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Studies in American Indian Literatures
Editor: Karl Kroeber
Associate Editor: Linda Ainsworth



Studies in American Indian Literatures, the Newsletter of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures, is issued four times a year. Advisory editorial board: Paula Gunn Allen, Gretchen Bataille, Joseph Bruchac, Vine Deloria, Jr., Larry Evers, Dell Hymes, Maurice Kenny, Robert Sayre.

Annual subscriptions are by the calendar year and are $6.00, $15.00 foreign. Back issues are available at $12.00 per volume.

Inquiries, contributions, subscriptions, and requests for further information should be addressed to: the Editor, 602 Philosophy Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.





©Studies in American Indian Literatures 1986
                     ISSN: 0730-3238





Studies in American Indian Literatures

Volume 11 Number 2

Spring 1987

Editor: Karl Kroeber
Associate Editor: Linda Ainsworth
Assistant Editor: Marianne Noble



Contents

Karl Kroeber, Oral Narrative in an Age of
        Mechanical Reproduction                                    61

Anthony Mattina, On the Transcription of
        The Golden Woman                                            92

Reviews
        Larry Evers and Felipe S. Molina,
        Yaqui Deer Songs / Maso Bwikam: A
        Native American Poetry. Review by
        William Bright                                                    103

        Gretchen M. Bataille and Charles L. P. Silet,
        Images of American Indians on Film: An
        Annotated Bibliography, and Tom Colonneses
        and Louis Owen, American Indian Novelists
        An Annotated Critical Bibliography.
        Reviews by Karl Kroeber                                    107

Tribute to Carol Hunter                                              110





{iv}



{61}

Oral Narrative in an Age of
Mechanical Reproduction



        On August 2, 1968, a linguist from the University of Montana, Anthony Mattina, sat down in an abandoned farm house with a Colville Indian, named Peter Seymour, and tape recorded ninety minutes of a story Seymour told in Colville, a language Mattina at that time did not understand. Three days later Mattina taped another ninety minutes of the story, and on the following day Seymour completed the tale, which took almost another two hours of taping. The story translated by Mattina and Madeline deSautel, with a partial verbatim text, notes and commentary by Mattina, and a Colville glossary, was published in 1985 by the University of Arizona Press under the title of Seymour's story, The Golden Woman (all page references in the following discussion are to this edition). The book is worth many times its $16.95 price to anyone professionally concerned with Native American literatures, principles of narrative, and the relation of oral art to the spreading hegemony of Western technological culture, as well as to linguists and folklorists. I believe The Golden Woman will come in time to be regarded as a classic of American literature.

{62}

I

        The continuous free translation of The Golden Woman occupies about thirty pages and can be read in under half an hour. This ratio of better than ten to one between speed of hearing and speed of silent reading seems to me a fair measure of the difference in normal speed of reception of written and oral literature. A tale that can be read in a few minutes may have taken nearly an hour to tell. But temporal comparison is complicated, or enriched, in the case of The Golden Woman, because its form is what folklorists, borrowing from music, call a "round," a story that repeats a part or parts of itself at one or more points. The central repetition of The Golden Woman is not included in Mattina's book--understandably, since it must have taken the better part of an hour's telling. Written literature never uses so much verbatim repetition, for a written text can easily be reread. But in oral performance only literal repeating makes possible re-evaluations parallel to those possible through re-reading.

        Seymour's mammoth repeat cautions us to think more carefully about the circumstances of this telling. Seymour, who had met Mattina for the first time only a few days before, spoke into a tape recorder operated by the linguist, who, because he didn't understand Colville, couldn't know what Seymour was telling. Seymour's only audience was the tape. So what kind of a story did he tell the tape? A round, which, since he was in effect talking to himself, may have been an appropriate choice. Yet Mattina's account of his subsequent friendship with Seymour suggests that the peculiar circumstances of the telling {63} were necessary ones, for Mattina is sure that had he "organized a story-telling session with audience, atmosphere, the works, Seymour wouldn't have performed" (2).

        Seymour was aware that his children and grandchildren were not interested in long stories. Other elders never listened to his tales. So one may suspect that Seymour's telling is about his situation as a Colville storyteller in 1968. The Golden Woman is a European fairy tale transferred into a western American setting that perhaps ought to be read as a commentary on the overwhelming of the Colville by White culture. Formally as well as substantively Seymour's Golden Woman tells us about the conditions in which he now must tell. Late in the story the "king," wanting a crowd at his wedding, tells "all the telephone operators . . . You telephone to all the kings like me here on earth . . ." (44). This amusingly updates fairy tale style, but the anachronism also suggests something of the complexity resulting from the superimposition on oral discourse of devices of modern technology. Telephone and tape recorder testify to how the range and durability of speech has been increased by technological civilization which jeopardizes oral literary traditions founded on the simple and direct relations manifested in fairy tales. Ethnologists and folklorists have for years congratulated themselves on the benefits to their work of tape recorders. Peter Seymour may be the first Indian recitalist to exploit opportunities offered by this piece of modern technology to increase the recursive significance of a traditional telling, and thereby to open to literary critics new insights into {64} how narrative art may insert itself into complex socio-cultural situations.

        Seymour and Mattina discussed the potential soporific effects of storytelling, mention being made of a story "so long that those listening to it went to sleep before it was concluded." This reminds us that we need to think carefully about the aesthetics of the time required for oral performance. For instance, wherein lies the satisfaction to Peter Seymour, speaking into a tape recorder, to repeat himself for an hour? Or, to what in a story that contains so large a repetition as The Golden Woman are those who don't sleep attentive? Sheer length is a more critical issue in oral than in written literature. It doesn't matter, really, whether Clarissa is three or four volumes, and Charles Dickens could publish novels serially over a period of eighteen months without losing his audience. That option seems foreclosed to the recitalist.

        And Mattina deserves credit for reminding us of the self-isolating aspects of fine artistry, even in oral performance, that even in a communal society the artist is to a degree a loner. However sustaining of his culture, and however supported by it, a master teller in shaping his stories endows them with qualities we now term aesthetic, which term, if it means anything, must refer to attributes not fully defined by specific cultural constraints and inspirations. We rather overlook the fact that in societies that don't, as ours does, distinguish a separate domain of "the aesthetic," an artist's self-conscious artistry is strongly isolative. The apocryphal blindness attributed to Homer may be symbolic of {65} how even the founder of a great tradition works in and through an essential loneliness.

        Some awareness of the complexities of Seymour's situation may lie behind his self-deprecating references to his storytelling as "BS-ing" (2). Given the condition of Colville culture in 1968, what can the native teller do but BS? Is he telling us that he is now reduced to mere fairy tale telling? May there not be a deeper irony, and a bitter one, beneath the obvious irony in the Indian's consciousness of telling the white man a story from the white man's culture made ludicrous by its transposition into terms and situations of White-corrupted Indian culture?

        Answering such questions with assurance isn't easy, because the narrative skill of a teller such as Seymour tends to conceal painfully probing questions beneath an easy, charming metacommentary, as in his remark on how in this genre information gets picked up quickly: "that's fairy tales for you, it travels fast and it's got no feet" (37). More important disguises are the adaptations of motifs, plot devices, and formulaic situations to purposes congenial to an Indian critique of familiar conditions of our contemporary world of telephones, airplanes, and radios. What the Indian has been "teaching" Mattina (at the end of his recital Seymour observes to the tape recorder he has been a teacher to Mattina) is how a fairy tale may be utilized for aims presumably remote from those in which the genre originated, including comment on how the White culture of fairy tales has intruded into the narrative traditions of Seymour's people.

{66}
        In discussing the problem of what language is appropriate for translating Seymour's story, Mattina pays little attention to how that story constantly involves itself in problems of genre translation. It calls attention to difficulties in making use today in western America of a "king," of magic birds, of seeking one's fortune, the last of which in Seymour's telling becomes finding a job as a carpenter, house-painter, or dishwasher. If we knew more about how Seymour learned the tale we could assess more accurately the significances of its translations. He learned the tale, he told Mattina, from someone named Lisette, about whom Mattina could find out nothing. So all we can say is that The Golden Woman is a Colville transformation of a European form only obscurely connected to any Colville "tradition" of telling. Though Mattina lists motifs that connect the tale with others of European origin, he of course can't cite a specific source that the mysterious Lisette might have adapted for Seymour to change. Nor can Mattina suggest ways in which this story might link to Colville narrative traditions--for the reason that scholarship has not yet addressed even the possibility of such a tradition existing. Yet just as the marvelous pictures on the walls of Lascaux could not have been created by anyone who had not learned an extraordinary skill, so Seymour's fine narrative art must owe something to a traditional storytelling art. In a peculiarly vivid fashion The Golden Woman tells us how much we still have to learn about the native aesthetics of our continent.

{67}

II

        Like most readers of the Arizona volume, I do not read Seymour's language but the English translation, which appears to be primarily that of a bilingual Colville woman, Mary Madeline deSautel. Her translations, Mattina says, "were loose--certainly not morpheme by morpheme, and not even word by word. She translated Colville into the English she normally spoke, and I wrote it the way she spoke" (9). Mattina's forthrightness and clarity in confronting the hazards of his decision to use this translation are admirable. The decision to accept deSautel's "Red English," a "substandard" English characteristic of many Indian speakers, is reasonable, if only because the story itself is a Colville version of a European fairy tale and is partly about the interpenetrating of European and Indian cultures. But the "continuous translation" of deSautel differs significantly from the incomplete verbatim text taken from the tapes of Seymour's telling, and some difficulties arise when the two are compared. As example of detail: the Colville word translated in the first paragraph (and elsewhere) as "chief" is usually (though not always, for instance, line 370) translated as "king" when applied to the protagonist's "boss." A more subtle question is posed by metaphors, remarked on briefly but helpfully by Mattina (65): there does seem to be the possibility of a systematic correlation in Seymour's telling--but not in deSautel's translation--of physical heights and depth with psychological states of pride and envy.

        A thorough critical commentary on The Golden Woman would have to confront such issues as well {68} as analyze parallels and differences between Seymour's text and deSautel's. In general, deSautel adds a great deal, mostly, I should judge, for the purposes of explanation. Thus the second paragraph of her translation more than triples the length of Seymour's original--in the following quotation of it I have underscored what is essentially identical with Seymour's words to illustrate the expansion.

        They told him: "Father, you're the chief, and we're going to tell you what we're thinking. Well, father, we're going to leave you." Their father said to them: "And why, is there something you're angry about and then you're leaving us? I thought I treat you children real good, I respect your feelings, you're not hard up, and I baby you. And now you're thinking of leaving me.

        His sons told him: "No, don't think that way. It's for good [reasons] that we're leaving you, we're not mad at anything. Now we're out of school, and it'll be some time before we get back to school. We're done with this here grade school, and even if we stay here, we'd be staying here with you, and we won't learn nothing that way, just books. All you do is baby us, coax us around, you never send us to do anything for us to learn how to work. We're going to have our own experience, whatever we learn. We don't know yet what we're going to experience, but maybe if we travel around the world we'll look for a job, and maybe we'll learn work, and we'll practice, {69} and that's why we ask permission to travel around."

        And their father asked them: "And where will you be going?" And they told their father: "You know that we never get out of your sight since we's born. We don't know anything about the country, and we'll just go, for nothing, no direction, in the open country, we'll get somewhere. Wherever we are facing, that's the direction we're taking. But this is what we are telling you, it'll be exactly one year, the same day that we're gone, and if we're still alive we'll come back. Not yesterday, but today next year, when it's exactly a year, we'll come back, me and my brothers. We don't know where we're going, and we don't know what we'll do, maybe we'll be all together when we get a job, or maybe not, we'll scatter and get a job each by himself. If one of us doesn't come back, that's the sign he's dead. If we're lucky we'll stay in one place and then we'll see one another in the evening. We're still together yet." Their father said: "OK, if that's what going to please you, and this is what you want, travel around, go on."

        This passage suggests how far apart continuous translation and verbatim text may be, and although in commenting on The Golden Woman I cite from deSautel's translation, when I come to the passage that is the narrative's climax I use the verbatim translation of Seymour's words, because deSautel's rendering seems to blur the most interesting complexities in the passage. I pass by in silence here the fascinating topic of the {70} relation of Seymour's telling to deSautel's rendering of it, a matter, as Mattina is at pains to point out, of considerable importance. Mattina's comments center on the fact that Seymour's story is unmistakably a work of literary art, and that the colloquialism of deSautel's rendering may obscure not merely "elegant and formal" qualities in Seymour's Colville narration but also subtleties and complexities in the original language contributing significantly if unobtrusively to the story's artistic success. Something more than the well-known difficulty in any translation is at issue here. Dell Hymes' studies over the past decade, for instance, have raised the possibility that many Indian stories in fact are organized according to definable patterns of measured language, more-or-less equivalent to what we think of as poetry. A "Red English" translation is bound to conceal such characteristics.

        Seymour's narrative style seems to me marked by an intriguing combination of terseness and complicated deployment of words usually translated as "well," "then," "so," in the Colville, ixi?, way, ut, to set up rhythmic patterns of telling. My brief study of the text, however, leads me to doubt that Seymour uses the kind of rigidly formal structuring Hymes discerns in some of his Oregon texts. And this kind of formal ordering, as Hymes himself emphasizes, is but one component of a work's artistry. Patterns of language texturing, such as I suspect do play some role in Seymour's telling, are significant to the degree that they are shown to be congruent with various macro-structuring. For the ordinary reader of The Golden Woman, larger thematic features give easier entry into Seymour's art, {71} because his narrative, unlike those Hymes has analyzed, reworks fairy-tale elements with which we are familiar. The primary narrative characteristic of The Golden Woman is its transposition of European original into Colville rendering and I'll here concentrate on this issue.



III

        The Golden Woman tells how the youngest of four sons, with the aid of a magic horse, rescues his brothers from certain death after they have left home to seek their fortunes. Jealous of, rather than grateful to? their little savior, the elder brothers plot to destroy him. They maneuver him into being sent to steal from the man-eater who nearly killed them a pair of golden birds. The boy succeeds and presents the birds to the king of the country to which the brothers have come, but his siblings then have him sent to capture for the king a strange sea creature, the golden woman. The boy does capture her, but she falls in love with him. She schemes to have the golden birds tell a story at a gathering the king has convened to celebrate his marriage to her. The birds tell exactly the story we have heard of the younger brother rescuing his elders. Hearing the story awakens the youngster to his worth and the Golden Woman's love for him. She poisons the king, marries the youngest son, and returns with him, in company with his forgiven brothers, to his father's house.

        Mattina identifies this a story type 531 in the Aarne-Thompson classification scheme, but analogues are less important to this tale than {72} Seymour's skillful interplaying of realism and humor, launched by his first sentences.

        One tribe of people was sitting around, it's one town, one big town, but I don't know the name of the town. It's nothing but a fairy tale. And they have a chief in that town, they have a big chief, and he's important, and he's got more than one son, four of them, all boys. Its early spring and the snow is all gone, school was over, and the three oldest went to see their father. (19)

        White and Indian confront in the opening sentence with its "town" consisting of a "tribe of people sitting around," a confrontation self-reflexively deepened by the apparently deprecating comment, "It's nothing but a fairy tale." This remark is also functional in setting up conscious interaction between what people who call themselves narratologists call histoire and recit, events told of and telling, for that interplay is a central dynamic of Seymour's performance. He consistently brings into question the authority of his narrative. One aspect of this self-contestation is his intersecting of literal and metaphoric at crucial junctures, as when, later, we're told that the protagonist is "in a good track" though he is literally wandering in a storm. Beneath all rhetorical and figurative interpenetrations is the fundamental one of the White fairy tale being reworked through a Colvillian telling into the White man's recording machine to teach the White man something he does not know. After the father agrees to let his boys travel, he orders his hired man to equip them with the best horses, saddles, {73} spurs, and so forth, and gives them money, because

"You don't know where you're going, and you don't know the country, and then you won't know the people when you get there, and maybe you might get hungry. And this is what I give you for your grub. And if you get to a town then you'll have money, and if you go to an eating place you can eat, and you can camp at a hotel, and you can put your horses in a barn. You have some money and you can pay for that. But if you don't have money you'll have a bad time. (21)

        Throughout the telling this kind of practicality accompanies sardonic comments by the narrator, especially on White ways, and incongruities between the systems of contemporary Western life and the system of fairy tales. It is casually suggested at one point that airplanes originated from the example of the flying horse (39). When the youngest brother gets into the saddle of the magic horse, the narrator reminds us that just a few sentences earlier he had been described as too small to get into the saddle by himself (23). But the profoundest incongruities are more than just amusing.

        When the three elder brothers have ridden off, the youngest boy is told, to his distress, he's too little to go with them. His mother suggests to his father that he be given a lunch bag, a few pennies, and an old pair of chaps, and set on an ancient horse that can scarcely walk. This will make the boy happy, he can't get far and "then he won't get feeling bad, he won't get sick over it" (22). Sure enough, the old horse {74} barely gets over the first ridge before collapsing. In frustration the boy whips and beats the animal, who says to him:

"Please have pity on me little boy, I'm not doing this on purpose. It's not my fault I'm to the limit with oldness, my breath is all out of me, and I'm weak-boned. (22)

When the boy, angry and crying, continues to beat the horse,

        All at once something spoke to him from above: "Leave that poor thing alone, pity your horse, I'll pity you." He raised his head, gee, he seen a beautiful horse, pretty as a picture. . . . That beautiful horse told him: "Hurry, get on, or you'll be too late to save your brothers. They're just getting to the man-eater . . . . If you take your time they'll be dead. You keep staring at me. Let's get close to their heels. Hurry and get on." (23)

        The establishing of a ground for parallelism here is adroit, as it is whenever Seymour exploits the age-youth motif. The frustration of the genuinely helpless boy invokes the magic horse. Later, the boy's frustration at the failure of the horse's magic leads him to drive the horse away. From that point on this fairy tale is not so magical. Fairy tales move fast without feet, Seymour is telling us, but they carry you only so far. After having beaten the magic horse, the boy reflects with bitter self-accusation: "I'm disgusted with myself," he says; "it's all caused from my bad temper that {75} put me in bad. My horse left me because I licked him. Now I'm disgusted of myself" (40).

As the boy cries and wanders about, all at once

he got on a good track, and then it started to rain. It rained and the wind blowed close to the shore, and there were waves. It was on a good track, and he ran into some baby eagles, just hatched, two of them. They didn't have a feather on their body. They was just a-shivering from the cold. He felt sorry for them. He started to gather pine needles, anything to make a fire, and he started building a fire for the baby chicks, the eagle babies. And they got warmed up. (40)

        Once again the boy hears a sound from above. This time it is the parent eagles returning--they had been delayed by the storm. In gratitude to the boy for saving their children they encourage him to try once more to capture the Golden Woman. Taken captive at last, she begins to take charge of the story. With her capture the surprises of magic are replaced by more realistic wonders. She suggests, "We just as well get married. You're the one that took me" (42). She thinks, "He isn't for nothing, this little fellow is something to grow for, or he wouldn't have caught me. . . . this here outstanding kid got me. He must be smart" (42). So he takes her to the king, who observes, "now that I see you, I am a well-satisfied king" (43). And

he told all the telephone operators: "You telephone operators, you telephone to all the kings like me here on earth, and the {76} important people, they'll get here also. And you send an invitation to all those around here. There's no old or young. Everybody is going to gather here tonight." (44)

        Only the boy refuses to go to the party, telling the king's cook for whom he washes dishes as a regular occupation, that he is too "pityful" and dirty and possesses only old clothes. But the king wants everybody, and two sheriffs are sent for the boy, who protests, but, in an action that recalls his capture of the Golden Woman, "They grabbed him by the arms, he tried to squirm around, they walked off with him" (45). With everyone present, at the Golden Woman's behest the golden birds from the man-eater's tell a story, which is exactly the story we have heard of the brothers' rescue from the man-eater. But this telling is marked by some by-play between rooster and hen. There is a question of which should tell the story, with a sharp dig at White men's sham politeness to women (46). Of course the rooster is the one to tell the story, but he occasionally questions the hen: "Am I telling it right?" And the hen answers, "Yes, you're telling it right. That's just what you done" (47). This large "round" comes to an end in a passage I cite from the verbatim translation. It is a moment at which, starting a new tape, Seymour consciously "splices" his story, that is, connects one tape to its predecessor as the two tellings, one within the other, dovetail. This is the crucial moment in the narrative, because here the story breaks finally its repetitive patterning. And this narrative transformation is expressive of the decisive maturation of the protagonist. This dramatic utilization of narra-{77}tive form within the story is the result--within the narrative--of stage-managing of narrative by the Golden Woman. Her scheme is to have the boy through hearing the account of what he had done awaken to what he may be qualified for, not least herself.

611. Well, as they say in my language, in Colville I am going to splice my fairy tale, the Golden Woman.

612. That's where I stopped telling my story; he was telling his story the rooster with the hen, the golden birds.

613. And the rooster is telling a story, to all the people, and indeed that's what the boy did, that's what he's telling.

614. He's telling what he did; and the boy like he forgot what happened to him.

615. And she thought of a plan the Golden Woman, because to the boy that caught her, that's where her heart is, that's who she wants to marry.

616. And the king is too old; and that's why all of this she thought out.

617. When he's telling his story the rooster, maybe he'll wake up (and) remember the boy what happened to him, and then they'll get married.

618. That's what is told to the people, and he tells the rooster (to) the hen, "Is it true what I've done?"

619. Then she winks at him the woman, the hen, she winks at him the hen, and she says, "Yes, yes, yes, that's what you've done.

620. Certainly I know this is what you've done, and if I had told the story, I wouldn't have everything known that you've done.
{78}
621. And always I love you, I want you to marry me."

622. The boy like he woke up.

623. "I have done that, what he's been telling about me."

624. He woke up, and he thought that's he whose deeds they're telling to all the people.

625. Not ever do birds talk to one another, or just talk; these are the man-eater's birds, that's why they talk (and) tell about themselves.

626. Well, this boy as soon as he realized that it's his deeds (being talked about) by the rooster, he disappeared.

627. They didn't realize it, and just to the birds they were listening.

628. Then they missed the boy, he's gone, he must have slipped out.

629. Then his brothers got the belly ache.

630. He told them the king: "Don't anybody go out."

The repetition of the earlier part of the narrative is "justified" and made meaningful by this passage, because it is only through hearing as a story what he in fact had done that the boy becomes aware of the meaning of his acts, the qualities of his true self. If the first decisive step into maturation was his compassionate aiding of the young eagles, the second is the subtler and profounder recognition of himself as a worthy person, above all else, as a person worthy of affection, qualified for love. Within Seymour's story such recognition comes from hearing the story. Implicit in the recursive pattern is a definition also of the complex preciousness of storytelling: it creates consciousness of the meaning of what has happened to {79} us. So, too, The Golden Woman articulates an understanding of what has happened to the Colville Indians, specifically that they now find viability only by making use of the mechanisms of the White American culture that has overwhelmed them. Seymour tells their story into their recording device so as to preserve his way of telling.

        In so sustaining his heritage by means of the very force destroying it, Seymour exploits a primary, if not the primary, function of narrative. Events occur in the natural world, and even sequences of events, but not stories. Stories are human tellings about events, their principal aim being to give shape to events, that is, a human meaning. The recursiveness within The Golden Woman reminds us that, for someone hearing the story for the second, or the tenth time, the narrative as a whole is a repetition. The longest repetition of the story is the total story. Such repeating, which the tape recorder mechanically facilitates, is valuable (among other reasons) because it makes possible new meanings, renewed assessments, evaluations, judgments of the human meaning articulated. The story repeated is a means not only of sustaining but also of changing established evaluations of a personal life, the life of a society, the life of our kind.

        An awareness of narrative function so perceived is made a significant thematic element within The Golden Woman by Seymour. The boy's unwillingness to come to the king's party expresses his sense of his unqualifiedness, even though we judge that, as the one who captured the Golden Woman, he is most qualified. He does not {80} judge well the quality of his character and behavior because, though he has done remarkable things, he has not yet defined himself to himself through his acts. Maturity, this tale seems to imply, depends not merely on acting responsibly but possessing the ability consciously to assess one's actions, because only then is one's responsible behavior meaningful, that is, made capable of being deliberately used as a model, repeated, or modified.



IV

        In most of what he does in the first part of the tale the boy simply follows the directions of the magic horse. This is one reason why his actual activity at the man-eater's is not described. The horse tells him beforehand what he should do, and tells him in the most complete detail. These instructions, which of course we the listeners "overhear," are substituted for an account of the actions when they "actually" occur. When the horse's instructions are finished, we are told: "and that's what happened" (27). If anyone needs proof that Seymour's repetitions are carefully purposeful, it is right here, where there is an opportunity for repetition superseded by a gigantic prolepsis.

        This proleptic telling, in fact, illustrates what I find to be American Indian narrators' consistent preference for prefiguration over suspense. Indian story tellers know what reception theorists like Stanley Fish seem regularly to forget: stories are always retold. The important part of any audience for a tale already knows the story. For them, for anyone who re-{81}turns to a narrative, prefiguration takes account of this knowledge, is the means by which an informed listener is enabled to re-enter the telling. Prefiguration allows the imagination of the informed to reshape what has for them already happened at least once. Story telling is repeating, and prefiguration serves in a narrative a function analogous to the act of storytelling, which gives a "new," retrospective order through its reiteration of events that have occurred previously in a linear sequence, at the end of which telling begins.

        Under the conditions of oral narration, of course, the only way the protagonist of a story such as The Golden Woman can arrive at the self-awareness provided by narrative is through hearing of himself in an "oral" tale within the tale, which allows its auditors to appreciate fully the significance of his transformation, because for them the inset tale is a repetition: they know what has happened and can concentrate on what it may mean. Yet the effectiveness of such a repetition would seem to depend on our emotional involvement with the subject of the tale. To someone who doesn't care about the boy in The Golden Woman, isn't concerned with his fate, the repetition can only be boring. Repetition of this scale brings to the foreground a fundamental principle overlooked or underestimated by virtually all narratologists: narrative works through emotion. Stories have affects, and analysis of narrative that omits its emotional dimensions will be inadequate. When one speaks, as I am doing here, of "awareness" aroused by narrative, or its achievement of "meaningfulness," we must remember that every aspect of its functioning is grounded in emotional biases it {82} evokes. A good story is one that makes us care, and it is good so far as the evolution of emotional patterns it develops are integrated with the developing configuration of its plot actions and themes.

        This principle is illustrated by The Golden Woman's focus upon love. One of the man-eater's baits is her "granddaughters," and her house is, in effect, a brothel. There, finally, the "grandmother" is tricked by the boy into killing her granddaughters, the event dramatizing the house's violent perversion of genuine love. But genuine love, because more than mere sexual attraction, involves conscious decision, embodied in this story supremely in the Golden Woman's artifice at the wedding, interestingly contrasting with the hunting artifice by which the boy captures her. The Golden Woman's affection for the boy is inseparable from her shrewd assessment of his potential as a man, a potential, she recognizes, of which he himself is unaware. So she weaves a plot, having the golden birds tell a story within the story which is, in fact, the first part of the story. The golden birds' collaboration with her is revealed when the rooster asks the hen, "is it true what I've done," when he has been telling what the boy, not the rooster, did, and she winks at him when replying "yes, yes, yes, yes." This is a put-up job that climaxes with the hen's final "And I always love you. I want you to marry me." That statement wakes up the boy; the birds' dramatic representation attains its desired effect, arousing him to his capacity for love, just as within Seymour's telling fairy tale is used to alert us to possible significancies (some highly problematic) of fairy tale telling.

{83}
        The foregoing comments raise several thematic questions. I'll here focus on a simple but important one, whether, as critics seem to take for granted, love is indeed the same the whole world over, whether there may be diverse artistic forms of expression for basic feelings and relationships and conditions, love, maturation, identity, for example, which are experienced differently in different societies thanks to divergences in cultural forms. In The Golden Woman The intersection of affection and awareness occurs most intensely in the word deSautel and Mattina translate as "pity." Mattina calls attention to the importance of this Colville root qwan, suggests the variety of its possible connotations, and notices that the term is significant throughout the Salishan family of languages, citing Reichard's comment on a Coeur d'Alene cognate (66). To someone not versed in the languages involved, "compassion" might often seem a more appropriate translation of qwan words, since "pity" may have bad connotations of "sentimentality" for many today. But "compassion" lacks the common adjectival forms "pitiable" and "pitiful" which appear at critical moments in Seymour's story. A creature who is "pitiable" seems to be not only one who begs for sympathy but also is one worthy of receiving the benefit of intelligent emotional investment from another. The one who is pitiable at best is worthy because capable of responding appropriately to affection and generosity, so that "taking pity" opens the way to emotional reciprocity. One is tempted, therefore, to feel that "love" finally might be a truer translation than "pity," if only because both active and passive aspects of an emotional relation seem encompassed by the
{84} Colville usage. Interpretation is tricky, because our literature normally does not, as Indian literatures I believe frequently do, give us characters representing themselves as "pitiable," that is, not merely requiring aid or mercy but with the connotation within such admission of vulnerability of being "lovable," with all its implications for reciprocity.

        This particular issue has special importance in The Golden Woman because of its bearing upon the theme of maturation. It seems to me that to become fully adult in many Indian stories such as The Golden Woman, one must become aware that one is deserving of love, for only one deserving love, lovable, will be capable of truly loving another.

        I have raised this point both for its specific relevance to Seymour's tale and for its general significance to the study of American Indian materials as literature. Exactly what the words commonly translated as "pity" or its derivatives "really mean" can only be determined by a careful analysis of as many diverse uses as can be located, along with detailed investigation into the contexts in which they occur, for the definition sought in a literary work is of a Wittgensteinian kind, a determination of usage. Speculations like mine just presented are intended only to stimulate study of the data adequately to address such problems. I am only pointing out possibly useful directions for explorations into linguistic details. I am urging linguists to focus on a particular problem because it seems to be of interest to more than one discipline. Because only detailed linguistic analysis can finally give the factual basis {85} needed for valid literary evaluations of the significance of Seymour's use of qwan, literary critics bear the responsibility of suggesting what are narrative cruxes, foci of structural or thematic development, essential to any assessment of the work as literary artistry.

        One further suggestion on this topic's significance for the comprehension of narrative form. I am ready to speculate that we might read "pity" as "love" in The Golden Woman because it, like many Indian stories, is more intensely emotional and more focused on exploring problems of emotionality than has been recognized by anthropologists, folklorists, and even literary critics. Modern literary critics tend to minimize the emotional components in art, and folklorists, and linguists, have no special interest in the subtler emotive aspects of narratives. Yet these are crucial to the art of The Golden Woman, as to many Indian tales. Emotion unorganized by intelligence Indian stories, so far as I know, invariably present as something bad and dangerous. Admirable emotionality always includes, as in the case of the boy with the baby eagles, intelligent judgment. And reciprocal love, as appears ultimately in the relation of the boy and the Golden Woman, almost invariably implies intelligent consciousness of the various dimensions of a relationship genuinely reciprocal--the kind of understanding of self and self in relation to others that allows someone to present himself or herself honestly, not sentimentally, as "pitiable." Indian stories such as The Golden Woman seem to emphasize more than do European ones lovability, the capacity to receive as well as give emotion, and the difference has important effects--still awaiting {86} serious investigation--both on the form of narrative in itself and on how it is shaped by its reception, the context of telling.



V

        Whatever the value of the foregoing speculations, The Golden Woman unmistakably represents love as not possible for someone who is immature, as, in reverse, "magic" is no longer available to someone who has become mature. This is why in the crucial "splicing" passage quoted above, as soon as the boy "wakes up," he disappears. A few sentences later he returns as a man--the Colville words now applied to him are different from those used earlier. The boy is ta-twit (l.622), whereas the man who enters (with what seems oedipal speed) immediately following the king's death is qel-tmix (l.649), the same word used by the Golden Woman about him and translated by deSautel as "husband," that is, "my man." There is, one may observe parenthetically, a lovely touch in this scene of the returner transformed: the Golden woman does not at first recognize the handsome young man in good clothes, the very reality produced by her device for "magical" transformation.

        The commonplace yet always mysterious process of maturing by which a boy vanishes into a man Seymour's story gives emphasis to by dramatizing the violence of the older brothers' reaction to the Golden Birds' telling, and the Golden Woman's last scheme. The older brothers, as the younger brother vanishes, fearing that the birds will continue with the story of their career and so expose their jealous machinations, get what {87} Seymour calls "the bellyache." Ready to shit in their pants, they make the obvious plea to be excused, but the king denies their request, telling his working man: "Go and bring in the big tub. Put it right on the floor, whoever gets the belly ache, he can use it. Don't nobody go out" (49). But the brothers, in fact, are not publicly exposed; the story has stopped rounding on itself, because the Golden Woman, having attained her goal of awakening the boy's self-awareness through the birds' story, says to the king:

"There's very different in our age, you're old and I'm just a girl, and don't you think, if we get married you'll be very sorry, you'll always be jealous, jealous hearted because you're old?"

Admitting she has a point, the king asks if she knows "a good medicine to make me young again." She sure does. She

pulled out of her clothes a bottle, a little bottle. She told him: "You drink this, drink it at once, and then you'll be back ten years younger, towards a boy. And then we'll be even. Take it." She gave it to him he took it down at once. Must be just a little spoonful, just one swallow, and it's gone. He did like that, the king has spasms, he let go and fell on his back, he just quivered. The people and the kings all rushed to him on both sides, there was a doctor there, but he didn't have no medicine. They rushed him to the hospital, but he never come to, he's dead. He's still dead. (49)

{88}
        Among marvelous reports of the death of kings, this for me ranks alongside that of Babar's predecessor. But one should recognize that this king's fate is exemplary of a childish--as distinct from a child's--belief in magic, a foolish faith in the possibility of reversing the fundamental order of things. Through the magic of the fairy tale, through the true magic of art, the story retold by the golden birds, the young protagonist is awakened to the truth of his being. I take it that true narrative is true to human desires and needs. That is why in fairy tales, as in children's "make believe," magic power is not so much sought as given, for "magic" is the validation of desire. I believe that enchantment of all narrative art lies finally in its parallel gratuitousness, as The Golden Woman brilliantly illustrates. But in seeking a literal, merely physical magic to make himself young again the king asks for a lie, and he gets it. He's still got it.

        Although as Jean Paul Sartre said, we live in one direction but tell of our lives in the other, the authentic magic of narrative art seeks not to deny natural facts but to improve on them, to transform them into a natural-human reality, which implies a social reality. Although the protagonist in our story must himself begin the process of his maturation, to complete the development he requires help, as we all do, because we are social creatures needing the fulfillment of friends, a lover, a community. Assistance comes to our young man in the form of a story of his adventures, for although the story is only a telling, it is not untrue, less because it is {89} accurate than because it serves to reveal, as only story can, the human significance of events.

        The Golden Woman's self-reflexivity, then, is not merely decorative, not merely structural, not merely traditional, but thematically functional. Seymour conveys to us through the Golden Woman's mode of awakening her lover what Percy Shelley articulated more abstractly in his "Defence of Poetry" when he observed that "neither the eye nor the mind can see itself, unless reflected upon that which resembles itself." Shelley went on to argue that by showing our minds to ourselves literature teaches us not only "self-knowledge" but also "self-respect." Shelley, of course, was a romantic poet, born two centuries ago. Twentieth-century critics, particularly those prominent today, have nothing to say about art fostering self-respect. In part their silence results from commitments to a conception of human psychology that does little to encourage self-respect, but in part the silence results from critics' unwillingness to study in detail how art makes its way into processes of social development or deterioration. We prefer to explain the context of art from the perspective of the context; we prefer to analyze art in terms of the non-artistic. But there is much to be learned about both the nature and the functions of art by examining how it enters itself, unasked, into a socio-cultural context, and from evaluating the contexts of an artwork from the perspective of its act of creative intrusion.

        I believe we miss the possibility of valuable insight, as well as poignant experience, if we fail to observe how Seymour's Golden Woman {90} slides into our literature to confirm the self-respect of Colville culture in the hour of its dissolution. Seymour uses Western technology to encyst within our culture an exemplification of how a Colville imagination could transform one of our narrative forms. He thus teaches us, among other things, that our kind of progress destroys, among other things, modes of imagining. Yet Colville imagining, through Seymour's reshaping of a European fairy tale, is now part of our heritage. Seymour used a tape recorder to save for his people what they could no longer save for themselves, including a critique of what destroyed them.

Karl Kroeber
Columbia University







{91}







{92}

On the Transcription and Translation
of The Golden Woman

        Reviews of my edition of Peter Seymour's The Golden Woman (I have read four) make reference to the discrepancies between the interlinear and the continuous translations of the tale. Other readers have asked me just who did the "free" translation. I will give an account of my editorial practices that reduced the text from 73 1/2 typewritten, double-spaced pages to 51 pages--about three-fourths of the complete transcript. If readers bear with this tedious account, they will be better able to understand the composite nature of the "free" translation, and to comment on the effect of my editorial practices.

        On August 2, 1968, Pete Seymour started his narrative, interrupted by the end of tape 1. What was recorded on this tape is reported in the transcript of the Arizona edition of The Golden Woman, lines 1 through 256. The story is interrupted at the point when, having had the little boy deliver to the king the letter in which his brothers had written that he (the little boy) would capture the Golden Woman, the king reads:

"I'm writing this to you the king, because it's a pity I am working, and maybe you are wishing for something." (l. 256)

{93}
        Tape 2 was recorded a few minutes after the end of tape 1. The transcript of the English translation of tape 2 begins:

He delivered that letter to the chief, the youngest one of the two [four]. He got to the chief and told him, "Here's a letter for you." He turned around to go out. He told him, "Wait a minute until I finish opening it and I look at it, because I'm going to answer it." The king opened it and he read it. The note [king] said, "It's that boy that is writing it, and it says, it asks me . . . ."

I omitted these sentences from my Colville edition, and continued with the next line, numbered 247, that goes:

"Maybe you've heard about the Golden Woman at the big water."

Lines 247-458 are the verbatim transcript of the remainder of tape 2. The end of tape 2 interrupts the story after the capture and delivery of the Golden Woman, after the rooster starts telling his story, when the three oldest boys receive from their father equipment and money for their year-long journey. In line 457 the king reasons:

"You might get to town, and not get a job in a hurry; this is for your eats and for your sleeps."

In line 458 "the boys put the money in their pockets" and there ends tape 2.

{94}
        Tape 3 was recorded August 5, three days later. It begins with a formula, and the translation of the transcript goes:

This is what my language would say, "I'm going to splice my fairy tale. This is The Golden Woman, that's what I'm telling. And now I connect together." He got the Golden Woman, and he's taking her back to the king's house . . . .

The story continues with the delivery of the Golden Woman, the Golden Woman's request of the chickens' performance, the summoning of all the people, the puzzlement of the chickens, the beginning of the story of the boys who want to go on a journey, and their being outfitted. Seymour backed up the story quite a bit--the typed transcript occupies three and one-third pages--arriving, eventually, at the point where the king gives them money. The transcript goes:

"this is for your eats, for your sleeps, or you'll get dirty and this'll buy new clothes, that's what the money will be for. You won't be hard up until you get a job." That was all of them, and he gave them the money.

I omitted the initial portion of tape 3 (the last lines of which I just quoted), and continued with the next line, 459.

They told their father: "This is what we want to tell you, it'll be exactly one year today when we will come back . . . ."

{95}
Lines 459-610 constitute the remainder of tape 3, and take the story from the departure of the boys through the little boy's tantrum, the mother's suggestion of a nag and a few pennies, the boy's disappearing, the horse falling, the transformation into flying steed, the arrival at the man-eater's, the rescue of the brothers, the boys' arrival at the white town, and the assignment of jobs to the two oldest boys as carpenter and house painter respectively. The tape ends with the king telling the second boy to take the note to the boss of the house-painters with the promise that "he'll give you a job" (end of line 610) followed by the fragment "Then he said to the next one . . ." which I omitted from the transcript.

        Tape 4, recorded a few minutes after tape 3, also starts with a formula and continues as follows:



Like my language would say, I'm going to splice my fairy tale story. The little boy said, "My father is a king, he's an important man." He named his town, it's big. "That's where we come from. And you just got acquainted with me, my brothers are sitting here," and he pointed, "them is my brothers setting over there, they're all together. They had already left, and I wanted to come with them."

Tape 4, then, continues with the little boy's story as told by the rooster. The big brothers will soon depart, the little boy will throw his fit, etc. In a matter of a few lines the story {96} switches from a first to a third person account, in the following manner:

"And then my mother pitied me [first person] and she told her husband, `why don't you pity our son.' . . . He [the little boy--third person] shook hands with his mother and father . . . ."

The story continues to be told in the third person through the familiar episodes: the nag, the pennies, the transformation into steed, the rescue of the brothers, etc., with occasionally interjected remarks such as:

And then the rooster asked the hen, "Isn't that so?"

The tape ends just after the little boy chooses the dish-washer's job, with this exchange between rooster and hen:

"Is this what happened?" And the hen winked at him and said, "Yeah, Yeah. That's what happened." Then he'd go on with his story. "I know that you know the whole story, that's why I told you to talk first. I'm not going to tell your story because I might not tell everything in your life."

No part of this tape (4) is included in the transcript of the running interlinear tale (ll. 1-704), but several excerpts are included in the appendices.

        Tape 5 was recorded August 6, one day after tapes 3 and 4. It begins with the formula

{97}

"I'm going to splice my fairy tale story, this here Golden Woman is what I'm telling about . . ."

and picks up the story as follows:

the boy's already got this here Golden Woman from the big water . . . .

It goes through the familiar episodes: delivery of the Golden Woman to the king, request of the birds' performance, rooster's story, big boys' departure, little boy's tantrum, pennies, nag, steeds advice concerning arrival at the man-eater's and withholding of barn key. The tape ends with the horse foretelling the boy:

"When you get done eating she'll say to you, `I'll show you upstairs and I'll show you where you're going to sleep.'"

No part of this tape (5) is included in the transcript of the interlinear edition (ll. 1-704), but the entire tape constitutes lines 705-881 of the appendices.

        Tape 6, of which, like tapes 4 and 5, no part is included in the transcript of the interlinear translation (but excerpts are in the appendices), was recorded a few minutes after the end of tape 5. It begins with an abbreviated formula, and picks up the story during the rooster's performance

"I'm going to splice now." Just like the dishwasher boy woke up. He remembered and understood what the rooster was saying. He's talking about what he's been doing {98} . . . That's what he's been doing, what he's been telling. They got to the king, to a big town . . . .

This is just after the boys have escaped from the man-eater's. The story goes through familiar episodes, including the capture of the birds, and the writing of the letter that promises the capture of the Golden Woman. The end of the tape interrupts the story as follows:

"If you wish to have her, I'll go after her for you, for your wife." Because the king ain't got no wife. Even if he did have a wife, he's a white man, and he can get a divorce.

        Tape 7, recorded a few minutes after the end of tape 6, starts as I report in sentences 611 ff., and the story ends, mid-tape, with sentence 704.

        In tabular form, the contents of all seven tapes and corresponding transcripts, with identifying headings are:

{99}

Table 1

                               Length
                                  of
                                transl            Episodes covered (listed          Portions incl                Az Ed
                               (typed          by numbers to correspond         Running text               Appendix                Typescript
Tape       Date          pages)          with free translation)                   (1-704)                   (705-925)                  Page #

1          8-2-68         13          1 through 37.6                                    1-246                                                  1-13

2             "              12.5       37.6 through 54.3                            247-458                                                  14-25
                                             1 through 4.3 as told by rooster

3          8-5-68         11         44 through all of 54                          458-610                                                  29-36
                                            1-1/2 through all of 22 as told                                            882-888                 27
                                             by rooster

4            "               11.5       53.1 through all of 54                                                        889-900                 41-42
                                             1-1/2 through 26 as told                                                   901-902                 43
                                             by rooster                                                                          903                    44
                                                                                                                                 904-907                 45
                                                                                                                                 908-909                 46-47

5        8-6-68        10         45 through all of 54                                                              705-881
                                                                                                                                  (entire
                                                                                                                                   tape)                    49-58

6           "                10          54.16 (last ¶ of 54                                                            910-914                      60
                                            21 through all of 37 as told                                                   915                         61
                                            by rooster                                                                         916                         61

                                                                                                 
921-922                   67
                                                                                                                                 923-925                   68
                                                                                                                                 917-919                   65-66
                                                                                                                                   920                          66

7           "               5.5             55-65                                                611-704                                               69-74

Numbers in the fourth column identify paragraphs within each episode. Thus 37.6 means episode 37, ¶6. 1-1/2 means half way through (the single paragraph of) episode 1.

{100}
         The story (minus the repetitions) occupies two entire tapes (1, 2); about two-thirds of tape 3; and a little over half of tape 7. The transcript of the translation of the story (minus the repetition) comes to 37 pages, a little less than the total 74 of the transcript. The interlinear text I provided in my edition consists of the portions that I have just described. Tapes 4, 5, 6 provide duplicate, triplicate, and quadruplicate materials of many of the episodes of the story, as I have explained and tabulated. Much of this material, including the entire tape 5, is presented in the appendices.

         When I compared the duplicate, triplicate, and quadruplicate episodes of the story, I noticed that they differed in the amount of detail each included. While I did not tamper with the original (and interlinear English translation), I combined (many of) the details of each episode into a composite translation, of which, however, every sentence, phrase or word was uttered by Seymour in Colville and translated by Madeline deSautel and me.

        I saw Seymour's story as a masterpiece not only of oral, but also of printed literature. I presented as much of the story as I deemed appropriate as a record of an oral narrative (920 of running and appended text), and I also presented my written literary edition of it in 65 episodes that occupy 33 printed pages: my episode numbers, my "pastiche," but Seymour's story. The record of oral narrative needs none of the props of verse formats and special typographies; the literary edition perhaps deserves a comment about its rationale. Seymour fished out of his {101} memory a plot he'd heard half a century earlier or more. He wove around it a story, not when the spirit moved, on a winter night, grandchildren around him, but when his "school boy" turned the tape recorder on, three summer afternoons. He repeated himseIf, and with his repetitions he gave me rewritings to work with, and I worked with them, as I would have with several drafts of any great piece of fiction of which the most important stylistic device is narrative detail. As more of Seymour's stories become known, readers will see more of his power as a maker and teller of stories.

Anthony Mattina
University of Montana







{102}







{103}

Reviews

Larry Evers and Felipe S. Molina. Yaqui Deer Songs / Maso Bwikam: A Native American Poetry. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1987. Volume 14 of Sun Tracks: An American Indian Literary Series. Ed. Larry Evers. pp. 239.

        The Yaqui Indians live in the state of Sonora (northwestern Mexico) and in Arizona, and are distinguished by an unusual history. Their first contact with Europeans in 1617 was with Jesuit priests, who lived among them in peace for over a century; during this period, numerous elements of the Christian religion and of the Spanish language were incorporated by the Yaqui into their own culture, in an amalgam which persists to this day. After the Jesuits were forced to leave by order of the King of Spain in 1767, however, the Yaqui resisted European domination; they became known for their fierce independence and bravery through a series of conflicts in which Mexican government authority was finally established in Sonora. In the process, many Yaquis moved to Arizona. In recent years, their tribal identity has received recognition from both the Mexican and the U.S. governments.

        One of the most important vehicles of Yaqui cultural survival has been the ceremonial "deer dance," performed by a man wearing a deerskin and antlers--to the music of traditional "deer {104} songs," accompanied by rasp and water drum. For the population of northwestern Mexico in general, this ritual has become a symbol of aboriginal culture; the deer dancer appears on the great seal of the State of Sonora. Adapted to the techniques of European ballet, a version of the deer dance has been performed to international acclaim by the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. But it is in the Yaqui communities themselves that the deer dance, with its songs, retains full significance as a ceremonial and artistic performance.

        The present volume does not attempt to deal with the ethnomusicological or ethnochoreographic aspects of the deer dance; however, as a study of a Native American poetic genre, it is outstanding. The collaboration of Evers, a non-Yaqui specialist in American Indian traditional literature, with Molina, a young Yaqui who speaks his people's language and performs as a deer singer in his own right, makes this a very model of what such studies can and should be. The book combines extensive bilingual song texts, verbatim commentaries by knowledgeable Yaquis, sensitive accounts of ethnographic and mythological background, and detailed scholarly reference to the literature both on Yaqui culture and on American Indian oral poetry; one is unaccustomed to such riches.

        Evers and Molina point up all too clearly (25 ff.) that earlier studies of Yaqui deer songs have seldom given the basic data--accurately transcribed native text, with literal translation--which must be considered essential if such poetry is to be valued for itself, rather than in the imagined terms of outsiders' "retransla-{105}tions." Thus, in 1932, the ethnomusicologist Frances Densmore gave the text of a Yaqui deer song as "The deer looks at a flower"; and in 1961 the poet Kenneth Rexroth re-lined this as "The deer / Looks at a flower." Densmore's version was, of course, not a translation, but rather a sort of explanation offered by her consultant. Yaqui songs indeed typically deal with deer and flowers, but with considerably more richness. Thus one song (71) begins as follows:

        "So now this is the deer person,
              so he is the deer person,
                    so he is the real deer person."

This is sung three times; then the singer's consciousness switches "over there," to the mythological "flower-covered wilderness," in which he becomes identified with the deer:

        "Over there, I, in the center
              of the flower-covered opening,
                    as I was walking,
                          here in the open green water,
                               a s I was walking --"

and concludes by returning to the refrain:

        "So he is the deer person,
              so he is the real deer person."

Yaqui song texts, then, are not imagism, or haiku, or postmodernist wordplay--they are poetry; and like poems in any language, they are deeply grounded in a centuries-old cultural tradition. Evers and Molina give us a great deal of the information we need to appreciate that tradition. The book's value is made even greater {106} by Linnea Gentry Sheehan's splendid typographical design.

        A cassette tape recording of some of the Yaqui deer songs presented in the book, performed by Molina, is available from the publisher, and is very welcome. This may have been an afterthought, since no key is provided to help the listener match up the songs on the tape with those in the book. I was surprised to find that Side 2 of the tape contains exactly the same recording as Side 1.

William Bright
University of California at Los Angeles

*      *      *      *

         In its most recent catalogue, Garland Publishing announces its twenty-one volume collection, The North American Indian, devoted solely to traditional Native American culture. According to General Editor David Hurst Thomas, this series represents a "combination of the classic and the classically obscure"--both "major yet hard-to-get reference works" and "significant, lesser-known works." The twenty-one volume collection contains 375 papers, essays, monographs and letters. Members of the Editorial Board include Richard I. Ford (Director and Curator at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan), Charles M. Hudson, Jr. (Professor of Anthropology at the University of Georgia), Bruce G. Trigger (Professor of Anthropology at McGill University), and Waldo R. Wedel (Archaeologist Emeritus at the Smithsonian).

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         For more information, write to Garland Publishing, Inc., 136 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, or call (212) 686-7492.

         Two other Garland press books of interest are:

Gretchen M. Bataille and Charles L. P. Silet. Images of American Indians on Film: An Annotated Bibliography. New York, 1985. Illustrated. 284 pp. $34.

An extremely valuable resource. It begins with an historical introduction, followed by the bibliography divided into four sections: 1) general approaches to the American Indian as seen by Whites; 2) general studies of Indians in films; 3) reviews and essay on single films; 4) selected important sound films including Indians as subjects. The second section contains references to more comprehensive listings such as that of Ralph and Natasha Friar, The Only Good Indian and Weatherford's Native Americans in Film and Video. A fine index, including titles, directors and actors, rounds off this excellent compilation--which has the bonus of 27 illustrations.

Tom Colonneses and Louis Owen. American Indian Novelists: An Annotated Critical Bibliography. New York, 1985. 160 pp. $31.

To me as to many, I suspect, the surprise of this bibliography which does not go beyond 1983 is how much has happened since then. Listed here is but one novel by Vizenor, nothing of course on Fools Crow, and no mention of Erdrich! The Native American literary renaissance is indeed accel-{108}erating. The editors miss a few items, and, not surprisingly, have some problems with the title of this journal, but granted their limits of time and subject (only writers who have produced a full-length novel are included) they present a useful collection. Necessarily there is considerable repetition of references to general studies such as Rosen (1979), Velie (1982), Lincoln (1983), and Larsen (1978), the weakness of the last not noted, but on the whole the annotations are fair and helpful. An update in a couple of years would be most welcome--and, I'd guess, twice the size.

Karl Kroeber







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Tribute to Carol A. Hunter

         Professor Carol A. Hunger (Osage), born in 1937, died of pancreatic cancer on 12 March 1987. Professor Hunter received her B.S. in Economics and Education in 1961 and her M.A. in English Literature in 1972 from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater; she received her Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Denver in 1978. Prior to her death, she was assistant professor of English at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Hunter had also been a visiting professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an instructor both in the Department of Humanities, Rose Junior College, Midwest City, Oklahoma, and at the Institute of American Indian Art, Santa Fe.

         Professor Hunter's research had resulted in two important articles on John Joseph Mathews (Osage) and a draft of a edition of the satirical "Fus Fixico" essays by Alexander Posey (Creek), on which she had been working before she became ill.

         Among the postdoctoral awards she received are the following: NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers: American Indian Literature, 1979; Ford Foundation / Newberry Library Fellowship, 1980-81: American Indian Culture and Research {111} Fellowship, Fall 1983; Fulbright Scholarship to France, 1985-86.

         Professor A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff, University of Illinois at Chicago, who had worked closely with Professor Hunter, described her as a dedicated scholar who was committed both to her Osage people, to introducing students to American Indian literatures, and to advancing our knowledge of this field through her own scholarship. "Carol was a warm, gentle, fun-loving person who had many more important contributions to make to the field. Her death is not only a genuine loss to her family and friends but also to the profession. As a person and as a scholar, Carol is a worthy role model for Indian young people."



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Illustrations in the issue are from Tales of the Okanogans. Collected by Mourning Dove. Edited by Donald M. Hines. Artwork by Harvey West, MFA. (Fairfield, WA: Ye Galleon Press, 1976).

 

 


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