Download Nightway: A History and a History of Documentation of a by James C. Faris PDF

By James C. Faris

The Nightway chant is a Navajo therapeutic ceremonial that extends over a number of days and accommodates distinct songs, prayers, sandpaintings, and using sacred fabric items, similar to mask. Now to be had in paperback, The Nightway strains the historical past and genealogies of Nightway drugs males and the historical past of the recording and documentation of the chantway by way of non-Navajo observers. during this first substantive research of the ceremonial in fifty years, Faris argues that the tricky information and particular Nightway practices are necessary to the recovery of concord and, hence, therapeutic. He makes to be had for the 1st time the total Nightway narrative as given to Mary Wheelwright and Franc Newcomb via Hosteen Klah in 1928 and twenty-two colour plates of formerly unpublished sandpainting reproductions. Anthropologists, Navajo experts, and scholars of comparative faith and cultural feedback will welcome this quantity.

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However, the enterprise which made this possible long ceased to grant authority to local discourse. The effectivity of Navajo ceremonial practice has repeatedly been acknowledged by liberal social scientists or psychotherapists (see Sandner, 1979; Bergman, 1983), and today certainly by Public Health officials in Navajoland. But it is, however, still explained in rationalist terms as a sort of psychosomatic aid, `faith' curing, symbolic healing, a therapeutic placebo yet effective to be sure, for the evidences of its successes are clear.

An interesting exchange between Kluckhohn and Haile indicates something of Haile's resistance to a creeping anthropology. Kluckhohn had written Haile for some translation assistance in preparation for the papers on Navajo ceremonial classification (Wyman and Kluckhohn, 1938; Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940), and stated: Wyman, Reichard and I are working on a paper which will endeavor to present a reasonably full list of Navaho ceremonies on the basis of the literature and our own field work and also the groupings of those ceremonies which are made by the Navaho themselves.

But to some extent Stevenson has been too often ignored or overlooked, and it is a very important account for several reasons. First, probably thanks to having heard Matthews' lectures in Washington in the spring of 1885, Stevenson's account contains substantial information to be compared with Matthews'. 8 Finally, it is the best actual description of a specific ceremony. ) As such, Stevenson's recording deserves closer attention that it seems to have had (but see Chapter Two, note 23). Fortunately, a strain of scholarship close to the early accounts persisted in modified forms up through the late 1940s, particularly in the work of Fr.

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