ANT 324L • Native Americans in Texas
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
The past pursues us into the future. Archaeologists and historians learn about Native American groups in three ways: archaeological artifacts, texts written by Europeans after the latter arrived in the New World and Native American oral history accounts. This course is designed to 1) expose the students to these three sources of information, 2) familiarize students with the earliest narratives written by the European explorers who entered Texas, 3) develop skills and strategies to read, analyze, and extract information from these documents, and 4) engage in discussions of the evidence for Native American cultural behavior, resource utilization, conflict, disease, and related topics. The course uses concepts and evidence from Anthropology, History, Archaeology, Historical Geography and Native American Studies, and it is structured to provide information to students interested in those disciplines. We will 1) examine the concepts of prehistory, history, and ethnohistory and how these concepts apply to the area known today as Texas, 2) review the archaeological and historical records and the evidence these records provide about Native American life ways, and 3) analyze how early historians dealt with the Native Americans. It is expected that the student will become familiar and acquire skills to utilize the library and archival resources of the Center for American History, the Nettie Lee Benson Library, the Texas Beyond History Website and other resources. The class will read excerpts from the expedition reports of Cabeza de Vaca, Coronado, De Soto, Bosque-Larios, Mendoza-Lopez and La Salle. In the latter part of the course we shall focus on the Spanish Mission-Presidio Period, East Texas Native groups, the Apache, the Tonkawa, the Comanche and the onset of European and Anglo settlement movements in the 1800s. The course will conclude by examining the situation of Native American groups in Texas in the 19th and 20th centuries.