The Oklahoma Alliance for Geographic Education and the National Geographic Society Education Fund supported this research. In addition to the editor and reviewers, I wish to thank the Cheyenne in Oklahoma, Kansas, and South Dakota who shared their perspectives on sacred landscapes with me. Any misinterpretations are my own.
REINTERPRETING THE WASHITA BATTLEFIELD NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE*
Article first published online: 29 JUN 2010
© 2010 by the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 100, Issue 3, pages 375–393, July 2010
How to Cite
HURT, D. A. (2010), REINTERPRETING THE WASHITA BATTLEFIELD NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. Geographical Review, 100: 375–393. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2010.00042.x
- Issue published online: 29 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 29 JUN 2010
- Cheyenne Nation;
- sacred sites;
- Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
Geographers have long attempted to interpret sacred and symbolic landscapes as representative of the ideals of individuals, communities, and cultures. This article assesses the changing historical and contemporary interpretations of the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site and gauges the impact of these conflicting viewpoints. The Washita Valley in western Oklahoma was the location of a November 1868 engagement between U.S. military forces commanded by George Custer and the Cheyenne camp of Black Kettle. Since that date, non-native narratives have dominated Washita interpretation. Today, plans are being developed to emphasize Cheyenne viewpoints of the Washita and to alter the commemorative landscape of the site in order to better present a balanced historical narrative to visitors. Since 1868 three themes have dominated interpretation of the Washita: conflict, indifference, and memorialization.