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Algonquian Spirit: Contemporary Translations of the Algonquian Literatures of North America


Algonquian Spirit: Contemporary Translations of the Algonquian Literatures of North America Cover

ISBN13: 9780803293380
ISBN10: 0803293380
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Europeans first arrived on this continent, Algonquian languages were spoken from the northeastern seaboard through the Great Lakes region, across much of Canada, and even in scattered communities of the American West. The rich and varied oral tradition of this Native language family, one of the farthest-flung in North America, comes brilliantly to life in this remarkably broad sampling of Algonquian songs and stories from across the centuries. Ranging from the speech of an early unknown Algonquian to the famous Walam Olum hoax, from retranslations of “classic” stories to texts appearing here for the first time, these are tales written or told by Native storytellers, today as in the past, as well as oratory, oral history, and songs sung to this day.
An essential introduction and captivating guide to Native literary traditions still thriving in many parts of North America, Algonquian Spirit contains vital background information and new translations of songs and stories reaching back to the seventeenth century. Drawing from Arapaho, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Cree, Delaware, Maliseet, Menominee, Meskwaki, Miami-Illinois, Mi'kmaq, Naskapi, Ojibwe, Passamaquoddy, Potawatomi, and Shawnee, the collection gathers a host of respected and talented singers, storytellers, historians, anthropologists, linguists, and tribal educators, both Native and non-Native, from the United States and Canada—all working together to orchestrate a single, complex performance of the Algonquian languages.


A comprehensive collection of Native American stories told by Algonquian speakers in the United States and Canada.

About the Author

Brian Swann is on the faculty of humanities and social sciences at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. His many works include Voices from Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America and (with Arnold Krupat) I Tell You Now: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers, both available in Bison Books editions.

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dutchessabroad, June 3, 2010 (view all comments by dutchessabroad)
Do you have any Native American story collections on your bookshelf? If yes, you've got to get this. Anyone interested in American, not just Native American history will enjoy this book. Most of us will know when we encounter an Algonquian place name, but how many are aware of the many Native American words that are part of mainstay in American English? The most well known is arguably Yankees. Yankees for the English right? But I didn't know Yankees comes from "Yengeese" the name for European visitors who spoke their Ma'am's tongue (okay, okay the queen's English), now the name of New York baseball players. Redundant info? Perhaps, but it does show how connected we are today to Native American language.
Swann covers an astounding territory literally, historically and figuratively. I don't think there's another work this complete. While written by an academic, it's not an academic read, tip to the hat for Brian Swann. An American lit collection won't be complete without Algonquian Spirit —much more than a transcript of an oral tradition.
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Product Details

Swann, Brian
Swann, Brian
Swann, Brian
Swann, Brian
Swann, Brian
University of Nebraska Press
Native American Studies
North America
American - Native American
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies
Native American
Legends -- North America.
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Native Literatures of the Americas
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in 1.6 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies

Algonquian Spirit: Contemporary Translations of the Algonquian Literatures of North America New Trade Paper
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Product details 532 pages University of Nebraska Press - English 9780803293380 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A comprehensive collection of Native American stories told by Algonquian speakers in the United States and Canada.
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