Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Roberta Wollons

Second Advisor

Julie Winch

Third Advisor

Josh Reid


In 1891 in Onset, Massachusetts, on the banks of the East River, a small group of Spiritualists met with the purpose of establishing a sacred place where they could channel the spirits of deceased Indians for the purposes of offering free healing services. Referring to themselves as the On-i-set Wigwam Co-Workers, they constructed a Wigwam that featured Native American artifacts, curios, and romanticized portraits of Indian spirit guides. This thesis explores aspects of gender, race, commercial and sacred spaces, and their intersection at the Wigwam Spiritualist Temple.


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