- Series: The Civilization of the American Indian Series (Book 212)
- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; New Edition edition (September 15, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0806126469
- ISBN-13: 978-0806126463
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,342,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Boundaries and Passages: Rule and Ritual in Yup'ik Eskimo Oral Tradition (The Civilization of the American Indian Series) New Edition Edition
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From the Back Cover
This book brings together as complete a record of traditional Yupik rules and rituals as is possible in the late twentieth century. Incorporating elders' recollections of the system of ruled boundaries and ritual passages that guided their parents and grandparents a century ago, Ann Fienup-Riordan brings into focus the complex, creative Yupik world view - expressed by ceremonial exchanges and the cycling of names, gifts, and persons - which continues to shape daily life in communities along the Bering Sea coast. Her analysis is illustrated with many contemporary and historical photographs. Identifying "metaphors to live by", Fienup-Riordan tells of "the Boy Who Went to Live with Seals" and "the Girl Who Returned from the Dead". She explains how in Yupik cosmology their stories illustrate relationships among human beings, animals, and the spirit world - the "boundaries and passages" between death and the renewal of life.
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Detailed and often more of a documentary than an analysis, this text arms the anthropologist and/or interested reader with the context to form their own evaluations and conclusions.
The Yup'ik world is one formed by passages between the natural, spiritual, and human worlds. These passages are bounded, transgressed, and set right by rituals and practices that unite community...in effect creating Yup'ik identity in context of the outside world.
As well, Fienup-Riordan's text is a modern one, and she is clearly capable of acknowledging the changing spheres of influence that constantly create and recreate Yup'ik culture. Nowhere is the staid analysis of the Yup'ik as a dying culture, as a dead culture, as a static culture. Fienup-Riordan's book is a window into the living culture as well as the historical perspective.
An excellent text!