Dennis Thompsett: Demise of Once-Proud Naidanac Nation Caused by Internal Rot

Roundup: Talking About History

[Dennis Thompsett writes for the Owen Sound Sun Times (Canada).]


In June of 1956, Horace Mitchell Miner, a noted American anthropologist, published a short paper in the American Anthropologist, entitled "Body Ritual among the Nacirema."

It stunned the anthropological community at the time and has since been included in numerous textbooks and become the most requested article in the history of The American Anthropologist.

Although Miner's work was certainly pivotal, he only concentrated on the Nacirema people who, he said, were "living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico"

Inexplicably, Miner ignored the legendary Naidanac tribe, who lived in the same geographical area, during the exact same time period (The Boreal Age of the Holocene Epoch).

Yet we now know that the seldom studied Naidanac people were totally dominant in this time. Recent findings show that, with only 1/12th of the population, the Naidanac tribe controlled nearly twice the territory as the Nacirema. Yet, paradoxically they appeared to have less problems with poverty, crime or insurrection. In fact, so fiersome was the reputation of the Naidanac nation, that we can find no evidence that they were ever conquered or, indeed, ever successfully invaded....

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Jonathan Dresner - 10/5/2010

Arguably, every version of this joke after Montesquieu is hackery, but this version barely rises to the level of sophomoric imitation.

Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs - 10/5/2010

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