Friday, June 16, 2017

"Fit for War"

New from the University Press of Florida: Fit for War: Sustenance and Order in the Mid-Eighteenth-Century Catawba Nation by Mary Elizabeth Fitts.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Catawba Nation played an important role in the early colonial Southeast, serving as a military ally of the British and a haven for refugees from other native groups, yet it has largely been overlooked by scholars and the public. Fit for War explains how the Nation maintained its sovereignty while continuing to reside in its precolonial homeland near present-day Charlotte, North Carolina.

Drawing from colonial archives and new archaeological data, Mary Elizabeth Fitts shows that militarization helped the Catawba maintain political autonomy but forced them to consolidate their settlements and--with settler encroachment and a regional drought--led to a food crisis. Focusing on craft and foodways, Fitts uncovers how Catawba women worked to feed the Nation, a story missing from colonial records. Her research highlights the double-edged nature of tactics available to American Indian groups seeking to keep their independence in the face of colonization.
--Marshal Zeringue