AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: COMMUNITIES IN MOVEMENT: ARCHAEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ROOTEDNESS, MOVEMENT, AND SOCIAL TIES
Author: CHRISTINE REISER (Brown University)   
Date/Time: Thu., 10:00 AM
Co-Author(s): CHRISTINE REISER (Brown University) 
Abstract: Phenomenological understandings of community and identity have emphasized how being-in-the-world attachments to place and landscape are critical elements in sustaining social relations through time. Consequently, there has been a considerable tendency “to assume that a rooted, familiar sense of place requires staying put,” as Barbara Bender (2001) points out. In New England, this has been particularly manifest in the bias of U.S. Federal courts toward recognizing viable Native “communities” as only those in which individuals reside together. Expressing ties to place and landscape, however, does not demand that a person or group be bound by locality, or by being “in place.” As we seek to better understand how growing numbers of “people on the move” maintain connections, archaeological insights into material-spatial practices offer important contributions in understanding how community ties, relationships, and social distance are engaged and refashioned.

This paper considers how movement figured centrally in sustaining community ties and attachments to place among New England Native American communities in the 18th and 19th centuries. Framed within archaeological perspectives, it focuses on the patterns of interconnection among Native communities distributed widely over space. It brings biographical and ethnographic information into collaboration with existing archaeological collections to contextualize routines of community interaction and mobility. Rather than upholding that communities were fractured when ties to place were disrupted, this paper explores how grouphood was maintained through practices built simultaneously around rootedness and movement. Archaeological attention to movement in this context adds to anthropological interests in understanding place and placelessness, rootedness and dislocation, and the effects of mobility on social configurations over space and time.

Program Number: 2-0215
Session Title: MOVING BODIES, BEING SUBJECTS: ETHNOGRAPHIC, ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL APPROACHES TO MOBILITY
Session Sponsor: Co-Sponsored by Archaeology Division and Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 8:00 AM-11:45 AM
Organizer(s): MAUREEN MARSHALL (University of Chicago), MICHELLE LELIEVRE (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): MAUREEN MARSHALL (University of Chicago)  
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