Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Language and Art in the Navajo Universe [Paperback]

Gary Witherspoon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Buy New
$28.45 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, July 14? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback $28.45  

Book Description

November 15, 1977 0472089668 978-0472089666 1St Edition
Studies Navajo culture as reflected in its art and use of language

Frequently Bought Together

Language and Art in the Navajo Universe + Metaphors We Live By
Price for both: $38.96

Buy the selected items together
  • Metaphors We Live By $10.51


Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press; 1St Edition edition (November 15, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472089668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472089666
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,087,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
(2)
4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a phenomenal book August 14, 2009
Format:Paperback
Witherspoon, a professor at the Univ. of Michigan, uses language as an entry way into a world-view and a way of Being that is totally alien to many if not most, Anglos. The Navajo universe was created and organized through language as the thought, conceived by Holy Beings, was projected onto the primordial unordered substance through the compulsive power of speech and song. Language then, is an energetic medium that affects the very entrails of reality. Thought then, for a Navajo, is a creative tool for ordering reality. That's why the ability to speak eloquently, and think beautiful & creative thoughts, is highly praised. A child acquires human status only after it has started to speak.

In this book i've found excellent descriptions of the Blessingway ceremony and various other curing rites (designed to recreate the world through myth, song, prayer and language). This includes the best (by far) explanation of the famous Navajo phrase "sa'ah naaghaii bik'eh hozho" that Navajos use to refer to a "beautiful, pleasant and healthy environment". The phrase which represent a maelstrom of meanings is firmly rooted into Navajo mythology and thus often considered untranslatable. Moreover, Clyde Kluckhohn (the 'grandfather of Navajo anthropology) often says that English lacks terms that have simultaneously moral and aesthetic meanings and hence cannot be used to comprehend Navajos.

Witherspoon tells us that the principal verb in the Navajo language is not "to be" like in many other languages (including ours); "to be" is of minor importance in Navajo. Instead, the Navajo language contains some 356,200 distinct conjugations of the verb "to go", reflecting emphasis on movement and change. Movement, song, speech and life are, for a Navajo, inseparably linked.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An analysis of symbols in Navajo cultural constructs. December 17, 1998
Format:Paperback
Witherspoon approaches his study of Navajo culture with the assumption that there exists some basic tenet of the Navajo cultural system that is all-enduring, but that it is the surface dynamism of this culture that characterizes the adaptability of the Navajo people. Witherspoon spent fifteen years living with the Navajo, and his experience in their language comes more from his work as a teacher and in other personal roles than from anthropological research. He sustains that there is a cultural chasm that separates Navajo culture and Western culture. Different languages contribute to this chasm, as does ritual, a large part of the behavior that non-Navajos do not seem to understand. The question of why rituals are carried out in the way that they are garners typical responses of non-Navajos. Most often, non-Navajos claim that ritual continues because of religious prescription. The curing of ailments by ritual is dismissed as coincidence and psychosomatic effect. Witherspoon argues that these conclusions are not valid because they are made in the viewer's frame of analysis rather than that of the Navajo. "Navajo acts arise out of their world and make sense within it" (15). Language and Art in the Navajo Universe aims to bridge the gap between Western and Navajo cultures.
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category