Labor, Land, and Performance in Mourning Dove's Cogewea
This chapter examines Mourning Dove's novel Cogewea, particularly its description of labor, performance, and the construction of indigenous geographies that figure multiple forms of occupation and preoccupation. The term occupation is used to depict three distinct meanings: to physically inhabit or possess a place; to take up space and time; or to take by military force. In the Indian policy, these meanings are not always distinct, as occupation can mean both place and labor. Cogewea describes an array of occupational activities, from the rounding up of horses to competing at the Fourth of July powwow. Throughout the novel, there exists an underlying pulse of anxiety, or preoccupation, intensified by its fragmented structure.
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