Community Read: Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga Nation) Residence, Dispossession, and Return: Myths and Realities

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Program Type:

Community Read, Lectures

Age Group:

Adults, Teens
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Program Description

About this event:

 If asked about long-term Indigenous history, most residents of the Cayuga Lake region would assert that there were waves of Indigenous migration and population replacement in the distant place, and that the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga Nation) were relatively recent arrivals in this area.  They also might claim that the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ were expelled from the region during the American Revolution and only recently have made efforts to return. This presentation shows that the history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ residence in this region is much deeper and more consistent than has registered with local popular opinion.  Ideas about ancient population replacement were based on outdated archaeological ideas about the time-span of Indigenous occupation and culture change.  It also covers the specifics of the 1779 Sullivan-Clinton expedition, controversial treaties in the 1780s and 1790s, and the history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ efforts to regain a foothold in their ancestral territories.

Kurt A. Jordan is Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian and Indigenous Studies at Cornell University, where he is currently the director of the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS).  He has conducted field, museum, and archival research on Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) archaeology, history, and place names in collaboration with members of the Seneca and Cayuga Nations since 1995.  His book The Seneca Restoration, 1715-1754 was published by the University of Florida in 2008.