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The Study of Children in ReligionsA Methods Handbook$
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Susan B. Ridgely

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814776469

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814776469.001.0001

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The Baptism of a Cheyenne Girl

The Baptism of a Cheyenne Girl

(p.236) 15 The Baptism of a Cheyenne Girl
The Study of Children in Religions

Ann Braude

NYU Press

This chapter makes a child-centered reading of the adult-authored historical texts about “Minnie,” a Cheyenne girl who was kidnapped at the 1864 Sand Creek massacre. It explores narratives written about historical children across their lifetimes, reading through adult political posturing about what is in the best interest of the child to access some elements of the child's own interests. The historical record does not reveal why Minnie made the religious choices she did, but it does reveal that she made choices. Her conversion to Christianity should not be seen as a rejection of her past, but rather as engagement of the best opportunity at hand for her spiritual and personal development. Minnie's adaptability and emotional accessibility were among her most important survival tools, allowing her to bond with new sets of adults on whom her future depended. Her religious choices were deeply embedded in these contexts, but they remained hers.

Keywords:   Minnie, Sand Creek massacre, historical children, child-centered reading, religious choices, adult political posturing

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