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Freemasonry and Native Americans, 1776–1920

Freemasonry and Native Americans, 1776–1920

Chapter:
(p.175) 7 Freemasonry and Native Americans, 1776–1920
Source:
That Religion in Which All Men Agree
Author(s):
David G. Hackett
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520281677.003.0008

Native American interactions with Freemasonry similarly date from the late eighteenth century. Older approaches to Native American history have understood Freemasonry as part of a larger “civilizing” process that emphasized the inevitable assimilation of Native tribes into white society. More recent approaches have stressed Native American resistance to European American hegemony. Moving with this more recent historiography, the seventh chapter shows how Native Americans adapted Masonic ideals and practices to a larger effort to both preserve Native identity and confront the challenges of accommodation to American society. Moreover, when white, middle-class Masons were drawn to Native American wisdom in their quest for primeval truth, modernizing Indians sought within Freemasonry a means for finding their place in middle-class American society.

Keywords:   Freemasonry, Native American, civilize, modern, practices

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