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Reviews 365 The book is successful in its intent: to personalize the universal experiences that immigrants so often faced, wherever they settled, at least in the rural Midwest: unsuspected problems with weather, land, and farm practices; con­ cern with language; chicanery practiced on the naive by the unscrupulous; unexpected generosity and concern by others who wanted to help the newcom­ ers; conflicts as they tried to adjust to local customs and the “American” ways while trying to maintain their own. These issues confronted immigrants whether they came to Texas or North Dakota, whether they were Czech, Norwegian, German, or Russian. But the life stories here remind the reader that those universal experiences happened to individuals. HELEN WINTER STAUFFER ProfessorEmerita, University ofNebraska at Kearney Haa TuwunaaguYis, for Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory. Edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991. 514 pages, $35.00/$17.50.) Despite longstanding European interest in native North American ora­ tory—dating from the 1600s when Jesuits in New France recorded speeches from the “sauvages”whom they hoped to convert, few treatments of the subject compare favorably with this volume, the second in a series on the oral literature of the TIingits of southeastern Alaska edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer. The editors begin by introducing the group’s social structure and the important concept of at.oow, the “possessions”which anchor the culture. Then they describe contexts for oratory and use a detailed presentation of koo.eex’, a memorial service conducted a year after someone’s death, to exemplify how speechmaking operates in context. Literary analyses, data on spirituality, and comparison of Tlingit oratory to speechmaking in other Indian cultures com­ plete their introduction. As detailed as the introduction is, it remains subsidiary to the oration texts themselves, which Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer divide into three sections. “Speeches from Various Occasions” includes fifteen texts. The earliest two come from wax cylinders made in 1899, and the most recent was delivered at a totem pole raising in 1988. Speeches delivered at the memorial service de­ scribed in the introduction comprise the second section. The third section is a selection of speeches by Tlingit elders at a 1980 conference sponsored by the Sealaska Corporation, a Native corporation created in response to the 1971 Native Claims Settlement Act. The format for the thirty-two speeches sets a Tlingit transcription opposite 366 WesternAmerican Literature English translation on facing pages. Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer follow con­ temporary textualization practice by showing asfar as possible how the speeches sound. Notes to each speech treat cultural references, literary devices, and Tlingit linguistics. The editors have prepared a brief biography of each orator. The volume also includes a glossary for the second section of speeches. The book makes available the first extensive collection of oration texts from a single native American culture recorded in natural context. By empha­ sizing Native performance values while remaining accessible to non-Tlingit readers, it becomes a particularly significant record of one tribal manifestation of an important genre of Indian verbal art. WILLIAM M. CLEMENTS Arkansas State University Western Images, Western Landscapes: Travels along U.S. 89. By Thomas R. and Geraldine R. Vale. (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1989. 189 pages, $24.95.) The idea behind the Vales’ travel book is interesting: charting the Ameri­ can West (specifically Route 89) by comparing the landscape (as seen by a “typical” tourist) to several interpretations of the West (gleaned from unex­ plained “voluminous studies of the West”). Setting out to discover how people view the western landscape, the Vales are “concentrating [their] senses on the observable scene and trying to document by pen and by shutter the raw material as it presented itself and to analyze how it conformed to or deviated from the eight images.” Their characterizations of the West, in terms of “people-land interactions,” are as 1) Empty Quarter, 2) Frontier, 3) Big Rock Candy Moun­ tain, 4) Middle Landscape, 5) Turnerian Progression, 6) Desert, 7) Protected Wild Nature, and 8) Playground. Most of these terms sound familiar. In fact, most of them jive with our sense of the Western Myth. Problem is, as objective as these author/photographers...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 365-366
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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