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Loon: Memory, Meaning, and Reality in a Northern Dene Community

Loon: Memory, Meaning, and Reality in a Northern Dene Community Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In August 1975 at Foxholm Lake on the reserve of the Chipewyan, a Northern Dene people, in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the anthropologist Henry S. Sharp and two members of the Mission Band encountered a loon. Loons are prized for their meat and skin, so the two Chipewyan tried—thirty times—to kill it. The loon, in a brazen display of power, thwarted these attempts and in doing so revealed itself to be a "spirit." In this book, Sharp embarks on a narrative exploration of the Chipewyan culture that examines the nature of a reality within which wild animals are both persons and spirits. In an unforgettable journey through the symbolic universe and daily life of the Chipewyan of Mission, his work uses the context and meaning of the loon encounter to show how spirits are an actual and almost omnipresent aspect of life.
 
To explain how the Chipewyan create and order the shared reality of their culture, Sharp develops a series of analytical metaphors that draw heavily on quantum mechanics. His central premise: reality is an indeterminate phenomenon created through the sharing of meaning between cultural beings. In support of this argument, Sharp examines such topics as the nature of time, power, gender, animals, memory, gossip, magical death, and the construction of meaning. Creatively argued and evocatively written, his work presents a compelling picture of one people engaged in the human struggle to create meaning.

About the Author

Henry S. Sharp is an anthropologist who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of The Transformation of Bigfoot: Maleness, Power, and Belief among the Chipewyan.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780803242920
Subtitle:
Memory, Meaning, and Reality in a Northern Dene Community
Author:
Sharp, Henry S.
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Location:
Lincoln, NE
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Native American Studies
Subject:
Northwest Territories
Subject:
Chipewyan Indians.
Subject:
Chipewyan mythology.
Subject:
Chipewyan philosophy
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
4
Publication Date:
20041201
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Index
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » North America

Loon: Memory, Meaning, and Reality in a Northern Dene Community
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Product details 216 pages University of Nebraska Press - English 9780803242920 Reviews:
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