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Early American Cartographies$
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Martin Bruckner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834695

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838723_bruckner

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An Image to Carry the World Within It Performance Cartography and the Skidi Star Chart

An Image to Carry the World Within It Performance Cartography and the Skidi Star Chart

(p.169) An Image to Carry the World Within It Performance Cartography and the Skidi Star Chart
Early American Cartographies

Martin Brückner

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on an important issue for many American Indians concerning the pursuit of knowledge, which often undermines cultural self-determination. Maps such as the Skidi Star Chart are a graphic index of a cultural system. The act of publication disrupts traditional networks of knowledge sharing, privileges certain “knowable” components of that cultural system over others, and permits readers to use that published information in any way. The author's analysis here may provide some insights concerning how the Skidi Star Chart works, but it is fragmentary and incomplete at best. Although the image is widely disseminated on the internet and in other media, any interpretation or use of the Star Chart gives it a life independent of Skidi concerns. The Skidi Star Chart is a sacred living artifact, and the Skidi Pawnee have precious few heritage artifacts left.

Keywords:   American Indians, pursuit of knowledge, cultural self-determination, Skidi Star Chart, cultural system, Skidi Pawnee

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