Seven Generations: Emotion Work, Women, and the Anderdon Wyandot Cemetery, 1790-1914
Kelly, Mckelvey B. 1992-
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On the shores of the Detroit River in present day Essex County, Ontario, the Wyandot of Anderdon Cemetery remains the last preserved section of the nineteenth century Anderdon Reserve. This thesis situates the cemetery within the context of colonialism, women’s history, and emotion work—a social phenomenon where emotional caretaking is used to heal communities and highlight key cultural events. While histories of the Wyandots are plenty, there has been little attention given to the Wyandot of Anderdon Nation and almost nothing on the history of their sacred spaces and burial practices. Further, scholarship on the post-1701 Wyandot Confederacy is sparse. Consequently, my work highlights these overlooked areas drawing on Wyandot concepts of kwatatenononk (everything is related), and methodological approaches of ethnohistory and community engaged research. Unique sources obtained through fieldwork in southern Ontario and Detroit, Michigan in August 2018 inform this study. The result is an original analysis, demonstrating that Wyandot women have continuously conducted emotion work in relation to Wyandot burial practices to heal and preserve Wyandot culture and community. Chapter One traces pre-contact traditions of emotion work developed over thousands of years underscoring the evolution of Wyandot matricentric customs and deathway practices, as well as the fact that the majority of emotion work rested on the women. Chapter Two analyses how Wyandot women’s emotion work changed in the wake of European conquest. Specific attention is given to the nineteenth century Anderdon Cemetery demonstrating that Wyandots did not assimilate into Christian-European society, nor did Wyandot women succumb completely to patriarchal authority. Rather, Wyandot women continued their emotion work so Wyandots could heal and preserve their culture. Finally, Chapter Three, looks to the modern Wyandot of Anderdon Nation and evidence of their persisting emotion work into the twenty-first century.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeEnglebert, Robert; Kalinowski, Angela; Abonyi, Sylvia; Hoy, Benjamin
Copyright DateAugust 2019
Wyandot, Emotion Work, Women, Burial Practices, Windsor, Detroit, Indigenous