Subarctic Ethnology - Week 8
Styles of Discourse: Music, Dance, Potlatch, Oral Traditions, Games
- Dineh Musical Styles
- Dineh Song Forms
- Dineh Dance Forms
- Dineh Speech Forms
- Anthropological Understandings of Myths, Legends, History, and Stories
- Dineh Games
- Basso, K. (1997), extracts from Wisdom Sits in Places: Language and Landscape among the Western Apache. Albequerque: University of New Mexico Press. pp. 105-152.
- Cruikshank, J. (1998), "My Roots Grow in Jackpine Roots": Culture, History, and Narrative Practice in the Yukon. in The Social Life of Stories: Narrative and Knowledge in the Yukon Territory. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 1-24.
- Tyone, M. (1996), extract from Ttheek'adn Ut'iin Yaaniida' Oonign': Old Time Stories of the Scottie Creek People. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Centre. pp. 4-15.
- Simeone, W. (1995), Rituals of the Upper Tanana Potlatch. Chapter 7, of Rifles, Blankets, and Beads: Identity, History, and the Northern Athapaskan Potlatch. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 134-165.
Dineh Musical Styles
Very little formal work has been done on Dineh musical styles. Although most ethnographers, including myself, collect information on music, dance, and other expressive aspects of culture, the field of ethnomusicology is poorly developed in the subarctic, due to a lack of interest by musically trained specialists - so, here's another arena for advanced student research.
There are several distinctive musical styles found in most Dineh communities today, associated with distinctive musical occasions. For example, among the Mackenzie Basin Dene, Asch (1988:60-52) noted the following musical occasions:
- the Hand or Stick Game (drumming and "lucky" songs or vocables)
- the Church Service (in many areas sung in the local dialect)
- the Curing Ceremony (medicine songs originating with an animal/spirit helper)
- the Guitar Dance (western pop music, accompanied by rock or country dancing)
- the Fiddle Dance (jigs, reels, and country tunes, many adapted from the gaelic tunes introduced by workers of the Hudson's Bay Company)
- the Drum Dance (in Mackenzie land, a formal traditional community dance; in the Western subarctic, this category would correspond to the music associated at Potlatch)
- and Children's Lullabies.
This list agrees with my own fieldwork observations, although I would add:
- non-aboriginal organized public performances (at festivals, conventions, or meetings, e.g.)
- Women's work groups (such as sewing circles)
- Men's bush camp song sessions.
Dineh Melodic and Tonal Structure
Gertrude Kurath (1966) provides an analysis of 12 Tea Dance songs and 4 Drum Dance songs collected from the Dogrib Dene at Lac LaMatre in 1962, while Asch (1975 & 1988) provides a analysis of material he collected at Pe Ts'eh Ki, a Slavey village, in 1969-70. Mishler has discussed a video-tape of dance forms observed at Mansfield, Alaska used by Tanacross people. My own work with Upper Tanana Dineh has included collection and observation of songs and dance forms, as well as several interviews on the subject. I've not done, as Asch has, any formal analysis of tonal or rythmic structure.
"describes the songs as remarkable for their sense of timing and melodic syncopation; using melodic materials highly reminiscent of the tonality of European scales with the colouration of 'blues' notes. She also found that the thematic structures had a high degree of organization marked by a simplicity in rhythmic pattersn of the beat pulsation. . . . [and] notes frequent instances of pulsation in vocal style" (Asch 1988:73).
"that the basic unit of Dene music sound, like the "song" in western music, contains a unique bundle of music sounds which is repeated within a performance and can be clearly seperated from non-music sound. The following points of correspondence can be derived from this fundamental proposition:
- Like Western music, Dene music contains the notion of a melodic scale.
- Like Western music, Dene music contains the notion of a melody.
- Like Western music, Dene music contains the notion of metric rhythm."
Asch's analysis of Slavey music notes that their
"scale can be conceptualized as containing six fundamental tones. These tones are very similar to the European major scale [C, D, E, F, G, A, B] but with the seventh [B] tone omitted and the third [E] and sixth [A] tones flattened . . . [which] corresponds to the tonal placement that Kurath describes as 'blues notes.' Of the twenty-one songs in the corpus, one used the range of a major third, thirteen a fifth, two a major sixth, and five an octave" (Asch 1988:77).
In terms of melodic structure, Asch found that Slavey melodies are
"structurally based on a relationship between a sequence of higher tones and a foundation or ground tone. . . . Melodies generally follow a descending pattern, beginning at or very near the highest tone in the song and moving downwards toward the foundation tone, where they remain for long periods before swooping up again" (Asch 1988:77).
Thus we can see that
"all songs can be divided into two formal parts. The Theme Section (labelled T) is a section of tonal variation [the descending pattern]; the Rest Section (labelled R) is the section in which the melody remains at rest on the tonic (foundation or ground tone)" (Asch 1988:78)
"Melodies are composed of up to three short Theme Sections. A Theme Secton often contains smaller units or phrases and might be made up of one or two of these units (labelled a, b). In melodies with more than one Theme Section, the final phrase of each Theme Section was identical (labelled f)."
"Rest Sections are of two types: those in which the tonal sequence was repeated identically throughout the performance (labelled y), and those in which it varied as the length within it (labelled x). The former type was usually sung in the vocable he; the latter with the vocable ha."
"All songs conform at the highest level of abstraction to an alternating theme-rest section pattern (or //:TR://). At the most precise level of melodic organization, eight unique types can be identified (Diagram 6.2)."
Finally, regarding Slavey melodic structure, Asch notes that "many Drum Dance song performances had an ending formula. This consisted of a vocal glissando matched with a drum roll, often ending with a spoken mahsi or 'thank-you.'" (Asch 1988:78).
Asch's analysis of beat pulsation found three kinds of beats in his corpus.
"The first consisted of even beat pulsations of even stress that occurred roughly at quarter note intervals. The second consisted of a duple figure that sounded almost like a grace note followed by a beat of roughly quarter note duration. The final beat pattern consisted of even beat pulasations occuring at quarter note intervals, with an uneven stress pattern" (Asch 1988:79; see Diagram 6.3).
Dineh Song Forms
Asch's discussion of the composition of Slavey songs notes that
"although in principle anyone can compose a Drum Dance song, few will take up the challenge. . . . In fact, the singers often did not know who composed the songs they sang. What is remembered is how and from whom a song was learned" (Asch 1988:75).
"As a rule songs are 'old' in that they come from the 'old timers' (the ancestors). [Only] two composers were mentioned. Victor, a chief at Fort Franklin on Bear Lake [and] Yatsule, born at Fort Norman in 1879" (Asch 1988:75-76).
"Generally speaking, it would appear that songs are not known by title. . . . They were described by function and, where applicable, by composer. . . . Non-singers suggested . . . that as a rule Drum Dance songs (like all Dene songs) must have words. Singers, on the other hand, were more cautious, agreeing that songs should have words, but they were often unknown. . . . [suggesting] that only the composer would know the words with any certainty."
Only a limited number of phrases could be discerned by Asch within his corpus of twenty-two songs:
- denecho dahsahteh - "a big man is holding me up"
- mahsicho - "thank-you very much"
- ezhie - "downwards"
- di ndeh ke'h gonezi - "everything is good in this world"
When Asch asked "whether the words occurred in specific places in the song or were simply repeated at random, interviewees indicated that the latter is more often the case. [However] "songs are usually performed using vocables" (Asch 1988:76).
My experience with the Dineh of the Western Subarctic, in particular the Han, the Tanana, and the Ahtna, demonstrates that song forms within this area are both similar and different than those documented for the Mackenzie basin Dene.
- the use of vocables
- the classification of songs into discrete forms, though more variation is recognized:
- love songs (Steamboat Country)
- commerative songs (King George Got Diareah)
- sorry or grief songs (My father dreams of heaven)
- dance songs (Tanacross Fire-fighters)
- thank-you songs (performed over potlatch gifts to infuse them with luck)
- well developed lyrics associated with specific composers and their songs.
- the use of song in informal social situations, such as a sewing circle among women, or men around a bush camp fire.
I have observed groups of women singing on numerous informal occassions. For example, one afternoon while 3 women and I sat in the summer sunshine preparing roots and bark and sewing birchbark containers, the daughter of a woman asked her mother to sing some songs, which she did, with her daughter and granddaughter joining in at various points. Since I was also actively encouraged to sing along, with stops in the song to repeat phrases and melodies, this may reflect the method by which the younger generation learns the words to the various songs within their family corpus.
She began by singing a song composed by her "uncle" Sam [Chief Sam of Northway?] which he made in the bush when he was hunting and feeling lonely for his girl. "Indians make songs like that, you know, about their love and missing each other."
The approximate transliteration of this song runs:
Caribou walking along the hillside.
Caribou walking along the hillside.
Why are you so far away?
Why are you so far away?
Hurry and come over this way [to me]
Hurry and come over this way [to me]
She then sang another song:
Steamboat heading around the channel
Steamboat heading around the channel
How can I catch up to you?
How can I catch up to you?
Both of these are of the lovelorn or "blue" song genre.
I asked Bessie if all the Indian songs were "blue songs". Did she know any "happy songs"? She thought for a minute and then sang a song which she couldn't finish because she started laughing. When I asked her what it was about she said it was silly - I should learn her language.
Western Dineh Dance Forms
Western Dineh dance forms can be classified into two primary forms: those for public performance at a western organized event, and those performed at funeral and memorial potlatches within and for the local Dene community. The former are less variable, not including several dance and song forms which are classified as more ritual, or sacred, and reserved for formal community potlatch ceremony.
As well, we should note that these observations arise from work with the Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Tetlin, and Ahtna linguistic groups. The formal prohibition of potlatch by the Canadian state in the early 20th century effectively ended public display and widespread inter-generational transfer of song and dance forms among most Yukon First Nations. There have been some attempts at revitalizing this during the recent past, but without extensive community success. The exception to this has been within the Inland Tlingit communities, which have drawn on both local and coastal expertise to teach the younger generation ancient clan songs and dances.
Finally, it is of considerable interest to note that at the turn of this century Chief Issac of the Dawson area Tr'ondek Hw'echin travelled to Tetlin and taught the songs and dances of his people to the Upper Tanana and Tanacross people. He did so in anticipation of their loss from his own region, asking his neighbours to keep them safe and remembered so that one day they might return them to his people. That day has now arrived. There has been concious effort since 1997 to reintroduce these traditional songs and dance to the Dawson area.
These observations are based on witnessing two separate years performances by the Scottie Creek Dancers at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival and at one Commissioner's Potlatch.
The general formation finds the girls in arching line behind the boys, who form a circle, with one child (who has FAS) in the middle of the boys. From a frontal perspective, the drummer stands to the right, aligned with the boys, while the singers stand behind the drummer, facing the girls.
Three different dance forms were observed
- a Stationary Form (SF)
- girls sway and lift their arms up and down while holding a scarf stretched between their hands
- boys step dance, alternatively lifting and planting each foot, while remaining in the same spot.
- a Single Circle Form (SCF)
- girls circle boys, clockwise, advancing with rythmic hop, with scarf held in hands
- boys shuffle from foot to foot, remaining stationary
- a Double Circle Form (DCF)
- girls as in SCF
- boys move clockwise as well, with side step, rotating on their toes. No noticable hand movement, which hang by their sides.
Songs sung at this performance included (dance form is noted in parentheses):
- The Caribou song (SF)
- Bird song (SF) - this is from Tutchone land
- Christmas Tree (SCF variant, with everyone stopping and raising their right hand to point at the Xmas tree during the refrain) This song was composed by Bill Northway (brother of Walter) for the funeral potlatch of his younger brother Lee
- Steamboat song (SF) - composed by White River Johnny after seeing his first steamboat; now known as a love song
- name unknown (SCF) - Jenny drumming now
- Honey song (DSF) - a love song
- unknown song (DCF)
- Potlatch Gun song (DCF)
- Caribou song reprise (SF) - Doris now drumming
- Bird song reprise (SF)
- Xmas Tree reprise (SCF)
- Love song (SF) - Bessie vocal solo, no drum
- last song
Potlatch Dance Forms
These are similar in some respects to public performance forms, in so far as males and females have separate roles, with the women generally in the form of a circle and men either set apart in a separate line or dancing within the circle of women.
The organization of music and dance within the Upper Tanana and Tanacross potlatch are similar. It can be divided into three phases:
- the introductory phase typified by grieving or sorry songs and dances
- a middle phase comprised of happy songs and dances
- an end phase comprised of thank-you songs and dances
Sorry Song Phase
Today potlatch takes place over three days. On the first evening the formal dancing begins with sorry songs, which itself has a number of phases:
- a beginning phase in which only close relatives of the deceased sing
- a second phase sees the relatives being joined by close friends
- a third phase in which this group creates a circle dance form
- a fourth phase in which guests of the potlatch join this circle
- a fifth stage in which the grieving relatives withdraw from the circle; the remaining dancers separate into a group of men who stand in a line near the drummers and the women who continue in the circle
- a final stage in which the men enter into the circle of women
The first sorry song is sung and danced by the immediate relatives of the deceased. Ideally it is one composed specifically for the occasion, but a traditional song composed by a near relative may also be used. Sometimes, it is a song composed by the deceased themselves, prior to and foreshadowing their own death.
The relatives will gather together in a group, and begin to sing. After a while, good friends may join them to support their singing or just to hold them. They will then begin to form a line which will move about the hall, eventually forming a circle, into which others will gradually join; ideally, at the end of this phase all or most of the guests will have joined the circle.
Before they join the circle, guests will take down a coloured patterned handkerchief from the dozens hanging on the wall. The close relatives and friends will also have these given to them earlier; they would have had them hanging from some part of their dress during the earlier activities of the potlatch to signify their grieving status. They are also hung from vehicles associated with the funeral party, such as the station wagon or truck acting as a hearse, as well as any vehicle carrying close relatives and friends. During the dancing the handkerchief is held between the two hands. It's purpose is to catch or wipe away the tears of grief which are expelled by the participants. Between each major phase they are deposited in the middle of the floor and either re-hung on the walls or left for participants to pick up when they rejoin the dance during the next phase. At the end of the first two days of dancing they remain in the hall. On the last day dancers take them home with them.
After the majority of the hall's guests have joined the dance circle, the close relatives then withdraw from the circle to sit at their designated seats. The remaining men gravitate towards the drummers, where they form a line, sometimes several deep, and the women continue to dance in the circle form, beginning the fourth sub-phase.
During this sub-phase, the songs change from the specific commemorative form to other sorry songs composed in the past. Simeone (1995:142-43) maintains that these songs should be sung in reverse chronological sequence; that is more recently composed songs first, followed by increasingly older grief songs.
"The first songs establish a common relationship among the potlatch participants based on shared sense of grief [through the recollection of the guest's own losses in years past]. Each succeeding song extends the grief back in time, drawing together both the living and the dead. . . . grieving becomes a way of recreating social links between generations and enabling hosts and guests to express their shared identity. . . . By choosing the songs, the lead singers are able to control the grieving process, keeping it within socially acceptable bounds."
In the final sub-phase of the sorry song phase, the men enter into the circle of women, where a final sorry song or two is sung. This ends with staccato drumming and whooping of the drummers, at which time the entire dance floor breaks apart and tears down strips of calico cloth which has been hung along the walls of the hall. These in turn are tugged by separate groups of dancers until they tear into two pieces, which are then deposited on the floor in the centre of the room, after which the dancers retire to rest.
Happy Song Phase
After a rest, the drummers will begin to sing happy songs. These songs are largely of the commemorative event type, such as Northway Fire-Fighters, the Christmas Song, The Beautiful Women of Northway, Steamboat Country, I've Fallen In - Come Get Me, King George Got Diarreah, and so on, although there are two exceptions to this: the Indian Twist, and, what I am here calling, the breakaway sexual form, both of which are performed with drum accompaniment alone.
The dance form during this phase is of four types (the categories are entirely etic; I hope to check on this breakdown with Jerry Isaac):
- the traditional form of women in a circle with men inside
- the internal sexual form (females entering the male zone and exchanging provocative dance movements - Jerry's rooster dance)
- the breakaway sexual form (male and female charging each other)
- the "indian twist"
The importance of guests dancing, particularly strangers and in particular white strangers, cannot be over-stated. The goofier the better, for it makes the grieving relatives laugh and pass over their sadness.
However, particularly animate and traditional dance forms are also much admired, such as Fred Demit's grouse dance and Jerry Isaac's rooster dance.
The Potlatch Dance Phase
This phase is comprised of two sub-phases. The first, called Xwtiitl Ch'itiik, or "giveaway song", (at Tanacross, according to Simeone) occurs once all the potlatch gifts are assembled in the hall. The hosts will then pick up all of the rifles and several other objects as needed to ensure each has something to carry. They then circle the pile of gifts, holding the objects aloft, singing their potlatch song. Usually the lyrics will refer to the deceased, the gifts, and the guests, thanking for the presence of each.
Of this sub-phase, Simeone (1995:145) writes that
"although the songs are personal, that is, made for a specific person, they have a general intent to spiritualize the gifts so that they will bring good luck to the host and convey the appropriate feelings. The song has to be sung precisely, without faltering or making mistakes, since it is considered injih [bad luck or taboo] to make a mistake. It is to be sung only three times; otherwise, the luck will go too far out and may not come back. When the song is sung, it is sent out or "travels" and then comes back."
The second sub-phase is comprised of the "thank-you song." During this phase, recipients of gifts will stand and hold one of their gift objects aloft and thank the hosts for the generosity of their gift. Some will stay near their chairs, while others will dance into the middle of the floor, displaying their gift. This may go on for several minutes or more, at the completion of which the guests return to their seats for the last business of the potlatch, which are commemerative speeches by noted orators, which recall the work of the hosts during the potlatch and thanks them, recalls the greatness of the deceased, and admonishes everyone to put aside their grief as the dead desire them to and carry on with their lives in happiness, knowing that all around them are relatives and friends still living who will support and love them.
Dineh Speech Forms
Although we may generally recognize that reticence in speech among the Dineh is a social norm, the capacity for Oratorical speech among the Dineh is highly valued. This oratory is expected at public social gatherings, such as Potlatches and community meetings.
Dineh oratory has certain characteristics which we can recognize:
- the establishment of personal authority through the recounting of trails, settlements, and geneaology
"My great people, our trails hold us: Chistochina, Chitna, Mentasta, Chisana, Northway, Taiy Chi, Tsoo Got Guy, Nii-ii, Snag, Coffee Creek, Selkirk, and Tetlin, Tanacross, Ketchumstuck, Dawson, all the Yukon River people"
- the maintainence of personal authority by speaking only to what one knows
"I can only say what I know"; "I was there when it happened"; "My grandpa Bell John told me this, and I believe him when he said it"
- the use of repetition, in particular the interogative, to emphasize key elements of the communication
"So what are we going to do? What will our people do now?"; "We are all Indian People, all First Nation People, all One Nation, One Family".
- reference to commonly known narrative motifs as a metaphor for the situation at hand
"These days are like the time of Tsaaoosha" - in reference to the upheavals and changes brought by the white man).
- the avoidance of direct reference to events or circumstances which represent a period or activity harmful to social solidarity or community well-being
"Once we had trouble here" - in reference to a death.
- the expressive use of silence to emphasize the need for people to think about what has just been said
Anthropological Understandings of Oral Traditions (Myths, Legends, History, and Stories)
There are seven major anthropological approaches to the study of Oral Traditions:
- Areal Studies
- History of Religions
- Oral History
- Performance Analysis
- Contemporary Uses of Oral Traditions - Interpretive or Hermenuetic
1. Areal Studies
- also known as the historic-geographic school, an approach initiated by folklorists and linguists in the 19th century.
- based on the assumption that similar stories result from similar histories, and the study of folk tales in the 19th and 20th centuries has been orientated towards determining the origin and spread of similar stories across space and time.
- e.g. The Brothers Grimm collection of central european stories was originally an Areal Study of folktale distribution; it was a sharp publisher who recognized their potential appeal as children's stories.
- Antti Aarne, a Finnish folklorist, systematized this approach with the publication in 1910 of The Types of the Folktale, which introduced the principle of the motif index, a procedure for classifying similar tales based on central and recurrent themes or images, such as the maiden or the hero.
- the method was brought into Anthropology by Franz Boas, who expanded its application to note similarities may reflect shared heritage, but might also be accounted for by diffusion of the trait, not the people, or independent developments within similar environments.
- Stith Thomson applied the historic-geographic method to the tales of the North American Indian, identifying and collecting representative versions of Animal Wives and Husbands, Trickster stories, Journeys to the Other World and other motifs. His essay on the distribution of "The Star Husband" is a seminal and representative work in this approach.
- the historic geographic approach is really a method, not a theory, but one that relies upon several theoretical assumptions, such as the wave-theory of diffusion from a central core. As a method of classification it has proven itself, although as an explanatory tool for the recurrence of motifs across space and time it is very limited.
2. The Structuralist Approach
- Within the study of mythology most developed by Claude Levi-Strauss, whose method was derived from the structural linguistics of Saussare, the cognitive theory of Piaget, and a smattering of Marxist dialectics.
- Structural analysis proceeds from the assumption that Myth has its own internal logic, which can be discerned through the articulation of the thematic composition of the myth in its constituent units, not unlike the identification of motifs in the Areal approach.
- It differs, however, in accounting for the distribution of similar tales, holding that the replication of motifs is less indicative of diffusion or contact, and more reflective of the fact that certain types of characters and situations are "good to think."
- Myths arise and are maintained because they assist humans in thinking about, if not resolving, the fundamental contradictions of their mental constructs of their existence: life and death, nature and culture, men and women, youth and age, and so on. These contradictions are often resolved within the myth by a figure of mediating ambiguity (e.g., nature - dog - culture; male - hermaphrodite - female).
3. The History of Religions
- this approach refers to a wide variety of studies whose unity lies in their focus on the analysis of oral traditions to locate spiritual archetypes which, presumably, reflect common human experience and ancestry. In its integrative approach, it has created a voluminous literature of the broadest possible geographical and cultural scope; which is its primary weakness as well. Too often, the material is so isolated from its cultural context that it can be easily made to seem to mean something other than what it holds for its original bearers. Nevertheless, in its breadth, if not in its depth, it is a magnificent approach, "great in deed, marked by stately grandeaur and lavishness, grand." Some representative practicioners of this approach include:
- Frazier and his study The Golden Bough represents an early, 19th century approach of this type.
- Freud saw mythology as
- Jung and the Collective Unconcious
- Radin and the Trickster
- Campbell and Human Myth-making
- Contemporary Animism (Gaia, Running with Wolves, etc.)
4. Oral History
- refers to a longstanding effort to identify in oral traditions accounts of actual events which took place sometime in the past. In doing so, it has developed elaborate methods for the assessment of reliability, identification of embellishment and integration, and the context of the perspective. The oral historical approach has served to emphasize the importance of a clearly defined interpretive framework for the analysis of oral traditions. Some representative practicioners of this approach include:
- Boas and Kwakiutl Culture as Reflected in Mythology
- Evans Pritchard and the histories of the Sanusi and Azande
- Vansina and the legitimization of Oral History
- Hobsbawn and the Invention of Tradition
- Issues of Reliability, Validity, and the Construction of History
- Similarities of "white man tales"
- Oral History: The Life History Method
- Recording and Transcribing Interviews
- Informant / Interviewer Relations
- Context and Reliability (reduplication)
- Listening and Learning
- this approach refers to the analysis of oral traditions as "oral literature," poetry, and examines their presentation in terms of stylistic variation and similarity, to discover and appreciate culturally specific poetic syntax, elegance, and rhetorical power. It is also concerned with the translation of oral speech into textual form, examining various means by which to capture the rythms and texture of an oral performance on the printed page.
6. Performance Analysis
- this approach refers to analysis which examines the rendition of oral tradition or storytelling within its performance context : who the storyteller is, who the audience is (present and not present), how the story is told (with movement, ironic or humorous inflexion, and so on), where the story is told, when the story is told, and so on. The storytelling act is seen as a dramatic presentation that by definition requires an audience, who are themselves an integrated part of the performance, and the story itself is adjusted to suit the audience at hand. It is commonly associated with the development of an "ethnography of speaking."
7. Contemporary Uses of Oral Traditions - The Interpretive or Hermenuetic Approach
- this approach refers to a wide variety of perspectives which are unified by their belief that the critical importance of oral traditions lie in their use in the present to consolidate identity (both personal and ethnic) and communicate within and across cultural boundaries about fundamental concerns of life today. In doing so, it seeks the metaphorical context of a story's content. Julie Cruikshank defines this approach in terms of the following enigma:
"Almost every aspect of social and economic life in the Yukon seems to have changed dramatically during the last century, yet elders [and increasingly younger adults] are still telling stories recorded on the coast by Aurel Krause in 1883 and by John Swanton in 1909, and by James Teit in the Yukon in 1917. All these individuals thought they were working with the last individuals who could tell the stories. Why do narratives persist when so much else has changed?"
As can be seen, this section is not developed for textual presentation. See your discussion question, below.
- Vansina 1985, Oral Tradition as History. University of Wisconsin Press. (Preface, Chapters 1 and 7).
- Cruikshank 1982, "Legend and Landscape: Convergence of Oral and Scientific Traditions in the Yukon Territory." Arctic Anthropology, 18(2):66-93.
- Drozda 1997, "They Talked of the Land With Respect: Interethnic Communication in the Documentation of Historical Places and Cemetary Sites" in When Our Words Return, pp. 99-122.
- Resaldo, R. 1980, "Doing Oral History." Social Analysis, 4:89-99.
- Slobodin, R. 1963, "The Dawson Boys: Peel River Indians and the Dawson Goldrush." Polar Record 5:24-35.
- McClellan, C. 1970, "Indian Stories about the First Whites in Northwestern America." In M. Lantis (ed.) Ethnohistory in Southwestern Alaska and the Southern Yukon: Method and Theory. University of Kentucky Press. pp. 103-133.
- Partnow, P. H. 1997, "The Days of Yore: Alutiiq Mythical Time," in When Our Words Return, pp. 139-183.
- Cruikshank, J. 1990, Life Lived Like a Story. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. (Introduction: Life History and Life Stories, pp. 1-36, and Cultural Constructions of Individual Experience, pp. 339-356).
- Morrow, P. 1997, "On Shaky Ground: Folklore, Collaboration, and Problematic Outcomes," in When Our Words Return, pp. 27-51.
- Hymes, D. 1981, In Vain I Tried to Tell You: Essays in Native American Poetics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (Chapter 1 - Some North Pacific Coast Poems: A Problem in Anthropological Philogy and Chapter 2 - How to Talk Like a Bear in Telma).
- Hymes, D. 1992, "Use All There Is To Use," in B. Swann (ed.), On the Translation of Native American Literatures. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. pp.: 83-124.
- Ruppert, 1995, A Bright Light Ahead of Us: Belle Deacon’s Stories in English and Deg Hit’an, in WOWR, pp. 123-135.
- Bauman, R. 1986, Chapter 1, "Introduction," (pp.:1-10) and Chapter 3, "We was Always Pullin’ Jokes: The Management of Point of View in Personal Experience Narratives (pp.: 33-53) in R. Bauman, Story, Performance, and Event: Contextual Studies of Oral Narrative. Cambridge Studies in Oral and Literate Culture, # 10. Cambridge: University Press.
- Dyck, N. 1986, "Negotiating the Indian Problem," Culture VI(1):31-41.
- Cruikshank, J. 1995, "Pete’s Song: Establishing Meanings through Story and Song," in WOWR, pp. 53-75.
- Cruikshank, 1997, Negotiating Identity at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. American Anthropologist
- Bauman, R. 1986, Chapter 5, "I go into more detail now, to be sure: Narrative Variation and the Shifting Contexts of Traditional Storytelling," (pp. 78-111) and Chapter 6, "Conclusion" (pp.:112-115) in R. Bauman, Story, Performance, and Event: Contextual Studies of Oral Narrative. Cambridge Studies in Oral and Literate Culture, # 10. Cambridge: University Press.
- Barker, R. 1995, "Seeing Wisely, Crying Wolf: A Cautionary Tale on the Ero-Yup’ik Border," in WOWR, pp. 79-97.
Contemporary Uses of Oral Narrative
- Basso, K. 1976, "Wise Words of the Western Apache: Metaphor and Semantic Theory," in K. Basso & H. Selby, Meaning in Anthropolgy. Albuquerque: New Mexico. Reprinted in K. Basso (1990), Western Apache Language and Culture: Essays in Linguistic Anthropology. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press. pp. 53-79.
- Basso, K. 1984, "Stalking With Stories: Names, Places, and Moral Narratives Among the Western Apache," in S. Plattner (ed.) Text, Play, and Story: The Construction and Reconstruction of Self and Society. Washington: Proceedings of the American Ethnological Society. Reprinted in K. Basso (1990), Western Apache Language and Culture: Essays in Linguistic Anthropology. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press. pp. 99-137.
- Schneider, W. 1995, "When the Stories Keep Pounding in My Ears: A Study in Personal Narratives." The Northern Review. No. 14(Summer): 67-85
Week 8 Discussion Notes
For this weeks discussion, I am interested in seeing you post observations on the presence of song, dance, storytelling, and games in your home or study communities.
I am also looking for you to post any references to these subjects which you have found in either of your two ethnographies.
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Last update: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 at 8:59:24 AM
Copyright 2013 Anthropology 220 Norman Alexander Easton