This prologue briefly examines the lives of Okah Tubbee and Laah Ceil. Born as Warner McCary and Lucile (Lucy) Celesta Stanton, respectively, together they crafted an elaborate traveling Indian act that included a religious sect, a variety of musical stage shows, and a medical business. Their professional Indian personae helped conceal their interracial relationship, as well as other secrets such as unorthodox religious beliefs and marital practices. The chapter also explores the role that Indianness played within antebellum culture in the United States. It argues that ideas about American Indians were deeply enmeshed with social and cultural forces, including the regimes of chattel slavery and settler colonialism, and played a powerful role in the expression of racial, gender, sexual, class, and religious identities.
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