The Cosmopolite Indian: History, Geography, and Multiplicity

Heidi Nicholls

Student Anthropologist


Abstract: Using the lens of the cosmopolitan, this paper looks to the legislative, economic, and political ideologies creating the notion of the u/Urban Indian who I argue to be a cosmopolite. While taking the reader through a brief history of the emergence of Indian centers as Indian space or structure, I use the example of one Indian Center, in particular located in the Midwest, as a site of the cosmopolitan, focusing on the center’s annual powwow. The powwow sponsored by the center, serves as the structure that encompasses the individual circulating from differing nations, engaging in a mutual respect of Pan-Indian-ness, both converging and diverging, creating a home abroad and an abroad home for the cosmopolite Indian.

Download PDF – Nicholls 2010

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