For more information or to purchase any of the books in this series, please visit the University of Nebraska Press.
An American Indian language belonging to the Muskogean linguistic family, Koasati is spoken today by fewer than five hundred people living in southwestern Louisiana and on the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation in Texas. Geoffrey D. Kimball has collected material from the speakers of the larger Louisiana community to produce the first comprehensive description of Koasati.
The book opens with a brief history of the Koasati. The chapters that follow describe Koasati phonology, verb conjugation classes and inflectional morphology, verb derivation, noun inflectional and derivational morphology, gramma,ical particles, and syntax and semantics. A discussion of Koasati speech styles illustrated with texts concludes the book. Because examples of grammatical construction are drawn from native speakers in naturally occurring discourse, they authoritatively document aspects of a language that is little known.
Geoffrey D. Kimball is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Tulane University.
For centuries, a persistent and important component of Lakota religious life has been the Inipi, the ritual of the sweat lodge. The sweat lodge has changed little in appearance since its first recorded description in the late seventeenth century. The ritual held within, the "sweat" consists of songs, prayers, and other actions conducted in a tightly enclosed, extremely hot and stifling environment. Participants who "sweat" together experience moral purification and even physical healing. Today, the sweat lodge ritual continues to be a vital part of Lakota religion. It has recently become popular among Lakotas recovering from alcohol and drug addiction and among those afflicted with AIDS. This impressive study is the first in-depth look at the history and significance of the Lakota sweat lodge. Bringing together data culled from historical sources and recent fieldwork at Pine Ridge Reservation, Raymond A. Bucko provides a detailed discussion of changes that have occurred in the structure and function of the "sweat" ritual over time. He offers convincing explanations for the longevity of the sweat lodge and its continuing popularity. The ritual survives because it is inherently malleable, girded by fixed physical and symbolic forms but continually subject to reinterpretation and creative modification. Consequently, the Lakotas are able to adapt this important healing ritual to meet their changing collective and individual needs. Raymond A. Bucko is an assistant professor of anthropology at Le Moyne College. His articles have appeared in European Review of Native American Studies and Mission. This is his first book.
This volume introduces the oral literature of Native American peoples in Puget Salish-speaking areas of western Washington. Seven stories told by Lushootseed elders are transcribed and translated into English, accompanied by information on narrative design and cultural background. Upper Skagit elder and cotranslator Vi Hilbert, a 1994 recipient of the NEH National Heritage Fellowship in Folk Arts, includes a cultural welcome and offers childhood reminiscences of the storytellers. Cotranslator Thomas M. Hess, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria, parses the beginning lines of a text to show the grammatical structures; he also includes his recollections of working with the storytellers in the 1960s as a graduate student. Editor and cotranslator Crisca Bierwert, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, provides information on the processes of language translation and of rendering oral traditions into written form. Annotator T. C. S. Langen, who holds a Ph.D. in English literature and is a curriculum developer for the Tulalip tribe, provides analyses of Lushootseed poetics. The book includes information about purchasing audiotapes of the stories.
For the residents of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, mainstream medical care is often supplemented or replaced by a host of traditional practices: the Sun Dance, the yuwipi sing, the heyok'a ceremony, herbalism, the Sioux Religion, the peyotism of the Native American Church, and other medicines, or sources of healing. Thomas H. Lewis, a psychiatrist and medical anthropologist, describes those practices as he encountered them in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During many months he studied with leading practitioners. He describes the healers, their techniques, personal histories and qualities, the problems addressed and results obtained and examines past as well as present practices. The result is an engrossing account that may profoundly affect the way readers view the dynamics of therapy for mind and body. Retired from the National Naval Medical Center, where he served as chief of psychiatry, and from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Thomas H. Lewis now lives in Montana.
This book describes the musical culture of the Northern Haida Indians, who speak two closely related dialects. One dialect group lives on Graham Island, British Columbia, the other on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. The recordings on which the book is based were compiled over a period of more than a decade from a wide variety of historical and contemporary sources. Representing the entire range of the Haida musical tradition -a tradition that nearly died out and is currently being revived- this volume documents its changes over more than a century. Part 1 is a lengthy ethnographic description of musical genres that situates Haida music in the context of the Northwest Coast. Part 2 presents 128 songs, fully transcribed and analyzed and representing some twenty types, ranging from traditional genres such as peace-making and mourning songs to songs of personal expression composed during the modern period. Part 3 is a detailed musical and linguistic analysis of the songs presented in the second part. The integration of descriptions of these two facets of song -music and language- is the particular goal of the book. The volume is a substantive contribution to the ethnomusicology of native North America and will be of special interest to scholars concerned with vocables in Native American music. John Enrico has been engaged in linguistic research on the Haida language since 1975. His publications include The Lexical Phonology of Masset Haida and articles on aspects of Haida grammar. Wendy Bross Stuart's first ethnomusicological publication was Gambling Music of the Coast Salish Indians. In 1980 she began collaborating with John Enrico in the transcription and analysis of Haida songs.
Sherman Sage (ca. 1844–1943) was an unforgettable Arapaho man who witnessed profound change in his community and was one of the last to see the Plains black with buffalo. As a young warrior, Sage defended his band many times, raided enemy camps, saw the first houses go up in Denver, was present at Fort Laramie for the signing of the 1868 treaty, and witnessed Crazy Horse’s surrender. Later, he visited the Ghost Dance prophet Wovoka and became a link in the spread of the Ghost Dance religion to other Plains Indian tribes. As an elder, Old Man Sage was a respected, vigorous leader, walking miles to visit friends and family even in his nineties. One of the most interviewed Native Americans in the Old West, Sage was a wellspring of information for both Arapahos and outsiders about older tribal customs.
Anthropologist Jeffrey D. Anderson gathered information about Sage’s long life from archives, interviews, recollections, and published sources and has here woven it into a compelling biography. We see different sides of Sage—how he followed a traditional Arapaho life path; what he learned about the Rocky Mountains and Plains; what he saw and did as outsiders invaded the Arapahos’ homeland in the nineteenth century; how he adjusted, survived, and guided other Arapahos during the early reservation years; and how his legacy lives on today. The remembrances of Old Man Sage’s relatives and descendants of friends make apparent that his vision and guidance were not limited to his lifetime but remain vital today in the Northern Arapaho tribe.
Jeffrey D. Anderson is an associate professor of anthropology at Colby College. He is the author of The Four Hills of Life: Northern Arapaho Knowledge and Life Movement (Nebraska 2001).
People of The Dalles is a historical ethnography of the Chinookan (Wasco-Wishram) and Sahaptin peoples of The Dalles area of the Columbia River (ancestors to peoples now located on the Warm Springs and Yakama reservations) between about 1805 and 1848. The book begins with early historical background reconstructed from the accounts of explorers and travelers, then presents the human geography, subsistence and economics, social structure, life-cycle rituals, and aboriginal religion of these peoples. This is followed by chapters on cultural and religious change and a summary chapter on the effect on the Indians of the Methodist Mission. Much of the material on which the book is based is taken from the writings of the Methodist missionaries at Wascopam, in particular from the papers of the Reverend Henry Perkins, who was stationed there from 1838 to 1844. Perkins and his fellow missionaries lived among the Indians at The Dalles during a crucial period, shortly after the devastating mortalities caused by the epidemics of the early 1830s and just before the equally wrenching wars and removals of the 1850s. Appendices to the volume include Perkins's major writings on the Wascopam Mission, a list of sources of material relating to the mission, and brief biographical sketches of mission personnel and Indians whose names appear frequently in the historical record. Robert Boyd has published several articles on Pacific Northwest Indian ethnohistory.
"This work sheds new light on the meaning of war and violence for both the Virginia Indians and the English who invaded them. And that leads to some stimulating new interpretations of the demise of the 1570 Spanish Mission, John Smith's captivity (including his rescue by Pocahontas), and the great attacks of 1622 and 1644." -Helen C. Rountree, Old Dominion University. "This fine new study . . . [pieces] together stories far richer and people far more complex than the literary and celluloid stereotypes that so dominate our views of this early encounter. Frederic Gleach steers us expertly through the cultural cross-currents, conflicts, and misunderstandings that swirled around the English founding of Virginia." -Jennifer S. H. Brown, University of Winnipeg. Drawing on the latest anthropological studies of colonial encounters, Frederic Gleach offers a more balanced and complete accounting of the early years of the Jamestown colony than has been seen before. When English colonists established their first permanent settlement at Jamestown in 1607, they confronted a powerful and growing native chiefdom consisting of over thirty tribes under one paramount chief, Powhatan. For the next half-century, a portion of the Middle Atlantic coastal plain became a charged and often violent meeting ground between two very different worlds. Gleach argues that the history of Jamestown is essentially the story of how two cultures with conflicting world-views attempted to civilize and incorporate each other. He examines historical events from both native and colonial perspectives, resulting in original and fuller interpretations of seventeenth-century Virginia history. Frederic W. Gleach is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University. This is his first book.
Dogrib Indians are one of the Dene groups - Athapaskan-speaking peoples of the western Canadian Subarctic. Based on the author's field studies from 1959 to 1976, this volume presents an ethnographic description of the Dogrib prophet movement. Part 1 introduces three prophets who came to prominence in the 1960s 1970s. Although they developed from the same cultural background and had the same aims, their prophetic styles contrasted dramatically with one another. Helm situates the prophet movement in relation to both aboriginal and Christian traditions and shows the determining importance of the prophets' personalities in shaping their practice of prophecy.
Part 2 examines the traditional Dogrib concept of power (ink'on), which underlies the prophet movement. It draws together information given over the course of years by Vital Thomas, a Dogrib who collaborated closely with Helm. This first-hand material is noteworthy for its personal perspective and for the understanding it provides of the differing sources and uses of power. The concept of power is so pervasive in daily life that it forms the key for understanding the dynamics of Dogrib culture. The book concludes with a brief autobiography related by Vital Thomas..
JUNE HELM received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has for many years been a professor of anthropology at the University of Iowa. She is the editor of Subarctic, volume 6 of the Handbook of North American Indians, published by the Smithsonian Institution (1981).
Reserve Memories examines how myths and narratives about the past have enabled a Northern Athabaskan community to understand and confront challenges and opportunities in the present. For over five centuries the Chilcotin people have lived in relative isolation in the rich timberlands and scattered meadows of the inland Northwest, in what is today known as west central British Columbia. Although linguistic and cultural changes are escalating, they remain one of the more traditional and little known Native communities in northwestern North America.
Combining years of fieldwork with an acute theoretical perspective, David W. Dinwoodie sheds light on the special power of the past for the Chilcotin people of the Nemiah Valley Indian Reserve. In different social and political settings, they draw upon a "reserve" of memories-in particular, myths and historical narratives-and reactivate them in order to help make sense of and deal effectively with the possibilities and problems of the modern world. For example, the declaration of the Chilcotins against clear-cut logging draws upon one of their central myths, adding a deeper and more lasting cultural significance and resonance to the political statement.
David W. Dinwoodie is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico. His articles have appeared in Anthropological Linguistics and Cultural Anthropology.
"A significant contribution to Salishan linguistics and more generally to the linguistics of Native America. It is, I believe, the most comprehensive comparative study of a set of syntactic structures to date for any language family in the Americas (and perhaps elsewhere as well). . . . The scholarship is impressive throughout.”—Sarah G. Thomason, editor of Contact Languages: A Wider Perspective.
In this pioneering study Paul D. Kroeber examines the history of an array of important syntactic constructions in the Salish language family. This group of some twenty-three languages, centrally located in the Northwest Coast and Plateau Regions, is noted for its intriguing differences from European languages, including the possible irrelevance of a noun/verb distinction to grammatical structure and the existence of distinctive systems of articles, which also often function as marks of subordination.
Kroeber draws on and analyzes data from a wide range of textual and other sources. Centering his detailed investigation on patterns of subordination and focusing, he situates these against the broader background of Salish syntax, examines their interrelationships, and reconstructs their historical development. The result is a study that significantly enhances understanding of the structure and history of Salish. As important, Kroeber’s critical command of sources and well-considered historical proposals are exemplary, setting a methodological standard for Americanist scholarship.
Paul D. Kroeber has written for International Journal of American Linguistics and Anthropological Linguistics. He is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington.