticity' lingered. Had the Tigua somehow survived through 300 years of persecution and urban encroachment, or were they really just 'œMexicanized' Indians acting fraudulently? In order to respond to this question, it is necessary to understand how terms such as indigeneity, identity, authenticity, and culture change/perseverance are understood and defined by the U.S. government. It is also necessary to explore how the issues of power, law, discourse, genocide, and self-determination affect the relationship between the United States of America and its indigenous population.

Author Biography

S. K. Adam is a cultural anthropologist who is committed to both teaching and research. Adam is particularly interested in working with indigenous communities in their fight for identify rights and self-determination. He has researched extensively in the American Southwest and has traveled much of the world visiting tribal communities in Mexico, Egypt, South America, Kenya, the Middle East, and South Africa.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Oral Tradition, Part One: Diaspora and Survivalp. 23
Oral Tradition, Part Two: Religion, Identity, and Cultural Perseverancep. 51
Legislating Identity: Law, Discourse, and Perceptions of Indiannessp. 79
State and Federal Recognitionp. 103
Speaking Rock Casino: The State of Texas versus the Ysleta del Sur Pueblop. 127
Concluding Remarksp. 161
Postscript: Speaking Rock Casino Todayp. 185
Notesp. 191
Referencesp. 199
Indexp. 213
About the Authorp. 220
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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