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Mapping Cultural Space Across Eurasia

Tribal Nations map

While maps of "Greater Fill-in-the-Blank" are often associated with state-sponsored territorial aggression, homeland maps may also be deployed by the dispossessed. When Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker from Warner, Oklahoma, looked for a map that depicted the historic names and locations of Native American tribes before first contact with Europeans, he was surprised to find that no such map existed. Carapella, who identifies with the Cherokee Nation, spent over a decade making his own maps of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to illustrate that all of this territory was at one point "Indian Country." Carapella says that he sees his map project as a way to "convey the truth in a different way." Carapella's map suggests a continued, privileged relationship between Native peoples and the land.