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The remarkable story of the money sent by the Choctaw to the Irish in 1847 is one that is often told and remembered by people in both nations. This gift was sent to the Irish from the Choctaw at the height of the potato famine in Ireland, just sixteen years after the Choctaw began their march on the Trail of Tears toward the areas west of the Mississippi River. Famine Pots honors that extraordinary gift and provides further context about and consideration of this powerful symbol of cross-cultural synergy through a collection of essays and poems that speak volumes of the empathy and connectivity between the two communities. As well as signaling patterns of movement and exchange, this study of the gift exchange invites reflection on processes of cultural formation within Choctaw and Irish society alike, and sheds light on longtime concerns surrounding spiritual and social identities. This volume aims to facilitate a fuller understanding of the historical complexities that surrounded migration and movement in the colonial world, which in turn will help lead to a more constructive consideration of the ways in which Irish and Native American Studies might be drawn together today.
About the Author
LEANNE HOWE, born and raised in Oklahoma, is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation. Howe is the Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature at the University of Georgia.
PADRAIG KIRWAN is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.
“Famine Pots is a model of postcolonial cooperation. It is remarkable and inspiring that two nations, both of whom endured the ravages of empire, famine, and generations of discrimination, would find themselves in the other. These essays, poems, and stories deepen our understanding of what it means to be compassionate, what it means to remember, and what it means to give.”
—DEAN RADER, author of Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film from Alcatraz to the NMAI and co-editor of Native Voices:Indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations