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Article
Traditionally, Disability Was Not Seen as Such’: Writing and Healing in the Work of Mohegan Medicine People
Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies
  • Siobhan Senier, University of New Hampshire
Abstract
The article traces representations of illness and disability in the writing of Mohegan medicine people from the eighteenth century to the present—from the missionary Samson Occom's herbal, which recorded indigenous remedies for imported diseases, to medicine woman Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel's speculative fiction, which portrays indigenous cultures accepting disability matter-of-factly. Mohegan writers have understood illness and disability as products of settler colonialism, both materially and discursively. In their writings about traditional ethnobotanical knowledge, they represent shifting indigenous responses to the colonial project of pathologizing indigenous bodies and nations. These responses include complicated strategies of disidentification with disability, as captured in Zobel's statement that "traditionally, disability was not seen as such."
Publication Date
7-1-2013
Publisher
Liverpool University Press
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
10.3828/jlcds.2013.15
Document Type
Article
Rights
Copyright Liverpool University Press
Citation Information
“Traditionally, Disability Was Not Seen as Such’: Writing and Healing in the Work of Mohegan Medicine People.” Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 7:2 (2013): 213-229.