Forgotten Fires: Native Americans and the Transient Wilderness

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2002 - History - 364 pages
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A common stereotype about American Indians is that for centuries they lived in static harmony with nature, in a pristine wilderness that remained unchanged until European colonization. Omer C. Stewart was one of the first anthropologists to recognize that Native Americans made significant impact across a wide range of environments. Most important, they regularly used fire to manage plant communities and associated animal species through varied and localized habitat burning. In Forgotten Fires, editors Henry T. Lewis and M. Kat Anderson present Stewart's original research and insights, written in the 1950s yet still provocative today.

Significant portions of Stewart's text have not been available until now, and Lewis and Anderson set Stewart's findings in the context of current knowledge about Native hunter-gatherers and their uses of fire.

 

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Contents

List of Illustrations
3
An Anthropological Critique Henry T Lewis
17
An Ecological Critique M Kat Anderson
37
Blackfeet Indians starting a prairie fire 1903 frontispiece 1 Yosemite Valley 1866 and 1961
45
The full spectrum of humannature interactions
47
Trajectories of ecosystem changes
52
Indigenous resource management at different levels of biological organization
53
Beating seeds into a collection basket
57
Digging bulbs and tubers with a hardwood digging stick
58
A basketmaker from Massett British Columbia
59
Collecting long straight branches for basketry
60
The Effects of Burning of Grasslands and Forests
67
Abbreviations
313
References Cited Henry T Lewis and M Kat Anderson
339
Index
357
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