Column: Pequots use money to bolster legitimacy

"Given the multitude of peoples and tongues that the Mashantucket Pequots and Foxwoods have attracted as casino and employer, how surprising is it, really, that they've finally inspired this:

Earlier this year, American Quarterly, the journal of the American Studies Association published by the Johns Hopkins University Press, printed a 17-page essay by [Mary] Lawlor entitled �Identity in Mashantucket.�

Lawlor's paper, dense, at times, as Ledyard woodland in academic jargon, argues the Pequots have exploited two towers of power and legitimacy � the fabulously successful casino and the richly appointed Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center � to establish the tribe's desired public image.

Success, then, is the currency, indeed, the language, that the public best understands. It negotiates time and tolerance for the Pequots, working backwards from a few strains of lore and random artifacts, and overcoming centuries of �violent oppression and marginalization in Anglo Connecticut,� to construct an identity."

Get the Story:
Steven Slosberg: Buying Tribal Legitimacy (The New London Day 12/20)