Little Bit Know Something: Stories in a Language of Anthropology

Robin Ridington, Author University of Iowa Press $27.5 (281p) ISBN 978-0-87745-268-3
In this collection of 14 papers spanning two decades, Ridington ( Trail to Heaven : Knowledge and Narrative in a Northern Native Community ), an anthropology professor at the University of British Columbia, provides an acute, absorbing look at the customs and beliefs of the Dunne-za Indians of British Columbia. In ``Fox and Chickadee,'' an elderly Indian named Chickadee uses storytelling to teach then-Ph.D. candidate Ridington the difference between collecting data and learning. ``Telling Secrets'' describes how private and public knowledge are joined as personal ``vision quests'' become part of the communal myth. In ``A True Story,'' an elderly woman recalls her ``vision quest,'' an encounter with the spirit of a sleeping bear. A glimmer of the way this hunting community adapted to trade with the European settlers is given in ``From Hunt Chief to Prophet.'' And ``The Medicine Fight'' shows how a community without a formal political structure can distribute political power through an institutionalized competition. Photos not seen by PW . ( May )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 281 pages - 978-0-87745-286-7
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