Synopses & Reviews
This book, by one of the leading scholars in linguistic anthropology, concerns the verbal art of the Kuna Indians of San Blas, Panama. The author describes a rich and varied array of Kuna verbal practices, ranging from reporting, formal speechmaking and political oratory to chants and magical communication with the spirit world. This is a world in which all knowledge and information, from history and geography to the latest sport news from Panama City, is orally conceived, perceived and transmitted, and Joel Sherzer demonstrates how experience is shaped by these verbal discourses. This book represents the complete range of verbal performances in a single Native American society. These are transcribed in the original native language from tape recordings of actual events and translated into English. It is a significant contribution to theory, practice and method in anthropology, folklore and oral literature.
This book represents the complete range of verbal performances in a single Native American society.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1, Introduction; 2. The poetics of Kuna verbal art; 3. White Prophet: A Kuna myth chanted, spoken and translated; 4. Counselling a new chief: A fugue of metaphors; 5. The report of a curing specialist: The poetics and rhetoric of an oral performance; 6. The hot pepper story: Strategies in text and context; 7. The Agouti story: On play, joking, humour and tricking; 8. The grammar of poetry and the poetry of magic: How to grab a snake in the Darien; 9. Some final words; References; Index.