“Primitive’” Discourse: Aspects of Contemporary North American Indian Representations of the Irish and of Contemporary Irish Representations of North American Indians

Joy Porter

Abstract


This article explores the complexities of Ireland’s relationship with Native Americans and of Na¬tive America’s relationship with Ireland. Particularly at the level of imagery and representation, it suggests that this is a set of relationships more complex than contemporary creative and critical work has tended to suggest. In order to exemplify these contrasts and complexities the article explores a number of contemporary incidences of Irish repre¬sentation of and engagement with Native Americans and their history alongside two notable Native American novels and their depictions of Ireland and the Irish, LeAnne Howe’s 2001 book Shellshaker and Leslie Marmon Silko’s 1999 book Gardens in the Dunes.

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American Studies. ISSN 0026-3079.

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