Argument in Susan Roy’s “These Mysterious People”


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Essay #: 066744
Total text length is 4,721 characters (approximately 3.3 pages).

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The beginning:
Argument in Susan Roy's "These Mysterious People"
In the introductory chapter to her book, These Mysterious People: Shaping History and Archaeology in a Northwest Coast Community, Susan Roy sets out the main argument that she will make throughout her book, that art objects and artifacts with Aboriginal origins are not simply given meaning when they are first made and then passed down through the generations. Instead, such objects have changing and contested meanings that accrue to them over time, because they are objects of creative, political, social, and historical exchange that derive their meanings in large part from their own histories with Aboriginal and Colonial powers. Roy argues that identity – whether connected to specific...
The end:
.....or their objects – whether original or new/ reclaimed – are inherently better than the ones assigned to them by colonizing cultures. Instead, she looks at the life of the objects she considers as she traces their changing meanings over time, place, and ownership
to see that ways in which monetary value, spiritual value, and cultural value comes to be applied to them. As such, Roy shows us that it is the power-driven processes of naming and possession that meanings come to form for cultural objects, rather than in the physical make-up of the objects themselves. And in tracing this history of specific objects, greater information and knowledge about identity can be seen and understood within the Aboriginal and colonial relationship.