Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York Paperback – Mar 1 2007
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From Library Journal
An author of Micmac descent who is currently professor of Native American history at Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY), Pritchard has produced what is ostensibly a scholarly monograph on the history and culture of the Algonquin peoples of New York, though much of the emphasis is on the Munsee peoples who inhabited present-day New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson River Valley. Though it is presented with a scholarly apparatus, it will best serve as either a guidebook or history for lay readers. Academic audiences, however, will be sorely disappointed by Pritchard's dependence on uncorroborated sources. For example, the author states that present-day Washington Square Park in Manhattan served centuries ago as a major gathering point for the Lenape. His evidence for this claim is his own logic, since archaeological evidence is unavailable. Repeatedly, the author describes meticulous details about features buried under tons of concrete and asphalt with questionable evidence to support his theories. Obviously, valuable modern oral traditions have been extensively used in the construction of this work, but even they require some level of corroboration for descriptions of places that haven't existed for centuries. Recommended for public libraries in New York and contiguous states. John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Those curious about the origin of native place-names dottingNew York City and its environs will discover a wealth of informationin Pritchard's compendium about its original inhabitants. A historianand linguist, Pritchard sketches verbal tours that amble aboutManhattan, Long Island, and the Hudson River Valley, explaining themeaning of hundreds of names, such as the Shawangunk Mountains: "theplace where you go south." Contrasting a location's present look withits bucolic past often prompts Pritchard to delve into a spectrum oftopics: the local network of trails and ferry crossings; the peoplesso connected and their items of trade; and the nature of Lenape--thegeneral name for the Algonquin groups of the area--civilization. Thislatter interest leads him to relate factual material, such as theLenape's diet, but especially their spiritual outlook as captured inoral history and dream visions, including his own. Folding in Europeancolonization and the subsequent dispersal of the Lenape, this work,although loosely organized, is an intriguing palimpsest of the worldstill readable amid the modern city. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The true "native New Yorkers" were in fact Native Americans. They made overwhelmingly important contributions to the creation of what we call the United States of America that have been completely edited out of the history books. (I guess the scholars took off that day.) The New York metro area and Hudson Valley are *saturated* with native history and Pritchard does a great job of bringing this history back to life. I defy anyone to read "Native New Yorkers" and not have his view of the portion of the earth called New York changed permanently. Is the scholarship in this first major effort to expose a long buried history flawless? I don't know. I'm sure if there are corrections to made, as there are in every book, they will appear in future editions. I encourage those who found flaws with the book to take advantage of the consciousness raising this book will accomplish and bring their own knowledge about this important subject to the public.
No doubt no one knows everything except for those critics who are so willing to condemn without adding anything of their own to the search for truth and wisdom
I found Native New Yorkers to be a decent and honest piece of work in surveying the original peoples of the New York area and their place in and relation to the land where our forefathers have rested for millenium
My discussions with those who know the Munsee-Delaware language allow me to feel quite firm in acknowledging the efforts of Mr. Pritchard in relating both the pronunciation and meaning of the various words and groups of wording that are provided in this book
Looking beyond the personal kinds of issues that are often brought into the realm of history and knowledge, we can only appreciate the work of those who endeavour to uncover the long lost past and to bring to light what has been trodded carelessly upon for ages
I have found Native New Yorkers to fill an important gap in the history of the city and state of New York and to be a vehicle which may inspire others to learn and perhaps help to uncover more of the history, culture and language of our people, the Munsee-Delaware
Although we are now far and in time distantly removed from our original and ancient homelands, Native New Yorkers assists us further in re-establishing the connection that we have been working on for some time now
You won't learn anything correct about the original languages of New York from this book, in other words. Given the shockingly slapdash linguistic treatment, I can't recommend trusting the history, either.
Most recent customer reviews
As a 17 year old and student of early american history and language, I was at first fooled by this book. I was even studying a phony poem in the Unami language in the book. Read morePublished on April 14 2003 by Justin
As a Mohican scholar and an enrolled member of the still-existing Tribe, i restrict myself to the Mohican chapter of the book, which is riddled with errors and replete with... Read morePublished on July 29 2002 by Steve Comer
I agree totally with Raymond Whritenour that this is a terrible book, poorly written, poorly researched, and not worthy of any Indian scholar's notice. Read morePublished on July 7 2002 by Lion G. Miles