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Title:Seminole Freedmen's Identity in Plural Setting (Ethnicity, Black-Indian, Symbol, Oklahoma)
Author(s):Lawuyi, Olatunde Bayo
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Archaeology
Abstract:In the plural setting of Wewoka, Oklahoma, United States of America, there are Afro-American, Seminole Freedmen, Seminole Indians and White men and women. Neither the Black nor the Indian populations are homogeneous. There are two categories of Blacks, one of which is variously known as "Seminole Freedmen" or "Natives," the other of which is known as "Afro-American" or "StateRaised." The former shares a cultural history with the Seminole Indians. The latter does not. The nature of the socio-political interactions of two ascription groups, which I call Seminole Freedmen and Seminole Indians, is the subject of this thesis.
Fieldwork for this study began in May 1983 and lasted for one year. The standard anthropological methods of inquiry, consisting of participant-observation, interviews and library research, were adopted. With the data gathered, I elaborate on how symbols are used to shape thoughts on social issues. I found that ideas, symbolized verbally or nonverbally, are transmitted between and within generations through educational processes emphasizing historical consciousness.
The "Dawes Role," "Identity Card" and "Blood Quantum" were found to be legal and quasi-legal symbols of ascription identified historically as foci by which interracial relations in the community were ambiguously structured. Controversies surrounding the use of these symbols are legion. Even aside from such controversies, which promote ambiguity, other contemporary ethnic metaphors such as "Oreo," "Apple," "Seminole," "Maroon," "StateRaised," and "Native" establish an intesubjective set of perceived realities about the continuous interracial boundary shifts in America. The essence of the Seminole Freemen label is to capture the process of the group's becoming. This becoming is predicated on the idea and image of freedom.
Issue Date:1985
Description:178 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600248
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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