Standing Ground: Yurok Indian Spirituality, 1850-1990 by Thomas Buckley PDF

By Thomas Buckley

ISBN-10: 0520233581

ISBN-13: 9780520233584

ISBN-10: 0520233891

ISBN-13: 9780520233898

ISBN-10: 0585465932

ISBN-13: 9780585465937

This colourful, richly textured account of religious education and perform inside of an American Indian social community emphasizes narrative over research. Thomas Buckley's foregrounding of Yurok narratives creates one significant point of discussion in an cutting edge ethnography that includes discussion as its critical theoretical trope. Buckley areas himself in dialog with modern Yurok buddies and elders, with written texts, and with twentieth-century anthropology to boot. He describes Yurok Indian spirituality as "a major box during which person and society meet in dialogue-cooperating, resisting, negotiating, altering one another in manifold methods. 'Culture,' right here, isn't really a specific thing yet a approach, an emergence via time."

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Additional info for Standing Ground: Yurok Indian Spirituality, 1850-1990

Example text

This story is at once the Yuroks’ and my own. Sometimes the latter appears as fragments of autobiography; always it is there in my interpretations. The story begins where Kroeber’s left off, in 1850. It ends in 1990, the last time I saw the feathers dance at Pecwan, while the Yurok Indian Tribe was moving toward the full, federally acknowledged organization it achieved in 1993. Much has changed in Yurok life in the decade since then—materially, at least, for the better. Readers should remember that the “ethnographic present” of this book is at heart the nineteen years between 1971 and 1990.

What I’ve decided to do with some of them is to use them in this book, not just to make my own anthropological points but to pass them on. I feel that there is little chance of harm in doing so and that the (quite wonderful) stories and much other native testimony are valuable and to be shared, most of all with native readers in northwestern California who may not have heard them all before. I think the elder would have approved: sometimes she did tell me to “turn off the machine” before continuing with something she wanted to say to me—things that are not in this book.

The second section, “Testimonies,” contains three longer chapters. The first two, on Yurok men’s spiritual training and on “Indian doctors,” are based in elders’ narratives and testimony and make clear the place of immediate individual experience in Yurok spirituality. Chapter 4 introduces varieties of physical and spiritual personal “training” through which Yurok individuals have nurtured experiential knowledge in the past and through which they continue to do so today. I treat these practices in a largely descriptive manner, eschewing generalized analyses of them while laying the ethnographic groundwork for a later critique of received anthropological and psychological reductions.

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Standing Ground: Yurok Indian Spirituality, 1850-1990 by Thomas Buckley

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