Brummett Echohawk: chaticks-si-chaticks

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There exists a significant overlap between American Indian history and American history, yet historians often treat the two separately. The intersection has grown over time, increasingly so in the 20th

There exists a significant overlap between American Indian history and American history, yet historians often treat the two separately. The intersection has grown over time, increasingly so in the 20th and 21st centuries. Over time a process of syncretism has taken place wherein American Indians have been able to take their tribal histories and heritage and merge them with the elements of the dominant culture as they see fit. Many American Indians have found that they are able to use their cultural heritage to educate others using mainstream methods. Brummett Echohawk, a Pawnee Indian from Pawnee, Oklahoma demonstrated the ways in which American Indian history merged with the larger American historical narrative through his knowledge of Pawnee history and heritage, American history, and his active participation in mainstream society throughout the 20th and into the 21st century. As a student in a government run Indian boarding school, a soldier of the famed 45th "Thunderbird" Infantry Division in World War II, and a successful artist, writer and public speaker, he offered a view of how one could employ syncretism to the advantage of all. Using an ethnohistorical approach to the subject allows a consideration of Brummett Echohawk as an individual, a representative of the Pawnee people, American Indians generally, and as an American. The ethnohistorical approach also helps elucidate the connection he made between success in life and truly fulfilling the Pawnee meaning behind their name Chaticks-si-chaticks, Men of men. Personal papers, published writings, as well as published and privately owned art (ranging from fine art in prestigious galleries to comic strips) provide insight as to how Echohawk made clear the connections between the Pawnee (and American Indian) past and American history. Interviews with family members, friends, and Pawnee veterans also demonstrate the significance of his life for the Pawnee people and the United States, particularly in terms of the martial tradition.