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A Creek Indian Town in Colonial America

Joshua Piker

ISBN 9780674022539

Publication date: 09/30/2006

A work of original scholarship and compelling sweep, Okfuskee is a community-centered Indian history with an explicitly comparativist agenda. Joshua Piker uses the history of Okfuskee, an eighteenth-century Creek town, to reframe standard narratives of both Native and American experiences.

This unique, detailed perspective on local life in a Native society allows us to truly understand both the pervasiveness of colonialism's influence and the inventiveness of Native responses. At the same time, by comparing the Okfuskees' experiences to those of their contemporaries in colonial British America, the book provides a nuanced discussion of the ways in which Native and Euro-American histories intersected with, and diverged from, each other.

Piker examines the diplomatic ties that developed between the Okfuskees and their British neighbors; the economic implications of the Okfuskees' shifting world view; the integration of British traders into the town; and the shifting gender and generational relationships in the community. By both providing an in-depth investigation of a colonial-era Indian town in Indian country and placing the Okfuskees within the processes central to early American history, Piker offers a Native history with important implications for American history.


  • Okfuskee makes an enormous contribution to our understanding of American Indian history and Indian-European relations. The Creek Confederacy is widely assumed to have had no center but to have been a coalition of autonomous towns joined in alliance. Piker is really the first to untangle what that meant in Creeks' day-to-day interactions with outsiders. His emphasis on a single town makes a vital contribution by breaking down the monolithic 'Indians' and 'English' paradigm that has shaped nearly all scholarship on the Indian-Anglo frontiers of colonial America. A strikingly original and important book.

    —Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut


  • Joshua Piker is Associate Professor of History and Second Century Associates Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma.

Book Details

  • 284 pages
  • 0-5/8 x 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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