To kyngdoms strange...'': An examination of North American Indian ethnographic evidence in Richard Hakluyt's Principal navigations of the English nation (1589)".
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe publication of texts describing the first brief Anglo-Indian encounters in Richard Hakluyt's book, Principall Navigations of the English Nation in 1589 was driven by the desire to make complex and descriptive writings both comprehensible and usable to a sixteenth century audience. These texts, while containing valuable ethnographic material, are nonetheless shaped and constrained by the comparative metaphors of their authors. To achieve a high degree of understandability, the English authors of these texts drew extensively upon pre-existing classical and comparative authority. By centering exclusively upon the first contacts between the English and the Indians in the Arctic and Virginia, we may better understand the complexity and problems of description and intelligibility that affected these encounters. This thesis examines the development of ethnographic sensitivity and textual sophistication that give a glimpse into the sixteenth century English mentalities evident in the writings about North American Indians.
Degree ProgramAmerican Indian Studies