A Time Before Deception: Truth in Communication, Culture, and Ethics: Native Worldviews, Traditional Expression, Sacred Ecology

Thomas W. Cooper, Author, Fox Tree, Foreword by, Oren Lyons, Epilogue by Clear Light Books $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-940666-59-7
Rejecting the assumption that literate cultures are superior to preliterate ones, Cooper explores how native peoples--Amerindian, Australian, Hawaiian, African, etc.--utilize a multitude of precise, stylized, disciplined communication forms ranging from chant, song, dance and memorized myths to sign language, facial and body painting and silent communion. In many native societies, the primary form of communication, he maintains, is with the Great Spirit, intermediary to a universe commingling animals, plants, spirits, weather patterns and humans in an organic whole. Cooper, a communication professor at Emerson College in Boston, incorporates his anthropological fieldwork with the peaceful, egalitarian Shushwap people of British Columbia and with the enduring, prayerful Dine Navajo of northeastern Arizona. He finds that among indigenous peoples generally, customs and ethical practices regulate social interactions, and further, that a universal set of shared moral teachings cuts across tribes and continents. A self-described WASP from Tennessee, Cooper has penetrated deeply into native modes of communication and ethics, bringing back compelling moral perspectives. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-940666-89-4
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