Penn Library

CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas

Oral Cultures in Print

William Smith
Most native cultures preserved and passed on their traditions orally. Written texts only partially reveal this oral dimension. Nevertheless, Europeans continally testified to native oratorical abilities.
Red Jacket
North American Indian orality intrigued writers like William Smith, while the speeches of Red Jacket, a fierce critic of American expansionism, sold widely.
Red jacket speech
Wampum belt
Whereas Europeans relied upon books and manuscripts to transmit and encapsulate knowledge, native groups employed other media: some eastern North American Indian cultures used wampum, a form of writing usually accompanied by speech.
La Potherie wampum

Print and Native Cultures

Exhibition Contents | Introduction | Essays | Bibliography & Links

Last update: Monday, 05-Oct-2015 00:01:34 EDT
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