Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Welch, Paul


This study is an examination of the cultural interaction that occurred between Native and European peoples in Illinois between 1795-1830. During this period many Native groups splintered into factions--nativists and accommodationists--that advocated opposing strategies for dealing with Euro-Americans. Nativists equated the use of Euro-American foodways and selected material culture items with a loss of traditional values while accommodationists adopted Euro-American faming methods, clothing styles, and foodways in an attempt to avoid removal west of the Mississippi River. Drawing upon historical and archaeological information recovered from Kickapoo and Potawatomi sites in Illinois, I argue that early nineteenth century nativist peoples in Illinois actively created and maintained a social identity expressed through continuity in Indigenous forms of subsistence, settlement, and artifact manufacture; the recycling of Euro-American metal artifacts into tools and ornaments that expressed a Native identity; and the use of selected Euro-American material culture items compatible with such an identity. Change did happen, but it occurred within a Native context and served Native needs.




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