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ERIC Number: EJ835815
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Out of the Woods and into the Museum: Charles A. Eastman's 1910 Collecting Expedition across Ojibwe Country
Martinez, David
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v32 n4 p67-84 2008
When "From the Deep Woods to Civilization" appeared in 1916, the Dakota writer and activist Charles Alexander Eastman (also known by his Dakota name, Ohiyesa) told of a rather unusual journey across northern Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. The purpose of the venture, which took place during the summer of 1910, was to "purchase rare curios and ethnological specimens for one of the most important collections in the country." In typical Eastman fashion, he is elusive with respect to naming the collection, let alone his benefactor. What was really going on here? It may at first appear to be inconsequential to ask for whom Eastman worked or the whereabouts of the items procured; however, viewed from an Ojibwe perspective, the answers become immediately more important. What Eastman "purchased," as he put it, were pieces of Ojibwe culture and history, which, even in an age of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, may be forever lost to them. Only by recounting this story and filling in the details that Eastman omitted will there be an adequate accounting of what was subsumed into the American museum system, not to mention what stands to be regained if the items are ever returned. This article offers a critical appraisal of Eastman's acquisitions of Ojibwe cultural and historical specimens. (Contains 11 figures and 37 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Minnesota