Book Review: Gathering Together: The Shawnee People through Diaspora and Nationhood, 1600–1870 by Sami Lakomäki
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Kinship as a theoretical frame is slowly coming into fashion again in anthropological research. These new kinship studies diverge sharply from classic structural scholarship to explore the cultural constructions of family organization and the political implications embedded in how cultures articulate relatedness. Scholars in indigenous studies have also renewed their interest in kinship. A far cry from Lewis Henry Morgan’s first tome on kin in Native communities, recent studies have explored the workings of kinship as Native people interacted with Europeans, constructing new identities in the process. While Sami Lakom¨aki’s new book Gathering Together is not primarily about kinship, he could not have realized his argument without it. His scholarship emerges from what he deftly perceives to be a gap in the literature on Native nationhood—namely that most scholarship on American Indian sovereignty currently relies on European political traditions. Lakomaki calls for more research on nation-building grounded in Native history and political philosophies. His book gives us a solid model of what such scholarship should look like.
This book review is from American Anthropologist 117 (2015): 434–435, doi:10.1111/aman.12269. Posted with permission.