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Ways of Knowing Experience, Knowledge, and Power among the Dene Tha

ISBN-10: 0803270747
ISBN-13: 9780803270749
Edition: N/A
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Description: This innovative study reveals the creative world of a Native community. Once seminomadic hunters and gatherers who traveled by horse wagon, canoe, and dog sled, the Dene Tha of northern Canada today live in government-built homes in the settlement  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication date: 12/1/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 334
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

This innovative study reveals the creative world of a Native community. Once seminomadic hunters and gatherers who traveled by horse wagon, canoe, and dog sled, the Dene Tha of northern Canada today live in government-built homes in the settlement of Chateh. Their lives are a distinct blend of old and new, in which traditional forms of social control, healing, and praying entwine with services supplied by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a nursing station, and a Roman Catholic church. Many older cultural beliefs and practices remain: ghosts linger, reincarnating and sometimes causing deaths; past and future are interpreted through the Prophet Dance; “animal helpers” become lifelong companions and sources of power; and personal visions and experiences are considered the roots of true knowledge. Why and how are such striking beliefs and practices still vital to the Dene Tha? Drawing on extensive fieldwork at Chateh, anthropologist Jean-Guy Goulet delineates the interconnections between the strands of meaning and experience with which the Dene Tha constitute and creatively engage their world. Goulet’s insights into the Dene Tha’s ways of knowing were gained through directly experiencing their lifeway rather than through formal instruction. This experiential perspective makes his study especially illuminating, providing an intimate glimpse of a remarkable and enduring Native community.

Jean-Guy Goulet is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Calgary.

Preface
Introduction
Stories from the Field
True Knowledge and True Responsibility
Powerful Beings and Being Powerful
Powers to Heal, Powers to Respect
Visions of Conflict, Conflicts of Vision
Journeys of the Soul
Searching for a Womb
When the Drum and the Rosary Meet
Dancing Your Way to Heaven
An Experiential Approach to Knowledge
Notes
References
Index

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