Omaha Dwellings, Furniture and Implements

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Genres: Archaeology
Language: English
Type: Digital

James Owen Dorsey's "Omaha Dwellings, Furniture and Implements" delves into the material culture of the Omaha people, a Native American tribe historically inhabiting the Great Plains region. Here's a breakdown of the key areas you can expect to find in this book:

Focus on Material Culture:

  • Dwellings: The book likely explores the types of dwellings traditionally used by the Omaha people. This could involve:
    • Earth Lodges: Semi-subterranean, circular structures with wooden frames and earthen roofs, likely Dorsey's main focus.
    • Tepees: Portable conical dwellings made from animal skins stretched over a wooden frame, possibly used seasonally or for hunting expeditions.
    • Other temporary shelters: Dorsey might mention simpler structures used for specific purposes.
  • Furniture and Implements: The book likely provides detailed descriptions of the various objects used by the Omaha people in their daily lives. This could include:
    • Furniture: Items used for sitting, sleeping, storage, food preparation, and other domestic activities.
    • Implements: Tools used for hunting, fishing, gathering, warfare, and crafting other objects.
    • Ceremonial items: Objects used in religious rituals and ceremonies.

Cultural Significance:

  • Adaptation to Environment: Dorsey might discuss how Omaha dwellings and implements were designed to suit their nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle and the Great Plains environment. This could involve considerations for portability, durability, and resource availability.
  • Social Organization: The book might explore how material culture reflected the social structure of the Omaha people. This could involve the division of labor in creating objects, the ownership of specific items, and the use of certain objects in ceremonies.
  • Symbolic Meanings: Dorsey might delve into any symbolic meanings associated with Omaha dwellings, furniture, and implements. This could involve decorative elements, specific materials used, or the functions of objects in rituals.

Overall Value:

  • Ethnographic Record: "Omaha Dwellings, Furniture and Implements" serves as a valuable ethnographic record, documenting the material culture of the Omaha people at a specific point in history (likely late 19th or early 20th century).
  • Understanding a Way of Life: By studying these objects, we gain insights into the daily lives, social practices, and adaptation strategies of the Omaha people.

Potential Considerations:

  • Focus of the Book: The title suggests a primary focus on dwellings, with furniture and implements playing a secondary role. The level of detail for each category may vary.
  • Evolving Culture: Omaha culture and material culture are not static. The book might not capture the full range of variations or changes that may have occurred over time.

Overall, James Owen Dorsey's "Omaha Dwellings, Furniture and Implements" offers a valuable resource for understanding the material culture of the Omaha people and its significance in their way of life.


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