Coushatta basketry and identity politics: The role of pine-needle baskets in the federal rerecognition of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Basketry made by Coushatta women served functional economic purposes such as winnowing, sifting, and storing corn even before European contact, and during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a non-Indian market for the baskets evolved, leading to shifts in both basket forms and Coushatta marketing techniques over time. As members of the Coushatta community in Louisiana pushed for federal recognition, basketry became an important symbol of potential economic self-sufficiency and indigenous identity. After federal recognition, basketry served as an important part of the community's early efforts at economic development and public relations. This essay analyzes the shifting role of Coushatta basketry with particular emphasis on basketry's use in political advocacy in the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-167
Number of pages23
JournalEthnohistory
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology

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