ERIC Number: ED219194
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Symbolicity Among Native Americans.
Hill, L. Brooks; Lujan, Philip
Within the framework of "symbolicity" and "nativistic movement" the paper presents a "reasonably balanced and illustrative" examination of selected negative and positive trends in Native American symbolicity. Symbolicity is defined as the state, condition, and tendency of people to organize their perceptions and experience into symbols and symbol systems, while nativistic movement refers to the process and efforts by which an ethnic group returns to a more glorious time in their prior history and retrieves a symbol for contemporary use. Illustrations of negative trends examined are: (1) shallow symbolism (selection and use of symbols which have lost their realistic sustaining power, such as the Sun Dance); (2) externally imposed stereotypes (overculture has simply stereotyped all tribes); (3) exclusionary use of symbols (use of symbolism to validate claims that "I'm more Indian than you are"); and (4) shifts in meaning of certain symbols (i.e. the warrior image). Illustrations of positive trends provided are: (1) increased awareness of tribal and Indian identity; (2) improved sense of community among Indian people; (3) diminution of either-or syndrome for Indian people (dilemma of choosing Indianness or assimilation into the overculture); and (4) spread of Native American values to the overculture. (ERB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nativistic Movement; Symbolicity
Note: Paper presented at the Southern Speech Communication Association Convention (Hot Springs, AR, April 8, 1982).