Dying Campfires: Jews, Indians and Descendant Organizations

By Donald N. Yates and Phyllis E. Starnes.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since the 1990s, genetics has transformed many of our notions of race, ethnicity, and identity. In the 2000 U.S. Census, respondents were given the option of checking multiple ancestries or ethnicities for the first time. The similarities of identifying as a descendant of Jews and American Indians are examined in two works of literature—Bernard Malamud's “The People” and George Tabori's play "Weisman and Copperface: A Jewish Western." Three precedents in Hebrew poetry by Benjamin Nahun Silkiner, Israel Efros and Ephraim E. Lisitzky are compared, and the administrative rulings of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Jewish halakhic writing (B. Netanyahu on crypto-Jews) are discussed as they pertain to Indian and Jewish identity.

Keywords: Ethnic Identity, Race and Ethnicity, American Indians, Jews, Indians of North America, Immigration

International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp.25-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 587.024KB).

Donald N. Yates

Principal Investigator, DNA Spectrum, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Donald N. Yates is the founder and principal research scientist at DNA Consultants, a DNA testing company in Phoenix, Arizona, and chief research officer for DNA Spectrum, an autosomal DNA specialty marketing company in Seal Beach, California. He earned a Ph.D. in classical studies with a concentration on medieval Latin at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has taught communications, history, and philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Georgia Southern University, and St. John's University, among other universities. He is author or co-author of When Scotland Was Jewish, Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America, Old World Roots of the Cherokee, and numerous other publications on cultural history and American Indian studies.

Phyllis E. Starnes

Assistant Principal Investigator, DNA Consultants, Harriman, Tennessee, USA