Fall 2011
Dr. Judkins
ANTH 209

SUNY Geneseo                                                               
Dr. Judkins


    This course involves study of the social organization and world-view of the various Northern Iroquoian groups, with special emphasis on the Seneca-Iroquois of western New York State during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Particular attention is paid to the position of Iroquois culture in the Northeastern Woodlands, as well as to its adaptability and persistence.  The cultural vitality and contributions of the Iroquois people are central themes.  Special attention is given to world-view, knowledge and intellectual accomplishments of the Iroquois people.

    Jesse Cornplanter [Seneca], Legends of the Longhouse
    Russell A. Judkins (ed.), Morgan’s League of the Iroquois [Morgan & ES Parker - Seneca]
    James Seaver, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison [adopted Seneca]
    Frank G. Speck, (with Alexander General [Cayuga-Oneida]), Midwinter Rites of the Cayuga
        Long House
    Ted Williams [Tuscarora], Big Medicine from Six Nations


    *Midterm + Final Exam: each = 50% of the Final Grade; essay format
    *A substantial project or paper may be submitted in place of one of the exams.  All such
        papers /projects must be approved by the instructor before Mid-semester and
        each: (1) must be presented in class, as well as (2) be submitted in written, poster
        PowerPoint, video, or other appropriate form during the final week of class.


    Sturges 15
    Tues & Thurs: 11:30-1:00; Wed: 11:12:30 (by appt. only on Wed.)
    Phone: 245-5433
    e-mail: judkins@geneseo.edu


    Milne Library has a very useful Iroquois collection, housed in the Genesee Valley
    Room, access to which is gained through the Reference Desk.  Interlibrary loan
    requests must be made well ahead of deadline needs; plan accordingly. 

FINAL EXAM DATE: Wednesday, December 14, 3:30-6:30 PM

Weeks 1 & 2        (Aug 29-Sept8)

1. History, the Media and Popular Culture: Placing the Iroquois within Western Frames-of-Reference

            Historical Images: Indian Captives literature; “Savagery” in literature
            Current Issues and Controversies: media images of the Iroquois; gaming;
                tax-free gas & cigarettes; relations with New York State

            READINGS: Seaver, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison
            VIDEO: POV Series: The Salamanca Lease (Seneca)

Weeks 3 - 5        (Sept 13-29)

2. Myth-Truth Cycles: Placing the Iroquois in Native American Frames-of-Reference
            Iroquois Myth Cycles
                - anthropological concepts: Culture vs. Society
                - myth, ritual & symbol:
                    meaning and experience in Iroquois life and universe
            - myth & folklore as cultural guides; myth as cultural truth
                - A.C. Parker’s “Axiomatic Iroquoian Cultural Themes”
                - essential pattern and summary of the Iroquois grand myth cycle

            Iroquois Creation and Cosmological Myths
                - Seneca Creation Myth: “The Myth of the Earth-Grasper”
                - Bare Hill and the myths of autochthonous origin
            READINGS: Cornplanter, Legends of the Longhouse

Weeks 6 - 8        (Oct 4-20)

3. Fundamental/Traditional Patterns of Iroquois Social Structure and Organization

            Confederacy - Peacemanker -Deganiweda Myth

            Horticultural Systems: fundamental logic, pattern, and organization
            Kinship, Lineage, and Descent: rules, structures and organizational systems
            Moiety Organization and Social Solidarity
            Political Processes: pervasiveness of factionalism and alliance processes
            Origins and Prevalence of Confederacies in the Northeast
            Nature of Confederacy of the Five Nations Iroquois
            Structure: change and continuity/adaptation and process
            Function: change and continuity/adaptation and process
            READINGS: Judkins,  Morgan’s League of the Iroquois.  (Intro - Book II)
            VIDEO: “The Longhouse People” National Film Board of Canada

Week 9        (Oct 25, 27)

4. Morgan, Ethnography, Material Culture, and Maps

        Morgan - Parker and the invention of ethnography
        Morgan and the invention of Material Culture studies: Iroquois collections
        Mapping Iroquoia - New York State
        READINGS: Judkins, Morgan’s League of the Iroquois.  (Book III & map)
                       Elisabeth Tooker (handout)

Midterm Exam: October 27

Weeks 10 & 11    (Nov 1-10)

5. Handsome Lake Myth and Revitalization: Cultural Renewal and Social Transformation

            Iroquois League or Confederacy in the American Revolution   
            Revitalization Movements: social and cultural adaptation
            Handsome Lake and the Longhouse Religion
            Religious myth, ritual & symbols and cultural renewal
                - Persistence of axiomatic Iroquois cultural themes, images,
                    knowledge, realities and interpretations of reality
            “Explanation” by non-Iroquois: AFC Wallace and the problem of
                             “explaining” the Iroquois world by “explaining it away”
            Seneca communities of the Genesee Valley 1750 - 1825

            READINGS: Frank Speck, Midwinter Rites of the Cayuga Longhouse
            VIDEO: “Oren Lyons the Faithkeeper” (PBS)

Weeks 12 & 13    (Nov 15-22)

6. Myths --–> Prophecies of Final Times, Final Renewals & Restorations: Completion of the Cycle

READINGS: Williams, Big Medicine from Six Nations
            “Shining Serpents” literature + “Myth of the Earth Grasper” (handouts)

Week 14 & 15        (Nov 29 + Dec 1, 6)

7. A Tradition of Iroquois Intellectuals, Writers & Artists and Their Contributions

            David Cusick
            Ely S. Parker
            Arthur C. Parker
            Chief John Arthur Gibson
            JNB Hewitt
            Ernest Smith
            Jesse Cornplanter
            Stan Hill
            Ted Williams
            John Mohawk
            Tom Porter
            Oren Lyons

FINAL EXAM:  (exam will be cumulative)

Wednesday, December 14, 3:30-6:30 PM