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Ceremonies of the Pawnee

by Douglas R. Parks

  • ISBN: 9780898750836
  • ISBN10: 0898750830

Ceremonies of the Pawnee

by Douglas R. Parks

  • List Price: $47.50
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Lightning Source Inc
  • Publish date: 10/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780898750836
  • ISBN10: 0898750830
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Description: Written over half a century ago, the manuscript "Ceremonies of the Pawnee" is unusually significant in two respects: its contribution to Pawnee and Plains ethnology an its being authored by an Indian under unique circumstances. Of all the American Indian tribes of the Plains, the Pawnee and the closely related Arikara developed their religious philosophy and ceremonialism to its fullest; in fact, they may have developed them more than any other group north of Mexico. Yet in spite of this rich and complex religious life, no comprehensive and systematic description of it has been published. There are several excellent collections of mythology and descriptions in varying detail of particular ceremonies. Moreover, Weltfish (1965) has given a lengthy presentation of the round of Pawnee ceremonial and cultural life in the context of a panoply of personalities. Nowhere do we get the full detail and systematic presentation that James R. Murie has assembled here. Since traditional Pawnee religion of the 19th century is no longer viable, the practice of most of the ceremonies having ceased at their latest during the first quarter of this century and many of them much earlier, and since informants for nearly all of the ceremonies are long deceased, Murie's description is the only one of its sort that we shall ever possess; and so it has been and will continue to be the primary source on the subject.Murie was a native Pawnee of mixed blood (half Pawnee, half white), who lived most of his life among his people. This fact makes the manuscript particularly significant because major ethnographic descriptions written by Indians themselves, especially from an early period, are indeed rare. Murie received his education at Hampton Institute in the East, and several years after returning home he became associated with a succession of anthropologists interest in his tribe. His early work with Alice Fletcher launched an anthropological career in which he devoted himself to a study of Pawnee culture, especially religion and ceremonialism. That career, largely unrecognized by anthropologists, produced most of the ethnographic material we now have for the Pawnee and culminated in the present monograph, which was in large part written in collaboration with and under the direction of Clark Wissler, Murie collected and wrote up the material; Wissler assembled and organized it. Together they were able to complement the qualities of each other: Murie spoke Pawnee, knew tribal religious leader, and was able to deal with informants on a more intimate and protracted basis than anthropologists are generally able to do; Wissler had the academic training and was able to provide the necessary support.Another unusual contribution, equalled nowhere in the Plains ethnographic literature, is the collection of vision stories that underlie the songs of each of the doctors in the three ceremonies described.This work was completed in 1921, just before Murie's death.
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Seller: HPB-Ohio
Location: Columbus, OH
Condition: Good
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Seller: Ergodebooks
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